Macro trends in the smuggling of migrants into Europe: An analytical exploration
n this paper I take a closer look at the recent trends in two key migrant smuggling routes into the European Union — the eastern and the central Mediterranean — with the aim of identifying the analytical and empirical features of the markets for smuggling services. I show that these markets have the ability to expand considerably and often over a short period of time. I then argue that this is consistent with the presence of many competitive enterprises, low barriers to entry, low skills and (relatively) low capital requirements. The costs to the smugglers of monitoring agents and clients are also likely to be modest, particularly in comparison with human trafficking. The paper concludes by discussing some policy implications, including the adoption of land-based policies (regarded as more effective than naval operations).
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