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Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women

Human Rights
at home, abroad and on the way...

GAATW Logo

Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women

Human Rights
at home, abroad and on the way...

GAATW Working Paper Series

Smuggling and Trafficking: Rights and Intersections

GAATW Working Paper Series 

GAATW is increasingly concerned with immigration measures that criminalise migrants and badly affect trafficked people. Many of these policies are framed as ‘anti-smuggling’ measures. We chose to look at smuggling partly because the Smuggling Protocol sits in the same UN convention as the Trafficking Protocol and receives much less attention, especially in terms of human rights.

GAATW members also struggle with smuggling in terms of misidentification. When authorities detain migrants, they do not always screen whether they might have been trafficked, but detain them as criminals, as ‘smuggled’, or as ‘irregular’ and then deport them before they have a chance to seek or receive entitled rights. If people labelled as ‘smuggled’ are not getting their rights, it follows that some non-identified trafficked people are not either. We feel that we cannot ignore the anti-smuggling measures that are affecting the people with whom we work.

This paper examines three topics:

  • Human rights that migrants have in smuggling situations,
  • Intersections between smuggling and trafficking, and
  • Language that different stakeholders use to talk about smuggling.

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