Vienna, Austria 06 January 2023 - I have witnessed significant advancements since UNODC approached us about collaborating to combat migrant smuggling and human trafficking in Iraq. We have seen how eager others are to combat both crimes through exchange visits to places like Vienna. The desire to do so at home has been sparked by this. We drafted or changed laws in accordance with international legal frameworks.
The UNODC workshops and trainings offered as part of the GLO.ACT project have had a noticeable impact. In my opinion, coordination and cooperation with other authorities, including the police, Assayish, and customs, have improved, making it possible to handle cases more successfully.
Perceptions have changed as a result of the training, particularly the decision to stop viewing victims as offenders and the adoption of a victim-centred and human rights-based approach to trafficking and smuggling investigations. The UNODC's GLO.ACT workshops improved our ability to interact with vulnerable migrants and trafficking victims in a way that will ultimately produce better results.
Additionally, our knowledge of the kinds of evidence that can be gathered in cases of trafficking and smuggling has improved. In the past, we did not take into account content on social media platforms, videos, or images on mobile devices. The training assisted us in gathering data in a way that raised the calibre of the investigations.
We also work to encourage more female police officers from other policing areas to consider becoming investigators because we recognize that trafficking and smuggling are gendered crimes and are better addressed when gender mainstreaming is used as a strategy to counter the crimes.
We also opened new offices in cities such as Zakho in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. It is critical to be present in key hotspot border areas.
It would be beneficial to concentrate on strategic planning going forward. An effective system must function throughout Iraq. To facilitate coordination with other authorities, such as the health or labour ministries, we must create Standard Operating Procedures. More training on conducting investigations, employing cutting-edge methods, and planning investigations are things I'd like to see. The draft law against smuggling migrants must continue to move forward. The draft legislation has undergone impressive work with the assistance of UNODC under GLO.ACT, and we must make sure we submit it to parliament so that it can be adopted, put into effect, and utilized by the appropriate agencies across the country.
Colonel Dara Farouk Najar currently is the Director of the Combating Organized Crimes Directorate, Ministry of Interior, Kurdistan Regional Government.
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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