Erbil, Iraq 17 March 2023 – UNODC, under the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants – Asia and the Middle East (GLO.ACT-Asia and the Middle East), conducted its first coaching session for a cohort of 15 (13 male, 2 female) on investigative techniques related to Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) from 6 to 7 March 2023.
A group of police and judicial investigators were chosen to receive coaching after their active participation and excellent performance in previous training sessions on TIP and SOM conducted by UNODC. The selected cohort consisted of police from the combating organized crime offices in Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Dohuk, as well as judicial investigators from the courts in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah. Two senior officers from the Ministry of Interior of Baghdad and KRI facilitated the coaching session with the support of UNODC staff.
During the session, the participants discussed the challenges and difficulties they face in investigating TIP cases. The participants identified various issues, including confusion in the application of laws on TIP crimes, lack of community awareness about TIP crimes and its law, confiscation of passports and other official documents of foreign workers by employers, no safe space in the investigation police stations and courts to investigate the victims of TIP crimes, lack of specialized judges to deal with such cases, and more.
The participants also highlighted many necessary practical and legislative amendments, such as forming sub-committees to combat human trafficking in the Kurdistan region, oversight of foreign labour recruitment companies and lawyers who provide these services, and more. Additionally, they discussed the need to amend the Foreigners Residence Law No. 76 of 2017, Instructions No. 2 of 2007, and the Law of Organ donation and transplant No. 1 of 2018, as well as granting a tourism visa to foreign workers instead of a work visa.
The coaching session was the first of three sessions planned. It aimed to provide police and judicial investigators with the necessary knowledge and techniques to investigate TIP and SOM cases effectively. The session was a step towards improving the overall investigative process and ensuring that justice is served for the victims of trafficking and smuggling.
The Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants – Asia and the Middle East (GLO.ACT-Asia and the Middle East) is a four-year joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in up to five countries: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (Afghanistan), Islamic Republic of Iran (I.R. of Iran), Republic of Iraq (Iraq), Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Pakistan). GLO.ACT-Bangladesh is a parallel initiative also financed by the EU and implemented with IOM.
The project builds on a global community of practice set in motion in GLO.ACT 2015-2019 and assists governmental authorities and civil society organizations in targeted, innovative, and demand-driven interventions: sustaining effective strategy and policy development, legislative review and harmonization, capability development, and regional and trans-regional cooperation. The project also provides direct assistance to victims of human trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and protection mechanisms. The project is fully committed to mainstreaming Human Rights and Gender Equality considerations across all of its activities.
The project is funded by the European Union.
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