IOM Trains South American Judicial Officials to Strengthen Human Trafficking Investigations and Prosecutions


Bogotá This week (11/04), IOM, the UN Migration Agency, began a virtual course on the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking for 720 government officials from Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

The virtual course seeks to promote the creation of a South American network of investigators, prosecutors, and judges working on human trafficking cases, reflecting regional trends and national capacity-building priorities.

The course, which will continue until 31 December 2018, is being run in close coordination with the Colombian Government, through the Promotion of a Knowledge Management Network of Counter Trafficking in South America project implemented by IOM Colombia, with the technical and financial support of the United States’ Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (JTIP).

The course seeks to consolidate a more active knowledge management agenda directed at effective, timely, and victim-centred investigations and prosecutions. The participants will exchange experiences, good practices, and lessons learned in their different countries.

“I believe the government officials are motivated to participate in these training efforts, given the relevance of the criminal phenomenon of human trafficking, its impact, and the need for better investigation, prosecution, punishment, and tools for the fight against impunity,” explained Mario Gómez, the Assistant District Attorney for Violence against Children responsible for the work group ascribed to the Colombian General Attorney’s Office, which has been an important partner in this effort.

Through the easy-access and easy-navigation virtual platform, participants can tour the different stages of investigation and regulations regarding human trafficking in different countries. They will also be able to learn about the most relevant jurisprudence on the issue, and the experiences of different countries in the investigation and prosecution of the crime.

“This training is interesting because it offers joint study with inter-institutional coordination, as well as comparative study with other countries and the relationship between criminal behaviour in human trafficking and other high-impact crimes,” said Luis Gabriel Londoño, Assistant Magistrate for the High Council of the Colombian Judiciary, and course participant.

It is not currently easy to access information on this crime, due in part to the lack of a regional-level system to consolidate its regulations and jurisprudence, and to the lack of sentencing in several countries in the region. This platform brings issues related to the crime together in the same place, in a didactic way.

“The platform’s content is based on the experience of the different specialists from each of the priority countries, as well as IOM experts, with the academic and methodological support of the Universidad de la Sabana,” explained Ana Durán, IOM Colombia Chief of Mission.

The virtual space, which will have academic and technical consultants, includes a ‘Second Life’ laboratory, a three-dimensional tool which allows participants to create a character and solve a hypothetical case based on criminal human trafficking realities in the region.

This tool will allow participants to experience the process of solving a case through an avatar which can go to the scene of a crime, collect testimonies, and even participate in a virtual trial. Through this training process, participants will also be able to interact face-to-face during a simulated trial which will be organized in Bogotá.

For more information, please contact Karen Mora, IOM Colombia, Tel. + (57) 1 639 7777, Email:

  • IOM's virtual course for South American judicial officials.