Training Workshop for Protection Officers

(Kursus Pemantapan Pegawai Pelindung ATIP)

The National Action Plan for Trafficking in Persons 3.0 (NAPTIP)’s proposed training and capacity building activities under the Strategic Pillar (3) – Protection – recognises the importance of the role of Protection Officers especially for trafficking-in-persons (TIP) victims.

The role of a Protection Officer is an essential function within the National Referral Mechanism, detailed in the ATIPSOM 2007 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants Act) Section 43.

Summarily, the Act mentions that the Protection Officer is responsible for the care and protection of the trafficked person whilst at place of refuge; including carrying out an enquiry in preparing a social or background report, as is required by the Act.

Given this, Global Shepherds in collaboration with the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (MWFCD), organised a 2-day training workshop for some 100 newly-appointed Protection Officers for TIP victims, from government as well as NGO-run shelters, including non-TIP shelters.

The workshops were spread over 3 locations – Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Seremban – and was held over a 2-week period in August 2023.

The main objective of this workshop was to :-

  1. increase knowledge of human trafficking
  2. understand the impact of human trafficking on its victims
  3. create awareness of victim management methods using the Trauma-Informed and Victim-Centred Approach; and
  4. provide guidance on preparing social reports.


Global Shepherds’ in-house trainer-facilitators Ms. Kalai, Ms. Marni, Ms. Octobia and Ms. Dion led most of the sessions. Participants were fortunate enough to also hear from Puan Ajanis Bai-i, of the Women's Development Department of MWFCD. She provided a comprehensive overview of “The Roles and Responsibilities of a Protection Officer”. Another distinguished speaker was Ms. Eileen Yeo, Legal Services Lead at IJM, who gave an informative presentation, “Introduction to Human Trafficking”.

The sessions provided education and enlightenment, particularly for those new to the issue of human trafficking.

One of the key focuses of the training workshop was on preparing the social report, which is a crucial document in understanding the social background of a person. This report serves as complementary information to the investigation report compiled by the investigation officer that determines if the person is indeed a TIP victim, hence enabling appropriate action to be taken, ie. prosecuting the trafficker.

A good part of this session was dedicated to using the right ‘interview’ techniques, when compiling information for the social report, employing a trauma-informed and victim-centred approach; recognising trauma and its impact on the victim-survivor.

Participants learnt the subtleties of using trauma-informed language “What happened to you” vs. “What is wrong with you”; assessing a situation/person through a TIA (trauma-informed approach) lens; creating a safe space; empowerment; in accordance with the 5 principles of trauma-informed care. 

By providing guidance on the preparation of the social report, the workshop aimed to equip Protection Officers with the necessary skills to effectively carry out their role in combating TIP.
Source : Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care (ITTIC), University of Buffalo, New York

All the sessions involved interactive activities such as group discussions, role-playing, and puzzle games. Participants engaged in lively discussions and shared their varied experiences working with different vulnerable groups such as children, teens, those with disabilities, and victims of gender violence. And now TIP victims.

To break the monotony, each group was tasked to prepare an icebreaker game for some cheerful respite between sessions (and a bit of exercise!). This brought out their creative streak and provided much-needed laughter, especially after the heavier sessions.

This workshop was made possible with funding from The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP) through IJM Malaysia.



Our trainer-facilitators :

Ms. Marni and Ms. Octobia

Ms. Kalai

Ms. Dion