Smuggling of migrants

Migrant smuggling refers to the movement of persons across international borders for financial benefit. Data on migrant smuggling allow us to improve our understanding of the phenomena as well as develop policies in order to promote safe and orderly migration governance and practices. Data on smuggling are very scarce. There is no annual global report on migrant smuggling trends. Official statistics on migrant smuggling are limited as many countries do not collect or publish such data. The little data that do exist on smuggling are retrieved from arrivals numbers, such as those across the Mediterranean, or are based on the number of migrants apprehended at a border (Laczko and McAuliffe, 2016). A useful indicator on migrant smuggling and its prevalence is the number of countries that have ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its supplementary protocol, the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air. However, the extent to which these countries have implemented their obligations remains difficult to determine. 


Last updated on
20 March 2018