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Humanitär hjälp och människosmuggling - Straffbar humanitet i utlänningslagen?

Nyström Eklund, Amanda LU (2016) JURM02 20161
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Konflikten i Syrien har resulterat i en av de största flyktingkatastroferna på senare tid. I brist på lagliga flyktvägar till Europa, tvingas flyktingar anlita människosmugglare för att fly krig i sitt hemland. De tvingas ofta betala stora summor pengar för den riskfyllda resan över Medelhavet och vidare genom Europa. Resan är ofta lång och långt ifrån alla lyckas nå sitt mål. I samband med de stora flyktingströmmarna har antalet misstänkta fall av människosmuggling ökat markant i Europa.

Människosmuggling förknippas vanligtvis med kriminella organisationer som genererar stora ekonomiska vinster genom att ägna sig åt olaglig transport av människor över nationella gränser. Under det senaste året har det emellertid i medierna berättats... (More)
Konflikten i Syrien har resulterat i en av de största flyktingkatastroferna på senare tid. I brist på lagliga flyktvägar till Europa, tvingas flyktingar anlita människosmugglare för att fly krig i sitt hemland. De tvingas ofta betala stora summor pengar för den riskfyllda resan över Medelhavet och vidare genom Europa. Resan är ofta lång och långt ifrån alla lyckas nå sitt mål. I samband med de stora flyktingströmmarna har antalet misstänkta fall av människosmuggling ökat markant i Europa.

Människosmuggling förknippas vanligtvis med kriminella organisationer som genererar stora ekonomiska vinster genom att ägna sig åt olaglig transport av människor över nationella gränser. Under det senaste året har det emellertid i medierna berättats om privatpersoner som bistått med humanitär hjälp genom att skjutsa flyktingar över nationsgränserna. Det har rört sig om privatpersoner som utan vinstsyfte erbjudit sig att hjälpa behövande flyktingar att söka asyl i Sverige.

Uppsatsen behandlar frågan om det i svensk rätt förekommer en straffbar humanitet i bestämmelsen om människosmuggling i utlänningslagen. Genom en rättsfallstudie har jag analyserat och utrett hur domstolarna tolkar och tillämpar det humanitära undantaget vid en inre respektive yttre gräns i Sverige. Mot bakgrund av denna studie har jag kunnat dra slutsatsen att vid passage via en yttre gräns är det inte straffbart att hjälpa en flykting till Sverige som omedelbart vid ankomsten, dvs. i samband med tullkontroll, har för avsikt att söka asyl. Vad gäller passage via en inre gräns må Högsta domstolens mening fortfarande vara att det i regel inte kan anses föreligga ett så starkt behov av att bistå en utlänning att från ett grannland komma till Sverige via en inre gräns. Till följd därav kan det inte utgöra grund för ett humanitärt undantag från det straffbara området i 20 kap. 8§ UtlL.

Emellertid framförde Högsta domstolen i NJA 2009 s. 424, att det kan förekomma fall där omständigheterna är sådana att den som hjälpt en asylsökande att komma till Sverige via en inre gräns för att vid ankomsten söka asyl, inte ska anses ha begått en brottslig handling. Enligt min uppfattning finns det brister i tillämpningen av det humanitära undantaget. I rättsfallstudien har det framkommit att ett flertal fall av människosmuggling har bedömts som ringa pga. humanitära skäl istället för ett frikännande. Det har rört sig om situationer som enligt min uppfattning innefattat omständigheter som påkallat ett tillämpande av det humanitära undantaget. Att den humanitära smugglingen skett utan ersättning för att hjälpa barn eller nära släktingar som haft för avsikt att söka asyl i Sverige eller att smugglingen har skett pga. vänskapsband, bör rimligtvis innebära ett frikännande istället för ett bestraffande enligt 20 kap. 8§ UtlL. Efter att ha konstaterat att det förekommer brister vid tillämpningen av det humanitära undantaget var min nästa fråga om det överhuvudtaget finns en reell möjlighet att i svensk rätt tillämpa det humanitära undantaget vid en inre gräns. Min åsikt är att det krävs ett förtydligande av det humanitära undantagets tillämpning. För att garantera rättssäkerhet och förutsägbarhet krävs ett förtydligande av i vilka situationer och under vilka omständigheter som det humanitära undantaget kan bli tillämpligt. Vidare krävs ett klargörande för om det fortfarande bör finnas en skillnad mellan att ge humanitär hjälp till en inre respektive yttre gräns i Sverige, med tanke på flertalet brister i bedömningskriterierna.

