UN.GIFT Joint Programmes

26 January 2010 - Joint Programmes are a collective effort, bringing together UN organizations and national partners to carry out activities aimed at helping member states achieve the Millennium Development Goals and other international commitments. They can help avoid duplication, reduce transaction costs and maximize synergies among national partners  and the different contributions  of UN-system organizations.

Human trafficking is a complex issue, requiring coordination and cooperation among governments, international organizations and other stakeholders to tackle it. UN.GIFT has identified Joint Programmes as a powerful means to bring different anti-trafficking approaches together and so UN.GIFT Steering Committee members have taken the decision to develop programmes in six different regions.

These comprehensive multi-stakeholder Joint Programmes cover different regions/thematic areas and respond to evidence-based analysis of gaps and priorities, identified by both the Field Offices of the UN.GIFT Steering Committee members and by member states themselves.

Selection of the initial Joint Programmes was based on a list of criteria including: identified needs by the host government(s), regional balance in coverage, sustainable presence of UN.GIFT Steering Committee members, national and field office recommendations and assessments and the potential for the programme to be made sustainable, to innovate, replicate or to be scaled up.

The six regions chosen to date where programmes are under development are Serbia, Pakistan, Argentina/Bolivia, Rwanda/Burundi, Central Asia and Egypt. The Joint Programmes focus on different forms of trafficking, but all of them take a multi-faceted approach to the problem, and seek to address each of the "three P's" - prosecution, protection and prevention - while also promoting cooperation and coordination.

One of the UN.GIFT Joint Programmes has been developed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Serbia, together with the Serbian government to assist the government of Serbia in operationalising its National Action Plan against Trafficking in Persons. The programme will build on the achievements of existing initiatives and institutional arrangements, as well as on the acquired expertise of UN agencies in this field.

The programme aims to promote prevention by creating a sustainable framework for systematic prevention of trafficking in human beings among particularly vulnerable groups, to strengthen the prosecution of criminals by enhancing the criminal justice responses of the Government of Serbia and to improve mechanisms for protection and (re)integration of potential and actual victims of human trafficking, including those identified within the asylum channels. The programme will also strengthen national capacities to implement the National Action Plan against Trafficking in Persons and to improve coordination within the National Referral Mechanism.

Claudia Gioffre from the UNODC Project Office in Serbia states that the Joint Programme has been a great experience, both from a professional and personal point of view. Working in a multi-agency initiative has given her the possibility to better understand and learn from the work that is carried out by other organizations in the field of anti-human trafficking. This is of utmost importance for coordination of work, avoiding overlapping and improving the efficiency of interventions, which is what both beneficiaries and donor countries want to see. Furthermore, she has personally had the opportunity to meet and work with fantastic colleagues from UNHCR and IOM, who have enriched her professional life.

Human trafficking is a complex and ever-changing criminal phenomenon which requires a multifaceted and holistic response. Gioffre states that only through this multi-agency approach have they been able to develop such a comprehensive programme which aims to support the Government of Serbia in its efforts to combat this crime. The programme is designed to cover all provisions of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol while fostering partnerships and multi-sectoral cooperation.

The main recommendation Gioffre would give to other Joint Programmes is to work closely with all relevant national and international stakeholders. The Joint Programme in Serbia was developed in broad consultations with all national and international counterparts involved in the fight against human trafficking in order to best respond to their needs in this area. UNODC Serbia organised various meetings with stakeholders, undertook assessment missions throughout the whole territory of Serbia and kept in daily contact with the Anti Human Trafficking Coordinator of Serbia, Mr. Mitar Djuraskovic, who has given the programme great support.

An information Round Table for UN Member States will be held Thursday, January 28 2010 at 2pm in the VIC. For further details please contact un.gift@unvienna.org