See also:
 

First ever research to identify how corruption facilitates migrant smuggling and human trafficking in the Bali Process region



Bangkok (Thailand), 29 March 2021
- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, in partnership with the Regional Support Office (RSO) of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, released a new research report today on the role of corruption as a facilitator of migrant smuggling and human trafficking in the Bali Process and ASEAN regions.



“Corruption is a common denominator in cases of smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons,” remarked Rebecca Miller, UNODC’s Regional Coordinator for Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling. Corruption may occur on a small scale involving a single individual, or several people in a larger organisation taking advantage of opportunities to exploit their professional position and/or power for personal gain. It can also occur on a larger scale and affect entire organizations or public bodies, including the policing, judicial, or immigration systems. Corruption in is often systemic and caused by structural weaknesses and inadequate governance. “Bribery of public officials to turn a blind eye to, assist, or become actively involved in smuggling and trafficking operations appears to be pervasive” Miller added.

 


The report identifies how corruption is prevalent in a range of contexts, from the recruitment and initial interactions with smuggled migrants and victims of trafficking, to enabling movement through immigration controls at land, sea or air borders, or impeding criminal justice proceedings. While there is significant evidence of corruption as a facilitator of smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons, its true extent and impact remains under-researched. “It is hoped this report will help address this gap, but also increase official reporting and systematic data-collection,” noted Francesco Checchi, UNODC’s Regional Anti-Corruption Advisor.

State Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) as well as the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its supplementing Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons Protocols have a range of obligations to promote cooperation between countries while protecting the rights of smuggled migrants and victims of trafficking. The report sets out 11 recommendations that reflect these obligations and that will assist to strengthen the response to corruption related to these two crimes across the Bali Process region.

Click here to learn more about UNODC's Regional Programme for Southeast Asia

Click here to learn more about UNODC's work on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling in the region

Click here for information about the UNODC’s work to fight corruption in the region