Istanbul, Türkiye 05 April 2023 – From 19 to 21 September 2022, UNODC, under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants - Bangladesh (GLO.ACT- Bangladesh), jointly with ROMENA’s regional programme on dismantling the criminal networks operating in North Africa, organised a bilateral meeting in Istanbul among criminal justice authorities from Bangladesh and Libya to initiate international cooperation to prevent and address trafficking in persons (TIP) and smuggling of migrants (SOM) between the two countries.
The meetings enabled participants to take stock of transregional trends, patterns, and challenges, strengthen channels of communication, exchange experiences and information, and promote judicial cooperation in countering TIP and SOM. During the early stages of cooperation, the focus primarily rested on exchange of information and mutual provision of operational support to investigations to the extent allowed by national law.
GLO.ACT is now supporting Libya and Bangladesh to draft an Agreement Mutual Legal Assistance to address TIP and SOM and encourage adoption of the Agreement at the follow-up meeting by both countries. The countries committed during the first bilateral meeting in September 2022 to each nominate and exchange focal point details for judicial and police to police cooperation. Bangladesh also requested access to its citizens in detention in Libya and the Libyan MOI in principle agreed to the request.
14 participants (4 female, 10 male) from Bangladesh and Libya joined the meeting.
UNODC will continue to facilitate and support subsequent meetings, and delegations will be encouraged to bring requests for support and intelligence to be exchanged with the other delegation. The next in-person bilateral meeting is scheduled from 7 to 8 May 2023 in Istanbul, Türkiye.
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), led by the Government of Bangladesh. 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, GLO.ACT National Programme Coordinator