Bagdad, Iraq - 15 February 2023 - The successful conviction of offenders, redressal of victims' grievances and prevention of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and the Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) is more likely when the first responders, i.e., the police agencies, perform their tasks systematically.
UNODC, under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants - Asia and the Middle East, supports its partners in Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) in the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the systematic investigation of human trafficking and migrant smuggling cases. The quality of the investigation of an alleged crime assumes an important role. Tasks include registering the crime and evidence collection as part of the investigation and prosecution while ensuring all legal and administrative follow-up measures.
In this context, SOPs are a powerful instrument of reference for the systematic investigation of cases of human trafficking and to ensure they are carried out to the highest standards.
From 15 to 16 February 2023, UNODC facilitated the first meeting of the technical working group in charge of drafting the SOPs. During the meeting, the participants discussed the structure of the SOP and what it will include in terms of chapters and subjects. Then they reviewed examples of SOP previously developed either by the Iraqi government or by UNODC related to the same topic. Finally, meeting participants agreed upon the content of the first and second chapters of the draft SOP.
Overall, the SOP is being developed to ensure systematic and standardized investigation procedures, which will significantly help investigating officers. Moreover, the SOP intends to codify existing investigation practices and align them with good international practices while ensuring accessibility for all levels of investigating units.
5 (male) members of the technical working group participated in the meeting. Looking ahead, the second meeting of the technical working group is scheduled to take place in the first week of May 2023.
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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