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Difference between Smuggling and Trafficking

Element Smuggling Trafficking
Type of crime Crime against State – no victim by the crime of smuggling as such (violation of immigration laws/public order; the crime of smuggling by definition does not require violations of the rights of the smuggled migrants) Crime against person – victim; violation of the rights of the victim of trafficking by definition (violation of person’s human rights; victim of coercion and exploitation that give rise to duties by the State to treat the individual as a victim of a crime and human rights violation)
Why do we fight it? To protect sovereignty of the state To protect a person against human rights violations; obligation of the State to provide adequate protection to its citizens
Nature of crime and duration of customer relationship Commercial; relationship between smuggler and migrant ends after illegal border crossing achieved and fee paid Exploitative; relationship between trafficker and victim continues in order to maximise economic and/or other gains from exploitation
Rationale Organised movement of persons for profit Organised recruitment/movement and (continuous) exploitation of the victim for profit
Border crossing Illegal border crossing is a defining element Purpose of exploitation is the defining element, border crossing is not an element of the crime
Consent Migrant’s consent to illegal border crossing Either no consent, or initial consent made irrelevant because of use of force, coercion, at any stage of the process