A five-day OSCE training course conducted by international and local experts for Ukrainian judges on how to combat trafficking in human beings was completed on may 26 in Kyiv, OSCE press release says.

The goal of the course was to support the prosecution of cases related to human trafficking as well as to improve the protection and compensation for its victims. Topics addressed included, among other issues, information about the consequences of human trafficking, regulations on international co-operation in criminal matters, the needs of trafficking victims, the prevention of secondary victimization and the rights of victims.

"Judges play a key role in the effective fight against human trafficking," said Begona Pineiro Costas, Anti-Trafficking Programme Officer at OSCE Project Co-ordinator's office in Ukraine.

"Not only are they instrumental in the prosecution of the perpetrators of this heinous crime, but they also play an important role in protecting trafficked persons as victims or as witnesses in criminal proceedings. They can make sure that no further damage - physical or psychological - is caused to them," she said.

Iryna Voityuk, Rector of the Academy of Judges of Ukraine, added: "The fight against trafficking in human beings, one of the worst crimes of our times, requires the improvement of both pre-trial and court investigative procedures, based on national experience and European standards."

Using a "train-the-trainers" methodology to develop the capacities of the future trainers, the course also looked at several case studies. The course was conducted by experts from the Academy of Judges and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, a judge from the Criminal Court of Italy, a local non-governmental organization representative and a psychiatrist.

Upon completion of the course, the trainees will be invited to hold two-day anti-trafficking training classes in several regions of Ukraine. These regional training sessions will be for judges from local and appeal courts and are designed to strengthen their capacities to better address cases of human trafficking.

The course was jointly organized by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator and the Ukrainian Academy of Judges. This activity is financed by voluntary contributions from the governments of Austria and France.


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