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

26 April 2013

The Assessment Guide to the Criminal Justice Response to the Smuggling of Migrants was launched in the margins of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in the presence of the Permanent  Representative to the Permanent Mission of Australia, Ambassador David Gordon Stuart, the Permanent  Representative to the Permanent Mission of Indonesia, Ambassador Rachmat Budiman and the Head of the European Union Delegation, Ambassador Györgyi Margit Martin Zanathy, who participated in a panel discussion.

Assessing the Criminal Justice Response

The Assessment Guide provides an inventory of measures for assessing the legislative, investigative, prosecutorial, judicial, and administrative responses to the smuggling of migrants by land, air, and sea, for deterring and combating such crime, and for integrating the information and experience gained from such assessment into successful national, regional, and international strategies.

Developed in close consultation with relevant experts, this Assessment Guide is designed in a flexible way so that it can be used both in places where a solid infrastructure for combating the smuggling of migrants exists, and in places with few or no such measures.  Specifically, the Assessment Guide serves the following audiences and target-groups:

  • Governments, by providing them with a sound understanding of their responses to migrant smuggling, and the strengths, weaknesses, and needs of these responses;
  • International, non-governmental, and other civil society organizations, by assisting them in assessing the degree to which responses provided by countries meet existing international obligations and best practice standards;
  • Specialized law enforcement agencies, prosecutorial authorities, and members of the judiciary, by assisting them in reviewing their own organization and activities;
  • Governmental and international entities, by enabling cross-border law enforcement and judicial cooperation;
  • International and national entities, and research institutions, by assisting them in developing in-depth and comparable analyses of countries' responses; and
  • Donor countries and agencies, by enabling and improving the purposeful funding of activities to prevent and suppress the smuggling of migrants.

Assessing the Crime Challenge

In addition to the importance of assessing and addressing the gaps in the criminal justice response to the smuggling of migrants, the panelists highlighted the need for evidence-based knowledge of the crime challenge in order to effectively tailor the criminal justice response. The  Voluntary Reporting Mechanism on Migrant Smuggling and Related Conduct (VRS-MS) was presented as innovative tool developed by UNODC for this purpose. The VRS-MS, to be launched this year, is an internet based, secure system to collect, share and analyse non-nominal data on irregular migration and migrant smuggling within, from, through and into the Bali Process States. UNODC was accepted as a full member of the Bali Process on 1 April 2013.

The VRS-MS was developed with the support of the Government of Australia and the publication of the Assessment Guide to the Criminal Justice Response to Smuggling of Migrants was supported by the European Union .



Related Information:

- Transnational Organized Crime in East Asia and the Pacific - A Threat Assessment (TOCTA)

- VRS-MSRC and Bali Process Membership


UNODC Tools and Publications on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling

UNODC and Smuggling of Migrants

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