Building Victim Protection Capacity in ASEAN

ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT Support to the ACWC for National-Level Capacity Building to Address the Needs of Victims of Trafficking in ASEAN

Implementing Agencies:  ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT project and NEXUS Institute

Years: 2019-2023

Project Summary: The identification, protection, support and reintegration of trafficking victims is at the heart of any country’s response to trafficking in persons. Victim protection is often key in supporting victims to recover after their experiences and to reintegrate into their families and communities. Victim protection also prevents further exploitation and victimization, including re-trafficking. It is also intimately tied to a trafficking victim’s access to justice, as victims are unlikely to cooperate in criminal justice procedures against traffickers without sufficient protection.

Victim protection is a critical concern for all ASEAN Member States. The landmark ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP), adopted by ASEAN Leaders in 2015 and ratified in 2017, includes robust protections for trafficking victims. In 2018, the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), with support from ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT, launched the Regional Guidelines and Procedures to Address the Needs of Victims of Trafficking in Persons to help ASEAN more consistently support victims. In collaboration with the ACWC, ACWC-appointed practitioners, and development partners, ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT also supported the development of a Regional Model Implementation Toolkit, a practical companion resource to the Guidelines and Procedures.

ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT, in close coordination with ASEAN ACWC and development partners, is implementing a capacity building program at the national and regional levels to support practitioners across ASEAN Member States to increase their capacity to protect victims of trafficking in persons. NEXUS Institute is providing technical assistance and support to ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT in these efforts and initiatives.

Activities fall under the following categories:

  1. National level capacity building in ASEAN Member States. A regional curriculum on victim identification, protection and reintegration has been developed and will be tailored to national contexts throughout the AMS. National-level training workshops are being conducted in select AMS, in coordination with ACWC, ASEAN Secretariat, UN-ACT, and national level partners.
  2. Technical exchange, dialogues and resource materials (briefs, tools, papers, guides) in and between ASEAN Member States on a thematic area of interest, good practice and/or challenges in the area of victim protection.
  3. Establish a virtual platform (“clearinghouse”) for regional and national-level tools, guidelines, training modules/materials, and other resources on trafficking victim protection.

The target audience will be practitioners and policymakers engaged in the protection of adult and child trafficking victims in ASEAN Member States.

The project is generously funded by

Further information about the work of ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT on CTIP is available here.