Migrant, Refugee, Smuggler, Savior

Peter Tinti and Tuesday Reitano. Oxford Univ., $29.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-19-066859-4
In this orderly and well-argued study, journalist Tinti and organized crime expert Reitano state that smuggling networks for migrants have arisen due to a global economy in which “necessity demands movement but few legal options are available.” Global mobility, they believe, has “outpaced the international community’s capacity to make the necessary changes.” The result is a complex market for human smuggling. This book, described as “somewhere between a work of journalism and social science,” gives a detailed overview of this shadow economy, including the specifics of how migrants seeking better lives are suborned into drug smuggling and prostitution. The book is dense and fact-filled, yet full of human interest thanks to case studies of people like Esther, who hired smugglers to help her get from Nigeria to Libya and then to Spain only to find herself in servitude to human traffickers. The authors’ goal is to inform readers and move official policy in a more humane direction. Part one defines terms such as refugee, migrant, asylum-seeker, smuggling, and human trafficking, and examines the mechanisms of movement. Part two looks at the smuggling operations in various countries. Syria is a focus, but so are Libya, Egypt, and Turkey. This plea for better legal options should be essential reading for policymakers. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2017
Release date: 03/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
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