IOM, EU Aid victims of human trafficking through new online platform

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IOM, with support from the European Union (EU), has launched an online platform featuring a transnational referral tool designed to strengthen professional response to the needs of victims of human trafficking.

The tool, known as a Transnational Referral Mechanism (TRM) model, links up experts and professionals from different countries involved in the identification, referral, assistance, return, and monitoring of assistance to victims of trafficking. It defines the roles of each stakeholder participating in national referral mechanisms (NRM) and serves as a platform to inform and connect counter-trafficking practitioners in countries of origin and countries of destination.

The model is an output of the EU-funded Transnational Action (TACT) project as part of the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings, which ran from 2012 to 2016.

Myria Vassiliadou, the EU’s Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, touted the TRM’s role in linking up national referral mechanisms to better identify, refer, protect and assist victims, and noted its importance through consistent recognition and funding.

“While the EU Anti-Trafficking Strategy has come to an end, the European Commission will continue working towards the early identification of victims and this platform contributes to ensuring victims’ access to rights throughout the process, and especially in a situation of cross-border referral,” she said.

The TACT TRM also outlines internationally compliant procedures to ensure the protection of the victims’ human rights through every step of the assistance process.

It is focused in particular on safe and sustainable return and reintegration for victims of trafficking returning from France, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain to priority countries such as Albania, Morocco and Ukraine.

“The TACT TRM platform is a unique tool for gathering a variety of resources, providing professionals with standards and hands-on guidelines on direct assistance to victims of trafficking,” said Fanny Ruinart, IOM’s TACT project manager.

“Its tools, established best practices and experience can be duplicated for the benefit of any interested practitioner in another country and/or regional context,” she added.

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