To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measures were adopted at the Valetta Conference to strengthen law enforcement action against people smugglers in Sub-Saharan Africa, and to increase awareness amongst local populations in Sub-Saharan Africa of the dangers of informal migration routes across the Sahara and the Mediterranean.
The UK played a leading role in agreeing an Action Plan at the Valletta Conference that will drive constructive and coherent joint action to tackle the causes as well as the consequences of current migratory pressures from Africa. In particular, the Action Plan sets out a series of initiatives to strengthen law enforcement action against people smugglers, and to increase awareness amongst populations in Sub-Saharan Africa of the dangers of illegal migration, as follows:
• Establish or upgrade national and regional anti-smuggling and anti-trafficking legislation, policies and action plans in countries and regions of origin and transit of migration. Identify single national contact points for anti-smuggling and trafficking activities to enhance cooperation, including with counterparts in EU Member States and associated countries and in Europol
• Implement projects focused on strengthening institutional capacities to fight against the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings networks, both in origin and transit countries located along the West Sahel routes, and raise awareness on this problem among the populations concerned
• Set up a joint investigation team in Niger against migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings networks, as a pilot project to be potentially replicated in other countries or regions at their request
• Organise information campaigns in countries of origin, transit and destination, to raise awareness of the general public and potential migrants and victims on the dangers of trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants, their recruitment processes, including through public broadcasting services programmes aimed at informing the general public and potential migrants about the migratory situation in Europe
We are now focused on working with EU and African partners to implement the Action Plan quickly and fully.