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European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies

Schuman Shelf - Global Human Smuggling: Buying Freedom in a Retreating World

Human smuggling is a complex concept that is often clouded by simplistic narratives and common misconceptions. Professor Luigi Achilli introduces his latest co-edited work with Professor David Kyle, exploring the intricate web of historical roots and complex global dynamics surrounding human smuggling.

05 December 2023 | Publication - Video

"We aimed to present a nuanced, empirical-based perspective on this phenomenon", shares Luigi Achilli when asked the motivation behind writing the book. Focused on bridging the gap between academia and public discourse, the contributors aim to offer a clear-eyed view of human smuggling. 

The book underscores the multifaceted nature of human smuggling, acknowledging risks while highlighting its role in facilitating global mobility. The authors advocate for a balanced understanding, viewing human smuggling not solely as a criminal act but as a response to global inequalities and restrictive migration policies.

In an earlier interview, Luigi Achilli emphasises that human smuggling is "more multifaceted than solely an avenue of exploitation". His research finds strong evidence of solidarity, trust and cooperation between the smugglers and the smuggled, showing that "there are nuanced layers of human interactions, motives, and circumstances that we must consider." He also explored to what extent human smuggling a criminal enterprise driven by solidarity and cooperation is in the MAPS project ('Migrants And People Smugglers').

Order the book 'Global Human Smuggling: Buying Freedom in a Retreating World' here and find Luigi Achilli's research on human smuggling on Cadmus

Last update: 05 December 2023

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