20 October 2023
One of the main objectives of the STARSOM project was to change the way investigators and prosecutors approach migrant smuggling. It is crucial that investigations into migrant smuggling target the criminal networks that organize irregular border crossings, as they often operate in conditions that are extremely dangerous for the migrants, or even degrading and inhumane. Since 2021, STARSOM has been working with authorities in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and other Central American countries to ensure that smugglers are punished and migrants are protected from harm. In the second half of 2023, the Regional coalition on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling in Central America (CORETT) decided to endorse the use of training tools and materials produced by the STARSOM project, such as mentoring guidelines on migrant smuggling. These materials will be proposed to all Central American countries participating in CORETT, and will be launched during the 4th meeting of CORETT in Antigua, Guatemala, on 30 November 2023.
21 July 2023 — The modus operandi of migrant smugglers constantly evolves. Aiming at shedding light to the manifestations of migrant smuggling in Central America and jointly build recommendations to address it, UNODC and IOM organized a workshop to share the preliminary findings of the study "Profiles of people involved in facilitating the smuggling of migrants in Central America and Mexico.".... read more
5 July 2023 — Following the rescue of a vessel carrying more than 300 Sri Lankan nationals off the coast of Vietnam in November 2022, which reportedly had set sail for Canada, intelligence gathered suggested that migrant smugglers had provided the passengers with forged passports to facilitate their travel to Southeast Asian countries... read more
12 March 2023 — During February and March 2023, the STARSOM project continued its efforts to foster cooperation between countries along the same migrant smuggling routes by organizing two operational meetings between Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama, as well as between the Maldives and Sri Lanka.... read more
Aflao, (Ghana), 2 February 2023 — Every morning, hundreds of local residents cross the border between Ghana and Togo. They may be headed to work, visiting the markets, or meeting with friends and relatives in Lomé (the capital of Togo, which lies within walking distance right across the border). Locals benefit from simplified procedures allowing them to easily transit between the two countries without queues or laborious exit and entry processes. ... read more
Vienna (Austria), 20 October 2022 – On the margins of the 11th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica, with the support of the Permanent Missions of Honduras and the Maldives, and the Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), organized a side event to present the results achieved by the STARSOM initiative during its first year of implementation...read more
Edo state, (Nigeria), 05 July 2022 - Last week, STARSOM’s anti-migrant smuggling advisor in West Africa, held the second round of mentoring sessions for selected investigators and prosecutors of the Nigeria Immigration (NIS) and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), dealing with migrant smuggling cases...read more
Santo Domingo, (Dominican Republic), 01 July 2022 - From February to June this year, under the STARSOM project, UNODC held a series of three specialized trainings involving around 25 practitioners from Costa Rica, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos and Barbados in Puntarenas, Tegucigalpa and Santo Domingo , on how to improve international cooperation to tackle this crime....read more
Vienna, (Austria), 01 July 2022 - Last week, pursuing its effort to promote south-south operational and judicial cooperation among countries affected by the same migrant smuggling route, UNODC organized two operational bilateral meetings for investigators and prosecutors from Sri Lanka with Colombia and the Dominican Republic......read more
Santo Domingo, (Dominican Republic), 24 June 2022 - Last week, a migrant smuggling advisor from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) held a mentoring session for professionals from law enforcement agencies in the Dominican Republic on how to investigate and prosecute migrant smuggling and aggravated migrant smuggling, including gender-based and sexual violence.....read more
Tegucigalpa, (Honduras), 10 June 2022 – Last week, experts from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) continued a series of trainings for police officers, investigators, border control and coast guards from Honduras and Costa Rica on how to identify migrant smuggling and take appropriate protection measures and legal action.....read more
Male, 7 April 2022 - In recent years, there has been a significant increase in cases of people from South Asian countries, including Sri Lanka, undertaking a hazardous journey across the Darien Gap – one of the world's most dangerous routes....read more
Dubai, 1 April 2022. Every year, criminal networks smuggle thousands of migrants using long and dangerous transcontinental routes. Migrants from South Asia are smuggled into Gulf and West African countries, which are often used as “transit hubs”, before reaching South America or the Mediterranean shores. From South America, criminals use various routes through Central America and the Caribbean to reach the United States and Canada...read more
Puntarenas, (Costa Rica), 18 February 2022 - Migrants who are smuggled through the dangerous Darien Gap region in Central America are regularly subjected to abuse, violence, and sexual assault, and women and girls are the primary victims ....... read more
The smuggling of migrants is a big business in Nigeria with criminal networks charging large sums of money to move people in and out of the West African country or facilitate their transit.
In recognition of the magnitude of this crime, its impact on the security of the country and the safety of the migrants involved, Nigerian authorities are now working closely with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime through the STARSOM project .... read more
A two-year project to combat organized crime groups that smuggle migrants over multiple continents to North America is underway in thirteen countries.
The STARSOM initiative will support States along the main smuggling routes to work together to respond to migrant smuggling while protecting the lives and upholding the rights of the smuggled migrants.
STARSOM is led by crime prevention and criminal justice experts of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) with the support of the Canadian Government’s Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) .... read more