GLO.ACT supports pilot of the specialized training module for judges on human trafficking

Kyiv, Ukraine - 10 December 2018 - Under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants  ( GLO.ACT) and in collaboration with the National School of Judges, UNODC organized its pilot of the specialized training module for judges on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) related crimes from 21 to 23 November 2018.

The new curriculum covers all aspects of TIP. It provides theoretical background whilst also making available practical exercises to future judges. This will make a significant difference to the work of the future judges, since one of the reasons why court rulings often appear lenient is because judges do not have adequate training on how to interpret Article 149 of Ukraine's criminal code. In many TIP cases, due to a lack of training on TIP, judges do not fully appreciate the severity of the crime or the devastating impact it has on its victims.

Acting judges from all over Ukraine, as well as former judges with extensive expertise in cases related to TIP and international partners, including IOM delivered the training during the pilot workshop. 28 judges of city courts from Western Ukraine participated as recently this region has seen an increase in labour migration and vulnerable migrants at risk of becoming TIP victims.

The curriculum consists of the following modules:

  • Reasons for TIP;
  • National and international situation on countering TIP, tendencies and challenges;
  • Types of TIP cases and modern trends;
  • Analysis of the national and international legislation on TIP;
  • Analysis of the European Court of Human Rights practice;
  • Qualification of crime in accordance with the Art. 149 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, cumulative crimes, separation of crimes;
  • Practical aspects of the use of Article 149 in court;
  • Peculiarities of evidence in criminal proceedings on TIP related crimes;
  • Ethical aspects of the trial. Actual issues of ensuring the safety of participants in criminal proceedings;
  • Damages and compensation, civil litigation in connection with the criminal case;
  • Appointment of punishment.

Each module contains mini-lectures, practical tasks for group work and a discussion of the group work with the trainer. The training also contains role-play to better understand TIP for the purpose of labour and sexual exploitation as well as films that cover issues of vulnerability, ethics and cumulative crimes. During the training it was decided to extend the training by 13 working hours, as the topics lead to a more detailed discussion.

During the development of the training course changes to Article 149 were made. Ms. Valentina Kuzmenko, Vice Head of the National School of Judges, and Mr. Andrii Orlean, expert of the National School of Judges, explained that prior to the changes, the definition of definition of TIP was - sale, other paid transfer of a person, as well as the commission of any other illegal transaction related to the legal or illegal movement of it with the consent or without consent. In the new version the part "any other illegal transaction related to the legal or illegal movement" is omitted. The experts showed how to qualify cases, which were subject to the article 149 under it's previous formulation. Meaning, experts gave guidance on how to work with crimes, which previously qualified as TIP. They gave information how to regard such cases under the revised version of the article 149.

Ms. Orysya Ferenze-Pijuk, a judge of the Volyn region court said, "The training was amazing and extremely up to date. I have experience in TIP related cases, but there turned out to be so many nuances, which I learned during the training. There was a huge amount of work done by the developers of the course; they presented a serious analysis of Ukrainian and European legislation. Practical tasks and examples showed that there are many details, which are essential, but I had never considered them before. I would be happy to come to a training of trainers' workshop and to work further with the TIP related crimes and teach colleagues in my region. I am thankful to the UN for their assistance in the delivery of the curriculum."

The training for trainers, scheduled to take place from 20 to 21 December 2018, will be a workshop that enables to teach the trainers how to work with the TIP related crimes. Thirty judges from all regions of Ukraine are invited to participate. This will allow to provide trainings in each regional department of the National School of judges and to have all judges, who work with TIP crimes

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. 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.

For more information, please contact:

Olga Ilchenko, National Project Assistant, UNODC


Twitter: @glo_act