Obock – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for the Protection and Reintegration of Migrants in the Horn of Africa project, organized a series of initiatives bringing together staff and migrants to highlight the need to stem trafficking in persons in the country. 

The initiatives involved sensitizing of staff working at the Migration Response Centre in the country’s town of Obock on the causes and risk factors related to human trafficking.
funded by the European Union, and the Regional Migration Program for Africa, funded by the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, the event brought together MRC staff and more than 200 migrants hosted at the centre.   

There was particular focus on the use and abuse of technology in hindering or facilitating human trafficking in a global context where traffickers are increasingly using technology to exploit and attract potential victims. 

There were screening of videos containing the testimonies of victims of trafficking and group discussions with the migrants at the MRC.  This allowed for collaborative and in-depth dialogue pertaining to this complex topic and the dangers of irregular migration. 

"I learned a lot about human trafficking and smuggling that I didn't know before. The event also allowed me to interact with migrants who have had very difficult experiences and challenges like me," reacted Haile, a young Ethiopian migrant returning from the Arabian Peninsula.  

"This is an excellent initiative that raised awareness among the beneficiaries on such an important issue," said Safiya Ibrahim, IOM Protection Assistant. 

Ali Moussa, IOM's Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Assistant, said, "This initiative aims to give a voice to migrants who travel the 'Eastern Route' and who face many challenges (lack of water, food) and protection risks along their journey."

In collaboration with its partners, capacity building efforts are carried out to strengthen institutions and to sensitize frontline actors working on the protection of trafficked persons to help them detect, identify and provide assistance to victims of trafficking. 

About the EU-IOM Joint Initiative

Launched in December 2016, with funding from the European Union Trust Fund for Africa, and contributions by the governments of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan, the EU-IOM Joint Initiative brings together 26 African countries of the Sahel and Lake Chad region, the Horn of Africa, and North Africa, along with the EU and the IOM, around the goal of ensuring that migration is safer, more informed, and better governed for both migrants and their communities. 

For more information, contact Abdallah Mohamed, Senior JTiP Project Assistant and Communication Focal Point at IOM Djibouti, Email: abdamohamed@iom.int, Tel: +253 21320450 / 21352459