Globally, IOM implements a broad range of counter-trafficking activities in partnership with governmental institutions, NGOs and international organisations. Activities include: research, information campaigns, technical cooperation and direct assistance. Three broad principles govern all activities in the area of counter-trafficking:
- Respect for human rights
- Physical, mental and social well-being of the individual, their family and wider community
- Sustainability through institutional capacity building of governments and civil society
IOM UK focuses its work on capacity building through training, raising awareness of the issue of human trafficking, and providing direct assistance to survivors of trafficking who choose to return to their home countries.
The more that people know about human trafficking, the more likely they are to be able to spot the indicators that can help identify a potential trafficking victim, and then take the appropriate action. IOM UK delivers specialist CPD accredited training sessions to frontline service providers and faith leaders who could come across potential victims of trafficking during the course of their day-to-day activities. This has included social workers, housing inspectors, the Metropolitan Police, members of the clergy, NHS and Home Office staff.
The sessions are adapted according to different requirements, however essential topics covered in each session include:
- What is human trafficking?
- What are the differences between trafficking and smuggling?
- What are the indicators to look out for?
- What should you do if you are concerned that someone has been trafficked?
Return and Reintegration
Some survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery would like to return to their home countries. IOM UK has worked with charities, police officers and other actors to provide these individuals with an option for voluntary and dignified return through the provision of enhanced reintegration assistance.
Until November 30, 2015, IOM UK was implementing the CARE Project (Coordinated Approach for the Reintegration of Victims of Trafficking) to offer comprehensive reintegration support to survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery who choose to return home. The project aimed to mitigate the risk of re-trafficking through tailored assistance, allowing survivors to go through the transition period as smoothly as possible.
Currently, IOM UK does not have any return and reintegration projects running for survivors; however, given the lack of such support, we continuously strive to connect those working with survivors with IOM missions and partners in countries of origin. In doing so, our aim is to provide a safety net for the individual as they return home, including those who choose not to enter the National Referral Mechanism. Please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss return and reintegration options.
IOM also seeks to raise public awareness of the problem of human trafficking through public information campaigns and other means.
In the UK, IOM is currently involved in two such activities:
The ‘Buy Responsibly’ campaign has two principal aims. The first is to raise consumer awareness that the products we buy everyday may be made by people who have been trafficked for forced labour. The second is to encourage demands for improved social guarantees from retailers. Find out more here.
‘Fashioned for Freedom’ (FfF) is an event that showcases clothing designers that are committed to eliminating exploitation in their production lines. It is designed to help the public learn more about human trafficking and labour exploitation, encouraging people to become ethical consumers. Furthermore, funds raised through the event will be used to provide direct assistance to survivors of human trafficking. This year’s event took place on the 16th October 2014 to mark Anti-Slavery Day (on 18th October). Follow FfF on Facebook.