GLO.ACT supports study visit of Belarusian law enforcement officers to Austria

Minsk, Belarus, 8 July 2019 - A delegation of high-ranking officials from the Department for Drugs Control and Human Trafficking of the Ministry of Internal Affairs   and the Investigative Committee   of the Republic of Belarus took part in a study visit to Austria. Jointly organised by UNICEF Belarus and UNODC under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants ( GLO.ACT) the visit involving six Belarusian representatives took place from June 10-13.

In line with the objectives of GLO.ACT Belarus, the study visit focused on getting practical insights and sharing experiences related to addressing trafficking in persons, online sexual exploitation and abuse of children. During GLO.ACT implementation in Belarus in 2019, a series of advanced training courses were organised to build capacities of law enforcement officers on these topics this is where the study visit served as a timely opportunity to solidify the theoretical knowledge through the exchange of practical experiences with Austrian counterparts.

On a morning of first day the delegation paid a homage visit to the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Belarus in Austria to have a meeting with the Ambassador to discuss the progress of GLO.ACT implementation and its impact on national law enforcement capacity. In addition, the delegation received a detailed briefing about current international cooperation of Belarus and Austria in various domains, including cultural, social, political and economic.

This followed by a meeting with the Austrian national coordinator to combat Human Trafficking where the delegation learned about interaction mechanism, system of national stakeholders involved in counteraction of human trafficking, national reporting mechanism.

The day was closed at the non-governmental organisation LEFÖ that serves as an auxiliary to the Austrian Ministry of Interior in providing assistance and support to the victims of trafficking. Delegates were informed on legal framework for NGOs in Austria, interagency cooperation with governmental bodies, role of NGO in prevention of trafficking in persons, online sexual exploitation and abuse of children.

Day 2 of the visit was marked by meetings with the GLO.ACT team at UNODC Headquarters and a visit to the Joint Operational Centre to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, the Federal Criminal Police Office of Austria.

In the former context, the meeting involved the head of Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling section, criminal justice and crime prevention officer, GLO.ACT coordinator and policy officer who presented the work of the section, repository of UNODC tools and publications and some recent trafficking cases.

The latter provided a unique opportunity to plunge into atmosphere of daily activities in the Joint Operational Centre supplemented by step-by-step explanation by the deputy head of the centre work in detecting and investigating the cases of human trafficking. The meeting was also joined by a representative of the cyber crimes officer who presented programs and tools used in Austria to counteract child sexual abuse and exploitation online.

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: Elena Nyanenkova  nyanenkova-lowry@un.org

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

Email: glo.act@un.org

Twitter:    @glo_act