Smuggled migrants are moved illegally for profit. They are partners, however unequal, in a commercial transaction. This is not to say that the practice is not without substantial exploitation and danger. People who think they are being smuggled may run the risk of actually being trafficked (see below). And even if they are not, their personal safety and well-being on their journey and after arrival are not necessarily the smugglers’ top priority. Smuggled migrants may include those who have been forcibly displaced as well as those who have left their homeland in search of better economic and social opportunities. The motivations are often mixed. As the borders to favoured destination countries have become increasingly strengthened to resist the entry of asylum seekers, migrants of all kinds have increasingly drawn upon the services of smugglers.
The Refugee Law Initiative (RLI) is the leading national academic centre in the United Kingdom dedicated exclusively to International Refugee Law. It was founded in 2010 and is based at the Human Rights Consortium of the School of Advanced Study. Our growth and success is attributed to our commitment to providing a national focal point for leading and promoting research in refugee law through integrating the shared interests of refugee law scholars and practitioners, stimulating collaboration between academics and non-academics, and achieving policy impact at the national and international level.