May 19, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese capital, Khartoum will host on Tuesday the preparatory meetings of the international conference on combating illegal migration and human trafficking which will convene in September.
- Map shows trafficking route, stretching from eastern Sudan to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula
The preparatory meetings are organised by the African Union (AU) in coordination with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) offices in Khartoum and Addis Ababa, and the Sudanese government.
The conference aims to curb human trafficking and illegal migration besides promoting procedures for combating them.
The director of the consular and expatriates department at Sudan’s foreign minister, Abdel-Aziz Hassan Salih, said several central and East African countries will take part in the preparatory meetings.
He added that his government would be represented in the meetings by several officials from the foreign ministry, ministry of interior, refugees’ commission and the national council for population.
The preparatory meetings will be addressed by the state minister at Sudan’s foreign ministry, Obaid Allah Mohamed Obaid Allah, who will present a paper on youth migration.
The preparatory meetings and the conference are funded by the IOM’s offices in Khartoum and Addis Ababa.
Last July, the Sudanese cabinet endorsed a draft bill on combating human trafficking in line with previous government pledges to tackle the issue this year.
The law details human trafficking offenses and penalties while specifying measures aimed at protecting victims and witnesses and maintaining information confidentiality.
The US state department’s 2012 report on human trafficking identifies Sudan as a "source, transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking".
Eastern Sudan in particular is believed to be serving as a passage to migrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia who seek to reach Europe with the help of human smugglers.