A Gender Perspective on Corruption Encountered during Forced and Irregular Migration

    A Gender Perspective on Corruption Encountered during Forced and Irregular Migration
    by Ortrun Merkle, Julia Reinold and Melissa Siegel

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    Policymakers are starting to pay more attention to the links between migration and corruption. This study explores a specific area of these links, by examining the ways in which corruption affects the migration journeys of women – be they regular, irregular, forced or voluntary. It does so by looking at experiences of corruption in countries of origin, transit and destination. The analysis is based on desk research and interviews with stakeholders and migrants conducted between April and May 2017.

    We find that corruption comes into play whenever legal options for migration are limited, and this seems to be a constant throughout all stages of the migration process of several migrant groups. While both men and women encounter corruption during the various stages of the migration process, this study finds that women are especially vulnerable to atypical forms of corruption, including sexual extortion (‘sextortion’) when their financial capital is limited. Women travelling alone are particularly vulnerable to different forms of corruption and sexual exploitation, which can have negative consequences on their short-, medium- and long-term mental and physical health.

    The report concludes that sextortion, which occurs at the intersection of sexual violence and corruption must be clearly defined as a form of corruption and a criminal offence. The report continues with policy recommendations for the country of origin, transit and destination both in the realm of anti-corruption as well as women’s empowerment and concludes with suggestions for furthe research.