"Invisible in Plain Sight" Campaign Comes to Tbilisi

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 Aug 02, 2018

“We lived in a cold house and my younger sister and I slept on an old blanket instead of a bed. Mother went away to earn money leaving us with our stepfather. He soon bought another woman home and they drove us onto the street to beg.

“We gave them the money we collected and they spent it on alcohol. Our stepfather also warned us that if we told our mother about this, he would beat us. But they beat us all the time anyway.”

The words of five-year-old Olenka, one of the stories featured in the “Invisible in Plain Sight” campaign that IOM Georgia organized at the principal metro station on the main street of the capital Tbilisi. The art-installation presented real stories of trafficking victims in the form of silhouettes of women, men and children, as part of awareness-raising around World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30.

IOM Georgia implemented the campaign jointly with the State Fund for Protection and Assistance of (Statutory) Victims of Human Trafficking and in close cooperation with the Ministry of Justice of Georgia. The action attracted wide public and media interest

The launch of the initiative was followed by a round-table, during which the representatives of various agencies active in the field of counter-trafficking – the Ministry of Justice, the State Fund, the Central Criminal Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia the US Embassy, NGOs and other relevant agencies -- were given an opportunity to exchange experiences and talk about the challenges and achievements in the field.

The “Invisible in Plain Sight” campaign was first introduced by IOM Ukraine in 2014. The Campaign was extended to Belarus and Moldova in 2016 and 2017 respectively, as the best regional counter-trafficking initiative. In 2018 IOM brought the campaign to Georgia.

The stories will travel to Batumi to mark EU Anti-Trafficking day on 28 October.

The “Invisible in Plain Sight” was implemented under the regional counter-trafficking project, managed by IOM Ukraine and funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.