Moroni (Comoros), 24 December 2020 — Comoros has become the 150th State Party to the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol (Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air).
Comoros has been a State Party to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime since 2003, and with the support of UNODC, also acceded to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children earlier this year.
As guardian of the Convention and its supplementary Protocols, UNODC commends the Government of Comoros and welcomes the country's commitment to prevent and combat smuggling of migrants, protect the rights of smuggled migrants, and promote cooperation between states in preventing and prosecuting this crime.
Thousands of people have lost their lives as a result of the indifferent or even deliberate actions of migrant smugglers. These profit-seeking criminals smuggle irregular migrants and have them evade national border controls, migration regulations and visa requirements.
As border controls have become more stringent, migrants are deterred from attempting illegal crossings and are diverted into the hands of smugglers. Migrant smugglers constantly change routes and modus operandi in response to changing circumstances, often at the expense of the safety of the smuggled migrants.
These factors highlight the need for a responsive and coordinated cross-border response in combating the crime of migrant smuggling. In this regard, UNODC continues to assist countries in implementing the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol, while promoting a comprehensive response to the issue of migrant smuggling.
UNODC strives to provide technical assistance towards achieving these goals in cooperation with Member States, while focusing on two key areas: assisting Member States to ratify or accede to the Protocol and aligning their legislation with the provisions of this international instrument, as well as assisting Member States in developing an effective criminal justice response to migrant smuggling through international cooperation in criminal matters.