Practitioner Resources on Victim Protection

Improving the Identification, Protection, Support and Reintegration of Trafficking Victims in Asia

Implementing Agencies: NEXUS Institute and the Regional Support Office of the Bali Process (RSO)

Years: 2020-2023

Project Summary: A thorough understanding of the needs of trafficking victims must underpin programming, policy and capacity building efforts of governments and civil society in the ASEAN region and Bali Process Member States more broadly. And yet, anti-trafficking practitioners often do not have easy access to high quality research on victim protection nor do they have time to read and distill this vast body of literature to identify findings that they can use in their direct daily work. To address this constraint, NEXUS and Bali Process RSO are developing a series of Practitioner Guides to support the protection work of practitioners in ASEAN. The Practitioner Guide Series explores the following key protection issues:

  • Trafficking victim identification
  • Trafficking victim protection and support
  • Recovery and reintegration of trafficking victims
  • Special and additional measures for child trafficking victims
  • Special and additional measures for victim-witnesses
  • Access to remedies

These topics are in line with the six thematic areas of ASEAN ACWC Regional Guidelines and Procedures to Address the Needs of Victims of Trafficking in Persons, which was developed in support of the implementation of the ASEAN Convention on Trafficking in Persons (ACTIP). Each Practitioner Guide identifies and distills existing evidence on a discrete victim protection issue and presents it in a succinct and accessible format to help practitioners better understand key issues and challenges. The Practitioner Guides draw on and share the real-life knowledge and experiences of trafficking victims and anti-trafficking practitioners to serve as a resource for practitioner’s work and on-going learning. They also provide practical guidance for practitioners to operationalize in their day-to-day work to support an enhanced victim protection response. The target audience is practitioners engaged in the protection of adult and child trafficking victims in Bali Process Member States, including social workers and social assistants, healthcare practitioners, psychologists and counselors, child protection specialists, law enforcement, lawyers and paralegals, teachers and school administrators, vocational trainers, job counselors and business experts and public administrators. The guides may also be used by policymakers tasked with improving practice and procedures in the protection of trafficking victims. The Practitioner Guides are user-friendly, with content presented in an accessible and visual format. They include quotes and reflections from victims and practitioners as well as notepads and mini-exercises that can be used as a workbook for training and capacity building. Each Practitioner Guide serves as a stand-alone resource for practitioners to operationalize in their work at the national and local levels. As a series, these Practitioner Guides offer a comprehensive and holistic overview of key issues and challenges in the protection of adult and child trafficking victims.

Photograph by Peter Biro: An interview to determine assistance needs in Thailand.

The first four Practitioner Guides were reviewed and validated by expert practitioners from six Bali Process Member States (Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam) at a Practitioner Roundtable discussion in April 2021.

Group photo with some of the participants at the Virtual Practitioner Roundtable Discussion (April 2021).

To support the implementation and operationalization of the Practitioner Guide series, NEXUS and Bali Process RSO are also developing a series of Facilitator Modules to accompany each Practitioner Guide. Each Facilitator Module provides detailed, step-by-step guidance to train practitioners in the specific thematic area. In addition, and to support trafficking victim access to assistance and services, NEXUS and Bali Process RSO have produced guidance on how to develop a Directory of Services for trafficking victims. Too often, both practitioners and victims are unaware of the services and assistance available to them at the national or local levels. A Directory of Services is a vital tool for trafficking victims to access the assistance needed to recover and reintegrate after trafficking, as well as for practitioners in referring and assisting victims.

This project and its many outputs support the work of regional initiatives like UNDP and ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT in their on-going capacity building work with government counterparts and civil society. In addition, these materials have a variety of applications beyond their immediate use by practitioners in their operational work. They:

  • Inform the regional training curriculum on victim identification, protection and reintegration, to be used in training national practitioners throughout ASEAN being developed by NEXUS Institute, UN-ACT and ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT.
  • Inform human security and victim-centered approach training on victim identification, assistance and protection, developed and delivered by the RSO in partnership with the UNITAR CIFAL Jeju/Jeju International Training Center (JITC) in the Republic of Korea.
  • Inform training workshops on combating trafficking in persons by the RSO in partnership with the People’s Police Academy in Hanoi, Viet Nam.
  • Contribute to the RSO’s border management program on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants including operational border management training workshops and roundtable discussions;
  • Contribute to RSO training workshops on strengthening law enforcement capacity and response to trafficking in persons in select Bali Process Member States.
  • Contribute to UN-ACT’s work on victim identification and reintegration in the COMMIT framework, including through national and transnational referral mechanisms (NRM/TRMs).
  • Contribute to ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT’s national capacity building efforts including technical exchanges and dialogues on thematic areas of interest, good practice and/or challenges faced in addressing the needs of victims of trafficking.
  • Contribute to the development of guidance on how to better address the needs of trafficking victims in ASEAN countries generally.

Photograph by Peter Biro for NEXUS Institute: A man registers for health services at a clinic in Indonesia.


This project is being jointly implemented by NEXUS Institute and the Regional Support Office of the Bali Process (RSO). The project is generously funded by the Australian Department of Home Affairs, through the Bali Process RSO.




Publications and Outputs


Photograph by Peter Biro for the NEXUS Institute: A doctor in a health clinic in Indonesia. All rights reserved.
Photographs on this page illustrate various aspects of assistance and protection. Unless stated otherwise, individuals in these photographs are not trafficking victims.