The expanding role of e-learning in the fight against human trafficking
Innovative training tools, including e-learning, are essential in ensuring that policymakers, judges and law enforcement officials are effectively investigating and prosecuting cases of human trafficking, representatives from UNODC and IOM said on a panel during the twenty-first session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna on Thursday.
"We need to spread the word and make sure that those who need training can get access to it," said Pierre Lapaque, Chief of the Implementation and Support Section, Organized Crime Branch of UNODC's Division of Treaty Affairs. The technological leaps of the past decade have made computer- and electronic-based trainings powerful capacity-building tools in the fight against human trafficking.
UNODC spearheaded a wide range of training materials aimed at reaching remote regions, including computer-based trainings, a webinar series and e-learning programs.
IOM Regional Counter-Trafficking Coordinator Eurídice Márquez Sánchez emphasized the need to target the private sector as well, and highlighted UN.GIFT's e-learning tool for business as successful example how technology can be used to reach vast and diverse audiences.
An estimated 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders annually, often by large and sophisticated criminal networks.
"People are treated as commodities," said panel Chair, Resident Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany Ambassador Rüdiger Lüdeking. "We need to train people to be better prepared to deal with this crime and more aware of the dangers." Ambassador Lüdeking also noted that while e-learning programs are only in the early stages of development, they are already powerful tools in the fight to end human trafficking.