Anti-Migrant Smuggling Efforts: The Netherlands’ EU Presidency

On 12 and 13 January 2016, Rule of Law Program Researcher Jill Coster van Voorhout  participated in the first international conference on “Promoting the multidisciplinary approach in addressing migrant smuggling” which was organized in the context of the 2016 Netherlands’ Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). Upon the invitation of the European Migration Network and the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice, during the interactive working groups of this conference she reported on ongoing research efforts.

Those research activities have already resulted in input into the EU legislative revision process on the prevention and combat of the smuggling of migrants (Framework Decision2002/946/JHA and Directive2002/90/EC). Ongoing research efforts seek to gain better understanding of the smuggling-trafficking nexus that appears to arise from increased mixed migration and criminal network involvement. Such research activities seek to support the efforts of the EU and the Netherlands’ Presidency, which have both identified migrant smuggling as a key priority (e.g. the EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling 2015-2020; the European Agenda on Migration; and the European Agenda on Security).

A specific element of this research project is a case study of private sector engagement into anti-human trafficking efforts. This case study explores how financial institutions can assist government-led financial investigations and help their customers to make their value and product chains free from human trafficking and migrant smuggling. Just like the multidisciplinary approach promoted by the international conference, ongoing research efforts will include private sector involvement in efforts to prevent and combat these connected migration-related crimes.

A short summary of earlier outcomes of research efforts on migrant smuggling can be found in this commentary, which was co-written by Jill Coster van Voorhout  and Fabienne Smith (published on April 21, 2015).

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