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Analysis of legal, social and technical aspects and measures to detect illegal migration and confrontation against immigrant smuggling

Funded by


Funded by Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) as part of the disclosure: „Zivile Sicherheit – Fragen der Migration“.


February 2019 – January 2022

Project Partner


  • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg – Materialforschungszentrum
  • Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin
  • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg – Medizinische FakultätIrcam GmbH
  • Fraunhofer-Institut für Kurzzeitdynamik (EMI), Freiburg
  • Fraunhofer-Institut für Hochfrequenzphysik und Radartechnik (FHR), Wachtberg
  • Technische Universität Berlin

Associated Partner:

  • Bundespolizeipräsidium, Potsdam
  • Polizeipräsidium Ludwigsburg

Description of the Project

To reach Germany, refugees take a great risk overcoming its boarders. For example, they can be crammed onto load floor of a truck by criminal smugglers, just as it was in January 2017 in Upper Bavaria, when a smuggler left his transport with 19 asylum seekers on an unheated truck floor alone at temperatures of minus 20 degrees. In view of this problem, it is necessary to minimize the danger for refugees. At the same time, uncontrolled smuggling of people, also as an interest of ones regulated refugee policy, should be detected and prevented.

Goals and Actions
STRATUM's investigation point is practical feasibility as well as ethical and legal viability of using mobile detection methods to expose illegal border crossings in vehicles. In addition to that, another devices such as infrared thermographic cameras and terahertz cameras should be applied and checked in terms of usability: whether these devices can detect a vehicle in the flowing traffic with the hidden people in it. Sideward all technical developments and investigations will be accompanied in view of legal conformity and data protection.

Innovations and perspectives
Currently, vehicles can only be inspected for possible smuggling victims through time-consuming stationary individual inspections. The smugglers often know the locations of stationary controls and drive them around. Due to the mobile use of the new detection methods, smugglers can be caught faster in flowing traffic and their victims will be freed from a dangerous hide. Moreover the illegal border crossing can be better confronted.

Zusatzinformationen / Extras

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Christiane Howe


Zentrum Technik und Gesellschaft
Sec. KAI 3-2
10553 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0)30 314-23665
Fax: +49 (0)30 314-12323665