2014 Humanitarian Hero Asma Khatun

DUTY STATION:  Bangladesh
POSITION:  Senior Project Coordinator

“The challenging aspects of my work are gaining the trust of the victims of trafficking and also motivating them to be confident and believe in themselves.”

WHAT DOES HUMANITARIANISM MEAN TO YOU IN ONE WORD? 

Welfare 

STORY

I work in the anti-trafficking team and labour migration team of IOM. Currently, I am looking after an economic rehabilitation project working with trafficked victims and victims of gender based violence. Through skill training and psychosocial counselling, we are trying to develop the beneficiaries’ capacity to become entrepreneurs. We have established cafés where we provide training and they can earn a living. I also work with returnee migrants who want to start a new life; we provide training and job opportunities. 

I am concerned about the wellbeing of people who are the victims of human trafficking or forced migration. I want them to be rehabilitated in society. 

My team and I have rehabilitated more than 200 victims of trafficking and female migrant workers in society by giving them skills training, psychosocial counselling and job placements in various trades. Through another project, around 1800 gender based violence victims were also supported with training and financial assistance to setup their own businesses. 

The challenging aspects of my work are to gain the trust of victims of trafficking and motivate them to be confident and believe in themselves. Resolving their internal conflicts is another major is issue. 

When we established the cafes for the victims of trafficking, they were very happy, and at the same time very anxious about their future. When they started earning a living from the cafes, I felt very proud of them - that was the most memorable moment I can remember.