The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), faced with growing concerns over the extent of the crime of smuggling of migrants both as an origin and as a transit country, launched the EU funded project 'Countering Human Smuggling & Other Irregular Migration'. Familiar with the work of UNODC as a contributor to the development of the Basic and In-Depth Training Manual on Investigating and Prosecuting the Smuggling of Migrants and of the Training Film Ways and Means, the GIS asked the UNODC Global Programme against the Smuggling of Migrants to support the implementation of their project by providing technical expertise to enhance GIS capacity to respond to the smuggling of migrants.
UNODC and GIS put in place a three-fold capacity building training on the basis of above mentioned tools. A first two-day awareness-raising workshop attended by 60 participants was held in November 2011, followed directly by a six-day in-depth training workshop for 25 selected participants with trainers potential. The training was delivered by a senior GIS expert, two senior NAPTIP experts from Nigeria and two UNODC experts.
The third stage consisted in a presentation skills workshop for 15 trainers delivered by a training professional, a senior GIS expert and a UNODC expert in March 2012.
Strong of this experience, the trainers will soon get acquainted with the tailored training tools currently being developed by GIS on the basis of the UNODC Manuals and have another chance to test their skills before they are dispatched to major entry and exit points in Ghana to train staff of the newly created Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants Units.
The workshops received very good feedback and evaluations showed progress in the knowledge and skills of the participants.
The Director of Immigration of Ghana, reflecting on this very positive experience, expressed his willingness to sustain GIS partnership with UNODC to implement the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol, especially in the context of the recent ratification of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols thereto (including the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol) by the Parliament of Ghana.