People smuggling

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People smuggling (also called human smuggling) is defined as "the facilitation, transportation, attempted transportation or illegal entry of a person or persons across an international border, in violation of one or more countries laws, either clandestinely or through deception, such as the use of fraudulent documents". [1] The term is understood as and often used interchangeably with migrant smuggling, which is defined by the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime as "...the procurement, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit, of the illegal entry of a person into a state party of which the person is not a national". [2]

The practice of people smuggling has seen a rise over the past few decades and today now accounts for a significant portion of illegal immigration in countries around the world. People smuggling generally takes place with the consent of the person or persons being smuggled, and common reasons for individuals seeking to be smuggled include employment and economic opportunity, personal and/or familial betterment, and escape from persecution or conflict.

Not to be confused with human trafficking, people smuggling is characterized by the consent between customer and smuggler - a contractual agreement that typically terminates upon arrival in the destination location.

Smuggling operations are complex, working within networks of many individual players. As smuggling operations and its underlying infrastructure becomes increasingly intricate, so do the issues surrounding the matter of people smuggling. With major and minor players spanning the globe, people smuggling poses a significant economic and legal impact on society, and solutions to the problem of people smuggling remain contested and under continued debate and development.


Reasons for Smuggling

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