First Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Training of Trainers Programme
Boosting national capacity to train anti-trafficking responders across the Mekong region
In order to build anti-human trafficking training capacity among the countries of the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking (COMMIT), national cadres of anti-human trafficking trainers from Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam participated in the 1st COMMIT Regional Training of Trainers (TOT) programme, held in Bangkok from 14 – 18 May 2012. The training was run by the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP), which serves as Secretariat to the COMMIT Process.
TOT participants consisted of 36 policy-level and operational trainers from the government and non-government sectors – including policy makers, social workers, police officers, and community-based trainers – who provide training on anti-human trafficking to national and local-level government officials, NGOs, service providers, and at-risk communities.
The TOT course is part of a longer-term effort by UNIAP and the COMMIT Process to strengthen anti-human trafficking capacity in a sustainable manner. Since 2005, UNIAP has also conducted 12 Regional Anti-Trafficking Training Programmes for approximately 400 government and non-government anti-trafficking responders, and supported the localization of training curricula and strengthening of national training cadres in each COMMIT country. This first TOT armed national-level trainers with the updated information, materials, and training techniques to significantly strengthen local capacity to implement generalist and specialist anti-human trafficking trainings throughout the region. The week-long course covered all aspects of planning and running comprehensive anti-trafficking trainings, with an emphasis on frequent practice of and testing on effective training techniques.
“Providing national-level anti-trafficking trainers with the most updated data, curricula, and training techniques is key to ensuring that front-line officials region-wide receive the knowledge and skills they need to carry out critical anti-trafficking tasks, such as trafficking victim identification or how to handle trafficking case reports,” noted Dr. Lisa Rende Taylor, Chief Technical Advisor for UNIAP and lead trainer at the TOT course.
“The course provided us with useful practical knowledge and techniques, such as dealing with difficult participants, different training methods, and moderating group discussion. These skills learnt at TOT will be useful when implementing training courses,” said Senior Lieutenant Colonel Pham Long Bien of the Border Guard Command, Ministry of Defense, Viet Nam.
An additional positive outcome of the COMMIT regional TOT course is that it provided a platform for officials from the six COMMIT countries to professionally network with their peers who are working toward mutual COMMIT objectives, share good practice, and exchange training experiences and techniques that have proved effective in their home countries.
The COMMIT regional TOT course provides a standardized level of certification for anti-trafficking trainers in all COMMIT countries, helping to ensure that national training programmes are in line with COMMIT objectives and based on updated trafficking knowledge. Additional COMMIT regional anti-trafficking TOT courses are planned in the next two years, to bolster the efforts of the COMMIT countries to address the transnational crime of human trafficking.
COMMIT’s regional training program and national capacity building initiatives have received generous support over the years from donors such as the Governments of New Zealand and Norway, who were instrumental in the establishment of the First COMMIT Regional Training Programme in 2005. Technical support has also been provided by various anti-trafficking partners such as ARTIP, Save the Children, World Vision, and UN agencies.