This module is a resource for lecturers


A holistic approach to smuggling of migrants includes preventing and prosecuting the crime, protecting the rights of smuggled migrants and fostering international cooperation to dismantle organized criminal groups. This Module complements Module 3 by presenting non-criminal justice responses to the smuggling of migrants. It emphasizes that a robust and effective approach to combatting migrant smuggling must go beyond law enforcement. It explains that areas of law besides criminal law, such as human rights, labour, migration and refugee law, are relevant. The so-called administrative approach to organized crime is also considered. This approach aims to prevent organized crime from infiltrating the public sector, the economy or key parts of public administration, thus debilitating the "machinery" of organized criminal groups. As discussed in other modules ( 1, 3 and 5), the presence of corruption, political instability and the lack of rule of law creates fertile ground for organized criminal activities, including smuggling of migrants. Transparency in the administration of public resources and related monitoring and accountability mechanisms are critical to ensuring strong institutions, which are less likely to be infiltrated by organized criminal groups. These considerations also apply to the technical support and financial aid of the international community, where effective accountability systems should be a shared responsibility of the receiving State as much as the donor country(ies). It should be noted that several actors considered in the context of Module 3 are also examined in this Module, but from a distinct perspective. That is, the purpose is to assess the contribution of those actors in the non-criminal response to smuggling of migrants.

Learning outcomes

  • Discuss different areas of law in terms of the prevention of and fight against smuggling of migrants
  • Comprehend the multidisciplinary approach beyond criminal justice responses to smuggling of migrants
  • Explain the role of non-criminal justice actors in the prevention of and fight against migrant smuggling
  • Understand anti-migrant smuggling strategies in the broader context of sustainable development and human security
  • Discuss the importance of planning, monitoring and accountability in the realm of international assistance and cooperation
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