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Regional Conference on People Smuggling


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Hon Lianne Dalziel
Minister of Immigration

Media Statement

25 February 2002

Goff, Dalziel to attend Regional Conference on People Smuggling and Trafficking

Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff and Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel depart tomorrow for Indonesia to participate in a regional conference against people smuggling.

The two-day regional conference to be held in Bali, will be attended by Ministers and officials from 56 countries as well as representatives from international and regional organisations.

“This conference provides a key opportunity for countries to agree on an effective strategy for collective action to combat people smuggling, human trafficking and associated transnational crime,” Phil Goff and Lianne Dalziel said.

“Organised crime is making huge profits in exploiting human misery by smuggling and trafficking in human beings.

“This is reflected in the large numbers of people subject to this trade, now numbering in the millions.

“The hundreds known to die in the process each year may only be the tip of the iceberg.

“This conference draws together source, transit and destination countries, with the goal of all countries cooperating together not only to crack down on international crime but also to better respond to the causes and consequences of the problem.

“We are looking for concrete outcomes from the conference. There needs to be an agreed comprehensive regional strategy for future cooperation to end people smuggling.

“This should involve agreement to cooperate on intelligence sharing, enforcement and other practical cooperation measures to help countries prosecute criminal networks working in the region.

“We need also to agree on how illegal migrants who do not have UNHCR refugee status can be returned to their countries.

“Resettlement countries may need to consider sourcing their refugee quotas from camps in the region to relieve the pressure on transit countries hosting refugees.

“New Zealand has agreed to assist in the working parties which will be set up to follow through the conference’s recommendations,” Phil Goff and Lianne Dalziel said.

ENDS


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