Documenting legal cases against people helping irregular migrants, known as crimes of solidarity and humanitarianism.

About the project

Welcome to a new database website documenting crimes of solidarity and humanitarianism. This is a project led by Dr. Lucy Mayblin at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Around the world, a growing number of people are subjected to criminal measures for helping irregular migrants, including those who are seeking asylum. Acts as simple as leaving water in the desert, saving someone from drowning in the sea, giving someone a lift to a medical facility, or a bed for the night, lead those offering such assistance open to arrest and imprisonment. While activists keep records of arrests in different countries, and there has been a lot of research in Europe on the criminalisation of solidarity activities, we currently have little understanding of this as a global phenomenon. The Crimes of Solidarity and Humanitarianism database aims to build understanding of criminalisation across borders for research and resistance.

Research indicates that there is no typical offender profile. Internationally, people of all immigration and citizenship statuses, ages, and a wide range of occupations from nuns to farmers to university academics have been subject to these measures. A range of laws are deployed to criminalise solidarity and humanitarian activities. These include laws against facilitating entry (smuggling) and stay, but also anti-terror, anti-organised crime, anti-protest, and anti-NGO legislation; holding dangerous weapons, endangering maritime and airport security, driving an unsafe vessel, espionage, criminal association and membership of a criminal network or gang. All of these laws are deployed to stop people from helping others.

We need your help to build the database. Please use the 'add a case' tab to add any cases that you know of anywhere in the world. Cases can be added in any language. Add as much information as possible, and any corroborating evidence so that the case can be verified.


Lucy Mayblin


Common Knowledge





The website has been enabled by a fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust and has been directly funded via University of Sheffield Public Engagement funding.