GLO.ACT supports multi-disciplinary training of prosecutors and investigators in Pakistan

Lahore, 24 April - UNODC, under the framework of  GLO.ACT (The Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants), organized a two-day workshop for prosecutors and investigators from 17 to 18 April 2018. The workshop provided participants with multi-disciplinary training on issues such as victim identification in trafficking in persons (TIP) cases, financial investigation, asset recovery as well as raising awareness about the methods criminals use to launder money and finance terrorism. This training was important, as within Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), for example, the same individual is the investigator and the prosecutor of a case. In some cases, this dual role can prove to be problematic.

Thus, the two-day session focused on a broad range of topics from victim identification, financial investigations and recovery of assets.

The objectives of the training were for participants to:

1.   gain insights and knowledge with regards to the finances involved in TIP and the smuggling of migrants (SOM);

2.  gain insights into how the proceeds of such crimes can be laundered and used for terrorist financing;

3.  better understand how to conduct investigations across this broad range of topics; and

4.  better understand which channels they can use to obtain relevant information and evidence from foreign jurisdictions.

Participants included 25 law enforcement representatives from different agencies, including the FIA, the National Accountability Bureau, the Anti-Narcotics Force, the Punjab police as well as the Pakistan railway police. The organizers felt it was important to include the railway police, as one of the most common modes of transport used by criminals to move their human trafficking victims and to smuggle migrants in Pakistan are trains.

The training was highly interactive in nature, and group work was a key feature of the workshop. Participants were split into three different groups made up of the various law enforcement agencies represented.

This arrangement enabled trainers to encourage participants to share their best practices with each other. In addition, each group had to pick one case to present to all the other participants.

Highlights from the training included sessions given by Mr. Sajid Aslam from   UNODC in Pakistan

He spoke on national and international legislation with regards to TIP and SOM, mandates of the agencies present, and the power and authority to investigate these crimes. He stressed the need for coordination at national, regional and international levels, especially when investigating money-laundering and financing of terrorism cases. The trainer encouraged theparticipating agencies to review their current coordination amongst each other and to develop formal procedures, including Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) for the referral of cases.

Another highlight from the event was a presentation delivered by Mr. Ehsan Gilani, also from UNODC. During his presentation he elaborated on the basic concepts of TIP and SOM while providing insight into the  United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its protocols on TIP and SOM.

Furthermore, UNODC e-learning modules were also used during the training sessions, in particular modules focusing money-laundering and financial investigations. Over recent years, UNODC has developed  numerous online training and e-learning modules that are interactive and specifically designed for law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners.

Upon conclusion of the training, participants received training certificates and, when asked, expressed their confidence in being able to solve problems based on the new approaches and ideas introduced to them during the course. According to one participant, "the training not only increased our confidence to solve problems but also strengthened our belief in our ability to apply what we have learnt in our work going forward". Finally, there can be no doubt that the participants brought a wealth of experience to the workshop, thus helping to making the training realistic, practical and innovative.

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to provide assistance to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine.  GLO.ACT works with the 13 countries to plan and implement strategic national counter-trafficking and counter smuggling efforts through a prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships approach. It supports the development of more effective responses to traff

icking and smuggling, including providing assistance to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.