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Awareness Raising Campaign on Counter Trafficking in Rwanda Reaches Over 50,000
Kigali – On 30 January, the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and coordination with Ministry of Justice (MINIJUST) has successfully reached over 50,000 people over a two-month long nationwide campaign to counter trafficking in persons (TiP), thanks to support from the Government of Japan.
The campaign targeted border communities living in the districts of Nyagatare, Kirehe, Rubavu, Gisagara and Nyaruguru with the aim of preventing TiP among vulnerable populations and supporting referrals to medical, legal and protection services.
“This awareness raising campaign was organized to prevent this crime, but also due to our belief as Rwandans that every person is valuable,” stated Dr. Ugirashebuja Emmanuel, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Rwanda. “In this context, the Government of Rwanda, together with partners such as the Government of Japan, and IOM have joined in this program to fight against the trafficking of Rwandans and other persons who are taken from neighboring countries.”
“Japan has led human-centered cooperation for decades based on the concept of Human Security which focuses on the “Protection” and “Empowerment” of individuals and “Solidarity”,” explained H.E. Ambassador of Japan to Rwanda, Isao Fukushima. “Japan reiterates its strong commitment to working together with all relevant actors to counter all forms of transnational organized crime such as trafficking in persons. It is the hope of the Government and people of Japan that this project will contribute to tackling the challenges at the border and improving the lives of the Rwandan people as a whole.”
The closure of the campaign was marked by a closing ceremony and a final awareness raising session at Pele Nyamirambo Stadium which saw over 3,000 people in attendance. The key messages focused on educating individuals on the risks of TiP and on identifying, referring and seeking assistance for potential victims or witnesses.
The culminating event marks the end of six months of concerted efforts by prominent Rwandan stakeholders and IOM to expedite actions to combat human trafficking. As part of these endeavors, a Training of Trainers was conducted for the benefit of district officers from the Directorate General for Immigration and Emigration (DGIE) and RIB from 11 border districts.
In addition to the campaign, IOM supported the development of a unified Training Manual, an Awareness-Raising Toolkit on Counter Trafficking in Persons, and the development of Rwanda’s first National Counter-Trafficking In-Persons Policy to enhance the coordination of counter-trafficking initiatives across Rwanda.
“Improving the coordination of counter-trafficking efforts by consolidating existing training manual and awareness tools into a single reference document, is a critical step when it comes to the protection of victims of trafficking and prevention of TiP,” highlights IOM Rwanda Senior Programme Manager, Erika De Bona.
“Supporting national and local counter-trafficking initiatives by law enforcement officers, community leaders, civil society organizations and Isange One-Stop Centers teams is vital for expanding outreach and enhancing specialized protection services for those who are vulnerable to trafficking, and is at the core of IOM’s goal to save lives and protect people on the move.”
For more information, please contact Robert Kovacs, IOM Rwanda Communications Officer (email@example.com) or Erika De Bona, Senior Regional Programme Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ryohei Tanaka, Coordinator for Economic Cooperation, the Embassy of Japan, (email@example.com)