European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 163-195

First online:

Smuggling and Trafficking in Human Beings: The Phenomenon, The Markets that Drive It and the Organisations that Promote It

  • Alexis A. AronowitzAffiliated withUnited Nationals Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute

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This article will define the concepts of smuggling and trafficking in human beings and discuss the difficulty in applying the definition. The magnitude and scope of the problem will be examined as well as its causes. Trafficking in human beings will be analysed as an illegal market, particularly with reference to its relationship with other illegal markets and the involvement of organised crime groups. The phenomenon will be discussed in more depth focusing on countries and regions where projects are currently being implemented under the auspices of the United Nations Global Programme against Trafficking in Human Beings. The discussion closes with an overview of situations which facilitate the practice, and current measures and recommendations to stem the tide of smuggling and trafficking.

criminal organisations illegal markets migration smuggling trafficking