Criminalizing migrants who steer the dinghies in the Mediterranean : a collateral effect of migration management?
Title: Criminalizing migrants who steer the dinghies in the Mediterranean : a collateral effect of migration management?
Author: RICARD-GUAY, Alexandra
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2018/32; Global Governance Programme-309; [Cultural Pluralism]
Amidst the increased irregular sea migration in the Central Mediterranean in recent years (2014-2017), one issue remained greatly overlooked: that of migrants’ who become involved in steering the dinghies (as driver or helper) bringing them and others from Libya to Italy (scafista). The paper examines some of the contentious questions that arise from the criminalisation of alleged ‘boat drivers’ who are often chosen by the Libyan smugglers among the other migrants and international protection seekers; at times under coercion and threat. Based on case law analysis, as well as information collected through qualitative interviews and desk research, the paper analyses to what extent the conditions under which migrants/international protection seekers are pushed to drive the boat can be taken into consideration to prevent their criminalisation. The penal principle of ‘state of necessity’ – that enables to lift the criminal liability- and the argument that some situations of coercive recruitment of ‘transporters’ may be considered trafficking in persons are discussed.
Subject: Smuggling; Trafficking; Central Mediterranean migration; Italy
Type of Access: openAccess