Transnational Crimes

Human Trafficking and Human Smuggling

Smuggling entails the unauthorized entry of an individual into a nation he or she is not a citizen, or a permanent resident, for purposes of the acquisition of monetary or material benefits. Trafficking in persons implies the recruitment, transfer, harboring of persons, through the use of force or threat or other coercive forms of fraud or abduction, with the intent to exploit (van Liempt, 2018).In this case, exploitation includes the prostitution of others, slavery, organ removal, forced labor or services. Four critical elements are important in the differentiation between smuggling and trafficking including;

  • Smuggled individuals always travel voluntarily while trafficked ones can either travel voluntarily initially or be forced or abducted.
  • Trafficked persons are exploited over extended durations.
  • Trafficked persons are eligible for the recruitment of the criminal purposes.
  • There is interdependence between organized crime groups and trafficked persons.

The amount of money disbursed before departure from home country differs for smuggling and trafficking victims, whereby smuggled victims offer payments upon entry into the destination country, while trafficked victims remain with a certain percentage of the debt for the rest of the journey. If these migrants happen to be detained in another state i.e. the destination country, they are then regarded as smuggled persons. Therefore, the difference between a trafficked and smuggled victim is determined by whether the victim arrives to the destination country, is freed from the smuggler or is imposed a debt bondage and then exploited. When debt bondage and exploitation are involved, the operation is regarded as trafficking.

Both smuggling and trafficking operations are dominated by supply organizations, and it is the increasing demand for the illicit market that contributes the expansion of these criminal operations. The dissolution of control systems alongside the democratization of several Asian and Latin nations has prompted the lax on the laws enforcing border controls. With less stringent regulations on border- crossing, both trafficking and smuggling rates have escalated. The perpetrators and level of organization may vary from simple, whereby a single unit provides the victims, to complex, involving large-scale international criminal groups (Fontana, 2020). The consent of a victim involved in trafficking operations is termed irrelevant.

International Tool and Enforcement Capacity

The collaboration of international networks such as the NGO’s has been significant to the provision of educational programmes and services to victims and groups at risk. Various acts such as the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) have also been implemented to address trafficking. Nevertheless, these measures have been rather ineffective because the primary causal factors that originate from source countries, remain unaddressed.

Crime Prevention Techniques

The authors propose various measures against transnational crimes including: the internationalization of policies against the crimes, developing co-operation among developed and under-developed nations, and involving transnational organizations in combating crime. All authors acknowledge the need for integrating strict international policies on organized crime .The efforts of a single nation may be deemed inadequate as buyers, organizers and sellers transcend national boundaries (Albanese, 2012). The authors propose that international organizations such as UN implement efforts to eradicate crime .They however, affirm that obstacles are likely to arise when securing compliance with binding agreements.

Possible Solutions and Agree or Disagree With Authors

I agree that international policies targeting organized crime should be instituted. Whereas it is proper that source countries should be the first to tackle the crimes by imposing more stringent regulations on border controls and exit controls, it is also proper that policies on these crimes be specified. There has to be a clear set of policies and sentencing guidelines, to prevent inconsistencies. However, securing compliance agreements should not interfere with a state’s sovereignty .I agree that the protection of the rights of victims and the provision of assistance should also be prioritized. Human rights organizations should advocate for the establishment of legal limits within which organized crime concerns can be addressed ( Fijnaut & Paoli, 2006).Furthermore, co-operation among developed and under-developed nations should be promoted, because each is significant to the expansion of the crimes; citizens from under-developed nations are mainly the victims while the developed nations are the destination countries . The countries can work together to ensure the application of most effective sentences for transnational crime perpetrators. Since the assessment of the changes in the transnational crimes may require a lot of funding, different nations may allocate funds to manage the crimes.

Best Practices

  • Preventing crimes by minimizing factors that facilitate the crimes, for example, the recent lax in laws on border controls among various countries should be addressed (Matti, 2014).
  • Adoption of common international policies on cross-border crime and sentencing guidelines.
  • Advancing knowledge and capability to fight transnational crime.
  • Promoting cooperation among countries in criminal matters, majorly in the co-ordination, appropriation and centralization of criminal proceedings.
  • Reducing the demand for service and products (Albanese, 2014).In the case of drug crimes, for example, the costs of the drug can be increased to discourage users.

Less Known Type of Transnational Crime

Trading in stolen art is regarded a transnational crime because it transcends national borders and jurisdictions. The rise of Asian economies, particularly China, has triggered an increase in demand for Asian art and antiquities (Gallager, 2018). The new wealthy class has escalated the demand for Asian art and antiquities, in an already thriving market.

The Process of Trading In Stolen Art

Looters identify the demand, engage in looting, purchase the art to dealers who are seeking to establish provenance by utilizing illusory or real purchases. The stolen products are then traded at a different jurisdiction. The challenge arises because the buyer lacks complete ownership of the product even though he or she has purchased the product at fair value .For instance, if an item is bought at a shop in Shenghai, and then returned perhaps to UK, the original owner poses no right to claim the stolen antique. This is because the looter lacks a title to pass to them. Unsuspecting buyers may receive cheap imitations since they are unable to distinguish the original item from the imitation.

Measures against the Crime

The abolishment of the market overt rule is currently underway in several countries. Other proposed measures including, reducing the gap between cultural property laws have been imposed in Hong Kong. Nations are required to incorporate stringent restrictions on import laws on cultural property. Law category enforcement on cultural property should be incorporated in countries lacking them and particular enforcement officers, and experts in the fields of art and archaeology, should be tasked with handling concerns related to art and antiquities. The crime may persist if the number of wealthy individuals who value cultural property increases.

In future, transnational crimes are likely to increase due to increased urbanization. With increased urbanization, attractive opportunities to establish the control of illegal smuggling markets will be provided. The expansion of cyberspace will also likely lead to an increase in transnational crimes as transnational crime organizations utilize cyber platforms to operate easily and at low risk.




Albanese, J. S. (2012). Deciphering the Linkages between Organized Crime and Transnational Crime

Albanese, Jay. (2014). Transnational organized crime. 10.1017/CCO9780511762116.033.

Fijnaut, C. &Paoli, L. (2006). Organized Crime and Its Control Policies.

Fontana, I. (2020). Migration Crisis, Organised Crime and Domestic Politics in Italy: Unfolding the Interplay. South European Society and Politics, 1-26.

Gallager, S. (2018). How to Successfully Fight the Illicit Trade in Stolen Art and Antiquities in Asia? Remove an Antiquated English Law from Hong Kong’s Legal System.

Judge, S. M., & Boursaw, B. (2018). The impact of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 on trends in federal sex trafficking cases. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 29(8), 823-848.

Matti. J. (2014). International Instruments on Cooperation in Responding to Transnational Crime.

Van Liempt, I. (2018). Human smuggling: A global migration industry. In Handbook of Migration and Globalisation. Edward Elgar Publishing.

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