09/10/2015 – Global forced displacement of people due to conflict, persecution, violence and human rights violations is on the rise. The current refugee crisis has resulted in the displacement of an unprecedented number of people. The United Nations estimates that more people have been displaced in the last two years than at any time since World War II. With record-breaking numbers of displaced people seeking passage to safe refuge, refugee smuggling has become a more lucrative and sinister operation than ever before.
The influx of refugees to European borders regularly leads to tragedies that can be directly linked to people smuggling. In October 2013, more than 300 people drowned off the coast of Lampedusa. In the same month, 92 people died crossing the Sahara Desert near the Libyan border. In August 2015, 70 people suffocated in the back of a truck in Austria. International responses thus far have been inadequate. In the absence of an immediate and unified global strategy to address this humanitarian crisis, the business of people smuggling will only continue to grow.
Corruption is one of the primary facilitators of refugee smuggling. In order to fight this crime, and help refugees safely realise their rights, the international community must understand the intricate connections between corruption and refugee smuggling.
Corruption and the smuggling of refugees (pdf)
DOCUMENTS AND LINKS
Terrorism, corruption and the criminal exploitation of natural resources, February 2016
Comprehensive and co-ordinated international response needed to tackle refugee crisis, 22 Sept 2015
2015 International Migration Outlook
OECD policy brief: Is this humanitarian migration crisis different
OECD migration insights
Money Laundering Risks Arising from Trafficking of Human Beings and Smuggling of Migrants, FATF (2011)
Human trafficking and corruption