The anti-human smuggling business and Libya's political end game

Is the Libyan peace process being undermined by Italy and the EU's actions to curb migrant arrivals?

The hyper focus on stemming the flow of migrants via Libya by Italy and the European Union (EU), is encouraging an anti-smuggling business to emerge. Militia leaders, sensing an imminent end to the political status quo, are attempting to launder their reputations by accepting incentives to serve as law enforcement partners of international donors. This co-option creates instability, sabotages the state-building process and further drives the exploitation and abuse of migrants in the country. A stability-first approach is needed.

About the authors

Mark Micallef is an independent investigative journalist and Senior Fellow with the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (Global Initiative). For over ten years, he has researched human migration from Africa to Europe and reported extensively from Libya. Mark also carried out in-depth research on human smuggling and trafficking, including fieldwork in Libya, Turkey, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Tuesday Reitano is the Deputy Director of the Global Initiative and a senior research consultant for the Institute for Security Studies. For 12 years, Tuesday was a United Nations policy specialist. She has written numerous reports for, among others, the World Bank and OECD. With Peter Tinti, Tuesday co-authored Migrant, Refugee; Smuggler, Saviour, a book on the role of smugglers in Europe's migration crisis.

Picture: Mark Micallef

Development partners
This report was made possible with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The ISS is also grateful for support from the other members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the European Union and the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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