Brussels, 29 November 2023 (TDI): The International Conference on a Global Alliance to Counter Migrant Smuggling is scheduled to occur on Tuesday, 28 November 2023, in Brussels.
The event was organized by Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, and Ylva Johansson, the Commissioner for Home Affairs.
The conference aims to enhance global collaboration in the fight against migrant smuggling. It will convene delegates from Member States, significant partner nations, and international organizations.
The event will also be graced by the presence of Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders. Though, Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Olivier Várhelyi, and Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen.
The criminal organizations that manage migrant smuggling not only exploit human suffering but also create a broader security threat, said Ursula von der Leyen.
Migration is a challenging task that requires constant effort, especially in the fight against human smugglers who deceive and endanger vulnerable individuals. To combat this global issue, collaborative efforts with our partners are crucial.
The Commission plans to host an International Conference to address people smuggling. It is time to end this heartless and illegal enterprise. As emphasized by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, in her 2023 State of the Union Address.
Migrant smuggling is a worldwide illicit operation that involves the transportation of individuals across international borders without proper documentation. The root causes of this phenomenon remained multifaceted.
Albeit, poverty, social and political instability, and the lack of legal migration pathways lead to illegal migration. These factors drive individuals to seek the assistance of criminal organizations to facilitate their unauthorized entry, transit, or residency in the European Union.
These journeys could be extremely dangerous, and smugglers frequently expose migrants to both life-threatening risks and violence. The loss of lives as a result of migrant smuggling demands an assertive and urgent response at the EU and global levels.
The vast majority of migrants who enter irregularly rely on smugglers, accounting for 90% of such cases. According to Europol’s report in 2022, there were 15,000 smugglers involved in facilitating irregular migration.
In the same year, there were 331,000 instances of irregular entries at the external borders of the European Union. The conference attendees will address strategies to prevent and address migrant smuggling, as well as explore alternatives to irregular migration.