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UNODC Enhancing Criminal Justice Responses to Trafficking in Persons in Ethiopia

Addis, Ethiopia, 12 January 2022 – The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) within the framework of the Regional Programme for Eastern Africa (2016-2021) is implementing the UNODC project on Enhancing Criminal Justice Responses to Trafficking in Persons in Ethiopia, funded by the U.S. State Department - Trafficking in Persons Office.

Through this project, UNODCsupports the Federal Republic of Ethiopia with enhancing effective and victim-centered criminal justice responses to Trafficking in Persons (TIP) by aligning the national legislation with the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its supplementary Protocols, in particular the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children; Strengthening the capacity of criminal justice practitioners to effectively investigate and prosecute TIP cases with a victim-centered and human rights-based approach; and fostering enhanced regional and international cooperation between all relevant stakeholders.

Achievements from 2021 include UNODC strengthened the capacity of the Witness Protection Directorate (WPD) to effectively provide victim and witness assistance and protection in TIP cases by conducting comprehensive assessment of the needs and capabilities of the Witness Protection Directorate (WPD) and a legal assessment incl. recommendations with regards to the legislative preconditions and the structural organization. This assessment report on the gaps and challenges of the current Proclamation 699/2010, which led UNODC to facilitate the drafting of new Proclamation General to the amendment of the current law constituted in the Proclamation 699/2010 on Witness and Whistle-blowers, which ended on 4 August 2021.

Furthermore, by formal request from the Federal Deputy of the Attorney General Office (FAGO) now the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), UNODC provided technical assistance for strengthening the legislative and policy frameworks for victim and witness assistance and protection. Additionally, UNODC initiated the procurement process of office supplies to the WPD and shall be delivering the IT equipment, which is awaiting logistical clearance. This will ensure the Directorate is equipped for the day-to-day activities for effective victim and witness assistance and protection in cases of TIP.

In commemoration of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (TIP) 2021 with the theme of “Victims’ Voices Lead the Way,” UNODC provided essential food supplies and COVID-19 protective equipment to two shelter homesAgar Society and Organization for Prevention Rehabilitation and Integration of Female Street Children – that support victims of TIP in Ethiopia. Additional consultative and bilateral meetings were completed in October with all national partners incl. the WPD and personnel from the unit, Federal Police, Head of Training unit from the Ministry of Justice and the Federal High Courts, where it was agreed to have training workshops following the development of the training curriculum/manual and Standard Operating Procedures, which will be validated within the Directorate for new personnel.

Other achievements include UNODC supporting the Organized and Miscellaneous Crime Investigation and Prosecution Directorate to effectively investigate and prosecute child trafficking by completing assessments of the Ministry of Justice (formerly known as Federal Attorney General Office (FAGO)) including all the prosecution directorates which included in-person and desk review assessments. Currently, a UNODC consultant is in the process of developing the continuation development programme for the TIP Unit.

UNODC has also translated UNODC resource material including the UNTOC, which is the main legal international instrument to fight organized crime, from English into Amharic and will be used in the coming meetings and training workshops as well as to be distributed into the legal department offices. Secondly, UNODC also translated the UNODC manual on Good Practices for the protection of witnesses in criminal proceedings involving organized crime into Amharic.

For more information please contact:

Mr. Johan Kruger (

Head of Transnational Organized Crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism Programmes

UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa