International police cooperation is key to combat illegal immigration

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19 June 2015

From 21 to 23 April 2015, the cities of Michalovce and Sobrance in Slovakia hosted the CEPOL course 2/2015 on illegal immigration. Participants from 23 EU Member States and Switzerland attended this activity, organised with the support of Hungary, the United Kingdom and the EU agencies FRONTEX and EUROPOL.

The course allowed participants to better understand the modus operandi of organised crime groups (OCGs). Students gained insight into routes used for illegal immigration and trends concerning the abuse of legal channels for migration, such as the use of fraudulent documents. Trainers also addressed some initiatives in this field carried out at EU level and the different types of international cooperation defined by the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

The first day of the activity was dedicated to the protection of the external Schengen land border between Slovakia and Ukraine. Participants had the chance to witness how theory is put into practice during a field visit in the afternoon. On the second day, experts from FRONTEX, EUROPOL, Hungary, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom gave an overview of illegal immigration in their respective work fields. The course concluded with presentations focused on trafficking in human beings.

Trainers stressed the importance of international police cooperation throughout the activity. Besides, they remarked that establishing a network of capacity building and information sharing is key to reach positive outcomes in the field of illegal immigration.

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