Freedom of Movement, Refugees, Traffickers, and Smugglers




University of Kent


Future Learn


Free (certificate fee: USD$ 28, optional)

Available in



This course investigates the role, reach, and scope of border controls in generating modern forms and means of flight. It is offered by the University of Kent through Future Learn, an online education platform.

The course explores the tension between international legal obligations and national sovereignty. It delves into the overall strengths and weaknesses of the Refugee Convention, especially as it relates to 21st Century migration. The last module of the course examines the ways in which the anti-trafficking and the anti-smuggling treaties serve to further strengthen border controls and increase the vulnerability of migrants fleeing violence and persecution.

Some of the learning outcomes of the course are:

  • Identifying the role(s) that borders have in the generation of modern forms and means of flight
  • Evaluating some of the shortcomings of the Refugee Convention 1951
  • Exploring the right to freedom of movement in the context of modern migration patterns
  • Evaluating the UN anti-smuggling and anti-trafficking regimes and their impact on migrants and migration