Experts state that COVID-19 and mobile money services have changed the modus operandi of criminal networks trafficking and smuggling people

A panel of experts on migration, human trafficking and smuggling, and the rise of mobile money services came together to discuss the changes they have seen emerging with the rise of COVID-19 and the growth of money mobile services within the criminal networks. However, the experts also agree that the pandemic presents a chance to reflect on the role of technology and the fight against human trafficking. The experts argue that protection should be key and that prosecution, in new and innovative ways, should focus on the quality of arrests, not quantity. Just as criminal groups take advantage of increased interconnectivity, so can the efforts taken to stop their exploitation.

News Highlights: ‘Al-Bidja’ arrested in Libya on charges of trafficking, RSF starts case against Eritrean authorities, Minors in UK held in unfit detention for days

In this week’s news highlights: Eritrea’s President accused of crimes against humanity in case launched by RSF; 12 migrants found dead along Djibouti coast; UK Africa Minister worries about human rights violations in Eritrea; Eritrean refugees cross the Ethiopian border; “Al-Bidja” arrested in Libya accused of trafficking and smuggling; UNHCR restarts refugee evacuation flights from Libya; New documentary depicts difficult lives of migrants and transporters in Agadez; 15 migrants drown off Libyan coast; Croatian police accused of violence towards asylum seekers; Refugee children forced to wait long for accommodation in the UK; Greece finalises planning to build a new wall against migrants at Turkish border; Young victims of child trafficking risk of deportation when turning 18 in the UK; “Welcome event” for asylum seekers in Kent (UK); COVID-19 causes decrease in remittances in 2020; And joint statement on the new EU Pact on Migration and Asylum.