IOM supports regional efforts to fight human trafficking and migrant smuggling

5 December, 2018

 

The Regional Coalition against Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling was created in 2011, demonstrating the commitment of representatives from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Belize, and the Dominican Republic to work together and respond effectively to the issues of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, as well as to promote regional efforts to fight these crimes. 

In the past months, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has provided technical assistance and support for various actions undertaken by this Regional Coalition under its multi-annual action plan. During the 4th Meeting of this Regional Coalition in 2018, which was held from November 26-28 in San José, Costa Rica, IOM advised technical committees in order to develop the Coalition’s prevention and communication strategies.

IOM, within the framework of the Regional Migration Program, presented a proposal for a tool for gathering and systematizing official statistics on human trafficking to the member countries. It will enable them to improve their knowledge of the state of this crime at the regional level and within the countries that make up the Coalition.

“We are pleased to be able to provide these countries and the Regional Coalition with tools which enable them to make decisions based on statistical data by making it easier to record and analyze. This exercise has enabled helpful debate on common concepts in these countries relating to detection, assistance for victims, and prosecution” stated Alexandra Bonnie, Coordinator of the Regional Migration Program.

In addition to other efforts to fight these crimes in the region, IOM, financed by the IOM Development Fund (IDF), organized a planning to compile information on regional actors, actions, and programs/projects implemented in the countries of the Regional Coalition against Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling. The activity was held November 19-21 in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

The participants stated that states should work jointly to address these crimes comprehensively. Spaces like these are highly important for coordinating actions and initiatives at the regional level.