Migrant, Refugee, Smuggler, Saviour investigates one of the most under-examined aspects of the great migration crisis of our time. As millions seek passage to Europe in order to escape conflicts, repressive governments and poverty, their movements are enabled and actively encouraged by professional criminal networks that earn billions of dollars. Many of these smugglers carry out their activities with little regard for human rights, which has led to a manifold increase in human suffering, not only in the Mediterranean Sea, but also along the overland smuggling routes that cross the Sahara, penetrate deep into the Balkans, and into hidden corners of Europe's capitals. But others are revered as saviours by those that they move, for it is they who deliver men, women and children to a safer place and better life. Disconcertingly, it is often criminals who help the most desperate among us when the international system turns them away.
This book is a measured attempt, born of years of research and reporting in the field, to better understand how people-smuggling networks function, the ways in which they have evolved, and what they mean for peace and security in the future.