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Authors

Sydney Chuen

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This paper highlights Nimruz, Afghanistan and Agadez, Niger, which are people smuggling hubs that have both been influenced by the annual influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants on their journeys to Europe. Their growing regional prominence alludes to smugglers’ innovative capacity in response to a corrosive neo-imperialist environment that is exacerbated by Europe’s recent protectionist immigration policies. Nimruz and Agadez are compared as starting points for parallel migratory flows to Europe. They are case studies in terms of the business of people smuggling including economic dependency and its exigencies, the constant prevalence of terrorism in both areas which sets an even more desperate and precarious precedence, and the choice to engage smugglers as an ultimatum facing entire communities fleeing persecution, war, violence, and scarcity. People smuggling is linked inextricably to the economic, social, political, and cultural structures of both Nimruz and Agadez such that the persecution of smugglers causes more trans-continental damage and has the potential to generate widespread regional instability. Short-sighted policies fail to address root problems and will ultimately force migrants to find even more dangerous ways to circumvent Europe’s dominion over their movement. Given the sustained need to migrate, this would clear the path for more lucrative opportunists, potentially forming an even greater problem for Europe and the Global North as a whole—not to mention the thousands that will continue to lose their lives in the Global South as conditions remain unstable and the barriers to a better life stretch ever higher.

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