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Project Code and Sector
Situation Analysis - "The Why"
Project description - "The What"
Project implementation - "The How"

Smuggling of Migrants: Establishment and Operation of a Coordination and Analysis Unit (CAU) for East Asia & the Pacific

1. Project Code and Sector

No. and Title: Smuggling of Migrants: Establishment and Operation of a Coordination and Analysis Unit (CAU) for East Asia & the Pacific
Status/Starting Date: Quarter II / 2009
Link to UNODC Medium Term Strategy: Result area 2.1 - Threat and risk analysis
Duration: 4 years
Link to Regional Programme outcomes: Pillar 1. Rule of Law: Illicit Trafficking, Outcome 1.5: Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) identified and effectively acted upon
Executing Agency: UNODC Regional Centre for East Asia and the Pacific (RCEAP)


2. Situation Analysis - "The Why"

In East Asia and the Pacific, migration has shaped the very nature of societies. Descendants of indentured labourers now constitute integral components of the population throughout several countries in the region. Migrants have been a particularly important element in forming the economic, social and political landscape of Southeast Asia. In recent years, migration within Southeast Asia in particular has been fuelled by differences in wealth and levels of economic development both within and across the countries of the region. With the Asian Highway network nearly completed and the ASEAN region moving towards economic integration, labour migration is expected to further increase.

Criminal groups are generating profits from transporting and facilitating the illegal entry of migrants into destination countries . Immigration policies in destination countries are becoming more restrictive and border monitoring is becoming more sophisticated. In response, migrants are becoming more dependent on migrant smugglers to facilitate their movement. This has resulted in the diversificiation of the migrant smuggling industry, which now offers a range of services at various costs. Migrants who pay the lower spectum of the scale bear greater risks of danger and harm. The irregular status of such smuggled migrants often results in further harm, violence or exploitation once they have arrived at their final destination.

A challenge for governments across the regions is determining the extent of the problem and the characteristics of the organised crime groups involved. While information exists on regular and irregular migration, there is a lack of specific data on SOM. Currently, no common approaches exist to collecting information on the processes of SOM.

While the use of traditional means of data collection for SOM presents some challenges because these activities are by nature secretive and illicit. They are also increasingly controlled by organised crime syndicates. Overall, there is no existing baseline for assessing the current situation, analysing trends or developing strategic responses to SOM in the region.

Government counterparts of participating countries, including law enforcement, immigration and border officials, are the target groups for the Project Activities. Policy makers and those who determine strategic operational priorites will also benefit from an improved quality and quantity of information concerning SOM available at the National level. The ultimate beneficiaries of the Project Activities will be smuggled migrants.


3. Project description - "The What"

The project will cover East Asia and the Pacific. The specific module herewith described will initially focus on Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
The project staff will be based at the UNODC Regional Centre for East Asia and the Pacific, in Bangkok (Thailand).

To identify and effectively act against SOM activities in East Asia and the Pacific.

Outcome, outputs and indicative Activities

Outcome 1: Systems to generate, manage, analyse, report and use migrant smuggling information established and operational (Regional Programme Output 1.5.1).

Output 1.1: Agreement to support the SOM CAU by initial participating countries concluded.
Indicative activities include:
• drafting of regional SOM background paper and SOM CAU specifications proposal; and
• regional meeting convened in partnership with ASEAN.

Output 1.2: Publication of a regional annotated bibliography.Output 1.3: Publication of a standardised data collection model.

Output 1.4: National assessments conducted to identify SOM information and gaps and capacities to generate SOM data.

Output 1.5: National workplans established detailing actors, activities and indicators to address information and capacity gaps.

Output 1.6: Training on SOM and related data generation, collection and management delivered to appropriate target groups.

Output 1.7: Guidelines for access to and dissemination of SOM CAU information developed and implemented.

Output 1.8: SOM database established and national information contributions commenced.

Output 1.9: Research studies to fill SOM data and information gaps conducted.

Output 1.10: Annual regional analytical report compiled and disseminated.

Ouput 1.11: Review and expansion of SOM database by participating countries.

Output 1.12: SOM information and analysis used as input for national and regional responses to SOM.


4. Project implementation - "The How"

The duration of the Project is four years. The Project, including administrative financial management which will be conducted by UNODC through the RCEAP. The Project will also be executed in cooperation with the UNODC Country Offices of Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam and other Project Offices, as needed. The Project Coordinator will work under the overall supervision of the UNODC Representative of the RCEAP with substantive guidance provided by the Senior International Law Enforcement Adviser. Project support is to be provided by the South East Asia and the Pacific Unit of UNODC HQ, with technical backstopping by UNODC's Anti-Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Unit (Division of Operations) and Organised Crime and Criminal Justice Section (Division for Treaty Affairs), as appropriate.