ACP, EU, CMC, IOM Tackle Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling in the Caribbean

ACP, EU, CMC and IOM experts discuss human trafficking and migrant smuggling at a regional meeting in Guyana 2019. Photos: IOM 

Georgetown – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and a major Caribbean counter-trafficking network yesterday (14/03) concluded three days of exchange in Guyana on countering the scourges of trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling, which afflict a region where the number of girl victims of trafficking is among the highest globally.    

IOM, in the framework of its ACP-EU Migration Action programme, joined forces with the Caribbean Migration Consultations (CMC) Counter-Trafficking Network this week for the regional thematic meeting which brought together over 50 participants from Caribbean countries, the European Union, high representatives of international and regional organizations and NGOs, to discuss and identify effective means of countering these phenomena in the Caribbean through coordinated, regional actions.  

“Trafficking and smuggling are highly profitable businesses involving criminal networks that are very hard to trace by the authorities. The Caribbean, being a diverse region of transit migration, is hit by these serious crimes which often result in grave human rights violations, affecting men, women and children alike,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central and North America and the Caribbean.  

“Increasingly, countries across the globe and in the Caribbean region are prioritizing the fight against trafficking in human beings and the smuggling of migrants,” added Pisani. “And they recognize that in doing so, we can contribute to achieving several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”    

At the meeting, experts shared the state of the art in counter-trafficking and counter-smuggling good practices, discussed the challenges and identified solutions requiring continuing collaboration in the future. It also provided an opportunity for fruitful exchange between law enforcement and victim protection professionals, both essential to a comprehensive approach towards countering trafficking and smuggling.  

“This meeting will be very important to generate recommendations specific to the region on trafficking and smuggling,” said Minister of Public Security of Guyana Khemraj Ramjattan in his opening remarks. The recommendations will also serve to inform the Dialogue on Migration and Development between African, Caribbean and Pacific and European Union countries.  

IOM, through the Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) – European Union (EU) Migration Action, is working to build national capacities for combating trafficking and smuggling in several Caribbean countries. The Counter-Trafficking Network of the CMC is the first regional network in the Caribbean to focus on assistance and protection of victims of trafficking as well as investigation and prosecution.   

“This synergy between the Action and the CMC Counter-Trafficking Network provides an excellent opportunity to build further upon ongoing national and regional efforts to combat these crimes,” stressed Pisani.   

The ACP-EU Action, launched in June 2014, provides tailored technical support on migration to ACP countries and regional organizations. To date it has received 74 technical assistance requests from 67 ACP governments and 7 regional organizations.     

The programme is financed by the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) and supported by the ACP Secretariat and the EU. For more information on the ACP-EU Migration Action, go to: and follow on Twitter: @ACP_EU_Action, Facebook:   

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) renew national and global commitments to combat all forms of human trafficking and to protect victims of trafficking. 

Decent work and safe working conditions are important for addressing the scourge of human trafficking for forced labour. Target 8.7 can help States to strengthen the protection of exploited and trafficked individuals, and to bolster efforts to prosecute and redress these crimes.  

The SDGs address trafficking in women and children through targets 5.2 and 16.2, encouraging actors to use a gender- and age-sensitive lens when addressing human trafficking.  

Trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling are also addressed under target 16.4, underlining the need to tackle the organized crime linked to these phenomena. 

For further information, please contact ACP-EU Migration Action at the IOM Regional Office in Brussels, Tel: +32 2 287 78 10, Email:, or Rosilyne Borland at the IOM Regional Office in San Jose, Tel: +506 22 12 53 18, Email: