Skip to main content

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

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

REFERENCES

  • Adamoli, S., A. Di Nicoli, E. Savona and P. Zoffi, Organized Crime around the World. Helsinki: European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control (HEUNI), 1998.

  • Ateneo Human Rights Center, The Philippine-Belgian Pilot Project against Trafficking in Women. Makati City, Philippines: G/F Ateneo Professional Schools, Rockwell Center, 1999.

    Google Scholar 

  • Aronowitz, A.A., Interviews with officials from NGOs, government agencies, Embassies and Consulates, and child victims of trafficking during start-up missions to Benin, Nigeria and Togo in September and November 2000.

  • Bajrektarevic, A., Trafficking in and Smuggling of Human Beings: Linkages to Organized Crime: International Legal Measures: Statement Digest. Vienna, Austria: International Centre for Migration Policy Development, 2000a.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bajrektarevic, A., Trafficking in and Smuggling of Human Beings: Linkages to Organized Crime: International Legal Measures: Presentation Outline. Vienna, Austria: International Centre for Migration Policy Development, 2000b.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bales, K., Disposable People. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999a.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bales, K., What predicts global trafficking? Paper presented at the International Conference on New Frontiers of Crime: Trafficking in Human Beings and New Forms of Slavery, Verona, 22-23 October 1999b.

  • Bazzi-Veil, L. and A. Ceprass, Etude sous-régionale sur le trafic des enfants à des fins d'exploitation economique en Afrique de l'Ouest et du Centre. Study presented at the Consultation sous-régionale sur le développement des stratégies de lutte contre le trafic des enfants à des fins d'exploitation du travail en Afrique de l'Ouest et du Centre, Libreville 22-24 February 2000.

  • Cascolan, C., The Philippine experience on trafficking in persons. Unpublished report. Directorate for Research, Philippines Centre on Transnational Crime, 2000.

  • Entraide Universitaire Mondiale du Canada, Project de lutte contre le trafic des enfants au Bénin. August 1999.

  • ESAM, Séminaire de restitution de l'etude sur le trafic des enfants entre le Bénin et le Gabon: rapport de recherche. Lomé, 11-13 August 1999.

  • ESAM, Le trafic des enfant entre le Bénin et le Gabon: rapport de recherche. 1998-1999.

  • ESAM, Les enfants placés au Bénin: rapport de recherche. 1998.

  • Escaler, N., Keynote address. Report of the US-EU Trafficking in Women Seminar, L'Viv, 9-10 July, 1998, pp. 15-20. L'Viv, Ukraine, 1998.

  • Europol, General Situation Report 1996-1997: Illegal Immigration. The Hague, The Netherlands: Europol, File No. 2562-52, 1999.

    Google Scholar 

  • Giammarinaro, M.G., Legislation, protection and victim assistance: Italy's recent experiences. Report of the US-EU Trafficking in Women Seminar, L'Viv, 9-10 July, 1998, pp. 33-37. L'Viv, Ukraine, 1998.

  • Go, S., Emigration pressures and the export of labour from the Philippines. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Migration (OECDM) and the Labour Market in Asia: Prospects to the Year 2000, pp. 159-168. OECDM, 1996.

  • Gramegna, M., Trafficking in human beings in Sub-Saharan Africa: The case of Nigeria. Paper presented at the International Conference on New Frontiers of Crime: Trafficking in Human Beings and New Forms of Slavery, Verona, 22-23 October 1999.

  • Gunatilleke, G., Summary of the Report of the Rapporteur, International cooperation in fighting illegal immegration networks. IOM Seminar on International Responses to Trafficking in Migrants and the Safeguarding of Migrant Rights, Geneva, 26-28 October 1994.

  • Heazle, M., The allure of Japan. Far Eastern Economic Review, pp. 38-39, 14 October 1993.

  • International Organization for Migration (IOM), Trafficking in Women to Japan for Sexual Exploitation: A Survey on the Case of Filipino Women. Geneva, Switzerland: IOM, 1997.

    Google Scholar 

  • International Organization for Migration (IOM), Migrant Trafficking and Human Smuggling in Europe: A Review of the Evidence with Case Studies from Hungary, Poland and Ukraine. Geneva, Switzerland: IOM, 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jantsch, H., Law enforcement: Germany's perspective. Report of the US-EU Trafficking in Women Seminar, L'Viv, 9-10 July, 1998, pp. 51-54. L'Viv, Ukraine, 1998.

  • Kangaspunta, K., Fact finding mission to Wiesbaden, Germany, 11 February 2000: Meeting with the Bundeskriminalamt, Trafficking in Human Beings Unit. Internal, unpublished document. Vienna, Austria: UN Centre for International Crime Prevention.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kekeh, R.K., Le trafic des enfants au Togo: etude prospective a Lomé, Vogan et Cotonou: rapport definitif. Wao Afrique, 1997.

