Group picture of the participants

7 September 2018, Juba — United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with the Government of South Sudan and financial support from the European Union concluded on Thursday in Juba Landmark Hotel a three-day workshop on identifying and investigating cases of trafficking in persons targeting prosecutors and law enforcement officers.

The workshop, the first delivered by UNODC in South Sudan since 2013, falls within the framework of the the Better Migration Management (BMM) Programme, and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing theUnited Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Human trafficking is a global problem affecting the lives of millions of people around the world and robbing them of their dignity. It is a heinous crime that victimises millions of people, especially vulnerable groups, such as women and children generating billions of dollars in illegal proceeds for criminal networks. At the heart of human trafficking are the exploitation of a person by force, abuse and other coercive means for the mere purpose of profit at the expense of the dignity of the trafficked person.

Bior Philip, Prosecutor and workshop participant, described the training workshop as “timely and extremely beneficial”. He said: “the workshop was critical in improving the understanding and skills of participants not only in investigations but also in enhancing the capacities of the participants on human trafficking and migrant smuggling.

Police Lieutenant, Palma James, said: “The workshop focused on capacity building of the participants in addressing the crimes of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, victim protection and money laundering.” She said South Sudan has to join the international community by ratifying the Trafficking in Persons Protocol as soon as possible as the country is increasingly becoming an entry point, transit gateway and destination for human trafficking, migrant smuggling and money laundering.

The International Community has committed to fight this crime and to end the suffering of the victims. Over the years, member states have collectively worked on instruments and tools to stop the crime. The first and most important is the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime that today -after 15 years being in force - enjoys quasi-universal coverage with 189 States Parties and its supplementing Trafficking in Persons Protocol with 173 States Parties.

Simone Heri, the Programme Coordinator of Anti-Human Trafficking & Migrant Smuggling at the Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, stated that South Sudan is not yet a party to the Organized Crime Convention and Trafficking in Persons Protocol. She said two South Sudanese delegates participated in a pre-accession workshop in Vienna, at the Headquarters of UNODC.  Facilitated by UNODC, Simone explained: “The purpose of their visit to Vienna is to prepare South Sudan to become a party to the Organized Crime Convention and its Protocols against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants and join the international community in fighting organised crime in all its manifestations.”

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