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Prog. to Support the Dev. of Transnational Referral Mechanisms (TRM) for Trafficked Persons in SEE


The First Regional Seminar of the Programme to Support the Development of Transnational Referral Mechanisms (TRM) for Trafficked Persons in South-Eastern Europe took place on 23-26 April 2007 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The project is jointly implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), the Ministry of Interior of Bulgaria, the Anti-Corruption and Anti-Trafficking Regional Organization Network (ACTA) and the Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI) in Skopje. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supports the programme financially.
The Second TRM Regional Seminar will be hosted by the Bosnian National Coordinator office and will take place on 13-17 November 2007 in Sarajevo.
Extracts from the ICMPD report: The seminar earmarked the end of the 1st phase of the Programme and aimed at presenting and discussing the results of the assessment phase. More specifically, its objective was to revise and further develop the draft TRM Guidelines and agree on a catalogue of national measures to enable the establishment of a TRM.
The seminar benefited from the participation of national delegations from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and the UN-administered territory of Kosovo. Each national delegation was comprised of a representative from the anti-trafficking coordinator’s offices, a prosecutor, a representative of a migration authority and a representative of an NGO. In addition, members of the Advisory Board from the main international organizations, active in the field of anti-trafficking, attended the seminar, along with representatives of USAID and US embassies from the SEE region. (…)
Further in this session, the first draft of TRM Guidelines was introduced. The Guidelines include a range of measures in the areas of identification, crisis intervention, assistance, return, reintegration and criminal procedures for an effective and safe transnational referral of victims of trafficking. Their aim is to provide a concise and ready-to-use tool for practitioners. It was stressed that the first draft of this document is the result of the assessment of good practice in participating countries and is based on EU and International Standards. At this very stage the TRM guidelines are to be considered a work-in-progress document, to be revised in the course of the implementation of the TRM programme in compliance with national standards and coordinated with a country’s National Referral Mechanisms. Furthermore, it was emphasized that the TRM Guidelines are a framework for input and suggestions to be collected in the course of the first regional seminar.
Session Two served to further develop and revise the TRM Guidelines. The participants discussed the draft of the TRM guidelines in Thematic Working Groups focusing on four substantive areas as outlined in the draft TRM Guidelines: (1) identification, (2) crisis intervention, assistance and reintegration, (3) return and (4) criminal proceedings and compensation. In general, the material was seen as a very useful and practical tool that can easily be used to facilitate a comprehensive transnational referral of victims beyond the SEE region too. Rapporteurs presented in the plenary the results of the working groups that will be taken into consideration for the revision of the document.
In parallel the Meeting with National Anti-trafficking Coordinators in SEE took place. They confirmed their commitment to ensure the necessary follow-up work at the national level in order to achieve the implementation of the TRM Programme. The TRM Guidelines, which according to the National Co-ordinators should be a practical implementation guide, is seen as an excellent tool to develop and institutionalise the cooperation of all concerned actors in the region and beyond. Moreover, they expressed their satisfaction with the presence of some destination countries and stressed the need to fully involve other destination countries in this initiative to foster institutionalised transnational referral mechanisms for victims of trafficking. It was therefore agreed that a joint letter will be sent to the European Commission, inviting the European Union Member States to join this initiative, and asking the Commission to facilitate this process.
During Session Three the participants gathered in National Working Groups and discussed the compatibility of the draft TRM Guidelines with the national legislation and operating procedures. They identified steps at the national level that are needed in order to ensure the implementation of the TRM, consisting of national measures and actors that shall be included in the TRM procedures. (…)
An overview of the next steps to be undertaken within the TRM programme was provided. The participants were invited to submit additional substantial input for the revision of the TRM Guidelines by the end of May. Consequently, the ICMPD programme team will proceed with the revision of the TRM Guidelines for their further use during the second phase of the programme, the National Implementation Phase. (…)