The Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

CCPCJ Side Event - New rights-based technical cooperation tools to support implementation of the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol

17 - 21 May 2021


The 30th Session of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) is being held this week from 17 to 21 May 2021.

As smuggling of migrants is one of the key topics on this year’s agenda, the RSO alongside IOM, UNODC and the Government of Bangladesh hosted a side event on May 17th showcasing new rights-based technical cooperation tools that address the crime of smuggling of migrants. The event was moderated by the European Union and had over 85 participants (from Member States and civil society) join the event online.


Francesco Luciani – Head of the Migration and Forced Displacement unit at DG INTPA, European Commission – opened the event. He stressed that the European Union is determined to combat migrant smuggling and will be putting in place a new Action Plan to counter smuggling. Mr. Luciani stated that “the plan focuses on combating criminal networks, boosting cooperation with partner countries and support the work of law enforcement” during his opening remarks.


The first tool showcased at this event was UNODC’s Toolkit for mainstreaming Human Rights and Gender Equality into criminal justice interventions to address Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants. This tool kit was introduced by Marika McAdam – UNODC independent expert/consultant. Ms. McAdam explained that the Toolkit consists of 26 tools which aim to support users with practical guidance to design rights-based activities that are calibrated to local environments.


IOM’s new suite of publications which gives clear operational direction on providing protection and assistance to vulnerable migrants was introduced by Heather Komenda – IOM Migrant Protection and Assistance Specialist. She highlighted the IOM Handbook on Migrant Protection and Assistance for Migrants Vulnerable to Violence, Exploitation and Abuse, which provides practical guidance on identification, referral, protection and assistance for migrants vulnerable to violence, exploitation and abuse.


Introducing the 2021 Understanding the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol publication was Jake Sharman – Co-Manager (Australia), Regional Support Office of the Bali Process (RSO). This publication was jointly developed by the RSO and UNODC Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. The publication explains in simple terms, the requirements of the Smuggling Protocol, including those relating to the protection of rights of smuggled migrants, to support States in their implementation of the Protocol.


The last piece of work showcased at this event was a national Study on Trafficking in Persons in Bangladesh, which includes a chapter on the occurrence of human trafficking in connection with migrant smuggling and irregular migration. This study was introduced by Md. Jahangir Alam – Secretary (Political and ICT), Public Security Division, Bandladesh Ministry of Home Affairs. He said that the overlap between trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants has become more visible and that the national study would assist in developing future programmes by national authorities.


The RSO hopes that the tools presented at this side event will be useful for all involved in addressing and preventing the smuggling of migrants.


A recording of this event can be viewed by following this link.