Witnesses are essential for the success or failure of a case. When it comes to human trafficking, most of the victims are migrants who travel irregularly, without visa or papers, in search of a better job and life. Those that receive much-needed assistance and protection are more likely to cooperate with law enforcement, which can bring their perpetrators to justice.
In Sudan, once irregular migrants are intercepted by the police they will most likely be incarcerated, even though some or many of these may actually be victims of human trafficking, vulnerable and in desperate need of assistance. According to the Trafficking in Persons Report 2017 by the US Department of State, Sudanese officials failed to accurately identify victims of sex trafficking and forced labour. While the government stopped the practice of detaining witnesses to ensure their participation in trials in 2016, the report states that the country does not provide sufficient protection for victims during legal proceedings.
In response to this, GIZ under the Better Migration Management (BMM) Programme, started to design a curriculum for trainings and seminars to increase the capacity of the Sudanese authorities in the area of protection. The objective of the trainings and seminars is to improve participants' skills in identifying victims of human trafficking and to provide protective services to witnesses.
Recently, a two-day workshop with police officers, prosecutors, and judges from Kassala State, a state in eastern Sudan, took place. They were trained in identifying the type of crime that has been committed (smuggling or trafficking); the victims and what information to gather from them; and to understand if the victim is in danger and needs protection from the suspected trafficker.
The curriculum also includes a training of trainers at the Judicial and Legal Sciences Institute in Khartoum. Thirty police officers from Kassala will soon join this training of trainer's course.
Please note that, in the case of Sudan, the BMM does not work with intelligence agencies or the military in and from Sudan. The BMM only trains border officials and police. This is to develop and improve their capacity to counter trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. The selection of participants is closely coordinated with the Sudanese Ministry of Interior to prevent military and intelligence personnel from taking part in BMM financed training activities.