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The UNODC Global Maritime Programme – Indian Ocean (GMCP – IO) ‘works with coastal states of the region to enhance and coordinate their efforts to effectively respond maritime crime affecting their waters. More specifically, the GMCP IO team collaborates with countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to provide theoretical and practical support for the entire criminal justice chain,..’

The central theme of the GMCP IO team is to develop and enhance regional cooperation, through the establishment of the Southern Route Partnership (SRP) and the Indian Ocean Forum on Maritime Crime (IOFMC). Its activities include technical assistance (legislative reform etc.) and capacity building workshops for criminal justice agencies as well as assisting states ‘in the induction of MDA technology’ and ‘introducing database systems and innovative technology such as biometric facial recognition technology in various littoral states to improve the effectiveness of surveillance and the collection of evidence for the successful prosecution of maritime offenders. The use of this technology will play a central role in the development of systems that will in turn improve information sharing within the Indian Ocean region’.

In early March GMCP-IO organised an on-site visit for Bangladesh officials to Kenya to observe the deployment of automated facial recognition (AFR) in practice with a view to introducing it in Bangladesh.

Martin Polaine and Arvinder Sambei were engaged by UNODC GMCP-IO to develop a Guidance Note for the Bangladesh authorities highlighting the legal and human rights issues on the use of automated facial recognition (AFR) followed by a workshop in Dhaka for law enforcement officials.

As part of the wider Southern Route Partnership (SRP), Martin Polaine and Arvinder Sambei developed the legal issues paper (‘Legal Finish’: The Investigation And Prosecution of Maritime Drug Trafficking) for the Trilateral Strategic Plan on Narcotics Trafficking in the Western Indian Ocean region (Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa).

Related links


UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme

Global Maritime Crime Programme Annual Report 2017

Southern Route Partnership


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