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IOM, INTERPOL train Central African police in counter trafficking

( IOM ) - IOM Cameroon, in partnership with the INTERPOL Regional Office for Central Africa, organized a training on human trafficking for police officers on March 18th and 19th in Yaoundé.

Participants included 16 policemen and women from Congo, Gabon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad and Cameroon.

"Human trafficking is a disturbing phenomenon that is increasingly present in Cameroon. Raising awareness of civil servants on this issue has become crucial," says IOM Cameroon Head of Office Roger-Charles Evina.

This initiative, organized with the support of the IOM Regional office in Dakar, aims to impart to the police officers knowledge of human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants.

The training intended to give a legal definition of trafficking, present the referral system implemented for victims of trafficking in Cameroon as an example of good practice, introduce methods of investigation, identification and assistance to victims of trafficking and promote cooperation among actors, as well as information sharing.

At the end of the training, organizers hoped that participants strengthened their knowledge on international, regional and national legal instruments for the protection of victims of trafficking, their knowledge on the referral system and will have realized the importance of communication and cooperation amongst themselves for the protection of victims and prosecution of actors.

In Cameroon, six cases of trafficking were reported in 2012, according to a Ministry of Justice report on human rights. In 2013, the US Department of State annual TIP report identifies Cameroon as a country of origin, transit, and destination for children subjected to forced labor and sexual exploitation. It is also a country of origin for women subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution.

IOM Cameroon promotes the protection of domestic workers and victims of trafficking. Since 2013, it has trained some 20 representatives from the government, police and civil society organizations on the referral system and on international, regional and national instruments in terms of human trafficking.

In January 2014 IOM also organized a training of trainers workshop for civil society organizations on referral, identification and support for victims of trafficking.