Project Himaya

Preventing and dismantling migrant smuggling and human trafficking networks in North Africa.

Timeframe: January 2024 to June 2027
Budget: EUR 5 million
Donor: European Union

The situation

Organized criminal groups take advantage of the most vulnerable people for profit, with a complete disregard for human safety and dignity. Human trafficking and migrant smuggling are low-risk, high-profit criminal businesses that increasingly employ sophisticated and technological methods to expand their reach.

Countries in North Africa serve as territories of origin, transit, and destination for these crimes. With new emerging routes, new technologies and new modus operandi, cooperation among law enforcement regionally and globally  is key to combat human trafficking and people smuggling.

Project aims

The overall objective of Project Himaya is to prevent, counter and dismantle Smuggling of Migrants (SoM) and Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) networks in North Africa.

To do this, it will:

  • Strengthen capabilities of law enforcement across North Africa to manage, share, and use police information to detect, investigate and prosecute organized crime groups engaging in migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings.
  • Reinforce international police cooperation in North Africa and beyond, including through analytical support, towards operations to disrupt known organized crime groups and identify new ones.

Given that human trafficking and migrant smuggling are crimes that affect men, women, and children differently, gender considerations will be mainstreamed throughout the project.

Project activities

The project will be implemented in modules, guided by a comprehensive 6-month assessment that will  ensure the prioritization of partner countries’ needs. It is structured around three main pillars:

  • Capacity building. Tailored national and regional training that can be delivered in person and/or online for law enforcement officers to increase their capabilities to respond to these evolving crimes.
  • Technical support. This pillar will address national priorities in enhancing system interoperability and access to INTERPOL databases, including for these crime domains.
  • Coordination of transnational operations and operational support. Crime analysis and transnational investigations are instrumental to dismantling international organized crime networks. Himaya will support targeted countries to identify threats, crime trends and criminal networks by unveiling links connecting different cases and entities at an international level.

Countries involved

Beneficiary countries: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia

Associated countries: Neighbouring countries, and departure, transit and destination countries.