States, Migrants, and the Challenge of International Human Smuggling and Trafficking in the Horn of Africa

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Assefaw Bariagaber


Countering the smuggling and trafficking of persons from the Horn of Africa to Western Europe and preventing the ensuing violations of the human rights of migrants has long been a challenge for states and international organizations. Focusing on the roles human smugglers, traffickers, and states play in smuggling and trafficking in persons, the study explains the persistence of smuggling and trafficking in terms of the following variables: (1) high supply of migrants, (2) profitability of the smuggling and trafficking in persons criminal business, (3) low level of prosecution and conviction of human smugglers and traffickers, (4) migrant, smuggler and trafficker efficient use of modern means of communications, and (5) divergent state policies and priorities on countering smuggling and trafficking in persons. The study concludes with an observation that the irregular human migration from the region and the attendant serious violations of migrant rights is difficult to resolve because it is a state-enabled
phenomenon, and calls upon states, particularly EU member states, to revisit their policies to effect human migration that will benefit all stakeholders.

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