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Human smuggling

Migration A–Z


  1. Sophie Nonnenmacher

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm279

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Nonnenmacher, S. 2013. Human smuggling. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


Human smuggling is a type of irregular migration, meaning it “takes place outside the norms and procedures established by states to manage the orderly flow of migrants into, through and out of their territories” (IOM 2011). Regional bodies such as the European Union do not formally use the concept of human smuggling, instead defining irregular migration as the facilitation of unauthorized entry, transit, and residence for persons who are “not a national of a Member state” into “the territory of a Member state in breach of the laws of the state concerned” (European Union 2002). In effect, human smuggling involves the facilitation of irregular movement of individuals across international borders or the facilitation of their stay within those borders.


  • borders;
  • capitalism;
  • human trafficking;
  • smuggling;
  • International Law;
  • Geneva Conventions