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EU/UNDP/UNICEF Project Enhanced National Capacities in Combating Trafficking in Human Beings

The joint EU/UNDP/UNICEF project “Preventing, Fighting and Addressing the Social Consequences of Trafficking in Human Beings in the Republic of Belarus” has been completed. The project has extended knowledge and skills of specialists of educational establishments in prevention of trafficking in human beings, improved effectiveness of the system of social assistance and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking, enhanced capacity of the law-enforcement agencies in prosecution of criminals, improved cooperation of the relevant agencies and organizations, and raised public awareness about the issue of human trafficking.

The project was implemented by the UNDP jointly with the Ministry of Interior of Belarus during 2009-2010 and aimed to enhance the national capacities in fighting human trafficking and protection and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking.
In the framework of the project, over 7,000 specialists of educational establishments and social workers received training in various methods of prevention of human trafficking and rendering assistance to the victims.

During the study visits to countries of the European Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States, over 100 representatives of state agencies and NGOs learned best international practices in the area of counteracting human trafficking. The Belarusian specialists used the obtained knowledge about the anti-trafficking legislation of the EU states in designing the national law on combating trafficking in human beings.

The project organized round tables and conferences on improving interagency cooperation in the area of combating human trafficking. Over 800 specialists of the relevant state agencies, international organizations and NGOs took part in those events.

Jointly with the Ministry of Education the project developed a teaching manual on prevention of trafficking in human beings and child abuse in the Internet, which will enable educators to more effectively conduct prevention programs at educational establishments.

The project provided financial and technical support to the anti-trafficking hotline “La Strada” and the rehabilitation shelter for victims of trafficking. Specialists of the hotline delivered 1,300 consultations on various issues of safe travel abroad. At the rehabilitation shelter comprehensive assistance to victims of trafficking was organized. The services provided to the victims included accommodation, psychological and social counselling, medical and legal aid, and professional training.

In order to contribute to eliminating the socio-economic causes of human trafficking, the project provided assistance in creating jobs for young people and women. In Minsk, at the premises of the municipal enterprise “Youth Social Service” a Multi-Service Centre to Promote Youth Employment and Participation of Youth in Private Sector Development was created. The Centre provided over 9,000 consultations and 23 trainings for youth on various issues of employment and small business development. 21 companies of young entrepreneurs were created at the Centre. In Brest, with the support of the project 8 women from vulnerable and marginalized groups received professional training.

In the framework of the public awareness activities of the project, a series of thematic radio programs were organized. In Minsk and in all oblast cities of Belarus the project held a large-scale awareness raising campaign for youth which reached about 3,000 students. Over 100,000 copies of preventive information materials were disseminated among the target groups.

To ensure a wide and competent media reporting on the issue of human trafficking, the project organized trainings for over 70 journalists of national and regional media, and a specialized course of lectures for students of the Institute of Journalism of the Belarusian State University. In the framework of the project recommendations for journalists on covering the issue of trafficking in human beings and related crimes were developed.

To enhance the material base of the the counter-trafficking units of the Ministry of Interior and the State Border Committee of Belarus, the project puchased computers, special communication and video equipment, and two vans.

Evaluating the project results, Sergey Koltun, Project National Coordinator, Deputy Head of the Department on Drug Control and Counter Trafficking in Human Beings of the Ministry of Interior said “The project has significantly enhanced capacities of the involved national organizations and agencies in effective counteracting human traffiking and minimizing its social consequences. The results achieved by the project will contribute to futher development of the cooperation of the Republic of Belarus with international organizations in this sphere”.

For more information, please contact Alexander Novikov, PR Specialist of the project, tel. (+375 17) 286 30 43, mobile: (+375 29) 671 88 91, e-mail: .

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