There are a large number of migrants and displaced people who leave their own nation and begin tracking down a superior spot to live in everywhere. In this interaction many individuals become the casualty of carrying. Pirating of travellers which is a wrongdoing that happens when somebody works with the individual’s illicit section or stay in a nation of which the individual is certainly not a public or lasting inhabitant to acquire a monetary or other material advantage.It has become resilient in these days. We have been here in these terms all the time in the media and keeping in mind that conclusions about that is as yet an overall absence of comprehension about this wrongdoing, its main drivers and their suggestions.Migrants who are pirated across borders are not considered as casualties fundamentally.By and by, a huge number of travellers pass on consistently during pirating exercises. They are likewise especially helpless against different wrongdoings like hijacking for coercion, assault yet additionally to separation and abuse including from state and non-state ages.


Migrants, Smuggling, Human rights, excessive migration, online smuggling, pandemic effect.


The smuggling of migrants is the illegal and often unseen dimension of human migration. It is an immense multi-billion-dollar worldwide industry because of which efficient transnational criminal gatherings have arisen. With often little regard for those they are smuggling, they resort to violence, keep migrants in inhuman conditions or expose them to extreme risks on land and at sea. It is not only a crime in itself but is also linked to other serious criminal acts such as terrorism, trafficking in human beings, money laundering, identity theft and counterfeiting . The migrants themselves however are mostly victims of circumstance for example refugees fleeing war or persecution often have no other choice but to use smugglers to enter other countries to seek asylum. Others use smugglers to escape poverty or natural disasters.
The smuggling of migrants has two types. One is the full package model and the other is the pay-as-you-go model. In full package smuggling the smuggler offers to take the migrant the entire way from their country of origin to their country of destination. This is a premium service and offers slightly more protection to migrants but very few can afford it. The majority of migrants smuggled into other countries use the pay-as-you-go model. This model utilizes more localized smuggling networks who may be in contact with other smuggling groups but generally operate independently in specific areas or regions. Migrants pay these groups at each stage of the route. The carrying interaction can include various entertainers like spotters or specialists, carriers, drivers, guides and boat proprietor, security suppliers or debasers engaged with paying off authorities lastly experts like tax criminals, hawala hundi administrators and forgers.


The research questionsaddressed in this research paper are whether smuggling of migrants in India is related withexcessive migration or not and whether it is a security threat in modern India or not?


With the end goal of this paper the hypothesises are-The target population in India for smuggling is migrants because of excessive migration in India from the pastand newer kinds of smuggling through online are emerging and a threat to the national security for India.
This paper has been written after extensive reading of several aspects of trafficking and smuggling. The current paper manages scientific examination and elucidating study. Information for this research is gathered from secondary sources. Data collection methods are- Books and articles, Magazines, Journals.


As per different papers available in literature, there are a few studies that focus on the trend analysis of migrant smuggling in India. The studies on this present long-term trend. These studies use data from various surveys from United Nations. However not all aspects of smuggling systems have been adequately noticed, hence the current study tries to do that. Also, the studies in India from the past are more focused on the situation before the pandemic, so the need to analyze the present situation is required for the authorities to get better insight on the situation. Similarly, there are other blogs and articles that were developed for analyzing the COVID-19 effect on other arms of government, various UN and WHO reports have also been analyzed and referred to.


Consistently a huge number of individuals are snuck all throughout the world. Our inability to stop the smuggling of people represents one of the greatest failures of modern history. Considering that we have an International Convention on migrant smuggling that’s been widely ratified and signed by over a hundred states, we have International Organizations and NGOs that dedicate themselves full time to stopping migrant smuggling and each year millions of dollars are spent on projects and programs in trying to stop people smuggling and yet every year inevitably the quantity of individuals carried all throughout the planet increments and doesn’t decrease .
Migrant smuggling is a business in which every single person is incentivized to make money. The most important reason is that migrant smuggling kills thousands of people each year whether people drowning off or whether people dying of heat exhaustion or whether it’s through asphyxiation and suffocation in the back of trucks. Those people who aren’t killed who find work in destination countries, find themselves exploited and vulnerable. Secondly it risks undermining national security as well. Very often the people who smuggle individual human beings also the same people who smuggle drugs and weapons too. So, the national security concerns are very important indeed. Thirdly we have that rising wave of discrimination is because too many people are entering our countries without authorization. People both in origin countries and destination countries are corrupted because they are willing to take extra money in order to break the law.


