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European research project on Human Smuggling

Human Smuggling and Trafficking in Migrants: Types, Origins and Dynamics in a Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspective

Human smuggling and trafficking are closely related aspects of one type of international migration which has recently become a new mass phenomenon in western European countries, as well as in other parts of the world. Although this phenomenon is of considerable importance also politically, there are only very few empirical findings available on this topic. The project aims to close this research gap.

Together with researchers from Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy the project tried to identify the various countries of origin and backgrounds, to describe the different types of smuggler organisation and to explain the inherent dynamics of smuggling operations. In this way light was to be shed on transnational as well as country-specific developments and structures of human smuggling and trafficking. Besides the analysis of police final reports and court files of smuggling cases, direct access was to be gained via interviews. Interviews were carried out with experts from the fields of politics and the police, with representatives of churches and welfare organisations, and not least with smuggled persons themselves. The project was financed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Completion: Summer 2005
Researchers: Matthias Neske, Stefan Rühl
Publication: Forum Migration 10: Menschenschmuggel. Deutschland als Transit- und Zielland irregulärer Migration. Matthias Neske (author). Lucius & Lucius Verlag, Stuttgart 2007 (in German language)

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