Sierra Leone Journalists trained in human trafficking

Alfred Fornah: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 12 March 2019:

The International Organization for Migration ( IOM) last week conducted training for media practitioners on Trafficking in Persons ( TIPs) in Sierra Leone.

The workshop was conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare , Gender and Children’s Affairs from 5th – 7th March at the Makama Lodge in Makeni.

The training brought together media practitioners, mainly radio Journalists from major radio stations across the country. Some government information officers also benefited from the training

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr James Bangoza, Project Coordinator of IOM, highlighted the importance of the training and noted his institution’s commitment towards the fight against trafficking in persons in the country. He said the training is being conducted through a project funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).

He stated that IOM Regional Programs of protection and assistance to vulnerable migrants work to strengthen states’ and civil society organizations capacities, to identify and protect vulnerable migrants and additionally to raise awareness through media and communication campaigns against human trafficking in Sierra Leone.

“The project seeks to complement government effort already made to combat human trafficking through the provision of capacity building training, materials and equipment that would improve skills and knowledge for, delivery of quality direct assistance to victims of human trafficking and improved capacities to undertake public information activities, ” Dr Bangoza explained.

Mr Dehunge Shiaka, Coordinator of the National Taskforce on Human Trafficking at the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs on behalf of Government, expressed appreciation for this laudable initiative to tackle human trafficking in Sierra Leone. He said that the training is key to media practitioners, as it will help improve awareness raising efforts to combat trafficking in persons in the country.

“Human trafficking is on the increase, so Journalists should not only report but serve as advocates for TIPs” Mr Shiaka told participants.

Mr Emanuel A. B Turay, PR and Media Analyst at the Ministry of Information and Communication who also participated in the workshop, appealed to other beneficiaries of the training to further cascade knowledge and skills gained to their colleague staff in their respective media houses.

Impressive and insightful presentations were delivered by Mr Mangeh Sesay, National Project Officer of IOM and Mr Shiaka on key terminologies and concept of migration, national trends of TIP, general indicators in identifying TIP and the national framework for combating TIP.

Participants also had the opportunity to receive thought provoking lectures from François- Xavier Ada, IOM’s Communication Consultant on topics like communication for development (C4D), principles and techniques of interviewing victims of trafficking and the ethical considerations in reporting issues regarding human trafficking.

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