Adoption by Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger magistrates schools of new training manuals on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants


The growing awareness of the States of West and Central Africa, particularly those of the Sahelian strip, about the importance of combating transnational organized crime in all its forms in the region no longer needs to be demonstrated. They have ratified the United Nations Convention against Organized Crime and its additional protocols on human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, and they are in the process of transposing international standards into domestic law. It appears necessary to focus on building the capacities of actors in the criminal justice chain so that the protection of victims and the prosecution of the perpetrators of these crimes can be done efficiently.

In this sense, the instructors of the police and gendarmerie schools of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger attended a regional workshop on the training manuals on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, which took place from 6 th to the 8 th of November 2017. This contributed to the reinforcement, at the sub-regional level, of the strategic and operational capacities of the units in charge of combating trafficking in persons.

Participants during the training
Participants during the training

Furthermore the training of judges also appears to be essential given that they play a leading role in eradicating the scourges of human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants. As a result, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has developed tools for technical assistance in order to support States and therefore strengthen national responses to these crimes. The support for the curricula of the National Schools of Judicial Training is thus one of the most durable solutions to interfere and obstruct the operating methods of criminal networks.

Following a meeting held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from the 19 th to 21 st of December 2017, during which the draft of the training syllabus on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants was validated, UNODC organized a regional workshop from the 25 th to 27 th of June 2018 in Bamako, Mali, in order to develop a training syllabus on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling for the judicial training schools of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

Mr. Toubaye Koné, representing the Minister of Justice and who is the General Director of the National Institute of Judicial Training of Mali, chaired the opening ceremony of this workshop, which gathered 21 people including 8 women. In addition to the directors and trainers of the schools of magistrates of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, the workshop was also attended by the national structures for combating human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants from each of the three countries.

In order to correspond to the educational requirements of the schools and to the axes defined in the national strategies to combat these two phenomena, the consultant who facilitated the workshop submitted two drafts of the training manuals to the participants who commented on them before proceeding to their validation. Beforehand, the trainers set up groups to enrich the textbooks with their experiences and by sharing what they believed to be good practices. It also allowed them to discuss ways of adapting and implementing training sessions on human trafficking and smuggling of migrants intended for the judicial auditors and magistrates.

After training the magistrates-teachers of Burkina-Faso, Mali and Niger (Dakar, Senegal, 12-14 March 2018), the combined elaboration of manuals and training modules by UNODC and the national judicial training schools appears as the second phase of the UNODC technical assistance cycle for States in the region to combat human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.

This activity, funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, contributes to the Regional Strategy against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (2015-2020) and the UNODC Regional Program for West Africa (2016-2020).