  • Kelly, L. and L. Regan, Stopping Traffic: Exploring the Extent of, and Responses to, Trafficking in Women for Sexual Exploitation in the UK. London: Home Office, Policing and Reducing Crime Unit, Research, Development and Statistics Directorate, 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kendall, R., Recent trends in international investigations of trafficking in human beings. Paper presented at the International Conference on New Frontiers of Crime: Trafficking in Human Beings and New Forms of Slavery, Verona, 22-23 October 1999

  • Kenety, B., Rights-women: Trafficking of women to Europe on the increase. Terraviva, Inter Press Service, 2(67), pp. 1-3, 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kleemans, E.R., E.A.I.M. van den Berg and H.G. van de Bunt, Georganiseerde criminaliteit in Nederland. The Hague: Ministry of Justice, WODC, 1998.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ojomo, A., Trafficking in human beings: Nigerian law enforcement perspective. Paper presented at the International Conference on New Frontiers of Crime: Trafficking in Human Beings and New Forms of Slavery, Verona, 22-23 October 1999.

  • Ould, D., Cross border trafficking and new forms of slavery. Paper presented at the International Conference on New Frontiers of Crime: Trafficking in Human Beings and New Forms of Slavery, Verona, 22-23 October 1999.

  • Pomodoro, L. and S. Stefanizzi (Eds), Traffico degli eseri umani: donne e minori: un'analisi esplorativa [Trafficking in human beings: Women and minors: An explorative analysis]. Paper presented at the conference The New Slaves: Trafficking in Women and Minors, sponsored by the Provincial Administration of Milan, Caritas Ambrosiana and the Italian Office of European Parliament, Milan, 19 October 1995.

  • Richard, A.O., International Trafficking in Women to the United States: A Contemporary Manifestation of Slavery and Organized Crime. Center for the Study of Intelligence, State Department Bureau of Intelligence, US State Department, 1999.

  • Ruggiero, V., Trafficking in human beings: Slaves in contemporary Europe. Paper presented at the Law and Society Association and Research Committee on the Sociology of Law of the International Sociological Association Joint Meetings, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, 10-13 July 1996.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ruggiero, V., Criminals and service providers: Cross-national dirty economies. Crime, Law and Social Change, 28(1), pp. 27-38, 1997.

    Google Scholar 

  • Savona, E., S. Adamoni, P. Zoffi, M. DeFeo, Organized Crime across the Border. Helsinki: European Institute of Crime Prevention and Control (HEUNI), 1995.

  • Schloenhardt, A., Organized crime and the business of migrant trafficking: An economic analysis. Crime, Law and Social Change, 32(3), pp. 203-233, 1999.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sciacchitano, G., Investigative methods and international cooperation. Paper presented at the International Conference on New Frontiers of Crime: Trafficking in Human Beings and New Forms of Slavery, Verona, 22-23 October 1999.

  • Sipaviciene, A., New routes in trafficking of migrants: Case of Lithuania. Paper given at the International Conference International Migration Challenges for European Population, Bari, Italy, 25-27 June 2000.

  • Slobbe, D.F. and M.M.C. Kuipers, Verhoging van de strafmaat op mensensmokkel. Enschede: International Politie Instituut Twente, Universiteit Twente, 1999.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stop-Traffick Listserver Archive 05/18: UN, SFOR involved in Bosnian prostitution: report. http://www.friends-partners.org/partner/stop-traffick/1999/0865.html; 24 May 2000.

  • UNICEF, Regional Office for West and Central Africa, UNICEF Experience in combating child trafficking in West and Central Africa. Unpublished paper disseminated at the Workshop on Trafficking in Human Beings, Catania, Italy, 14 December 2000.

  • US Department of State, International Anti-trafficking initiatives; http://www.usinfo.state.gov/ topical/global/traffick/fsintl.htm (accessed 11/10/2000).

  • Verbeet, D., Combating the trafficking in children for labour exploitation in West and Central Africa: Draft. Working Document based on the studies of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Togo. Abijan, Cote d'Ivoire: International Labour Organisation, 2000.

  • Vocks, J. and J. Nijboer, Land van belofte: een onderzoek naar slachtoffers van vrouwenhandel uit Centraal-en Oost-Europa. Groningen: University of Groningen, Department of Criminology, 1999.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vocks, J. and J. Nijboer, The promised land: A study of trafficking in women from Central and Eastern Europe to the Netherlands. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 8(3), pp. 379-388, 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  • Warnath, S., Trafficking of women and children: The future direction of United States policy. Report of the US-EU Trafficking in Women Seminar, L'Viv, 9-10 July, 1998, pp. 63-66. L'Viv, Ukraine, 1998.

  • Widgren, J., Multilateral co-operation to combat trafficking in migrants and the role of international organizations. Paper presented at the Seminar of the IOM on International Response to Trafficking in Migrants and the Safeguarding of Migrant Rights, Geneva, October 1994.

  • Winer, J., Alien smuggling: Transnational crimes versus national borders. Presentation to the Working Group on Organized Crime, National Strategy Information Center, Washington, DC, 8 October 1996.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Aronowitz, A.A. Smuggling and Trafficking in Human Beings: The Phenomenon, The Markets that Drive It and the Organisations that Promote It. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 9, 163–195 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011253129328

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011253129328

  • criminal organisations
  • illegal markets
  • migration
  • smuggling
  • trafficking