Research in Brief: Decriminalising ‘Humanitarian Smuggling’
This research brief summarises the legal and policy findings from the RSC Working Paper no. 119, "The ‘humanitarian smuggling’ of refugees: criminal offence or moral obligation?" It outlines the concept of ‘humanitarian smuggling’, and then critiques smuggling prohibitions at the international and the EU levels. It argues that these prohibitions are overbroad and vague, failing to meet basic requirements of the rule of law. Moreover, they criminalise acts that fall outside the law’s stated purpose, acts that are often ethically defensible. Finally, the brief analyses existing proposals to improve the framework governing smuggling and provides additional recommendations to decriminalise ‘humanitarian smugglers’.