Promoting a victim-centered approach to trafficking in persons cases through multidisciplinary cooperation

23-25 November 2022, Veles, North Macedonia: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in collaboration with the National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Illegal Migration of North Macedonia, the Academy of judges and public prosecutors, and the Training center of the Ministry of Interior of North Macedonia organized a national multidisciplinary thematic workshop on investigation, prosecution and trial of trafficking in persons cases through a victim-centered approach.

During the three-day training, 33 participants, including judges, prosecutors, police officers, social service providers, lawyers, NGOs and labor inspectors had an opportunity to discuss the various approaches when dealing with the victims of human trafficking and identify recommendations and strategies to improve the victim-centered approach. The programme of the workshop was based on the findings and recommendations from the national review and analysis of trafficking in persons cases conducted earlier this year as well as the national training plan.

The emphasis was put on the challenges in multisectoral and international cooperation and coordination, obtaining evidence and presenting it before the court, the victim's position in criminal proceedings including challenges in identifying, protecting, and supporting the victims, compensation, and non-punishment of the victims, as well as the aspects related to the penal policy and sentencing in cases of human trafficking.

In the course of the workshop, all panelists recognized the importance of adopting a whole-of-government approach when adjudicating cases of human trafficking and highlighted the need to conduct a victim-centered investigations.

The event is part of the UNODC project UN.Locking Impunity of Traffickers and Supporting Justice for Victims of Trafficking in Persons in Southeastern Europe funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP).

This activity contributes to SDG 16, particularly Target 16.2 to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence against and torture of children.