UNODC on human trafficking and migrant smuggling

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Human trafficking is the acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them.

Smuggling migrants involves the procurement for financial or other material benefit of illegal entry of a person into a State of which that person is not a national or resident.

Virtually every country in the world is affected by these crimes. The challenge for all countries, rich and poor, is to target the criminals who exploit desperate people and to protect and assist victims of trafficking and smuggled migrants, many of whom endure unimaginable hardships in their bid for a better life.

UNODC Case Law Database

As the only United Nations entity focusing on the criminal justice element of these crimes, the work that UNODC does to combat human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling.

Learn more

To learn more visit What is human trafficking? and What is migrant smuggling?

Download UNODC's anti-trafficking and anti-smuggling Tools and Publications.

Watch Public Service Announcements and listen to expert interviews here.

The United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking, Especially Women and ChildrenTo learn about the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking visit the website of the Trust Fund.

 

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For more, visit our news and events page

 

03 July 2014  Call for applications: International Seminar for Judges - The Critical Role of the Judiciary in Combating Trafficking in Human Beings

30 April 2014  UNODC expands key legal database to help improve human trafficking convictions

16 February 2014   UNODC and EUJUST LEX hold Training on International Cooperation to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Iraq

02 December 2013  International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

26 November 2013   UNODC launches Paper on Corruption and the Smuggling of Migrants

10 October 2013  International Seminar on "The Critical Role of the Judiciary in Combating Trafficking in Human Beings"

29 September 2013 Empowering Algerian Magistrates to Fight Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants

25 September 2013 The Arab Initiative to Build National Capacities to Combat Human Trafficking in the Arab Countries

15 August 2013  University of Queensland launches international online database to deepen understanding of migrant smuggling

19 July 2013 UNODC launches migrant smuggling data sharing system for state authorities

14 May 2013 General Assembly reviews efforts to combat human trafficking

13 May 2013 Brazil joins Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking

26 April 2013 Assessing Crime Challenge and State Response to Migrant Smuggling - Launch of the Assessment Guide to the Criminal Justice Response to the Smuggling of Migrants

05 April 2013 Ministers endorse UNODC data collection on migrant smuggling

27 March 2013 Popular TV drama delivers human trafficking message in Colombia

08 February 2013 Actress Mira Sorvino extends her role as UNODC Goodwill Ambassador

07 February 2013 The International Framework for Action to Implement the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol is now available in French

30 January 2013 Combating Human Trafficking in Yemen - Stepping it up

29 January 2013 Honouring Corporate Creativity and Courage in the Fight against Human Trafficking

14 January 2013 Blue Heart Campaign against human trafficking gathers strength with new initiatives

18 December 2012 International Migrants Day: Working to tackle organized crime and the exploitation of migrants

13 December 2012 Webinar panellists call for partnerships in efforts to combat trafficking globally

12 December 2012 Increase in global child trafficking gives cause for concern, says new UNODC report

06 December 2012 Lao PDR "extremely vulnerable" to trafficking by transnational organized crime groups, says UNODC Executive Director

04 December 2012 Successful test run of irregular migration and migrant smuggling reporting system

21 November 2012 The fate of smuggled migrants: Confronting violence and exploitation

12 November 2012 Prevent migrant smuggling to reduce human trafficking

12 November 2012 Cambodia fights sexual exploitation of children with more female police and by training all police on gender-based violence

25 October 2012 Forced migration: a humanitarian tragedy exploited by smugglers

17 October 2012 Human trafficking under spotlight at Conference of Parties meeting

12 October 2012 Nigeria launches anti-human trafficking campaign, appoints Goodwill Ambassadors

2 October 2012 UNODC launches test of migrant smuggling data collection system

27 September 2012 Trade of Innocents: Film captures reality of child trafficking for sexual exploitation

27 September 2012 On World Tourism Day, UNODC chief calls for more efforts to tackle trafficking for sexual exploitation

06 September 2012 Smuggling of migrants generates billions each year for criminals

21 August 2012 UNODC reports on migrant smuggling patterns in 14 Asian countries

14 August 2012 UNODC assumes chair of the Global Migration Group

04 July  2012 Cambodia : UN Trust Fund helps NGO to reintegrate children trafficked for exploitation

18 June 2012 India: Border guards - critical stakeholders in combating human trafficking

11 June 2012 Albania: Fifteen-year-old girl gets her life back after being trafficked

05 June 2012 Moldova: UN Trust Fund supports provision of legal assistance to victims of human trafficking

29 May 2012 First capacity building workshop for criminal justice practitioners on money laundering and the smuggling of migrants held in Cameroon

