Building Capacity and Collaboration: Provincial Police Empowered through Training of Trainers on Trafficking in Persons Manual

08 June 2023, Islamabad, Pakistan - UNODC and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) under the GLO.ACT Asia and the Middle East Initiative conducted a 3-day Training of Trainers (ToT) for provincial police departments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan. To facilitate this, a series of meetings were held with inspector generals and police training institutes in respective provinces. A Rapid Training Need Assessment (TNA) was conducted, and based on the feedback received from each province, a module on Trafficking in Persons was developed and revised. A validation workshop was also conducted as part of this process.

The Training of Trainers (ToT) was one of the final activities of these efforts and focused on familiarizing Chief Law Instructors (CLIs) from provincial training and development units with the finalized TIP manual. The training covered various chapters and the overall content of the manual, as well as teaching skills. The ToT took place in Islamabad from 31 May to 2 June 2023.

A total of 27 participants attended the workshop, including 22 participants from provincial police, 3 participants from ICT Police, and 2 participants from FIA. The training aimed to enhance their technical knowledge on various aspects of human trafficking, international and national legislations, the importance of data collection, human rights, victim protection, as well as soft skills such as facilitation, communication, presentation, and training arrangement/coordination.

The Punjab Police's participation in the training was significant because they were the first provincial police to adopt the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) curriculum. Their proactive approach in implementing the curriculum made them an example for other provincial police forces. By sharing their experiences and insights during the training, the Punjab Police not only contributed to the learning of other participants but also encouraged them to follow suit and incorporate the TIP curriculum into their own training programs.

Mr Alam Shinwari, Director of the Anti-Human Smuggling Wing at FIA, made opening remarks. Mr. Shinwari highlighted that Trafficking in Persons (TIP) is one of the most severe forms of exploitation and a grave violation of human rights, often referred to as modern-day slavery. To combat this issue, Pakistan enacted the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act in 2018 and framed rules for its implementation in 2020.

With internal trafficking falling under the jurisdiction of provincial police, Mr Shinwari stressed the importance of developing a comprehensive understanding of the problem from various perspectives, including enforcement, national, regional, and global angles. As Chief Law Instructors of respective schools, it was crucial for the participants to comprehend the significance of teaching the law to different cadres and work towards eradicating the menace of TIP. Mr Shinwari expressed gratitude to UNODC for providing technical assistance to the provincial police in their efforts to combat trafficking.

His opening remarks set the stage for the three-day ToT, which aimed to equip Chief Law Instructors with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively teach the subject matter. By doing so, they would contribute to the overall goal of curbing TIP in Pakistan.

During the closing remarks on the third day of the training, Mr Ashfaq Ahmad Khan, DIG and Commandant of the Police Training College in Sihala, Punjab Police, emphasized the responsibilities of the police in addressing internal trafficking crimes, including sexual exploitation, forced prostitution, and forced labor. He clarified that while the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is responsible for curbing trafficking across borders and investigating migrant smuggling, tackling internal trafficking falls within the mandate of provincial police.

Mr Khan highlighted the increased importance of investigation and the role of Investigation Officers in Trafficking in Persons (TIP) cases following the enactment of relevant laws. Since victims of TIP are less likely to come forward and identify themselves as such, it is the responsibility of law enforcement officers to inquire, interview, gather evidence, and corroborate information to determine if a case involves exploitation such as forced sex or labour, constituting a TIP case. In this context, raising awareness and sensitizing officers, especially those at junior ranks, is crucial.

Mr Khan expressed his appreciation for the valuable efforts of UNODC in this regard, noting that similar training had already been conducted in Punjab. As a result, the TIP Manual was finalized and endorsed by the Inspector General's Office. The module developed during the training is now being taught in Police Training Institutes in Punjab, leading to the sensitization and training of thousands of officers on the subject.

The sessions during the workshop were delivered by a national expert, along with facilitators and trainers from the Punjab Police. The topics covered included the introduction of the manual, the national legal framework, police procedures, investigative techniques, and more. The training utilized a variety of methodologies such as speaker sessions, group work, Q & A sessions, quizzes, assignments, and case studies.

The Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants – Asia and the Middle East (GLO.ACT-Asia and the Middle East) is a four-year joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in up to five countries: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (Afghanistan), Islamic Republic of Iran (I.R. of Iran), Republic of Iraq (Iraq), Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Pakistan). The project builds on a global community of practice set in motion in GLO.ACT 2015-2019 and assists governmental authorities and civil society organizations in targeted, innovative and demand-driven interventions: sustaining effective strategy and policy development, legislative review and harmonization, capability development, and regional and trans-regional cooperation. The project also provides direct assistance to victims of human trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and protection mechanisms. 

The project is funded by the European Union