New edition of the Handbook on National Referral Mechanisms from OSCE launched

OSCE – National Referral Mechanisms – Joining Efforts to Protect the Rights of Trafficked Persons: A Practical Handbook – Second Edition

The 24th of January, the OSCE Office for Democratic and Human Rights (ODIHR) launched the much-awaited second edition of the practical handbook “National Referral Mechanisms – Joining efforts to protect the rights of trafficked persons”.

National referral mechanisms (NRMs) are the institutional mechanisms that help states identify human trafficking victims and ensure their protection. This handbook provides a guidance model for the OSCE States to adapt and apply within their own systems to ensure high design standards and implementation.

In the handbook an overview of working methods, procedures and services that are required are presented based on the four NRM pillars:

-Identification and protection
-Individual support and access to services
-Social inclusion
-Criminal justice and redress

It also identifies the various stakeholders involved in executing NRMs and their roles across different institutions and stresses the need for a multi-disciplinary approach.

The handbook puts the best interests of the child firmly at the heart of NRMs, and mainstreams the specific needs and risks of children. It also advocates for a victim- and survivor-centred, human rights-based, gender sensitive and trauma-informed approach from all stakeholders at every stage of their work with victims and survivors.

It is accompanied by a series of practical adult and child assessment guides, a selection of promising practices gathered from individual participating States, and a list of 57 recommended standards to assist the participating States seeking to introduce or improve their NRMs.

Read the handbook here.