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Migrant Smuggling Data and Research

A Global Review of the Emerging Evidence Base

image of Migrant Smuggling Data and Research
The report shows that important research has been undertaken on the transnational crime aspects of migrant smuggling, including on routes, smuggling organizations (such as criminal networking and facilitation), smuggler profiles and fees/payment. Likewise, there is an emerging academic literature on migrant smuggling, particularly the economic and social processes involved in smuggling, which has largely been based on small-scale qualitative research, mostly undertaken by early career researchers. Contributions from private research companies, as well as investigative journalists, have provided useful insights in some regions, helping to shed light on smuggling practices. There remains, however, sizeable gaps in migration policy research and data, particularly in relation to migration patterns and processes linked to migrant smuggling, including its impact on migrants (particularly vulnerability, abuse and exploitation), as well as its impact on irregular migration flows (such as increasing scale, diversity and changes in geography). Addressing these systemic and regional gaps in data and research would help deepen understanding of the smuggling phenomenon, and provide further insights into how responses can be formulated that better protect migrants while enhancing States’ abilities to manage orderly migration.

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West and Central Africa

West and Central Africa is a major source region of unauthorized migration. Trucks overloaded with migrants, rushing north along the sandy roads of the Sahara, have become iconic images of international migrant smuggling. This particular flow is important, but only one aspect of a complex and poorly documented landscape of migrant smuggling from West and Central Africa.

English

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