Libya: Using technology to prevent human trafficking

8 August 2022 - Tripoli, Libya

Human trafficking is becoming more and more present on the internet. The internet and digital platforms offer traffickers numerous tools to recruit, exploit, and control victims, communicate among perpetrators and hide criminal proceeds. According to the UNODC 2020 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, global data are showing an intense increase in the number of trafficking cases that take place through the internet or have the internet part of one of the different stages of the crime.

However, in the use of technology also lies great opportunity. Future efforts to counter human trafficking will depend on how law enforcement, the criminal justice systems and others can leverage technology in their responses, including by aiding investigations to shed light on the modus operandi of trafficking networks, enhancing prosecutions through digital evidence and providing support services to victims/survivors.

UNODC, through the regional European Union funded project “Dismantling human trafficking and migrant smuggling criminal networks in North Africa,” has been partnering with Libyan authorities to develop their technical skills to prevent the use of technology in human trafficking and migrant smuggling. UNODC supported more than 70 representatives from relevant authorities with specialized trainings on the subject with topics such as international best practices for handling digital evidence and effective investigative techniques.

Recently, under the framework of the project, UNODC provided the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice with specialized equipment to enhance their efforts in preventing the use of technology in human trafficking. The delivery took place in correspondence with this year’s World Day against Trafficking in Persons, which had the theme of “Use and abuse of technology,” focusing on the role of technology in both allowing and preventing trafficking crimes.

“Dismantling human trafficking and migrant smuggling criminal networks in North Africa" is a three-year (2019-2022) €15 million regional joint initiative by the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) under the framework of the North Africa Window of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. The project consists of a regional intervention covering Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia to support the effective dismantling of criminal networks involved in migrant smuggling and human trafficking, while at the same time upholding the rights of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and vulnerable groups.

For More Information:

Project Brief 

The regional project: Dismantling human trafficking and migrant smuggling criminal networks in North Africa