Enhancing Digital Investigations to Combat Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling

In an effort to stay ahead of evolving criminal modus operandi in human trafficking and migrant smuggling, IOM Serbia convened a specialized training in Belgrade on 12th and 13th October, bringing together key actors involved in counter-trafficking and counter-smuggling responses in Serbia.

Led by experts Branko Stamenković, prosecutor for high-tech crime, and police captain Miloš Đorđević from the Police Department in Niš, the training addressed the pressing need to adapt investigative approaches in light of rapid advancement of digital technologies. Criminal networks have increasingly turned to digital platforms, magnifying the scope and impact of these crimes and enhancing their ability to engage in human trafficking and migrant smuggling.

Understanding evolving tactics and global legal tools is crucial to leverage the potential of new technologies to effectively fight human trafficking and migrant smuggling. As traffickers increasingly exploit digital tools, including social media, mobile applications, and online gaming platforms, to perpetrate their crimes, the training provided a timely and crucial intervention. The participants were presented with the evolution of modus operandi, cyber-crime impacts, and international legal instruments in effectively combating these illicit activities. 

With advancements in technology, opportunities have also emerged for all actors engaged in counter-trafficking responses to monitor illegal activities, analyze data, and effectively combat these activities. Through a multi-sectoral approach, participants were presented with new techniques to advance digital investigations including the basics of high-tech crime and international legal cooperation in the field, equipping them with invaluable skills for strengthening investigations and intelligence gathering.

The training, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark through the project “Western Balkans Joint Actions against Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Human Beings” implemented by IOM, marked a significant step towards a more informed, skilled, and coordinated response to these complex and pressing challenges.


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