GLO.ACT participates in Fifth Border Security and Management Workshop with OSCE and Mediterranean Partners

Madrid, Spain - 8 November 2018 - The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) invited GLO.ACT Project Support Officer Aleksander Piecyk to speak at the fifth Border Security and Management workshop in Madrid, Spain on 23 October 2018. The interactive five-day training course was organized by the Border Security and Management Unit of the OSCE Transnational Threats Department, in close co-operation with the Spanish National Police (La Policia Nacional). The training course brought together 22 members of the OSCE Mediterranean Points of Contact Network, the high-level participants represented the border and customs services of Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.

The workshop was opened by the Head of the International Cooperation division of the Spanish National Police, Major Commander Carlos Velazquez. He highlighted the importance of these workshops and cooperation between all Mediterranean partners in matters of Border Management and Security. Experts from the Spanish National Police shared their best practices on how to address challenges regarding migration flows at the borders as well as cross-border threats linked to terrorism and organized crime.  

The participants covered differences between the smuggling and trafficking of human beings, the respective legal frameworks in the Mediterranean region and interviewing techniques to be used when working with human trafficking victims. They also engaged in practical exercises on maritime border protection, the identification of potential foreign terrorist fighters at border crossings, the international protection of migrant children, and mainstreaming gender in the security sector.

The representative of the Egyptian delegation began by saying that Egypt views migration as a positive phenomenon. "We have over half million Syrians and we do not use the word refugee, they are Egyptians who live side by side with us" She stressed the need of international cooperation and increased dialogue with the EU as well Egypt's role as a transit and more recently destination country.

The GLO.ACT Project Officer trained participants on the key differences between Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants, behavioural indicators to help identify victims of exploitation and on the importance of a victim-centred and gendered approach. Mr. Piecyk highlighted the linkages between TIP and SOM and many other crimes including weapons smuggling and drug trafficking. He  introduced participants to the   UNODC Case Law Database, where anyone can access actual prosecuted and convicted cases of TIP and SOM from around the world, and then worked through actual cases with participants to best prepare them for the challenges they could face when performing their duties. Finally, he shared GLO.ACT best practices in many of the key areas identified by each delegation to institutionalize many of the lessons learned across GLO.ACT's 13 countries. 

Experts from FRONTEX, Italy's Guardia di Finanza, the International Organization for Migration, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the Spanish Red Cross, and staff from the OSCE's Border Security and Management Unit also participated in the workshop. This training course was the fifth activity of a multi-year OSCE initiative aimed at strengthening co-operation mechanisms between the border security and management agencies of the OSCE participating States and the Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation.

The GLO.ACT Project Officer also met with members of the Spanish National Police, The Guardia Civil and Judges from every court in Spain at the premier of a documentary highlighting Trafficking in Persons for sexual exploitation in Spain, El Proxeneta. The documentary features the UNODC Blue Heart Campaign against Trafficking in Persons and plans are underway to screen the movie to a wider audience at UNODC headquarters in Vienna, Austria. 

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to  provide assistance to  governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine.  GLO.ACT works with the 13 countries to plan and implement strategic national counter-trafficking and counter smuggling efforts through a prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships approach. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including  providing assistance to  victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.  

External links:   Official OSCE Press Release

For more information, please contact:    

www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-tr afficking/glo-act/  

Email: glo.act@un.org  

Twitter:    @glo_act