One of the most recent – and perhaps least noticed –measures to combat the smuggling of migrants involves the criminalisation of the financing of migrant smuggling. In 2010, Australia’s ‘people smuggling’ offences set out in theMigration Act 1958 (Cth) and the Criminal Code (Cth) were amended and a new offence of ‘supporting people smuggling’ added, which criminalises, inter alia, financially supporting the smuggling of migrants. Further reforms followed in 2011 with an amendment to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006(Cth) that sought to strengthen the regulation of the Australian remittance sector and, inter alia, prevent and suppress the use of alternative remittance systems to finance the smuggling of migrants.

The following sections summarise a research paper completed by the Migrant Smuggling Working Group in 2013. The paper investigates the financing of the smuggling of migrants in the Australian context and analyses the applicable criminal law and financial regulations. The measures adopted by the Australian Government in 2010 and 2011 are assessed and discussed with regard to the applicable international guidance, including the UN Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.

The research findings have been published in Andreas Schloenhardt & Thomas Cottrell, 'Financing the Smuggling of Migrants in Australia’ (2014) 38 Criminal Law Journal (forthcoming)