The Global Initiative Network

Expert, GI-TOC staff member

Mark Micallef

Director of the North Africa and Sahel Observatory, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Mark Micallef is Director of the North Africa and Sahel Observatory at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime, where he leads research on organized crime, based on a field network of more than 160 Monitors, comprising local journalists, researchers and academics, established in in Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, southern Algeria, Niger, Chad, Mali and Sudan.

He is a researcher focused on smuggling and trafficking networks in Libya and the Sahel and an investigative journalist by background. His speciality is human smuggling and trafficking in Libya and bordering Sahelian states, and has been engaged with irregular migration from Africa to Europe for more than 15 years. As a journalist he reported extensively from Libya, both before and after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddaf as well as during the 2011 revolution itself with dispatches from Benghazi, Ajdabija and Ras Lanuf during the rebels’ advance on Sirte, where Gaddafi was eventually found and killed. Since then he has conducted extensive fieldwork and research on organised crime, non-state armed groups, smuggling and trafficking networks in Libya, Niger, Chad, Mali, Algeria, Sudan, Turkey, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Formerly, the News Editor at The Times of Malta, Micallef spent a substantial part of his career investigating crime. A probe in 2014 saw him track down in the UK and Dubai two Maltese businessmen wanted for multi-million-euro fraud.

Recent publications

Mark Micallef, Raouf Farrah (eds), Alexandre Bish, Victor Tanner, After the storm: Organized crime across the Sahel-Sahara following upheaval in Libya and Mali, November 2019

Mark Micallef, Shifting sands — Libya’s changing drug trafficking dynamics on the coastal and desert borders, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, November 2019

Mark Micallef (ed), Rupert Horsley and Alexandre Bish. The Human Conveyor Belt Broken. April, 2019.

Mark Micallef and Tuesday Reitano. The anti-human smuggling business and Libya’s political end game, Institute for Security Studies, January 2018.

Mark Micallef. Human Smuggling as Resource Predation – Militias and the Danger of Fostering the Anti-Smuggling Business in Libya, in Gabriella Sanchez and Luigi Achilli (Eds), Critical Insights on Irregular Migration Facilitation: Global Perspectives, European University Instritute, 2019.

Mark Micallef, 2017, Human Smuggling in a Conflict Zone – The Case of Post-Revolution Libya, in (John Coyne and Madeleine Nyst (Eds), People Smugglers Globally – 2017, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Australia.

Mark Micallef, The Human Conveyer Belt: the industrialisation of human smuggling and trafficking in post-revolution Libya, The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime, February 2017.

Tuesday Reitano and Mark Micallef, “Breathing space: the impact of the EU-Turkey deal on irregular migration,” Institute for Security Studies, November 2017.

Mark-Anthony Falzon and Mark Micallef, 2012, ‘Rights, Roots, and Routes: Local and Transnational Contexts of Extreme-Right Movements in Contemporary Malta,’ in Emmanuel Godin, Brian Jenkins and Andrea Mammone (Eds), Mapping the Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe, Routledge: London.