The rights of smuggled migrants under the migrant smuggling protocol

Abdelnaser Aljahani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article argues that the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Crime, 15 November 2000 (the Protocol) has failed to offer a clear stand-alone and comprehensive framework of rights that protect smuggled migrants from of violations that might occur because of the process of migrant smuggling or its implications, such as detention and deportation. Any attempt to identify the rights of smuggled migrants in the Migrant Smuggling Protocol must take into account the legal character of smuggled migrants as ‘potential victims’ under the Protocol. The provisions of the Protocol regarding the rights of smuggled migrants must be interpreted in such a way that the necessary rights for addressing potential violations resulting from the smuggling process or its implications can be established. However, this article argues that the protection of these rights will be achieved hardly at all in practice. This is because these rights require from the States parties to the Protocol a degree of interpretation of the relevant provisions of the Protocol. To overcome such defect, this article proposes a number of amendments in the scope of the rights of smuggled migrants set forth in the Migrant Smuggling Protocol.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMigrants
Subtitle of host publicationPublic Attitudes, Challenges and Policy Implications
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages52
ISBN (Electronic)9781536120486
ISBN (Print)9781536120264
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Detention
  • Refugees
  • Right to life
  • Right to physical and psychological care
  • Smuggled migrants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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