USAID/RDMA ASEAN Program Highlight
Participants of the Chab Dai training in Phnom Penh proudly display certificates of successful training completion. Credit: Chab Dai Coalition.
In Southeast Asia, 5 out of 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states fall within the two of the lowest ranks among states in the 2023 U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons report. As a major transnational security and human rights issue, USAID has long worked with ASEAN and other partners to expand regional capacity to counter-trafficking among governmental and non-governmental service providers.
Recently, the ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT project partnered with Cambodian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) Chab Dai Coalition, and Dark Bali in Indonesia to deliver practitioner trainings that enhance support services for trafficking victims. Between April and June 2023, over 90 practitioners from law enforcement to social services strengthened skills to better identify and assist victims of human trafficking.
USAID developed the training programs along with the NEXUS Institute and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The curriculum titled, Regional Training Curriculum on Victim Identification, Protection and Support, and Recovery and Reintegration, is an interactive, evidence-based approach enabling trainees to apply standard principles and best practices within their local context and experience. In addition to covering relevant laws, policies, and principles at national and international levels, activities and case studies encouraged practitioners to reflect on their own experience and lessons learned, and find approaches to improve identification, protection, and reintegration practices.
Some critical learnings shared by participants include protections needed for specific groups, such as children or transgender victims, and the need to build trust with the victims of trafficking in order to provide better assistance and support. Both Chab Dai and Dark Bali plan to conduct additional trainings for practitioners in other locations. Feedback from participants will also help further refine the curriculum and its delivery in the future.
USAID’s support for capacity building for Countering Trafficking in Persons (CTiP) practitioners builds on prior cooperation with the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children to develop region-wide guidelines and resources to assist victims of trafficking. Read more here.