Islamabad, Pakistan – 26 July, 2022 – UNODC, under the framework of the EU funded GLO.ACT project, and in collaboration with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), conducted a one-day orientation workshop on 19 July 2022 for FIA Immigration Liaison Officers seconded in link offices. The FIA has recently established its new foreign link offices in Italy, Spain, Turkey, U.A.E and UK to strengthen existing coordination between Pakistan and other countries in streamlining joint efforts toward curbing transnational organized crimes such as human trafficking and smuggling.
The one-day workshop provided a platform to deliver a comprehensive orientation about the process of immigration, investigations of human trafficking and migrant smuggling cases in the country of assignment and support the FIA officers in their smooth transition to the new link offices.
During the session, immigration focal points from relevant embassies shared presentations providing an overview of the context of human trafficking and migrant smuggling in their respective countries, the process of investigating and handling cases, the relevant laws, and channels of cooperation. They also spoke about the assistance and support provided to the victims, including efforts for sustainable reintegration. Waqar Haider Awan, UNODC Consultant and Sibgha Ajaz, IOM, Programme Coordinator Migration Management, and Qaiser Siddiqui, Inspire Pakistan, Chief Executive Officer, inspire Pakistan, also presented during the meeting.
Alam Shinwari, Director Immigration, FIA, explained during bis intervention that, “the FIA already has functional link offices in Greece, the I.R. Iran, and Oman. The new link offices will be important to enhance coordination with other countries in preventing cross-border trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants”.
Meanwhile, Coran Oakley, Immigration Liaison Officer, British High Commission, stated that the “UK continues to face the challenges of human trafficking and migrant smuggling with most cases related to forced labour and domestic servitude. In most cases, the victims of forced labour are male, and victims of sexual exploitation are women and children.”
A European Border and Coast Guard Agency representative noted that “Frontex works to ensure regular monitoring of all member states’ management of the external borders through the agency’s liaison officers and their cooperation with liaison officers of member states, as well as international organizations."
Dogan Cangul, Immigration Liasion Officer, Embassy of Turkey, gave an overview of the situation in Turkey and the regular transportation routes used by the perpetrators of these crimes. He also shed light on the ongoing work to counter irregular migration in Turkey. At the same time, Konstantinos Tzagkaraki, Police Liaison Officer, Embassy of Greece, shared an overview of human trafficking and migrant smuggling in Greece, including presenting statistical data on the cases of forced labour and forced marriages, as well as sexual exploitations. Towards the end of the presentation, he also elaborated on the cooperation between Pakistan and the Greek law enforcement agencies.
Towards the end of the workshop, Ashraf Zubair Siddiqui, Additional Director General, FIA, reiterated the importance of international cooperation to prevent cross-border trafficking and smuggling. He thanked all Embassy representatives and other organizations for participating and sharing detailed presentations and insights from their professional experiences.
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 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.
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Shahida Gillani, National Project Officer
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