Recent Events, January 2019

UNODC Conference on Mariktime Drug Trafficking

As part of the UNODC Global Crime Programme Arvinder Sambei gave a presentation and facilitated the discussion at a meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in November 2018. UNODC had organised a Ministerial and Senior Officials meeting to address the threat of maritime drug trafficking (the Southern Route) which affects Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa and Tanzanian as transit or destination countries. Arvinder spoke on options for ‘legal finish’, jurisdictional and legal challenges, and possible ways forward.

Each of the counties affected along with UNODC (Global Maritime Crime Programme) met to explore ways, consider options, opportunities and gaps to criminally hold those who plan, arrange and conduct trafficking drugs by sea (termed ‘legal finish’ by UNODC).

Based on the research and studies conducted by UNODC and its partners, the 4 past years has seen a decisive shift in drug trafficking routes from land to sea, as the former became less profitable for drug cartels. Moreover, the increased use of stateless vessels poses particular difficulties in any subsequent investigation and prosecution of the targets.

The carriage of goods by sea remains the most important means of international trade, accounting for around 80% by volume. It, therefore, provides the perfect corridor for transporting drugs from the state of origin to the various destination states in Europe and beyond. The Southern Route has become increasingly attractive for drug trafficker and according to the UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme, Mozambique receives some 90% of the heroin from Afghanistan, while 10% finds its wat to Tanzania.

Other relevant links:

UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme:

Global Maritime Crime Programme Annual Report 2017:

Southern Route Partnership:

UNODC Workshop on International Cooperation, Vietnam, December 2018.

Arvinder Sambei was engaged by UNODC Southeast Asia and the Pacific office (UNODC ROSEAP) to deliver a two day workshop for Vietnamese officials engaged in international co-operation (extradition). The two day workshop, which took place in Vinh Phuc, Vietnam, included presentations and practical case studies for the participants.

The ASEAN Member States have adopted and ratified the ASEAN Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and are in the final stages of agreeing the text of the ASEAN Extradition Treaty.

Relevant links:


Human Rights Training for Prosecutors in Ukraine, December 2018

Martin Polaine was engaged by the Council of Europe, to provide advice, technical assistance and training in Kyiv, Ukraine, to prosecutors of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. As part of the CoE Ukraine ‘Continued support to criminal justice reform in Ukraine’, (CJR Project) aimed at supporting the reform of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine, the two day training for the prosecutors of the Crimean PPO the focussed was on human rights considerations and ECtHR jurisprudence arising in trials in absentia and practical approaches to international co-operation (both mutual legal assistance and extradition), in particular, extradition requests relating to convictions in absence.

Relevant links

Council of Europe office in Ukraine:

10 December 2018, Belgrade, Serbia

As part of the EU/CoE Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey actions: “Enhancing Human Rights Protection for Detained and Sentenced People in Serbia” and to mark Human Rights Day, the CoE and OSCE Mission to Serbia held a one day seminar on the prohibition of torture and independent oversight of police conduct.

The seminar was attended by representatives from the Ombudsperson Office, the Ministry of Interior Departments (Anti-torture Commission, Internal control Department and Complaints Department) and civil society organisations.

Arvinder Sambei gave a presentation on the ECHR and IHRL frameworks on prohibition of torture, the meaning of ‘effective and independent investigation’ and police oversight bodies. This was followed by a discussion of the existing practice in Serbia and measures needed to bring the Serbian practice and procedure in line with regional and international standards.

Relevant links:

EU/CoE Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey actions: “Enhancing Human Rights Protection for Detained and Sentenced People in Serbia”