Survive and Advance: The Economics of Smuggling Refugees and Migrants into Europe

North African migrants at Lampedusa. Photo: Vito Manzari

Africans from throughout the continent have long sought entrance to Europe for diverse reasons. Such movement has swelled since 2011, when the fall of the Qaddafi regime in Libya opened a convenient and hassle-free transit point for people smugglers. A global surge in refugees supercharged these existing African networks, with customers from Syria flying visa-free to Sudan and engaging people smugglers for passage into Europe. The growth of these networks has fueled increased human exploitation, illicit finance, and border penetration, and invites concern that they may transform into durable and corrosive transnational crime networks.

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Security Topics: Africa Security Trends