Tuesday, February 10, 2015

European Commission: Smuggling of Migrants in Europe and the EU response

This Fact Sheet provides some very interesting pieces of information about migration in the EU.

What is smuggling of migrants?

To enter the EU, irregular migrants often turn to smugglers. Smuggling of migrants is commonly understood as the intentional organisation or facilitation of the irregular movement of persons across state borders, which is provided in return for financial gain (or other gain) by the migrants to the smugglers.  Smuggling of migrants generally takes place with the consent of the person willing to move. However, the act of smuggling itself is often dangerous and violent, forcing people to unsafe and inhumane travelling conditions.

This is nevertheless distinct from trafficking in human beings, which does not require crossing of international borders, involves physical or psychological violence, coercion, exploitation of position of vulnerability, and is aimed at the exploitation of the victim. The distinction between these two types of crimes can however become blurred in practice because smuggled people can also become victims of violence or some form of exploitation.

Who are the people arriving to Europe?

In 2014, more than 276 000 migrants irregularly entered the EU, which represents an increase of 155% compared to 2013.

Syrians together with Eritreans were the largest group of person apprehended at EU external borders trying to enter the EU in an irregular manner. Other large groups included nationals from Afghanistan, Mali and Kosovo.



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