Counter-Trafficking

Our Sea


The Italian Harbourmaster Corps (Coast Guard) in Rome rescues migrants bound to the coasts of Italy. © Francesco Malavolta 2014

By Eugenio Ambrosi
IOM Regional Director, RO Brussels

First published in New Europe | 18 Feb 2015

Europe seems to have forgotten that it was only 70 years ago that Europeans were uprooted and seeking shelter from war and poverty. Then in the blink of an eye, Europe went from a continent of emigration to one of destination and yet our welcome leaves much to be desired.  We have drawn up the bridge and entered into “crisis” mode as if Europe were under siege by migrants.

Trafficking Risks and Prevention of Exploitation in Times of Crisis: The Case of the Middle East and North Africa

By Sarah Craggs

The sky was blue and the air was crisp. As we turned the corner, the morning sun glistened on the top of a sea of white steel roofs; the car wheels rolled over the gravel. A growing bustle of activity depicted yet another day beginning for tens of thousands of people living and working here.

Zambia Toolkit to Identify Migrant Protection Needs

By Annie Lane

The proper identification of migrants with specific protection needs is critical for ensuring the protection of their basic human rights. Under an IOM-led programme component, Zambia’s ‘Protection Tools for Vulnerable Migrants’ was developed. These ‘Tools’ are intended to strengthen border officials and service providers’ awareness and understanding of international, regional and national legal instruments and set clear guidance for identifying, referring and providing assistance to migrants in need.

IOM UK: Supporting Freedom through Fashion

By Chris Gaul

I have had the privilege to work for IOM UK since 2006 and I first encountered a victim of human trafficking as an AVR caseworker in 2007. But back then I didn’t understand what human trafficking was.

In 2009, I undertook a monitoring and evaluation trip to Vietnam to interview beneficiaries of one of IOM UK’s return programmes. During my conversations with the people IOM had assisted, I ascertained that many of them had been trafficked to the UK to cultivate cannabis, had then been arrested and sentenced to prison, and voluntarily returned to Vietnam via the return programme.

Paraguay: Going Beyond Rescue to Reintegration


IOM provided everything to help Petrona set up her own small bazaar. © IOM 2014

By Eduardo Carrillo

Looking through the window of her office, as she remembers vividly, she sighs deeply. Dwelling upon the memory of all the people she has helped, she begins to narrate to me the story of Petrona, a horror story that fortunately ended happily.

Mrs. Masi has worked in many human trafficking cases, helping counterparts like the Public Ministry and the Ministry of Women in her country, Paraguay, to identify victims of trafficking and, afterwards, to start the recovery process with them.

#KeepThemSafe: Counter-trafficking after Yolanda

By Romina "Beng" Sta. Clara

Almost a year has gone by and I haven’t even unpacked the stuff we accumulated from Bangkok, Bali and Yangon. I was just supposed to chill when I returned to my home country to follow my love. 2013 is really remarkable for my return to the Philippines and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The Khartoum Process: EU-AU Cooperate to Combat Human Trafficking in the Horn of Africa

By T. Craig MURPHY

Tragic events resulting in the loss of thousands of lives of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea have led to the start of an important political process:  the EU-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative (HoAMRI), known as the “Khartoum Process.”  Political factors and migration dynamics in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East have resulted in a surge of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to enter the European Union, often through Italy, Malta, and Greece.

A night helping trafficked Filipinas back from Syria


By: Romina D. Sta. Clara

It’s the first time I joined the field operations of IOM-Philippines on assisted voluntary return.  In this case, the Government of the Philippines through its embassy in Syria has requested IOM to assist with the voluntary return of about 60 Filipinos. For IOM, this means providing assistance in transportation (from Syria airport until they reach the Philippine airport) and ensuring that the returnees are properly endorsed to government authorities upon arrival at the Philippine airport. For this kind of work, routine coordination is made with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Bureau of Immigration (BoI), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA),  Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).

Brothers in Bondage, Burdened by Debt


By Leonard Doyle

EVERY day, these young brothers make several grueling trips down the steep slopes of the Himalayas, delivering stones almost as big as themselves from higher up in the mountains.

Walking Free, in a Generation


By Nick Grono

Walk Free is a movement of people everywhere, fighting to end modern slavery. It has the ambitious, but critically important, goal of ending modern slavery – in every country and in all its forms – in this generation.

The fine line that every photographer must walk


By Ray Leyesa

“A still photograph stops time. It gives the viewer a moment to think, to react, to feel,” says acclaimed photojournalist Renee Byer as she described the power of pictures in storytelling.