Improving the Quality of Lives of Survivors of Human Trafficking in Guyana

Guyana - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Guyana collaborated with the Organisation of American States (OAS) to hold a practical workshop on the "Regional Guidelines for the Social Inclusion of Survivors of Trafficking in Persons in the Americas" from 26 – 27 March 2024. Guyana’s Minister of Home Affairs Hon Robeson Benn and Coordinator of the Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking in Persons Daniel Griffith, participated in the Opening Ceremony along with Diana Henao from the Coordination Team of the OAS PICAD Project.  More than 50 state authorities of migration, security and social development institutions, and representatives of civil society organizations who work with victims of trafficking were exposed to the Guidelines, which provide a roadmap for supporting protection and assistance to survivors of this crime.   

People on the move can be highly vulnerable and are often exposed to multiple forms of abuse, exploitation, violence and human rights violations. People with irregular migration status are particularly targeted and are victims of discrimination, racism, xenophobia, and violence, exploitation and human trafficking. Eraina Yaw, Head of Office of IOM Guyana, and Deputy Coordinator for IOM’s Coordination Office for the Caribbean shared her thoughts on the workshop saying “I think this workshop was a good example of a whole of government and whole-of-society  approach to providing protection to the most vulnerable in our societies, identifying opportunities to incorporate the guidelines into national strategies, plans and programmes to make positive impacts on the lives of survivors of trafficking”. 

The workshop addressed the current state of the regional context of human trafficking, and included hands-on work on the Regional Guidelines, which aim to support the effective social inclusion of victims of human trafficking.   The two-day event also created an opportunity for dialogue where participants could talk about their experiences and recognize the needs, risks and challenges that survivors of trafficking face.   

National authorities presented on the national regulatory framework, while technical officers from government agencies and civil society representatives exchanged insights and helpful suggestions for developing effective responses that promote the successful social inclusion of survivors, based on human rights and gender equality principles.  Ultimately, incorporating this approach into the State’s response to human trafficking is expected to result in an improvement of quality of life for survivors of this crime of exploitation, and enable them to contribute more fully to society. 

This activity is part of the PICAD project: Supporting the Efforts of OAS Member States to Prevent, Investigate, and Counter Criminal Activity Linked to the Exploitation of Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants; and is financially supported by the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP), Global Affairs of the Government of Canada.  

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities