NGO – The Only Humane Response to Victim

By Eunice Park

 

Throughout my year with TWRF, I have attended numerous international conferences and trainings on counter-trafficking.  In every instance, experts in the field stress the importance of a multi-disciplinary task force that involves collaboration between government agencies, law enforcement, as well as NGOs.  Although the role of policemen and prosecutors is rather obvious to the public when dealing with the rescue and prosecution of trafficking criminals, the central role of NGOs is often overlooked or undervalued. 

 

In January, I was fortunate enough to be involved in the case of a victim who was forced into commercial sex work in Taoyuan County.  The victim was not able to take the fly by herself due to her physical condition, so TWRF decided to accompany her back to Jakarta, and at the same time, to develop important relationships with local NGOs.  Although my primary role in this case was to coordinate TWRF’s relationship with its Indonesian partners, I did have the chance to observe my supervisor’s interactions with the victim, from our very first encounter until the day the victim was reunified with her family in Jakarta . 

 

To understand the crucial role of NGOs in the rescue and repatriation of victims, one must take into account the psychological and physical state of the victim.  We first encountered this particular victim in the hospital.  She was recovering from a brain infection that was due to her HIV status, a likely result of commercial sex work.  She spoke no Mandarin, and her surroundings and the people around her were completely unfamiliar.  This young woman suffered from a life-threatening illness after being forced into prostitution in a foreign country for a few years.  In short, the fear and confusion felt by this woman are beyond the imagination of most people.     

 

The logistical challenges that ensued following her discharge from the hospital were no less complex.  A victim who would like to return to her country of origin must negotiate a myriad of government agencies in a foreign language, including law enforcement, the judicial system, and immigration.  In many instances, victims must wait for indefinite periods of time in inadequate accommodations while the necessary steps are being processed.  Throughout this process, the victim has very little control over her existence.  In this particular case, all forms of personal identification had been confiscated from the victim by the traffickers, causing further complications.  The victim was admitted to a home for HIV patients in Taiwan while she waited for her case to be processed.  In the time preceding her return to Jakarta , the victim’s sole consistent human connection was provided by TWRF.    

 

The various government agencies that the victim encounters don’t have the time to build relationships with rescued victims and therefore give traumatized victims very few reasons to trust them.  Their role in helping victims stands in stark contrast to NGOs like TWRF, who are able to devote personal attention and advocacy to individual cases.  With the help of an Indonesian interpreter, my supervisor was able to demonstrate a consistency and tenderness that ultimately earned the trust of this victim, despite the repeated betrayals and abuse that she had endured over the past few years.  This was a victim that had been sold repeatedly all over Taiwan to various brothels.  Through this human connection, my supervisor was able to guide the victim during the frightening transition from the hospital to the HIV shelter, and ultimately from Taiwan back to Jakarta .  I watched as my supervisor purchase warm clothing for the victim, who did not have proper attire for Taiwan ’s cold winter nights.  The victim finally began to recover from her trauma because TWRF was able to show her that she was being cared for. 

 

I have learned much from my brief stint with this trafficking organization.  However, one of the clearest lessons learned throughout this experience is the necessary role played by NGOs such as TWRF.  The only humane response to victims of trafficking is to provide individual case work so that the victim has a personal advocate and support system in the midst of a terrifying and confusing experience.  I applaud TWRF for the care they have provided to victims thus far and am very grateful for the opportunity to learn from their example. 

民間機構的角色-人性化的被害人服務

 

翻譯/救援組督導 王鴻英

 

我在婦援會這一年當中,參與了許多防制人口販運的國際性會議及研討會。在這些會議當中,專家們都一再的強調,包括了政府機構,檢警單位及民間機構之間,跨領域團隊合作的重要性。對一般社會大眾而言,檢察官及警方在救援被害人及起訴人口販子的角色上,是很清楚的;但民間機構的角色及價值卻往往被忽略或低估了。

 

在一月份,我有幸參與了一個救援案件,被害人被迫在桃園地區從事性交易工作。 由於被害人的身體狀況無法單獨搭機回原生國,因此婦援會決定陪伴個案返回印尼雅加達,也可藉此跟當地的民間組織建立合作關係。雖然我主要是負責與婦援會與印尼團體的的聯繫協調,但我也因此有機會進距離觀察,由第一次接觸到最後返回與雅加達的家人團聚時,我的督導與被害人之間的互動。

 

 

要了解民間機構在協助被害人的救援與返鄉的重要性,首先要理解被害人的身心狀況。我們第一次是在醫院裡見到被害人,她當時因為被迫從事性交易工作而感染愛滋病,腦部已受到侵襲。她不會說中文,週圍都是陌生人,一個年輕的女孩獨自在異鄉,被迫從事性交易幾年的時間,還因而感染了致命的疾病;她所承受的恐懼及混亂,恐怕是超乎我們的想像的。

 

出院之後所面對的挑戰就更複雜了。被害人要返回原生國,就必須以中文跟無數的政府機關交涉,包括警察機關,司法機關及移民機關。通常在等待的過程中,她可能被安置在一個不適當的場所,面對不確定的等待期限。整個過程被害人是無法掌控的。在這個案子中,被害人的證件遭人口販子沒收扣留,情況就更複雜了。被害人住進台灣一個愛滋病患的家園,在等待返鄉的過程中,她唯一對外的接觸就是婦援會。

 

被害人的創傷使她很較難相信人,而她所面對這些政府機構沒有時間跟他建立關係,更使她無法信任他們。他們在協助被害人的角色上,跟婦援會這類的民間機構間的差異是非常明顯的,婦援會會注意到受害人的個人需求,再給予協助跟倡導。在印尼通譯的協助下,我的督導以持續的親切跟真誠的關懷獲得了被害人的信任。在她承受了那麼多年的被背叛跟虐待,也被多次轉賣到台灣各地的妓院之後,獲得她的信任是很不容易的。

 

經由這樣的信任關係,我的督導可以陪著被害人經歷她所害怕的轉變過程,由醫院轉到愛滋病患家園,再由台灣到雅加達。我的督導甚至細心的注意到被害人在寒冬裡沒有禦寒衣物,特別為她買衣服禦寒。婦援會讓被害人感受到被關懷的溫暖,而終於可以由創傷中慢慢的復元。

 

雖然我在這個反人口販運的機構期間不長,但我學到了很多。其中最大的收穫是理解了像婦援會一樣的民間機構的重要性。對人口販運的被害人來說,唯一人性化的服務是提供個案管理服務,被害人在這個可怕而混亂的經歷中,有一個可以為她爭取權利,支持她的力量。我為婦援會提供給被害人的服務喝采,也很感激有這樣的機會從他們的身上學習。

 

 

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