Annotated Bibliography Database on Migrant Smuggling in Asia is launched

Bangkok (Thailand), 14 October 2014
- Smuggling is deeply ingrained in the process of irregular migration. Even though borders are porous in Southeast Asia, UNODC estimates that over 80% of irregular migrants rely on smugglers. Around half a million migrants mainly from Myanmar, but also from Cambodia and Lao PDR, are estimated to be smuggled into Thailand each year. As a major driver of irregular migration, smuggling contributes to make migrants vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and human trafficking. Also, smugglers expose migrants to severe, often life-threatening risk during the journey.

There is a critical need for data collection and information sharing so that policy development can be informed and built on evidence-based knowledge. Valid and reliable data is scarce due to the clandestine nature of migrant smuggling, and currently the information that exists is limited in accessibility.

To share and extend the reach of evidence-based migrant smuggling resources, UNODC has created the Bibliographic Database on Migrant Smuggling and Related Conduct.

"As guardian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its supplementing Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, UNODC's primary goal is to promote global adherence to these instruments and assist states in their efforts to effectively implement them," explained Mr. Sebastian Baumeister, UNODC's Project Coordinator on Migrant Smuggling and Human Trafficking. " A crucial prerequisite to respond to these challenges is fostering evidence-based knowledge on migrant smuggling to raise awareness and inform effective policy development".

The Bibliographic Database on Migrant Smuggling and Related Conduct is a database of 300 synthesized publications on migrant smuggling previously collected, synthesized and published by UNODC in two Annotated Bibliographies. The first was published in 2012 and an updated version, volume II, in 2014. These publications review the available body of empirical knowledge to create an information database and identify the gaps in what is known about the smuggling of migrants around and out of the region.

Integrated into UNODC's SHaring Electronic Resources and Laws On Crime (SHERLOC) and available here, this Annotated Bibliographic database offers a platform for information sharing and is a key resource to improve evidence-based knowledge and inform policy development.