Working together to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling
29 September 2023
Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser attended the international Ministerial Conference on combating organised crime in Palermo, Italy.
Federal Minister of the Interior and Community Nancy Faeser attended the Ministerial Conference on combating organised crime hosted by Italy and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Palermo. The conference was held to mark the 20 years since the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) entered into force. In her speech, Federal Minister Faeser said that the challenges today were more relevant than ever, even 20 years after the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) was signed.
“Today’s conference sends an important message to the networks of migrant smugglers, drug dealers and human traffickers. It shows that we are firmly resolved to stop their unscrupulous dealings which have no regard for human life.”
In addition to Federal Minister Faeser and her Italian and French counterparts, ministers from Albania, Algeria, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Montenegro and Somalia participated in the conference to discuss issues related to the fight against organised crime, particularly the fight against migrant smuggling and human trafficking.
More than two-thirds of all organised crime investigated in Germany has a transnational dimension. Cases of human trafficking and migrant smuggling have skyrocketed.
“This situation requires decisive action by the international community,” Federal Minister Faeser said.
Just yesterday, the home affairs ministers of the EU member states met in Brussels and agreed to enhance cooperation with Latin American countries to take stronger action against trafficking in drugs from South America.
“We must do whatever it takes to keep these drugs from arriving at our European ports. These drugs destroy people. Drug trafficking is a multi-billion euro business for organised crime groups, and we must dismantle it. That is why we will discuss ways of working together more intensively today,” Federal Minister Faeser emphasised.
Joint, well-connected investigations are also necessary to combat groups of migrant smugglers and human traffickers. Federal Minister Faeser clarified:
“The point is to prevent the death and immeasurable suffering of those people who are at the mercy of such networks. That is why it is essential that we improve our international tools to fight migrant smuggling. This includes working with the countries of origin and transit.”
Plan of action to combat human trafficking
The Federal Government is currently developing a national action plan to fight human trafficking. It will serve to coordinate measures to prevent and combat human trafficking more effectively and will focus specifically on international cooperation and protection for the victims.
Germany’s Federal Police have already taken a lead role at EU level in the fight against migrant smuggling. Among other measures, flexible and targeted checks and joint police patrols will be carried out at the German-Polish and German-Czech borders to combat migrant smugglers more effectively.
The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the additional protocols on combating human trafficking and migrant smuggling are key regulations under international law to counter these types of crime. Germany ratified the Convention and its additional protocols in 2006. The conference led to an agreement of the participants.