Supporting criminal justice systems for effective investigation and prosecution of trafficking in persons cases

27-29 September 2022, Becici, Montenegro: Supporting criminal justice systems to handle a fair, effective and victim-centred investigation and prosecution to prevent impunity of perpetrators and inadequate redress for victims is at the core of UNODC initiative “UN.locking Impunity of Traffickers and Supporting Justice for Victims of Trafficking in Persons in Southeastern Europe”.

As part of the initiative, UNODC with the co-hosting support of the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro convened criminal justice practitioners from Albania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia to discuss normative, practical and policy aspects of successful investigations and prosecution of trafficking in persons cases in South-Eastern Europe (SEE) under the expert guidance of mentors from Belgium and France as well as topical inputs from regional experts.

The Minister of Interior of Montenegro Mr. Filip Adzic underlined in his opening remarks that “Any single act of human trafficking shall not go unnoticed and unpunished, and adequate assistance and protection must be provided to the victims”. Similarly, Mr. Peter Lundberg, UN Resident Coordinator in Montenegro stated, “United Nations stays committed to advancing action to bring traffickers to justice while protecting and supporting their victims, and that tackling human trafficking brings us closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which call for eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls, combatting organized crime and eradicating forced labour, abuse, exploitation and violence against children”.

The main discussion points focused on in-depth reviews and analyses of the relevant national case files, as well as the findings from the subsequent validation meetings recently held in Albania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. Accordingly, a group of 28 professionals coming from SEE and EU mentor countries addressed gaps in implementation and operationalization of legislative and institutional frameworks while sharing good practices and solutions with a particular focus on international cooperation.

The project UN.Locking Impunity of Traffickers and Supporting Justice for Victims of Trafficking in Persons in Southeastern Europe is funded by the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Department of State of the United States of America.

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.