Over 300 prosecutors and police investigators receive specialist trafficking in persons training in Colombia

 

Colombia, 24 October 2017 - Under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) UNODC, in collaboration with the Attorney General's Office, the national police and INTERPOL, organized a series of specialized workshops for prosecutors and police investigators working on trafficking in persons (TIP) cases in Bogota, Pereira, Medellin, Cali, Bucaramanga, Villavicencio, Ibagué and Barranquilla.

Colombia is a source, transit and destination country for TIP involving children, women, and men for the purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labour in illegal mines, forced begging, domestic servitude and forced marriage. The countries criminal justice system is faced with the reality that widespread impunity exists around TIP investigations and the identification and protection of victims. Furthermore, the Attorney General's Office and the criminal investigation department of the national police also identified a lack of specialized knowledge on TIP cases, especially TIP cases that do not relate to trafficking for sexual exploitation but concern other forms of trafficking such as forced labour.

In order to address these needs, the aims of the specialized workshops were:

  • To identify best practices for criminal investigations of TIP cases;
  • To identify best practices for prosecutions of TIP cases;
  • To formulate a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

The workshops were implemented using a case study methodology that facilitated the sharing of knowledge in a participatory manner. During one of the workshops, Mrs. Glenda Johana Garzón, Specialized Prosecutor appointed for TIP cases in Bogotá, stated, "Sharing our experiences in an interactive way enables us to learn more about tools used by colleagues to investigate TIP cases - tools that have a strong focus on the human rights of victims."

Speaking about the workshops, Lieutenant Yaneth Pico, Coordinator of the Investigative Group against Sexual Crimes of the National Police, said, "Our criminal investigators must build their capacity to develop interdisciplinary work. We needed to strengthen their criminal analysis skills and these workshops provided that."

During the final workshop prosecutors and police investigators identified the need to improve the planning phase of future investigations for trafficking in persons cases. Participants also expressed the need for an investigative tool which outlines a clear pathway when investigating TIP cases. It was felt that such a tool would also help avoid wasting resources when investigating TIP cases. 

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. 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.

 

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Carlos Andrés Pérez

National Project Officer

carlos.perez@unodc.org

www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/glo-act/

Email: glo.act@un.org

Twitter: @glo_act