New Zealand High Commission Canberra, Australia

Immigration launches campaign to deter people smuggling

Immigration New Zealand has launched a campaign to deter people smugglers from targeting New Zealand.

The web-based campaign aims to raise awareness among people smugglers and those who support their activities of the risks associated with illegal migration ventures.

“New Zealand has zero tolerance for people smugglers who prey on the vulnerable and put lives at risk”, the Head of immigration New Zealand, Nigel Bickle says.

“There are legitimate ways to seek refugee status in New Zealand, through the UNHCR. That will remain the priority basis for considering applications. New Zealand will not tolerate any people smugglers trying to get around that process”, he says.

“People smuggling is illegal. Anyone trying to smuggle people into New Zealand, or help smugglers could get up to 20-years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

“It is also illegal for New Zealanders to finance relatives and friends to join up with people smugglers – they could also face fines and imprisonment,” he says.

“New Zealand law enforcement agencies are working closely with our Asia/Pacific neighbours and have intensified anti-people smuggling activities.

Illegal migrants run the risk of being caught before they reach New Zealand. People smugglers run the risk of being caught and extradited to New Zealand”.

The communications campaign has been developed as part of New Zealand’s commitment to the Bali Process.

The Bali Process brings countries together from the Asia/Pacific region and beyond to work on practical measures to help combat people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related transnational crime. It is a collaborative effort participated in by over 50 countries and numerous international agencies.

For more details on the Process see the Bali Process website.

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