Efter en grundläggande granskning av gällande rätt på området, är jag av uppfattningen att det krävs en förändring av gällande lagstiftning eller rättspraxis, för att bestämmelsen bättre ska stämma överens med problematiken kring de ökade flyktingströmmarna i samhället. Samhället har förändrats och nya motstående intressen har växt fram som är värda att skydda. En kriminalisering av humanitär hjälp uppfyller inte de grundläggande kraven och kriterierna för en kriminalisering. Skälen som anfördes till stöd för en kriminalisering av människosmuggling tycks enligt min mening inte stämma överens med en kriminalisering av humanitär hjälp åt flyktingar, varken till en yttre eller inre gräns i Sverige.

Min slutsats är att det humanitära undantaget i bestämmelsen om människosmuggling bör omfatta humanitär hjälp som vidtas till en inre gräns i Sverige, om hjälpen endast ges fram till den svenska riksgränsen. På så sätt kan det godtagbara skyddsintresset upprätthållas och en reglerad invandring fortfarande garanteras. Om domstolen fortsätter att bestraffa humanitära gärningar på det sätt som görs idag kommer en straffbar humanitet att bli verklighet. Humanitär hjälp åt flyktingar är ett handlande som bör värnas istället för att fördömas och bestraffas med böter eller fängelsestraff. (Less)
Abstract
The current conflict in Syria has resulted in a major refugee disaster. The lack of legal refugee routes to Europe is forcing refugees to hire smugglers to escape war in their homeland. They are often forced to pay large sums of money for the hazardous journey across the Mediterranean Sea and further through Europe. These journeys are often far stretched and not many are successful. Due to the war in Syria, the number of suspected cases of human smuggling has increased significantly in Europe.

Human smuggling is usually associated with criminal organizations that generate a significant amount of income by engaging in the illegal movement of people across national borders. However, during the past year the media has described other... (More)
The current conflict in Syria has resulted in a major refugee disaster. The lack of legal refugee routes to Europe is forcing refugees to hire smugglers to escape war in their homeland. They are often forced to pay large sums of money for the hazardous journey across the Mediterranean Sea and further through Europe. These journeys are often far stretched and not many are successful. Due to the war in Syria, the number of suspected cases of human smuggling has increased significantly in Europe.

Human smuggling is usually associated with criminal organizations that generate a significant amount of income by engaging in the illegal movement of people across national borders. However, during the past year the media has described other individuals who have assisted with giving humanitarian aid by driving the refugees across borders. Without looking for a profit these individuals truly look to help refugees who want to seek asylum in Sweden.

This thesis discusses if there is a criminal humanity (straffbar humanitet) in the legal provision of human smuggling in the Aliens Act in Swedish law. Through a legal case study, I have analysed and investigated how the courts apply and interpret the humanitarian exception at an internal and external border of Sweden. In light of this study, my conclusion is that it’s not a criminal act when passing through an external border to assist a refugee to Sweden who immediately upon arrival, i.e. in connection with customs control, seeks asylum. Regarding the smuggling through an internal border, the Supreme Court says it generally can not be considered a strong need to assist foreigners from a neighbouring country to Sweden via an internal border. As a result, it cannot be a legal base for the humanitarian exception from the criminal area in chapter 20, section 8, Aliens Act.

In the judgement, NJA 2009 s.424, the Supreme Court announced that there might be cases where the circumstances warrant a humanitarian exception, even though an individual has been helping an asylum seeker enter Sweden via an internal border. In my view, there are deficiencies in the application of the humanitarian exception. In the legal case study it has emerged that a number of cases of human smuggling have been deemed as petty offences for humanitarian reasons, rather than an acquittal. In my opinion, these cases should have warranted an application of the humanitarian exception due to special circumstances. If the humanitarian smuggling has occurred without compensations, due to friendship or of children or close relatives who had the intention to seek asylum in Sweden, then their actions should reasonably constitute to an acquittal instead of a punishment according to the provision of human smuggling.

After finding that there are deficiencies in the application of the humanitarian exception, my next question was whether there will be a real possibility at all to apply the humanitarian exception at an internal border under Swedish law. My opinion is that the humanitarian exception in the Aliens Act requires a clarification. In order to ensure legal certainty and predictability, a clarification is required regarding in what situations and under what circumstances the humanitarian exception may be applicable. Considering several deficiencies in the assessment criteria, it also requires a clarification if there should be a difference to provide humanitarian aid to an internal or external border of Sweden.

Following a fundamental review of the existing law in this area, my opinion is that a change of the existing legislation or case law is required to correspond the problems in the society with increased refugee flows. The society has seen a big change and new conflicting interests have emerged, which are worth protecting. The criminalization of humanitarian aid does not meet the basic requirements and criteria for a criminalization. The reasons cited in the support of the criminalization of human smuggling does not seem to justify a criminalization of humanitarian aid to refugees, neither to an internal or external border of Sweden.

