Factsheet Trafficking, Smuggling and Migration of Women in Asia

It is important to distinguish between migration, smuggling and trafficking, because of the misperceptions that men migrate and women are trafficked – although men are also trafficked and increasing numbers of women are migrating independently. As a result, some governments seek to protect women against trafficking, often in the form of restrictions or bans on women’s migration. Despite good intentions, creating obstacles for women’s migration often propels them into situations of smuggling, trafficking, or unsafe migration. These obstacles often do not target oppressive environments, or build women’s capacity to avoid or confront potential exploitation in empowering ways. Clarity on the links and differences between migration, trafficking and smuggling enables action that substantively protects women’s human rights, and empowers them to access safe, low-cost, legal migration channels.

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