Developing a sustainable training-of-trainers approach in the fight against human trafficking and migrant smuggling

Rabat, Morocco - 7 February 2017 - From the 7 to the 11 of January 2019, UNODC, under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants ( GLO.ACT), organized a multidisciplinary training-of-trainers workshop for prosecutors, magistrates, representatives of the national security, gendarmerie and social workers.

The current legislation on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) in Morocco was introduced in August 2016 and covers all forms of trafficking indicated in the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol. According to the latest UNODC Global Report on Morocco, elaborated on data provided by the Public Prosecutor's Office, in 2017, national authorities reported 20 offences of TIP, involving a total of 47 suspects, (27 male and 20 female), and 27 victims, of which 10 were adult women, and the remainder 17 were children (9 boys and 8 girls). All victims were trafficked within the domestic borders of the country, either for the purpose of sexual exploitation or for forced labor.

With the increase migratory pressure along the Western Mediterranean Route, Morocco has been identified a transit country for uncountable smuggled migrants, often subject to abuse and exploitation. By hosting the Global Compact on Migration in December 2018, Morocco was one of the leading countries pushing for a more comprehensive strategy to fight irregular migration and, with the financial aid of the European Union and the technical support of UNODC, Morocco is engaged on the development and implementation of all the necessary tools and strategies to fight TIP and SOM.

One of the most effective strategies is to support the in-house training skills on TIP and SOM, while strengthening cooperation among the different institutional bodies. Understanding the role and importance of the different government institutions in the fight against TIP and SOM, and how to cooperate in a more effective way, will not only advance the early identification and the quality of victim support, but also the successful prosecution of traffickers.

A multidisciplinary training of trainers, as the one organized by GLO.ACT is not only contributing to the continuous empowerment of the different government institutions, as by building on the already existing skills we are promoting the sustainability of the trainings, but is also taking in consideration its "multi" and "inter"-disciplinary character, thus promoting partnership and cooperation.

Speaking during the opening session of the workshop, Mr. Ahmed Chaouqui Benyoub, Inter-ministerial Delegate for Human Rights (DIHI), emphasized that the fight against human trafficking is part of the DIDH intervention strategy and in perfect harmony with the objectives of the DIDH's mandate, which is the protection of human rights.

Mr. Jean Pierre Sacaze, Head of the Governance Section within the European Union Delegation in Morocco, highlighted the remarkable achievements of the Kingdom of Morocco, in particular the adoption of the TIP Law 27-14 and the soon to be launched National Commission on TIP. During his speech, he reiterated the European Union continuous financial support to the implementation of the TIP law and the fight against the Smuggling of Migrants (SOM).

The Director of Criminal Affairs at the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Hicham Mellati, presented the National Commission to coordinate anti-trafficking measures, that will be formalized in the coming months, and outlined recent developments in Morocco, stressing the need to develop mechanisms for the protection of victims and to enhance international judicial cooperation, and Ms. Bettina Gambert, Deputy Representative of UNHCR in Morocco, addressed the role that the United Nations agencies play in protecting and assisting vulnerable populations.

Mrs. Joana Wrabetz, UNODC/GLO.ACT Policy Support Officer, presented some of the key findings of UNODC 2018 Global Report on TIP. Mrs. Wrabetz informed that 94 percent of victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation are females, both adult women and girls; 30 percent of detected victims are children trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced labor and other forms of exploitation, and that more than half of the victims of trafficking for forced labor are adult men. During her speech, Mrs. Wrabetz also stressed that the implementation of the Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons remained difficult and that international efforts to combat human trafficking have not yet achieved the desired expectations.

The five-day training that followed, started with presentations by each department on their work to combat human trafficking. The presentations helped to foster a greater understanding between the participants, to discuss the challenges and difficulties and to identify good practices. The training sessions further clarified the need to strengthen the coordination and cooperation between the various institutional actors, in order to successfully implement a multisectoral and rights-based response to victim assistance and protection.

Considering the up-coming launch of the National Commission on TIP, several of the training sessions focused on good practices and lessons learned by other national commissions, as Portugal and Jordan. The training concluded with a mock trial, capitalizing on the lessons learned and good practices identified by the participants.


Besides the increased understanding of the complexities of TIP and SOM, one of the key outputs of this intensive and extensive training-of-trainers was the establishment of a network of specialized trainers with advanced technical and andragogical skills. The new team of Moroccan trainers is totally equipped to actively organize and deliver capacity building training sessions, not only to their colleagues, within the national prosecutor´s office, national security forces and social workers, but also to integrate the UNODC GLO.ACT team of trainers on the fight against TIP and SOM.

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to provide assistance to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine. GLO.ACT works with the 13 countries to plan and implement strategic national counter-trafficking and counter smuggling efforts through a prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships approach. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including providing assistance to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.


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For more information, please contact

Sara Bentefrit

National Project Officer


Twitter:    @glo_act