For information only - not an official document

17 December 2019

Executive Director, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Yury Fedotov

Statement on International Migrants Day

18 December 2019

VIENNA, 18 December (UN Information Service) - International Migrants Day is a time to stand up against the human rights violations to which those on the move are all too often subjected.

Preventing and combatting migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons are an essential part of comprehensive responses enabling all people to exercise their fundamental rights, regardless of migration status. The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants Protocols are core parts of the international legal framework in which countries should anchor action to protect migrants.

A year ago, countries adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The Compact's objectives include the need to strengthen the transnational response to smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons in the context of international migration, through implementation of the Protocols. Ultimately, progress towards achieving all of the Compact's objectives will contribute to reducing opportunities for human traffickers and migrant smugglers to take advantage of the vulnerable.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) supports countries in implementing the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols, and meeting commitments of the Global Compact. Through its work to develop the related capabilities of law enforcement and justice professionals, reinforce fair and inclusive justice institutions, curb corruption and boost international cooperation, UNODC is seeking to end impunity for human traffickers and migrant smugglers, better support smuggled migrants and trafficked persons, and advance the rule of law, in line with Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.

Next year's session of the Vienna-based Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, a key multilateral body setting the global anti-crime agenda, will seek to further advance responses by focusing on preventing and countering the smuggling of migrants. Particular emphasis will be placed on the rights of migrant women and children, and those of unaccompanied minors.

On International Migrants Day, let us recommit to strengthening the rule of law in our societies to protect all migrants against violence, abuse and exploitation.

* *** *

For further information please contact:

Sonya Yee
Speechwriter and Spokesperson, UNODC
Phone: (+43 1) 26060-4990
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-4990
Email: sonya.yee[at]