Monday 24 June 2024

Fruitful Joint UIC-UNECE Workshop on the Security of Vulnerable Rail Users

Share this article

The workshop on the Security of Vulnerable Users in Railways, co-organised by the UIC Security Platform and UNECE Working Party on Rail Transport, was held on 18-19 June 2024 in person in Geneva, Switzerland at the Palais des Nations. Over 35 participants, representing railway stakeholders, ministries of transport, UN agencies, international associations and civil society organisations came together to discuss the security challenges associated with vulnerable rail users and share good practices regarding measures to ensure their security.

After introductory remarks from both the UNECE and UIC, the UIC Security Division launched the main topic of the workshop by offering a definition for vulnerable rail users while also setting the scene for the discussions to come on combatting trafficking of human beings and the security of women.

During the session on the fight against trafficking in persons, UNODC and OSCE provided definitions of the crime and discussed the intersection between victims, perpetrators and the rail environment. Next, representatives from the Polish State Railways (PKP S.A.), the Polish Railway Protection Guard (Straż Ochrony Kolei - SOK) and the German Railways (DB A.G.) shared their efforts on raising awareness of the threat of trafficking in human beings during the Ukrainian Refugee Crisis. Next, participants heard from civil society organisations. Charity organisation It’s a Penalty explained how they’ve partnered with the transport sector to raise awareness during major sporting events and the International Justice Mission shared a powerful testimonial from a victim of trafficking.

UN Women kicked off the discussions on the security of women in the rail environment by shedding light on women’s experiences of harassment and sexual violence while in public spaces. Next, speakers from the Catalan railways (FGC), the French railways (SNCF), the national railways of Zimbabwe and UITP, the International Union for Public Transport, all shared the different security measures put in place to combat gender-based violence in the rail environment. The European Passenger Federation also recommended some ways in which the railways could help women feel safer while travelling.

The workshop concluded with a proposal to continue the joint cooperation of UNECE and UIC on these topics, with the goal of developing recommendations and best practice guidance on how to address these threats.

For further information, please contact us here:

5 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5

Participants at the Joint UIC-UNECE Workshop on the Security of Vulnerable Rail Users
UIC Security Division team at the Palais des Nations
Marie-Hélène Bonneau, UIC Head of Security Division, and Laura Petersen, UIC Senior Security Research Advisor, presenting “On the Security of Vulnerable Rail Users.”