Specialized Workshop on Open-Source Intelligence for Countering Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling

Dhaka, Bangladesh, 02 March 2023 – The third pillar of the GLO.ACT-Bangladesh project supports the Government of Bangladesh in enhancing the capacity of law enforcement agencies to investigate and address human trafficking and migrant smuggling.

In light of this context, GLO.ACT-Bangladesh, in partnership with Police Staff College, organized a specialized workshop on the collection and use of Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) for investigators of Bangladesh on 19, 20 and 22 February 2023.

OSINT can be a powerful intelligence and investigative tool but is too often overlooked. OSINT training enables investigators to use freely available online information in a targeted and non-invasive way.

People engaged in human trafficking and migrant smuggling increasingly use social media platforms to facilitate their crimes. Officers, with the necessary skills and knowledge, can navigate social media platforms and uncover information that the criminals and their associates have placed there. This information can relate to routes, network members and fee structures of migrant smuggling operations, sites where forged documents can be obtained, fraudulent employment opportunities designed to entice potential trafficking victims, and more.

21 (3 female, 18 male) officers from 5 law enforcement agencies in Bangladesh joined the workshop. The workshop took place in the computer lab at the Police Staff College Bangladesh to ensure a practice-driven exercise. The first day of the workshop focused on a theoretical understanding of trafficking in persons from a national and international context and the collection and management of open-source intelligence in Bangladesh.

Days 2 and 3 concentrated on technicalities of open-source intelligence, including sessions on investigating digital images, social media investigation and advanced use of search platforms such as Google. Khairul Alam Shiekh, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Project Director of GLO.ACT-Bangladesh, joined the closing ceremony of the workshop as the chief guest. He shared that the workshop on OSINT is aligned with the government's goal to create a digital criminal justice information system and requested the organizers facilitate further workshops in Bangladesh.

The training forms part of a broader effort by UNODC to encourage greater use of "intelligence-led policing" techniques.

The Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants - Bangladesh (GLO.ACT - Bangladesh) is a 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), led by the Government of Bangladesh. GLO.ACT-Bangladesh builds on a global community of practice set in motion in GLO.ACT 2015-2019 in 13 partner countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. 

Through targeted, innovative and demand-driven interventions, the GLO.ACT aims to support the Government of Bangladesh and civil society organizations to more effectively fight the crimes of human trafficking and migrant smuggling across the country. The project works on developing evidence-based information on trafficking and smuggling patterns and trends, legislative review and harmonization, capability development of criminal justice actors, and international cooperation. The project also provides direct assistance to victims of human trafficking and migrants in vulnerable situations 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.

Photo by United Nations is licensed under United Nations N/A
© 2019 - 2023 Silent Bridge, Privacy Policy