Dangers of Sea crossings using Smugglers 

  • The journey by sea can pose serious risk to your life and the lives of your family members including your children. Boats might sink or go adrift.  
  • In June 2023 alone, 300 migrants lost their lives crossing the sea in an overcrowded fishing vessel on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.  
  • During the journey at sea, you and your family may be exposed to extreme weather conditions, strong sun, dehydration, and physical injuries which could result in death.  
  • You and your family members could also risk abuse and exploitation by smugglers and traffickers during your travel and upon arrival.  
  • Refugees and Migrants departing from Iraq have reported that smugglers charge hefty fees.  While smugglers tell some people they can pay later, those people are usually held against their will.  
  • Even when the smuggler is known to you or is from your community, you will still likely face high risks of abuse along the route.  
  • Refugees lose their status. Crossing an international border irregularly may be punishable under national laws. You and your family members risk being arrested, interrogated, detained, and possibly deported. 
  • UNHCR encourages you to seek protection and assistance in the country where you are and be aware of the dangers of moving to other countries and crossing borders without the necessary documentation and permission.  
  • UNHCR and partners can provide you with information on how we and our partners may be able to help you here in Iraq. For more information visit www.help.unhcr.org/iraq