The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and in cooperation with Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior, held a regional workshop on the topic, ‘The Nexus between Human trafficking and Asylum: Protecting Victims and Refugees during conflict and disaster settings’. The three-day workshop, held at the UN House in Mishref from 8-10 March, discussed Kuwait’s efforts in combatting human trafficking and explored existing legal frameworks set up to identify and assist victims of trafficking.
Experts highlighted the need and scope of international cooperation and partnerships in tackling refugee status determination and victims of trafficking according to Islamic and international law, as well as the role of humanitarian organizations in conflict and disaster settings.
Pointing out that majority of human trafficking victims today are women and that they remain the most vulnerable during any refugee crisis, Iman Ereiqat, Chief of Mission for IOM Kuwait, stressed the need for international cooperation and unified efforts by local and global community to improve the situation and lessen the suffering of refugees.
For her part, Hanan Hamdan, UNHCR Kuwait Head, praised the pioneering role that Kuwait, led by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, has played in the humanitarian field. She also highlighted the need for humanitarian organizations and local authorities to cooperate to combat trafficking by developing abilities and spreading awareness of the issue. She also expressed her hope that the IOM workshop would result in the drafting of a unified approach and guidelines between international organizations and the Ministry of Interior to protect victims.