Bangladesh: Prosecutors, Humanitarian Agencies join hands with UNODC to Combat Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants in Cox’s Bazaar

Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh/11 May 2023: UNODC, under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants-Bangladesh (GLO.ACT-Bangladesh), convened humanitarian agencies and prosecutors for a capacity-building workshop on countering trafficking in persons (TIP) and smuggling of migrants (SOM) in Cox’s Bazar.

Enhancing capacities of criminal justice practitioners and responders is a key focus area for UNODC. Last year, a multi-stakeholder consultation was conducted to assess the challenges and needs of countering TIP and SOM in Cox’s Bazar. One of the takeaways from the consultation was to train and enhance the coordination between all relevant stakeholders on TIP prevention and adjudication process including prosecutors and victim service providers.

Building on this, 24 prosecutors, and lawyers and officials of humanitarian agencies were trained, with comprehensive discussions on the national and international legal frameworks, good practices on victim support and prosecuting TIP cases through group exercises, and thematic discussions. The workshop familiarized participants with essential international legal instruments, victim identification, rescue, repatriation, investigation, evidence gathering, and dealing with victims in TIP cases. It also served as a platform for experience sharing and knowledge exchange, with vibrant and engaging discussions among prosecutors, humanitarian agency workers, and lawyers handling similar issues.

Through group exercises, participants emphasised the need to increase cooperation between prosecutors, investigation officers, and judges by organizing joint sessions, regular district-level meetings and activating counter-trafficking committees (CTCs), starting from the union level.

Participants also called for trainings focused on the identification and investigation of TIP, international cooperation, and pursuing financial investigation.

This activity contributed to SDG 3, SDG 16 and SDG 17:

(Supported by European Union)