21 December 2022 - Islamabad, Pakistan – Within the framework of the EU-funded GLO.ACT - Global Action to Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT – Asia and the Middle East), IOM has conducted a series of national level workshops and sensitization sessions on various aspects of victim protection and assistance to strengthen Pakistan’s overall response on combatting Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM).
In close coordination and consultation with Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), IOM organized three national level workshops and five provincial level sessions on topics including victim identification, screening and referral, improved services for victims and child protection for a range of stakeholders, including the FIA, Police Departments, Social Welfare Departments, Child Protection Units, Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development and civil society actors. The initial consultation session with 14 relevant FIA officials, which was held in Islamabad on 30 November 2020, aided in defining the roles of the various stakeholders and identifying knowledge gaps that influenced the development of the training curriculum.
The first national workshop, held from 27 to 28 January 2021, introduced 32 participants (24 male, 8 female) to frameworks of identification, screening, and referral of victims of TIP and vulnerable smuggled migrants, as well as best practices from countries with similar contexts. Over the course of the two days, presentations were given on the elements of a referral mechanism and the significance of data protection in implementing identification, screening, and referral practices. These presentations were followed by participant discussions on current practises and gaps in Pakistan.
The second workshop, held from 26 to 27 May 2021, aimed to increase the capacity of its participants (14 men and 6 women) to enhance support services for TIP victims and vulnerable smuggled migrants. The workshop modules covered fundamental factors to take into account when providing services like housing, health care, psychosocial support, legal assistance, and livelihood support. Participants were also given an overview of the various phases of case management, a crucial strategy for promptly, appropriately, and systematically addressing victims' needs.
As a follow-up to the aforementioned workshops, five additional sessions were held in Faisalabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, and Quetta between September and November 2021 in order to increase the capacity of provincial-level authorities and better understand the unique challenges associated with victim assistance and protection in each province.
The third national level workshop on protection and assistance for migrant children who are at risk, particularly those who are TIP and SOM victims, was organised by IOM from 5 to 6 July 2022. 26 people (22 male, 4 female) participated in the workshop, which had as its main objective the development of participants' skills in the identification, screening, referral, and assistance of vulnerable migrant children.
In general, all three workshops were interactive and mixed group and individual activities with presentations. Participants were asked to create personal action plans following the workshops in order to promote the practical application of the lessons learned. Results of post-training questionnaires and follow-up conversations with participants showed significant growth in their subject knowledge and comprehension. Furthermore, the involvement and presentations made by senior FIA officials at all workshops and sessions showed the government of Pakistan's strong ownership and interest and confirmed the need to increase the scale and scope of such capacity building efforts.
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.