Quito, October 29th - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the TRACK4TIP Initiative, participated in the webinar Prevention experiences in cases of human trafficking originated through the Internet. This space was organized as a follow-up to the binational commitment between Ecuador and Peru, emanating from the Framework Agreement for Inter-institutional Cooperation on Trafficking in Persons, between the Government and Interior Ministries, respectively.
The webinar began with a welcome address by Tomás Guayasamín, Director of Prevention of Human Trafficking and Migrant Trafficking of the Ministry of Government of Ecuador.
Lourdes Gutiérrez, Coordinator of the TRACK4TIP Project of the Regional Office for Central America and the Caribbean, and Jordi Martín, from the Global Cybercrime Program, were the representatives of the UNODC in this meeting in which they shared space with experts from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC)
"Human trafficking, by its clandestine nature, is difficult to investigate, but not impossible. It is necessary to have the context of the victims and not to forget that trafficking is the third most lucrative business for organized crime", detailed Lourdes Gutiérrez, who exposed the approaches of the Palermo Protocol, the only universal instrument that addresses all aspects of human trafficking and of which UNODC is the custodian. For his part, Jordi Martín presented to the audience a successful experience developed in Honduras that benefited a third of the teachers in that country. "In the midst of the pandemic we developed the Virtual Diploma on Cybercrime with emphasis on children and adolescents that lasted five weeks and trained more than 10 thousand teachers, which shows the interest and need to address this issue". The cybercrime specialist praised the results of a good articulation with the actors of the process. "As a result of the training we moved from prevention to combat because we were able to identify, together, 14 victims".
Pilar Ramírez, from ICMEC, pointed out the proactivity of the justice operators and the involvement of society to protect the most vulnerable. "Digital evidence moves faster. Our countries need legislative strengthening in the face of Internet governance".
Coralía Sáenz and Joel Jabiles from the IOM in Ecuador and Peru, respectively, spoke about the conditions of vulnerability of the victims, increased by the health crisis; about the scope of the use of the Internet - not only in recruitment but also in exploitation and submission - and the need to identify risk situations.
The meeting was closed by Juan Antonio Fernández, from the Peruvian Ministry of the Interior, who said: "This partnership with Ecuador allows us to continue articulating to be more effective in preventing, combating and punishing the crime of trafficking.
Authorities from both countries, Ecuador and Peru, participated in the event, with emphasis on the border area. This activity is part of the binational activities of Peru and Ecuador to effectively combat transnational trafficking. For TRACK4TIP is fundmental to support these spaces that stimulate the exchange of knowledge, international cooperation, as well as strengthen the capacities of States to investigate and prosecute trafficking.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) provides technical assistance to Member States to strengthen their capacities to combat transnational organized crime, including trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, in its role as Technical Secretariat of the Conventions and Protocols on this matter.
TRACK4TIP is a three-year initiative (2019-2022), implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with the support of the United States Department of State TIP Office..
The project benefits eight countries in South America and the Caribbean with national and regional actions in Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Curaçao, and Aruba.
The general objective of the project is to improve the regional criminal justice response to human trafficking in the migratory flows of the beneficiary countries through a multidisciplinary and victim-centered approach, with actions at the regional and national levels to identify victims, increase prosecutions, and prevent the crime.
"This press release was made possible through support provided by the United States Department of State, under the terms of Award No. SSJTIP19CA0027. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of State."