GLO.ACT Delivers Critical Coaching on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling to Police and Judicial Investigators

Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq – 29 May 2023 – UNODC, under the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT Asia and the Middle East), ran a second coaching session with police and judicial investigators from 7 to 8 May 2023 in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).

This work builds on previous training and coaching sessions conducted for police officers and judicial investigators from across Iraq, including Federal Iraq and the KRI, focusing on investigating Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) cases.

The second coaching session was supported by Major General Ayad Ashur from the Ministry of Interior (MOI) in Baghdad and Assaiyish Judge Arivan Mustapha from Erbil, who served as national experts. A total of 22 participants (3 female/19 male) attended the session, representing the Anti-Trafficking departments from various governorates in Federal Iraq, as well as the Combating Organized Crimes offices in Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Dohuk, along with judicial investigators from Erbil and Sulaymaniyah courts.

The session commenced by inviting participants to work in groups and identify their challenges and difficulties. Following this discussion, the focus shifted to the areas highlighted by the participants, including:

  • International cooperation;
  • Interpretation issues;
  • Elements of proof in TIP cases involving organ removal;
  • Conflicts between judges and police regarding the application of TIP law versus the Penal Code;
  • Coordination among various law enforcement entities.

During discussions, participants share their experiences regarding cases they had worked on. This allowed them to explore both successful and unsuccessful outcomes and analyse the reasons behind them.

Throughout the event, various techniques and investigative methods applicable to TIP and SOM cases were presented to the participants.

The officers selected for coaching were chosen based on their outstanding performance and active participation during the earlier training sessions.

The Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants – Asia and the Middle East (GLO.ACT-Asia and the Middle East) is a four-year joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in up to five countries: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (Afghanistan), Islamic Republic of Iran (I.R. of Iran), Republic of Iraq (Iraq), Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Pakistan). GLO.ACT-Bangladesh is a parallel initiative also financed by the EU and implemented with IOM.

The project builds on a global community of practice set in motion in GLO.ACT 2015-2019 and assists governmental authorities and civil society organizations in targeted, innovative, and demand-driven interventions: sustaining effective strategy and policy development, legislative review and harmonization, capability development, and regional and trans-regional cooperation. The project also provides direct assistance to victims of human trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and protection mechanisms. The project is fully committed to mainstreaming Human Rights and Gender Equality considerations across all of its activities.

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