Dynamics of Countering Human Trafficking in Southwest Asia and the Gulf Seminar

From 28 August – 01 September 2022, the NESA Center conducted a seminar titled “Dynamics of Countering Human Trafficking in Southwest Asia and the Gulf.” The four-day hybrid workshop was held in Muscat, Oman.

Dynamics of Countering Human Trafficking in Southwest Asia and the Gulf Seminar Group Photo.


This seminar was designed to help participants assess, analyze and identify opportunities to effectively counter human trafficking in South Asia and the Gulf and improve regional coordination and cooperation to dismantle illicit networks in the area. The seminar also focused on the creation, dissemination, and use of standard operating procedures (SOPS) for victim identification and referral to rehabilitation services.

The seminar started with welcomes by Course Director Distinguished Professor Dr. Hassan Abbas, NESA Center Deputy Director COL David Lamm, USA (Ret.), and Omani Representative Assistant Prosecutor Ahmed Talib Al Jabri. The first day focused on “Defining the Challenge,” covered by a few sessions with U.S. Department of Homeland Security Special Agent (Ret.) Victor Vartanian, NESA Center Professor Dr. Gawdat Bahgat and NESA Center Distinguished Professor Ali Jalali, and King’s College London Professor Parosha Chandran. The seminar continued on Tuesday with the topic focus of “Global Context of Human Trafficking” with Professor Anila Duro, Deputy Public Prosecutor (Oman) Hamad Said Al Ghafri, American University Professor Davina Durgana, Office of Defense Cooperation, U.S. Embassy (Nepal) Program Management Specialist Sanjeev Pandey, Federal Investigation Agency (Pakistan Embassy, Oman) Ahmad Ali Afani, and Criminology Consultant Humaira Masihuddin. The following day on Wednesday, the focus was on “Best Practices” with former Senior British Police Officer Ellie Bird Lenawarungu, American Institute of Artificial Intelligence CEO Dr. Al Naqvi, Office of Intelligence (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) Senior Intelligence Adviser to I.C. Dr. Renee Yengibaryan, and College of International Security Affairs at National Defense University Associate Professor Dr. Erica Marat. The final day’s topic was “What is to be Done?” with Dr. Elie Al Asmar, Dr. Hassan Abbas, Professor Ali Jalali, and Victor Vartanian. Closing remarks were conducted by NESA Center Academic Dean Dr. Roger Kangas, and concluding remarks from the U.S. Ambassador to Oman Leslie M. Tsou.

Course Director Dr. Hassan Abbas and U.S. Ambassador to Oman Leslie M. Tsou during the Certificate Award Ceremony.


Each day began with a panel presentation from a multinational panel of experts analyzing the nature of the challenge and a guided discussion with the entire group. In the second session of each day, participants learned from practitioners’ perspectives and focused on problem-solving analytical tools. On the final day of the workshop, participants collaborated through a guided conversation on utilizing the knowledge gained, and analytical skills learned to develop a strategy to counter human trafficking in the region. Participants included representatives from Bahrain, Iraq, Maldives, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and UAE.

NESA Center Faculty (from the left) Dr. Gawdat Bahgat, Ali Ahmad Jalali, and Dr. Hassan Abbas.


Read more about the last Dynamics of Countering Human Trafficking in Southwest Asia and the Gulf Seminar held 30 August through 1 September 2021.

Dynamics of Countering Human Trafficking in South Asia and the Gulf


The views presented in this article are those of the speaker or author and do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its components.