Published June 30, 2020
Each year, the U.S. Department of State, releases a Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, highlighting TIP data in countries around the world. The report looks at trends in anti-trafficking efforts and emphasizes the work of governments and specific individuals, in the fight against TIP. This year two RTC alumni from Cabo Verde, Mr. Coreira and Mr. Varela, have been nominated as 2020 TIP Heroes. Mr. Varela and Mr. Coreira attended our 2018 Trafficking in Persons Course, delivered by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
We interviewed Mr. Varela about his experience at the RTC and how the knowledge acquired at the RTC helped in his work as a Prosecutor, in combatting TIP. Here is what he had to say!
I am greatly honored to be named for the TIP Heroes 2020 Award. I graduated from the West Africa Regional Training Center (RTC) where I attended the Trafficking in Persons Course organized by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) in Accra, Ghana, from 19 to 23 February 2018. I wish to point out that it was at the RTC that I learnt the fundamentals of combating the crime of human trafficking (analyzing the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially against women and children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and other international norms in combating human trafficking.
The course provided me with vital skills to effectively assess evidence, conduct early diagnosis, and distinguish human trafficking from similar crimes, such as aiding and abetting illegal immigration. The course dealt with other matter such as rescuing, executing a search and seizure warrant, investigation techniques relating to logistics, evidence collection strategy, planning assistance to victims, post-rescue considerations, and assistance to victims, notably children. To an extent, the acquired skills proved essential in ensuring the effectiveness of an investigation in Cabo Verde where the Public Prosecutor’s Office indicted individuals for human trafficking and sought compensation on behalf of the victims.
I dedicate this award to the West Africa Regional Training Center and the United States Government, for providing me with the means to assist individuals, especially the oppressed and those deprived of freedom.
We are very proud of our two alumni from Cabo Verde and share in their successes. The RTC is always encouraged when we hear such stories, which further validate the importance of our capacity building efforts. Please help us congratulate and celebrate our alumni! Long Live RTC Alumni!
For a full copy of the TIP report, please click this link