Online training module on Combating Trafficking in Persons was launched on the 9th October, 2018 on the Electronic Learning Space (ELS) of the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute (BIDTI).
Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, Chair of the National Task Force against human trafficking & Secretary, Ministry of Justice and Prison Affairs Mrs. W.M.M.R. Adikari, High Commissioner of Australia to Sri Lanka, H.E. Bryce Hutchesson, Chief of Mission of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Mr. Giuseppe Crocetti and senor officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were presented at the event.
Press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is appended below:
“Trafficking in persons is a serious organized crime, with a global reach. It can occur across borders of any country, and even within a country itself. As a crime, trafficking in persons violates the fundamental rights afforded to any person, often deceiving and coercing victims into highly exploitative situations. Often, these victims of human trafficking themselves are seeking to escape threatening economic or social environments. Such persons include domestic helpers, factory and construction workers, fishing industry workers, displaced persons, refugees, and migrants.
Given the significant number of Sri Lankans who migrate and who seek employment overseas, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recognizes the requirement for all officers posted at Sri Lanka’s Missions and Posts overseas to be properly equipped to identify, assist and protect victims of human trafficking, since they are often the first point of contact between victims and the authorities.
Accordingly, an online training module has been developed for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The module was prepared by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and supported by the Government of Australia. The online training module forms part of IOM Sri Lanka’s “Combating Trafficking in Persons through a Public Information Campaign” project. The module will be a part of the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute’s (BIDTI) Electronic Learning Space. The BIDTI, which functions as the training arm of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will conduct and evaluate the course.
This e-learning tool will help improve the knowledge and skills of officials attached to Sri Lanka Missions Overseas so that they can respond effectively and with sensitivity when they encounter potential victims of human trafficking in their daily work. The content of the module is based on a counter trafficking training manual. The course will be extended to officers of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), Ministry of Defence, and the Department of Commerce who are also assigned to work in Sri Lanka’s Missions and Posts overseas.
A total of seven modules have been developed to provide officers with a basic understanding of the crime of human trafficking including, and how it differs from, smuggling. The modules also explain the related legal framework, relevant international processes and Conventions, how to effectively identify and interview potential victims, refer cases for assistance, protection and ensure victims’ safe return, and further elaborates on the role and responsibilities of consular and diplomatic staff in this regard. Two case studies, providing practical examples of human trafficking, are also a part of the course.
Each module is accompanied by a summary exercise and self-assessment tests. A printable MFA certificate of successful completion is awarded at the end of the course.
As an online module, the course is easily accessible to all relevant staff, whilst also allowing personnel to keep track of their progress through the course and allowing review of all material as and when needed.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken a proactive role in addressing the issue of human trafficking. Through the combined efforts of government institutions to address this issue, Sri Lanka has succeeded in retaining its Tier 2 ranking in the US State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2018, for the second consecutive year. Sri Lanka is also taking measures to further improve efforts to train officials to identify victims of trafficking proactively, and improve protection services and prevent trafficking offences. “