UNODC revives its activities against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in Côte d'Ivoire

        
                                      This visit was organized thanks to the support from Italy, the Netherlands and the United States

As Côte d'Ivoire is not immune to the phenomena of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, a delegation from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) traveled to Abidjan from 28 May to 1 June 2018 to revive its action in the territory and meet with key partners.

The aim of the mission was to launch two new projects: one focusing on the fight against trafficking in persons, funded by the United States Department of State (Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons - J/TIP), and the other one on combating smuggling of migrants and promoting access to human rights for migrants, funded by the Netherlands and Italy.

The first project aims to "improve the criminal justice system's response to trafficking in persons through integrated actions in Côte d'Ivoire" by contributing to the Ivorian Government's efforts to combat this phenomenon. Through this project, UNODC will provide technical assistance to Ivorian criminal justice authorities through training and mentoring schemes as well as through regular consultative sessions to enhance their investigations and prosecutions capacities. Finally, to improve and strengthen coordination between the various actors involved, UNODC also wishes to support the operationalization of the National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons.

UNODC delegation meeting with WASCOF (West African Civil Society Forum)

The second project is part of Phase II of the PROMIS Project, which has been extended to Côte d'Ivoire. The project is a joint initiative between UNODC and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and aims to strengthen the capacity of West African countries to develop a stronger human rights-based response to smuggling of migrants.

During the mission, UNODC  met with national authorities and civil society actors in charge of the fight against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, as well as with donor representatives.Meetings were also organized with other key partners, such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and INTERPOL.

    

UNODC delegation meeting with the Minister of Interior, H.E. Mr Sidiki Diakité

UNODC had also the opportunity to meet with the Minister of the Interior and Security, the Minister of Women, Child Protection and Solidarity, the Minister of Reintegration and Ivorians Abroad, and the Cabinet of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. They all expressed their Government's willingness to support these projects, as they relate to issues that cannot escape their responsibility, as members of the Government and as human beings. Each Minister also offered to work on strengthening the coordination of actions through the establishment of a national coordination plan between the different units in charge of these issues, in order to improve Côte d'Ivoire's national response to trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.

This mission to launch projects in Côte d'Ivoire was successful as it rekindled relations between Côte d'Ivoire and UNODC in the fight against trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants. This mission was financed by the United States and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It contributes to the UNODC Regional Strategy against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (2015-2020) and is part of the strategic framework of the UNODC Regional Programme for West Africa (2016-2020).

For more information:

United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime

Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime

Regional Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants

Lutte contre la drogue et les crimes: Sidiki Diakité échange avec Henna Mustonen (press article in French)