RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry and anti-human trafficking body have helped train dozens of diplomats to spot victims of the “grave” trade.
The classes took place in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and included 155 people from 65 Saudi embassies around the world.
The two day training last week focussed on the role of diplomats in identifying cases of trafficking, how to address a confirmed case and how to conduct an interview with a victim.
The training confirmed the roles taken by foreign embassies, international partners, and diplomats to return trafficking victims to their respected countries.
Those attending were also taught about the legal frameworks locally and internationally for handling cases.
“Trafficking in persons is a grave violation of human rights, which requires coordination both locally and globally,” Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, chairman of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, said.
“Given the transnational nature of this crime, MOFA’s (the foreign ministry’s) diplomatic missions play a key role.”
Al-Awwad, who is also president of the Human Rights Commission, said the partnership with the UNODC is integrated into nationwide training and programs.
He said similar collaboration with groups like the International Organization for Migration and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was part of a broader strategy to align Saudi efforts with international best practice in upholding human rights.
Judge Hatem Fouad Aly Mohamed, UNODC's representative for the Gulf region, commended Saudi Arabia and those attending the training for their efforts against human traffickers.
“The government of Saudi Arabia, led by the Saudi Human Rights Commission and its president Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad, has shown such enthusiasm for reform and receptivity to suggestions for improving processes that we as the UNODC are challenging ourselves to equal the commitment of the Kingdom and to avail all our expertise to support the major reform effort in the country, particularly in the improvement of the national referral mechanism in detecting and protecting victims of trafficking in persons,” he said.