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Washington — Tracking down human trafficking and smuggling operations will be easier for Canadian and U.S. law enforcement officials thanks to a new agreement signed at the Cross-Border Crime Forum in Ottawa March 2.
(Media-Newswire.com) - Washington — Tracking down human trafficking and smuggling operations will be easier for Canadian and U.S. law enforcement officials thanks to a new agreement signed at the Cross-Border Crime Forum in Ottawa March 2.
The memorandum of understanding between the U.S. Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center and the Canadian Human Trafficking National Coordination Center will ease the sharing of critical information on human trafficking to combat transnational criminal organizations, according to the U.S. departments of Homeland Security and Justice.
"I am grateful to our Canadian counterparts for their indispensable work to combat exploitation, abuse and violence, and to strengthen the critical ties that bind our nations together. With the signing of this important memorandum, we signal a renewed commitment to the goals and values that our nations share to prevent and combat human trafficking,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.
In addition to the problems of human trafficking and smuggling, the Cross-Border Crime Forum also focused more generally on efforts to advance President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness initiative. Participants focused on efforts to develop the next generation of integrated cross-border law enforcement operations and improve information-sharing practices to enhance the mutual security of the United States and Canada.
“Our government is pleased to work with our U.S. counterparts to combat cross-border crime,” said Canadian Minister of Justice and Attorney General Rob Nicholson. “Ongoing cooperation between our countries allows for the most effective investigation and prosecution of crime when criminal activities cross our border.”
Holder and Nicholson were joined at the forum by Canadian Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
“We must stop individuals and transnational criminal organizations that seek to exploit the border shared by the United States and Canada to traffic drugs, arms and other illicit goods,” Napolitano said. “We will continue to work closely with our Canadian partners through greater operational collaboration and intelligence sharing to strengthen the security of both our nations within, at, and away from our border.”