15 May 2012 Brazil to document cases of human trafficking in public global database

27 April 2012 Crime Commission tackles migrant smuggling, a growing humanitarian problem

24 April 2012 United Nations organizations cooperate to stamp out human trafficking and sex tourism

17 April 2012 UNODC and International Organization for Migration sign agreement for closer cooperation

17 April 2012 UNODC and European Union border management agency sign cooperation agreement

16 April 2012 Portugal joins Blue Heart campaign against human trafficking

05 April 2012 UNODC engages with Member States during Informal Briefing on the Global Programme against the Smuggling of Migrants

04 April 2012 UNODC assists Ghana to enhance its response against the smuggling of migrants

03 April 2012 UN General Assembly President calls for redoubled efforts to end human trafficking

29 March 2012 The Joint UN Commentary on EU Directive on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in human beings is launched at the European Parliament

25 March 2012 Remembering the victims of slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

22 March 2012 Combating Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling: Building Cooperation in Pakistan

07 March 2012 Launch of UNODC Strategy on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling

01 March 2012 Mexico: Miss Universe 2010 lends support to Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking

21 February 2012 Intelligence is key to fighting migrant smuggling: UNODC provides analysis training for law enforcers in Asia

13 February 2012 Now available: International Framework for Action to implement the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol

18 January 2012 UNODC and London-based watchmakers in timely partnership to help victims of human trafficking

16 January 2012 India: Psychosocial care for women in shelter homes - a dire need for trafficking survivors

29 December 2011 The EU Directive on Trafficking in Human Beings - A Joint UN Commentary

28 December 2011 Blue for good: fashion with a conscience for victims of human trafficking

21 December 2011 UNODC and IOM partner on an awareness seminar on consular services and human trafficking issues

20 December 2011 Lebanon joins the Blue Heart campaign against human trafficking

19 December 2011 New UNODC Issue Paper sheds light on smuggling of migrants by sea

02 December 2011 International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

17 November 2011 Voluntary reporting system on migrant smuggling in support of the Bali Process

03 November 2011 In-Depth Training Manual on smuggling of migrants now available online

01 November 2011 UNODC and UNHCR sign memorandum of understanding to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling

25 October 2011 Basic Training Manual to investigate and prosecute the smuggling of migrants adapted for Central American and Mexican law enforcement authorities

10 October 2011 UNODC launches first global database of human trafficking cases

23 September 2011 Working Group on Trafficking in October 2011

23 September 2011 Integrated and sustained efforts are key in ending human trafficking

20 September 2011 Expert Group Meeting on Migrant Smuggling by Sea

09 September 2011 Querétaro: the world's first 'Blue Heart City'

26 August 2011 Human Trafficking First Aid Kit for Law Enforcement Agencies released as a sample carry case

23 August 2011 Human Trafficking Training Film - Affected for Life - language versions available

22 August 2011 Model Law on Smuggling of Migrants available in Arabic - English - French - Russian - Spanish

04 August 2011 Reinforcing Mexico's response to human trafficking: President Calderón recognizes role of Blue Heart Campaign

27 July 2011 UN Postal Administration wins "best stamps" award for highlighting human trafficking and child labour issues

21 July 2011 Training Workshop for Egyptian Police Officers on Combating Trafficking in Persons

15 July 2011 India's journey of hope: UNODC showcases inspiring initiatives to fight human trafficking

29 June 2011 India: Significance of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) to address human trafficking

20 June 2011 Protect human rights and workers' rights to end labour exploitation

08 June 2011 UNODC holds a Training Workshop for Egyptian Prosecutors on Investigating and Prosecuting Migrant Smuggling

30 May 2011 The role of organized crime in the smuggling of migrants from West Africa to the European Union

12 May 2011 Countering migrant smuggling in South-East Asia

28 April 2011 Legal and Policy Review: Responses to Human Trafficking in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka

14 April 2011 Bangkok (Thailand) Goodwill Ambassador and Thai anti-human trafficking champion tell of UN small grant opportunity for NGOs

