Community Development Health

IOM distributes Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Kits to shelters for returnees

Hygiene kits distribution

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has distributed menstrual hygiene management kits to shelters for returnees and victims of trafficking and gender-based violence (GBV).

The IOM Zimbabwe in partnership with Musasa and Childline and in collaboration with the Anti-Trafficking Interministerial Committee (ATIMC), is implementing the Combatting Trafficking in Zimbabwe project.

Funded by the US Department of State Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP), the project’s activities include providing direct support for repatriation and reintegration of Victims of Trafficking (VoTs), supporting the refurbishment of shelters for VoTs, as well as capacity building of front-line officials on the identification, care, and referral of the VoTs.

This year, IOM reprogrammed some activities under the project to respond to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on victims of trafficking and migrant returnees. 

Considering that women and girls are disproportionally affected by all crises, IOM is assisting by providing Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) kits.

The kits include reusable menstrual pads, toiletries, underwear, a small torch, laundry detergent, a pair of flip flops, and a cover-all (sarong). These will be distributed to 1,529 women and girls at the main border points, shelters, and quarantine facilities, along with information on TIP and GBV services, which are crucial and lifesaving.

According to IOM’s ongoing returnees’ registration process, approximately 40% of arrivals are females, and most of them arrive empty-handed.

As part of this project IOM recently distributed MHM kits at all three project shelters supported by the project. Harare Repatriation Centre, a government shelter for VoTs which is also being used as a quarantine centre, Musasa Harare shelter and Musasa Mazowe shelter. The three selected shelters were refurbished under the current grant as they host victims of both gender-based violence and human trafficking.

Speaking on the occasion of the distribution, IOM Chief of Mission Mario Lito Malanca said that in order to advance the fight against human trafficking, strategic partnerships with civil society and government actors are more important than ever. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for all stakeholders to come together in efforts to identify and protect victims of trafficking and promote effective anti-trafficking laws, policies, and programmes,” Mr Malanca said.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende