IOM, Canada Work to Counter Human Smuggling in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea - IOM Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials this week visited the remote Sandaun (West Sepik) province bordering Indonesia on a fact finding mission to explore ways to assist the PNG Government in countering people smuggling.

The five-day mission looked at all aspects of smuggling, including illicit movement of people and goods, smuggling routes, surveillance systems, border management and people-to-people contacts. The findings of the assessment will shape the recommendations to the government on future actions to combat the problem.

“We are finding that there is a strong awareness of people smuggling in village communities, in provincial administration and among national agency staff working in the province,” said IOM counter smuggling specialist Greg Mills. “Coordination with local people on the ground will be crucial to building solutions.”     

The assessment is part of a wider counter smuggling programme, which aims to improve the capacity of PNG law enforcement authorities to enforce new legislation. Over the next three months IOM will also conduct trainings and develop a manual for agencies involved in border management.   

“Human smuggling and trafficking has had tragic consequences on vulnerable people and is a source of funding for criminal organizations,” noted Claude St-Denis, CBSA Regional Director for Southeast Asia. “Government enforcement agencies and organizations such as IOM need to work together to prevent and deter these illegal activities.”

The programme is funded by the Government of Canada’s Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) and implemented by IOM.

For further information please contact George Gigauri at IOM Papua New Guinea, Tel: +675 732 00 136, Email: