The European Union and UNODC launch 15 million Euro project to dismantle migrant smuggling and human trafficking networks in North Africa

The European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa have launched a three-year project aimed at supporting Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia in dismantling migrant smuggling and human trafficking criminal networks operating in North Africa.

The European Union has set a budget of 15 million Euros for the project, which will be implemented by the UNODC Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa under the framework of the North Africa Window of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

Trafficking in persons is the acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them. Smuggling of migrants involves the procurement for financial or other material benefit of illegal entry of a person into a State of which that person is not a national or resident.

UNODC will support Member States in dismantling organized criminal networks involved in migrant smuggling and human trafficking by:

Improving the detection and interception capacities of frontline officers and agencies;

Strengthening their capacities to identify and investigate migrant smuggling and human trafficking cases, while protecting victims;

Building the skills and knowledge of law enforcement agencies that will allow for the effective and rapid dismantling of criminal networks;

Strengthening the skills of criminal justice practitioners in cases of migrant smuggling and human trafficking, with an emphasis on regional and international cooperation.

In doing so, UNODC and the European Union, in close partnership with the governments of North Africa, will help prevent and combat migrant smuggling and human trafficking in the region, thereby putting an end to the horrific exploitations and violations to which refugees and migrants are exposed.

Source: UN Office on Drugs and Crime