Partnership The Need for Interagency Coordination While many see the concept of partnership as being between governments and outside actors such as business, academia, NGOs, or others, perhaps the most effective partnerships in fighting trafficking are those within governments. The interlocking “3P” paradigm drives the imperative for a highly coordinated countertrafficking response and collaboration among and within governments, local communities, and international bodies. Such responses must begin in each country, with national coordination directed and overseen by heads of state, cabinet members, and ministerial leaders. Men, women, and children are enslaved in every country in fields, factories, brothels, and homes. Many who suffer under slavery-like conditions may not even consider themselves victims. Given the diversity of victims’ experiences, a variety of government actors may come into contact with trafficking victims, from firefighters or police to labor inspectors, healthcare workers, educators, and immigration officials. Once identified, victims may need assistance from several different agencies to ensure that their needs — shelter, protection, health care, legal assistance,
and immigration status — are met. Successful prosecutions will require that victims’ needs are met by the responsible agencies and that relevant law enforcement actors coordinate with each other. In short, an effective response is one that is well-coordinated among many different parts of government.
MO V IN G T O WAR D A DE C A D E O F D E L I VERY
Ugandan youth use music, dance, and drama to tell their life stories, some of which are characterized by exploitation and gross abuse. The performances, supported by the Uganda Youth Development Link, blend messages on child trafficking, children’s rights, sexual abuse and exploitation, drug and substance abuse, life skills, and HIV prevention.
Interagency coordination picks up where the enactment of legislation leaves off. A new antitrafficking law must be both implemented and improved and modified in subsequent years to address newfound enforcement or protection gaps as well as emerging best practices. Interagency coordination within a central government can help ensure that implementation is effective and efficient. A coordinating body operating at the cabinet or ministerial level is in a position to organize a whole-of-government effort to achieve results in combating trafficking on all fronts, such as coordination in training of government personnel, consistent public messaging, and protection of victims that ensures they are not inappropriately penalized. Ministries or agencies with relevant responsibilities include not only criminal law enforcement agencies, but also those mandated to oversee civil enforcement, labor policy, victim outreach and services, public awareness, education and child safety, trade policy, women’s issues, international