The Indian Ocean Region is at the centre of global trade and commerce, with nearly half of the world's 90,000 commercial vessels and two thirds of global oil trade travelling through its sea lanes and offering unprecedented opportunity. However, the region is also confronting a myriad of security challenges, including terrorism, transnational crime, trafficking-in-persons, and illicit drugs. Criminal groups exploit Bay of Bengal (BoB) countries as transit points for an array of transnational maritime trafficking. Even more troubling, littoral states are directly impacted by illicit activities in very detrimental ways: drug abuse rates skyrocket as countries become target markets for distribution, marine ecosystems are destroyed by illegal bottom trawling, and migrants are sold into slavery on fishing vessels. Bangladesh, in particular, suffers from a multitude of crimes in its waters, including acts of piracy and drug trafficking on top of the list (in that order) in the trajectory of transnational maritime crimes for Bangladesh. The BoB along with its adjacent rivers form the nexus for the illicit trade of yaba and other drugs from Myanmar to Bangladesh. In 2018, a major attack on drug trade took place in Bangladesh, especially on ‘yaba’, popularly known as the ‘madness drug’, with a record 53 million methamphetamine pills seized, proving that the country has become a big market for traffickers who source the drug from factories in lawless north-eastern Myanmar. Smugglers from Myanmar are paid according to the size of yaba consignments. For instance, they earn 10,000 taka for transporting 5,000 pills to Dhaka and other urban centres, which is extremely lucrative in nature. Hence, considerable numbers of smugglers act as agents in order to deliver yaba to the drug peddlers. For many of the smugglers, engagement with drug peddlers offers an easy exit from Myanmar due to the Naf River running between the two nations. There is increasing evidence that Rohingyas – stateless Indo-Aryan ethnic group residing in Rakhine State, Myanmar, who have been facing persecution in their home state and who in large numbers seek refuge in countries in the region – are being used as smugglers for drug consignments. Traffickers prefer using Rohingya women or children to act as the couriers since they remain lesser suspect. Furthermore, the demand for yaba has increased drastically affecting people from several quarters, from housewives to college students, to professionals. In addition, Bangladesh is used as a transit nation for drugs produced in the Golden Triangle (Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand). The Teknaf town, located in Cox’s Bazar, has gained a lot of limelight for being the notorious passageway for transporting drugs to Bangladesh, where currently 15 syndicates are operating to smuggle the drug to the capital. Amongst illegal fishing and poaching in Bangladesh's marine waters, the illegal trade of jatka (baby hilsa fish) is the most severe, as the livelihood of 40% of fishermen depends on hilsa fishery either directly or indirectly. Fish catch is considered illegal when fishing is non-seasonal, unlicensed, immature fish is caught, prohibited nets are used, or when it occurs during breeding period. Additionally, terrorism threats are prevalent as the country shares a well-guarded land border with India, preventing violent extremist groups from accessing lethal material across a predominantly Hindu population in India. Therefore, the only supply route available for violent extremist groups in Bangladesh to access lethal material are maritime routes in the BoB. Introduction: UNODC is currently implementing a project in Bangladesh and Maldives with the aim to enhance the capacity of Indian Ocean Coastal States to maintain a free and open maritime domain. Through this project, UNODC aims to address the multitude of crimes faced by Bangladesh and Maldives, including terrorism, transnational crime, trafficking in persons, and illicit drugs. The project aims to help build national-level maritime law enforcement capacity to counter terrorism and other transnational organized crimes through better border control, basic domain awareness over territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and to enhance connectivity between the states through better regional cooperation. The project shall address the overarching strategic objective of strengthening the capacity of Indian Ocean Coastal States to counter, investigate and prosecute maritime crime and cooperate regionally to promote a free and open maritime domain in the Indian Ocean through the delivery of the below main Outputs under UNODC mandates:Apply Now
- Output I: Support provided to maritime border security capability in Bangladesh to counter trafficking of yaba (methamphetamines) across the Naf River region
- Output II: Support provided to maritime law enforcement agencies in Maldives and Bangladesh to counter maritime crime
- Output III: Technical assistance provided to the judiciary in Maldives and Bangladesh to equip them with the skills, expertise and means to manage maritime cases
- Output IV: Support to the formulation of a regional policy to ensure rule of law within the Indian Ocean coastal states
- Output V: Designing, developing and delivering multiple search in dhows, cargo ships and fishing vessels, for regional states in Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka in partnership with Japan Coast Guard
- To undertake desk research and primary research with relevant interlocutors to identify the emerging drug trafficking routes across the Bay of Bengal and beyond.
Duties and ResponsibilitiesAs a part of the project activities, UNODC would like to engage a consultant for conducting the desk and primary research, which will be a key document for identifying the situation on the ground and the priority areas to address in order for the national maritime law enforcement system to adequately address the drug trafficking situation in the country. The consultant is expected to carry out a comprehensive assessment based on the information collected through desk research and consulting stakeholders and prepare a well-written situation assessment document identifying the drug trafficking routes across the Bay of Bengal and beyond. Specific deliverables and payment terms: Draft assessment based on desk and primary research identifying drug trafficking trends and routes in the Bay of Bengal and beyond 51 Working days Incorporate any suggestions/comments received from the UNODC Headquarters, the UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme, the Regional Office for South Asia and the Programme Office in Bangladesh 9 Working days Note:
- Technical Proposal must include the timeline, methodology and plan of action
- If the consultant anticipates some absolutely necessary field travel, it should be budgeted in the proposal;
- Any kind of miscellaneous charges i.e. Internet, phone etc. would not be reimbursed;
- Please note proposals without the financial proposal will not be considered.
- A good understanding of the local context and cultural sensitivity, specifically in the area of law enforcement and border management;
- Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.);
- Proficient writing, editing, and oral communication skills in English and excellent drafting skills in Bangla.
Required Skills and ExperienceEducation
- Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in the field of Social Sciences, Legal Studies, International Relations, Security Studies or an alternative relevant field; a first-level degree in a relevant area with additional 2 years of experience may be accepted;
- At least 7 years of experience in research; experience in the area of crime prevention and criminal justice;
- Experience working with government officials in the South Asia region, with particular focus on Bangladesh,
- Experience in presenting and communicating complex research results in a structured manner (in reports, briefs, presentations, etc.)
- Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
- Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation;
- Educational qualifications - 15 points
- Experience in research - 15 points
- Experience in the area of crime prevention and criminal justice, preferable in the area of law enforcement and border management - 15 points
- Experience of South Asian development context and working with the government and development partners in the region (in particular within Bangladesh) - 20 points
- Experience in presenting and communicating complex research results – 5 points.
- p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated;
- y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal;
- µ = price of the lowest priced proposal;
- z = price of the proposal being evaluated.
- Technical Proposal including the timeline, methodology and plan of action;
- Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNDP;
- Personal CV, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
- Financial Proposal: Financial Proposal has to be submitted through a standard interest and availability template which can be downloaded from the link below: