GLO.ACT supports Police Academy to extend its curriculum with a new course on addressing trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual abuse and exploitation of children online

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Minsk, Belarus, 27 September 2019 - According to the UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2018, sexual exploitation is the most prevalent form of trafficking worldwide and Belarus is no exception. 'Trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual abuse and exploitation of children online is the most reprehensible crime' stated Mr Tsaun, deputy head of the Department for Drugs Control and Human Trafficking of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in his opening remarks to the participants of the training course on Addressing Trafficking in Persons for the Purpose of Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children. 'The Ministry of Interior is actively engaged in addressing this crime and improving law enforcement practices. We have to recognize that nowadays Internet is the conduit for virtually all crimes and this trend poses series challenges with a 22-fold increase of registered crimes related to child sexual abuse online over last five years' he concluded.

Mr Shylin UNICEF senior child protection specialist UNICEF reiterated the concern by saying that he 'finds it mind boggling to think about this figure.  At the same time, however, this figure also indicates that law enforcement is better equipped to identify, detect and investigate trafficking in persons for the purpose of child sexual abuse and exploitation online'.

Jointly organised by UNODC and UNICEF Belarus, hosted by the International Training Centre for Migration and Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings (ITC) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a three-and-a-half-day training course took place in Minsk from 10-13 September 2019.  The training accommodated 25 participants representing the capital city Minsk and five regions of Belarus.

The training is a culmination of joint events by UNICEF, UNODC and ITC piloted throughout GLO.ACT implementation in Belarus addressing online sexual abuse and exploitation of children. During 2019, some 150 law enforcement officers from all over the country benefited from GLO.ACT training courses on this topic. The latest training in September served as a platform to take stock of lessons learned and feedback of participants with a view to formalise the topic in the regular curriculum of the Police Academy.

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The roster of speakers combined representatives of UNODC, UNICEF, Ministry of Interior, Police Academy, General Prosecutor's Office and Investigative Committee. This inclusive approach helped to ensure local ownership, strengthened inter-agency coordination and holistic approach in addressing all facets of detecting, documenting and investigating trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual abuse and exploitation online.

Built around three substantive streams: international and national anti-trafficking legal instruments; anti-human trafficking cooperation and coordination among competent authorities of the Republic of Belarus; and practical cooperation of relevant law enforcement bodies, non-governmental and international organisations the course saw expert presentations, live debates, and practical exercises.

Following the established practice, the training was concluded with the award ceremony where all participants received State recognised Certificates of Professional Development and GLO.ACT certificates of training completion.

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.

For more information, please contact:

UNICEF Belarus: Dmitry Shylin  dshylin@unicef.org

UNODC Vienna: Euridice Marquez   Euridice.marquez@un.org

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/glo-act/

Email: glo.act@un.org

Twitter:    @glo_act