GLO.ACT supports workshop for gendarmes on human trafficking and migrant smuggling

Zinder, Niger 13 February 2019 - UNODC, under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) and as part of its support to the government of Niger, organized a capacity-building workshop for staff of the National Gendarmerie of Niger on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and the Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) from 4 to 6 December 2018. 25 gendarmes, including 11 women participated in the training representing all regions of Niger

 In terms of country context, Niger is a country of origin, destination and, above all, transit for migrants. To address TIP and SOM, Niger adopted a specific law on TIP in 2010, followed by an action plan (2014-2018) and another on SOM in 2015. Since then, additional efforts have been made to combat these crimes. In particular through the National Agency to Combat TIP and SOM, which has undertaken appropriate actions in terms of prevention as well as protection and assistance for TIP victims.

 Therefore, to strengthen the capacity of various actors in charge of combating these two crimes, specialised training sessions were organized. It is important to note however that, unlike their colleagues in the national police, who have benefited greatly from training on TIP and SOM, the gendarmes who play a leading role in the detection of TIP and SOM have not had this opportunity, even though their interventions are mainly carried out in rural areas where these offences are very common. Thus, in context of the implementation of the 2014-2018 action plan to combat TIP, and in accordance with its strategic axis on capacity building for the prevention of TIP, the National Agency to Combat TIP and SOM and UNODC, through GLO.ACT, organized a workshop for the personnel of the national gendarmerie of Niger.

 Therefore the main objectives of three-day training were:

  • To build the capacity of participants in understanding TIP and SOM;
  • To discuss in detail roles and responsibilities of the gendarmes in the fight against TIP and SOM;
  • To provide participants with the necessary tools in terms of texts, documents and techniques to enable them to detect TIP and SOM and order to carry out effective investigations.

 The workshop was opened by Colonel Moukaila Issa, Commander of the Zinder Gendarmerie Legion, who stressed the importance of this training for gendarmes, explaining that it would equip them with the necessary tools in their capacity as law enforcement officer, tasked with identifying human trafficking and migrant smuggling cases.

The workshop covered subjects such as: definitions and identification tools for TIP and SOM, special investigation techniques, document fraud related to migrant smuggling, interview techniques as well as international, regional and national legal frameworks. Upon conclusion of the workshop participants confirmed that the content had been very useful and thanked UNODC for providing this opportunity. In addition, workshop participants were strongly encouraged to share with colleagues back at their units the content of the course. The hope is that additional courses will be run in order to ensure that the capacity of the gendarmes in detecting TIP and SOM matches that of the national police.

The workshop also made recommendations aimed essentially at reviewing certain provisions of Ordinance 2010-086 of 16 December 2010 on TIP and Act 2015-036 of 26 May 2015 on the SOM in order to provide more pragmatic responses in the fight against these two 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.

This activity also contributed to the Regional Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings and Smuggling of Migrants (2015-2020) as well as UNODC's Regional Programme for West Africa (2016-2020).

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