GLO.ACT supports national action plan evaluation to ensure tangible actions on the ground against human trafficking

Kabul, Afghanistan 6 February 2020 - UNODC is committed to ensuring Member States have the tools and expertise to effectively prevent and respond to trafficking in persons (TIP) and smuggling of migrants (SOM).  In Afghanistan, one of the main priorities highlighted by counterparts is to update the country's National Action Plan to combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (NAP). Thus, in anticipation of the current NAP expiring in March 2021, and under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants ( GLO.ACT Asia and the Middle East), UNODC convened  from 28 to 29 January a participatory self-evaluation workshop for the members of the Technical Committee of the TIP High Commission to take stock of the implementation of the current NAP.

The NAP represents an important tool to translate the letter for the law into tangible and practical action on the ground. It can help identify key actions against TIP and assign responsibility to specific agencies. Understanding the barriers and challenges relevant stakeholders may have been faced with when trying to implement the current plan was one of the main aims of the self-evaluation workshop as well as seeing it as an opportunity to look beyond March 2021.

During his opening remarks, Naif Riazat, Head of the Secretariat of the Technical Committee/Director of Human Rights Protection of the Ministry of Justice and member of the TIP High Commission acknowledged the need for international cooperation in strengthening national coordination mechanisms, improving data collection systems for better investigations and prosecutions and stressed the need to align national legislation with international policies and frameworks. He also thanked UNODC for its continued support of the Government of Afghanistan to respond more effectively to TIP and SOM. Meanwhile, Zubair Mahak, GLO.ACT National Project Officer commended the Government on its commitment and contribution to review the NAP. He also thanked UNICEF and IOM for their participation taking into account the fragile security situation currently prevailing in the country.

The workshop, participants worked on evaluating the NAP in terms of the following thematic pillars:

  • Prevention;
  • Protection;
  • Prosecution;
  • Cooperation/coordination.

During the workshop representatives from partner agencies answered three sets of questionnaires which focused on gaps, implementation success, impact and sustainability of NAP results. Smaller working groups also discussed specific elements of NAP ranging from prosecution, prevention and protection to cooperation and coordination. Guidelines provided to participants during the workshop gave a succinct overview of the structure for a national trafficking response per thematic pillar. During the workshop a UNODC gender and human rights tool, currently being developed under the framework of GLO.ACT Asia and the Middle East, was piloted and the participants provided feedback on mainstreaming gender in their answers. Finally, representing IOM, Ghulam Haider Nader, delivered a session on victim protection and updated participants on the progress of the approval process of National Referral Mechanism (NRM), while Noor Al-Kasadi from UNICEF also stressed the importance of having national legal and policy frameworks on TIP and SOM in line with international conventions and standards and other good practices. Ms. Al-Kasadi also addressed the need to include TIP as part of the countries comprehensive national child protection policy.

A workshop report is being prepared and will be shared with the Government for inputs and feedback. The Government expressed that they are keen to benefit from the recommendations of the report and incorporate, where feasible, recommendations into the current NAP. In addition, any feedback that cannot be incorporate into the existing NAP will be kept and integrated into the next NAP as a priority.                                                                                        

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 (2018-2022), €12 million 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 four countries: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Iraq and Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

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.

This project is funded by the European Union.


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