Smuggling, Trafficking - using the right words

Smuggling, Trafficking - using the right words

7 July 2015

Human Rights Watch provides guidance on terminology focusing on traffficking and smuggling in persons. The organisation noted that:

'Some recent media coverage of the global refugee and migrant crisis has used the terms “trafficking” and “smuggling” of migrants interchangeably. However, in the context of movement of people the terms refer to different things. And most important, countries have distinct responsibilities toward people who have been trafficked and those who have resorted to smugglers to undertake a journey. This is intended as a guide for reporters and editors covering irregular migration to ensure that the articles — and headlines — accurately categorize both migrants and those who transport them— even if governments have at times obfuscated the categories'