UNODC launches PROMIS project in The Gambia and assesses legal framework on smuggling of migrants

Funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands

The Gambia, similarly to many West African countries, faces several interconnected challenges related to poverty, climate change, rapid population growth and political instability. These factors jeopardize human security and well-being and have pushed many individuals to migrate in order to find adequate protection and improve their living conditions. 

To address this threat, UNODC, jointly with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, developed the PROMIS project, which aims at strengthening the capacities of West African countries to develop an innovative human-rights based approach to smuggling of migrants and to address human rights violations related to irregular migration. 

In September 2018, a UNODC delegation arrived in Banjul, capital city of The Gambia with two objectives in mind: launch the PROMIS project and conduct an assessment of the Gambia's legal framework on smuggling of migrants.

From 18 to 21 September, the launch of the PROMIS Project aimed at presenting the scope of activities and propose areas of technical assistance for law enforcement and justice officers to key stakeholders, including relevant government ministries and departments (Ministry of Justice, Department of Immigration, the National Agency against Trafficking in Persons), as well as civil society organisations and international organisations. The mission successfully raised awareness on the terms of the Protocol against Smuggling of Migrants and discussed new avenues to enhance the response to migrant smuggling. 


During the second week, from 24 to 28 September, UNODC conducted a legal and operational assessment to assist the Government of The Gambia in examining the compliance of its national legal framework with the terms of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, as well as international human rights law and standards. Through extensive consultations with national counterparts, the assessment identified challenges and technical assistance needs to effectively address smuggling of migrants from a legal perspective. Recommendations formulated during this assessment will pave the way for the establishment of a National Drafting Committee and the organization of national consultations to establish a new law on smuggling of migrants.

Through its Regional Office based in Senegal, and its 10 country offices based in the region, UNODC is implementing its Regional Strategy for Combating Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (2015-2020) for West and Central Africa. The PROMIS project (Protection of Migrants: Justice, Human Rights and Migrant Smuggling) is funded by the Kingdom of Netherlands and comprises five countries. It is a joint initiative between UNODC and OHCHR to enhance a human-rights based response to Smuggling of migrants (SOM) in West and Central Africa.

For more information:

Definitions and tools on human trafficking and migrant smuggling

UNODC Regional Strategy for Combating Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants 2015-2020