Over the past decade, thousands of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers have been transiting to and through Sudan which is currently hosting some 1,3 million migrants. Most of them rely on smugglers for the transport into, through and out of Sudan, and therefore risk falling prey to abuse and exploitation by smugglers or human traffickers.
According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR, 2019), persons of concern consulted in Al-Shagarab camps mentioned kidnapping, abduction, physical violence and sexual harassment among their most common fears. With support of the Better Migration Management programme, funded by the European Union and Germany, the Sudanese Government implements measures to counter and prevent human trafficking and to improve the protection of victims of trafficking.
Building on the previous phase
On 30 August 2021, the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCT) launched the National Action Plan for Combatting Human Trafficking 2021-2023 in Khartoum. The Committee was established after the Sudanese Parliament had passed the Combatting of Human Trafficking Act in 2014 and includes members of all relevant ministries and governmental institutions.
In the framework of the National Action Plan 2017-2019, Sudanese authorities increased the number of identified victims, of investigated and prosecuted cases of human trafficking as well as the number of operations together with Interpol such as in the beginning of July 2021 when 253 victims of human trafficking have been rescued and 32 suspects arrested. The new action plan aims to combat and prevent human trafficking and exploitative smuggling, especially trafficking of women and children.
“With this plan launched today and in our ongoing fight against human trafficking, we express our commitment to maintaining the human dignity; that we must respect and preserve, whether a person is living in his country, travels within or migrates to other countries.” declared the Sudanese Minister of Justice, his excellency Nasredeen Abdulbari.
Concrete measures for 2021-2023
Ms Siham Osman, Undersecretary Ministry of Justice and Head of NCCT committee expressed her satisfaction: “This action plan was developed in collaboration with all the relevant governmental institutions mandated to combat human trafficking. Throughout the development phase, the four core aspects to combating human trafficking were met: Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Coordination and Partnership.”
Amongst the measures adopted, there are:
- Access to a microfinance programme and to vocational and technical education and job opportunities to reduce poverty and increase livelihood options for young people, including migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
- Trainings with a special focus on female social workers to improve protection and support services for victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants.
- More safe houses and secured shelters for rescued victims.
- Further trainings targeting law enforcement officials, the establishment of specialised prosecutor offices and courts, cross-border cooperation and the access for victims of trafficking to legal aid to improve investigation and prosecution.
- Revision of the national legal framework according to international conventions relevant to the protection of human rights.
The plan also includes strengthening the NCCT to fulfil its mandate all over Sudan and to coordinate with all relevant national and international bodies to combat human trafficking.
The NCCT announced that it will conduct a series of briefing workshops and engage with the different state and non-state stakeholders to coordinate the intervention immediately after the launch.
The Better Migration Management (BMM) programme, funded by the EU Trust Fund, supports the NCCT to coordinate across ministries to counter human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants, and to address victims’ needs more efficiently. The programme improves the capacities of the NCCT members, advocates with relevant actors to support the implementation of the national action plan and implements trainings to improve the capacities of law enforcement officials as well as members of civil society organisations. BMM is active in the process of establishing referral systems and standard procedures for victims of human trafficking and vulnerable migrants in East Sudan, supports safehouses and building capacities of service providers.
- Publication date
- 30 August 2021
- Region and Country
- Horn of AfricaSudan
- Improved migration management