Smuggling of migrants

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Migrant smuggling refers to the movement of persons across international borders for financial benefit. Data on migrant smuggling allow policymakers to better understand the phenomena as well as to develop policies that promote safe and orderly migration.

Data on smuggling are scarce, and 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 the concern States have over the practice 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.