The smuggler : hero or felon?
Title: The smuggler : hero or felon?
Author: ACHILLI, Luigi
Series/Number: Migration Policy Centre; Policy Briefs; 2015/10
External link: http://www.migrationpolicycentre.eu/
The general public and the media have had fun fantasising about the motives and interests that push migrants to embark on dangerous journeys across the sea. Smuggling is often understood through a simplification of both the clandestine traveller and the smuggler: a process of abstraction that overlooks any ambiguities and nuances. While researchers have abundantly studied the profile of the migrant, they had been less interested in the other key actor of the clandestine migration: the smuggler. Who is the smuggler? How does s/he operate? Why do migrants place their lives in the smuggler’s hands? The goal of this paper is to attend to the complexity of the phenomenon by looking at human smuggling across the Adriatic Sea. In light of the need to elaborate an adequate policy response to this phenomenon, a better understanding of smuggling is pivotal in ensuring the security of the receiving state and that of the migrant. With this task in mind, this paper problematizes the figure of the smugglers beyond overly simplistic generalizations and representations. In so doing, this paper argues that a truly effective answer to human smuggling would require the EU and its state members to concentrate on reducing “demand” rather than curbing “supply.”
Type of Access: openAccess