With the objective of fighting against criminal networks engaged in human trafficking and people smuggling, the European Union project ROCK (Regional Operational Centre in support of the Khartoum Process) was launched at the request of countries from the Horn of Africa, as part of the Khartoum process.
The aim of ROCK is to strengthen the coordination of police services in the region through the collection, exchange and analysis of operational data, in order to facilitate the dismantling of criminal networks. According to a study by Europol in 2017, activities by these criminal networks represent between 4.7 and 5.7 billion Euros a year, making it one of the largest and most widespread sources of profit for organised crime.
The ROCK is implemented by Civipol for the benefit of a consortium of EU Member States – France, the United Kingdom, Italy, with Spain as associate partner and Germany as an observer – and in partnership with Interpol and the African Union. The ROCK is set up for the countries of the Khartoum Process and the Horn of Africa Initiative of the African Union. Contacts are most advanced with Sudan, South Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Somalia and the Libyan authorities.
The ROCK is funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. It is led by a committee composed of beneficiary states, partner states and institutions as well as the European Commission and the European External Action Service.