West African Network of Central Authorities and Prosecutors against Organized Crime (WACAP)
The West African Network of Central Authorities and Prosecutors (WACAP), established in May 2013, is a network of focal points of the 15 countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo), plus Mauritania. WACAP is a UNODC initiative implemented with the support of the ECOWAS Commission and the ECOWAS Court of Justice. The Network is an outcome of the Bamako Declaration on Impunity, Justice and Human Rights in West Africa, adopted in December 2011, where ECOWAS States agreed to take specific action to promote mutual legal assistance networks among prosecutors in different countries and develop a regional strategy to facilitate prosecution of persons involved in transnational organized crime.
The Network promotes the establishment and strengthening of central authorities in the region. Through regular meetings and training, the Network enables central authorities and relevant practitioners to exchange information about their respective legal systems and procedures, to develop a common language and to share good practices. The expected result is professionals who can more effectively draft, prepare and respond to requests for mutual legal assistance and extradition. WACAP also strengthens the capacity of prosecutors/magistrates to address various forms of organized and serious crime, leading to successful prosecutions and cooperation at the regional and international levels.
In the Spotlight
WACAP study on Countering Violent Extremism
In 2017 and beginning of 2018, the UNODC conducted a study in Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal on countering violent extremism. Thanks to the support of the WACAP focal points, civil society and penal chain actors were interviewed and revealed their perception of the phenomenom in the region. The aim of this initiative is to facilitate and support discussion with civil society actors on how to use and improve criminal justice sector responses (outside the traditional counter-terrorism framework) to counter violent extremism. During the restitution conference that will be held in Dakar on 20-21 March, participants from the criminal justice sector and from civil society will discuss and develop recommendations and measures that shall be taken into account in the creation of the respective National Action Plans against violent extremism.