UNODC supports the efforts of Cabo Verde to combat human trafficking

This activity was financed by the United States

In 2014, UNODC conducted an assessment mission in Cabo Verde on the impact of trafficking in persons (TIP) and smuggling of migrants (SOM). The findings of this mission, as well as discussions held with national partners, highlighted several challenges related to the definition of key legal concepts, a lack of data on both phenomena, preventing to assess precisely the occurrence of these crimes in the country.

Immediately after the enactment of the anti-TIP law, with the revision of the Penal Code in 2015, the government of Cabo Verde, through the Ministry of Justice and Work, requested UNODC's technical assistance to support the full implementation of the legislation, mainly through awareness raising and capacity building interventions targeting the general population and criminal justice system, respectively.

In this context, within the framework of the Global Programme against Trafficking in Persons, UNODC supported the Government of Cabo Verde to strengthen the criminal justice response to trafficking in persons through a holistic approach. It aimed at enhancing the capacity of all relevant stakeholders from the different islands to identify cases of human trafficking, to be more familiar with the new Penal Code and to effectively investigate and prosecute trafficking in persons cases with a victim-centred approach.

Group photo of the participants celebrating the Global Day against Human Trafficking, Praia

Consequently, UNODC held a series of two training workshops against Trafficking in Persons for a multidisciplinary group of practitioners, in Praia, Cape Verde, to strengthen the national capacity to counter the crime. The first training, held from 11 to 15 June 2018, focused on the investigation and prosecution of trafficking in persons cases while the second one organized from 24 to 26 July 2018 gave thorough insight on the importance of protection and assistance to victims of trafficking. Both training gathered 42 Participants including 10 police officials, 9 judges, 8 prosecutors, 9 representatives of civil society organizations and 6 from the Ministry of Justice and Work from the different islands. More than half of the participants were women.

All participants showed a high interest in the various sessions and discussed the issues related to human trafficking in Cabo Verde, such as forced prostitution in touristy areas and forced begging in the capital. The diverse backgrounds of the participants allowed to discuss specific challenges, to strengthen relationships and gain a mutual understanding of the complexity of this crime. A major achievement of the workshops was the development of a concrete annual work plan to operationalize the recently promulgated National Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons (2018-2021).

Participants during the training, Praia

These activities were held under the UNODC Regional Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in West and Central Africa (2015-2020). They were funded by the US State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, though the Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section at UNODC Headquarters in Vienna.

For more information :

Stratégie régionale de l'ONUDC contre la traite des personnes et le trafic illicite de migrants en Afrique de l'Ouest et du Centre

Convention des Nations Unies contre la Criminalité Transnationale Organisée et les Protocoles s'y rapportant