Vienna, Austria – 01 June 2023 – In the challenging and often harrowing field of countering human trafficking and migrant smuggling, resilience is an indispensable tool. As part of the GLO.ACT Women's Network’s commitment to grow a vibrant community of practitioners that works to ensure that barriers to the empowerment and progression of women in the TIP and SOM sector are overcome, the Network organized a workshop centered around resilience and managing stress, acknowledging its paramount importance in their line of work. The topic was chosen by network members as a priority issue as part of the workshop series on personal and professional development, in line with the Network's Advisory Board Roadmap to Action for 2023.
The workshop began with opening remarks by Afshan Tehseen, Women’s Network Advisory Board Member and former Chairperson at the National Commission on the Rights of Child Pakistan. Participants were encouraged to acknowledge their own life and work experiences and how they shape their perspectives.
Led by Carol Brooks, a Business and Cyber Psychologist, the main session delved into the psychology of stress. Participants engaged in self-reflection to identify personal stress indicators and explore the impact of stress on their lives. They discovered the role of stress as a double-edged sword and how it can be both beneficial and detrimental. The concept of personal resilience took center stage, with participants reflecting on their own resilience levels. A framework for enhancing resilience was presented, emphasizing spheres of control, thinking patterns, and the identification of signature strengths. The participants recognized the importance of developing resilience to navigate challenges and setbacks effectively.
Breakout groups provided an opportunity for participants to delve deeper into their personal experiences. They discussed strategies for managing stress and identified actions within their control to reduce stress in various situations. Participants also explored areas for enhancing personal resilience and leveraging their signature strengths to overcome stressful circumstances.
Andria Kenney, the GLO.ACT Project Coordinator from IOM, delivered the final portion of the workshop, addressing the seeming paradox of resilience. She emphasized the fine balance between resilience and respecting one's boundaries and expectations, considering what should require resilience and what is a systemic issue that needs to be addressed. The role of duty-bearers in fostering resilience was also discussed in this context, highlighting the importance of those who have a particular responsibility or duty to protect human rights.
The workshop was attended by 48 participants and allowed participants to reflect on their habits, develop resilience, and strengthen their skills to deal with and manage stress factors in their personal and professional lives, especially as they intersect. It furthermore gave participants a deeper understanding of resilience and its significance in managing stress. Equipped with practical tools and techniques, they left better prepared to face adversity and make informed choices. By sharing their experiences and ideas, the participants fostered a strong group dynamic, reinforcing not only individual growth but also collective empowerment.
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) 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.
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