DOHA, Qatar – International experts in human trafficking and migrant smuggling are calling for expanded cross-sector involvement in order to protect the world’s most vulnerable from the exploitation of organized crime groups.
With such groups constantly innovating in their pursuit for low-risk, high profit margins, discussions during the 5th edition of the INTERPOL Global Trafficking in Human Beings and Smuggling of Migrants Conference will focus on the essential role both the public and private sector play in preventing, detecting, reporting, disrupting and ultimately prosecuting those responsible for crimes which have no borders, and no limits.
Participants will explore emerging trends such as trafficking for forced criminality including drug cultivation or pickpocketing. They will also focus on how the private sector is developing tools to help law enforcement in the disruption of trafficking and smuggling activities.
The two-day (6 and 7 December 2017) event, co-hosted by Qatar’s National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, has gathered more than 300 experts from law enforcement, the public and private sectors, non-governmental and international organizations from 90 countries.
Opening the conference, Dr Issa bin Saad Al Jufali Al Nuaimi, Qatar’s Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, highlighted the country’s efforts to act on a local, regional and international level.
“Our collective efforts, however, will not be successful unless we address the root causes of the phenomenon, whether they are cultural, economic, political, ideological or social,” said Dr Al Nuaimi.
In his keynote address, Vice President for the Americas of INTERPOL’s Executive Committee Todd Shean said: “While our focus will remain on law enforcement and prosecution, we must also strengthen our collective efforts to ensure that victims are protected throughout law enforcement and judicial processes. Only by working in coordinated efforts can we hope to develop concrete, sustainable actions.”
Paul Stanfield, INTERPOL Director for Organized and Emerging Crime, underlined the world police body’s long-standing commitment to tackling trafficking in human beings and the smuggling of migrants.
“INTERPOL is a neutral and vital global platform, where the world’s police and key stakeholders can converge to share best practices, assessments, and intelligence. Tackling the horrors of modern slavery requires a massive global effort, which INTERPOL is fiercely dedicated to,” said Mr Stanfield.
He pointed to the recent success of INTERPOL’s Operation Epervier as an example of efficient cross-sector collaboration. The operation, which saw the rescue of 500 victims from sexual exploitation and forced labour, as well as the arrest of 40 suspected traffickers, was held simultaneously across five African countries and involved prosecutors, international organizations, social services and NGOs.
INTERPOL also supports its global membership via its secure communications system known as I-24/7. This gives police real-time access to criminal databases containing millions of records on identity documents, biometrics. Its Notices can also be used to alert member countries to fugitives, criminals, modus operandi or missing persons.