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08 Jun 2018

Reflecting on the Necessity of International Cooperation and Supporting New Models of Cooperation to Counter Migrant Smuggling

This report gives a comprehensive overview of the key messages, discussion points and recommendations put forward during the side event, Reflecting on the Necessity of International Cooperation and Supporting New Models of Cooperation to Counter Migrant Smuggling. The event was held at the fifth informal thematic session of the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration on 4 September 2017 in Vienna. It was organized by the Government of Turkey and co-hosted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). By bringing together around 50 representatives from governments, civil society, international organizations and academia, the side event facilitated a discussion of counter-migrant smuggling within the context of the New York Declaration and the global compact for migration. During the panel discussion, experts from IOM, UNODC and academia highlighted States’ responsibility in criminalizing migrant smuggling while ensuring that smuggled migrants are not criminalized and are provided with adequate protection and assistance, in accordance with the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants.

This report captures the interventions of the panellists in respect to the following three questions: (a) What actionable recommendations can be included in the global compact for migration to maximize the effectiveness of international cooperation in combating migrant smuggling and addressing the protection and assistance needs of smuggled migrants? (b) How can data and research help develop more efficient and effective evidence-based policies against migrant smuggling? And finally, (c) How can the role of the international community be improved to better support States in developing effective measures to counter migrant smuggling and ensure the protection and assistance to smuggled migrants?

Furthermore, this report summarizes the main conclusions of the event, which include the following points: (a) greater use of the cooperation measures foreseen in the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime; (b) judicial cooperation and joint investigation as part of a holistic approach that offers migrants effective alternatives to smuggling; (c) the need for strengthening the capacity of human resources both at field and managerial levels, and effective information flow of the knowledge and data on migrant smuggling between all actors concerned; and (d) considering the financial aspects and the money flow in migrant smuggling activities during criminal investigations.

  • Context
  • Opening Statement
  • Summary of Panel Presentations
  • Summary of Key Points and Recommendations
  • Annex