Trafficking in persons is an exploitative form of irregular migration involving severe violation of human rights. The most effective way to combat trafficking is to identify and assist those at-risk to trafficking, before they fall prey to the traffickers. IOM supports prevention programmes that range from awareness raising, economic empowerment through income-generation, life-skills development, vocational training as well as a combination of all these activities, addressing the root causes of human trafficking in Moldova. These interventions target the population most at-risk according to a vulnerability profile developed on the basis of IOM's experience assisting over 2000 victims of trafficking in Moldova. Prevention is the key to combating human trafficking. And the key to prevention is getting the right and most compelling information out to the young girls and women, as well as young boys and men, who are most at risk from the traffickers. No amount of information will substitute for providing good jobs and real economic opportunities to potential victims. But IOM prevention programs are based on the premise that young people must have the information they need to make truly informed choices in their struggle for a better life. The philosophy of IOM prevention programs is that they should reach directly those at greatest risk in the villages, in small towns and in the cities.
IOM Activities in Transnistria region
Working through local organizations is more sustainable than an IOM-implemented intervention and necessary due to the precarious political situation in the region. The only NGO with experience and capacity to carry out large-scale counter-trafficking prevention work was Interaction (www.ngointeraction.org), with which IOM Moldova had been successfully cooperating with in the direct assistance field prior to the current project. Since 2008, IOM involved another NGO of the region, Resonance, with good experience in training of volunteers.
The Tiraspol-based toll-free Hotline 0 800 88888 operated by the NGO Interaction was launched in February 2006. It provides information about migration and trafficking (prevention calls), and is also used to identify victims in need of direct assistance (SOS calls). After having been rescued, survivors of trafficking have access to a full range of services, including psychological and legal assistance, vocational guidance, help with job placement, and start-up grants for small businesses.
As a great number of victims of trafficking were previously victims of domestic violence, the idea to create a separate toll free line for domestic violence was a logical and necessary decision. In April 2009, was launched a Trust-line 0-800-99-800, which provides psychological help for domestic violence victims, disregarding their social status, through the provision of information and consultation, to raise the informational level referring to the problems of domestic violence on women, children and men, as well as the respect for human rights. The callers can be directly referred to specialized institutions and organizations to provide a qualified and on-time assistance.
In 2009, IOM and its CT partners and donors continued to jointly fund a programme for volunteers to promote via seminars and out-reach activities the prevention of trafficking and irregular migration (Hotline and Trust line), domestic violence, HIV/AIDS and problems of reproductive health.
IOM Information Campaign
• Lilya 4-ever
IOM has launched a one-year information campaign built around the movie Lilya 4-ever. The film is about a 16-year old girl much like many of the young girls in Moldova who struggle with difficult choices as they dream of a better life. The campaign is also promoting the La Strada information hotline on counter-trafficking. (Read More)
Lilya 4-ever was the centerpiece of the IOM 2003-2004 information campaign, and the Lilya 4 ever website is the place where you can read more about the film, including an interview with Swedish director Lukas Moodyson and background on the leading actors. Also post your comments on the film and trafficking in Moldova and abroad. (Read More)
• In 2005 IOM launched a play about Moldovan Migrants in Italy based on real life stories
Social drama written by Dumitru Crudu is based on several real life stories. "Abandoned People" is a play about the destiny of Moldovan citizens who leave their native country, the place where they were born, and where they may never come back.
"I am not against migration, but I just would like it to be legal and to contribute to professional development of those who decide to migrate… I hope that soon we will be able to go to Europe freely as tourists or required professionals in different spheres." (>> D.Crudu interview)
• Human Rights Festival 2009
The films presented at the Festival (in Chisinau, Balti and Cahul) aimed to raise public awareness of a range of problems facing society, such as inclusion of persons with disabilities, migration, child rights, rights of HIV infected persons, discrimination, etc.
Began on December 3, Festival films have been presented every day, culminating on December 9 with the production “All the Invisible Children”. Some films were demonstrated at the Tiraspol office of the OSCE Mission in Moldova on 7-9 December.
Human Rights Film Festival was organized by the Institute for Human Rights with financial support from the Netherlands Embassy, German Embassy, Embassy of Lithuania, UNDP, UNICEF, Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Word AIDS Campaign.
IOM's Work with Vulnerable Children
Within IOM's prevention programme, the most effective interventions are those that reach out to vulnerable minors at the time they become independent from their family and/or residential institution. The number of these vulnerable minors has increased in recent years as a result of social poverty and mass migration, both having a negative impact on the protection that families usually provide. (Read more in the leaflet "IOM Contribution to Protecting Vulnerable Children in Moldova")
• Taking Small Steps Towards The Future, second edition 2009
The IOM Moldova in partnership with the Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Child, the Republican Society for Social Protection of Minors and Youth Insula Sperantelor, the Rehabilitation Centre for Teenagers of Chisinau (CRAC) and the Association for Women and Youth Art Elegant organized a Festival of talented children and organizations active in the child social protection domain» Taking Small Steps Towards the Future”.
The main goal of the Festival “Taking Small Steps Towards the Future,” is to attract attention to the destiny of socially vulnerable children, social orphans, children left behind as a consequence of migration and children from residential institutions, giving them a platform to present their artistic talents, encouraging their further development and social integration, as well as giving them the opportunity to make new friends in a festive atmosphere. Moreover, the Festival was a part of the efforts of State authorities, International Organizations and Civil Society, as well as the Private Sector, to respond to the trafficking phenomenon through the protection of children’s rights.
This event marks the EU Anti-Trafficking Day (18 October) and the end of the month against human trafficking in Moldova. The first EU Anti-Trafficking Day was launched by the European Commission in 2007 and in 2008 it was celebrated in several European countries. It represents an important step in the activities to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings.
• To add – Swiss NGO project
La Strada Hotline
La Strada Anti-Trafficking Hotline 0-800-77777 (Moldova) (+373-22) 22-33-09 (From Abroad)
The La Strada hotline is available toll free 24 hours a day seven days a week. It provides objective, unbiased information and counseling about the risks and realities of human trafficking. Specially trained hotline operators: counsel callers on danger signs and provide them the information they need to protect against the traffickers. Provide contacts of governmental and non-governmental groups that offer support and assistance for victims trafficked abroad. Make available information about working and going abroad safely and legally.
Every week, the hotline receives calls from individuals who have been offered jobs abroad (often illegal and often from traffickers), those with other opportunities to emigrate, such as marriage and education, and others who are just curious about working abroad. Callers include people of all ages, but in particular young girls at risk, parents worried about their children, relatives and friends looking for a missing loved one and victims desperate to escape from the grips of their traffickers. The hotline also includes country-by-country information on study, tourism, au pair programs and how to obtain visas and work permits.