*Due to the special attention on the Gulf countries in the 2005 TIP Report, a special project was designated for the Middle East.
The examples below highlight the impact of the President’s Initiative. These examples primarily stem from the first $25 million currently being used by faith-based and international organizations; local and international NGOs; and local, state, and national governments. In a polarized world, human trafficking is one issue that has brought together actors from all corners of the social and political spectrum.
A public information campaign has been launched in collaboration with World Vision, using various forms of media and partnerships with the travel, tourism, and entertainment industries to reach would-be U.S. sex tourists. The campaign places strong and effective deterrence messages on billboards, television, and the Internet; and in airports, airline in-flight videos, and magazines. Judges, prosecutors, and public defenders have received training in areas where trafficking in persons (TIP) has been on the rise. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has established support centers for vulnerable workers and human trafficking survivors in the states of Piaui, Para, and Tocantins, and Maranhão and has trained 400 youth and local community leaders to raise awareness on human trafficking for forced labor. CRS will continue to build the capacity of local organizations to monitor and report trafficking cases, and to provide psychological, judicial, and income-generation assistance to victims and individuals at risk.
NGO Hagar International launched the "Reintegration of Trafficked Women" project, which provides shelter, counseling, health services, and literacy, life, and vocational training for trafficking survivors. Five hundred and twenty-two victims have been admitted into the shelter. A savings program has been initiated for the survivors in collaboration with a local microfinance institute. Apprenticeship programs have been instituted in the areas of catering, industrial sewing, and hair styling, with 88 positions promised by partner companies as of January 2006. Reintegration assistance is provided for up to two years after the survivors leave the shelter. Efforts are underway to empower 14 small, local NGOs to provide services to survivors in rural areas.
Trafficking survivors in all eight countries receiving funds through the President’s Initiative are being given an opportunity to rebuild their lives. These Cambodian girls are part of an apprenticeship program in industrial sewing run by NGO Hagar International. Photo courtesy of Hagar International.
As of early 2006, 170 jobs have been provided to survivors of trafficking in 6 states. Training for Indian law enforcement personnel and prosecutors on victim rescue and the arrest and prosecution of traffickers is set to begin in April 2006. Projects are underway along the India Bangladesh and India-Nepal borders to prevent human trafficking, provide services to victims, and educate groups on sex tourism. A child resource center has been set up in Goa to provide help to vulnerable children and to child victims of sexual exploitation.
Farmers in Vargem Grande, Brazil plant manioc seeds in a community plot. These farmers receive materials and assistance as part of the Department of Labor anti-TIP project funded through the President’s anti-trafficking Initiative. This project targets workers in danger of being recruited for slave labor. Photo courtesy of Caritas staff.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the Indonesian Government, opened the first medical recovery center for victims of human trafficking in Indonesia, with a capacity for up to 30 patients at any given time. This program helped 646 victims between March 1, 2005 and January 23, 2006, 13% of whom were children. A second recovery center opened in January with the capacity to serve 10 victims at any given time. A well-respected women’s crisis center, Rifka Annisa, received a major project to provide it with resources to become a leading provider of training and technical assistance to other human trafficking service providers in Indonesia. This project was part of a larger program which provided 33 small grants to spur anti-trafficking and victim assistance efforts in different target groups.
The U.S. is teaming up with the Bilateral Safety Corridor Commission (BSCC) to address the public health implications of human trafficking in Mexico’s northern border region. Information is disseminated through healthcare workers and others who provide assistance to vulnerable populations. A reintegration program is underway along Mexico’s southern border which includes a shelter on the border between Mexico and Guatemala. Human trafficking survivors are being repatriated throughout Central America as part of the project. World Vision’s public awareness campaign in Mexico is focused on reaching would-be sex tourists from the U.S. with effective deterrence messages, particularly in the tourist resorts of Acapulco and Cancun. U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials are coordinating efforts at selected sites to increase the ability of Mexican law enforcement to combat TIP.
A project is underway to establish a network of self-sustaining centers in regions outside the capital and operated by local NGOs. Two centers have been opened and four more are nearing completion. The centers provide safe, affordable, supervised learning and living environments for young people who have been forced to leave state-run orphanages and boarding schools, and for the most vulnerable survivors of human trafficking. Catholic Relief Services has launched the "Moldova Employment & Training Alliance" (META) to help women victims and those at risk of becoming victims, aged 16 to 25, gain increased access to jobs and independent living. Another project is assisting the Moldovan Government to establish an inter-agency, anti-human trafficking center which will include a witness protection program and an intelligence sharing unit.
In 2002, Sierra Leone emerged from an 11-year civil war. One of the President’s Initiative projects here focuses on how to provide for the victims of gender-based violence and torture, including sexual violence and trafficking. Through January 2006, over 230 hours of radio broadcasts had focused on human trafficking-related public awareness programming. There have been 300 counseling sessions to 30 women’s associations for survivors of trauma, torture, and trafficking. U.S. NGO Winrock is working with local community and faith-based NGOs to provide counseling, literacy, and numeracy training, as well as vocational and small business skills to rural children who have been or are at risk of falling victim to trafficking.
The Tanzanian Ministry of Health will train local health-care personnel on how to identify victims of trafficking and provide them appropriate care and assistance, either directly through NGOs or other social service agencies. A special emphasis is being placed on the problem of HIV/AIDS and trafficking in persons. A project is underway through IOM to assist victims, raise the awareness of communities affected by TIP, and provide technical assistance to concerned government entities and NGOs. Another project, set to begin in Summer 2006, will establish integrated, multi-disciplinary anti-trafficking task forces in three locations. These task forces will combat human trafficking and child sex tourism, rescue victims, and prosecute perpetrators.