Preventing sexual exploitation and abuse has long been a key priority for the International Organization for Migration (IOM). At an international training event for partners from different organisations, the IOM tested a new training module that will streamline and improve trainers’ skills in this area.


Theodora Suter, Regional Coordinator for Prevention of Sexual Violence and Exploitation, IOM Poland, is leading an activity in which participants from various organisations explore different social roles and situations to identify positions of power. Photo © International Organization for Migration (IOM) 2023.

The new teaching module focuses on the facilitation skills of trainers who train people in this area in the workplace and in the field, or who use these methods when interacting with beneficiaries.

The two-day training course, which took place on 29–30 May 2023 in Bratislava, consisted of a theoretical and a practical part. During the training, future trainers learned more about the importance of prevention in this area and which groups of people may be more vulnerable in this respect.


IOM’s trainer in sexual exploitation and abuse prevention, Alexandra Filčáková, discusses prevention in this area with the participants in their organisations. Photo © International Organization for Migration (IOM) 2023.

“It is important for us that the participants try out various practical techniques, thanks to which they can effectively approach this issue in their organisation or workplace, spread awareness and possibly solve the situation,” explains Alexandra Filčáková, a trainer in the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse at IOM Slovakia. The participants thus get to know different situations through discussion, group work and role-playing and can put the experience into practice.

The eleven participants were from the IOM and different organisations, such as the Human Rights League, Tenenet, Možnosť voľby, the Red Cross and EQUITA.


Participants in the training had the opportunity to put themselves in the roles of people of different statuses in society and to find out how status affects them, whether they have a stable job, are caring for a child, are in a civil partnership or have a legal status. Photo © International Organization for Migration (IOM) 2023.

Partner organisations play a key role in implementing the IOM’s intentions on the ground. The IOM has long sought to actively engage with civil society organisations because it values their expertise and experience.

“People in partner organisations have a deep understanding of the situation on the ground and often have direct access to the beneficiaries. We are trying to encourage our partners to strengthen their internal policies in this area in line with the IOM’s zero tolerance of sexual exploitation and abuse,” said Theodora Suter, Regional Coordinator for Prevention of Sexual Violence and Exploitation, IOM Romania, who collaborated in the development of the new training module.

The fact that people from various partner organisations were able to meet at the training course on the prevention of sexual abuse and exploitation created an opportunity to exchange experiences from different perspectives, identify vulnerabilities from positions of power in various workplace situations or when interacting with beneficiaries, as well as to adopt effective methods for raising awareness in this regard.

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