IOM focuses on the crisis induced vulnerabilities of displaced Iraqis as it continues its awareness campaign to combat Trafficking in Human Beings

As part of the continued efforts of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Iraq to combat Trafficking in Human Beings within Iraq, The European Union (EU) funded HIJRA AMINA programme is pursuing its comprehensive awareness raising campaign through training. The event brought together a rich variety of local and international NGOs working to respond to the needs of displaced people within Iraq which occupy a key position in the fight against trafficking in human beings. Displaced populations are especially vulnerable to this crime as traffickers exploit at-risk communities to recruit victims. In response to this reality the three-day training brought members of Iraq’s civil society together to share their range of competencies, including legal, medical and psychological expertise, and identify methods to use and develop existing capacities to combat trafficking in human beings. 

HIJRA AMINA provided an in-depth introduction to the phenomenon of trafficking in human beings, focusing on Iraq’s legislative framework, victim  identification, victim assistance and the current threats the crime poses to Iraq’s displaced population. The exploitation of existing vulnerabilities within communities, and the lack of knowledge regarding the crime were identified as major challenges. Therefore continued efforts to increase the understanding of this crime amongst the Iraqi public and displaced communities were identified as the main priority in prevention. The sessions were enriched by dynamic discourse created through the enthusiasm of participants and trainers alike. Participants, including lawyers, humanitarian experts, activists and volunteers, engaged in the exchange of ideas and best practice as they explored ways forward for Iraq’s NGO community in the fight against trafficking in human beings.

Concluding dialogue amongst participants centered on the phenomenon of trafficking of young girls and the most effective methods of providing assistance to victims. Various organizations identified areas to develop per their respective expertise in order to combat trafficking in human beings. These included the requirement to educate their staff on trafficking in human beings, employ trained psychosocial therapists and create healing and rehabilitation centers. Participants acknowledged their previously limited understanding surrounding this crime and worked to identify approaches each of their organizations can develop to build links throughout the country that engage every strata of Iraqi society in responding to this pressing concern. 

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