India, one of the world’s biggest economies, depends vigorously on its traveller laborers. They form one-fifth of the country’s workforce. When the pandemic struck and a nationwide shutdown was imposed, the country witnessed their mass exodus from big cities to their hometowns, mostly in rural areas. In this exodus there were 65 million inter-state migrants and migrants from each state as well. In this process, millions of them lost their livelihoods and it impacted on children adversely. A study by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) and Azim Premji University in 2019 states that 29% of each city’s population are wagers who tried to move back in their hometown during lockdown . As the country has slowly opened up to resuscitate its economy, many women and children can be seen shuttled to crowds and traffic to beg for money or sell goods. Garment factories, restaurants, farms and bangle factories- all want to minimise costs and make up for months of losses endured during the pandemic. As a result, the demand for cheap labor has increased. The smuggler finds them willing to work for extremely long hours on lower wages. Another form of smuggling brought forth by the coronavirus is sexual exploitation. There are other indicators in India and in the rest of the world that how the demand for girls and boys of course for sexual abuse and production of pornographic material is growing during the lockdown times.
In India we can see mainly internal migration because of the agrarian distress. It is often seen in the rural areas because agriculture is predominantly rural in nature and because of this there is increased rates of rural to urban migration. So, from rural to urban areas people migrate due to agrarian distress and because of this agrarian distress there is a reduction in the income of the farmers and therefore the standard of living of the farmers comes down. In order to increase their income opportunities or employment opportunities they migrate from the rural areas to the urban areas of the same country as urban areas provide better job opportunities or employment opportunities. An increase in the better paying jobs in the urban areas especially due to the rise in the service sector or growth of service sector provides a lot of job opportunities in the urban areas.For example, Uber Eats- this is an online platform where you can order your food online and get it delivered at your place. It is predominantly seen in the urban areas and some semi urban areas. Due to this many people get employment this can be in the form of technical support or even a lower level as the delivery person.
Besides this there are international immigrants too and according to UN report India is one of the biggest immigrants hosting country. 95% of the immigrants are from the 6 neighbouring countries of the India. India has witnessed migration of Hindu and Sikh from East & West Pakistan during British India Partition in 1947, migration of Bengalis to avoid genocide during Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, migration during civil war in Sri Lanka & Myanmar, Sino-Tibetan war. Illegal Bangladeshi, Nepali workers, international students, refugees from warzone like Iraq, Somalia have migrated in India from very past. As of now only Sri Lankanian and Tibetan people are legally valid as a migrant in India. But most of the migrants are illegal till date. At present India has 52 lakhs immigrant which is 0.4% of Indian population. Amongst them 32 lakhs immigrants are from Bangladesh due to which in India 2nd largest nationalist is Bangladeshis. Besides this there are 11lakhs immigrants are from Pakistan, 5.4 lakhs are from Nepal, 1.5 lakhs are from Sri Lanka, 1 lakh are from China and 51 thousand are from Myanmar and 13 thousand are from Afghanistan. These are data of legal migrants but each year many migrants enter into India illegally. The massive illegal immigration from Bangladesh is a great problem for east India and north-east India. Though there are no proper data of illegal migrants but it is an assumption that there are 12-15 million illegal Bangladeshi immigration which has spreaded in more than 17 states in India . According to experts, some of them can be a risk for the national security of India.


