UNODC promotes international police cooperation to address trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants

On 6-8 December 2022, UNODC, in cooperation with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), facilitated a study visit of the delegation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan to INTERPOL HQ, Lyon, France. 

To further enhance the capacity of Uzbekistan’s law enforcement to cooperate with other countries in detection and investigation of trafficking in persons related crimes, the study visit was initiated by Dr. Reda Sirgediene, UNODC Regional Adviser for Central Asia on countering trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, who leads the UNODC’s anti-trafficking action in the region through mentoring, training, and expert guidance. In addition, the mission sought to promote the collaboration among UNODC, INTERPOL and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan in preventing and suppressing trafficking in persons (TIP) and smuggling of migrants (SOM) across and beyond the borders of Uzbekistan, as well as stimulate active usage of UNODC’s and INTERPOL’s capacities in detection and investigation of TIP and SOM related crimes.

The first day of the mission was dedicated to bilateral consultations between Dr. Reda Sirgediene and Mr. Isaac Espinosa, Acting Coordinator of the INTERPOL’s Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants Unit (HTSM). Both parties noted that UNODC and INTERPOL have successful long-standing partnership and corporate mandates of both organizations are mutually reinforcing and complement each other. Promoting cooperation among Member States in investigating TIP and SOM criminal cases in Central Asia was marked as a key direction that both sides agreed to collaborate. 

The delegates visited the Command and Coordination Centre (CCC) and deepened their knowledge about its functions related to urgent assistance to Member States, instant checks in databases, and alerts on threats. Also, they learned about CCC’s specialized response teams that help to handle crisis situations and monitor major international events. 

Furthermore, during numerous sessions covering a wide range of topics, the delegates were introduced to, among others, modus operandi, and detection of recent trafficking in persons crimes, travel document fraud and online child exploitation, online scams trends connected with TIP in Southeast Asia and profiles of TIP victims and criminals, databases and tools for data processing, border management tools. Furthermore, the Uzbekistan’s contribution to INTERPOL databases, cooperation with other countries and possibilities to increase the Uzbekistan’s role in international police cooperation was discussed.

This visit is part of the UNODC’s comprehensive approach to addressing TIP and SOM by spurring Member States to utilize available operational resources and networks and take due police actions to disrupt TIP and SOP.

On the final day of the visit, the delegates met with Ilana De Wild, INTEPROL’s Director of Organized and Emerging Crime. She expressed her appreciation to UNODC for promoting the cooperation with Uzbekistan, and for partnership with HTSM to enhance prevention and fight against TIP and SOM in Central Asia and beyond.

The study visit to INTERPOL was highly impactful with multifarious upshots. The delegates affirmed aspiration to participate in, and contribute to the INTERPOL’s specialized TIP Analysis File, which is designed to identify threats, crime trends and criminal networks with a view to supporting Member States’ law enforcement agencies in preventing and combating TIP and SOM. They also confirmed the willingness to nominate dedicated officers to participate in the INTERPOL Specialized Operational Network against migrant smuggling and INTERPOL Human Trafficking Expert Group.

UNODC and INTERPOL agreed to follow up on this and facilitate necessary assistance in this matter. Mr. Narimon Rakhimov, Head of the Department for Combating Organized Crime, who led the delegation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs consisted of counter-TIP officials, Interpol National Bureau, and internal affairs training institute’s officials, emphasised during the meeting with the INTERPOL management that it’s impossible to successfully fight against TIP without international cooperation. “UNODC and INTERPOL are reputable international organizations that have a great potential and ability to bolster Member States efforts in combating TIP”, he said. 

This study visit was organized within the UNODC Global Programme against Trafficking in Persons with the financial support of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

For further information please contact:     

Arifa Fatikhova  

Communications and External Relations Officer

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 

Regional Office for Central Asia

Mobile: (+998 99) 825-05-43 | Email: arifa.fatikhova[at]