Between 22 and 24 June, expert law enforcers and prosecutors from around the world met in Abuja, Nigeria to provide practical input to the elaboration of UNODC basic training modules on preventing and combating the Smuggling of Migrants. The meeting was supported by the UNODC Regional Office for West and Central Africa and hosted hosted by the UNODC Country Office for Nigeria in Abuja together with Europol and Interpol. The meeting was made possible through funding received from the European Union.
Expert participants came from Algeria, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Canada, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, France, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Italy, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, the Swiss Embassy of Nigeria, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Spain as well as Interpol and Europol.
The diversity of participants as well as their depth and range of experiences in combating migrant smuggling, meant that discussions at the EGM were lively, substantive and useful to the process of further revising the training modules. Some of the participants brought with them practical experiences they have had in using the UNODC draft training modules in the delivery of technical assistance.
The meeting was the final of three expert group meetings held to develop anti-smuggling training modules for law enforcers and prosecutors. The first EGM was held in 30 November to 2nd December 2008 in Saly, Senegal, and the second EGM from 23 to 25th of March in Cairo, Egypt.
The purpose of the expert group meetings was to develop UNODC anti-migrant smuggling training modules for law enforcers and prosecutors, 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. Specifically, the UNODC 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.
The purpose of this third and final expert group meeting was to gather feedback and substantive input on the UNODC draft training modules which resulted from the second EGM held in Cairo. These draft modules were circulated among participants prior to this third EGM in Abuja, enabling participants to prepare for the meeting and in some cases already test them as training tools. Over the course of the three days, one session was devoted to each of the ten draft training modules, during which participants shared their specific, substantive feedback for the final revision of the meeting.
The thematic areas addressed in the course of the meeting were:
This Expert Group Meeting held in Abuja served to gather expert input for the finalisation of the UNODC draft training modules. Many participants were involved in all three EGMs and therefore able to ensure their participatory ownership of the process and the products which emerged. Conversely, other participants were present only at the final Expert Group Meeting and were therefore able to review the modules with fresh and objective perspective, and consider the modules against their own particular contexts.
Against the feedback and inputs gathered in this final expert group meeting, the UNODC draft modules on combating migrant smuggling will be revised and finalised with the continued engagement of participants.