India has faced constant unauthorised migration from Bangladesh in past. Specially during Bangladesh Liberation War, 1971 almost 1 crore Bangladeshi rushed to India to escape the genocide of Pakistan. There was situation of civil war. History has proven that every neighbouring country faces the effect of civil war. For example- Refugee crisis in Turkey during Syrian civil war, immigration in Uganda during civil war in South Sudan, immigration in Colombia due to problem in Venezuela. India faced the same thing. But even after independence of Bangladesh, migration from Bangladesh to India remained the same. From 1981 to 1991 almost 91 thousand entered in India every year. There are 32 lakhs legal Bangladeshi and 1.5 crore illegal Bangladeshi in India at present scenario in which 70% came before 2000. After that there were some reductions. In 2011, 22 thousand Bangladeshi immigrants came in India.
Here the question is after so tight security, how they cross borders so easily where India shares 4096 km border with Bangladesh which is one of the longest borders in world and in this 3437 km border is completely fenced and Indian Border Security Force are always there. But sometimes through mountains and rivers many migrants made the entry possible. These people are basically from economically backward region and they easily get labour work in India. They mainly stay in states near the Bangladesh border like West Bengal (82%), Tripura (9%), Assam(3%) but they have also reached other states like Delhi, Mumbai etc. Tripura is highly effected from this migration dur to which native Tripuri people became only 31%. From last few decades the economy of Bangladesh is growing, we can assume that there will be no need for Bangladeshis to migrate in India illegally .
Migration from Pakistan reflects the event of Partition. In 2001, there were 15lakh Pakistani migrants and at present there are 11 lakhs migrants. Most of them came at the time of Partition but most of them are not here now. In 2011, almost 7600 immigrants came in India and they were mostly Hindu and Shikh who wanted Indian Citizenship. In Punjab 28%, in Delhi 17%, in Haryana 15% and in Rajasthan 9 %, in Maharashtra 8%, in Gujrat 4% and in J&K 2% most immigrants are residing. There are more or less illegal immigrants at present.
Next biggest immigrants’ group is Nepali. Bilateral friendship Treaty was signed between India and Nepal in 1950 through which the citizens of both countries can cross border and travel freely so that they can be treated as a native citizen. In India, Nepali migration has started from 19th century.On that time many people migrated in Punjab and joined in the British Army. Nepalis came to work at tea garden of Darjeeling and Assam as well. As per Nepali living standard survey, at present there are 10 lakhs Nepali workers be it permanent or seasonal. From 2001to 2011 there are increase in Nepali immigration by 30%. This is the result of cross border marriage.
Sri Lanka
At present there are 1.5 lakhs Sri Lankan immigrants in India. It started from the civil war in 1983 between Sri Lankan Govt. and Tamil Tigers who wanted to build separate Tamil country. For this, from 1983 to 1987 almost 1.3 lakhs Tamil migrated in India. Till 2012 there were 3 lakhs migrants and amongst them 99 thousand migrants were returned to Sri Lanka by Indian Govt. and others went another country and the rest are still in India. In Nilgiri district of Tamilnadu, there are 4 thousand Sri Lankan migrants. Besides Nilgiri, in Orissa, Karnataka and Puducherry we can see Sri Lankan migrants.
In 1959, to escape from the torture of Chinese Communist party, Dalai Lama took place in India. Within 2 years, 80 thousand Tibetan migrants came in India. Now almost 1lakh Tibetan migrants are residing in India they are given jobs as well through Indian Govt. They stay mostly in the areas near China border like Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. In Himachal Pradesh, 2-5% population of Lahau-3l Spiti, Kinnaur and Shimla is migrants.
There are almost 1 lakhs Burmese immigrant in India. There is 1600 km border between India and Myanmar. Myanmar is in war between of politics and military from past. For this 30 lakhs Burmese has left Myanmar. As India is neighbouring country, almost 1 lakhs Burmese came to India specially Chin ethnic minorities on whom Myanmar army alleges violation of human rights. They migrate mostly in Mizoram, Manipur and Delhi. In 2015 due to war between majority Buddhist and minority Muslim there were Rohingya refugee crisis in Rakhine state of Myanmar and most Rohingya Muslim. migrated in India. According to Indian Govt., more than 40 thousand Rohingya refugee hadcome in India already in Assam, West Bengal and J&K.
From 1979, Afghani migrants started to come in India when Soviet Union attacked in Afghanistan. Then migration happened in huge numbers when Taliban came into power in 1991. According to Afghan Embassy right now there are 30 hundred Afghan families in India in which 92% are Hindu or Sikh .
International law defines the smuggling of migrants as “the procurement, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit, of the illegal entry of a person into a state party of which the person is not a national or a permanent resident”. This definition has two main elements- a smuggler procures or facilitates the illegal border crossing or entry of a person and the smuggler does this for some financial gain or other material benefit.
