EQUIP : Equipping Sri Lanka to Counter Trafficking in Persons
The Project aims to reduce human trafficking in Sri Lanka by intervening via a three pronged approach (3P’s) : Prevention, Protection and Prosecution through conducting research and awareness to inform regulations and practice, ensuring fair and ethical business recruitment practices are adopted, improving protection services for identified victims and prosecuting and investigating offenders.
Background:Although various efforts have been made by different actors across Sri Lanka to tackle the challenges of human trafficking, through research its evident that much more needs to be done to improve the situation of the country. Limited knowledge base on the phenomenon and on the methods for high impact responses, limited services on offer to protect victims and prosecute violators, and a legal and regulatory framework that is not as responsive as can be are some of the challenges contributing to the situation. Further, in the context of labour migration governance, though there are regulations to govern recruitment at various stages of migration, gaps in implementation of these policies especially at the recruitment stage has resulted in situations of debt bondage due to exorbitant recruitment costs and fees and exploitative labour practices, forming an complex link between labour migration and trafficking.
The project aims to achieve the four core objectives under the overarching 3P’s approach.
Project Objectives:Objective 1: Research and awareness to inform regulations and practice: A favourable regulatory environment and practices in place to reduce forced labour and trafficking vulnerabilities through research and targeted awareness by 2020
Objective 2: Ensuring fair and ethical business recruitment practices: Recruitment agents, MDOs and migrant workers are better equipped to conform to ethical and fair recruitment principles and guidelines by 2020
Objective 3: Protection services for identified victims: To improve protection services to ensure identified victims, including men and children, receive specialized care services
Objective 4: Prosecuting and investigating offenders: To increase investigation and prosecution of offenders of trafficking through due process, training of officials on victim identification, legal procedures and referrals processes