Tanzania / Efforts Begin to Improve Counselling of Trafficked Children

Posted on October 8, 2010 by The Counter Human Trafficking Blog in Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, June 19, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOMPress Briefing Notes

A two-day consultation next week between the Tanzanian government and non-governmental (NGO) partners involved in countering child trafficking in the country, will focus on how to improve the counselling of rescued child victims.

Jointly hosted by IOM and Tanzanian NGO Mkombozi, which has built up significant experience in supporting the mental health of over 1,000 vulnerable street children in the Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions, the consultation on 22-23 June in Moshi will also aim to provide basic guidance on the principles of counselling for all those engaged in fighting human trafficking in the country.

With the few counselling experts in Tanzania mainly experienced in issues surrounding HIV/AIDS identification and treatment, the consultation is a much-needed opportunity to strengthen an important aspect of the counter-trafficking response.

Although there is little knowledge and awareness of human trafficking in Tanzania or of its true scale, the significant rural-urban migration in recent decades has led to a large demand for rural children to work mainly as domestic labourers in burgeoning towns and cities.

With children often trafficked by a family member or close family friends, the betrayal by someone who was supposed to care and provide for the child leaves a victim facing a multitude of emotions including anger, distrust, depression, ashamed, guilty and isolated. Child victims of trafficking also become emotionally withdrawn, lose self-confidence, anxious and subject to nervous breakdowns.

Although IOM and its partners have assisted 237 victims of trafficking since December 2005, the need for tailored counselling programmes for child victims by well-trained counsellors has now become urgent.

Funded by the US State Department, GTIP Office, the consultation is taking place at the newly created Regional Immigration Training Academy (TRITA) TRITA/ Africa Capacity Building Centre (ACBC) at Moshi.

The centre is a joint initiative by IOM, its African Member States and the Tanzanian government with the aim to build the capacity of African countries in dealing with key migration issues.

SOURCE

International Office of Migration (IOM)

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