Critical Perspectives on Migrant Smuggling

Led by Jørgen Carling
Jan 2016 - Dec 2018

​​Migrant smuggling plays a key role in contemporary migration. The vast majority of migrants who seek protection in Europe as asylum seekers depend on smugglers in order to access the asylum system.

 Smugglers also facilitate unauthorized migration for employment. This project has four components: 

  1.  A mapping of existing data and research on migrant smuggling in West Africa, carried out in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM); 
  2.  A critical analysis of the relationship between states, migrants and smugglers, part of an international scholarly initiative led by Luigi Achilli (European University Institute) and Gabriella Sanchez (University of Texas at El Paso); and 
  3. participation in the process towards a Global Compact on Migration, with emphasis on strategies for confronting migrant smuggling.

Research Groups


Book Chapter

Carling, Jørgen (2016) West and Central Africa, in McAuliffe, Marie; & Frank Laczko, eds, Migrant Smuggling Data and Research: a Global Review of the Emerging Evidence Base. Geneva: International Organization for Migration (25–53).

Report - Other

Carling, Jørgen (2017) Expert Panellist Statement on the Smuggling of Migrants, Fifth Informal Thematic Session in the process towards a Global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. Vienna: Office of the President of the General Assembly, United Nations.


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