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The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime would invited you to a presentation of the findings of a research project on human smuggling from Africa to Europe, funded by the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF). in the Global Initiative’s headquarters in Geneva on the 8th of December

According to Europol, some 90% of irregular migration to Europe is ‘facilitated’ by smugglers or criminal groups who are paid to provide services such as transportation, fraudulent identification, corruption of border officials and settlement services. They exert influence on not only who moves, but also how, when and where people move.  They also impact the safety and security of migrants along the journey, and the long-term stability of the states through which they transit.

Our research team sat down with smugglers themselves in Libya, Turkey, in the Sahel and in Sub-Saharan Africa to understand who are the smugglers behind Europe’s migration crisis, to understand how they operate, what drew them into the trade, and how they are responding to international community efforts to end illicit migration.

In this meeting, we sought to identify the key characteristics of contemporary migrant smuggling, the way the industry is structured and has developed in response to EU policies, and to explore the possible implications for the future of irregular migration.


Video available here.


Speakers included:

  • Ottilia Maunganidze, Head, Special Projects, ISS (Chair)
  • Matthew Herbert, Senior Program Officer, Strategic Capacity Group
  • Mark Micallef, Executive Director, Migrant Report
  • Tuesday Reitano, Deputy Director, Global Initiative
  • Gabriella Sanchez, Assistant Professor, National Security Studies Institute, University of Texas El Paso
  • Peter Tinti, Senior Researcher, Global Initiative

The research and policy reports are available here.