Global Study on Smuggling of Migrants 2018

image of Global Study on Smuggling of Migrants 2018

This study shows that migrant smuggling routes affect every part of the world. It is based on an extensive review of existing data and literature. The study presents detailed information about key smuggling routes, such as the magnitude, the profiles of smugglers and smuggled migrants, the modus operandi of smugglers and the risks that smuggled migrants face. It shows that smugglers use land, air and sea routes – and combinations of those – in their quest to profit from people’s desire to improve their lives. Smugglers also expose migrants to a range of risks; violence, theft, exploitation, sexual violence, kidnapping and even death along many routes.




Migrant smuggling has been documented along at least five major and several smaller routes in Africa. The first three major routes originate from the same subregion, namely the Horn of Africa. Movements within that subregion are mainly irregular as there are limited options for regular movement. Smugglers facilitate many of these irregular movements. The northward route connects the Horn of Africa via land to North Africa. Upon arrival in North Africa, some of the migrants smuggled along this route continue to Europe along the Central Mediterranean route. The eastward route connects the Horn of Africa to Yemen, crossing the Red Sea or the Arabian Sea. Many of these migrants are then smuggled north to Saudi Arabia or further afield. The southward route heads primarily overland to Southern Africa.


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