Speakers at a regional training course urged the international media to pay more attention to human trafficking as the world's third biggest crime after arms trade and narcotic trade.
The course, themed "the role of media in revealing the victims of human trafficking," is organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Monday in collaboration with the Dutch Embassy.
The issue of human trafficking affects the lives of millions of innocent people around the globe, which requires the mass media to do more efforts in raising the public awareness in this regard, said Sarah Craggs, Regional Migrant Assistance Specialist at the IOM Regional Office in Cairo.
She presented to the gathering two papers titled "definition and concept of human trafficking," and "reporting on forms of human trafficking in the region." Craggs noted that the various forms of human trafficking constitute a crime not only against women and children but also humanity at large because this crime has adverse impacts on entire communities.
She draw a line between human trafficking and human smuggling, noting that some mass media confuse these two complex crimes.
Many people could become victims of human trafficking because it is not always apparent when a human smuggling case crosses into the realm of a human trafficking crime.
While playing their educational role, the mass media need to identify the subtle differences between each of these severe forms of trafficking, she added.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mohannad Al-Dowikat, human trafficking expert and assistant professor at Al-Israa University, Jordan, asserted the significance of partnerships between the specialized institutions and the civil society organization in the awareness campaigns and finding solution to this problem.
He called for more efforts to build the capacity of workers at the competent centers, noting that Jordan launched a unit for the combat against human trafficking which was able to expose several crimes and track down their culprits recently.
The Jordanian authorities are updating data on the Syrian refugees in the northern parts of the Kingdom with a view to revealing possible cases of human trafficking and assisting the victims, he added.
On his part, Osama Al-Romani, media advisor to the GCC Joint Program Production Institution (GCCJPPI), criticized some media for sensational handling of some issues such as robbery and stealth, and disregarding the more serious issue of human trafficking.
He commended the current course as a step in the right direction towards building the capacity of media people and making them more aware of their educational and humanitarian role.
The GCCJPPI is working with the IOM to develop a documentary on human trafficking which will be aired by TV stations in the Arabian Gulf and Arab area soon, he added.