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    31 October 2011

    Re-issued as received

    Heads of UNODC and UNHCR sign MoU to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling

    NEW YORK, 31 October (UN Information Service) - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at furthering joint cooperation in combating human trafficking and migrant smuggling. The MoU, which was signed by UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov and UNHCR High Commissioner António Guterres, marks the first formalized cooperation agreement between the two UN entities.

    Speaking at the signing in New York Mr. Fedotov welcomed the MoU as a way of streamlining the mutual work of both entities: "UNODCs mandate in combating organized crime is complementary to UNHCRs work of protecting refugees. As we have often seen with human trafficking and migrant smuggling, criminals prey on society's most vulnerable. Refugees, in search of a better life, can become victims of these criminals and it's important that we offer coordinated assistance to those who need it the most."

    Building on past and current shared efforts between the organizations, the agreement covers migration management issues, health-related work in refugee camps as well as expanding joint activities within the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT). Geographically the MoU focuses on four defined regions based on UNODC and UNHCR's work. These are Latin America, the Gulf of Aden, Afghanistan and bordering countries, and North Africa.

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    For further information please contact:

    Kevin Town
    Associate Public Information Officer: UNODC
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5575
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5575