International Expert Group Meeting on Migrant Smuggling by Air

7-9 December 2009, Vienna, Austria - Between 7 and 9 December 2009, senior law enforcement experts met in Vienna, Austria, to share their expertise on preventing and combating the smuggling of migrants by air.

The aim of the Expert Group Meeting (EGM) was to gain a better understanding of migrant smuggling by air with the objective of better preventing and combating migrant smuggling by air. More specifically, the EGM aimed at gaining a better understanding of:

  • The modus operandi of migrant smugglers who use air routes to commit their crimes
  • Good practices¬† of law enforcement and other actors involved in responding to this problem
  • What the gaps in knowledge of and response to this particular method of migrant smuggling are, and
  • How UNODC and other international actors will be able to assist States in strengthening their capacities to prevent and combat the smuggling of migrants by air.


The EGM gathered expert input on the following points:

  • Overview of migrant smuggling by air
  • Actors and finances
  • Role of document abuse and corruption
  • Overview of counter measures
  • Role of airports and airlines
  • Cooperation to combat migrant smuggling by air


The key output of the EGM will be an Issue paper on Migrant Smuggling by Air to be widely distributed among Member States.

The EGM hosted thirteen law enforcers working in North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East as well as representatives from Interpol, Europol and Frontex at the UNODC headquarters.