Sudan + 1 more

The use of smugglers among Ethiopian refugees and migrants in Sudan


As of February 2022, UNHCR has registered more than 73,000 Ethiopian refugees and asylum seekers in Sudan, many of whom have fled the Tigray crisis since November 2020. In an attempt to shed light on the role of smugglers in facilitating movements across the Ethiopia-Sudan border, this snapshot uses 4Mi data to examine whether and how Ethiopian refugees and migrants have interacted with smugglers during their journeys to Sudan.

This snapshot is produced in the context of a partnership with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Observatory on Smuggling of Migrants.

Observatory on Smuggling of Migrants.

Key findings

• 46% of Ethiopian respondents had used a smuggler during their journey to Sudan.

• Smugglers facilitated transit across the border (65% of respondents who used a smuggler), provided in-country transportation (43%), provided ID and travel documents (39%) and dealt with authorities (34%), amongst other tasks.

• Respondents who used smugglers spent considerably more (526 USD, on average) on their journey from Ethiopia to Sudan than those who didn’t (309 USD).

• While 73% of respondents perceived smugglers as helping people, 33% felt intentionally misled by smugglers.