December 12, 2014
The United States Embassy in Podgorica, through the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), funded a two day training deployment to Vienna, Austria, for representatives of the Montenegrin Supreme Court, Office of National Coordinator for Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings (TIP), and a Civil Society Organization (CSO). The focus of this two day visit was the fight against trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling.
Due to its geographical location, Montenegro has become a transit route and a destination for asylum seekers from eastern countries. The number of asylum seekers has increased in the last period and with that the potential for human trafficking. Members of the Montenegrin delegation had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Interior, Central Service for Combating Human Smuggling/Human Trafficking, to learn about their experience in combating this phenomenon. They also visited the Security Academy of the Austrian Ministry of Interior, a Refugee Camp, and also familiarized themselves with asylum procedures in Austria and the potential link between asylum applicants to human trafficking and criminal activity.
The delegation also visited the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to learn about their work and mandate in the area of combating trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. The training deployment concluded with a visit to Vienna International Airport where they were given a general overview of operations and procedures in the airport on this matter, as well as a tour of the refugee holding center and the removal/deportation facility.
The organization of this training deployment was a result of the great cooperation between the U.S. Embassy Podgorica, INL section, with the Regional Attaché of the United States Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Austrian Federal Police.