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Exploitation in Human Trafficking and Smuggling

Article

Abstract

This article explores the mechanisms that underpin human smuggling and trafficking. It argues for the continued analytical relevance of the distinction between “trafficking” and “smuggling”, as posited by the 2000 UN Protocols. While this distinction has come under sustained criticism from several authors over the last 15 years, it nonetheless continues to capture the essential features of two distinct phenomena (control over a human being vs. illegal entry into a country), and acknowledges the role of agency in smuggling. The paper goes on to discuss three different scenarios that may emerge as a result of the interplay between smugglers and smuggled persons, and it specifies the role of exploitation in each scenario. In addition, the paper offers empirical evidence of the key building blocks of smuggling — namely the search for reliable information and the reaching of an agreement in regard to the service offered — and of how smuggling can turn into trafficking. This work concludes by drawing out the relevant policy implications.

Keywords

Exploitation Human trafficking Informal agreements Migrant smuggling 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are listed in alphabetic order. We are grateful to three anonymous referees, the Editor and Michael Biggs for extremely helpful suggestions on how to improve the article. We are also grateful to audiences at the 14th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology (Budapest, 4–7 September 2013) and the workshop ‘Trafficking and Smuggling: A European Perspective’ (Nuffield College Oxford, 2 December 2013). We also have a debt of gratitude to Giorgia Cigalla for carrying out the interview in Bologna.

Funding

This work was supported by the European Union/FP7 Framework (Fiducia Project, Grant agreement 290563, FP7-SSH-2011-12).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of CriminologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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