2nd joint Serbia-North Macedonia simulation training course on smuggling of migrants

21-23 February 2023, Mavrovo, North Macedonia: The Western Balkan route continues to be the most active migratory route into the EU. A particularly high increase has been recorded on the route through North Macedonia and Serbia making them vulnerable to migrant smuggling.

Through a series of trainings, UNODC is supporting Serbia and North Macedonia in strengthening their capacity to prevent, investigate and prosecute this crime. As part of this work, the 2nd joint simulation training on smuggling of migrants (SOM) was organized for 19 practitioners representing law enforcement, judiciary, protection and assistance services.  The participants had an opportunity to study innovative national curricula on SOM designed in Serbia in 2017-2018, which were further developed in accordance with actual trends in the region.

This initiative consists of three 2.5 days joint Serbia-North Macedonia simulation training courses on SOM conducted in close cooperation with the Ministry of Interior of Serbia and the National Commission for the Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings and Illegal Migration of North Macedonia, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden.

UNODC will continue to foster international cooperation in criminal matters pursuant to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its supplementing Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air (Smuggling of Migrants Protocol) and support Serbia and North Macedonia in increasing coordination of the relevant stakeholders, internally, bilaterally and internationally in investigating migrant smuggling cases, while ensuring due support and assistance is provided to the migrants.

This activity contributes to SDG 16 as well as SDG 10, particularly Target 10.7: Responsible and well-managed migration policies.