Dhaka 3 February 2021 – IOM, under the framework of Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants-Bangladesh (GLO.ACT-Bangladesh), organized a capacity building training on ‘Identification, Screening and Referral of Vulnerable Migrants’ from 24-25 January 2021 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A total of 30 participants (12 females and 18 males) from different ministries, law enforcement agencies and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) involved in counter-trafficking and victim protection issues in Dhaka, Cox’s Bazar, Jashore, Satkhira, Khulna, Rajshahi, Gazipur and Patuakhali attended the two-day training. The training was attended by relevant officials nominated from government agencies included the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Border Guard Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Coast Guard,  the Department of Social Services, the Department of Women Affairs And also from the CSOs namely Centre for Women and Children Studies, Justice and Care, Young Power in Social Action, Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association, Dhaka Ahsania Mission, Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program, Association for Community Development, Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), Bangladesh Institute of Theatre Arts, Bangladesh Nari Sramik Kendro, and Bangladeshi Ovibashi Mohila Sramik Association represented.

The objective of the training was to provide an overview of the international frameworks and IOM’s  guidelines for assistance to vulnerable migrants, including victims of trafficking and smuggled migrants, and specific processes, methodologies, and tools to respond to the needs of vulnerable migrants. The training consisted of six modules and focused on the initial steps of identification, screening, and referrals to enhance responses to vulnerable migrants in the absence of a National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in Bangladesh.

Giorgi Gigauri, Chief of Mission in IOM Bangladesh, commented that “this training is much welcomed despite the difficult times. IOM has extensive experience and expertise in the field providing technical support to counter-trafficking actors as well as direct assistance to vulnerable migrants. We are confident this cooperation will result in effective protection mechanisms in Bangladesh, which will ultimately result in a national referral mechanism.”

The training was conducted in strict compliance with COVID-19 health protocols. All participants and organizers were required to wear a mask throughout the training, practice safe physical distancing and to frequently use hand sanitizers.

 

Mohammad Shakil Mansoor, IOM National Programme Officer, warmly welcomed participants with an opening remark. Following the opening session, Craig Murphy, IOM GLO.ACT coordinator and facilitator for the training started by requesting an introduction of the participants. The, training started with an introduction to Migrant Vulnerability, ​providing an overview of the key legal frameworks and definitions ​related to human trafficking and migrant smuggling, as well as the concept of migrant vulnerability to violence, exploitation and abuse. While an applying the conceptual framework, participants analyzed different scenarios to determine whether migrants are victims of trafficking, smuggled migrant or both.

The second module presented IOM’s Determinant of Migrant Vulnerability Model and looked at the differences between risk factors and protective factors at four different levels​ that determine the migrant’s vulnerability​. During group work, participants applied the model to the Bangladeshi context and examined different cases based on the vulnerability indicators. Mahdy Hassan, UNODC National Project Coordinator for GLO.ACT-Bangladesh, facilitated the third session on National Legal and Institutional Framework on addressing human trafficking in Bangladesh. Hassan elaborated different national legislations and polices related to human trafficking and facilitated a discussion on the country-specific contexts.

Based on the conceptual framework, the training progressed into the Identifying and Screening session. Sharing the IOM’s standard screening forms for vulnerable migrants and victims of trafficking, Murphy explained practical and technical tips for practitioners on identifying vulnerable migrants based on the standard indicators and practical guidelines for interviewing potential victims.

On the second day, Murphy presented key components of National Referral Mechanisms (NRM) and practical steps on developing it. The session let to an active discussion the current practices of each practitioner in the absence of comprehensive NRM and practical tips on applying the guidance to Bangladesh context, where NRM is yet to be established. During the discussion, many participants confirmed the importance of incorporating a victim-centered and rights-based approach into the referral process and provision of protection assistance. Representatives from the Department of Social Services also requested IOM to initiate the process to develop an NRM.

The last session focused on responding to the needs of identified vulnerable migrants at individual level. Starting with the introduction of protection and assistance principles​, the trainer emphasized vulnerable migrants’ rights to different types of assistance including shelter, Water, Sanitation, Hygiene​ (WASH), Food/Nutrition, Health, with specific considerations to take into account when providing those services. During a breakout session participants mapped available services in Bangladesh under each type of protection assistance and identified strengths and gaps in the currentnational system.

 

One of the participants, Md Saifullah, Additional SP, Police Headquarters, said that “as different stakeholders from both the Government and Non-government sector has come together and taken part in this training, it is a good opportunity to strengthen cooperation among us. It will help us to support the vulnerable migrants effectively with stronger referral process.”

At the end of the training, participants were provided a flash drive with relevant resources and tools for their reference and application to their daily operations. Murphy closed the two-day training affirming that "this training is not an end point but in a continuum. Government officials, civil society actors, IOM, and UNODC all should continue this process and work together."

The Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants - Bangladesh (GLO.ACT - Bangladesh) is a 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). GLO.ACT-Bangladesh builds on a global community of practice set in motion in GLO.ACT 2015-2019 in 13 partner countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. 

Through targeted, innovative and demand-driven interventions, the GLO.ACT aims to support the Government of Bangladesh and civil society organizations to more effectively fight the crimes of human trafficking and migrant smuggling across the country. The project works on developing evidence-based information on trafficking and smuggling patterns and trends, legislative review and harmonization, capability development of criminal justice actors, and international cooperation. The project also provides direct assistance to victims of human trafficking and migrants in vulnerable situations through the strengthening of identification, referral, and protection mechanisms.

The project is funded by the European Union

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Mohammad Shakil Mansoor (IOM National Programme Officer) : [email protected]

Twitter:  @glo_act