A National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is a co-operative framework through which state actors fulfill their obligations to protect and promote the human rights of trafficked persons, co-ordinating their efforts in a strategic partnership with civil society.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings recommends that OSCE participating States establish NRMs by building partnerships between civil society and law enforcement, creating guidelines to properly identify trafficked persons, and establishing cross-sector and multidisciplinary teams to develop and monitor anti-trafficking policies.
This handbook provides guidance on how to design and implement sustainable structures that aim both to prosecute traffickers and to provide support to victims. It addresses the main political, legal, and practical elements to be considered when creating an NRM. Furthermore, this handbook defines suggested roles for governmental institutions and civil society in an NRM, as well as describes the types of programmes and services that should be available to trafficked persons.