What RELEC does and stands for
RELEC stands for Regional Law Enforcement Cooperation on irregular migration, migrant smuggling and human trafficking. It is an initiative among Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Turkey; its main objective is to enhance regional cooperation on preventing irregular migration, migrant smuggling and human trafficking. The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) facilitates this cooperation as one component of the Silk Routes Project funded by the European Union.
The RELEC network was initiated in October 2015 by Turkey and ICMPD through funding from the European Union, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. During its initial pilot phase (October 2015 – July 2017), the six RELEC countries elaborated the RELEC cooperation structure. This framework consists of three main areas of cooperation - irregular migration, migrant smuggling and human trafficking - and envisages the establishment of
- National Contact Points (NCPs),
- Exchange of relevant data,
- Early warning information system,
- and annual analysis of statistical/information reports to achieve a better understanding of changing migration patterns.
The second phase of RELEC is now supported by the European Union trough the project “Improving Migration Management in the Silk Routes Countries” - the “Silk Routes” project in brief. The RELEC initiative aims to be the start of a long-term cooperation in the Silk Routes region and its neighbourhood with a view to address irregular migration and prevent the loss of lives. Future cooperation will focus on enhancing regional cooperation through regular meetings of National Contact Points, and continuing national capacity building in areas of mutual interest.
The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) has been the facilitating agency of the RELEC network. ICMPD provides technical assistance, organises meetings, supports and facilitates trainings and helps establish a mechanism for regular exchange of data, information and analysis amongst the RELEC partner countries.
More information is available in the RELEC fact sheet November 2020