INTERPOL hosts first international conference on people smuggling and illegal migration

5 novembre 2008

LYON, France – Identifying methods to more effectively combat and investigate people smuggling and illegal migration is the focus of an international conference hosted by INTERPOL.

The two-day meeting (5-6 November) at the world police organization’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon brings together more than 120 experts from 50 countries and key international organizations who will review regional operations and discuss methods of detecting and dismantling the criminal networks behind this illegal activity which affects all regions of the world and often exacts a high human cost.

'As a global law enforcement body, our priority is not to judge why people may wish to seek a new life in another country or region, our priority is to ensure that we are doing all we can to disrupt those criminals who make a profit from this desire,' said Kristin Kvigne, Assistant Director of INTERPOL’s Trafficking in Human Beings unit.

'No country can claim to be immune from this phenomenon, nor can it hope to address this issue effectively on its own.'

Hundreds, possibly thousands, of immigrants die each year attempting to cross borders while hidden in trucks or containers, and many who reach their destination are then often exploited and forced into dangerous or unpaid work.

With Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe all points of origin, transit and destination, developing a co-ordinated international response will be a key issue during the conference, given the challenges of modern border security management, global interdependence and mobility in a globalized world.

Making INTERPOL tools and technology available to frontline law enforcement officials will also be high on the agenda, including providing border control officers with access to the Organization’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database which contains more than 16 million documents recorded by 142 countries.