11 April 2011 Side Event on Trafficking for Forced Labour and Labour Exploitation

11 April 2011 Crime Commission to address protection of children from exploitation on the web

06 April 2011 Issue Paper - Transnational Organized Crime in the Fishing Industry

05 April 2011 Ministers welcome UNODC assistance in establishing a reporting system on migrant smuggling

25 March 2011 Remembering the victims of slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

09 March 2011 Experts meet in Vienna to discuss the involvement of Transnational Organized Crime in the Fishing Industry

08 March 2011 Hollywood actress and United Nations launch fund for human trafficking victims

17 February 2011 Model Law against the Smuggling of Migrants now available online in French

17 February 2011 UNODC provides regular training at NATO School on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants and their impact on security

26 January 2011 Final Expert Group Meeting to draft In-depth Training Manual on Investigating and Prosecuting Migrant Smuggling held in Pretoria

21 January 2011 Joining forces to fight a deadly business: UNODC hosts workshop to address the common challenges of migrant smuggling

19 January 2011 UNODC Anti-Trafficking Tools: Impact in Central America/ UNODC Manuales contra la trata de personas: Impacto en América Central

10 January 2011 Appropriate Legal Responses to Combating Trafficking in Persons in Afghanistan now available online

04 January 2011 Rani: an unwavering advocate for freedom from slavery and human trafficking

20 December 2010 Workshop on Combating Money Laundering Related to Human Trafficking in Sana'a

17 December 2010 On Migrants Day, UNODC unveils tools to help States address plight of smuggled and trafficked victims

13 December 2010 International Organizations United against Trafficking in Persons

11 December 2010 Private sector crucial in fight against human trafficking

09 November 2010 Basic Training Manual on Investigating and Prosecuting the Smuggling of Migrants now available online in Spanish

08 December 2010 A Compendium of Best Practices: UNODC launches Toolkit to Combat Smuggling of Migrants

02 December 2010 Addressing Trafficking in Persons since 1949

01 December 2010 Developing & Strengthening National Legislation: UNODC launches the Model Law against the Smuggling of Migrants

18 November 2010 UNODC Head highlights increasing progress and support for UN Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking

17 November 2010 An Exploration of Promising Practices in Response to Human Trafficking

11 November 2010 A United Voice to the Protection of Migrants

05 November 2010 Experts discuss interventions and recommendations to improve access to compensation for trafficked persons

04 November 2010 Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher join Secretary-General to launch Trust Fund for victims of human trafficking

04 November 2010 Basic Training Manual on Investigating and Prosecuting the Smuggling of Migrants now available online in Russian

28 October 2010 Side Event on the Arab Initiative to combat human trafficking

11 October 2010 Narrowing the knowledge gap on migrant smuggling in Cambodia

06 October 2010 Strengthening law enforcement capacity in investigating and prosecuting perpetrators of migrant smuggling

04 October 2010 Bangkok Statement on Migration and Development calls for reducing impunity of migrant smugglers and human traffickers

27 September 2010 India: A pledge and a commitment for safe and honorable tourism

23 September 2010 International community broadens efforts to help victims of human trafficking

15 September 2010 India: the bond of freedom. Interview with Mr Saju Mathew, National Director, International Justice Mission, India

08 September 2010 In Colombia, beauty pageant contestants get involved in fighting human trafficking

01 September 2010 United Nations launches global plan of action against human trafficking

27 August 2010 The Body Shop and ECPAT in association with UNODC organize mega event on Prevention of Human Trafficking called "BIG STOP - Petition Launch"

19 August 2010 UNODC South Asia - India: Freedom Express - a girl rescued from the brothels boards train to return home

13 August 2010 UNODC boosts Cambodian border control capacity

10 August 2010 Basic Training Manual on Investigating and Prosecuting the Smuggling of Migrants now available online in Arabic

09 August 2010 Needs Assessment Toolkit on the Criminal Justice Response to Human Trafficking now available online in Chinese and Russian

04 August 2010 Indonesia to participate in reviewing implementation of the Organized Crime Convention

30 July 2010 General Assembly Adopts Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Reaffirming Commitment on Protecting Victims, Prosecuting Perpetrators

12-13 July 2010 Senior Experts meet in Vienna to discuss first draft of the International Framework for Action to Implement the Migrant Smuggling Protocol

