On 31st January 2018, Gedarif Exploring international and local responses to the crime of human trafficking has been the focus of work for Gedarif’s Ministry of Social Welfare, the judiciary, prosecution services, police force, journalists, social workers and NGOs this week during a two day workshop on 29-30 January 2018.
Provided by the EU and German funded Better Migration Management Programme (BMM), the workshop was led by senior members of the Gedarif Judiciary and Police Force and attended by 41 participants focusing on the legality and responses to human trafficking and smuggling. The lively two day discussions by these key stakeholders shed light on the challenges and opportunities to collectively address and respond to human trafficking, sharing professional experiences on how their sectors can respond and work together to the migration, trafficking and smuggling challenges facing their State. Gedarif State’s proximity to Ethiopia and its large agricultural sector means it historically attracts a large number of migrants looking for work or to transit through the State onwards to other regions within Sudan and to other countries.
This workshop on the legality and responses comes at a key time as Gedarif State approaches the rainy season in June and large numbers of migrants are expected to enter. Her Excellency, the Minister of Social Welfare, Awatif Mohammed El Gali, opened the workshop. The lawyers and NGOs discussed the difficulties in distinguishing between victims of trafficking and perpetrators and how to determine legally whether an incident is smuggling or trafficking. The journalists and police force discussed challenges and opportunities in reporting.
Mona Abdalla Arabi from Gedarif Television and Radio Network commented that “the workshop was of great benefit and has enhanced my legal understanding [and].the variety in participants was particularly beneficial and allowed for lots of useful information to be shared between groups.” Hanin Abdalla, a lawyer from the Criminal Prosecution Services said “this is a very important topic at the moment, since I have a role as a lawyer I will now begin to provide legal aid to vulnerable migrants.”
The workshop was designed and facilitated by IOM as part of the BMM programme, a regional programme aiming to improve migration management in the Horn of Africa, and in particular to curb the trafficking of human beings and the smuggling of migrants within and from the Horn.