Judges undergo Trafficking in Persons training to identify and render fair justice for such cases

Law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and judicial officials are now expected to identify and render fair justice for cases related to Trafficking in Persons. The third and final phase of the training on Trafficking in Persons for judicial officials concluded in Phuentshogling, yesterday (24th December). The training was conducted by the Department of Law and Order, in collaboration with the Bhutan National Legal Institute, with support from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Lack of appropriate and adequate legal tools, awareness, and professional capacity has always been a major challenge for judicial officials especially while dealing with cases related to Trafficking in Persons. But not anymore as the two-day training aimed to enhance the skills to adequately detect trafficking cases, identify trafficking victims and implement anti-trafficking legislation in line with national laws.

“We have successfully trained police officials and the OAG officials. We have also conducted similar programmes for judges in the past. This is the third time that we are organizing such programmes for the judges,” said Karma Dorji, the Officiating Director of the Department of Law and Order. “So now, we believe that all three institutions are well aware and of the same understanding level when it comes to Trafficking in Persons cases. Now they will be able to deal with such issues in a more effective and meaningful manner.”

With this, besides training most of the police officials, the programme has so far trained about 98 percent of the OAG officials and all judges from across the country.

Besides such training, the Department of Law and Order with support from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has covered all twenty districts sensitizing and providing training to students, trainees, local leaders, RENEW volunteers, health workers, bench clerks, school counselors, and various business community members.

However, they believe not many people are still aware of what Trafficking in Persons is. Likewise, most TIP cases going unreported is becoming a serious concern.

“From my experience of talking to people across the country, both locally elected leaders and volunteers, I am a bit worried that there are a lot of things that people are not aware of,” said Tandin Wangmo, the National Project Coordinator of the UNODC’s Trafficking in Persons Project. “And secondly, even if they are aware of it, they do not report it. They don’t report for two reasons, first, they don’t know where to report and secondly, they don’t want the hassle of going to the police.”

As per the Department of Law and Order, since 2021, the country recorded only one TIP case so far.

“We cannot claim that there are no trafficking cases here in Bhutan. There may be some internal trafficking cases that usually happen in a closed-door scenario. These are the concerns that we have to look into,” said Karma Dorji.

Since 2007, Bhutan has recorded 14 TIP cases so far, of which 10 were convicted under trafficking cases. And With the country repatriating 200 Bhutanese women from Iraq and Oman since 2020, 24 TIP-related cases are still under prosecution.

Passang Dorji, Phuentshogling

Edited by Yeshi Gyaltshen

Top Stories

Related Stories


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Comments