It’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. What do we need to do now?
By William Lacy Swing
It is believed that millions are currently victims of trafficking in persons around the world. It is almost impossible to think about each one of those numbers as individual human beings and it can feel like an insurmountable problem. But it isn’t. And on this World Day Against Trafficking in Persons we must believe that not only can we make a dent but that we can make significant inroads into eliminating it.
19 – 22 June 2017
Under the EU-funded More for More project IOM delivered four one day training courses for Patrol Police officers based at various Georgian border checkpoints. The training was specifically requested by the Patrol Police in recognition of the recent recruitment of new officers and also the need for existing officers to refresh their skills. A wide range of issues were covered including frontline and second tier interviewing skills.
5 – 7 June 2017
Under the EU-funded More for More project IOM delivered training this week IOM delivered training to Border Police, Patrol Police and Central Criminal Police officers in Akhaltsikhe. The location of the training was specifically chosen as many of the irregular border crossings from Georgia into Turkey (and to a lesser extent in the opposite direction) take place in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region. The training course included the Georgian laws on smuggling of migrants, the indicators for effectively identifying smuggled migrants and smugglers as well as taking account of the broader regional context and international situation. The group of 20 officers also participated in practical exercises that highlighted the necessity for cross-border information sharing and the role of intelligence-led policing in crime prevention.
Substance abuse by children is a growing problem in Georgia, particularly among migrant populations. The National Centre for Disease Control reports that almost half of school children aged 13 to 16 have smoked cigarettes, 85 per cent have tried alcohol, and 11 per cent have used cannabis at least once.
It is in this light that the UN Migration Agency (IOM) has launched a campaign called Life is Better in partnership with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the US Embassy in Tbilisi and key governmental counterparts.
29 May - 1 June 2017
From 29 May to 1 June IOM organized training for 25 labour inspectors of Georgia’s Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs on their role in combating trafficking in persons. The unit of the Labour Inspectorate was established in 2015 and is in the process of developing its mandate in inspecting employment sites and highlighting cases of labour exploitation if identified.
On 30 May 2017 IOM organized a Workshop on Temporary Labour Migration in Tbilisi, during which the representatives from different line ministries of Georgia were engaged in lively discussions by Mr. Pawel Kaczmarczyk, Migration Expert from the University of Warsaw on the benefits and challenges that accompany temporary labour migration. The Workshop was facilitated by Mr. Michael Newson from IOM Regional Office in Vienna.
On 15 May IOM provided the Patrol Police of Georgia with 50 hand held devices to improve document examination capacity at frontline border checkpoints. The devices provide magnification capacity as well as a selection of light sources to detect fraud. Seventeen of these devices will be used at the arrivals control at the new terminal at Tbilisi International Airport. The rest will be distributed to Patrol Police at key checkpoints such as Sarpi, Red Bridge and Sadakhlo.
Under the EU-funded More for More Project IOM supported Forum on Diaspora Issues organized in Tbilisi on 27 May 2017 in close cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. The aim of the annual forum is to strengthening relations with Georgian diaspora.
From 18-19 May 2017 and under the EU-funded More for More project 2013-2017 IOM facilitated a retreat at the Ambassadori Hotel in Kachreti for key government stakeholders from the Ministry of Interior. The aim was to pull together representatives from, inter alia, the Info-Analytical Department, Border Police, Patrol Police and Migration Department as well as legal advisors from the Ministry to review and finalise the Risk Analysis Methodological Manual.