Be aware of the dangers of irregular migration, human trafficking and smuggling of migrants

Travelling without a visa or work permit or other legal documents or crossing the borders in an irregular way is a bad decision.  If you do not have all the legal documents you need for travelling abroad, you are putting yourself under big risk. If you cross borders without having a visa for the country you are entering, you are breaking the law.

Be careful!

There are criminal groups or intermediaries/agents operating and taking advantage of people who decide to travel illegally. If you seek help from such intermediaries or agents who sell information, services and documents to go abroad, you may not only go into debt on very harsh conditions. But very often you are also not told the truth and may end up in violent or exploitative situations.

Criminal groups or intermediaries may also promise a job or another good opportunity abroad. If this looks too good to be true, then it is not true. Migrants and refugees are especially vulnerable to trafficking in persons, a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour and sexual exploitation.  

Be vigilant!

These criminal groups can charge you a lot of money for your travel and may also put you under life threatening risks during the journey abroad. You may also not arrive at the agreed destination.

Other situations that can put you at risk

Even if you travel legally to another country but then overstay your visa or work permit, this makes you an irregular migrant. Remember that you will always be in a vulnerable situation without proper documentation or legal permit to stay in a foreign country.

We have dedicated staff at the Migrant Resource Centre who can help you through your decision making process. You can discuss your plans and the MRC counsellors will provide you with all the information you need – in a personal session at the MRC or via phone, whatsapp, viber or skype.

Our counselling is free-of-charge and strictly confidential.

We will tailor the information to your needs!

Irregular Migration

  • No universal definition
  • Irregular migration – Movement of persons that takes place outside the laws, regulations, or international agreements governing the entry into or exit from the State of origin, transit or destination.
  • Sending country/Country of Origin, the irregularity is seen in cases in which a person crosses an international boundary without a valid passport or travel document or does not fulfil the administrative requirements for leaving the country.
  • Destination country: it is entry, stay or work in a country without the necessary authorisation or documents required under immigration regulations.

People who…

Through (means)

Have entered the country illegally

Avoid migration inspection

Have entered a country on false documents

Use of forged documents or visa

Have broken visa conditions

Overstaying or working without permit

Are not in possession of their papers

Missing/stolen/lost/taken passport

Have failed to leave after a negative asylum decision

Staying after negative asylum decision by host country

Are born into Irregularity

Being born to an irregular migrant

Were smuggled into a country

Entering a state illegally.

Are victims of human trafficking

Trafficked into the country

Human Trafficking

On the basis of the definition given in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, it is evident that trafficking in persons has three constituent elements;

The Act (What is done)

Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons

The Means (How it is done)

Threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim

The Purpose (Why it is done)

For the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs.

To ascertain whether a particular circumstance constitutes trafficking in persons, consider the definition of trafficking in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the constituent elements of the offense, as defined by relevant domestic legislation.

Criminalisation of human trafficking

Iraq’s 2012 anti-trafficking law criminalized labour and some forms of sex trafficking. Inconsistent with the definition of trafficking under international law, the anti-trafficking law required a demonstration of force, fraud, or coercion to constitute a child sex trafficking offense and therefore did not criminalize all forms of child sex trafficking. The anti-trafficking law prescribed penalties of up to 15 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to 10 million Iraqi dinar ($8,790) for trafficking offenses involving adult male victims, and up to life imprisonment and a fine of 15 million to 25 million Iraqi dinar ($13,180 to $21,970) if the offense involved an adult female or child victim.


Smuggling of Migrants

Trafficking in Persons

Type of Crime

Against the State

Violation of human rights of person

Why do we fight it

To protect State Sovereignty

To protect rights of individuals

Relationship between parties involved

Commercial relationship b/w smuggler and migrant ends after reaching destination

Exploitative relationship b/w Trafficker and Victim. Exploitation Continues for Profit.


Organized Movement of Persons for Profit

Organized recruitment/transport and continuous exploitation of the victim.

Illegal border crossing

Illegal border crossing is key element – Transnationality 

Border crossing (legal or illegal) not required/part of the definition i.e. THB can be within a country as well.


Migrant consents to illegal border crossing

Either no consent or initial consent is made irrelevant due to force, deception, coercion at any stage.