There are those who seek to apply the experience of the war on drugs to the emerging war on migrant smugglers to warn that such a confrontation carries high costs, low chances of success and would likely lead to an escalation of violence against the migrants themselves. Such arguments suggest we should learn from the war on drugs’ failures, and design different policy and criminal justice responses to irregular migration and human smugglers so as not to repeat past and ongoing failures. This research report examines this hypothesis; that the war on drugs is analogous to the war on migrant smuggling and that the lessons derived from the war on drugs are applicable to current policy makers around migration. Using a compare-and-contrast analysis it looks at the intrinsic aspects of the commodities themselves (substances vs migrants), the dynamics and modalities of the respective illicit economies, the lessons learnt from the war on drugs, the policy environment and implications of using alternative approaches, namely ‘legalising’ drugs and/or new approaches, inter alia, towards decriminalizing irregular migration.
About the Migration Network Hub
What is the Migration Network Hub?
The Hub is a virtual “meeting space” where governments, stakeholders and experts can access and share migration-related information and services. It provides curated content, analysis and information on a variety of topics.
The Hub aims to support UN Member States in the implementation, follow-up and review of the Global Compact for Migration by serving as a repository of existing evidence, practices and initiatives, and facilitating access to knowledge sharing via online discussions, an expert database and demand-driven, tailor-made solutions (launching in 2021).
What content is displayed in the Hub?
The Hub aims to help you find information on migration, ranging from policy briefs and journal articles, existing portals and platforms and what they offer, to infographics and videos. The different types of resources submitted by users undergo peer review by a panel of experts from within the UN and beyond, before being approved for inclusion in the Hub. To provide guidance to users based on findings of the needs assessment, the content is ordered so that more comprehensive and global resources are shown before more specific and regional ones. Know a great resource? Please submit using the links above and your suggestion will be reviewed. Please see the draft criteria for existing practices here.
Apply to join the Peer Review Roster
Content submitted to the Migration Network Hub is first peer reviewed by experts in the field from both the UN and beyond. Applications are welcomed to join the roster on an ongoing basis. Learn more here.
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