World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Photo has been taken by: Samuel Cotarelo Estévez 

Cairo, 23 July 2022– The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Egypt partnered with LaLiga; the Spanish football federation, and Pyramids FC to host a migrant community event to mark the leadup to World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2022. The event invited more than 200 migrants from Eritrea, Guinea, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Yemen and other nationalities to come together and compete in a multinational football tournament and take part in other activities hosted by La Liga, Pyramids FC and the Scouts.

Throughout the event, IOM raised awareness of the risks of trafficking in persons and the use of technology in the process of trafficking; promoted the availability of IOM support services such as Direct Assistance, Assisted Voluntary Return & Reintegration and medical assistance; and provided food and non-food item distributions to attendees.

The theme for this year’s World Day Against Trafficking is the “Use and Abuse of Technology”. It is worthy to note that technological developments have had a considerable influence on the crime of trafficking in persons, presenting new challenges and opportunities for both traffickers and those fighting tirelessly to combat the crime. It has been shown by research and direct evidence that technology is being misused by human traffickers during all the stages of the crime, including recruitment, control, and exploitation of victims.  Traffickers can make use of anonymity over the internet to disguise themselves and their intentions from potential victims and investigators. Traffickers are also less restricted by geographical barriers, being able to access a much larger group of potential victims through social media or fake websites, job postings and other advertisements.

The event also marked the launch of a new campaign that is led by the Swiss-based organization ‘Mission 89’, which focuses on the growing issue of trafficking in sports. The #NotInOurGame campaign encourages people to show off their best football skills in a short video, assert their commitment to tackling trafficking in sports, and challenge friends, family and anyone else to do the same. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the issue of trafficking in sports and encourage the global community to take action to tackle this crime.

IOM Chief of Mission, Mr. Laurent de Boeck, opened the event by welcoming guests and reaffirming IOM’s commitment to “raising awareness of all forms of trafficking and actively working with the global community to directly support victims, tackle traffickers, and ultimately end trafficking in persons. He emphasized the role youth should play to understand the dangers of traffickers and to spread the word among the youth community”.

Mr. Raul Bruixola, LaLiga delegate to Egypt, Sudan, and Libya, stated that “At LaLiga, we are proud to point out that our activity and values go beyond football, therefore and in line with our convictions, we are committed to supporting causes that have a real positive impact on society. The protection of those who are most vulnerable cannot be overlooked, and for this reason, we have decided to join this initiative, led by IOM in the frame of the World Day against human trafficking”.

The event was made possible through the generous financial support of the below:

  • The European Union through Regional Response to COVID-19 in North African Countries and the Regional Development and Protection Programme (RDPP)
  • The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands through the COMPASS programme
  • The Italian Ministry of Interior

IOM also wants to acknowledge the ongoing and substantial efforts made by the Government of Egypt to prevent and combat trafficking in persons