IOM to strengthen anti-human trafficking assistance in Lao Cai Province
Lao Cai, 11/2017
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) conducted a 3-day visit to Lao Cai province in early November to receive updates on the trafficking situation and to identify the needs of vulnerable communities through field visits and interviews. The trip was a part of the “Migrant Assistant and Prevention Program” (MAPP) funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, U.S Department of State.
IOM met with the Provincial Department of Social Vice Prevention (DSVP), and the Border Guard Command of Lao Cai Province to capture the overall trafficking situation, including challenges in prevention and suppression efforts, and hurdles to victim identification, protection and assistance. Understanding the priority needs of the local authorities helped to identify areas of future cooperation.
As part of the agenda, IOM visited Peace House - the Victims Assistance Centre in Lao Cai - to collect information and feedback from the social workers and trafficked persons. The Peace House is now sheltering 12 returned girls and women aged 13 – 25 with 80 percent of them coming from local ethnic minorities, reported Tran Dieu Thuy, head of the Division of Social Activities under DSVP Lao Cai.
At the end of the trip, IOM also conducted a number of interviews with trafficked girls at the Peace House and returned persons at their households in the communes to gain better understanding of their trafficking experience and specific needs during their reintegration.
The trip is expected to effectively facilitate the implementation of anti-trafficking activities under MAPP in 2018 in which Lao Cai has been identified as one of the focal provinces.