The government is looking at strengthening laws against people smuggling by amendments the Immigration and Emigrants Act.
Top officials from Australian and Sri Lanka have already participated in a round-table discussion on harmonising Australian and Sri Lankan people smuggling laws to assist efforts to combat people smuggling.
“The need for continued discussions on harmonising people smuggling laws with international instruments and best practice was identified as a priority at the inaugural Sri Lanka – Australia Joint Working Group (JWG) on People Smuggling and Transnational Crime in Colombo on 17 December 2012. The roundtable discussion demonstrated Australia’s and Sri Lanka’s commitment to this work,” the Australian High Commission in Colombo said.
The roundtable discussion included an update on the status of Sri Lanka’s people smuggling amendments to the Immigration and Emigrants Act, Australian people smuggling laws, sharing experiences in legislating against people smuggling, and a focus on areas where Australia and Sri Lanka may be able to collaborate to further harmonise people smuggling laws.
Representatives from Australia’s Attorney-General’s Department, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian High Commission participated in the roundtable.
Australia and Sri Lanka have been working together to strengthen and harmonise people smuggling legislation to prevent criminals exploiting gaps in legal frameworks under the Australia – Sri Lanka Memorandum of Understanding concerning Legal Cooperation against the Smuggling of Migrants signed in December 2009. (Colombo Gazette)