Bangladesh: UNODC builds law enforcement capacities on Open-Source Intelligence to counter Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants

Dhaka, Bangladesh/22 February 2023:  Trafficking in Persons is a serious crime that affects millions of people every year across the world. UNODC supports national authorities to strengthen law enforcement responses, foster multi-stakeholder cooperation, respond effectively to risks and threats, and to identify and protect victims.

Under the framework of the GLO.ACT-Bangladesh, UNODC has been working with the Government of Bangladesh on enhancing the capacity of law enforcement agencies to investigate and counter trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.

Building on this, a three-day workshop was convened in partnership with Police Staff College Bangladesh to build law enforcement capacities on the collection and use of Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) to counter Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants. The training was part of a broader effort to encourage use of evidence-based and intelligence-led policing techniques.

People engaged in trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants are making increasing use of social media platforms to facilitate their crimes. Officers with the necessary skills and knowledge can navigate social media platforms and uncover information that the criminals and their associates have placed there.

This information can relate to routes, network members and fee structures of migrant smuggling operations, sites where forged documents can be obtained, fraudulent employment opportunities designed to entice potential trafficking victims, and more.

Over 21 officers from five law enforcement agencies in Bangladesh joined the workshop, focused on strengthening theoretical and practical understanding of trafficking in persons from a national and international context, and collection and management of open-source intelligence in Bangladesh.

Participants also learnt about the technicalities of open-source intelligence, with interactive sessions on investigating digital images, social media investigations and advanced use of search engine platforms.

Mr. Khairul Alam Shiekh, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Project Director of GLO.ACT-Bangladesh, appreciated the workshop and emphasized that OSINT is aligned with the Government of Bangladesh's goal to create a digital criminal justice information system.

This activity contributed to SDG 5 and SDG 16:

(Supported by the European Union)