The 29th SEEPAG Conference on the New mechanisms of investigating and prosecuting smuggling of persons

Belgrade/Republic of Serbia, May 8th 2018

The 29th SEEPAG Conference having as theme “New mechanisms of investigating and prosecuting smuggling of persons” organized by SELEC in the framework of the Serbian Chairmanship was held in Belgrade on 8 of May 2018 with the participation of the Minister of Justice of Republic of Serbia, Republic Public Prosecutor of Republic of Serbia, Director General of SELEC as well as experts of the Member States and Partners’ prosecution offices, and representatives of Center for International Legal Cooperation, European Investment Bank, Regional Cooperation Council and US Department of Justice.

Opening remarks were addressed by Serbian Minister of Justice, Ms. Nela Kuburovic, Republic Public Prosecutor, Ms. Zagorka Dolovac, Director General of SELEC, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva and SEEPAG Chairperson, Mr. Tomislav Kilibarda. The Minister of Justice mentioned the legislative and institutional changes made by Republic of Serbia in order to ensure a more effective fight against transnational organized crime, stating that a close cooperation among the countries is a prerequisite for combating illegal migration in the region. Republic Public Prosecutor of Republic of Serbia referred to the benefits of SEEPAG and that international and regional cooperation are of utmost importance in combating transnational organized crime.

The Director General of SELEC briefed about the main operational activities developed by SELEC during the previous year, with a focus on the number of the exchanges of information and joint investigations related to migrants’ smuggling and the support offered by SELEC to its Member States in organizing operational meetings and the annual Task Force meeting on countering trafficking in human beings and illegal migration.

During the meeting, the Member States’ representatives presented the national legislation concerning the smuggling of persons, as well as the current situation, and the problems encountered during the investigation of this offence.

It was concluded that this global phenomenon entails a global common approach that can be achieved by swift and close cooperation, networking, building trust and using all available tools, such as SELEC and SEEPAG platforms, for exchanging information in a timely manner and join synergies.

The formal transfer of Chairmanship took place with this occasion, as according to the basic documents of SEEPAG the Chairmanship of SEEPAG rotates in alphabetical rotation, following that Republic of Turkey to take over the Chairmanship in 2019.