IOM and the Public Ministry of Costa Rica strengthen local efforts to combat human trafficking and smuggling of migrants
This April, Costa Rica held the First Annual Meeting of Local Working Groups for the Integral Fight against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants. The event was organized by the Office of the Deputy Prosecutor against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (FACTRA) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The local working groups are community organizations created by FACTRA in areas where reports of human trafficking and migrant smuggling have been received. The activity included a presentation of the results of the work that the groups have conducted since they were formed last year, and the needs identified at the local level to combat these crimes.
The activity was attended by 26 collaborators from the Public Ministry, the Office of Attention to Victims, Judicial Investigation Agencies, Professional Migration Police, Police and representatives of the localities of Corredores, Guatuso, Los Chiles and La Cruz. Also in attendance were Eugenia Salazar, Deputy Prosecutor of FACTRA, and Isis Orozco, Officer in Charge of IOM Costa Rica.
"For IOM, as the leading agency of the United Nations System on migration issues, it is of utmost importance to work hand in hand with the government institutions in charge of combating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, both crimes highlighted as risks associated with irregular migration," explained Orozco. "This first national meeting is key to generate coordination and central-local synergies to increase the capacity to combat crime in these locations, many of which are border areas."
As part of the work developed, the Public Ministry and the Professional Migration Police have been working to develop the Protocol for the detection and referral of situations of human trafficking of the Ministry of Public Security, in addition to the construction of a route for the attention of situations of smuggling of migrants in order to seek an effective inter-institutional coordination.
The event provided a space for exchange and analysis of the main results according to each local group, discussion of cases in which an effective prosecution has been achieved, identification of their different purposes and the implementation of joint strategies for the prosecution of these crimes.
This meeting was held within the framework of IOM’s Western Hemisphere Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.