Between 30 November and 2 December 2008, expert law enforcers and prosecutors from around the world gathered in Saly, Senegal, to share their experience in investigating and prosecuting migrant smuggling with a view to providing practical input to the elaboration of basic training modules on preventing and combating the Smuggling of Migrants.
The meeting was hosted by the UNODC Regional Office for West and Central Africa, together with Europol and Interpol, and with the assistance of the UNODC Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa. The meeting was made possible through funding received from the European Union.
Expert participants came from Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Senegal, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America as well as Interpol and Europol.
The meeting was the first of a series of expert group meetings to develop anti-migrant smuggling training modules for law enforcers and prosecutors. The modules will be developed in such a way that they can be adapted to the needs of different regions and countries, and can serve as the basis for upgrading or supplementing training programs of national training institutes.
Conceptualised as a 'Practical guide for law enforcement and prosecution on migrant smuggling' the overall goal of the Basic Training Modules is to build the capacity of criminal justice practitioners to dismantle the criminal networks involved in migrant smuggling, secure the conviction of the criminals involved, raise awareness among criminal justice practitioners on the criminal nature of migrant smuggling and improve cooperation between origin, transit and destination countries. Specifically, the Training Modules will be used in the context of delivering technical assistance through training law enforcers and prosecutors on effective investigation and prosecution of migrant smuggling cases.
This Expert Group Meeting in Senegal offered a structured forum in which expertise could be gathered for the elaboration of draft training modules, and experiences could be shared among colleagues working against migrant smuggling around the world. The diversity of participants allowed for lively discussions which will be reflected in the draft training modules which will now be drafted against the backdrop of this Expert Group Meeting.
The thematic areas addressed in the course of the meeting were:
This Expert Group Meeting held in Senegal served to gather expert input for the elaboration of draft training modules. Based on analogous training materials available and inputs contributed by experts in Senegal, a first draft of training modules will be elaborated subsequent to this initial Expert Group Meeting. The draft training modules will be designed generally so they can be readily adapted to different regional and national contexts.
The draft training modules will be consolidated during two more Expert Group Meetings to take place in North and West Africa the first half of 2009. These meetings will also serve to gather additional expert input in order to further tailor the training modules to the specific regional contexts of North and West Africa.
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