After a lengthy process of about 4 years – the revised ODIHR NRM handbook was launched on the 25th of January. This handbook should provide guidance to OSCE participating States on establishing and strengthening national referral mechanisms (NRMs).
An NRM is a co-operative, national framework through which governments fulfil their obligations to protect and promote the human rights of victims of trafficking, and co-ordinate their efforts in a strategic partnership with civil society organizations, survivor leaders and the private sector.
The purpose of the revised handbook is to provide essential ‘know-how’ of the working methods, procedures and services that are required in order to fulfil the objectives of NRMs. The Handbook defines the roles and remits of all NRM stakeholders to ensure the protection and promotion of the human rights of victims and survivors of trafficking in all circumstances. It specifically promotes robust systems of individual support with the allocation of independent advocates for adults and guardian-advocates for children.
The handbook will now be translated in a number of languages and promoted in OSCE states. ODIHR will further publish two related publications on how to set up survivor networks at national level and on trauma informed approach. As mentioned in the factsheet published with the handbook – the NRM Handbook goes hand in hand with OSCE States’ commitment to consistent, long-term funding and resources to create strategic international and national partnerships to combat human trafficking.
La Strada International has been member of the advisory group of the revision. While the Platform has raised concern about its length, we will promote and check the practicality of the handbook in practice. For an effective implementation of National Referral Mechanisms and adequate assistance to victims, the practical implementation, resources and commitment of States and all relevant stakeholders at national level remains the most important, it is hoped that the Handbook can help to ensure this.