Myths and Realities of Chinese Irregular Migration

Author : Ronald Skeldon | 2016
Published By: IOM

While the distinction between smuggling and trafficking is often difficult to state clearly, the smuggling of migrants usually refers to the facilitation of illegal border crossings by a third party, who is paid for the service. The two major works to date on the Chinese have both employed “smuggle” rather than “traffic” as the principal descriptor in their titles (Smith, 1997; Chin, 1999). Trafficking, on the other hand, can also involve the facilitation of illegal border crossings, but is not restricted to illegal border crossings. In trafficking, “legal means may in fact be used to bring migrants into a country, in order to exploit them for their labour. In short, the main purpose of trafficking is not merely to move a migrant irregularly from one country to the next, but to exploit the labour of the migrant under conditions that often violate his or her human rights” (Juhász, 2000: 170). Smuggling, then, is a process unto itself, but can also be a part of trafficking. This is not to say that smuggling cannot result in human rights abuses for migrants: migrants who are only be transported across a border, or smuggled, often suffer human rights abuses such as rape, beatings and deprivation of food and water. In the most extreme cases, their smugglers place them in boats which are unsafe and the smuggled journey results in death.

URL : https://publications.iom.int/system/files/pdf/mrs_1_2000.pdf

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