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The complexity of migrant smuggling investigations and prosecutions calls for regular training and investment of the State in capacity-building. Given the many actors involved in the prevention and control of migrant smuggling, training is crucial to ensure coordination and effective cooperation amongst them. Training is a critical component of both a preventive and reactive strategy. It will ensure that professionals involved in responding to smuggling of migrants are empowered to maximize the success of policies designed to prevent and combat the smuggling of migrants. Training may focus on a variety of matters, such as detection of fraudulent documents, gathering intelligence on organized criminal groups, the modus operandi of smugglers, procedures to identify smuggled migrants, interviewing of migrants, protection of the rights of migrants, anti-corruption initiatives, financial investigations and avenues for international law enforcement and judicial cooperation. It may also focus on behavioural interactions and audience sensitive methodologies, mostly when police officers or prosecutors act as liaison officers/magistrates with, for example, smuggled migrants, media, private stakeholders and so on. Equally important is that States should, to the extent possible, invest in relevant technologies (such as CCTV, passport scanning and interception telecommunications) as well as robust training related to their use.

Cooperation with non-law enforcement actors and international cooperation are to be duly considered when designing and implementing training activities. For instance, law enforcement and prosecutors may be of great assistance to media and those on the front lines (including NGOs) on matters such as suspicious elements and alerts, the dangers of migrant smuggling, the modus operandi of organized criminal groups, the right to privacy and due process. However, publicly divulging certain information via the media may seriously undermine investigations. A close relationship between law enforcement and the media may be of use in addressing these obstacles. From an international perspective, establishing, for example, exchange programs between law enforcement agents of countries of origin and destination, for a certain period, could (i) promote capacity building in the country of origin, (ii) foster important cultural and linguistic knowledge regarding the country of origin that could be very useful to the country of destination, and (iii) reinforce trust and contacts that could be later used (informal cooperation or a basis to progressively develop effective formal cooperation).

Box 34

Article 14 Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants

1. State Parties shall provide or strengthen specialized training for immigration and other relevant officials in preventing the conduct set forth in article 6 of this Protocol and in the humane treatment of migrants who have been the object of such conduct, while respecting their rights as set forth in this Protocol.

2. States Parties shall cooperate with each other and with competent international organizations, non-governmental organizations, other relevant organizations and other elements of civil society as appropriate to ensure that there is adequate personnel training in their territories to prevent, combat and eradicate the conduct set forth in article 6 of this Protocol and to protect the rights of migrants who have been the object of such conduct. Such training shall include:

(a) Improving the security and quality of travel documents;

(b) Recognizing and detecting fraudulent travel or identity documents;

(c) Gathering criminal intelligence, relating in particular to the identification of organized criminal groups known to be or suspected of being engaged in conduct set forth in article 6 of this Protocol, the methods used to transport smuggled migrants, the misuse of travel or identity documents for purposes of conduct set forth in article 6 and the means of concealment used in the smuggling of migrants;

(d) Improving procedures for detecting smuggled persons at conventional and non-conventional points of entry and exit; and

(e) The humane treatment of migrants and the protection of their rights as set forth in this Protocol.

3. States Parties with relevant expertise shall consider providing technical assistance to States that are frequently countries of origin or transit for persons who have been the object of conduct set forth in article 6 of this Protocol. States Parties shall make every effort to provide the necessary resources, such as vehicles, computer systems and document readers, to combat the conduct set forth in article 6.

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