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UNODC Protecting Victims and Witnesses of Trafficking in Persons in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), 11 April 2022 – Thanks to funding by the U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons – UNODC recently handed over office equipment to support and enhance the operational capacity of the Witness Protection Directorate at the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Justice to ensure the protection of witnesses with a victim-centred and human rights-based approach.

At the ceremony, Mr Neil J. Walsh, UNODC Regional Representative for Eastern Africa – together with Mr Conor McGuire, Political Advisor, U.S. Embassy to Ethiopia – officially handed over the equipment to the State Minister of Ethiopia Ministry of Justice (MOJ) Mr Fikadu Tsega, who accepted the equipment on behalf of the Witness Protection Directorate.

The items were procured as part of the UNODC “Enhancing Effective and Victim-Centered Criminal Justice Responses to Trafficking in Persons in Ethiopiaproject (also known as J/TIP), which aims at enhancing effective and victim-centered criminal justice responses to Trafficking in Persons (TIP) by strengthening the rule of law through more accessible, accountable and effective criminal justice systems, enhancing the strategic and operational capacity of Ethiopia to respond to the crime of TIP and ensuring access to justice and fair treatment for victims of TIP.

As part of the same project, UNODC delivered a mock trial on TIP in January. The mock trial was a 3-day exercise, facilitated to enhance the capacity of prosecutors in Ethiopia, with the aim of fostering effective investigation and prosecution of TIP cases. The training was attended by nine prosecutors (four men and five women) from different prosecution departments at the Ethiopia MOJ.

The mock trial was the first of it's kind, presented jointly as part of two UNODC projects; J/TIP and the Better Migration Management Programme (BMM),Phase II, funded by the EU Commission and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Republic of Germany.

Opening the workshop, UNODC Head of Transnational Organized Crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism Programmes, Mr Johan Kruger stated the importance of building the capacity of Member States, in preventing, investigating, and prosecuting serious and transnational organized crime including TIP, through simulated practical exercises for prosecution and trial of cases.

The workshop focused on comprehensively identifying areas of questioning to be covered by the police during interview; undertaking detailed case analysis when preparing for trial including identifying the issues presented; undertaking comprehensive case building, providing advice to the police on how to strengthen the prosecution case; drafting and delivering an effective opening and closing statement through identifying the evidence that best supports the prosecution case and setting out the issues; focused questioning of witnesses, prosecution and defence, effective responses to the defence raised, and tackling any evidence that undermines the prosecution case.

The training was delivered through a hypothetical case file, developed by a UNODC Prosecution Expert, and shared with the prosecutors a week prior to the workshop. On the first day of the workshop, the prosecutors engaged in analysis and identification of gaps in the case, enabling them to prepare and build a case, which they then presented in a simulated court trial over the following two days.

The Better Migration Management (BMM) Programme and Enhancing Effective and Victim-Centered Criminal Justice Responses to Trafficking in Persons in Ethiopia project are implemeted as part of the UNODC Countering Transnational Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking Programmes, and implemented within the framework of the UNODC Regional Programme for Eastern Africa (2016-2022) – Promoting the Rule of Law.


For more information please contact:

Mr Johan Kruger (

Head of Transnational Organized Crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism Programmes

UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa