17 countries agree on regional mechanism to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling in Latin America

Cartagena, Colombia - 2 October 2017 - According to the 2016 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons approximately 36 per cent of detected victims were trafficked from an origin country located in the same geographical region as their destination. This trend shows the need to implement regional responses to identify, prevent and combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) using international and regional cooperation mechanisms.

In 2011, the Ibero-American Association of Public Ministries (AIAMP) and the first Ibero-American network of Public Prosecutors on Trafficking in Persons were set up in Santiago de Chile. This network, comprised of prosecutors representing 23 Latin American countries as well as Spain, works as a platform that has enabled prosecutors over the last few year to exchange information on TIP cases, promote joint investigations and facilitate operational results.

This year, the AIAMP requested that the network incorporates a component on the Smuggling of Migrants (SOM), currently a major challenges for the region. Following this mandate, the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants ( GLO.ACT), together with UNODC Brazil, UNODC Colombia as well as the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation ( AECID) and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) facilitated the third meeting of the Ibero-American Network of Prosecutors on TIP and SOM in Cartagena, Colombia from 19 to 21 September 2017.

During the opening session Mr. Bo Mathiasen, UNODC Representative in Colombia said : "We believe that the Ibero-American network is an excellent platform to combat TIP and SOM in the region, especially if based on international standards set by the UN. Clearly, GLO.ACT could be one of the vehicles used to help facilitate links between countries."

At the end of the meeting 17 prosecutors representing Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Spain and Uruguay signed a declaration and guidelines of action, expressing their commitment to strengthening regional cooperation on the identification and prosecution of TIP and SOM cases. The declaration outlines the need to transform the network into a formal channel of cooperation so that joint investigation teams can work together on combating both TIP and SOM. The declaration goes on to outline the need to view cases within the regional context and to stop viewing TIP and SOM cases as isolated incidences in each country.

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to provide assistance to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including providing assistance to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.

 

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Carlos Perez,

National Project Officer

UNODC Colombia

www.unodc.org/colombia/es/

carlos.perez@unodc.org

Twitter:  @glo_act

 

Ms. Fernanda Patricia Fuentes Munoz

National Project Officer

Liaison and Partnership Office (LPO) in Brazil

www.unodc.org.br

fernanda.fuentes@unodc.org

Twitter: @glo_act