IOM's "Invisible in Plain Sight" Anti-trafficking Campaign Launched on EU Anti-Trafficking Day in Batumi

On 18 October - EU Anti-Trafficking Day - IOM launched it's "Invisible in Plain Sight Campaign" in Batumi, Georgia. The campaign is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway and in Georgia IOM is implementing it jointly with the State Fund for Protection and Assistance of (Statutory) Victims of Human Trafficking and in close cooperation with the Ministry of Justice. The Campaign is an art-installation presenting real stories of trafficking victims and is now exhibited in Batumi Rose Square.

The “Invisible in Plain Sight” campaign was first introduced by IOM Ukraine in 2014. The Campaign was extended to Belarus and Moldova in 2016 and 2017 respectively and on the World Anti-Trafficking day IOM brought the campaign to Tbilisi. Now, on 18 October 2018 IOM is happy to present the campaign in Batumi.

The main actors in the field of counter trafficking in Adjara and their colleagues from Tbilisi participated in the official launch of the campaign and were greeting by IOM Georgia Chief of Mission, Mrs. Sanja Celebic Lukovac, Director of the State Fund for Protection and Assistance of (Statutory) Victims of Human Trafficking, Ms. Meri Maghlaperidze and Chief Prosecutor of Adjara, Mr. Lado Turmanidze. IOM Ukraine Counter-Trafficking Programme Specialist, Ms. Iryna Mydlovets, spoke about the experience of Ukraine in responding to the challenges in the field of counter-trafficking and brought some specific examples on dealing with the highly sensitive issue of forced begging esp. involving children. The mayor of Batumi, Mr. Lasha Komakhidze, visited the campaign sight in Batumi Rose Square.

The official launch of the campaign gave the participants opportunity to share experiences, talk about achievements and challenges in the field of counter trafficking and plan ahead.  

Such campaigns are instrumental in raising the awareness of the public and prevention of the crime of trafficking, incl. sexular or labour exploitation of women, children and men.