My final conclusion is that the humanitarian exception of the provision on human smuggling should include humanitarian aid given to an internal border of Sweden, but only if the help is given no further than the Swedish country border. This way, the acceptable protection interest (godtagbart skyddsintresse) can be maintained and a regulated immigration system can still be guaranteed. If the court continues to punish humanitarian acts in the way that it’s done today, a criminal humanity will become a reality. Humanitarian aid given to refugees is an act that should be protected and encouraged in today’s problems with refugees, rather than condemn and punish the behaviour with a fine or imprisonment. (Less)
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author
Nyström Eklund, Amanda LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Humanitarian aid and human smuggling - Criminal humanity in the Aliens Act?
course
JURM02 20161
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
straffrätt, människosmuggling, straffbar humanitet, humanitär hjälp, utlänningslagen
language
Swedish
id
8873890
date added to LUP
2016-06-17 14:47:49
date last changed
2016-06-17 14:47:49
@misc{8873890,
  abstract     = {The current conflict in Syria has resulted in a major refugee disaster. The lack of legal refugee routes to Europe is forcing refugees to hire smugglers to escape war in their homeland. They are often forced to pay large sums of money for the hazardous journey across the Mediterranean Sea and further through Europe. These journeys are often far stretched and not many are successful. Due to the war in Syria, the number of suspected cases of human smuggling has increased significantly in Europe. 

Human smuggling is usually associated with criminal organizations that generate a significant amount of income by engaging in the illegal movement of people across national borders. However, during the past year the media has described other individuals who have assisted with giving humanitarian aid by driving the refugees across borders. Without looking for a profit these individuals truly look to help refugees who want to seek asylum in Sweden.

This thesis discusses if there is a criminal humanity (straffbar humanitet) in the legal provision of human smuggling in the Aliens Act in Swedish law. Through a legal case study, I have analysed and investigated how the courts apply and interpret the humanitarian exception at an internal and external border of Sweden. In light of this study, my conclusion is that it’s not a criminal act when passing through an external border to assist a refugee to Sweden who immediately upon arrival, i.e. in connection with customs control, seeks asylum. Regarding the smuggling through an internal border, the Supreme Court says it generally can not be considered a strong need to assist foreigners from a neighbouring country to Sweden via an internal border. As a result, it cannot be a legal base for the humanitarian exception from the criminal area in chapter 20, section 8, Aliens Act. 

In the judgement, NJA 2009 s.424, the Supreme Court announced that there might be cases where the circumstances warrant a humanitarian exception, even though an individual has been helping an asylum seeker enter Sweden via an internal border. In my view, there are deficiencies in the application of the humanitarian exception. In the legal case study it has emerged that a number of cases of human smuggling have been deemed as petty offences for humanitarian reasons, rather than an acquittal. In my opinion, these cases should have warranted an application of the humanitarian exception due to special circumstances. If the humanitarian smuggling has occurred without compensations, due to friendship or of children or close relatives who had the intention to seek asylum in Sweden, then their actions should reasonably constitute to an acquittal instead of a punishment according to the provision of human smuggling.

After finding that there are deficiencies in the application of the humanitarian exception, my next question was whether there will be a real possibility at all to apply the humanitarian exception at an internal border under Swedish law. My opinion is that the humanitarian exception in the Aliens Act requires a clarification. In order to ensure legal certainty and predictability, a clarification is required regarding in what situations and under what circumstances the humanitarian exception may be applicable. Considering several deficiencies in the assessment criteria, it also requires a clarification if there should be a difference to provide humanitarian aid to an internal or external border of Sweden. 

Following a fundamental review of the existing law in this area, my opinion is that a change of the existing legislation or case law is required to correspond the problems in the society with increased refugee flows. The society has seen a big change and new conflicting interests have emerged, which are worth protecting. The criminalization of humanitarian aid does not meet the basic requirements and criteria for a criminalization. The reasons cited in the support of the criminalization of human smuggling does not seem to justify a criminalization of humanitarian aid to refugees, neither to an internal or external border of Sweden. 

My final conclusion is that the humanitarian exception of the provision on human smuggling should include humanitarian aid given to an internal border of Sweden, but only if the help is given no further than the Swedish country border. This way, the acceptable protection interest (godtagbart skyddsintresse) can be maintained and a regulated immigration system can still be guaranteed. If the court continues to punish humanitarian acts in the way that it’s done today, a criminal humanity will become a reality. Humanitarian aid given to refugees is an act that should be protected and encouraged in today’s problems with refugees, rather than condemn and punish the behaviour with a fine or imprisonment.},
  author       = {Nyström Eklund, Amanda},
  keyword      = {straffrätt,människosmuggling,straffbar humanitet,humanitär hjälp,utlänningslagen},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Humanitär hjälp och människosmuggling - Straffbar humanitet i utlänningslagen?},
  year         = {2016},
}