From 27 to 29 July, the United Nations Police Division of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions in the Department of Peace Operations virtually convened its biannual workshop for serious and organized crime experts from seven United Nations peace operations and partners to help prevent and combat the trafficking in persons (TIP). According to International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), human trafficking is one of the most widespread, lucrative global crimes committed by organized networks or individuals and is expected to grow due to peoples’ increased vulnerabilities and marginalization as a result of COVID-19.
During his introductory remarks, United Nations Deputy Police Adviser Jun Tan, highlighted that trafficking in persons contributes to national, regional and global instability. Reminding participants of their crucial role in protecting communities at risk and preventing and responding to this crime in the communities they serve, Mr. Tan said that, “[we] must remain fully engaged in stopping traffickers, protect victims and tackle the systems that allow this heinous crime to thrive.” Chief of the Police Division Mission Management and Support Section Garima Bhatnagar further stressed the importance of assessing new trends related to the trafficking in person due to COVID-19 to identify effective response measures.
A victim of trafficking and experts from the UNODC, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), United Nations Women, the Helen Bamber Foundation, and the Centre for International and Operational Law further enriched discussions and recommendations by sharing their perspectives related to gender dimensions, money laundering, international human rights and humanitarian law, and law enforcement.
Recognizing the threat that serious and organized crimes pose to the safety of communities and international security, the Police Division remains committed to attaining and deploying experts to United Nations peace operations and other contexts to better support host States and their societies.