IOM, EU Engage Somali Communities to Combat Human Trafficking, Gender-Based Violence

News and Press Release
Originally published
View original
Somali police officers and prosecutors in Puntland enhance their knowledge of human trafficking. © IOM

Somalia - IOM, with support from the European Union (EU), has been working with communities in Puntland, Somalia, to help prevent human trafficking and gender-based violence (GBV) through public information campaigns and law enforcement trainings.

IOM recently (28 January) concluded its fourth social mobilization and information campaign in Somalia: Prevention of Child Trafficking and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) as well as Protection and Care for Victims in Somalia. The information campaign aimed to help local communities in Bossaso, Puntland to prevent, recognize and report human trafficking cases, and reached over 40,000 people.

The information was disseminated through open-air speeches, performances, testimonials from affected families, clothing with strategic behavioural messaging and media broadcasts. Flyers and posters were distributed and placed in popular public places.

A cross-section of the community participated in the campaign, including internally displaced persons, heads of local village committees, youth, women organizations, local government and city council officials, representatives from the local city council, community and religious leaders, and police officers.

This marks the close of a three year EU-funded project that was designed to prevent the trafficking of children and gender-based violence, as well as protect and care for victims in Somalia, Puntland state and central Somalia, particularly in the regions of Bari, Mudug, Nugal and Galgdud. The three campaigns that preceded this one were held in Garowe, Bossaso and Galkayo.

In addition to the information campaign, 25 Somali prosecutors and police officers were trained (24-26 January) on Puntland’s new human trafficking legal framework in preparation for the expected parliamentary approval of a human trafficking law developed by the Puntland government, with IOM’s support. The training was conducted by a legal expert from IOM’s Migration for Development in Africa (MIDA) project.

During the training, participants discussed the increasing amount of human trafficking in Puntland, what the new human trafficking law constitutes, and how it will be implemented once approved. They also shared ideas about measures that need to be put in place to prevent, detect and address cases of human trafficking.

Many of the boats that leave Puntland’s expansive coastline are laden with trafficking victims being taken to the Gulf States and even beyond, to Europe.

“This training is a good opportunity for the prosecutors and CID police officers to increase their understanding of human trafficking and build their capacity to use, understand and implement the human trafficking legal framework. The trafficking law is needed to help address incidents of potential and actual cases of human trafficking of which more cases are being reported in Puntland,” said Puntland’s Deputy Attorney General, Mohamed Hared Farah.

For further information, please contact Tagel Solomon at IOM Somalia, Tel: +254 712 835 079, Email: