The technical session of the Working Group on mixed migratory flows of the Ibero-American Network of Specialized Prosecutors against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (REDTRAM) was held in Bogota on February 26 with the aim of strengthening regional cooperation in the fight against trafficking in persons in migratory contexts in the region, with the presence of prosecutors from Argentina, Aruba, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago. This session was conducted virtually with the support of UNODC under the TRACK4TIP initiative.
The session focused on the construction of a tool for the exchange and systematization of information from the Public Prosecutors of the region that leads to the design of joint operations to address the criminal phenomena of human trafficking and related crimes in the context of the current migratory flow.
The session was attended by Mr. Panagiotis Papadimitriou, Technical Cooperation Team Leader, UNODC/HTMSS, who presented the context of human trafficking in the region, and the impact of the mixed flow in the Americas and covid-19, which "has pushed criminal networks to change their strategies and mode of operations, taking them to the internet and social networks".
Brett Hernández, Program Officer of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons of the U.S. Department of State, recognized the efforts made by the prosecutors that make up REDTRAM in identifying victims, collecting data, and using monitoring tools to respond to human trafficking in the region.
Alejandra Mángano, Coordinator of REDTRAM, thanked TRACK4TIP for its collaboration and support to prosecutors in the region.
Ángel Castro, Coordinator of the Group of Prosecutors against Transnational Trafficking in Persons of the Prosecutor's Office of Colombia, and who leads the working group, highlighted the importance of cooperation between different prosecutors in the region, facing scenarios in terms of articulation of this crime, where REDTRAM has been important for the identification of these crimes, victims and cooperation between countries.
Also present was André Silva, Coordinator of INTERPOL's Migrant Smuggling Unit, who detailed the support provided by INTERPOL with the ISON network (INTERPOL Operational Network specializing in migrant smuggling) with REDTRAM and the various member countries, with support in regional operations, to advance in obtaining preliminary information to combat these crimes, which has had the support of UNODC.
The tool is planned to be completed this semester, and to be adopted and implemented this year with the support of the TRACK4TIP initiative to obtain better results in the identification of the crime and the prosecution of criminal structures operating in the region.
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."