Vienna, Austria – 13 July 2023 - The Women's Network of Gender Champions against Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling recently held its 7th Advisory Board meeting under the auspices of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) initiative. The network comprises female officials and male champions dedicated to women's rights, working in various sectors such as policy-making, justice, law enforcement, and civil society.
Established on June 29, 2020, the Women's Network aims to address the gendered aspects of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, as well as the limited representation of women in institutions combating these issues. Through the leadership of its Advisory Board, the network has grown into a vibrant community of practitioners committed to overcoming barriers and empowering women in the field, ultimately improving the quality of assistance provided to trafficking victims.
In her capacity as Chairperson, Dr Ibtisam Aziz welcomed fellow board members. She introduced newly appointed members, Ms Maria Dolores Lopez Sanchez, Chief Commissioner of the Spanish Police; Malaika Orgino, Executive Director, Footprint to Freedom and Director of Development, African Survivor Coalition and Deborah Friedl, President of the International Association of Women Police.
Addressing the board members, Ilias Chatzis, Chief of the Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section, UNODC, stated: "The collaboration opportunities provided by this Board have been invaluable. And the influence of the Board extends beyond these meetings. It fosters the emergence of a global community of female advocates and change-makers to drive progress." He concluded, bidding farewell to some members and welcoming new members saying:" I want to emphasize that our work is far from over. The challenges we face are immense. We must continue to build on our accomplishments, inspire new generations of leaders, and push the boundaries of what is possible."
The board meeting also included a review of the milestones achieved by the Network since its constitution in July 2020 and a lively discussion on reflecting, refining, and revolutionizing for an empowered future.
The meeting concluded with a brief update on up-coming Network activities in Q3 and Q4 2023.
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 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: