• Nabie Loyce | Media and Communications Assistant

Juba, South Sudan – On 28 July, the International Organization for Migration together with the Human Anti-Trafficking Network brought together students, migrant communities from countries neighbouring South Sudan, representatives from South Sudan organized forces to commemorate the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

Every year, member states of the United Nations marks 30 July as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, a decision that came out of the 2013 UN General Assembly which adopted a resolution A/RES/68/192 that designate 30 July as the Anti-Trafficking Day to raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.

Public awareness about the issue of trafficking in persons. Photo: IOM/Nabie Loyce
Migrant communities match to raise awareness on the issue of trafficking in person. Photo: IOM/Nabie Loyce

The campaign for World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2023 aims to raise awareness while reaching every victim of trafficking and leaving no one behind.

“This day gives us the opportunity to raise awareness and sensitize everyone on the issue of human trafficking and enables us to amplify the impact of the great work we are doing to combat human trafficking” said Philip Boterere, IOM South Sudan’s Cluster Coordinator.


Mr. Philip Boterere, IOM South Sudan’s Cluster Coordinator. Photo: IOM/Nabie Loyce

During the commemoration event in Juba, migrant communities in South Sudan called on governments, law enforcement, public services, and civil society to enhance their efforts to strengthen prevention, identify and support victims of trafficking.

“Migrants face a lot of problems at entry points because most of them are lured to travel without the required documents with promises of getting better jobs in South Sudan. When some of these irregular migrants their destinations, life becomes contrary to what they were promised and they become victims of trafficking.” said Niyibizi Aladin, the chairperson of the Burundian Diaspora in South Sudan.

Aladin urged authorities to strengthen their efforts in identifying victims of trafficking at the points of entry.

On 30 July 2010, UN General Assembly adopted Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons urging Governments worldwide to take coordinated and consistent measures against this scourge. The Plan calls for integrating the fight against human trafficking into the UN’s broader programmes in order to boost development and strengthen security worldwide.

Migrant communities from Uganda and Kenya who attended the event. Photo: IOM/Nabie Loyce

“To End Human Trafficking, we cannot allow this crime to be met with increasing indifference and impunity. We must strengthen resilience against exploitation and the underlying socio-economic and cultural issues that are conducive to trafficking.” Urged Mr. Boterere 

“We must sensitize everyone to the topic of human trafficking and thus push attention towards those who can make a difference in terms of changing policy and national resource management to strengthen prevention measures, improve identification of victims, increase support of survivors and end impunity.” Boterere concluded.

South Sudan is a country of origin and destination market for human trafficking with the most prevalent forms of trafficking including forced recruitment into armed forces and armed groups, forced marriage, domestic servitude, and sexual exploitation particularly among women and children, as well as labor exploitation.

Performance by the Burundian Community in South Sudan. Photo: IOM/Nabie Loyce
Performance by the Ugandan Community in South Sudan. Photo: IOM/Nabie Loyce
Performance by the Kenyan Community in South Sudan. Photo: IOM/Nabie Loyce

To boost the country's efforts to combat trafficking, IOM supported the Government establish the Technical Task Force on Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants to enable the government respond, raise awareness and train front line actors on victim identification and participate in regional policy dialogues and evidence collection on data.

Trafficking in Persons is defined in the UN protocol also known as Palermo Protocol as "the recruitment, transport, transfer, harboring or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud or deception for the purpose of exploitation."

IOM’s migration management programme is supported by European Union, Better Migration Management, and the German Cooperation.