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165 victims of trafficking receive skilling and psychosocial support

By Sangay Choden

In line with the standard operating procedure on multi-sectoral response to trafficking in
person, 165 victims of trafficking were referred to National Commission for Women and
Children (NCWC) for psychosocial support.

Earlier in 2020, under His Majestyโ€™s Command, the government rescued 184 women from
the Middle East โ€“ the government provided livelihood training, medical examination, shelter
services, and other necessities to these women.

To provide the livelihood training, NCWC in collaboration with the partner agencies
(Department of Youth and Sports, Respect Educate Nurture Empower Women (RENEW),
Tarayana Foundation, Bhutan Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAOWE) and Nazhoen
Lamtoen) continuously provided the psychosocial support to the victim and also carried out
the detail assessment to determine the need of the survivors.

According to an official of NCWC, the official said: โ€œAlthough there were a number of
training programs provided by different agencies with funding support from MoLHR, there
were only limited participants who were interested in taking part in the training.โ€ The
official said this was mainly due to mismatch of interest and program availability, mismatch
of expectation and remuneration provided.

Despite the issue, the agencies were able to encourage some survivors to take part in the
skilling and reskilling such as tailoring, weaving, floriculture, home care and hospitality,
recycling and waste management, baking, mushroom cultivation, and financial literacy.

According to the official, some of the challenges faced by the organization in rendering the
psychosocial support were โ€˜limited funding to meet the emergency needs for the survivors
such as food and travel expenditure, shortage of human resources, lack of skilling and
reintegration services, mismatch of demand and service availability, lack of support to
survivors from community, relatives and parents, short of specialized services, lack of
cooperation from some of the survivorsโ€™ among others.

However, the official added: โ€œWhile our partner CSO has been supporting the shelter
services, the shelter services could not be provided to all the survivors due to limited
capacity and also availability of shelter in districts and regions.โ€

The NCWC in collaboration with MoLHR and RENEW designed a training package called
home care and hospitality which is targeted at survivors to encourage the employment in
home care.

This too, the official say โ€˜there were only a few who expressed their interest to take part in
the training. Moreover, those who attended the training were also not interested in taking
up the home care jobs.

NCWC and partner agencies encouraged them to take part in training, the NCWC do not
have any autonomy in terms of placing them for employment.

However, the NCWC in collaboration with MoLHR identified all the vacancies under YELP
and Direct employment schemes and shared with the survivors but none of them were
interested to apply for the post as the pay was not up to their expectation. Moreover, most
of the available opportunities were blue collar jobs, added the official.

The majority of them were also not interested in taking up the opportunities in farming and
agriculture to sustain their livelihood. โ€œThis imposes a series of challenges for their daily
means and there is a high probability that they might return to work abroad. Considering it,
their participation in training programs were encouraged to build their skill and ensure the
successful reintegration with sustainable livelihood,โ€ said the official.

โ€œWhile we can encourage them to take part in a skilling program, we cannot ensure job
placement,โ€ says the official. โ€œAs the issue itself being the crosscutting, there are chances
that they might face any form of social issues other than current one,โ€ added the official.

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