UNODC initiated a set of 3 joint Serbia-North Macedonia simulation trainings on smuggling of migrants

24-26 January 2023, Nis, Serbia: UNODC is mandated to support Member States in strengthening their capacity to prevent, investigate and prosecute the smuggling of migrants (SOM), and to uphold the rights of smuggled migrants. 

To support the Western Balkans criminal justice practitioners in this area, UNODC is implementing a set of activities consisting of three 2.5-days joint Serbia-North Macedonia simulation training courses on SOM. The activities are conducted in close cooperation with the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia and the National commission for the fight against trafficking in human beings and illegal migration of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Sweden.

The aim of this intervention is to address the smuggling route through one of the global hotspots for migrant smuggling, the so-called Western Balkans route. Building on the previous work in this area in the Western Balkans (national curricula on SOM developed and piloted in Serbia in 2017-2018), UNODC organized the 1st training targeting 18 practitioners from law enforcement, judiciary, protection and assistance services in Nis, Serbia.

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 (The Smuggling of Migrants Protocol) and assists Serbia and North Macedonia in increasing the coordination of the relevant stakeholders, internally, bilaterally and internationally in investigating migrant smuggling cases, while ensuring due support and assistance is provided to migrants.

This activity contributes to SDG 16: Promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development to the provision of access to justice for all and to the building of effective accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels as well as SDG 10, particularly Target 10.7: Responsible and well-managed migration policies.