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T-STAN: Toolkit on Smuggling and Trafficking, a project headed by Jill Coster van Voorhout (ACIL and section Criminal Law) and financed by NWO-WOTRO, has reached completion. Migration-related crime in Libya and en route to Europe was researched, and the toolkit it presents provides policy makers with guidelines that will enable them to react more effectively to the criminal aspects of the refugee crisis.

The NWO-WOTRO-funded research project T-STAN: Toolkit on Smuggling and Trafficking was launched in April 2017, more than a month before the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court informed the Security Council, on 9 May 2017, of her intention to investigate migration-related crimes in Libya.

The very same Security Council recently reiterated its concerns about Libya and the Sahel in a more generally worded resolution on trafficking and migrant smuggling on 21 November 2017, hammering on the degree to which those crimes are linked to other forms of organised crime and terrorism.

This CNN report provides an accurate depiction.


The research project focuses on the troublesome distinction between human trafficking and migrant smuggling, both in Libya and en route to Europe. These days, it might indeed be more apt to speak of (organised) migration crime.

For an accurate portrayal of this rapidly developing state of affairs, the research team conducted interviews with smugglers and traffickers in Libya, as well as with international experts concerned with this particular aspect of the migration crisis. In addition, questionnaires were sent to migrants who had been led into safety or otherwise helped along this route. The dossiers of migrants who in the Netherlands were ultimately registered as victims of human trafficking were also investigated. Finally, an online survey was conducted into the recruitment practices of smugglers and traffickers in Libya.


The findings are set out in a Toolkit for policymakers which aims to promote better policymaking in this complex area. In addition, a policy letter highlights current migrant smuggling and trafficking practices in Libya. Both documents offer advice on policy interventions.

Meeting of Experts

On Thursday 11 January 2018 a meeting of experts will be convened for presentation of the Toolkit. The meeting will be by invitation only from 10 am until noon, and open to a wider audience from 1 pm until 2 pm.


Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime; CoMensha; the Law clinic of Prof. Mohammed Mattar, Doha, Qatar and the interviewees who so greatly helped us.