22 Jul 2020

Human smuggling / Criminalisation of human smuggling in Africa: looking at the law

Domestic laws criminalising human smuggling in Africa diverge significantly from the approach set out in the UN Smuggling Protocol.

This brief analyses how African states have criminalised human smuggling in their national. This research found that 22 states have criminalised the ‘smuggling of migrant’s broadly as defined in the UN Smuggling Protocol, which specifies that the intent of the perpetrator must be to reap a ‘financial or material benefit.’ It finds that even these states have diverged significantly from the approach set out in the Smuggling Protocol, and highlights concerning trends before recommending best practice.

About the author

Lucia Bird is a senior analyst at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, and a practising lawyer. Previously she worked as legal and policy adviser to the Planning and Development Department of the Punjab Government, Pakistan, and the Ministry of Finance, Ghana working on governance, institutional reform and strengthening policy processes, contracting and legislative practices.

Photo © thawornnurak – Adobe Stock


More +

EU Flag
ENACT is funded by the European Union
ISS Donors
ENACT is implemented by the Institute for Security Studies in partnership with
INTERPOL and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime.