UNODC/BCOCC to launch € 2.48 million Project to Strengthen Law Enforcement Capacity and Criminal Justice Response to Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons (16 March 2010)

By | 11 March 2010

Pretoria – Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants are global concerns and crimes affecting persons, individual countries and regions as a whole. In addition to the humanitarian and social consequences attached to these phenomena, security issues abound due to the organised crime links so often identified.

South Africa is not immune from these crimes. With a land border of 4,862 km which it shares with six neighbouring countries, 10 international airports, and eight international seaports, coupled with excellent regional and international flight connections, organised criminal networks use South Africa as an important transit route and embarkation point when trafficking persons or smuggling migrants from Southern Africa to Canada, Europe and the US. South Africa is also a country of final destination for countless smuggled migrants and trafficked persons from the region and beyond.

With this in mind, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in partnership with the South African Border Control Operational Coordinating Committee (BCOCC), which  is responsible for the strategic and integrated operational management of the country’s border environment and through financial support from the European Union is implementing a project entitled “Strengthening Law Enforcement Capacity (Border Control Operations) and Criminal Justice Response to Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons”.

The € 2.48 million project is funded by the European Union (EU) and will strengthen the capacity of the criminal justice system and law enforcement authorities, border control management, prosecution and the judiciary in order to effectively fight the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons, particularly  through joint operations and investigations. The project will also raise awareness at border regions about SoM and TiP. In addition, the foreseen creation of a single Border Management Agency in South Africa will shift the parameters with regard to safeguarding the South African borders.

The project’s execution is cognisant of several key areas related to South Africa’s borders – firstly, the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup will likely see close to 500,000 visitors enter the country from both neighbouring states and international destinations. This calls for better systems to detect, screen and clear passengers at border points. Secondly, as a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), South Africa has signed the Facilitation of Movement of People which will establish the free movement of people within the 14 Member States of SADC. This presents new challenges to border management considering South Africa’s position as the economic powerhouse of the region which acts as a pull factor for economic migrants as well as illegal migration.


Media Invite: UNODC and SADC host Workshop on International

Cooperation in Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants

Members of the media are invited to attend the launch which will include discussions by the European Union, the United Nations, and the BCOCC. The launch will be held at the University of South Africa’s (UNISA) Muckleneuk Campus in Pretoria at the Senate Hall, 2nd floor, Theo van Wijk Building. The formal programme will run from 15h00 to 16h30, and will be preceded by light refreshments from 14h30. The event will be followed by one-on-one press opportunities with the speakers.

Media Queries

Kevin Town

Advocacy & Communications

UNODC Southern Africa

T: +27 12 342 2424 / C: +27 71 688 3760 / E:

UNODC Southern Africa

1059 Schoeman Street, 1st & 2nd Floor | P.O. Box 12673, Hatfield 0028, Pretoria, South Africa

Tel: +27 12 342 2424 | Fax: +27 12 342 2356

Email: | Web:

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), as the guardian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) and the Protocols thereto, assists States in their efforts to implement the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (“Palermo Protocol”). For more information on the UNODC’s TiP work, please visit and

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