Migrant Smuggling: Irregular Migration from Asia and Africa by A. Triandafyllidou, Thanos Maroukis

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By A. Triandafyllidou, Thanos Maroukis

This books explores the phenomenon of abnormal migration, particularly the association and function of migrant smuggling networks in assisting abnormal migration from Asia and Africa to Europe. It additionally discusses how migration keep watch over guidelines in southern ecu nations form the migrant smuggling phenomenon and the smuggling 'business'.

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During its new mandate, started in 2008, the Berlusconi government put strong emphasis on security and combating irregular migration both within the country and at the border. As Triandafyllidou and Ambrosini argue (2011), the surveillance of Italian shores took a symbolic importance for the government. Among other measures adopted to boost security within Italy, the government gave priority to stopping the flows of irregular migrants and asylum seekers from Libya to Lampedusa. In early 2009 the Minister of the Interior, Roberto Maroni, stopped transferring irregular migrants apprehended on the island to mainland Italy, creating temporarily an unbearable situation for local inhabitants and apprehended migrants alike.

According to Acosta (2009), the Commission included in the draft legislation the facility to use a Community Return Fund in order to co-finance the legal assistance offered to the immigrant concerned, as required by the Directive (Art. 13(4)). The Return Fund is also a means of ‘sharing the burden’, as demands are made largely by the member states at the Mediterranean border, and is indeed a necessary provision for the development of a common approach to immigration in the EU. According to Peers (2008), who analysed the possible effects of the Directive, there is a risk that member states with higher standards will lower them to the minimum allowed under the Directive.

In the concluding chapter, we provide an overview of migrant smuggling across the Mediterranean both as a business that involves actors that are in it only for profit and as a social process that explores the social and cultural aspects of the phenomenon, for instance the role of kinship and co-ethnic networks, the organization of the smuggling along racial or ethnic lines, and the gendered nature of the experience (the trip is experienced in different ways by men and women and this is an aspect worth exploring even if women are overall underrepresented in migrant smuggling across the Mediterranean).

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