UN.GIFT Expert Group Initiative on Stakeholder Cooperation with Law Enforcement
1 April 2009 - In the framework of the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT), of which the International Organization for Migration is one of the Steering Committee members, IOM Vienna hosted last Monday, an Expert Group Initiative (EGI) on Cooperation between law enforcement institutions and stakeholders to effectively combat and prevent trafficking in human beings.
The purpose of the Conference was to present, discuss and disseminate the ''Guiding Principles on Memoranda of Understanding between Key Stakeholders and Law Enforcement Agencies on Counter-Trafficking Cooperation'', developed under this Expert Group Initiative.
Some of the topics addressed were the benefits and challenges on formalized cooperation between stakeholders to counter trafficking in human beings as well as some existing practices on institutionalized collaboration at regional, national and international levels.
Formalized cooperation, such as Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), clearly identifies the driving principles of such cooperation, and contributes to the building of mutual trust and the development of a common understanding on the objectives and policies of the different parties.
While the conference generated much dialogue on a wide range of topics, discussions on the Guiding Principles took centre stage. The Guiding Principles are a practical reference tool for counter trafficking experts from law enforcement agencies and stakeholders on how to build Memoranda of Understanding on cooperation between those institutions on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings as well as on protecting the trafficked persons.
The Conference also served as a platform for counter-trafficking experts to exchange their knowledge and experience.
IOM invites all counter-trafficking actors to make good use of the Guiding Principles and welcomes their feedback. IOM will continue to support all stakeholders in counter-trafficking initiatives.
In conclusion, there was a general consensus amongst participants that MoUs will guarantee formalized continuity of cooperation and reinforced preventive and combative anti-trafficking practices.
Interview with Roger Plant, Head, Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour, International Labour Organization
Interview with Marieke van Doorninck, Advisor Public Affairs, La Strada International
Interview with Mariana Katzarova, Adviser on Trafficking, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights