GLO.ACT convenes 2nd meeting of its Women’s Network Advisory Board

Vienna, Austria - 9 June 2021 – The Women's Network of Gender Champions against Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling is an active community of female officials and male champions of women's rights working in policy making, the justice sector, law enforcement, civil society and other relevant local entities.

The Network was constituted to help address the gendered nature of human trafficking and migrant smuggling and serious underrepresentation of women working in and/or leading institutions responding to Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM).

The Network's Advisory Board provides advice and guidance on the implementation of the Network's roadmap to action, facilitates cooperation and coordination with relevant national government counterparts, advocates within their sphere of influence towards institutional reform in favour of the empowerment of women and, ultimately, monitors the progress made by the Network.

Following its 1st Advisory Board meeting on 27 October 2021, GLO.ACT convened the 2nd Advisory Board meeting on 9 June 2021.

In her capacity as Chairperson, Huma Chughtai welcomed fellow board members, pointing out that despite COVID-19 and associated challenges, the Network managed to work towards its vision and mission, and through determination and commitment, managed to implement its Roadmap to Action.

Addressing the Advisory Board, Maria Chiara Piazza, Project Manager – European Commission, DG INTPA, spoke about the EU's newly adopted Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings (2021-2025), which includes a strong focus on the gender dimension of the crime. She also mentioned the EU's upcoming strategy on Smuggling of Migrants, which will also focus on women and girls. She concluded by saying, "For us, the Network is inspiring, and we hope to learn from you."

Vice-Chair, Dr Ibtisam Aziz facilitated sessions on mentorship and brainstorming ideas for the Network's upcoming annual general meeting; Jane Townsley and Jane Charles-Voltaire guided a discussion on training delivered under the Network framework. GLO.ACT Team members meanwhile covered a range of issues from communication to future cooperation amongst network members.

Overall, the 2nd Advisory Board meeting allowed members to reflect on activities undertaken and discuss priorities, as outlined in the Network's Roadmap to Action, for Q3 and Q4, 2021.

24 Advisory Board members (17 female; 7 male) participated in the meeting.

The Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants – Asia and the Middle East (GLO.ACT-Asia and the Middle East) is a four-year (2018-2022), €12 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in up to five countries: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (Afghanistan), Islamic Republic of Iran (I.R. of Iran), Republic of Iraq (Iraq), Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Pakistan). GLO.ACT-Bangladesh is a parallel initiative also financed by the EU and implemented with IOM.

The project builds on a global community of practice set in motion in GLO.ACT 2015-2019 and assists governmental authorities and civil society organizations in targeted, innovative, and demand-driven interventions: sustaining effective strategy and policy development, legislative review and harmonization, capability development, and regional and trans-regional cooperation. The project also provides direct assistance to victims of human trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and protection mechanisms. The project is fully committed to mainstreaming Human Rights and Gender Equality considerations across all of its activities.

The project is funded by the European Union.

To find out more about the Women’s Network and GLO.ACT, please check:

Women’s Network

GLO.ACT - Asia and Middle East

Email: unodc-glo.act@un.org

Twitter: @glo_act