Regional Committee against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants Agrees on an Action Plan for Prevention and Assistance for the Upcoming Years
Costa Rica. With the support of the United Nations' Organization for Migration (IOM) and of civil society organizations, this year Second Meeting of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants was held from May 21 to 23, with representatives from Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. The country representatives shared experiences, received training, and reached agreements on an action plan for a comprehensive approach through assistance, prevention, and information on these crimes.
In the three days of this meeting, the different work groups of the Coalition had the opportunity to dialogue and exchange knowledge with the different present organizations, to advance in the planning and implementation of regional actions against trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants, in accordance with its Strategic Plan.
The region of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean is particularly vulnerable to these crimes, since it is integrated by countries of origin, transit, and destination of migrants, who frequently use irregular migration channels exposing themselves even more to risks and violations of their human rights, from which trafficking in persons is one of the worst.
"Because of its expertise in both issues and its global presence, IOM provides support to regional processes of cooperation and dialogue which enable the mitigation of the risks associated with irregular migration. The partnerships that the Coalition is looking for through regional platforms such as the Regional Conference on Migration (CRM) are an initiative that we welcome and will continue to support", stated Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director of IOM for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean during the inauguration of the event.
Rosa Corea, President of the Coalition, declared that "These platforms enable a comprehensive and coordinated approach to assist victims, which is ultimately the purpose of our work. Trafficking in persons is a disturbing crime for our countries, because criminal networks constantly improve their methods for capturing people of all ages and genders to subject them to exploitation."
This activity had technical support from IOM, through the Regional Mesoamerica Program and ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes).
IOM's contributed to the construction of strategies on the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants and the Communication Strategy of the Coalition, respectively. Likewise, it took advantage of the opportunity to offer the Coalition the most recent capacity building tools developed by the Organization, such as: virtual courses on trafficking in persons for health providers and consular staff (respectively), the first catalog of good practices on trafficking in persons in the region and an info graphic that collects statistics on trafficking in persons for each country and the region. As an important resource, the Coalition was proposed to use the Pedagogical Migration Toolkit, an online repository with more than 100 resources to carry out prevention actions in the area of trafficking in persons, among others.