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IOM receives $750,000 from the US government for Combatting Trafficking in Persons in Micronesia

IOM -  Oct-23-2014 - KOLONIA, Pohnpei

 

Attendees at the first Pohnpei Migrant Resource Center's pre-departure orientation and Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness Raising course. (U.S. EMBASSY KOLONIA)

 

The U.S. government has awarded the International Organization for Migration (IOM) $750,000 to fund for 24 months its program "Combatting Trafficking in Persons in Micronesia through the Establishment of Protection Framework for Victims of Trafficking". Serving the Marshall Island, Palau, and the FSM, this program will enhance victim protection and train investigators and prosecutors of trafficking in persons (TIP) cases. Further, IOM will conduct awareness training for sectors of society in the three countries. They will also establish a national referral system for the protection of victims of trafficking through partnerships with national and state authorities.

The 2014 TIP Report for the three Freely Associate States recommended increasing and improving efforts to investigate, prosecute, and punish traffickers; identifying, referring, and providing victims with protective services; and raising awareness of the trafficking issue. IOM's project comes as a direct response.

The U.S. government is a strong advocate for ending Trafficking in Persons. As U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry said. "We each have a responsibility to make this horrific and all-too-common crime a lot less common. And our work with victims is the key that will open the door to real change-not just on behalf of the more than 44,000 survivors who have been identified in the past year, but also for the more than 20 million victims of trafficking who have not."

As part of its efforts, the U.S. government provides an annual TIP report to assist governments around the world with identifying and helping people to avoid becoming victims of trafficking. The TIP report places countries into one of four tiers as defined by The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000. Placement within each tier is based more on the extent of government action to combat trafficking in persons than on the size of the problem within the country. In 2014, the Federated States of Micronesia was designated a Tier 2 TIP country.

The definition for each of the tier levels is provided below:

-Tier 1: Countries whose governments fully comply with the TVPAs minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

-Tier 2: Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPAs minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.

-Tier 2 Watch List: Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPAs minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards, and for which:

a) the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing;

b) there is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year, including increased investigations, prosecution, and convictions of trafficking crimes, increased assistance to victims, and decreasing evidence of complicity in severe forms of trafficking by government officials; or

c) the determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional steps over the next year.

-Tier 3: Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPAs minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so. (U.S. Embassy Kolonia)