IOM - International Organization for Migration

11/02/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/02/2018 04:01

Police, Service Providers in Trinidad and Tobago Engage in Migrant Protection and Assistance Training

Port of Spain - Forty-two representatives from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) participated in the Migrant Protection and Assistance Training conducted this week (29-30/10) by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in Port of Spain. The training was designed to strengthen the response to recent migration into Trinidad and increase the referral of vulnerable migrants for humanitarian assistance and other services.

It also aimed to improve understanding of migrant protection and assistance among key actors, by providing tools for identifying vulnerable migrants and trafficking victims using basic indicators. Service providers learned about referral systems and good practice standards associated with direct assistance, including confidentiality and data protection.

'Our goal is to enhance governmental and civil society abilities to manage migration-related issues in a sustainable and integral manner,' said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean. 'We are also expanding the services and types of assistance provided by IOM to match the new migration challenges faced by Trinidad and Tobago.'

The number of Venezuelan nationals in Central America and the Caribbean doubled from around 50,000 in 2015 to almost 100,000 in 2017; Trinidad and Tobago has become an important destination country for Venezuelan nationals seeking refuge and better opportunities.

In response to the large-scale flows of Venezuelans to other nations in the region, IOM launched the Regional Action Plan (RAP) in April 2018 to support the efforts that governments have initiated in the Americas and the Caribbean to provide assistance to these migrants and refugees.

IOM has also activated its Global Assistance Fund for Migrants Vulnerable to Violence, Exploitation, and Abuse (GAF) to help individual Venezuelan migrants through the provision of immediate emergency protection and assistance services for victims of trafficking, and other migrants vulnerable to violence, exploitation, and abuse. IOM Trinidad and Tobago has seen an increase in applications to the GAF as well as many requests from partners for support with vulnerable Venezuelan migrants, including victims of trafficking.

'IOM is not only working to provide much-needed services to the Venezuelan population in the islands, but it is also building capacity in local organizations to guarantee the protection of migrants rights,' affirmed Jewel Ali, IOM Trinidad and Tobago Head of Office. 'We hope this experience will also allow us to increase collaboration between different institutions.'

For more information please contact Cherlez Philip at IOM Trinidad and Tobago, Tel: 623 2441 (Ext. 13139), Email: [email protected]