Beyond legality and illegality : Palestinian informal networks and the ethno-political facilitation of irregular migration from Syria
Title: Beyond legality and illegality : Palestinian informal networks and the ethno-political facilitation of irregular migration from Syria
Citation: Journal of ethnic and migration studies, 2019, OnlineFirst
Series/Number: [Global Governance Programme]; [Cultural Pluralism]
ISSN: 1469-9451; 1369-183X
Contemporary studies on human smuggling and irregular migration have often overlooked the importance of national ties in the formation of transnational networks able to support refugees throughout their journey and settlement in the country of arrival. Nonetheless, the ability to support and help people through informal networks is something that has increasingly characterised the flow of refugees from areas of conflict. This paper focuses on the experience of Palestinian refugees from the Yarmouk camp – a refugee camp established in the outskirts of Damascus that fell under the control of the Islamic State (IS) and other fighting forces after the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011. Our research provides an anthropological investigation into the social and political roots of networks of solidarity established by Palestinian youth from Syria across the Middle East. In so doing, the paper strives to accomplish two goals. First, it aims at analysing the importance of informal networks in irregular migration, beyond the narrow framework of exploitation and criminality. Secondly, it seeks to move beyond the discussion of whether migration flows are best defined in terms of legality or illegality and to examine how these aspects are ultimately interconnected.
Subject: Irregular migration; Syria; Human smuggling; Palestinian refugees
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