06 July 2010 UNODC launches Literature Review to discuss the Smuggling of Migrants into, through and from North Africa

01 July 2010 UNODC launches Basic Training Manual on Investigating and Prosecuting the Smuggling of Migrants

28- 30 June 2010 UNODC hosts an expert group meeting (EGM) to address trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal

28 June 2010 UNODC announces the launch of the Needs Assessment Toolkit on the Criminal Justice Response to Human Trafficking

21-25 June 2010 High level experts from origin, transit and destination countries gather in Vienna to enhance the capacity to prevent and combat the smuggling of migrants

10 June 2010 UNODC Launches Global Review on Migrant Smuggling

BH girl

31 May 2010 UNODC and the Council of the Baltic Sea States Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings launch joint assessment report

26 to 27 May 2010 Capacity building workshop on investigating and prosecuting migrant smuggling held in Burkina Faso

19 May 2010 What do we know about the involvement of organized crime in the trafficking of persons and smuggling of migrants? An update: Panel discussion held during a side event to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

14 May 2010 What do we know about the involvement of transnational organized crime in the trafficking of persons and smuggling of migrants?

12 May 2010 Tamil Nadu, India: The female face of migration Read the story of Raziya and Suneetha, whose husbands migrated without them

5 May 2010 Tamil Nadu, India: Different faces of migration Read the story of 26 year old Murugesh, whose dreams of a better life far from home were shattered.

15 - 16 April 2010 12th United Nations Crime Congress addresses migrant smuggling and human trafficking

14 April 2010 Mexico takes lead in launching national campaign against human trafficking

11 - 19 April 2010 Substantive items related to trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants at upcoming Crime Congress in Brasil

8 April 2010 Cambodia Participates in Regional Data Collection and Analysis on Migrant Smuggling

1 April 2010 UNODC Migrant Smuggling Issue Papers launched online

1 April 2010 Parliamentarians unite against organized crime, Bangkok, Thailand

26 March 2010 Read Munni's story in My life in the red lights of Sonagachi, India

22 - 23 March 2010 The Arab Initiative to combat human trafficking launched in Doha

6 - 8 March 2010 Six countries meet to increase international cooperation against human trafficking and migrant smuggling in Kolkata, India

22 - 25 February 2010 Training Workshop on investigating and prosecuting migrant smuggling held in Abuja, Nigeria

19 February 2010 Toolkit to Combat Trafficking in persons now available in Arabic.

11 February 2010 Trafficking survivors in India earn their livelihood as security guards

27 - 29 January 2010 Expert panelists address Working Group on Trafficking in Persons

28 January 2010 UNODC Technical Assistance briefing, in the sidelines of the Second Meeting of the Working Group on Trafficking in Persons

27 January 2010 Vienna launch of the International Framework for Action to Implement the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, in the sidelines of the Second Meeting of the Working Group on Trafficking in Persons

27 - 29 January 2010 Second Meeting of the Working Group on Trafficking in Persons to be held in Vienna Information for Participants can be found here

26 - 29 January 2010 UNODC jointly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, hosts a regional conference on transnational organized crime, particularly migrant smugging by sea in the Mediterranean.

26 - 27 January 2010 Capacity building workshop for magistrates and law enforcers under Impact Project

14 January 2010 Community and police come together in India against trafficking of women and children

7 - 11 December 2009 Regional Training Workshop on Investigating and Prosecuting Migrant Smuggling held in Abuja, Nigeria

7-9 December 2009 International Expert Group Meeting on Migrant Smuggling by Air in Vienna, Austria

7-9 December 2009 Expert Group Meeting to Review the Model Law on Combating the Smuggling of Migrants in Cairo, Egypt

25 November 2009 In commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia contributes stories on the life of women suffering different forms of violence

24 - 26 November 2009 Regional Workshop to Finalize Guidelines on International Legal Cooperation Instruments in the Area of Anti-Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants held in Belgrade, Serbia

23 - 25 November 2009 ASEAN Workshop on International Legal Cooperation on Trafficking in Persons Cases

11 November 2009 The Role of Corruption in Trafficking in Persons, Side Event to the third session of the Conference of the State Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, Doha 9-13 November 2009

4 November 2009 United Nations Secretary-General addresses Global Forum on Migration and Development

3 November 2009 UNODC promotes international cooperation to prevent and combat trafficking in persons in Mexico and Central America

27 - 30 October 2009 Training based on finalised anti-migrant smuggling manual piloted under the Impact Project

19 October 2009 UNODC launches 'Affected for Life' training film

9 October 2009 Launch of the International Framework for Action to Implement the Trafficking in Persons Protocol in New York.

