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Law Enforcement Training Manual provides experts with tool for investigating human trafficking

16 September 2015


Law enforcement officials play a key role when investigating cases of human trafficking. They may be the first authority figure a trafficked person encounters during the referral or identification process. They are responsible for gathering evidence from crime scenes and witness testimony that is integral to effectively prosecute trafficking offences.

Police officers are called to a farm following a report that some farm machinery has been stolen. They make enquiries at neighbouring farms. At one of the neighbouring farms there is a farmhouse and various outbuildings. They hear noises coming from a large shed. The officers can hear people working inside, but the door is locked. When they knock, no one opens the door. One officer looks through a side window and sees a group of women and men working inside. The officer convinces the people to open the door.

Inside, they find twelve people. Only one of them speaks the local language, but with a very strong foreign accent. The officers see rough beds in the building in the same areas as where machinery, potatoes and bags are being stored. There doesn’t appear to be any toilets in the building. There are a number of foreign language signs facing into the building. None of the people have any identity documents. As one of the police officers - what do you do?

This is one of the scenarios presented in 'Human Trafficking – How to Investigate It', a training manual for law enforcement officers. The manual was written by David Newton, an Independent Law Enforcement Expert within the framework of the ICMPD implemented project “Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings and Organised Crime – Phase 1”, funded by the European Commission. The project supported the development of technical skills and expertise on investigating human trafficking by law enforcement officials across four countries; Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova and Turkey.

 

Law enforcement officials play a key role when investigating cases of human trafficking. They may be the first authority figure a trafficked person encounters during the referral or identification process. They are responsible for gathering evidence from crime scenes and witness testimony that is integral to effectively prosecute trafficking offences. Frontline law enforcement officers are one of the groups more likely to encounter a potential or actual trafficked person during the course of their duties. In many countries however, the specialised skills required to investigate cases of trafficking in human beings are not taught to frontline law enforcement officials, beyond specialised anti-trafficking branches of law enforcement.

The training manual includes introductory lessons on the difference between irregular migration and human trafficking, and spotting the indicators of trafficking. More advanced subjects are also covered such as how to conduct screening interviews, the use of specialist investigative techniques for human trafficking investigations, supporting the needs of victims during investigative procedures, and conducting evidential interviews.

The training manual will be used in upcoming training and capacity building events planned during Phase 2 - “Fight Against Trafficking in Human Beings and Organised Crime” project, implemented in Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Turkey and Pakistan.

 

Download the publication 'Human Trafficking – How to Investigate It.  Training Manual for Law Enforcement Officers.'  

 

Learn more about the work of ICMPD's Competence Centre for Trafficking in Human Beings