IOM to strengthen counter trafficking efforts in Sri Lanka with funding from the U.S Department of State

Press Release
 

Colombo, Sri Lanka

28 January 2019

The United States Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP) has awarded a grant to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to implement a 30 month project to combat trafficking in persons in Sri Lanka. The project titled Strengthening Counter-Trafficking Efforts in Sri Lanka aims to enhance the capacity of district and national level stakeholders to effectively collaborate to identify, refer and protect victims of trafficking.

Human Trafficking is an organized crime committed both within the country and across borders. It is an offence affecting men, women and children and is punishable under the penal code of Sri Lanka. Trafficking can take different forms including, but not limited to, labour exploitation and commercial sexual exploitation.

IOM Sri Lanka has extensive experience and a long history of work to counter human trafficking including many years of collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and the members of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force. For this project, IOM will also partner with Save the Children International and seven other non-governmental organizations to implement counter trafficking initiatives in 10 districts across the country.

The project activities aim to increase understanding of trafficking in persons, to enhance victim identification and provision of protection services, and to implement a reporting and referral mechanism from the village to the central government levels. The activities will also boost the capacity and raise awareness of local government officers, community members, community-based organizations, and staff at shelters who provide assistance and services to victims.

Public awareness raising is already a key component of the National Strategic Plan of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force to prevent and combat the trafficking in persons and this project will further support the Government’s efforts through innovative interventions at the national and local level. A high impact countrywide media campaign will be conducted to reach the general public. This is further to the support services and assistance for victims of trafficking and the research studies which will contribute to strengthening of policies pertaining to trafficking in persons in Sri Lanka.

An IOM hotline operates to assist and refer trafficking cases and to provide any caller with information on the crime of human trafficking.  The hotline is open to all: 0766 588 688. For more information, please contact the hotline number or write to IOM Sri Lanka at iomcolombo@iom.int

This media release was made possible through the support provided by the United States Department of State, under the terms of Award No. SSJTIP-18GR-0023. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of State