Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

Regional Workshop on International and Regional Cooperation to Disrupt Illicit Financial Flows Derived from Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants

Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan 9-10 October

On 9-10 October 2018, UNODC held a regional workshop on International and Regional Cooperation to Disrupt Illicit Financial Flows Derived from Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Organized under Sub-Programme 2 of the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries (RPANC), in cooperation with UNODC Programme for Central Asia and the Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT), it was the first time that Trafficking In Persons (TIP) and Smuggling Of Migrants (SOM) law enforcement focal points and financial intelligence experts from the Central Asia region (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, discussed targeting illicit flows deriving from TIP and SOM.

"UNODC is ready to extend full support in improving cooperation at regional and international level to detect and disrupt illicit financial flows derived of HT/SoM generated by transnational criminal gangs" assured by Mr. Muhammad Amin from the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries.

The workshop looked at the role of financial regulators in the investigation process, the role of joint financial task forces, the use of formal and informal cooperation channels, as well as the potential role of private sector.

Experts from Afghanistan, UK Home Office and Western Union presented examples of good practices in disrupting illicit financial flows through several case studies from all over the world. "There is a need for more bilateral and multilateral Memorandum of Understanding among the financial intelligence units (FIU's) of regional countries to better respond to these challenges" emphasized Mr. Nesar Yousafzai, Director General of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Afghanistan (FinTRACA). Kazakh civil society discussed the assistance and protection needs of victims with a focus on recent compensation case law in Kazakhstan, CARICC and the Academy of law enforcement at GPO Kazakhstan lent their experiences in facilitating information exchange and training offered based on simulation technique respectively.

At the end of the workshop the delegations agreed on the need for technical assistance support from UNODC in building the capacity of financial regulatory bodies and the banking sector on a similar set of skills at regional level to facilitate regional FIU's in disrupting IFF generated from HT/SoM. The delegates were unanimous to further operationalize the existing informal expert working group on HT/SoM and support civil society actors on protection and assistance of victims. Networking of NGO's at regional level was also emphasized given the nature of source, transit and destination countries for the reported victims of HT/SoM.

UNODC thanked the European Union for funding this activity.