IOM Iraq demonstrates the importance of holistic interventions for vulnerable populations

The International Organization of Migration (IOM) in Iraq, through its European Union (EU)-funded HIJRA AMINA Programme, continues its efforts to address the pertinent facets of migration management to respond to a migration crisis. From 1 to 4 June, IOM Iraq hosted a training on ‘Psychosocial Support and Victim Assistance in Human Trafficking Cases’ in Baghdad for 18 participants from the Central Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons (CCCT), Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Migration and Displacement, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the latter is responsible for shelter management. The aim was to build the capacities of an inter-ministerial group of officials with a view to encourage a multidimensional approach when providing relief to presumed Victims of Trafficking (VoTs).

The training combined sessions on psychosocial support and other essential assistance services required for a presumed VoT. Dr. Renato Libanora, IOM Iraq Psychosocial Officer, presented a wide array of tools to support vulnerable populations, especially in emergency situations. He emphasized the importance of building a response around the notion of resilience – an innate characteristic that humans possess to naturally cope with traumatic experiences.  Psychosocial support should consider this human dimension and the changing identity of a vulnerable person within the complexity of the crisis. Practically, this means that those providing psychosocial assistance to a vulnerable person, including presumed VoT, should be sensitive to this and be able to adapt their approach depending on the individual’s observed identity at that point in time.

The human trafficking component was incorporated through tools introduced in the psychosocial support sessions. Building on this understanding, the participants learned to adopt a psychosocial approach when faced with a presumed VoT. The training was an opportunity for the participants to explore their role as providers of humanitarian assistance.

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