Police bust human smuggling gang responsible for deaths of 7 migrants

In operations conducted against a human smuggling gang — suspected of being responsible for the deaths of seven migrants in a fire in Istanbul last year — in several provinces across Turkey, police detained 38 gang members and 607 irregular migrants on Wednesday.

After police busted a human smuggling ring in the UK, it was discovered that they had some connections in Turkey. After the Turkish government received information from British police, security forces conducted 41 simultaneous operations in the provinces of Istanbul, Van, Tekirdag and Bursa. Several weapons and foreign bank notes were seized during the raids. Police also confiscated items that were reportedly used to torture irregular migrants who asked for food.

The gang’s second-in-command, Halit Karaca, managed to escape and is still at large. In a conversation Karaca had with other member of the gang recorded by police, they are heard saying that seven irregular migrants, who were found dead in a building fire in Istanbul’s Sultangazi district in November of last year, were locked in the building by him. “Those who got burnt were ours. They were furiously burnt,” Karaca is heard saying on the recording.

The seven men, who were at first thought to be highway workers based on neighbors’ descriptions, were revealed to be irregular migrants on their way to Europe. The victims were found by the firefighters stacked on top of each other in the bathroom of the building. Reporters who visited the scene following an investigation by police found two Indian passports and a Pakistani passport inside the building where the men died. Following an investigation, a police official told reporters: “There are not many burns on the migrants’ bodies. The door was locked from the outside. They probably could not get out of the building because of the locked door and iron-barred windows. They waited for death in the bathroom.” In the course of their second inspection of the house, police found a Greek telephone number. Police suspect that the deaths were more likely the result of premeditated murder rather than an accidental fire.

From Todays Zaman – 25/04/2012 

Training session on “migrants smuggling and document fraud” opens in Algiers

ALGIERS– A training session on migrant smuggling and document fraud, organized by the Directorate General of National Security (DGSN) and the General Secretariat of the International Criminal Police Organization Interpol, began Tuesday in Algiers with the participation of some 80 specialists and border police and representatives of the National Gendarmerie.

This three-day session (April 24-26) attended by experts from Interpol are part of actions initiated by the DGSN (police) to strengthen the operational capacity of police and upgrade their knowledge in this area, organizers indicated.

The meeting held at the National Institute of Criminal Police (Saoula) on the theme: “For an effective fight against the smuggling of migrants”, comes as part of efforts by Algerian security services to fight against border crime and border security, they added.

According to organizers, this session illustrates the commitment of DGSN in the development of international police cooperation through Interpol channel.

It is also an “opportunity” to enable national experts in charge of exchanging experiences to update modes of investigation in this type of crime and the appropriate control methods.

From Algeria Press Service – 04/24/2012 

Crime Commission tackles smuggling in migrants, a growing humanitarian problem

International efforts to tackle violence against migrants, migrant workers and their families took centre stage during the twenty-first session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. A draft resolution to promote efforts to eliminate violence against migrants, migrant workers and their families was adopted this week.

The text of the resolution contains strong condemnation of the continuing incidence of criminal acts against migrants, migrant workers and their families in all regions of the world, including criminal acts of violence motivated by racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. In the resolution, Member States are requested to ensure the humane treatment of all migrants, regardless of their migration status, especially women and children, with full protection of their rights, and to take all appropriate measures with due regard for the safety and dignity of the person.
View full draft resolution

The Commission devoted a special thematic discussion to violence against migrants, migrant workers and their families, along with two side events on ensuring the dignity and safety of migrants smuggled at sea and on violence against migrant women and their children in prison and detention.
Profit-seeking criminals take advantage of people’s desperation to migrate in order to make huge gains, often at the expense of the life and safety of migrants. As immigration channels become more limited, more people seek the assistance of smugglers, who take increasingly risky measures to circumvent border controls. Moreover, there are reports of both State and private vessels failing to rescue migrants in distress at sea, despite being in a position to do so. Migrants may also fall prey to traffickers, who deceive them to exploit them in a variety of ways with a view to maximizing their profit.

While the smuggling of migrants by sea accounts for only a small proportion of the total number of migrants smuggled worldwide, it accounts for the highest number of deaths among smuggled migrants. According to the 2011 Annual Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, reports suggest that more than 1,400 migrants may have perished in the crossing from Africa to Europe between January and August 2011.

As the guardian of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol, UNODC cooperates with stakeholders to assist States to reduce the prevalence of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. Beyond ratification, States parties must implement these Protocols. For instance, recently, UNODC, the International Organization for Migration and the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) signed an agreement in which they pledged closer cooperation to tackle trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants and to improve border management while protecting victims of trafficking in persons and upholding the rights of smuggled migrants.

In July 2012, UNODC will assume chairmanship of the Global Migration Group, a United Nations inter-agency group bringing together heads of agencies to promote the wider application of all relevant international and regional instruments and norms relating to migration, and to encourage the adoption of more coherent, comprehensive and better coordinated approaches to the issue of international migration.
The Commission recommended to the Economic and Social Council the approval of the draft resolution entitled “Promoting efforts to eliminate violence against migrants, migrant workers and their families” for adoption by the General Assembly.

From UNODC27 April 2012

Campanha Coração Azul

O que é a Campanha Coração Azul?

Uma iniciativa de conscientização para lutar contra o tráfico de pessoas e seu impacto na sociedade.

A Campanha Coração Azul busca encorajar a participação em massa e servir de inspiração para medidas que ayudem a acabar com o tráfico de pessoas.

 A Campanha também permite que todas as pessoas demonstrem sua solidariedade com as vítimas do tráfico de pessoas,  usando o Coração Azul.


E o Coração Azul?

O Coração Azul representa a tristeza das vítimas do tráfico de pessoas e nos lembra da insensibilidade daqueles que compram e vendem outros seres humanos. O uso da cor azul das Nações Unidas também demonstra o compromisso da Organização com a luta contra ese crime que atenta contra a dignidade humana.

Da mesma forma que a fita vermelha se tornou o símbolo internacional da conscientização sobre o HIV/aids, esta campanha busca fazer do Coração Azul o símbolo internacional da luta contra o tráfico de pessoas. “Vestindo” o Coração Azul, você ajuda a conscientizar sobre o tráfico de pessoas e adere à campanha para lutar contra esse crime.


Siga o Coração Azul

Ao seguir o Coração Azul você pode mudar a sua foto do perfil no Facebook, permanecer conectado por meio do Twitter ou assistir a vídeos sobre o tráfico de pessoas no YouTube. Participe e apóie virtualmente a Campanha Coração Azul.


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Entre em contato

Para mais informação sobre a campanha Coração Azul, escreva para:

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 

PO Box 500, 1400 Vienna, Austria

E-mail: blueheart@unodc.org