South Sudan: UNODC resumes partnership to Combat Trafficking in Persons

 

Trafficking in persons is a global problem affecting the lives of millions of people around the world and robbing them of their dignity. Its occurrence can be aggravated in situations of conflict and post-conflict as witnessed by South Sudan over the past years. In this regard, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime(UNODC) in collaboration with the South Sudanese Government successfully delivered its first anti-human trafficking workshop on identifying and investigating cases of trafficking in persons from 4 to 6 September 2018 in Juba.

Notably, the Government of South Sudan is not yet a party to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and its supplementing Protocols to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children and Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air. Therefore, the workshop also aimed at raising awareness on the importance of acceding to and implementing these international instruments at the domestic level. 

Mr. Bior Philip, prosecutor and workshop participant, described the training workshop as "timely and extremely beneficial". He said: "the workshop was critical in improving the understanding and skills of participants not only in investigations but also in enhancing the capacities of the participants on human trafficking and migrant smuggling." 

Ms. Palma James, Police Lieutenant, said: "The workshop focused on capacity-building of the participants in addressing the crimes of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, victim protection and money laundering." Also, she encouraged South Sudan to join the international community by acceding to the Organized Crime Convention and its Protocols as soon as possible as the country is increasingly becoming an entry point, transit gateway and destination for human trafficking, migrant smuggling and money laundering.

Ms. Simone Heri, the Programme Coordinator of Anti-Human Trafficking & Migrant Smuggling at the Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, noted that at the exact same dates, from 4-6 September 2018, two South Sudanese delegates also participated in a pre-accession workshop in Vienna, at the Headquarters of UNODC to prepare countries who have not yet done so to accede to or ratify the Organized Crime Convention and its supplementing Protocols. She underlined that UNODC is committed to continue providing technical assistance for South Sudan to join the international community in fighting organized crime in all its manifestations.

With this workshop, UNODC has resumed its cooperation with South Sudan six years after the civil war broke out and put a halt to the partnership.

The workshop was made possible thanks to the Better Migration Management Programme, funded by the EU and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.