What Pricing Tells Us About the Nature of the Smuggling Business

We are trying to combat an industry that we refuse to properly analyze, I explained via a blog on Refugees Deeply. More and better data on pricing and payments to smugglers could inform policies that actually reduce smugglers’ profits and provide for better migration planning. West Africans return to Niger from Libya on March 31, 2017. AFP/ISSOUF…

Libya: a patchwork state sewn together along trafficking lines

A series of airstrikes over the course of April 2017 in and around the town of Sebha in southwestern Libya have not made the international news.  But for Libyans they are extremely noteworthy.  Firstly, because they are the first airstrikes to target Sebha, the capital of the Libya’s Fezzan region, since the ‘liberation’ of Libya in 2011.  Secondly,…

Illicit Flows and Local Conflict Dynamics

Mark Shaw and I were very pleased to be able to contribute to a UN University lead research series on the “Crime-Conflict Nexus“, with an outstanding set of co-authors, including John de Boer, James Cockayne and Louise Bosetti from UNU; Vanda Felbab-Brown from the Brookings Institute, and Sasha Jesperson from RUSI. Our two papers were…

EU Policy Notes: OC-CT Nexus and intersection of Migration-CVE

By invitation of the CT-Morse project, a policy advisory, support and monitoring unit for the EU’s programmes in counter-terrorism, I’ve had the pleasure to lead the development of two policy notes: Examining the Nexus between Organised Crime and Terrorism, and its Implications for EU Programming Co-authored with Colin Clarke of Rand / ICCT-The Hague, and Laura…

People smuggling in Libya: You can’t bomb away a problem of economics

Europe seems to think force and arms are the solution to reducing people smuggling in the volatile and fluid Libya. Even Gaddafi knew better. Photo credit: Mark Shaw, Misrata 2012 Back in 2010, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi famously declared that if it weren’t for his rule in Libya, Europe would “turn black” with the “advance of millions of immigrants”.…

A Faustian approach to migration: how long can it hold?

The morally ambiguous deal that the EU has made with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to stop the surge of migrants across the Aegean is a mere 8 months old, and it is already failing on multiple fronts. The EU’s €6 billion pact was a Faustian agreement: it may have dampened down the extreme levels…