Over 400 delegates from 70 countries gathered at the 6th INTERPOL Global Conference in Abuja, Nigeria from 24th-25th September, 2018, to forge a common front against the complex international criminal groups behind human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
The annual INTERPOL meeting brought together law enforcement agencies, international organizations, NGOs and the private sector to enhance international cooperation, exchange information and experiences, and consolidate strong networks to combat the organized criminal groups behind the trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants. The conference was organized by INTERPOL in partnership with the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Immigration Service and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
Among the topics of discussion were; current threats and trends, the financial flows behind the crimes, the crucial role of cross-sector partnerships, how to overcome obstacles to prosecution and the use of technology and data in investigations.
Addressing the Conference, the Secretary General INTERPOL, Jürgen Stock said human traffickers sell false hope to their victims with the end result being exploitation, danger and sometimes even death. “Men, women and children are shuffled around like commodities as the traffickers focus their efforts on making even bigger profits. These are terrible crimes targeting vulnerable victims, and it is essential that we continue with a holistic approach across all sectors if we are to effectively combat this threat.’
In remarks delivered on behalf of Nigerian President Hon. Muhammadu Buhari by Olusegun Adeyemi Adekunle, Office of the Secretary of the Federation, he highlighted the strong link between human trafficking, migrant smuggling and corruption: “Unless we fight corruption in developing economies like ours, the little resources budgeted for development will be stolen by few elites, exposing our youth to poverty, and thus becoming vulnerable to trafficking and smuggling.”