UNODC helps countries develop and implement effective responses to trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. This is done through delivering expertise, developing tools based on the analysis of current practice, investing in people and building networks. Despite the unprecedented restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 global pandemic, UNODC continued to expand the knowledge base of trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling and connect with a broader base of experts.

Knowledge Week aims to stimulate a discussion on the most salient issues around human trafficking and migrant smuggling with the support of experts and based on recent UNODC publications and tools. The Knowledge Week will address legal issues, gender-responsive approaches, human rights-based responses, innovative and integrated solutions from an evidence base perspective to these two forms of crime.

Scheduled for the week preceding the Working Groups on Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants, it will be particularly relevant to inform delegates and practitioners prior to the discussions that will take place in these inter-governmental fora.


Although trafficking in persons is defined in international law, many practitioners report challenges in implementing anti-trafficking national legislation. This session will examine various approaches to what constitutes trafficking and discuss ways in which a common understanding could be built in practice. During the discussion, expert panelists will highlight successful strategies and tools that have been developed and used to clarify these aspects.


The event is dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment in the fight against trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants. Experts will explain and discuss how gender-responsive approaches strengthen access to justice, protection and support measures for victims of gender-based violence, trafficking in persons and sexual violence, including in conflict situations.



The  violations of smuggled migrants’ human rights and how to increase access to justice and protection will be discussed by experts during this event. Taking a human rights focus, the discussion will include considerations on the need for legal channels for migration as a prevention mechanism to smuggling and violence against smuggled migrants.



The event is dedicated to discussing the successful strategies and challenges for addressing the use of technology and innovation in the fight against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. Panelists will highlight how multisectoral partnerships and the strategic involvement of youth and technology may support the fight against these crimes and also discuss obstacles and risks that hamper innovation in these areas.



This session aims at illustrating complexities arising when turning from theory to practice and ways to overcome such challenges by using case-law from around the globe. Ultimately, it is by putting together the “mosaic of evidence” which led to convictions and overcoming challenges of applying complex legal standards by the judiciary, that effective access to justice for victims is fostered.