For this year’s International Women’s Day theme #BreakTheBias, we recognise the role of judges, law enforcement, government and NGOs in challenging gender bias and discrimination in their work to protect and assist victims of human trafficking.
ASEAN-ACT is supporting Cambodia’s National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT) and its member agencies in implementing gender-sensitive and victim-centred approaches to counter-trafficking. NCCT is improving the collection and analysis of gender-disaggregated data to support strategies for prevention, victim protection and improving criminal justice.
ASEAN-ACT Justice Director and former prosecutor Attorney Darlene Pajarito (left) with Police Col Alexander Lorenzo the current City police Director of Zamboanga City and Socorro Roxas, current City Social Welfare and Development Officer of Zamboanga City.
“We are challenging behaviours and breaking down gender biases by working directly with frontline officers and the judiciary to change their perceptions of and responses to victims of trafficking”, ASEAN-ACT Victim Rights & Inclusion Director, Nurul Qoiriah.
The first in our #IWD22 series – Nurul Qoiriah discusses how the #ASEAN-🇦🇺 Counter Trafficking Program's work on protecting the rights of victims of #HumanTrafficking is contributing to efforts to #BreakTheBias. pic.twitter.com/22RCsARahg— Will Nankervis (@AusAmbASEAN) March 2, 2022
ASEAN-ACT have been working with judges in Lao PDR to develop their own Victim Sensitive Court Guidelines, the first guideline of its kind in the ASEAN region, to ensure trafficked victims are protected and supported throughout the criminal justice process. This guideline will significantly reduce the risk of gender bias obstructing justice for victims in trafficking cases.
“Gender and other biases negatively impact justice responses to trafficking. We are working with our partners to embed gender-sensitive and victim-centred approaches into law, policy, and practice.” – ASEAN-ACT Lao PDR Country Manager, Manichanh Keoviriyavong.
We are recognising gender role models including our judicial focal point Judge Jarimjit and NGO partner Bloom Siriwattakanon who challenge gender bias and discrimination to combat human trafficking in Thailand and around the ASEAN region.
Our key justice counterparts in Vietnams’ Ministry of Justice and the Supreme People’s Procuracy have acknowledged the centrality of gender in preventing and responding to counter-trafficking: “We must address gender-specific impacts as we treat, reach out to, and rescue victims of human trafficking, especially women and children.” - Lê Thị Vân Anh, Deputy Director, Department of Criminal Law, Administration, Ministry of Justice, Vietnam.
“I hope that all women working toward gender equality in Vietnam will continue to be persistent and determined because they will be among the pioneers to #BreaktheBias. I hope that in the future, we can both break the gender stereotypes and develop a strong legal framework that eliminates gender discrimination.’ - Nguyễn Thanh Hương, Officer, Legal Department, Supreme People’s Procuracy