Combating migrant smuggling through cross-border cooperation

19 February 2019
News Article
Press Release/News

This News/Press release is about Trafficking in Human Beings

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Migrant smuggling remains one of the most profitable and widespread criminal activities for organised criminal networks worldwide. The migrant smuggling business is a large, lucrative and sophisticated criminal market, with document fraud being one of the main activities of the groups. To tackle the challenges ahead, cooperation frameworks have been established with partner countries along key migration routes.

Europol’s European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC) in cooperation with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD)brought together representatives from law enforcement authorities of EU Member States and non-EU countries ; the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union; the European Commission; partner agencies and academia to collaborate and discuss cross-border crimes within the migratory context under Mobility Partnerships (MPs) and Common Agendas on Migration and Mobility (CAMMs).

As Head of Europol’s European Serious and Organised Crime Centre, Jari Liukku said the meeting presented “a unique opportunity to share experiences on best practices and to discuss current and future challenges, but also the way we jointly define effective strategies to better face challenges associated to migrant smuggling.”

“The EU-funded Mobility Partnership Facility (MPF) supports policy dialogues and operational cooperation with third countries by addressing quick-start actions with those partner countries that have signed non-legally binding agreements such as the Mobility Partnership or the Common Agendas for Migration and Mobility,” said Graziella Rizza from DG Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission.

Ralph Genetzke, the Head of the ICMPD Brussels Mission, added, “Tackling transnational crime requires coordinated responses. The flexibility of the Facility allows the ICMPD as implementing authority to address priorities and needs by providing technical and financial support to EU Member States and partner countries while building synergies and mutual trust.”

During the in-depth exchange, the experts shared experiences and developed new ideas to combat migrant smuggling. The purpose of the meeting was to enable a wide dialogue among law enforcement entities in the area of migrant smuggling and its links with document fraud. Participants were offered a unique opportunity to discuss strategic approaches and explore ways to enhance cross-border cooperation, within the framework of MPs/CAMMs.