30 September - 2 October 2009 Workshop to Develop Guidelines on International Legal cooperation Instruments in the area of anti-human trafficking and migrant smuggling held in Budva, Montenegro.

18 September 2009 Today, ILO, UNICEF and Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) launched the 'Training manual to fight trafficking in children for labour, sexual and other forms of exploitation

28 August 2009 Launch of UN anti-trafficking training manual in Bangkok

7 August 2009 Unprecendented Court of Women hears testimonies from the trafficked and sexually exploited

3 - 4 August Regional Workshop on the Role of NGOs in Preventing the Smuggling of Migrants

29 July 2009 UNODC Toolkit to Combat Trafficking in Persons now available in French

16 July 2009 Mexico and UNODC to launch the Blue Heart Campaign in early 2010

15 - 16 July Experts support draft law to combat migrant smuggling in Côte d'Ivoire

11 July 2009 President Obama praises conviction of human traffickers in Ghana

6 - 7 July 2009 Workshop on International Criminal Justice Cooperation in response to Migrant Smuggling held in Cairo, Egypt

30 June 2009 UNODC launches Model Law against Trafficking in Persons

23 June 2009 UNODC paper 'Combating Trafficking in Persons in Accordance with the Principles of Islamic Law' launched in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

22 - 24 June 2009 Final Expert Group Meeting to Elaborate UNODC Basic Training Modules on Preventing and Combating Migrant Smuggling held in Abuja, Nigeria

16 June 2009 African Union launches AU.COMMIT, an initiative to fight human trafficking in Africa.

12 June 2009 Council of the Baltic Sea States launches new website with information about Joint Project between the Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings (TF-THB) and UNODC

9 June 2009 UNODC Regional Project in Central America a platform for the promotion of good practices on the investigation of trafficking in persons in the Americas

4 June 2009 UNODC Regional Office for South Asia in conversation with Professor Zakir Hossain on human trafficking in Bangladesh

22 May 2009 UNODC and European Commission Partnership to Promote implementation of Trafficking in Persons Protocol and Migrant Smuggling Protocol

20 May 2009 UNODC Regional Office for South Asia showcases good practice in preventing human trafficking and protecting its victims

19 May 2009 New York gallery displays children's art on human trafficking

5-7 May 2009 UNODC Regional Office in Central Asia in coordination with the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan holds workshop on International and national mechanisms of combating human trafficking and protection of victims of human trafficking

April 2009 UNODC and UKHTC (United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre) enter into strategic partnership

20 April 2009 New Publication on Migrants Smuggling

8 April 2009 The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UNODC, in the framework of the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT), launched the publication Combating Trafficking in Persons: A Handbook for Parliamentarians

25 March 2009 Expert Group Meeting on Migrant Smuggling Training Material

25 March 2009 Joint programme meeting in Serbia

5 March 2009, UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa launches the Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking.

To read about the launch of the Blue Heart Campaign, click here.

To join the Blue Heart Campaign, visit the Blue Heart website.

26 February 2009, UNODC launches regional assessment on penal prosecution capacities to investigate trafficking in persons in Central America

23 to 25 February 2009 , UNODC hosts fourth meeting on Enhancing Operational Capacity to Invest and Disrupt Human Trafficking Activities in the Western Balkans

12 February 2009, UNODC launches Global Report on Trafficking in Persons.

12 February 2009, Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino appointed UNODC Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Human Trafficking

29 January 2009, UNODC anti-trafficking public service announcements available online.

18 December 2008, UNODC launches Online Toolkit to Combat Trafficking in Persons.

30 November - 3 December 2008, UNODC holds Expert Group Meeting to Elaborate Basic Training Modules on Preventing and Combating the Smuggling of Migrants

15 November 2008, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia holds Colloquium on Justice Delivery in India

20 October 2008, UNODC released report on trafficking in Lebanon

15 October 2008, UNODC hosts event to discuss challenges in the delivery of technical assistance

9 October 2008, UNODC releases new Toolkit to combat Trafficking in Persons

 

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