North Macedonia: Trafficking in Person Mock Trial exercise to enhance the skills of national practitioners.   

18-20 October, 2023, Struga, North Macedonia, North Macedonian officials successfully concluded a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)  mock trial exercise program with a specific focus on combating trafficking in persons (TIP) and addressing a victim-centered approach.

This initiative was a collaborative effort involving the National Commission for Combating Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration of North Macedonia, and the Academy of Judges and Public Prosecutors of the Republic of North Macedonia. Through this advanced course the mentioned organizations were able to address human trafficking, ensuring that law enforcement and judicial institutions are better equipped, and that the rights of victims are duly considered within the justice system.

The methodology of the mock trial was developed based on insights and recommendations derived from the publication "Analysis of Cases of Trafficking in Human Beings and Children: Challenges for Effective Prosecution and Sanctioning of Perpetrators in North Macedonia   " prepared by the UNODC with stakeholders’ engagement. This analysis provided valuable understanding of the local landscape, offering practical lessons and recommendations for more effective anti-trafficking efforts. By using real-life cases and drawing from real experiences. The mock trial allowed participants to simulate legal proceedings, taking on roles such as prosecutors, judges, defendants, victims, witnesses, and lawyers.

This mock trial training in North Macedonia comes as a result of the collaborative efforts to combat human trafficking and provide justice for victims. Through a program equipping various professionals with essential skills, the simulation showed the effectiveness of role-playing in addressing practical dilemmas and strengthening the regional response to human trafficking, in line with UNODC's commitment to a future free of human trafficking and the protection of rights for everyone.

The activity was conducted within the framework of the “UN.Locking Impunity of Traffickers and Supporting Justice for Victims of Trafficking in Persons in Southeastern Europe" (2021-2024), implemented by the UNODC Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling team  (HTMSS) in cooperation with the UNODC Regional Office for South Eastern Europe.

The activity was financed by the  U.S. Department of State's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and contributed to SDG 16, particularly Target 16.2 to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.