Announced in early August when many of us were on Annual Leave, it may be helpful to share the information that the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa are launching a three-year project aimed at supporting Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia in dismantling migrant smuggling and human trafficking criminal networks operating in North Africa, the duo announced in a press statement.
The EU has set a budget of €15m ($16.69m) for the project, which will be implemented by the UNODC Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa under the framework of the North Africa Window of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.
According to the UNODC, trafficking in persons is the acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, intending to exploit them. Smuggling of migrants involves the procurement for financial or other material benefits of illegal entry of a person into a state of which that person is not a national or resident.
The project aims at supporting member states in dismantling organized criminal networks involved in migrant smuggling and human trafficking.