Cairo, Egypt –The twin challenge of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants in Africa is grave and urgent. Conflicts, state collapse, protracted instability, and the erosion of the rule of law and terrorism, present traffickers and smugglers with enabling environments within which such crimes thrive. On the other hand, poverty, unemployment, the lack of economic opportunity, and climate change, increase the propensity of crises-affected populations to adopt negative coping mechanisms.
Despite existing normative international and continental frameworks, many African countries continue to face challenges in combating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, and addressing their drivers. Additionally, many are yet to domesticate the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its protocols (commonly referred to as the Palermo Convention or Palermo Protocol). This can be traced to the lack of capacities, sufficient financial resources, data, and necessary coordination and cooperation, to inform policy planning and decision making.
Recognizing that African States must be in the driving seat to provide adequate national frameworks and tools, as well as coordinate a collective and holistic response to address the drivers of human trafficking and smuggling, and facilitating safe, regular and responsible migration, CCCPA organized its second training for the year on “Combating Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants”, from 29 September to 03 October 2019.
Applying CCCPA’s unique multi-dimensional and integrated approach to training, the course brought together 15 mid-career African civilian, military and police personnel from national governments and regional organizations directly concerned with combating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants. Participants represented source, transit, and destination countries in North, East and Central Africa, as well as the Sahel-Sahara region, including Egypt, Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Nigeria, and Tunisia, as well as participants from regional organizations including the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Africa Prosecutors Association, the G5 Sahel, and the Social Affairs Department of the African Union.
The aim of the interactive and scenario-based training is to enable 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 the definitions, root causes and trends of migration flows and exploitation; the differences, interlinkages, and implications of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants; and significance of regional and international cooperation in addressing both crimes. The training covers the four pillars of prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships (the 3 Ps +1 Paradigm), in addition to effective investigation skills and the identification and protection of vulnerable groups. It highlights the need to adhere to international legal instruments in combating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants and to adopt victim-centered and human-rights based approaches when dealing with mixed migration flows.
The training shed light on African experiences drawn from international, continental and regional cooperation mechanisms to combat both crimes, for origin, transit, or destination countries. National experts from various Egyptian institutions such as the Ministry of Defense, the Office of the Prosecutor General, the Ministry of Justice, and the Administrative Control Authority, addressed the role of law enforcement agencies--presenting the Egyptian experience in drafting national laws for combating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants as an example. The training also shed light on Egypt’s experience in establishing the National Coordinating Committee for Preventing and Combating Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons (NCCPIM&TIP). Trainers and experts from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) facilitated the training’s thematic discussions.
The training is based on the Combating Human Trafficking & Smuggling of Migrants Manual and Toolkit developed by CCCPA’s Transnational Threats Program. It comes as part of the activities under the current project “Consolidating Peace, Security and Stability in Africa - 2019-2020”, supported by UNDP and funded by the Governments of Switzerland and Japan.