On the 14th of May, 2014 a meeting of the multi-disciplinary task force in Vitebsk took place. The main responsibility of the task force is to identify, refer and provide assistance to VoTs in Vitebsk oblast; to strengthen NRM in Vitebsk oblast, to share experience, information and latest statistics in the field of combating and prevention of trafficking in human beings.
The meeting of the task force was chaired by the National Project Coordinator/Deputy chairperson of the Department/ Chairperson of the second unit on combating trafficking in drugs and human beings of the criminal militia of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Belarus, Sergey KOLTUN and Coordinator of the International Technical Assistance Project “Building the capacity of the Republic of Belarus in the field of combating trafficking in human beings”, IOM – Natalia ZHAK. Other members of the Meeting Panel included the chairperson of the Vitebsk Oblast Red Cross Organization, and the representatives of the Vitebsk oblast executive committee: the Department on ideology and the Department of health. The multi-disciplinary task force meeting was organized at the Vitebsk oblast executive committee premises with the technical support of the Red Cross Organization. The meeting was attended by the representatives of the agencies, which signed the MoU and other interested organizations, including: Department of the Interior Affairs, of labor and social welfare, of education, of health, of migration and citizenship, investigation committee, bar association, representatives of the Prosecutor`s office and Court, and the representative of the Polotsk Border Guards detachment, Vitebsk oblast executive committee – department on ideology and Vitebsk oblast NGOs, including Red Cross from Vitebsk and Novopolotsk, the Novopolotsk NGO “Belarussian Union of Women”. The representatives of the Youth Palace and of volunteers` brigades were invited as guests for the purpose of sharing their experience in prevention of THB among target groups.
During the meeting all the representatives had an opportunity to share the latest information and statistics and to talk about the latest trends in the field of THB in Vitebsk region, special attention was given to the issue of rendering assistance to victims of trafficking and to the issue of children sexual abuse, and the necessity to improve responses of both state and non-state actors in this regards.
Special attention was given to the experience of the Vitebsk oblast Red Cross organization (rendering of medical assistance by Red Cross nurses) in social sub contraction.
In the course of the work of the task force it was decided:
- to more actively engage into sharing information and statistics between the interested parties of the MoU in the field of prevention of THB and provision of assistance to VoTs;
- to improve cooperation among NGOs and the department on citizenship and migration;
- to strengthen cooperation among all the parties in joint preventive actions and initiatives and to inform people about the possibilities of trapping into slavery conditions when searching for a job in Russia;
- to increase informational work with the teachers, social teachers and social psychologists for the purpose of sexual violence against children prevention;
- to continue active involvement of youth into volunteer groups for the purpose of THB prevention;
- to more actively use the resources of the crisis centers for provision of reintegration assistance to VoTs;
- to engage journalists and representatives of mass media into prevention of THB in the region and to educate them regarding the preparation of articles on this topic;
- to improve participation of NGOs of Vitebsk oblast in social sub-contraction and preparation of suggestions for harmonization of Legislation on State social sub contraction;
- to introduce changes into the text of MoU, particularly, to add items about the New State Programme for 2013 – 2015; about Belarus joining the Council of Europe Convention on combating trafficking in human beings and the article about adhering to the principles of confidentiality when working with VoTs;
- to widen the list of the MoU participants with the representatives of the court, prosecutor`s office, investigation committee, border guards detachment, department on citizenship and migration, Novopolotsk NGO “Belarussian Union of Women”.