Empowering women in law enforcement: UNODC continues to provide specialist coaching to female officers

11 May 2022, Islamabad, Pakistan - UNODC, under the EU-funded GLO.ACT - Global Action to Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT – Asia and the Middle East) organized a 3rd coaching session for a cohort of 22 female law enforcement officers on investigative techniques related to Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) from 9 to 10 May 2022. 

Martin Reeve, UNODC GLO.ACT Regional Advisor led the coaching session alongside a team of national experts, including prosecutors and investigators. The session served as a knowledge-sharing platform for participants and trainers. Participants were able to discuss and share the complexities of handling human trafficking and mirgrant smuggling cases and receive guidance from experts in the room.

Addressing the cohort, Dr Jeremy Milsom, UNODC Representative, Pakistan, said, "Security, protection and assistance needs of men and women are different. It makes a safer society when the security needs of both groups are addressed. The best police service considers this and opts to be accessible and approachable and builds trust within the community they serve. Women represent more than 50 per cent of the global population, so, naturally, women should be equally represented in law enforcement organizations. However, the fact is that currently, only 2 per cent of police officers in Pakistan are women. These coaching sessions provided by UNODC seek to ensure those female officers have solid investigative skills and determination to uphold the rule of law. And that they have the required expertise and confidence to deal with complex human trafficking and migrant smuggling cases. 

During the session, Ashraf Zubair Siddique, Additional Director General Immigration, FIA,  also delivered remarks. The ADG appreciated the efforts by UNODC in arranging the coaching series and appraised the dedication and commitment of officers from the police and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in combatting human trafficking. Mr Siddique pointed out that the coaching provided by UNODC, under the framework of the GLO.ACT project provides female officers with opportunities to build their capacity regarding specialized investigative techniques. He noted that, before this 3rd session, "female officers received a week-long training followed by 2 coaching sessions. These activities have allowed our female officers to enhance their skills and build confidence. In the past, they had limited access to such training opportunities. 

During his opening remarks, Ovidiu MiC, Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation, Pakistan, said, "Women empowerment and gender equality are part and parcel of the EU's priorities and policies. This coaching session aligns with our policies and priority. These sessions aim to provide you with elements that will enhance interpersonal, communication, analytical, critical thinking, and leadership skills. We hope that the session will also give you technical knowledge of human trafficking and migrant smuggling. We are delighted to be part of the government's efforts in combatting trafficking in human beings." 

Over two days, participants shared their experiences and highlighted the challenges they face daily. They shared case studies emphasizing the complexity of conducting quality investigations leading to successful prosecution and victim protection and assistance issues. Group work allowed the cohort to identify and share operational level issues and challenges and identify solutions with the coaches' support.

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 (2018-2022), €12 million 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). GLO.ACT-Bangladesh is a parallel initiative also financed by the EU and implemented with IOM. 

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 fully committed to mainstreaming Human Rights and Gender Equality considerations across all of its activities. 


For more information, please contact:

Shahida Gillani, National Project Officer

Email: Shahida.gillani@un.org

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