United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released the Global Study on Smuggling of Migrants 2018


The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime has released the Global Study on the Smuggling of Migrants 2018. This comprehensive global report describes 30 major transnational migrant smuggling routes, including routes from central Africa towards North and Southern Africa, Asian routes towards Europe and the Middle East, and routes from Latin America to North America. Most individuals who utilize smuggling services are refugees who resort to smugglers to reach safe destinations after exhausting all other options. Refugees and other migrants being smuggled are  extremely vulnerable to various types of abuse, including human trafficking, during the many stages of their journey.

Select policy implications from the report include:

  • The increasing numbers of unaccompanied and separated children among smuggled migrants on some routes pose great challenges to children’s rights and wellbeing.
  • [The] smuggling of migrants is a transnational crime which generates significant economic returns.
  • Increased border enforcement efforts in geographically limited areas often result in displacement of smuggling routes to different borders, smuggling methods, or to other routes.
  • Data collection, analysis, and research on smuggling of migrants remain at their infancy.

You can browse related resources on migrant smuggling from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, compiled by the Homeland Security Digital Library by following this link. Please note: HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.