Coordination and intelligence are necessary to fight against people trafficking and smuggling

Global experts from about 70 countries met at the end of September this year in Abuja, Nigeria, to forge a united front against the complex international groups behind people trafficking and migrant smuggling.

The sixth World Conference of Interpol regarding the fight against people trafficking took place in cooperation with the National Agency for the Prohibition of People Trafficking, and the Police and the Nigerian Agency of Immigration.

With over 500 specialists from the world of policing, the private, public sector, and non-governmental and International organisations, the event shaped global points of view regarding:

  • Potential threats and current trends
  • Financial flows involved in such crimes
  • The crucial role of inter-sectorial associations
  • How to overcome obstacles in criminal proceedings
  • The use of technology and data in investigations

Groups trafficking people and smuggling migrants are often linked to other types of crime, like money laundering, security document fraud, drugs, cybercrime and terrorism.

Organised crime networks have adopted technology and used Internet and social communications networks to attract potential customers and advertise their services. They are essentially sellers of their services to vulnerable people.

Over the last year, operations led by Interpol, Epervier, Libertad and Sawiyan have led to the rescue of about 1,000 victims of migrant trafficking and people smuggling. Thanks to the coordinated focus involved in training and pre-operation collaboration between state police forces, NGOs and social services, these operations have contributed to a long-term police investigative capacity and the appropriate attention to those rescued.

As a neutral and global platform for the Exchange of Police information, Interpol offers the police access in real time to criminal databases that contain millions of records of identity documents, biometrics and wanted people. Their notifications can also be used to alert member countries about fugitives, modus operandi or people who have disappeared.

At the beginning of this year, the Global Task Force for People Trafficking of Interpol received the support of G7 security ministers. The workgroup is the backbone of a range of initiatives that offer investigative support, criminal analysis, training and regional workshops in Interpol member countries.

The World Conference in Abuja was followed by meetings of the Group of Experts in People Trafficking of Interpol and the Interpol Operative Network Specialised in illegal trafficking. These operative groups have a fundamental role in the creation of networks that share specific information about threats, trends, routes and modus operandi.

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