IOM Conducts Workshops for Law Enforcement Trainers and Practioners to Provide Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking in Tanzania

Date Published: 
Monday, June 8, 2015

Human trafficking is a serious issue in Tanzania because it is a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Internal human trafficking is more prevalent than transnational human trafficking and is usually facilitated by friends, family members or intermediaries under the disguise of offering education or job opportunities. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Tanzania is committed to providing continuous training to law enforcement trainers and practitioners to identify and assist victims of human trafficking.

IOM staff, with funding by the United Nations Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP) and the European Union (EU), recently conducted three Training of Trainers (ToT) workshops in Moshi, Iringa and Mbeya. The aims of these workshops were twofold; to enhance the capacity of law enforcement trainers and to provide training in issues of protection-sensitive migration management and human trafficking.

The first ToT workshop took place in Iringa from 23 to 26 March 2015 and the second took place in Mbeya from 30 March to 2 April 2015. The two workshops were attended by a total of 50 members from the Tanzanian Police Force from Mbeya, Iringa, Kilolo and Mufindi. The goal of both workshops was to enhance the participants’ understanding of the human trafficking situation at a global and national level and to increase their capacity to provide training on issues related to protection, assistance and referral mechanisms available to trafficking victims. The courses included presentations and group exercises on the causes and consequences of human trafficking, as well as on the means of prevention and prosecution. There was a particular focus on how to carry out interviews with victims of trafficking and on the important distinction between human trafficking and human smuggling. Unlike smuggling, which is a criminal commercial transaction between two or more willing parties (involving the illegal crossing of borders) who part once their business is completed, trafficking specifically targets the victim as an object of criminal exploitation. The purpose of trafficking is to profit from the exploitation of the victim and fraud, force or coercion generally plays a role in the process.

The third ToT course was conducted at the Tanzania Immigration Training Academy (TRITA) in Moshi from 20 to 24 April 2015 to enhance the capacity of law enforcement trainers to provide training on the issues of protection-sensitive migration management. The course was attended by a total of 21 participants from the police force, immigration services and prison services in various parts of the country. The course focused on important aspects of protection-sensitive migration management such as dealing with vulnerable migrants, ethical border practices, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2008 and the identification of victims of trafficking.

It was the first time that the prison service participated in such training. Their involvement is a key factor because they play an integral role in migration sensitive management; there are large numbers of irregular migrants including victims of trafficking incarcerated in prisons, yet prison authorities receive no training in relevant and important issues such as migrant safety protection, health and the differences between trafficking and smuggling. IOM officers identified this knowledge gap after visiting prisons to interview migrants and proposed to conduct a multi-agency training of trainers to address this training need.

The participants considered the training to be highly useful experience and committed themselves to passing on the newly acquired skills. One participant from the criminal justice system explained following the training on protection-sensitive migration management that the approach in dealing with trafficking cases had been “all wrong” until now. Instead of pursuing the trafficked persons for unlawful entry into the country, he said, they would now focus on pro-active investigations, gathering the evidence to crack down on the criminal human traffickers.