Over 1,000 Mexican Judicial Officers Trained to Improve Prosecution of Human Traffickers
Mexico City – This week (14/03), IOM Mexico concluded a training project which saw some 1,050 Mexican judicial officials trained, over a two-year period, on how to improve prosecution of human traffickers. In total, 35 capacity building sessions were held in 29 of the country’s 32 states.
Of the total participants, more than 50 per cent were high-level judicial officers – judges and magistrates – while the remainder were legal aides. Overall, there was a slightly higher attendance of women throughout the trainings.
When the project was initiated in 2015, Mexico’s conviction rate for trafficking in persons (TIP) cases was 13.16 per cent, with 204 convictions out of the 1,550 cases investigated from 2009 to 2014 (US Department of State’s 2015 TIP Report).
IOM Mexico carried out an in-depth assessment of jurisprudence to identify where the paradigmatic challenges rested and at what level of the prosecution process management obstacles in trafficking cases could be found. This report became the basis for the 35 training sessions delivered around the country over the last two years.
Trainings focused on basic aspects of TIP, international and national legal frameworks as well as the clear definitions of differences between TIP and other crimes. In this regard, the trainings centered on the correct identification of victims of trafficking while guaranteeing victims' protection throughout the investigation process.
A preliminary analysis of attained results shows that the training sessions were effective in terms of increasing knowledge among judicial authorities in Mexico. While pre-test approval rates reached 37 per cent, post-tests rose to 75 per cent. Furthermore, the large majority of attendees’ comments mentioned that the sessions were extremely useful.
These training sessions stand as a component of a larger project funded by the United States Department of State to monitor and combat trafficking in persons and involved the Commission of Higher Courts of Mexico (CONATRIB). The project is centered on strengthening the capacities of Mexican authorities to prevent, detect, identify, and prosecute cases of trafficking in persons guided by a human rights and gender perspective.
The Counter-Trafficking, Child Migration and Gender Unit of IOM Mexico continues to work with Mexican authorities, the private sector and civil society in order to strengthen detection, identification, and attention of victims of TIP in Mexico. As part of these efforts, IOM Mexico has promoted the development of Standard Operating Procedures in several states, as well as specific Trafficking in Persons Protocols for the Ministry of Labor and the National Institute for Migration.
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