Migrant smuggling is a crime with high profits and a low risk of punishment for the criminals involved. Smugglers sell illegal and dangerous services to desperate people and are often part of a well-organized, multinational network.
 
Violence, abuse and the risk of exploitation are widespread traits of this crime. Many migrants die of thirst in deserts, perish at sea, or suffocate in containers.
 
Smugglers take advantage of people who need to escape poverty, natural disaster, conflict or persecution, or lack of employment and education opportunities, but do not have the options to migrate legally.