IOM and UNODC Join Forces to Tackle Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling 

IOM Director General Amy Pope (Right) and UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly sign Statement of Partnership in Cairo. Photo Credit: IOM Egypt.

Cairo, 2 July 2024 - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have signed a Statement of Partnership to strengthen strategic cooperation between the two organizations on transnational organized crime related to migration.   

The partnership aims to facilitate collective efforts and improve the efficiency of programmes in the priority areas of human trafficking, migrant smuggling, border management and border security, terrorism prevention, as well as the collection, analysis and use of data to better serve migrants, Member States and other partners. 

“With 2023 as the deadliest year on record for migrants, and thousands of people on the move falling victim to trafficking in persons and people smuggling, it has become more important than ever to scale up cross-sectoral responses to transnational organized crime,” said IOM Director General Amy Pope. “Today we are pleased to renew our institutional partnership with UNODC, reflecting our strong commitment to work together to address these challenges.” 

“As conflict, climate-related disasters and economic inequality push more people into the hands of migrant smugglers and human traffickers, we need to build a more operational and comprehensive response, rooted in international partnerships,” said Executive Director of UNODC Ghada Waly. “I am pleased to sign this new Statement of Partnership with IOM today, which will strengthen our efforts to tackle transnational organized crime while upholding the human rights of migrants and trafficking victims and ensuring safe and regular migration pathways." 

UNODC and IOM have a longstanding partnership, guided by the Cooperation Agreement signed on 17 April 2012 and continue to collaborate through the UN Network on Migration and the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT). 

As part of this renewed partnership, IOM and UNODC will further identify priority areas of common interest for coordination and potential joint programming. They will jointly advocate for regular migration pathways, collaborate on efforts to protect women and children and develop opportunities for joint data collection, among other initiatives.  

They will also continue working together on existing successful collaborations, such as the recently published new guidance to help leverage administrative data on trafficking in persons.  The two organizations have also agreed to develop a new cooperation agreement and joint work plan to ensure robust operational cooperation. 



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