UNODC strengthens the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures and National Referral Mechanisms to combat Trafficking in Persons

Lusaka, Zambia, 28 February-1 March 2020 - UNODC and the Ministry of Home Affairs of Zambia convened a three (3)-day training workshop on the implementation of Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) and National Referral Mechanism (NRM) to combat human trafficking. 

The workshop brought together 18 front line officials from relevant government departments and focused on the legal framework, nature of human trafficking, identification, case studies, needs assessments and referrals among other topics. Participants welcomed the opportunity to enhance their knowledge on these topics identified the lack of capacity as a major hinderance to effective implementation of programmes aimed at combating human trafficking in Zambia and called for sustained, widespread training on human trafficking.

Mr. Bernard Tembo, from the Ministry of Home Affairs, in his opening remarks, said: “The Government recognizes human trafficking as a gross violation of human rights as well as a violation of national sovereignty. I thank UNODC for the partnership in implementing programmes against this crime”. He also invited participants to make full use of the tools developed by Zambia to enhance prevention, prosecution and protection, such as the SOPs for Immigration officers, the NRMs on human trafficking and mixed migration flows, the guidelines on mixed migration and the most recent Best Interest Determination tool for migrant children.

The workshop enhanced the ability of participants to implement the existing NRM and SOPs. UNODC will pursue its efforts to support the rolling out of these tools to all serving officers and other frontline officials to enhance their ability to identify cases of human trafficking and provide protection and assistance services.

This activity was part of a joint project of UNODC with the Government of Zambia funded by the United Kingdom, named " Strengthening the implementation of a comprehensive response to trafficking in persons in Zambia". Under this project UNODC provides technical assistance to Zambia towards programmes aimed at combating human trafficking.

This project contributes to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in particular, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 on the strengthening of peace, justice and strong institutions.