Identifying Strategic and Operational Challenges
Below are numbers of challenges identified by Bali Process member States during official meetings, training events and other activities that relate to addressing trafficking in persons, specifically in implementing counter-trafficking strategies.
- Root causes are complex, differ depending on country or origins, and are directly connected to changing economic, political and social conditions of a given place
- Limited research and data
- Limited monitoring activities of contributing factors
- Rapidly changing methods used by traffickers to recruit, move and exploit victims
- Lack of funds/resources at the national and local level to address root causes
- Lack of information about effective prevention programs
- Emphasis on prosecution and protection elements over prevention
- Limited awareness-raising programs and information campaigns
- Some customary norms and cultural practices can put certain communities at a disadvantage (e.g., child marriages)
- Restricted access to education, especially among girls, and children from minority groups
- Anti-corruption policies are weak or difficult to implement
- Weak inter-agency coordination and insufficient cooperation among relevant local agencies, States, and international agencies
- Identification of victims remains inadequate. Failure to identify victims of trafficking results in their continued exploitation and their inability to access assistance and protection services
- Non-existent or weak national referral mechanisms
- Communication challenges relating to language or culture and the reluctance of victims to speak to authorities due to fear or distrust, particularly at the point of first contact
- Victims are not coming forward for fear of retaliation from traffickers; if they are in the country illegally or they have been engaged in illegal activities, they fear detention and deportation
- Victims are being wrongly identified and/or placed in detention facilities instead of shelters or safe accommodation
- Non-citizens who have no right to remain in the country in which they were identified may face particular barriers to accessing protection services, including accessing compensation or pursuing claims
- Lack of trained staff and limited capacity-building activities and training programs for front-line officers, first responders, or other practitioners on how to provide protection and assist victims of trafficking
- Domestic legal provisions are not consistent with international legal standards regarding treatment of victims of trafficking
- Lack of funds to provide assistance and support to victims
- Dependency on foreign aid which drives competiveness among stakeholders and duplication of programs
- Laws to criminalize trafficking in persons are not comprehensive and implementation remains inadequate
- Lack of knowledge in identifying elements of the offence of trafficking leads to prosecuting offenders for other offences which need a lesser degree of corroboration
- Victims are reluctant to participate in criminal proceedings due to lack of protection and assistance from authorities. Trafficking victims are being prosecuted for offences committed during the process of being trafficked
- Prosecution is heavily reliant on the victim’s cooperation (testimony, evidence)
- Absence of accurate information on the scope and scale of trafficking in persons, due to inaccurate data recording systems, monitoring and evaluation programs
- Absence of, or inadequate level of, inter-agency and State-to-State cooperation, including judicial and law enforcement
- Judiciary and law enforcement authorities do not have adequate opportunities to participate in capacity-building programs continuously
COMMON TOOLS FOR DEVELOPING STRATEGY
There are many different tools that have been designed for people who need to change or build new strategies, whether in government, private business, or non-governmental agencies. These tools essentially encourage thinking about an organization’s goals, values, challenges, or context in a highly structural way, so that strategies can be precise, focused, and effective. The strategic development tools that we describe in this section are very flexible and can be used by a broad range of organizations, including those with an interest in developing counter-trafficking strategies or action plans.
SMART TARGET SETTING
A mission statement is usually a very general description of the concrete intentions behind a strategy. A mission statement should very briefly express the tangible outcomes that are desired, and the method to be used to achieve them.
Mission statements should not be confused with vision statements. Vision statements usually are intended to formulate more long-term, aspirational objectives, while mission statements should formulate a more concrete objective, not just something to aspire to, and indicate the way in which it should be achieved.
The following official mission statements could serve as examples (the last example clearly blending ‘vision’ with ‘mission’):
- CARE: To serve individuals and families in the poorest communities in the world.
- Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.
- USAID: We partner to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our security and prosperity
Another tool for strategic development is the SWOT analysis, whose name is derived from the four terms: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Note that these four items juxtapose both positive and negative factors, and also internal and external factors.
|Helpful to objectives||Harmful to objectives|
Strengths (internal, positive): characteristics of the governmental institution(s) responsible for counter-trafficking and in particular those that put it in the lead of efforts to disrupt or end trafficking in persons.
Weaknesses (internal, negative): characteristics of the above mentioned institution(s) that hinders it from carrying out its lead role on counter-trafficking.
Opportunities (external, positive): elements in the environment that the institution(s) or its activities could exploit to its advantage.
Threats (external, negative): elements in the environment that could seriously disrupt the institution and/or its activities.
The SWOT analysis is used for taking a critical look at the situation at hand when embarking on the development of a strategy. It is intended to look at the most important elements that are relevant to the strategy, from internal assets, to external challenges that might interfere with success.
Counter-trafficking policy must grapple with a complex range of inter-connected factors, which a SWOT analysis may not adequately accommodate in detail. However, it can be an effective tool for getting an overview in a situation that otherwise at first can seem confusing and overwhelming, and help to discern the first most crucial elements of the future counter-trafficking strategy.
Below we offer an example template that can be used for undertaking a SWOT analysis. The items that have been listed in the various sections are made-up examples, but they show how the findings can ideally lead to a number of critical elements in a new or renewed counter-trafficking strategy.
Counter trafficking strategy
development – SWOT analysis
|1. Establish a long-term mission statement for the policy|
2. Identify the most pressing stumbling blocks to moving toward a comprehensive policy
3. Spell out the resource-driven issues
|STRENGTHS (+)||WEAKNESSES (-)|
|1. Comprehensive legislation and adherence to international laws|
2. Strong judiciary
3. Strong statistical capacities
|1. Corruption in police and administration|
2. Policy function scattered across govt officers
3. Lack of human resources with long experience
|OPPORTUNITIES (+)||THREATS (+)|
|1. Keen public awareness|
2. High-profile victims have come forward
3. Regional support
|1. Resilient organized crime|
2. Mixed migration/populations at risk in region
3. Political sensitivities with neighboring countries
|Policy Elements for the future|
|1. Actionable, evidence-based|
2. Build practitioner's networks
3. Strengthen prosecution on corruption
Comment: A key aim is to formulate a number of key issues in the various categories and then ideally finding that some elements in different categories jointly lead to certain conclusions regarding the follow-up. In the example above, an identified strength and a weakness were seen to be a strong basis for a policy element for the future.
This is a method for ensuring that the targets, objectives or outcomes that are formulated for the strategy are as meaningful and realistic as possible. The method is basically a checklist of attributes that will be important to have in mind when formulating the outcomes for the counter-trafficking strategy. The figure below is one example of the kind of requirements one could expect “SMART” goal setting should fulfil.
Specific — is the desired change clearly specified? An example of a clearly defined objective is to increase or decrease something by a specific amount (e.g. by 20% or by 40%). Something general such as raising awareness of trafficking is too broad and makes it impossible to assess whether you reached your project’s objective.
Measurable — is the desired change measurable? Your project’s objectives should be measurable. Common variables to measure are changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of the target audience.
Achievable — is the objective achievable within the time and resources allocated? For example, a potentially unachievable project objective may be to reduce trafficking in persons by 99%. Though it may be a worthy objective, it may not be achievable within the project’s timeframe.
Relevant — is it relevant to the project’s goal? If your project’s goal is to increase the number of people migrating regularly, your objectives should be in line with that goal. For example, an objective in line with this goal could be “increasing visits to the migrant resource centre by 30%”.
Time bound— the objectives need to be achievable within a specified time period. Often the period given for the objective to be achieved is the duration of the project. For example, to increase visits to the local migrant resource centre by 30% within 12 months.