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Development Account Projects

Strengthening national criminal justice capacity to disrupt key human trafficking routes in Egypt, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan

Background:

Specific routes are used to traffic persons into Western Asia and one of the main destination regions at the global level, has been identified (see UNODC, ‘Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns’, April 2006). Victims, especially women trafficked for sexual exploitation, are trafficked from the Central Asian area of the Commonwealth of Independent States, including via Kyrgyzstan, to the Arabic Peninsula or to the Mediterranean coasts of the Middle East. Furthermore, males trafficked for varying forms of labour exploitation, are trafficked from the Indian Sub-Continent and South East Asia, via Pakistan, to Western Asia. In addition, African victims are trafficked to the Middle East via Egypt. Three key countries, Egypt, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan, in the identified routes appear to be significant transit points for victims trafficked into the Western Asia region. At the same time, the level of investigations, prosecutions and convictions in these countries appears to be very low for the extent of trafficking through these countries.

The lack of investigations, prosecutions and convictions in countries where trafficking in persons is highly reported by international organizations, non-governmental organizations and police forces signals a need for strengthening the capacity of the law enforcement agencies, border control, prosecutors and the judiciary to combat trafficking in persons.

The proposed project will aim to increase official knowledge and awareness of the current situation of trafficking in persons as well as the anti-trafficking structure and existing capacity in the selected countries. In addition, the proposed project will aim to identify gaps in the responses to human trafficking in the national criminal justice systems and recommend actions to the national authorities for addressing these.  The custodian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UN TOC), the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking In Persons, Especially Women and Children (the Trafficking Protocol) and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air (the Smuggling Protocol), UNODC will aim to strengthen any existing national legislation in the selected countries to comply with the obligations set out in those instruments. 

Finally, the proposed project aims to increase the level of knowledge and skills for criminal justice officers on detecting, investigating, prosecuting and convicting traffickers.  The selected countries will receive specialized assistance including the development of local capacity and expertise, as well as practical tools to encourage cooperation in investigations and prosecutions.  The project targets three countries: Egypt, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan.  Noting that human trafficking routes connect these countries to many others, especially in Western Asia, the project aims to have an impact on the underlying activities of transnational human traffickers by enhancing the response in Egypt, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan and thereby disrupting established trafficking routes.  

Objective:

To strengthen the capacity of the national criminal justice system in three selected countries (Egypt, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan) to investigate, prosecute and convict traffickers in persons.

Expected Accomplishments:

  • Increased knowledge and awareness of the current situation of trafficking in persons as well as of the anti-trafficking structure and existing capacity in Egypt, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan.

  • Identified gaps in the national criminal justice systems and how they might be addressed through a detailed list of recommendations to be proposed to the national authorities.

  • Increased level of knowledge and skills of criminal justice officers in detecting, investigating, prosecuting and convicting traffickers.

Implementation Status:

Pakistan: In October 2010 the Federal Investigation Agency of Pakistan (FIA) organized a meeting of its Anti-Human Trafficking Units in order to review their performance as well as finalize inputs for the questionnaire submitted by American Embassy in Pakistan for the next edition of Trafficking in Person (TIP) report. The meeting discussed media awareness campaign on human trafficking in Pakistan, collection and sharing of data on human trafficking by International agencies and NGOs with the concurrence from FIA, facilitation of victims, coordination mechanism between various stakeholders etc. On the side line of this meeting, the NPO was able to make direct contacts with US Embassy, IOM, UNICEF, UNHCR and national NGOs like Aurat Foundation, Sahil etc.

Egypt: A comprehensive assessment on TIP related laws has been completed with cases that have been prosecuted under these laws.

Kyrgyzstan: The main activity implemented during the reporting period is a legal and training needs assessment of law enforcement bodies which was finalized in October 2010. As a result of this activity a report on legal assessment of national legislation and training needs assessment of law enforcement bodies was presented to all relevant actors working in the field of trafficking in persons in the country. The report was published and disseminated among all relevant actors by the end of this year. The report included a detail list of recommendations on national legislation as well as a list of trainings to be delivered to law enforcement bodies within the span of the projects implementation.