The European Union is working to modernize its legislation to fight irregular migration and human trafficking, and intends to toughen punishment for related crimes, Ednews reports via Sputnik that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday.
"Here in Europe, we are working right now to update our anti-smuggling legislation, which is 20 years old. We will update the definition of the crime of migrant smuggling, toughen our sanctions and extend our jurisdictional reach," she said at the International Conference on a Global Alliance to Counter Smuggling.
The European Commission chief lashed out at criminal organizations that manage migrant smuggling, saying they "do not only exploit human suffering, but they also represent a broader security threat." In this regard, she called for the building of "a Global Alliance against the smuggling of human beings," using a three-pronged approach including prevention, response and legal alternatives to smuggling routes.