Counter Migrant Smuggling

The worldwide smuggling of migrants on land and sea, results in large-scale deaths. In the last two decades and particularly over the last three years with the effects of the Arab Spring and conflict in the Middle East and North Africa, there has been a dramatic increase in those attempting to cross borders with the services of migrant smugglers. The phenomenon of migrant smuggling is characterized by high human cost and high profits for transnational criminal networks, while states face challenges in preserving the integrity of their migration governance systems and sovereign borders and fulfilling their responsibilities to protect individuals' human rights. 

IOM seeks to address migrant smuggling in  a comprehensive way, saving migrant’s lives, prosecuting migrant smugglers and  promoting more regular migration channels, as well as advancing the socio-economic well-being of migrants. The desired future outcome is that states, international organizations, and other actors work towards a situation where migration systems, at a minimum, do not exacerbate vulnerabilities but rather guarantee protection of the human rights of migrants irrespective of status, while migration takes place within the rule of law, and is aligned with development, social, humanitarian and security interests of states.

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