The Challenge:

Within Southeast Asia, irregular migration is mainly driven by economic disparities. Even though borders are porous, 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 to Thailand each year. Fees for smuggling services are low, ranging from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars, meaning it is often cheaper to use smuggling services than regular labour migration systems.

What we do:

UNODC enhances the capacity of law enforcement agencies to effectively identify professional smuggling networks and combat the smuggling of migrants by:

  1. Strengthening policy and legislative frameworks;
  2. Enhancing capabilities in identification, investigation and case preparation and prosecution;
  3. Increasing availability of information/data made on the nature and scale of migrant smuggling in the region; and
  4. Enhancing cooperation on a bilateral, regional and international level.

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