Illicit Trafficking and Smuggling
Trafficking in Persons
The Arab Initiative for Building National Capacities to Combat Human Trafficking in the Arab Countries serves as the framework for the regional response to trafficking in human beings and will be complemented by national projects and technical assistance as appropriate. These efforts assists national authorities in developing and implementing anti-trafficking strategies, and supports the criminal justice system in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of those involved in trafficking of human beings.
This also includes assistance in the establishment of adequate legislative frameworks, building the capacity of law enforcement, prosecution and the judiciary, with a special focus on victim identification, strengthening international and inter-regional cooperation and fostering prevention through raising awareness among relevant authorities and the general public. The primary goal is to assist countries in establishing a common legal basis and enhancing international cooperation, including information exchange at the regional level in order to better investigate and prosecute traffickers, thus reducing the number of trafficked persons, and to provide specialised legal assistance and protection to victims of trafficking and uphold their human rights throughout the process, in accordance with the internationally agreed legal tools and instruments.
ROMENA further assists countries in providing people vulnerable to human trafficking, particularly women and girls, with comprehensive, gender-sensitive, HIV and AIDS prevention and care in countries of origin and destination. The Office supports countries to set in place large-scale awareness and advocacy campaigns on the nature and extent of trafficking in persons and the related HIV risks and response.
Campaigns and Initiatives
The Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking
On 17 December 2011, the Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking was launched in Beirut, Lebanon. The Blue Heart Campaign is a global initiative that raises awareness of the problem of human trafficking and seeks to inspire those with decision-making power to effect change.
ROMENA is actively dedicated to the issue of combating human trafficking in the Middle East and North Africa. Under Project LBNT39, ROMENA has been assisting in strengthening the capacity of the Lebanese Government in combating trafficking of human beings. The launch of the Blue Heart Campaign in Lebanon will rally public opinion against this dilemma and seeks to encourage involvement and inspire action to help stop this crime. In virtue of this Campaign, people can show their solidarity with the victims of human trafficking. Moreover, the Campaign aspires to make the Blue Heart into an international symbol against human trafficking.
In an attempt to publicize the Campaign, stakeholders have decided to embark upon a national billboard campaign, copious advertisement in magazines, media and related websites and the publishing of an informative brochure that explains human trafficking and the measures taken by the Lebanese government to combat it. Additionally, counterparts have decided to produce and distribute two promotional items: blue heart pins and clipboards that feature the new anti-trafficking law and a visual. In an effort to raise awareness among the younger generation, conferences will be hosted at several schools and booths will be set up in three popular shopping malls.
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Smuggling of Migrants
UNODC provides assistance to Governments through a number of initiatives to support criminal justice and law enforcement in line with the provisions of the United Nations Protocol against Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. This includes development of appropriate legislative frameworks capacity building of the judiciary, prosecutors, law enforcement and border control, and the development of scientific studies on routes and modalities of smuggling of migrants, taking into account the social aspects of this phenomenon, and awareness raising in cooperation with the media and civil society through a comprehensive strategy for this purpose.
Special focus is on international cooperation as the cornerstone of the combined efforts of member states concerned in preventing and combating smuggling of migrants. This would include the establishment of a regional network to exchange information, identify focal points within the Ministries of Justice and Interior and other concerned authorities, with a view to achieving joint operational cooperation, in addition to development of specialized training programmes on international cooperation mechanisms in this regard.
This is based on developing specialized and systematic training programmes that takes into account the routes and methods used by smugglers of migrants, as well as the operationalization of channels of international judicial cooperation and technical assistance tools, through national capacity building strategies. Training also address the importance of respecting the rights of smuggled migrants and humanitarian assistance to them.