Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, Geneva
As has been the case over the past three years, 2018 has been characterized by the increasingly urgent efforts by European states to quell the flow of irregular migrants across the Mediterranean, put to sea in lethal ways by human smugglers in Libya. And 2018 is worthy of note, because it appears that those efforts are finally beginning to take hold: sea arrivals in Italy have dropped by almost 75%.
There has been growing recognition of the heightened need to respond to human trafficking in contexts of humanitarian crisis. Although there have been some positive developments, actors need to take into account pre-existing mechanisms and policies to develop more robust humanitarian protection programmes and counter-trafficking initiatives.
On 5 February, the ‘Zero Draft‘ of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration* was released by co-facilitators Mexico and Switzerland. The draft, which reflects the views of member states, UN agencies, civil society and academia expressed during extensive consultations in 2017, sets out 22 core objectives with a view to meeting a single aim – making migration work for all. The content of the draft now forms the basis for nine months of formal intergovernmental negotiations. The hope?
This post is the fifth instalment of UNTOC Watch, a new project from the Global Initiative that seeks to monitor and analyze how the UN System is responding to organized crime. The blog will address key issues that have emerged from ongoing discussions hosted by the Global Initiative on the relationship between organized crime and development.
The international debate packages the problem neatly but offers few solutions for Africa.
Combating human trafficking has become one of the biggest global challenges, attracting high-level pledges of support from world leaders, especially in the West.
Before the summer of 2015, few would have anticipated that what began as the secondary movement of Syrian refugees in Turkey towards Europe, would be swamped by citizens of a myriad of other nationalities. 885,000 people crossed the Aegean sea in 2016; 1.1 million if you measure from the summer of 2015 to summer of 2016; of which in total only 44% were Syrian. They were followed by nationals of Afghanistan and Iraq, but also Bangladesh and Pakistan, Eritrea and Sudan.
n the period 2013-16, more than 1.5 million people have converged towards Europe from across Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Some seek asylum from conflict, violence and humanitarian need; others are migrant workers taking the opportunity of a confluence of political instabilities and circumstance that has made migration to Europe more affordable and accessible than ever before.
The proliferation of human smuggling in Libya is both a criminal problem and a feature of Libya’s fracture into competing armed factions. Whilst most acutely perceived on Libya’s coast, it is in fact an illicit trade embedded across the country, encompassing and feeding on the political economy and geopolitics of Libya’s Southern, Eastern and Western borders.