GLO.ACT supports training for human trafficking hotline respondents

Vientiane, Lao PDR 10 June 2019 - UNODC, under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants ( GLO.ACT) organized from 28 to 31 May 2019 a three day technical training on the enhancement of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) hotlines, data collection and reporting, and strategic referral processes. In conjunction with the technical training on media production for combating TIP and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) held as a part of the inclusive development on the prevention pillar of the Lao government, the alignment between the country's three TIP hotlines required improvement in coordination and outreach. As such, frontline responders were trained on appropriate responses when receiving phone calls and dealing with victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants. The training also incorporated proper data collection methods to improve the country's data collection and ensure consistent data is recorded from each hotline call across the three relevant government agencies, namely the Anti-Trafficking Department, Lao Women's Union and Lao Federation of Trade Union.

Following opening remarks by UNODC GLO.ACT National Project Manager, Ms. Siliphaithoun Xayamoungkhoun, and Lieutenant Colonel Kikeo Chanthalungsy, Deputy Director General, Anti-Trafficking Department, Ministry of Public Security, the first session centered around providing government officials and development partners with a general overview of GLO.ACT and the objectives of the training for hotline responders. This was followed by a comprehensive presentation by UNODC on the dynamics of TIP and SOM as well as the nature and causes of human trafficking in the region. Relevant agencies went on to share their challenges on the trafficking and smuggling hotline front, providing group presentations on possible solutions and suggestions of what they thought could be done to enhance the effectiveness of both responders and the hotline systems in place. Agencies also briefed those in attendance with presentations on their information recording, sharing, and reporting practices, discussing their challenges and ideas on how to improve.

The second day of the training focused on a case study of the existing TIP hotline mechanisms of the Thai government's Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. Participants reflected on the effectiveness of neighbouring Thailand by examining the skills and approaches employed by Thai hotline respondents dealing with TIP cases. More specifically, the training provided insight into how Thai TIP hotline respondents dealt with individuals reporting crimes as well as the victims and families involved in an effective and case-sensitive manner that aligns with the 3P (prosecution, prevention, protection) approach to combating human trafficking. Participants then went on to reflecting about the Do's and Don'ts of hotline responses, culminating in a series of problem-based, role-playing group activities that allowed practitioners to test out and analyze how they respond to various scenarios.

The final day of the training featured the Thai Ministry of Social Development and Human Security sharing valuable information and insight about their best practices, providing Lao TIP respondents with a comprehensive walkthrough of their existing forms and processes. The session also included presentations on TIP hotline reporting and referral mechanisms as well as the MSDHS's response to challenges and how they managed to overcome them. UNODC and MSDHS went on to work closely with participants into the closing stages of the training to formulate an updated plan for hotline responders.

Apart from increasing participants' overall knowledge on human trafficking and migrant smuggling as well as national and regional developments on the issue, the training successfully refined the basic skills of hotline respondents while shedding light on a variety of best practices. The training also provided UNODC and its government and development partners with a platform through which to consult one another and enhance dialogue with respect to more effectively recording and referring case-related data. It drove an important discussion on better coordination and cooperation in the future which will have a lasting impact as efforts to combat TIP and SOM move forward.

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to provide assistance to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine. GLO.ACT works with the 13 countries to plan and implement strategic national counter-trafficking and counter-smuggling efforts through a prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships approach. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including providing assistance to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.

 

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Siliphaithoun Xayamoungkhoun

GLO.ACT National Project Officer

Email: siliphaithoun.xayamoungkhoun@un.org

Website:  www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/glo-act/

Email: glo.act@un.org

Twitter:  @glo_act