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EU, South Med countries reaffirm commitment to combat human trafficking

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

BRUSSELS – An international ministerial conference, organized by the Italian Interior Ministry, was held on Monday to discuss the migration crisis in the Mediterranean and combating human trafficking.

The conference was attended by European Commissioners Ylva Johansson and Olivér Várhelyi, the interior ministers of Germany, France, Spain and Malta and their southern Mediterranean counterparts of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania.

In a joint statement, the participants stressed that “reducing human suffering, fighting the exploitation of vulnerable people and the loss of lives at sea and on land remain a common moral imperative and a common challenge for all”.

European ministers and commissioners have also “expressed a clear commitment to prevent and combat migrant smuggling in a joint and coordinated way, within their global and balanced approach to managing migration”.

The participants also agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation between law enforcement agencies of all parties through police training projects, operational capacity and financial support for technical equipment in order to strengthen their operational capabilities in the fight against networks of migrant smugglers and transnational crime.

“Existing practices in this area have yielded positive results in the joint effort to combat migrant smuggling and need to be further developed,” reads the joint statement. 

Finally, the participants in the video-conference recalled the importance of the support of all EU Member States in order to combat migrant smuggling.

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