Italian Coastguard/Massimo Sestini
Transnational Threats
Human trafficking is a heinous crime that involves grave encroachment on basic human rights and dignity. It is not only committed across boundaries, but also within the boundaries of states. It is made possible to through fraud, deception, threat and coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation, forced labor and organ removal among other forms of human trafficking.

Smuggling of migrants is a transnational crime, involving the facilitation of illegal entry of a person into a state of which that person is not a national or resident, for financial or other benefits. Due to their irregular status, migrants especially women and children, become vulnerable to a full range of threats to their physical integrity, well-being, and fundamental rights. Irregular migrants may be exposed to direct harm to their physical and mental health, as well as to exploitation, abuse, and human trafficking

Both crimes present origin, transit, and destination countries with serious challenges. For origin and transit countries, they hinder development, challenge the rule of law and states’ sovereignty as well as legitimate economies and threaten the safety and livelihood of millions of people. For receiving countries, they impose huge economic, political and peace and security challenges.

In Africa and the Middle East, the twin challenge of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants is of particular gravity and urgency. Conflicts, state collapse, protracted instability, and the erosion of the rule of law present traffickers and smugglers with enabling environments within which such crimes thrive. In tandem, poverty, unemployment, and the lack of economic opportunity increase the propensity of crises-affected populations to adopt negative coping mechanisms.

The important role of states to combat the transnational threats of human trafficking and migrant smuggling is encapsulated in the existing international and regional normative frameworks, most notably the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its supplementary Palermo Protocols: The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children and The Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air. Notwithstanding the above, implementation challenges persist: in the African context, many states continue to lack the capacity, resources, data, national legislation and strategy to effectively combat both crimes. Eradicating human trafficking is also integral to targets to achieve the goals of gender equality, decent work and economic growth and peace and justice in the 2030 Sustainable development agenda. Promoting safe, orderly, regular, and responsible migration also comes as an essential target to reduce inequalities in the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. 

In this context, CCCPA has developed its integrated training course on “Combating Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants.” The five-day training developed by CCCPA, targets mid-career African civilian, military and police personnel. It aims to strengthen the capacity of African professionals to address the challenges of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants; and to inform national legislation, strategies and policies on the issue. The training specifically seeks to enhance participants’ understanding of (i) the definitions, root causes and trends of migration flows and exploitation; and (ii) the differences, interlinkages, and implications of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.  Another objective of the simulation-based training is to practically strengthen African professionals’ capacities to identify and investigate cases of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, and cooperate on the regional and international levels to address both crimes.

To achieve its objectives, CCCPA applies a unique multi-dimensional approach to training by adopting the 3Ps + 1 paradigm enshrined in the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The training covers the four pillars of prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships to combat both crimes, while also mainstreaming development, victim-centered and human-rights based approaches across the continuum of interventions addressing both crimes.  

CCCPA's Convening, Training and Research Efforts

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