Breaking the silence: an introduction to trafficking

This course is aimed at all professionals dealing with cases of trafficking.

Target audience

The course is specifically designed for all role-players involved in dealing with cases of trafficking, and aims to provide these role-players with the specialised skills to deal effectively with cases of this nature.

Course content

The course includes the following modules and practicals:

The Concept of Trafficking

This presentation will examine the stages of trafficking and how the law enforcement officers can deal with each stage in terms of prevention, service provision and rehabilitation of victims and offenders.

International Instruments on Trafficking

A number of international instruments relating to trafficking have been passed. This presentation includes a detailed examination of the 1949 Convention, the Palermo Protocol and the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings.

Trafficking v Smuggling

To combat trafficking more effectively and to provide greater assistance to victims, it is vital to distinguish between trafficking and smuggling. The definitions of trafficking and smuggling respectively are analysed in detail, and the session includes a workshop where participants are required to identify cases of smuggling and trafficking from case studies.

The Root Causes of Smuggling

Trafficking in persons is market driven. There are a number of factors that make persons vulnerable to trafficking as well as increase the demand for trafficked persons. These root causes will be examined. The presentation will also attempt looking at ways in which root causes can be addressed in order to prevent trafficking in persons.

Assistance and Protection for Victims of Suffering

An overview of the minimum requirements necessary for protecting and assisting victims of human trafficking, as underscored by a number of international obligations is dealt with in this presentation.

The Impact of Trafficking on the Physical and Psychological Health of Victims

The presentation focuses on the physical and psychological impact of the trauma arising from human trafficking.

The Character of Human Trafficking

The aim of the presentation is to investigate the character and nature of human trafficking in various jurisdictions across the world. It includes discussions of human trafficking flows as well as gender and citizenship issues relating to human trafficking and the forms of exploitation which frequently occur.

Sentencing in Trafficking Cases

The purpose of this section is to provide an overview of various factors that may be relevant to sentencing in human trafficking cases. The general principles of sentencing are outlined and some of the sentencing options are dealt with. Potential aggravating and mitigating factors, which could have an influence on sentencing outcomes, are identified. Some guidelines are also provided on how information to support sentencing decisions may be found.

Indicators of Trafficking in Persons

This presentation is particularly relevant to police, prosecutors and social workers as it focuses on methods of identifying trafficked persons and the indicators that should be used in this identification process.

Risk Assessment in Trafficking in Persons Investigations

There are a number of key questions that must be considered when assessing risk in trafficking in persons cases. These are discussed, including the concept of risk in trafficking in persons cases as well as identifying the action that must be taken.

Crime Scene and Physical Evidence Examinations in Trafficking in Persons Cases

This presentation describes the types of physical evidence commonly encountered in trafficking in persons investigations, and outlines the basic actions that are required to preserve and document crime scenes and recover physical evidence traces.

Interviewing Victims of Trafficking in Persons who are Potential Witnesses, including Children and Youths

The interviewing procedures relating to adult and child victims of human trafficking for law enforcement purposes are explored and various guiding principles to the interviewing process are discussed.

International Co-operation in Trafficking in Persons Cases

This presentation deals with why international co-operation is relevant to trafficking cases and the different forms of international co-operation. It investigates the principles of national co-operation and the types of co-operation as defined by the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime.

Protection and Assistance to Victim-Witnesses in Trafficking Cases

This presentation deals with the concept of witness protection in the criminal justice system and its relevance to trafficked persons. It examines the necessity of victim protection and the measures that should be in place in the criminal justice system for a victim who is a witness.

The Use of Interpreters in Cases of Trafficking

Since interpreters are often essential in cases of human trafficking, this session will examine the situations in which interpreters may be required in trafficking in persons cases. It also looks at the considerations that must be taken into account when using the services of an interpreter as well as the information that should be given to interpreters in these interviews.


The course is presented over a four-and-a-half day period from 08H30 until 17H00, and 13H00 on the final day. Each participant receives a training course file containing the course content, which is divided according to the topics covered on each day. In addition, each participant receives a handbook entitled 'Breaking the Silence: An Introduction to Human Trafficking'.

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