Sudan Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking

From the Editor

For the benefit of the readers Sudan Vision will publish in its editions the important topics presented during the its forum on human trafficking which was held last week in the presence of high profile officials and international community representatives Today we will publish the interesting paper presented by the Dean of Judicial and Legal Sciences Institute Dr. Sawsan Saeed Shendi

Your Excellency the vice president
Honorable representatives of,
Respected ambassadors to Sudan,
International Organizations,
Dear Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.

I am truly honored today to address you on behalf of the Judicial and Legal Sciences Institute and as a member of a legal committee for combating human trafficking. As, you know, Human Trafficking is a grieve violation of human rights, accordingly that oblige us to pool our efforts to combat, whether nationally or internationally. It is not far from the truth to say that human trafficking is a crime that affects all countries in the world and Sudan is not an exception. The country faces particular challenges due to our geographical location, which sees us sharing open land borders with seven other countries, and Sudan is at the center of East African migration route towards North Africa and Europe.
Another fact is that our country has become a hub for migration both within the African continent and further afield to Europe and the Middle East. Migration patterns often include a mix of refugees, asylum seekers, economic migrants, unaccompanied children and of course victims of trafficking.
The Government of Sudan is highly committed to the task and responsibility of tackling the issue of human trafficking, in line and with full cooperation and coordination with International organizations, adopting, and applying the International norms, that governs and at the same time reflects the best practices. For example in this context Sudan acceded to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime 2000, and Parlemo Protocol supplementing the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime 2000. Sudan devoted its efforts to comply with the international standard.
In the Judicial and Legal Sciences Institute in the area of building capacity of law enforcement organs, and in collaboration with the (IOM) we launched a project that lasted for nine months on strengthening the capacity of the Sudanese Criminal Justice system to address Human Trafficking. During the project we concentrated on the effective investigation and prosecution of Human trafficking in Sudan, and the protection of the victims, and from which we are proud to inform you that we have developed a training curriculum in the name “Criminal Justice System Training Course on Investigating and Prosecuting Human Trafficking in Sudan”. This Curriculum has very important features, first has been developed locally by experienced local criminal justice practitioners in the course with advice of IOM expert, second the curriculum involved strong collaboration by the three arms of criminal justice Judges, Prosecutors, and Police officers, and also we published a “Guidelines for Care and Protection of Trafficked Persons”. The important features of these documents is that, they are totally developed by experienced National criminal justice practitioners adopting the International best practices, but at the same time tailored in a way to suit the distinguished context of Sudan. That effort was accompanied by a background reader, a handbook facilitate the law organ work in combating the crime.
Also we have now a local training team from the criminal system to implement training for their colleague in different law enforcement organs. Also we made a good partnership with UNODC in training Judges, Prosecutors, Police officers, and social workers in the area of investigation and prosecution of the crime,and we implemented courses in human trafficking data collection and country report compiling .No doubt that gathering accurate information is very important for the government in order to see the true picture, which help in setting up policies and combating programs. I couldn’t forget to mention the partnership with UNICEF we highly appreciated their role in training our legal organs, and social workers in the justice of children including in the area of child trafficking, and we also established a special manual for training. We have so many successful partnerships with other international organization like GIZ, but the time of the paper is limited. I would like to express our strong appreciate to all of them.
At the state level our legal weapon to fight the crime is the anti- trafficking law 2014, Sudan integrated anti Human trafficking legislation into our legal framework, which criminalized every trafficking act exploited any person, whatever the kind of exploitation, and these means that the judge has the power to determine any exploitation act as human trafficking. The anti- trafficking act strengthened the law by establishing stronger penalties, as well as, confiscation of their assets, and also expending provision to protect victims (victim rescued and protected) and traffickers prosecuted and imprisoned. The law guaranteed access to justice for victims without judicial fees and provides highly protection system for victims and witnesses.
We have national strategy action plan against trafficking in person put by the national committee for combating human trafficking established by the law, which cover the area of advocacy, prevention, protection, rehabilitation, reintegration, and partnership. We ensure that our government and civil sectors dealing with trafficking are communicating with each other.
Also the presidency and by a warrant established a legal and a technical committees to work side by side with the National Committee for Combating Human trafficking. The legal committee includes within its members the Attorney General, Deputy Chief Justice, Minister of Justice, and me, Police officers, and other members from the legal criminal system such as the refugee commission, ETC. The legal committee convened a number of successful meetings and started by reviewing legislations that have direct or indirect links to Human trafficking such as the Human Trafficking Act 2014, The Criminal Act 1991, Labour Act 1997, Child Act 2010, Domestic workers Act 1955, Passports and Migration Act 1994 as Amended 2015, Refugee Act 2014, Armed forces Act 2007 and related laws and Money Laundering and Terrorism Combating Act 2014.
Also we reviewed a number of regional and international conventions and protocols because as you know that article 27/3 of the Sudan Constitution 2005 provided that all rights and freedoms enshrined in international human rights treaties, covenants, and instrument ratified by the republic of Sudan shall be integral part of the bill, and our legislation shall regulate this freedoms and rights and not detract or derogate any of these rights .
I would like to assure you that a significant progress was made and the results will be very promising and will be published and seen by all very soon.
The challenges that face our country from my view that I like to highlight special attention to it, they can be summarized into the following points:
1. Establishing protection mechanism and here we need support from the international organization because as I said there are high rate of arrival from near countries need protection.
2. The need to establish a referral mechanism.
3. To define the roles and responsibilities of each concerned Government organ and the time for its intervention, and that should be in a standardized operating procedure and the high legal committee works in these field and joined the entire related institute to collaboration and secured cooperation between the responsible authority.
4. The establishment and equipment of safe houses.
5. Establishing a hot line for announcing about any violation act to human rights, or child trafficking, or any exploitation to persons. I thought that line connected to the police or the social welfare ministry.
6. International Financial Institution should give care to programs for raising the awareness in human trafficking activities especially in forced labor exploitation, and in agriculture, mines, domestic servitude, because it keeps great number of persons away from abuse, and we have to monitor and evaluate these preventive measures to know their effectiveness.
7. The need to raise the capacity of the check point officers and provided them with supported technical equipment.
8. The need for electronic data collection system.
9. System of monitoring and evaluation of the combating process taken by every responsible department.

In my view these challenges can easily be overcome since we have the required determination with the help of our friends and stakeholders from the International community as the issue of human trafficking is an International concern violates human rights mostly.
At the end let me re-affirm that we have great challenges and great opportunities, I am sure that together we can meet them for the sake of humanity and human rights protection.

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