On Thursday, 9 March 2023, the Anti-Human Trafficking Working Group conducted a one-day training on the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the Identification and Referral of Victim of Trafficking and Potential Victims of Trafficking; and Investigation of Trafficking Cases, for law enforcement officers, including the Office of the Attorney General. Said training is part of the government’s on-going efforts to ensure victims are provided with the necessary assistance and protection by relevant service providers.

The purpose of the training was to introduce the contents, the step-by-step processes, entailed in the SOPs for the understanding and knowledge of the participants. This helps to ensure that law enforcement officers understand their respective roles within the SOPs as well as the partnerships with other agencies as called for in the SOPs to allow for stronger and continued provision of victim protection and support. As a victim-centered SOPs, its three (3) main pillars, namely victim identification, immediate need of assistance from relevant service providers, and investigations leading up to prosecution were highlighted.

A more engaging component of the training was the division of the participants into smaller groups where the use of case scenarios provided for made-up in-field application, with each group presenting their work to gauge both the quality and quantity of their comprehension of the SOPs. Although the training was fruitful, it should guide employees through the process until it becomes second nature. Further training will still be necessary to help law enforcement officers close the gap between simply acquiring knowledge of a skill through reading the contents of the SOPs and the actual application of that skill.

The law enforcement officers who attended the training yesterday included more than twenty-five (25) officers from the Bureau of Public Safety, Ministry of Justice; Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, Ministry of Finance; and Office of Labor Compliance, Ministry of Human Resources, Culture, Tourism & Development.

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