‘Act.Learn.Share’, a summer camp for young adults, kicked off last Monday just outside of Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Participants came from across the nation, all united in their desire to learn about and put an end to human trafficking.
The five-day initiative consists of workshops and meetings with experts, trainers and members of the media. The camp brings 18 young activists to learn about the problem of human trafficking, and related issues such as gender equality, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, internet security, and sustainable development. Participants will gain the tools to make their own contributions to counter-trafficking initiatives, spreading their knowledge of the issues and safety precautions throughout their communities.
The aim of the camp is to train future leaders who will participate in events organized by IOM and its partners in the region, or initiate and organize such events themselves. Guest speakers from UN agencies and NGOs will help the participants to develop leadership and communication skills.
Zachary Taylor, deputy UNDP representative attended the first day, and told participants, “The issue of human trafficking is, in its nature, complex and therefore it requires inter-disciplinary approaches and tools if we want to combat it effectively. Belarus’ practical experience in tackling this challenge and the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals can work to combat human trafficking from diverse angles.”
One of the participants, Maria Mukhaeva, chairperson of her local non-governmental youth organization, Youth of Europe for Peace, hopes to share her experience with her peers. “I hope I will use the knowledge and skills I develop [here] to contribute to the development of my organization and educate people who surround me and who I work with on human trafficking and other matters discussed at the camp.”
The youth summer camp is tailored to the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, and is the continuation of the IOM X Belarus campaign launched together with the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Belarus with the support of USAID.
This initiative is organized by IOM jointly with the Ministries of the Interior and Foreign Affairs, NGOs, UNDP, UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNFPA, and DPI with the financial support and contribution of USAID and private companies, reflecting one of the key 4 P’s in the counter-trafficking field – Partnership.