IAWJ Counter-Trafficking in Persons Webinar

On October 4th, the IAWJ partnered with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Freedom Collective program to carry out a Spanish language webinar entitled, “Challenges for the Penal Justice System in Addressing Trafficking in Persons” (Retos de la Justicia Penal en la respuesta a la Trata de Personas). Approximately 40 people logged-on to participate, including IAWJ member judges from Peru, Argentina, Spain, the Dominican Republic, and the United States.

Two IAWJ members were invited to present as speakers on the webinar, Judge María Gavilan Rubio (Spain) and Prosecutor María Alejandra Mángano (Argentina). They spoke about common challenges and procedural solutions regarding the re-victimization of victims and witnesses, the identification of trafficking cases and the need for improved coordination amongst regional actors. Following their presentations, the speakers answered questions about transnational trafficking victims. 

The initiative to launch the webinar was sparked by the leadership of the IAWJ Board member, the Hon. Esther Agelan (Dominican Republic) in collaboration with UNODC representative, Carlos Pérez, who, after attending the IAWJ’s Regional Conference on Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in Santo Domingo in July 2019, sought to act on the reflections made by participants at the conference about the absence of accessible platforms to continue sharing best practices and solutions to countering trafficking in persons. 

Mr. Pérez explained that one part of the UNODC mandate is to accompany practitioners and justice sector actors in the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of trafficking cases. The UNODC offices in the LAC region have already been promoting regional prosecutor working groups. The IAWJ hopes to continue partnering with UNODC and other key stakeholders in order to bolster our own regional network of judges and prosecutors and to offer additional opportunities for collaboration and sustainable exchange.

This blog post was prepared by IAWJ Senior Program Officer, Jane Charles-Voltaire.