Global Community of Practice: Peer to Peer exchange

Vienna, Austria 4 June 2019 - To ensure that Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is able to assist its partners in delivering targeted, innovative, demand-driven and, above all, sustainable interventions it proactively engages in the continuous development of a "global community of practice". Thus, GLO.ACT convened a "Community of Practice" workshop between 20-21 May 2019 on the sidelines of the 28 th Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) in Vienna, Austria.

A Community of Practice (CoP) is a trusted group of practitioners that shares knowledge based on real life experiences. Members of a CoP operate in a space where they can share what works, does not work, contemplate ideas and solve problems together. CoPs are repositories of knowledge and good practices which members then apply and share through their own networks or workplaces.

Throughout the implementation of GLO.ACT there has been abundant evidence of the links between the target countries. As the project evolved, it became clear that some of the good practices identified in one GLO.ACT country can be replicated with similar results in another. This resulted in numerous good practices across all 6-project objectives being implemented around the world. Continuously developing this global CoP therefore is an opportunity to share these good practices and lessons learnt, not only with GLO.ACT team but also with government counterparts, implementing partners and the project donor while at the same time learning more about national contexts, challenges and solutions.

The objectives of the CoP workshop therefore were to:

  • Formally introduce the next phase of the GLO.ACT project: GLO.ACT Asia and the Middle East
  • Acknowledge the efforts of GLO.ACT partner governments in addressing TIP and SOM in a sustainable manner across all six project objectives;
  • Facilitate a dialogue and information exchange between the countries - pooling valuable learning, creating new knowledge which participants can take back out again into their own contexts;
  • Explore synergies between the first and second phase countries of GLO.ACT and GLO.ACT Asia and the Middle East;
  • Identify concrete inputs for the development of workplans in GLO.ACT Asia and Middle East Countries.

Mr. John Brandolino, UNODC DTA Director opened the CoP by stating that GLO.ACT is a flagship project and a good model for all of UNODC. He said, "GLO.ACT is a very systematic project, that looks at all aspects of legislation, institutions, and capacities." Meanwhile, during her opening remarks, Ms. Myria Vassiliadou, EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator said, "We need to forge partnerships that uphold international legal standards. We must stop the culture of impunity. We have to ensure that those who exploit victims are sanctioned."

The CoP agenda was based around the project outcomes and each session enabled panellists to present a good practice example from their country or region while focusing on how challenges were overcome, what lessons had been learnt and what impact has been achieved. During the session on best practices in legislative assistance, Mr. Chaudhary, Director (UN-I) MFA provided a compressive analysis of Pakistan's recently enacted legalisation on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM). While the session on strategy and policy development ensured that panellist spoke about the progress that was made in each country with regards to national action plans on TIP and SOM as well as national awareness campaigns using examples from Brazil, Colombia, the Kyrgyz Republic and South Africa. The third session focused on capacity building using examples from Belarus, Egypt, Mexico and Morocco. Panellist showed how one can successfully help strengthen the work of criminal justice practitioners and law enforcement in combating TIP and SOM. During the fourth session on regional and trans-regional cooperation, participants learnt more about REDTRAM, a network of prosecutors that GLO.ACT supports, and Ms Peña a Prosecutor from Spain reminded everyone that, "Networks need to be fast and effective". The last session was on protection and assistance to victims of TIP and smuggled migrants, including children. During this session, participants gain better insights about the impact of the work undertaken in Lao PDR, Niger and South Africa.                    

Following each presentation, session moderators ensured that CoP participants engaged in lively Q & A sessions. This was particularly relevant as exchanging information with those involved in the delivery and implementation of GLO.ACT Asia and the Middle East as well as those expected to benefit from this second phase of the project is now a priority. The GLO.ACT team believes that CoPs can ease up the adaptation stage of anyone involved with the project since the CoP can also serve as a mentor.

Speaking during the wrap up session, Ms. Eurídice Márquez, GLO.ACT phase one Project Coordinator, reminded participants that our key objective must be to achieve transition to impact, while Ms. Aimée Comrie, GLO.ACT Asia and the Middle East Coordinator, UNODC complimented participants for the quality and richness of good practices and cases presented. Highlighting threads of common practice and common challenges that have been overcome.

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 assist 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. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including assisting victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.

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To read the concept note for the event please click here

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