Trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants: UNODC strengthens the knowledge of criminal justice chain actors in Chad

This activity was funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Due to « its geographical position, its rich subsoil, but also the security context that prevails at its borders, Chad has become an increasingly used migratory route », states Ms. Julienne Deyo, Director of Judicial Affairs of the Ministry of Justice. These migration flows, especially those towards Libya, Europe and gold mining sites, are not free of risk for migrants, who very often expose themselves to abuses by smugglers and violation of their fundamental human rights.

The mines and gold bearing zones are particularly known for being important places of human trafficking in Chad. Other forms of exploitation are widespread in Chad, including forced labor of the enfants bouviers ("shepherds' children") in pasture activities, domestic servitude of women and children, or forced begging known as Mahadjirine. Cases of sexual exploitation exist but remain barely documented.

In response to this situation, Chad committed to fight trafficking in persons by ratifying Ordinance No. 006/PR/18 in June 2018, thereby intensifying its efforts to prevent, combat and punish the perpetrators of these crimes. A coordinating body to combat human trafficking was also created in the process, and the government of the Republic of Chad is currently working on the establishment of an institutional framework to fight smuggling of migrants. These efforts are essential and must be strengthened.

Group photo of participants

In order to support the country's efforts in this area, UNODC organized a training workshop for criminal actors on human trafficking and smuggling of migrants in the Republic of Chad, from 16 to 19 December 2019 in N'Djamena.

The training addressed 33 magistrates, gendarmes and police officers from all parts of the country, including 2 women. The main objectives of this workshop were to contribute to a better understanding of the legal instruments regarding human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, and to strengthen the capacities of criminal justice chain actors on the principles and techniques inherent to the detection, investigation and judgment phases of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants' cases specifically.

Family picture

Participants were introduced to the various components of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, the protection of victims and witnesses, investigative techniques and the importance of international judicial and police cooperation. Case studies and mock trials facilitated the training, enabling those involved in the criminal chain to strengthen their collaboration and understand each other's roles in dealing with the offenses of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.

According to a judicial police officer, capacity building for actors in the Chadian criminal justice chain " should continue", insofar as these are " new concepts which need to be consolidated in order to be able to carry out investigations and ensure effective treatment of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants cases". Recommendations were formulated in this regard by the participants, in particular: " (i) Intensifying training courses for actors in the criminal justice chain, including material support; (ii) supporting the ratification of the protocol to combat the smuggling of migrants and (iii) strengthening the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the fight against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants". The workshop was concluded by the Director of Judicial Affairs, calling on " magistrates and judicial police officers to take ownership of the content of this training".

This training workshop was conducted as part of UNODC's contribution to the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, through which UNODC undertook to support the countries of the Sahel region in the fight against organized crime in its different forms. It is part of the project "Strengthening the capacities of West African states to develop a human rights-based response to illicit trafficking of persons, and to effectively respond to human rights violations related to irregular migration" (PROMIS), funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and implemented jointly by UNODC and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It also demonstrates progress towards the collective objective of achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, contributing primarily to Sustainable Development Goal 16 aiming to "promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies".

For more information:

UNODC Regional Strategy for Combating Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in West and Central Africa

UNODC on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants