Regional Expert Working Group Meeting

6 June 2016 - In continuation of last year's successful Regional Conference on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling in Karachi, the UNODC Country Office in Pakistan (UNODC-COPAK) organised a "Regional Expert Working Group Meeting" in Islamabad to follow-up on the recommendations from the earlier conference. The meeting provided an opportunity for representatives from the regional source countries to gather and discuss emerging trends of irregular migration. Participants from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan delivered country specific presentations, highlighting their recent successes in dismantling smuggling networks. In addition, representatives from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, France, European Union, United Kingdom, United States and Norway participated as observers. 

During the opening session, the UNODC Country Representative, Mr. Cesar Guedes reminded the participations that "the prevailing situation requires a more integrated response from countries in improving their border control mechanisms," and he further highlighted the tragic and recent death of 880 migrants who were crossing the Mediterranean. This brings the total number of fatalities to 2, 510 so far this year. On behalf of the Government of Pakistan, Mr. Abdul Karim, the Director of Immigration for the Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) stated "Pakistan is conscious of its international obligations and has undertaken a number of measures to combat human trafficking.

The FIA has made progress on a number of objectives set out in the previous Regional Conference in Karachi (November, 2015). These include the formation of an HTMS Strategic Framework for combating Irregular Migration, in collaboration with the UNODC, which has been recently approved by the Government of Pakistan." 

During the second half of the meeting, representatives from ASEANAPOL, Europol and Frontex delivered presentations on emerging trends of irregular migration to European countries and the tools available to member states for enhancing information sharing in line with the best international practices. 

This meeting was possible with the financial support of the Government of Australia (Department of Immigration and Border Protection).