MEASURES TO PREVENT AND COMBAT TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN
AND CHILDREN FOR SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
Urgent interventions of information and health education
The International Organization for Migration (IOM), an intergovernmental agency with 115 member States and Observers and 80 Offices based in as many countries, was founded in 1951 with the mandate of providing assistance and services in the field of international migration. Trafficking in human beings is a major international concern and has become a major priority of the organization across the globe.
This phenomenon particularly affects women and children for sexual exploitation and has reached serious proportions, causing concern to several Governments and International bodies. Recent studies have highlighted that Italy is also involved in the problem: among non-national women forced to prostitution estimated between 18,000 and 25,000 the majority come from Nigeria and in particular from Albania. At the same time, in their countries of origin, many of these women are registered as "disappeared" and even their relatives lose track of them.
Since 1995 IOM has been carrying out several studies, with European Commissions sponsorship, on trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation. In 1996/97 IOM carried out its first project on data collection and information at the European level in the framework of the EC/STOP Programme. In May 1998 a second project submitted by Italy and IOM Rome was approved by the European Commission and is still ongoing.
On the basis of the former interventions, along with the increasing commitment of the Italian Government aimed at combating trafficking and protecting victims, IOM is promoting the present initiative with the financial contribution of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate General of Co-operation for Development. The project envisages an information campaign in Albania aiming at preventing irregular immigration and trafficking in young women towards Italy as well as an institutional and social building by means of co-ordinating a network of interlocutors/partners in Italy and Albania. The project also aims at assisting the return and social reinsertion in the country of origin of women who intend to withdraw from the system of exploitation they are victims of.
The initiative implies a close collaboration with the Italian Government through the National Co-ordinating Committee of the Actions Against Trafficking in Women and Children for Sexual Exploitation, at the Presidency of the Italian Council of Ministries, Ministry of Equal Opportunities with the Albanian Government and IOM mission in Tirana together with qualified operators and local entities involved in preventative activities and assistance to the victims in Italy and Albania. The objective is to strengthen wherever possible resources and structures already available and implement operational networks as a reference point throughout the project.
The project intends:
and to assist the voluntary return and reinsertion in Albania, in other countries from the Balkan Region and from Eastern-Central Europe, of women victims of trafficking in Italy, in co-operation with institutions, womens associations and NGOs active in both countries. IOM intends to assist 20 individual cases through measures aimed at facilitating the victims social reinsertion process in the country of origin such as psycho/social assistance, personal subsidy, registration and attendance fees of vocational courses, special grants to those employers who generate job opportunities for women (salary supplements), purchase of professional equipment (for self-employment generation), on a case-to-case basis, for a period maximum of one year, except for special cases.