UNODC trains key actors of the criminal justice chain in Mali and Niger on the fight against TIP and SOM


West African countries, and in particular Sahelian states, increasingly have to address the threat posed by transnational organized crime (TOC) such as trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.

These criminal networks continue to violate basic human rights and jeopardize the rule of law and the state's efforts towards stability and peace. As part of its work to strengthen Sahelian governments' responses to transnational organized crime and terrorism, UNODC has initiated a Training of Trainers (ToT) strategy with national institutes, designed to enhance the capacities of law enforcement officers and judicial officials to efficiently fight against TOC, and more specifically against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.

In the framework of this strategy, two additional programmes were launched in Mali and Niger in 2018, enabling UNODC to provide additional training for key actors within elements of the judicial chain in charge of TiP/SoM cases. These new programmes focused on enhancing detection, investigation, and prosecution capacities regarding TiP/SoM cases and improving coordination mechanisms throughout the criminal justice chain in the Sahel region.

Group photo
Group photo

UNODC therefore organized a training workshop in Mali, between 24 and 26 September 2018, with a total of 25 Malian magistrates from across the country in charge of TiP/SoM cases in attendance. The workshop was led by experts from the "Institut National de Formation Judiciaire du Mali" (INFJ) who had previously been trained as a part of UNODC's ToT strategy.

The workshop provided the magistrates with new relevant information regarding the transnational aspect of this criminal activity. In doing so, the training highlighted the importance of assessing the needs for specific mechanisms to efficiently implement judicial cooperation between themselves and all relevant forces involved in the fight against TiP/SoM.

UNODC then organized a training workshop in Niger for 20 officers of the national police and gendarmerie, between 2 and 12 October 2018. This training workshop also complemented UNODC's ongoing ToT strategy, seeing as 20 instructors from the police school had already been trained.

The training served as a platform to exchange on TiP/SoM issues and provided the officers with up-to-date information on the current existing judicial instruments relating to transnational criminality. This training session highlighted the need for greater cooperation with judicial officials also involved in these cases, and for improving interactions between law enforcement officers themselves in order to help repress TiP/SoM related abuses more efficiently.

This activity was organized in the framework the UNODC Contribution to the United Nations Strategy for the Sahel (the Sahel Programme) and the PROMIS project to strengthen the capacity of West African states to develop a response to the human rights-based TiP/SoM.