KRG officials complete training to support victims of human trafficking, respond to cases
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Dozens of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) representatives have completed an intense training program to respond to human trafficking cases and support survivors, according to a statement on Monday by the SEED Foundation, a local registered charity working to promote social, educational, economic development, and humanitarian assistance in Kurdistan.
This came as part of KRG efforts to strengthen the capacity of the Directorate of Combating Organized Crimes, the Erbil Residency Directorate, and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to screen, identify, protect, and provide access to justice for victims and survivors of trafficking in the region, SEED said.
SEED Foundation launched the training program in June 2021, with funding from the United States Government. It ended in December.
The International Organization for Migration warned in 2019 that human trafficking in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region remains “a constant and real threat.”
Related Article: IOM: Human trafficking in Iraq ‘a constant and real threat’
“The training participants concluded a combination of in-person and online learning and coaching in December,” the charity said. "While the KRG has taken significant steps towards improving their ability to prevent and respond to human trafficking...the scale of the issue and the complexity of the required response, demands continuous training and capacity building."
“SEED Foundation facilitated training by international and national anti-trafficking experts, including criminal court judges, and the US Government’s Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).”
The program taught trainees “how to protect victims and support survivors while prioritizing their rights, needs and wishes, and importantly, how to collaborate between government entities and local partners to achieve justice for victims and prosecute traffickers.”
“Following this training, these officials are in a better position to identify and support individuals being trafficked into the KRI – primarily for domestic or sexual exploitation,” SEED Foundation President and Executive Director, Sherri Kraham Talabany, explained, per the statement.