Topic: Smuggling of unaccompanied minors

Presenter: Joseph Lelliott - MPhil Candidate, TC Beirne School of Law

The thesis examines the smuggling of unaccompanied minors. It first looks at the levels, patterns and characteristics of the smuggling of unaccompanied minors, the causes of such smuggling, and the specific vulnerabilities of unaccompanied minors in the smuggling process. On this background the thesis outlines and analyses relevant international laws and principles, and examines domestic laws and state practice relating to the protection, treatment, and return of smuggled unaccompanied minors, as well as criminalisation of migrant smugglers themselves. Five jurisdictions, including Australia, Austria, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, serve as national examples. The aim of the thesis is to develop recommendations for policy change and law reform to address the smuggling of unaccompanied minors, and to draw together criminological, legal, and policy analysis to formulate practical and effective proposals. These recommendations balance methods of deterrence for the smuggling of unaccompanied minors, with best practice for ensuring the humane treatment of unaccompanied minors in the migration process, consistent with international obligations. 

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