New Tools For Combating Human Smuggling And Trafficking

Human smuggling and trafficking are serious crimes that can lead to tragic consequences including loss of lives. These types of grave crimes, often international by nature, have become alarmingly common and Somaliland authorities have responded to the problem by drafting the Countering Trafficking in Person and Smuggling of Migrants Act. To support this work, EUCAP’s Field Office facilitated a two-day workshop in Hargeisa, organised by the Attorney General’s Office.

Twenty participants, three of them women, discussed the Act and obstacles they encounter when fighting human trafficking and smuggling related crimes. They also heard a presentation on UNHCR’s mandate and efforts to prevent and respond to human trafficking.

The participants including judges, prosecutors and representatives from the Somaliland Coast Guard and Somaliland Immigration, are all on the front line and part of the chain of Rule of Law, which is pivotal to combat these crimes.

“You are all from the core institutions, responsible for taking actions against human smuggling and trafficking. During this workshop, we will discuss and study the new draft Act on Countering Trafficking in Person and Smuggling of Migrants.

Additionally, this is an opportunity to enhance cooperation between the different Rule of Law institutions, and clarify your own role in this chain,” said Somaliland Attorney General Hassan M Aden while opening the workshop on 18 August.

The participants analysed the draft Act in a working group and presented their findings and suggested a few corrections. They also discussed the obstacles that hinder their daily work against human trafficking and smuggling.

They also stressed that proper implementation of the Rule of Law is the key for tackling these type of crimes. Yahye Aw-Aadan, Prosecutor in Wajaale (a border town between Somaliland and Ethiopia, where smugglers and traffickers are very active) gave an example: “We are dealing with businessmen, smuggler and trafficker tycoons. We can bring this kind of businessman to court and prosecute him with full evidence but after a few days, we hear that he has been released after paying a fine and continues his criminal business.

What we need is to re-enforce and implement strictly the Rule of Law. That would enable us to prevent crimes or at least to decrease the number of crimes,” stated Prosecutor Aw-Aadan……
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Source: EU in Somalia

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