14 Apr 2015
73 Syrian migrants were discovered by the Border authorities packed into the back of a furniture truck on Saturday as the driver tried to cross the Romania-Hungary border. The truck was bound from Turkey to France when Romanian customs officials stopped the Turkish driver at the Nadlac border crossing. Reports said there were 74 people in the truck, including 73 Syrian nationals and one Iranian, aged from 12 to 41. The group could face charges for crossing the border illegally, while the driver is suspected of trafficking migrants. The UNHCR reported that there are four million Syrian refugees dispersed worldwide, including nearly 1.8 million Syrians registered in Turkey. Many migrants have tried to reach the European Union using illegal channels, leaving them vulnerable to organized criminals specialized in making money from human trafficking. According to Europol, the EU’s police force, smuggling gangs sent 220,000 migrants on dangerous sea routes over the Mediterranean to EU countries in 2014 alone. Stephanie Hepburn wrote on his bolg “Refugees, having been displaced from their home country, are vulnerable to human trafficking because they face continued uncertainty, financial strain, and lack of legal and/or social inclusion.” Refugee law expert James Hathaway has argued that, since victims of war cannot seek asylum until they officially leave their home country, human traffickers are a vital part in the chain for some refugees to reach safety.