IOM, INTERPOL Combat Trafficking in Uganda

By International Office of Migration (IOM)
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GENEVA, Switzerland, November 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Uganda's borders are porous and the country is vulnerable to illegal cross border activities, including human trafficking and migrant smuggling. Between 2008 and 2013, 72 Ugandans identified as victims of trafficking abroad were helped to return home by IOM.

In order to improve the country's capacity to combat migrant smuggling and other cross-border crimes, IOM this week organized a five-day INTERPOL training: “Smuggling Training and Operation Program (STOP)” in Entebbe. It was the first such training held in Uganda.

STOP is a multi-faceted response to criminal activities in the field of people smuggling. The aim of the programme is to empower front line officers at border crossings to detect suspect criminals, forged travel documents and other illegal cross border activities by cross checking data provided by the 190 member countries of INTERPOL.

The training, which was led by an expert from the Interpol Border Management Task Force (IBMTF), was attended by 22 participants from agencies including the Directorate for Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC), the Uganda Police Force, the NCB INTERPOL Kampala, the Internal Security Organization and the External Security Organization.

Participants were trained on both theoretical and operational aspects of combating human smuggling. The training included a practical session at Entebbe International Airport.

In opening remarks, Nerimana Rifatbegovic, IOM's project manager on border management stated that capacity building and information sharing are vital for fighting all forms of cross border criminal activities, such as smuggling migrants and trafficking innocent people.

The training was part of IOM's "Strengthening Border Management in Uganda" project, which is funded by the Government of Japan and aims to build Uganda's capacity to effectively manage its borders and increase the border security. Training runs through the end of December 2014.