10-14 July 2023 - CRIMJUST, in partnership with AIRCOP and SEACOP, delivered a Training-of-trainers for law enforcement officers within the Joint Airport Interdiction Task Forces (JAITFs) of Abuja, Accra, Banjul, and Lagos, as well as officers from the Joint Maritime Control Unit (JMCU) of the port of Tema (Ghana). The event had two main objectives: 1) the strengthening of the participants’ knowledge of ethics and integrity principles and mechanisms specific to the local context of the Gambia, Ghana, and Nigeria; and 2) the development and expansion of the participants' pedagogical skills and expertise to adequately disseminate the acquired knowledge among their peers to ensure the programme’s sustainability and to foster a strong integrity organizational foundation.
This training-of-trainers on ethics and integrity is part of the range of anti-corruption measures aimed at strengthening the overall integrity of criminal justice systems that CRIMJUST has implemented in partnership with SEACOP and AIRCOP. SEACOP is a project funded by the European Union which fights against maritime illicit trade and criminal networks in the regions of Latin America, the Caribbean, and West Africa; AIRCOP on the other hand, is a multi-agency project implemented by UNODC in partnership with INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO). It aims at strengthening the capacities of international airports to target and intercept high-risk passengers, cargo and mail, as a contribution to the fight against illicit drugs and other illicitcommodities (such as wildlife products or falsified medical products), terrorism-related threats (such as arms or potential foreign terrorist fighters), trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. It also aims at facilitating communication and coordination between origin, transit, and destination countries to disrupt cross-border illicit flows and criminal networks. The cooperation of these two initiatives with the global programme CRIMJUST has been essential to deliver relevant country and agency specific trainings that will promote the institutional integrity of the participant agencies.
The event was opened by the remarks given by the Global Coordinator of UNODC’s Global Programme on Criminal Network Disruption, Ms. Kaitlin Meredith and by the Representative of the European Union Delegation in Ghana, Ms. Anna Lixi. Throughout her speech, Ms. Meredith underlined the critical importance of strengthening institutional integrity to effectively disrupt transnational organised crime. She called upon law enforcement agencies to not only buffer against corruption, but to advocate for tailored support and mechanisms to ensure they work in a professional environment which promotes accountability and a culture of integrity. Ms. Meredith also reiterated UNODC’s support towards Ghana, Nigeria and the Gambia to help them build up resilience against organized crime.
Through the opening remarks of the Representative of the EU Delegation in Ghana, Ms. Anna Lixi,she the important impact of corruption in undermining state institutions, precluding economic growth, and eroding public trust was emphasized. Ms. Lixi, then underscored the relevance and importance of this training-of-trainers today to not only strengthen greater institutional integrity and accountability within the law enforcement environment, but to additionally foster greater trust between investigative units.
The training employed a diverse array of techniques, including theoretical aspects, practical exercises, and pedagogical sessions, to ensure participants gain not only the essential knowledge in ethics and integrity, but also the skills to conduct the following cascade trainings which will allow their colleagues to obtain this knowledge during the second phase of this initiative. The highly interactive format featured numerous realistic scenarios and polls, which encouraged trainees to consider their respective countries' situations and identify potential areas for improvement.
Due to the quality of the experts, the group dynamics and the topics covered, multiple participants rated the training highly positively. "This has been the best training I ever had, and I took a few training the trainers in the past", was one of the comments of a participant. As a result of its success, in the coming months this training will be replicated for the French-speaking JAITFS and UMCCS from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Togo, and Senegal.
CRIMJUST is funded by the European Union under the framework of the "Cocaine Route Programme" and by the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). It seeks to enhance law enforcement and judicial counter-narcotic strategies beyond interdiction activities and to foster transnational responses targeting each stage of the drug supply chain.
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