UNODC in Eastern Africa
UNODC ROEA covers thirteen countries:
New Stories from UNODC ROEA
UNODC Fosters Joint Action Against Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling
Migrant smuggling and human trafficking are highly organized crimes, and very profitable ones, where borders are not respected, as recent tragedies involving Ethiopian migrants have shown. Accordingly, the need for countries to team up to combat these networks is crucial and urgent.
That is why UNODC held two training workshops from 18 to 21 May in Addis Ababa intended to strengthen Ethiopia's and Djibouti's legislations against these crimes as well as bolstering cooperation between the two countries.
Djibouti is a stepping stone for many Ethiopians migrating to the Middle East in search of job opportunities. Ethiopia, meanwhile, is both a country of origin and transit to three migration routes in the continent -Northern, Southern and Eastern, the latest one crossing over Djibouti.
"Most of those migrants rely on smugglers for their journeys, and in many cases they suffer from violence, abuses and often become victims of human trafficking," UNODC's Maria Temesvari stressed in her welcoming address.
To fight this scourge effectively, UNODC trained the participants to differentiate human trafficking cases from migrant smuggling cases, and to incorporate crucial concepts of the international protocols on human trafficking and migrant smuggling - such as prosecution, victim protection, investigation and mutual legal assistance and cooperation.
The workshop brought together experts and high-level officials from ministries of the two countries. In Ethiopia, UNODC has been providing technical expertise to the inter-ministerial drafting team responsible for revamping the legislation on those crimes.
"Joining forces is crucial, not only to assist the victims of trafficking, but also to prosecute criminals and to prevent those crimes from happening in the future," said Ms Temesvari. And the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime is a "useful tool" in this regard: "It provides a framework for international cooperation, mutual legal assistance and joint investigations"
The project is supported by the European Union and the U.S. State Department.