10 August 2019, Mombasa: IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP), with support from the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) through the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) under the IPPSHAR program, conducted a four days regional training on “Investigating and Prosecuting Smuggling of Migrants”, held on 07-10 August 2019 in Mombasa, Kenya.
IGAD SSP is a comprehensive regional program that covers prevention and countering of Transnational Security Threats (TSTs) including terrorism, transnational organized crime (TOC), maritime insecurity. IGAD SSP has also the responsibility of providing capacity building for the security sector institutions of Member States. The overall objective of IGAD SSP is to promote and strengthen regional and national capacities to better predict, prevent and counter TSTs and thereby contribute to regional peace and stability, and foster enabling environment for regional integration and development of the sub-region.
Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) and Trafficking in Persons (TIP) are transnational security threats affecting citizens, communities/society and states negatively. Both human trafficking and smuggling are complex process that involve different stages at origin, transit and destination. In the IGAD region, often smuggling constitutes trafficking in some stages, particularly in borders, transits and sometime in destinations. TIP/SOM often involve other forms of criminal activities in recruiting, transporting, border crossing and flow of illicit finances including breaching immigration laws, forgery of document, rape, sexual assault, bodily injury, torture, kidnapping, money laundering and so on. SOM/TIP criminals operate in a loosely connected/organized clandestine groups and individuals. The criminal modes remain ever changing and adapting to law enforcement responses that require innovative law enforcement measures. Relatively, financial flows of the criminal networks remain to a large extent easily traceable that can better serve as a source for effective investigations and further tracing of illicit proceeds of the criminal activities.
The overall objective of the training was to equip trainees with a working knowledge and skills of investigating and prosecuting SOM to strengthen the capacity Member States’ law enforcement agencies to enable them effectively bring perpetrators to justice contributing to the overall fighting against illegal migration.
The training was opened by HE Mr. John Kilonzi, Director of Peace and Security in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kenya and Commander Abebe Muluneh, IGAD SSP Director. Twenty-nine (29) trainees from all IGAD Member States’ relevant institutions participated in the training. Two (2) experts from Nigeria have also participated as expert to share their experiences and learn from the IGAD region, which was also considered a s a starting point to strengthen cooperation between West and East Africa in fighting common security threats. The participants were, but not limited to, crime investigators, criminal intelligence analysts, financial analysts/investigators, prosecutors, investigative judges from relevant authorities particularly the police, anti-human trafficking units, public prosecution, financial intelligence units, attorney general and other competent bodies.
During the four days, the following themes were thoroughly discussed through presentations, group and practical exercises:
- Understanding Smuggling of Migrants – Definitions, key concepts and criminalization
- Comparative analysis of SOM and TIP – differences, similarities and overlaps;
- Forms and methods of migrant smuggling and the roles of various actors in the process of SOM
- Identification and protection of migrants
- Elements and characteristics the offense of SOM and related criminal conducts;
- Techniques of investigation and prosecution supported by case studies and exercises
The training was successfully concluded on August 10, 2019.