The training, carried out in the framework of the European GAR-SI project, was given by experts from the Guardia Civil, the French Gendarmerie and international organisations of the United Nations.
Human trafficking and migrant smuggling are crimes that currently generate billions in profits annually worldwide and are a growing source of concern for West and Central African states. Both crimes violate the dignity and fundamental rights of human beings by turning victims into objects of exploitation and putting their lives at risk.
In the framework of the European GAR-SI Sahel project, training on border management, trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants has been carried out. The training was given by operational experts from the Consortium: two from the Guardia Civil and one from the French Gendarmerie, as well as experts from international organisations of the United Nations such as the IOM (International Organisation for Migration), the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) and the UNHCHR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights). The activity was held at the premises of the Officers School of the National Gendarmerie of Senegal, in Dakar, and was financed by the project, with the support of UNODC.
The objective of the training was to increase the knowledge of the GAR-SI gendarmes on international, regional and national legal instruments related to border management, transnational organised crime, trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants. The aim was therefore to present the international system for combating transnational organised crime and to familiarise students with national and regional border management tools.
Another main focus has been to promote the creation of joint border investigation teams, which is essential to better combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling. This training aimed to strengthen the operational capacities of the units in the collection, analysis and communication of information on human trafficking and migrant smuggling, and to reinforce the idea that operational, judicial police and intelligence services should always work together and in coordination.
Also, with regard to victims of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, the aim has been to allow for a better assessment of needs during patrol and security operations. Another essential point has been to reinforce and raise the level of collaboration between the GAR-SI Sahel units and local actors, with regard to the protection and safeguarding of the fundamental rights of the victims of both crimes.