21 January 2010

Two UQ Law researchers leave for Islamabad this week to assist Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in its efforts to stop the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons.

In conjunction with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Pakistan, TC Beirne School of Law’s Associate Professor Andreas Schloenhardt and Research Associate Brendan Hall will review and develop FIA’s training programs in these areas of migration-related crime.

UNODC leads international efforts to comprehensively prevent and suppress migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons and to protect the victims of these crimes.

“Our objective is to evaluate existing curricula and training programs delivered by the Government of Pakistan and advise UNODC on methods to improve training to help prevent, detect, and prosecute crime facilitating migration," Dr Schloenhardt said.

Irregular migration, especially in the form of migrant smuggling and human trafficking, and associated crimes such as money laundering, document fraud, and corruption, are of imminent concern to Pakistan.

“Recent reports confirm that Pakistan is simultaneously a sending, transit, and destination point for smuggled migrants and trafficked persons. Domestic trafficking, especially of women and children, is also not uncommon,” Mr Hall said.

Pakistan was also an important source country and transit point for asylum-seekers from the Middle East and South Asia. Pakistan’s sizeable migration crime industry takes huge profits from such irregular migrants.

This is the fourth research project conducted by Dr Schloenhardt and the TC Beirne School of Law for UNODC. Previous research focussed on aspects of organised crime, wildlife crime, and the illegal timber trade.

Media: Lynda Flower, Marketing Manager, TC Beirne School of Law (07 3365 2523, l.flower@law.uq.edu.au)