Dhaka, Bangladesh 06 April 2023 – UNODC, under the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants- Bangladesh (GLO.ACT-Bangladesh), organized a workshop for lawyers from NGOs providing legal support to victims of human trafficking. The workshop took place from June 15 to June 16, 2022, and aimed to equip legal counsels with the technical skills necessary to deal with human trafficking cases and support victims.
NGOs working in Bangladesh for TIP victims legal aid support, including BLAST, BRAC, BNWLA, and Rights Jessore, nominated the participants. During the opening ceremony, IOM, BNWLA, and BLAST representatives addressed the participants and shared their experience in addressing human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
Legal counsel plays a crucial role in supporting victims of trafficking in persons. They inform victims about their rights and role in criminal proceedings, accompany them throughout the investigation and trial process, and ensure their procedural rights. Legal counselling prepares victims for criminal proceedings and can reduce the risk of imposing further trauma on them. Therefore, the skills of lawyers from these organizations significantly increase the chance of sound and coherent witness statements contributing to the successful prosecution of the traffickers.
The workshop provided lawyers with an opportunity to engage in group exercises and formulate a standardized response to positively impact victim support services and prosecution. The lawyers also discussed ways to make the trial process more victim-friendly. Counsel for Rights Jessore, Rama Rani Roy, shared her perspective on the collaboration between Public Prosecutors and NGOs, saying, “Their coordination will improve victim counselling, witness protection, and conviction rate.”
The workshop provided a platform for lawyers to share their knowledge, experiences, and good practices. It also allowed UNODC to identify the needs and challenges of lawyers working with NGOs. As a next step, GLO.ACT-Bangladesh will support a network of lawyers addressing TIP and SOM, which would serve as a platform for sharing knowledge, experience, and good practices.
18 participants (12 female, 6 male) joined the workshop.
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.
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