Smuggled migrants are more vulnerable to human rights violation because of the particular situation they are in. They may be subjected to serious abuse and exploitation by the smugglers who control their situation. They also usually in an irregular situation whereby they are afraid to approach the local authorities and ask for protection when being in fear of deportation. Yet they are entitled to all he rights and freedoms set forth through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Their privileges are affirmed in the convention against the pirating of transients. Pirating of transients is perceived by all as a genuine wrongdoing that comprises a grave infringement of Human Rights. To survivors of this wrongdoing states are subsequently obliged to give sufficient help and insurance. Additional rights are applied to specific persons for example refugees who may be smuggled should benefit from special protection measures such as housing, health care, or education .
In day-to-day life we are prone to use technology. But the reality is far more complex. New technology and the wide spread of internet provide a bigger chance to stop heinous crime like smuggling. But in the meantime, the criminals use technology to spread their reach in the virtual world as well. The criminals misuse technology for migrant smuggling. Smugglers often use technology to market their services online to access victims and migrants to recruit them, coerce or control them. They can use technology to process payments through cryptocurrencies and informal value transfer systems outside the reach of police investigations. Technology gives smugglers easier access to more migrants and victims through phones, emails, instant messaging websites and applications while maintaining their anonymity. Smugglers may like, comment, chat or ask to be friends to gather information that they subsequently can use to recruit or extort their victims. Casualties are regularly bamboozled on the web and may share private data which is utilized to revile them into double-dealing. Technology further allows criminals to exercise a virtual control over the victims. Control may include monitoring through GPS, tracking or access and phone applications by deploying spyware. Smugglers use technology not only to procure their services to migrants but also to remotely direct them or guide them to cross rough seas. Besides technology is used by smugglers in order to escape justice .
What is misused by smugglers can also be used for good purposes. Technology can be used against smugglers as well for example chatbots, web crawlers and data mining tools can help to reduce the presence of smugglers online. Technology is not only about crime prevention but it can be victim-centred. It can also be used to support and protect smuggled migrants for example to reach and communicate with migrants in distress. Technologies are used to shield victims or witnesses from visual contact with the smugglers in court and to facilitate their social reintegration. We can use technology as a double-edged sword. Though it can be misused by criminals but it can also be used to prevent the crimes and to identify more victims and protect smuggled migrants. It can support police investigations and prosecutors in building stronger cases against smugglers and effectively trace their criminal assets.
The smuggling of migrants has traditionally evoked a law enforcement response. But the ability of smugglers to quickly adapt to even the slightest changes in border controls has allowed smuggling to continue. While law enforcement responses are critical it is essential that a holistic approach to this crime be adopted by countries and the international community. We should educate migrants and their families and try to tackle the corruption both in origin and destination countries. Also, we should take action against the employers who are giving migrants jobs, exploiting them and giving them less money to survive in the first place. Because of them the other migrants are getting influence to come in India illegally. So, we should analyse the migration business from root and take actions against them.


People are facing limitations when it comes to their ability to move. Multiple countries are imposing restrictions when it comes to visas or passports. Globalization brings mobility and we feel that you are more a citizen of the world. On the other hand, we see that societies who are fearful of the different become more fragile and we have to be able to educate them in that aspect.
Smuggled migrants themselves are frequently viewed as wrongdoers and prevented suitable security from getting their privileges, help and admittance to equity when there are casualties of disturbed carrying. Henceforth it is vital for view at their particular circumstance to guarantee that their privileges as people are completely secured. Everybody is qualified for every one of the rights and opportunity without qualification of any sort like race, shading, sex, language, religion, political or other assessment, public or social beginning, property, birth or other status. It’s clear that the system against migrant smuggling has failed lamentably and what we need is a fresh new approach against the migrant smuggling to avoid the xenophobia and for better lives of the Indian citizens and as well as of the migrants.

Author: Niyati Jain

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