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Transnational organised crime special briefing: People smuggling and the Syrian refugee crisis

Approximately 12 million Syrians have fled their homes as a result of the civil war in their country. Nearly eight million are internally displaced within Syria, and more than four million have sought refuge in nearby countries. Many are making the perilous journey to Europe in search of a better life, and over 500,000 Syrians have applied for asylum in EU countries. Not all who attempt the journey to Europe survive it. There were 4,800 known drownings of people attempting to cross the Mediterranean between October 2013 and April 2015 alone. These tragedies are being facilitated by the organised crime groups that peddle their lucrative trade in smuggling human beings.

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