Cairo, Egypt – The scale and complexity of the current crisis of forced migration, refugee flows, internal displacement and human trafficking are unprecedented. Conflicts, state collapse, protracted instability, and the erosion of the rule of law, present traffickers and smugglers with opportunities to illegally profit. In 2017, human trafficking alone generated over 150 billion dollars worldwide in illicit financial flows.
On the other hand, poverty, unemployment, and the lack of economic opportunity increase the propensity of crises-affected populations to accept risky survival strategies. In Africa, the twin challenge of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants is of particular gravity and urgency. Six of the ten countries that now account for more than 75% of the world’s refugee population are African (namely South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and Eritria). Of a global total of 60 million migrants, 34 million are African, mostly women and children, and 63% of cross-border movements of people are taking place within the continent.
Despite their best efforts, many countries continue to face difficulties in combating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants. Some lack the necessary resources to address the vulnerabilities of target communities and to provide protection for victims. Others lack the requisite technical and human capacity (rule of law officers, lawyers, and judges) to effectively respond to trafficking and smuggling of migrants.
Against this background, CCCPA organized its third training for the year on “Combating Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants” from 28 October to 1 November 2018. CCCPA’s unique multi-dimensional and integrated approach to training brought together 21 civilian, military and police personnel directly involved in combating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants from source, transit, and destination countries in North Africa, the East and Horn of Africa, Central Africa, and the Sahel and Sahara region. Participants included officials from Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Sudan, Uganda, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritius, Rwanda, Mali, and Burundi. The aim of the highly interactive and scenario-based training was to enable African professionals to address human trafficking and smuggling of migrants’ challenges and influence national strategies and policies on the issue. The training specifically sought to strengthen the participants’ understanding of the definitions, root causes and trends of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, as well as the differences, interlinkages, and implications of both crimes. The training covered prevention, prosecution, and protection (the 3 P’s Process), as well as effective investigation skills as well as identification and protection of vulnerable groups. The training highlighted the need to adhere to international legal instruments in combating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants and adopt a victim centred approach when dealing with mixed migration flows.
In an example of south-south cooperation, the training was an opportunity to shed light on African experiences in regional and international cooperation mechanisms to combat both crimes, whether for origin, transit, or destination countries. Practitioners from various Egyptian institutions such as the Ministry of Defence and the Public Prosecution Office addressed the role of law enforcement agencies, using the Egyptian experience in drafting national laws in combating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants as an example. The training also shed light on Egypt’s experience with establishing the National Coordinating Committee for Combating and Preventing Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons (NCCPIM&TIP). Trainers and experts from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Migration Agency – International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the African non-profit organisation Institute for Security Studies (ISS) also facilitated various thematic discussions on combating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants in Africa.
The training was based on the manual and toolkit, entitled Combating Human Trafficking & Smuggling of Migrants developed by the CCCPA Transnational Threats team. The training comes as part of the activities of the project “Consolidating Peace, Security and Stability in Africa IV - 2018-2019” supported by UNDP and funded by the Government of Japan.