Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    27 November 2014

    UNODC Chief in Rome, calls for protection of migrants, punishment of smugglers

    VIENNA/Rome, 27 November (UN Information Service) - Visiting Rome, today, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov delivered a statement at the Rabat Process Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development on migrant smuggling.

    Mr. Fedotov said, "The past years have brought to our attention the ordeal of migrants moving north through deserts and across the sea, often resulting in a terrible loss of life. These perilous journeys are mostly facilitated by smugglers."

    If we are to respond, he said, "We need sustained dialogue and multi-faceted responses to collectively ensure that migration strategies respect the rights of migrants, while countering the criminal networks that prey on them."

    Acknowledging migrant smuggling was a "clear challenge", Mr. Fedotov said the UN organization was assisting North and West African states to review legislation and build the capacity of front line officers, investigators, and magistrates to counter migrant smuggling. He stressed UNODC's readiness to support a European/African plan on migrant smuggling.

    Mr. Fedotov noted that many Rabat Process participating States had a common basis for joint action against human trafficking, migrant smuggling and organized crime. But, he said, every country involved in the process needed to ratify and implement the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol.

    The conference is the 4th Euro African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development. Originally held in Rabat, the conference brings together high-level representatives from foreign and interior ministries to discuss migration. A declaration, the Rome Declaration, is to be issued at the end of the conference. 

    To read the statement in full, please go to:

    * *** *

    For further information, please contact:

    David Dadge
    Spokesperson, UNODC
    Telephone: (+43- 1) 26060-5629
    Mobile: (+43) 699-1459-5629
    Email: david.dadge[at]