United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

28 January 1997


Fifty-first session
Agenda item 101


               [on the report of the Third Committee (A/51/610)]

            51/62.      Measures for prevention of the
                        smuggling of aliens

      The General Assembly,

      Recalling its resolution 48/102 of 20 December 1993 in which,
inter alia, it condemned the practice of smuggling aliens and urged
States to take appropriate steps to frustrate the objectives and
activities of smugglers of aliens,

      Recalling also Economic and Social Council resolutions 1994/14 of
25 July 1994 and 1995/10 of 24 July 1995,

      Concerned at the increasing activities of criminals and criminal
organizations that profit illicitly by smuggling human beings, preying
on the dignity and lives of migrants and adding to the complexity of
the phenomenon of increasing international migration,

      Aware that such activities endanger the lives of those
individuals and impose severe costs on the international community, in
particular upon certain States that have been called upon to rescue
and to provide medical care, food, housing and transportation for
those individuals,

      Recognizing that international criminal groups often convince
individuals to migrate illegally by various means for enormous profits
and use the proceeds from smuggling human beings to finance other
criminal activities,

      Noting that smugglers, in particular in the State of destination
of alien smuggling, frequently force migrants into forms of debt,
bondage or servitude, often involving criminal activities, in order to
pay for their passage,

      Recognizing that socio-economic factors influence the problem of
the smuggling of aliens and also contribute to the complexity of
current international migration,

      Reaffirming respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity
of all States, including their right to control their own borders,

      Recalling the undertaking of States parties to the Supplementary
Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and
Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery, 1/ signed at Geneva
on 7 September 1956, to take all practicable and necessary legislative
and other measures to bring about progressively and as soon as
possible the complete abolition or abandonment of the practice of debt

      Convinced of the need to provide humane treatment and protect the
full human rights of migrants,

      Concerned that the smuggling of aliens undermines public
confidence in policies and procedures for immigration and for the
protection of refugees,

      Taking into account the efforts of the Office of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization
for Migration, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the
International Maritime Organization in responding to the requests from
States for assistance in dealing with the smuggling of aliens,

      Emphasizing the importance of international cooperation and, in
particular, the need for States to cooperate urgently at the bilateral
and multilateral levels, as appropriate, to thwart these activities,

      1.    Condemns the practice of smuggling aliens in violation of
international and national law or other agreements between States and
without regard for the safety, well-being and human rights of the

      2.    Commends those States which have cooperated to combat alien
smuggling and to respond to specific incidents in which smuggled
aliens have needed to be dealt with according to international
standards and the domestic laws and procedures of the States concerned
and returned safely to appropriate destinations;

      3.    Urges States to take appropriate steps to frustrate the
objectives and activities of smugglers of aliens and thus to protect
would-be migrants from exploitation and loss of life, inter alia, by
amending criminal laws, if necessary, to encompass the smuggling of
aliens and by establishing or improving procedures to permit the ready
discovery of false travel documents supplied by smugglers;

      4.    Requests States to cooperate in order to prevent the illegal
transport by smugglers of third-country nationals through their

      5.    Also requests States to cooperate bilaterally and on a
multilateral basis to prevent the use of fraudulent documents, to
continue to improve the requirements for registration of vessels and
to implement relevant international agreements;

      6.    Further requests States to cooperate in the interest of
safety of life at sea, to increase their efforts to prevent the
smuggling of aliens on ships and to ensure, in accordance with their
national legislation, that prompt and effective action is taken
against the smuggling of aliens by sea;

      7.    Calls upon States to enhance bilateral and multilateral
cooperation in the fight against criminal organizations responsible
for the smuggling of aliens;

      8.    Calls upon Member States and the relevant specialized
agencies and international organizations to take into account socio-
economic factors and to cooperate at the bilateral and multilateral
levels in addressing all aspects of the problem of smuggling of

      9.    Reaffirms the importance of existing international
conventions in preventing the economic exploitation and loss of life
that can result from alien smuggling, and calls upon all States to
exchange information, to consider ratifying or acceding to those
conventions if they have not done so and fully to implement and
enforce such conventions;

      10.   Emphasizes that international efforts to prevent the
smuggling of aliens should not inhibit legal migration or freedom of
travel or undercut the protection provided by international law to

      11.   Reaffirms the need to observe fully international and
national law in dealing with the smuggling of aliens, including the
provision of humane treatment and strict observance of all human
rights of migrants;

      12.   Requests the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal
Justice to consider giving attention to the question of the smuggling
of aliens at its sixth session, to be held in 1997, in order to
encourage international cooperation to address this problem within the
framework of its mandate;

      13.   Requests the Secretary-General to transmit the text of the
present resolution to all Member States and to the relevant
specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations.

                                                          82nd plenary meeting
                                                              12 December 1996


1/    United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 266, No. 3822.


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