UNODC strengthens criminal justice chain against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in the Liptako-Gourma region

                
                 
              
     
    Activities of UNODC in the Sahel region are            supported by contributions from Austria,                Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the European                Union, France, Germany, Japan,                                 Luxembourg,Monaco, the Netherlands,                     Norway, Spain and the United   States. 

West African countries, and in particular the Sahel states, are increasingly exposed to the threats posed by transnational organized crime, including trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. Today, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, which share the Liptako - Gourma region, are countries of departure, transit and destination for victims of trafficking and smuggled migrants. These vulnerable people are the prey of criminal networks who, in addition to violating their rights and dignity, undermine the stability and internal security of States affected by these phenomena.

In line with Goal 16.A of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals): "Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime", the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is supporting West African and Sahel states to dismantle transnational criminal networks. This assistance includes strengthening the operational capacity of law enforcement officers and magistrates in the fight against trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants.

Since 2015, UNODC has organized a series of training of trainers and tutorials that covered the two offenses for the benefit of criminal actors (police, gendarmes and magistrates) in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

 

   Left, participants from a training that reunited Niger's Police and Gendarmie
Right, magistrates from Burkina Faso receive their training on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants

Thanks to its collaboration with the schools of judicial training institutes, tutoring sessions made it possible to train, between September and November 2018, twenty-five (25) magistrates in each country, for a total of seventy-five (75) actors of the penal chain. The purpose of these activities was to enable the restitution of the knowledge acquired in the framework of the national training of trainers workshop on the judicial treatment of the two crimes, to reinforce the magistrates' knowledge of the legal framework (international and national) of the fight against trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants, to insist on the principles and mechanisms for the implementation of judicial cooperation, to allow courts and prosecutors to share experiences and good practices in prosecuting investigation and judgment of these two (02) offenses and finally to duplicate such activities in the schools of magistracy in the framework of continuing education and / or initial training.

In addition, UNODC also organized national relay trainer trainings for law enforcement agencies on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. On the one hand, fifty (50) police and gendarmes from specialized investigation services and operational border units operating in areas marked by these criminal practices were trained. On the other, from September to December 2018, UNODC trained fifteen (15) relay trainers of law enforcement officers in each country, making a total of forty-five (45) trainers capable of duplicating trainings with colleagues serving in other operational units of the country

All these activities are part of UNODC's contribution to the United Nations Strategy for the Sahel (SINUS) and also contribute to the implementation of its Regional Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants for West and Central Africa (2015-2020).

For more information:

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

UNODC's contribution to the United Nations integrated Strategy for the Sahel

Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants