RE: smuggle

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Subject: RE: smuggle
From: Jo Doezema (
Date: Thu Feb 04 1999 - 06:25:48 EST

Dear Laura,

The distinction between 'trafficking' and 'smuggling' was one of the big
issues as the recent meeting of the UN Crimes Commission on the proposed
Convention against organised crime, in Vienna last week. There are three
draft protocols to the the main convention, one of these has to do with
'illegal trafficking/smuggling of migrants', another with 'trafficking in
women and children.'
While discussing the former protocol, there was a lot of debate/confusion
about the differences between 'trafficking' and 'smuggling'. We who were
lobbying tried to explain the difference as follows:
1. The crossing of an international border. 'Smuggling' necessarily involves
this, 'trafficking' can also happen within a country.
2. The continued control over a person in order to continue to extract
profit from their labour. As suggested in the mail below, the profit in
'smuggling' is made from payment for border crossing, whereas in
'trafficking' the profit continues or only begins after transport and when
the person starts working.
3. 'Smuggling' necessarily involves the illegal crossing of an international
border; in 'trafficking' the actual crossing of the border may be perfectly

The degree to which the difference was understood varied between delegates.
Just when it seemed like everyone had agreed to use 'smuggling' (which is
actually what the protocol is concerned with), and had found a way to
express the concept in French and Spanish as well as English, suddenly
people started using the phrase 'illegal trafficking' again. But my feeling
is that the final protocol will use the term 'smuggling'.

Anyone else who was there, fill in/correct as necessary, please!


Jo Doezema
Institute of Development Studies
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9RE, UK

> -----Original Message-----
> From: agustin []
> Sent: 03 February 1999 21:15
> To: Multiple recipients of list
> Subject: smuggle
> i would also like to know the difference (in english) between trafficking
> and smuggling as people are beginning to use them. using the spanish
> pasar
> de contrabando (for merchandise) would be very strange for human beings
> rather than traficar.
> laura
> At 10:01 2/1/99 -0500, you wrote:
> >I thought that I would mail this to everybody on the list as a talking
> >point. Somebody asked me off the list to explain the difference between
> >trafficking and smuggling. I hope that this can be you as a talking
> point.
> >
> >
> >____________________________
> >
> >Human trafficking for forced labor such as forced participation in the
> sex
> >industry, forced sweatshop labor, forced domestic servitude recurs in
> large
> >part because of economic hardships in a person's home country. But it is
> >also because governmental responses in the countries of destination,
> >transit and origin fail to address the human rights and labor aspects of
> >human trafficking. Most countries, especially destination countries,
> view
> >trafficking solely as an issue of illegal migration and organized
> criminal
> >activities. Many countries conflate trafficking with smuggling or with
> >facilitated migration. In the end, this only penalizes the victims of a
> >crime - the trafficked person. Trafficking occurs when people are placed
> >in exploitative labor situations through the use of force, coercion or
> >deception. This happens either in the country of origin, for example,
> when
> >a woman is kidnapped or lied to about what work she will do in the
> country
> >of destination. Trafficking also occurs in the country of destination,
> >when a person ends up in an abusive labor situation. When an individual
> >receives aid from others to illegally gain entry into another country and
> >upon arrival terminates that contract and both parties go their separate
> >ways it is a case of smuggling or facilitated migration. The difference
> >between the two situations of trafficking and smuggling stems from the
> >presence of force, coercion or deceit involved in trafficking. Many
> >countries are pouring money into efforts to halt the "flood" of illegal
> >migrants without examining which people are victims of trafficking and
> >which have used facilitated migration.>
> >
> >>______________________________ Reply Separator
> >>_________________________________
> >>Subject: news: Five charged with smuggling immigrants: Raid in Valle
> >>Author: at UUCP
> >>Date: 1/12/99 9:43 AM
> >>
> >>
> >>Is this a case of smuggling or trafficking????
> >>
> >>mel......
> >>
> >>Five charged with smuggling immigrants: Raid in Valley caps two-year
> >>investigation
> >>January 9, 1999
> >>
> >>RAYMONDVILLE, Texas (AP) -- Border Patrol agents found 63 undocumented
> >>immigrants in a grocery store and a set of run-down apartments Friday,
> >>capping an investigation that lasted more than two years.
> >>
> >>Five people were arrested and charged with smuggling and harboring
> >>undocumented immigrants. They were identified as Olga Contreras; her
> >>husband, Abel Contreras; their daughter, Yolanda Hernandez; their son,
> Abel
> >>Contreras Jr., 35; and their employee Daniel Munguia, 53.
> >>
> >>Authorities described Mrs. Contreras as the mastermind of the smuggling
> >>operation and said other arrests were possible.
> >>
> >>They said the Contreras grocery and apartment houses served as a staging
> >>area where immigrants were held for a time before continuing north.
> >>
> >>Authorities said some of the immigrants had been in Raymondville for
> only a
> >>day or two, while others had been there longer.
> >>
> >>"We hope to send out a message that it's more difficult to get to the
> Lower
> >>Rio Grande Valley, especially when you're trying to smuggle aliens out
> of
> >>here," said McAllen Sector Chief Border Patrol Agent Joe Garza.
> >>
> >>In January 1997, about 300 immigrants were found in the same apartments
> and
> >>the surrounding area.
> >>
> >>Fifty-three of those rounded up Friday morning are Mexicans. The
> >>nationalities of the others were not known.
> >>
> >>The immigrants paid between $300 and $700 each to be smuggled, said
> Border
> >>Patrol spokeswoman Letty Garza.
> >>
> >>The FBI, the IRS and the Immigration and Naturalization Service also
> took
> >>part in the investigation.
> >>
> >>As many as a dozen people lived in each unit of the small apartments.
> Dirty
> >>mattresses lay on the floor. The apartments contained rusted and broken
> >>stoves and dirty bathrooms.
> >>
> >>Border Patrol investigator Rick Aguirre said the doors to some of the
> >>apartments were locked and couldn't be unlocked from the inside.
> >>
> >>None of the suspects said anything as they were taken into custody after
> >>being questioned by the FBI. Mrs. Contreras smiled and waved at cameras.
> >>
> >>Melanie Orhant
> >>
> >>Co-Director
> >>Human Trafficking Program
> >>Global Survival Network
> >>
> >>P.O. Box 73214
> >>Washington, DC 20009
> >>T: 387-0028
> >>F: 387-2590
> >>Email:
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> >Melanie Orhant
> >
> >Co-Director
> >Human Trafficking Program
> >Global Survival Network
> >
> >P.O. Box 73214
> >Washington, DC 20009
> >T: 387-0028
> >F: 387-2590
> >Email:
> >
> >
> >
> >

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