UN and global migration agency agree to step up efforts to combat human trafficking

Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Yury Fedotov. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy

17 April 2012 – The United Nations anti-crime agency and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) today agreed to boost cooperation to tackle human trafficking and migrant smuggling, and to improve border management.

In addition to enhancing coordination, an agreement signed in Vienna between the two agencies seeks to further information exchange and to extend joint activities.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), human trafficking generates $32 billion annually, making it a threat of “extraordinary proportions,” said the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov.

“It will require a coordinated and meaningful response at all levels: local, regional and international, if we are to have success against this global crime,” he said in a news release.

Mr. Fedotov signed the agreement with IOM Director General William Lacy Swing on the margins of the 10th Ministerial Conference of the Central Asia Border Security Initiative.

“The signing of this cooperation agreement confirms IOM’s determination to step up its cooperation with UNODC to further combat trafficking in persons, migrant smuggling and to ensure borders are managed in an integrated, modern and humane way,” said Mr. Swing.

The two agencies are already working closely in the area of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in Southern Africa, West Africa, the Horn of Africa and Colombia. In addition to cooperation in technical assistance delivery in the field, IOM has provided expert input to a number of UNODC technical publications.

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