Government of Japan and United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security contribute nearly $2 million for Economic and Social Empowerment

The Government of Japan and the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security confirm new funding of nearly 212 million yen to help returned victims of human trafficking in the Philippines and Thailand.

Press release | BANGKOK | 26 April 2006

BANGKOK (ILO News) –The Government of Japan and the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security have confirmed new funding of nearly 212 million yen (approximately $1.98 million USD) to help returned victims of human trafficking in the Philippines and Thailand resume normal productive lives in their home countries.

The Type Kingdom of Thailand and the Republic of the Philippines are two countries in Southeast Asia struggling with the effects of human trafficking. Both countries have taken considerable measures to combat the problem. Various organizations, including the ILO and its International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour, are already providing technical assistance to the Governments to help prevent trafficking of children and young people.

This new project aims toassist returnees – former victims of trafficking – by providing social and financial assistance to help them through the transitional period following their return, thus giving them a sounder footing to re-start their lives at home. The project is expected to start implementation this summer and run for three years.

For those who’ve previously been trafficked, returning to their home country, town or village and resuming a normal life is not an easy task. Many of these people – especially young women – face reprisals by traffickers, threats to themselves and their families, and the vulnerability of being re-trafficked. Children and young women from Thailand and the Philippines are trafficked for both labour and sexual exploitation both within their own countries, across borders to neighbouring countries and further abroad, typically within Asia, to Europe, the Middle East, and North America .

Specifically, the Economic and Social Empowerment of Returned Victims of Trafficking Project will concentrate its interventions and assistance in four key areas:

  • By providing immediate and continuous help such as legal assistance, psychological counselling and medical services to returned trafficked victims;
  • By conducting reintegration assistance programs for victims who returned to their country of origin;
  • By empowering victims in order to make their reintegration self-sustaining through education, job placement, and small-scale savings and credit schemes; and
  • By providing opportunities to meet other victims and setting up self-help groups.

This new initiative will operate with, and complement, the trafficking prevention assistance of the ILO Mekong Project to Combat Trafficking in Children and Women, established in 2000, and operational in Cambodia , China ’s Yunnan Type Province , Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam .

For further information please contact:

Allan Dow
Communications Officer
ILO Mekong Project to Combat Trafficking in Children and Women
10th Floor, UN Building, Rajadamnoen Nok Avenue
Tel: + 66 2 288 2057
Email