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Feature LEANING IN - THE POWER OF WOMENOMICS - An End to the Trafficking of Women Multi-disciplinary teams find success that crosses borders RIEKO SUZUKI T HE words ‘human trafficking’ conjure an image of something that exists in the dark recesses of the world – something that has nothing to do with the average person. Yet in reality, human trafficking is a ubiquitous concern. And according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), women and girls account for 79 percent of victims. “Take human trafficking in the Mekong region alone, which JICA is currently trying to combat,” says Yumiko Tanaka, senior advisor on gender and development at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). “Here you find human trafficking conducted through six contiguous countries: Thailand, Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and China.” From these locations, various routes branch out and continue on toward other countries, both near and far. “We know that about 800,000 people worldwide are victimized annually,” Tanaka says, with sexual exploitation accounting for 79 percent of cases. 14 | highlighting japan JICA is presently working on a variety of projects with the aid of the governments of nations affected by human trafficking including Japan. 4P, a method that tackles the problem from the multiple interrelated angles of policy, prevention, prosecution and protection, has shown strong results. JICA has been particularly engaged in two of these approaches — prevention and protection — through the JICA Viet Nam Project, where a hotline has been set up, as well as the JICA Thailand and JICA Myanmar Projects, which help victims recover and reintegrate into society. According to Tanaka, the most successful program is presently being implemented in Thailand. In the Thailand Project, multi-disciplinary teams dubbed MDTs work in a system that takes full advantage Yumiko Tanaka, senior advisor on gender and development at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)