RCM concludes a week of technical exchange on migrant smuggling

Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Other, Panama
15 September, 2020

More than 100 participants logged on to each of the four sessions that gathered the Regional Conference on Migration’s (RCM) countries to discuss migrant smuggling and exchange best practices on the subject. The main goal was to strengthen police and judiciary capacities to fight migrant smuggling, with especial emphasis on investigation techniques and cross-border cooperation.


The sessions were conducted online, for two hours every day between September 8 and 11. Participants joined by invitation only, and each RCM member country was encouraged to include in their representation general attorneys and judiciary officials related to migrant smuggling, high-ranking officials in migration control positions and representatives of investigation units.


The Global Study on Smuggling of Migrants published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 2018 identified the route to the north of the American continent as the most profitable for networks dedicated to this crime. This agency estimates the current value of the route at at least 5.5 billion dollars a year.


"It is anticipated that situations exacerbated by the pandemic will make people more likely to seek risky options. They will be at greater risk of being trafficked or becoming victims of related crimes," said Michele Klein-Solomon, IOM's regional director for Central America, North America and the Caribbean. "Despite the complexity of the task, we have reason to be optimistic. There is a commitment from the countries of the region to confront and combat the smuggling of migrants," she added.


This activity was developed within the framework of the RCM, with support from the IOM through the Western Hemisphere Program, funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the U.S. Department of State; as well as UNODC.