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Indonesia strengthens responses to migrant smuggling

Semarang (Indonesia), 10 July 2017
- Senior members of Indonesian law enforcement agencies met this week for the latest in a series of UNODC workshops on the Smuggling of Migrants (SoM) tailored to strengthen law enforcement responses. The participants, from the Indonesian National Police, Attorney General's Office and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, undertook training on the regional context of SoM, the role of intelligence-led investigations and the importance of multi-agency collaboration within the Indonesian legal framework.

The smuggling of migrants poses a significant threat to Asia, generating an annual value of $2 billion for criminal groups and leading to deaths and human rights abuses. Within Indonesia, the fishing industry in particular continues to act as a pull factor for irregular migrants in the region - frequently eventuating in instances of human trafficking.

The week's capacity training is the latest instalment in the UNODC project on Building Capacity to Investigate and Prosecute Migrant Smugglers, designed to boost the numbers of successful prosecutions in serious cases of migrant smuggling. The workshops in Indonesia build on related initiatives on the Smuggling of Migrants, in Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand. A cohort of participants from all four target countries will be brought together in August, for two sub-regional sessions which emphasise the importance of streamlining regional cooperation.

Benjamin Smith, UNODC Regional Coordinator on Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants reflected on the underlying aim of the project: "By targeting mid to senior-level officers, our aim is to encourage the law enforcement leaders of tomorrow to buy into the importance of proactive, intelligence-led investigations, to bring down the key organisers and facilitators of migrant smuggling."

Click here to read more on UNODC's work on combating human trafficking.

Click here to read more on UNODC's work on combating the smuggling of migrants.