The PROMIS project: Strengthening the capacities of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons & Smuggling of Migrants Brigade in Mali

SIKASSO, MALI Long and porous borders, low population density and surveillance challenges have made Mali vulnerable to migrant smuggling and trafficking. With an estimated population of 12.7 million people, a life expectancy of 51 years and a Human Development Index of 182 out of 186, Malians are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking and migrant smuggling.

Trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants have increased with the current political crisis in Mali. However, the Government is making efforts to mitigate its effects, and aware that smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons is a real transnational problem, the Malian State is seeking international support to strengthen its national initiatives.

In response to this need, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) under the PROMIS project, in collaboration with the National Coordinating Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Related Practices (CNLTPA), support capacity-building for the Brigade for the Suppression of the Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons (BRTIM) and the judicial police officers of the Malian National Police and Gendarmerie, so that they can detect, investigate and prosecute cases of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants by applying Malian law relating to these two crimes.

In March 2020, the first training session was held in Sikasso and focused on the detection, investigation and prosecution of cases of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. Twenty-one people participated, including 2 women.

  

 The training session is an essential element in the fight against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.

The training enabled participants to :

  • Improve their knowledge of the international, regional and national legal framework and the institutional framework for combating trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in Mali.
  • Discover the main methods of victim control in cases of human trafficking and discuss the options available to them in terms of the main forms of control in human trafficking investigations.
  • To exchange experiences and good practices related to the criminal treatment of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.
  • To learn how to distinguish between the constituent elements of these two crimes.

"This is an initial training course. ...] Some members of the Brigade have knowledge about trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. But what they lack is capacity building in procedures, with all the details, on inter-agency, inter-service cooperation to get them to work together, so that they are complementary in the fight," said Boubacar Toure, president of the national coordinating committee to combat human trafficking.

The training was facilitated and animated by Mr. Boubacar Touré; Mr. Moctar Kouyaté, Judge of the Commune 6 Court of Bamako; Mr. Yoro Traoré, Police Commander, Head of the Judicial Police within the Brigade as well as by Mr. Moulaye ARBY, UNODC Project Officer in Mali.

The PROMIS project, jointly implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) with funding from the Government of the Netherlands and Italy, is taking the necessary steps to carry out this series of training courses for the Brigade and the judicial police officers of the police and gendarmerie, taking care to protect the health of the participants.

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