Somaliland: UN’s IOM Trains Local Stakeholders on Trafficking and Irregular Migration

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Somalilandsun – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, with support from the Government of Japan earlier this month held a training on trafficking, irregular migration and the establishment of a referral mechanism for irregular migrants and Victims of Trafficking (VoTs) in Somaliland.

Thirty-two trainees were drawn from the Human Trafficking Development Agency (HAKAD), the Child Protection Working Group (CPWG), Non-Governmental Organizations and staff from the Migrant Response Centre (MRC). The training was organized with the support of HAKAD having requested IOM for capacity building for its members. HAKAD was formed to combat trafficking and irregular migration.

The training was designed to create awareness and provide conceptual clarity on trafficking and irregular migration. The training also included discussions on how to counter trafficking, irregular migration and the establishment of a referral mechanism. During the training, UNICEF facilitated a session on child protection. Structures for directing or redirecting victims of trafficking and irregular migrants to appropriate and definitive service provision were also reviewed.

IOM spearheaded the formation of the MRC in April 2009 to address protection issues for migrants. The referral system established will facilitate identification, referral, direct assistance, reintegration and protective services for irregular migrants and victims of trafficking based on gender, age and other specific needs.

IOM has previously trained HAKAD on trafficking and irregular migration and also facilitated and supported the agency in developing an action plan to address issues of irregular migration and trafficking.

HAKAD members, representatives from the Ministry of Information, IDP committees and local councillors were also trained by IOM on conducting and supporting community dialogue and conversation on trafficking and irregular migration.

IOM is working closely with HAKAD on raising awareness and creating community conversation, dialogue and debate on trafficking and irregular migration.

In his closing remarks, the Director of HAKAD, Saeed Abdilahi Ahmed said, “I believe that most of the participants who took part in this training did not know the difference between trafficking and smuggling. Through this training we now all know the difference and can identify cases of trafficking.”

Ahmed added, “We also had the chance to get together MRC, HAKAD and CPWG members to identify various activities we can carry out together. We reviewed the referral mechanism and we now have knowledge on how to refer cases that need assistance to the appropriate agencies.”

For more information, please contact Feisal Mohamud at IOM Somalia, Email: famuhamud@iom.int

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