Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, 26 May 2023 – UNODC, under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants-Bangladesh (GLO.ACT-Bangladesh), organized from 10 to 11 May 2023 a capacity-building workshop with law enforcement agencies on countering trafficking in persons (TIP) and smuggling of migrants (SOM).
One of the aims of the GLO.ACT project is to enhance the capacity of criminal justice practitioners such as prosecutors, along with the humanitarian agency workers. In July 2022, GLO.ACT had already organized a multi-stakeholder consultation to assess the challenges and needs of countering TIP and SOM in Cox’s Bazar. One of the takeaways from the consultation was to enhance the coordination between all relevant stakeholders on TIP prevention and adjudication process including prosecutors and victim service providers.
The May workshop therefore focused on building capacity among prosecutors, and lawyers and staff of humanitarian agencies by discussing national and international legal framework, good practices on victim support and prosecuting TIP cases through group exercises, and thematic discussions.
The workshop familiarized participants with essential international legal instruments, national legal frameworks, victim identification, rescue, repatriation, investigation, evidence gathering, and dealing with victims in TIP cases. It also served as a platform for experience sharing and knowledge exchange, with vibrant and engaging discussions among prosecutors, humanitarian agency workers, and lawyers handling similar issues.
Through group exercises, participants suggested ways to overcome challenges in providing support to the victims of TIP and SOM within the Rohingya community in Cox's Bazar and discussed the coordination process among different stakeholders in TIP cases.
During the sessions, the following points were identified:
The last session of the workshop focused on group presentations, aimed at gathering contextualized practices based on the substantive sessions of the workshop. Moreover, the presentations served as an avenue for participants to improve their presentation skills, promoting a culture of knowledge sharing within their respective organizations. In the evaluation, participants noted an increased understanding of SOM. They acknowledged the nexus between TIP and SOM and emphasized the need to formulate a coordinated approach to tackle these crimes.
24 participants (9 female, 15 male) attended the workshop. Among them, six prosecutors, while the rest of the participants were from four different humanitarian agencies.
The Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants - Bangladesh (GLO.ACT - Bangladesh) is a 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). GLO.ACT-Bangladesh builds on a global community of practice set in motion in GLO.ACT 2015-2019 in 13 partner countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.
Through targeted, innovative and demand-driven interventions, the GLO.ACT aims to support the Government of Bangladesh and civil society organizations to more effectively fight the crimes of human trafficking and migrant smuggling across the country. The project works on developing evidence-based information on trafficking and smuggling patterns and trends, legislative review and harmonization, capability development of criminal justice actors, and international cooperation. The project also provides direct assistance to victims of human trafficking and migrants in vulnerable situations 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.
For more information, please contact:
Mahdy Hassan, National Programme Coordinator