Conference on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Migrants Smuggling

Bucharest, May, 27th, 2016 – The 23rd Task Force Mirage on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings and Illegal Migration was held on 25-26 May 2016, at the SELEC premises in Bucharest/Romania, in the framework of the Conference on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Migrants Smuggling, partly-financed through the SELEC Project “Countering Trafficking in Persons” developed within the EU Strategy for the Danube Region.

Mr. Romulus Nicolae Ungureanu, Director for Operations, Chairman and Mr. Eliodor Tanislav, Mirage Task Force Manager, Co-Chairman, welcomed SELEC Member States’ experts, as well as representatives from European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine, Europol, France, International Organization for Migration, Italy, The Netherlands, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States of America. Academia and private sector representatives also participated in the open session of the meeting where they presented tools and initiatives which may assist law enforcement authorities in their work.

SELEC support to its Member States and Partners in the fight against trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants was highlighted by Mr. Ungureanu, who also stated that “strengthening cooperation among law enforcement agencies and developing coordinated strategies and actions against this increasing phenomenon has become more important than ever. Having in mind that a law enforcement network based on trust and common objectives can strongly impact the trans-border organized crime groups acting in this field and not only, it is essential to further increase its strengths, interconnectivities and capabilities””.

During the conference, Ms. Manuela Nitu, Assistant Criminal Analyst, presented key findings of the 2015 Regional Evaluation Reports on Trafficking in Human Beings and Illegal Migration, as well as the conclusions of the Evaluation Report of Operation Mirage 2015.

The final results of the joint investigations developed by the Member States in 2015 and awarded by SELEC were presented, and presentations on new trends, modus operandi, routes, investigative methods, and successful cases were delivered by the representatives of the member countries.

The aim of the Conference was to provide a forum in which experts can discuss regional approaches in preventing and countering trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants and share their respective challenges and good practices, overall aiming at strengthening regional cooperation and set the common directions to be followed at regional level.