KUWAIT CITY, March 8: The International Organisation for Migration in Kuwait is holding a regional workshop on ‘The Nexus between Human trafficking and Asylum: Protecting Victims and Refugees during conflict and disaster settings’ in partnership with the UNHCR and in cooperation with the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior, at the UN House — Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah building.
The three day workshop will include talks on international definitions of trafficking and asylum and its relevant instruments, Kuwait’s efforts in combating trafficking in persons as well as discussions on the existing legal framework dealing with indentifying and assisting victims of trafficking. Experts will relay the need and scope of international cooperation and partnerships, tackle refugee status determination and victims of trafficking according to Islamic and international law as well as the role of humanitarian organisation in conflict and disaster settings, while also presenting case studies.
Iman Ereiqat, Chief of Mission for IOM Kuwait, shared that as the workshop opens on International Women’s Day, it is important to remember that the majority of human trafficking victims today are women. Women remain the most vulnerable and the refugee crisis has been exploited by human trafficking gangs. She stressed that the issue requires international participation and so the IOM was keen to hold the regional workshop with participation from Qatar and KSA. She remarked that victims of human trafficking are counting on unified efforts by the local and international community to improve their situation and lessen their suffering.
Hanan Hamdan, UNHCR Kuwait Head, commended the pioneering humanitarian role that Kuwait has played led by HH The Amir Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. She also highlighted the cooperation between the UNHCR and Kuwaiti MOI and its support to various UN entities in the country.
She stressed that the workshop was timely in response to the humanitarian situation, according to UNHCR figures, the number of refugees and displaced made up 60 million in 2015.
She pointed out that they faced difficulties and obstacles and were victims of trafficking and exposed to other risks. Humanitarian organisation and local authorities need to cooperate to combat trafficking by developing abilities and spreading awareness of the issue, she remarked. She hoped that the workshop would result in the drafting of a unified approach and guidelines between international organisations the MOI in order to protect victims.
By Cinatra Fernandes Arab Times Staff