Training of magistrates in Mali on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants

The countries of the Sahel and North Africa, countries of origin, transit and or destination of migration, are particularly exposed to the risks related to the smuggling of migrants. In order to help Sahel countries address these issues, UNODC organizes training courses for magistrates to strengthen their capacity to combat smuggling of migrants.

Thus, a training workshop for judges was organized from 30 October to 2 November 2018 in Sikasso, Mali. The training brought together a total of 25 magistrates and prosecutors from all regions of the country. The workshop aimed to strengthen the capacity of prosecutors and magistrates and provide them with further tools needed to develop strong law enforcement expertise on human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.

Participants had the opportunity to improve their knowledge of national and international legal frameworks related to smuggling of migrants, as well as techniques for investigating and prosecuting cases related to smuggling. The workshop also allowed participants to identify challenges and solutions related to the protection of children exploited as part of this trafficking and to develop a road map for a better prosecution of the perpetrators of these crimes in Mali.

Mali, due to its geographical position and to the crisis the country has been facing since 2012, has become one of the main routes of irregular migration, the migratory flows gaining in importance each year. In 2016, it was estimated that between 30,000 and 40,000 migrants passed through Mali. Trafficking and smuggling networks play a central role in this phenomenon and participate in exposing migrants to abuses, ill-treatment, abduction and even death.

Mali is addressing the threats posed by trafficking, in particular by strengthening its legislative framework. For example, Mali is a State Party to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime on Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants and its Additional Protocols, which set international standards regarding criminalization, the protection of human rights and the use of necessary tools for international cooperation to combat this crime. Its National Assembly also adopted the N.2012-023 law in 2012 to combat trafficking in persons and its related practices, including smuggling of migrants.

These efforts are essential and must be supported in order to create an effective legal distinction between trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. This will result in updating Mali's legal tools to effectively combat smuggling of migrants as a separate offense from trafficking in persons.

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:   

www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-tr   afficking/glo-act/    

Email: glo.act@un.org   

Twitter:    @glo_act  

For more information:

Definitions and tools on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling

UNODC Regional Strategy for Combating Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants 2015-2020

GLO.ACT