Upon request of the Rabat Process partner countries, expressed at the 2019 Senior Officials Meeting in Ouagadougou, an assessment of anti-trafficking gaps, needs and transferrable practices in the member states of ECOWAS and Mauritania was conducted in the course of 2019-2020. On 16 September 2020, 14:00 to 15:00 (CEST), the assessment report will be presented to the dialogue partners and discussed at a virtual meeting.

The assessment was conducted by the Anti-trafficking Programme of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), following the partner countries` request. Stepping up efforts against human trafficking is a top priority for the 15 ECOWAS Member States, who in recent years have been steadfastly working to remove obstacles to free movement in the sub-region, as it is also for neighbouring Mauritania. It is equally a commitment they entered alongside the other Rabat Process partner countries under domain 4 of the Marrakesh Political Declaration and its Action Plan and its transversal priorities urging for special attention to the protection of migrants in vulnerable situations, particularly women and children. This echoes the objective of the Joint Valletta Action Plan (domain 4) “Prevention of and fight against irregular migration, migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings”.

The assessment report provides a comprehensive, evidence-based analysis of trends in trafficking in persons, existing structures, initiatives and achievements in the region. It traces major challenges, identifies gaps and needs, and offers a practical tool with a collection of transferrable practices designed for Rabat Process partners to build upon successful examples while avoiding pitfalls of existing anti-trafficking response. The report is intended to inform the Rabat Process partners’ development and strengthening of their policy response as well as efforts in the fight against human trafficking.

In addition to the webinar, the findings of the report will also be presented and widely discussed at the Senior Officials Meeting which is to take place on 20 and 21 October 2020 in Paris.