SMUGGLING OF MIGRANTS BY SEA: EU LEGAL FRAMEWORK AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVE
By Matilde Ventrella
The book focuses on smuggling of migrants by sea from Africa to Europe and on the scope of European Union (EU) legal framework on this crime. The book argues that people smuggled by sea should be protected by EU law when they become victims of human trafficking or as potential victims of human trafficking. For this purpose, the book analyses the Trafficking Directive and other EU laws on the protection of victims of human trafficking. The book argues that although smuggling and trafficking are two separate crimes, they can overlap. Consequently, the law on human trafficking can be extended to smuggled migrants when there is the overlapping. The book highlights that when the category of smuggled people by sea cannot be included in the legal framework on human trafficking, other laws on migration should be applied rather than returning people to their countries of origin or of residence where they will face the same poor conditions they left and thus, they would try to travel again to Europe by the support of criminal organisations perpetrating smuggling.
In order to prevent the smuggling of people, the book argues that different policies and laws should be applied. One policy should focus on fighting against the crimes of smuggling and trafficking by the support of EU agencies. The book states that Europol, Eurojust and Joint Investigation Teams should support EU Member States in the fight against smuggling and trafficking as these crimes can have a transnational dimension. However, fighting against these two crimes should be accompanied by developing economic policies in countries of origin or of residence.
The book concludes that the EU is very far away from finding solutions to prevent smuggling of migrants by sea. It is concentrated on short term solutions which will not reduce the smuggling of migrants and their trafficking.
Matilde Ventrella is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Liverpool John Moores University. Matilde has written many reviewed articles on human trafficking and a book titled “The control of people smuggling and trafficking in the EU: Experiences from the UK and Italy” Ashgate/Routledge, 2010.Matilde has expertise in conducting qualitative research on human trafficking and people smuggling and she is currently preparing an edited book for Bloomsbury Academy titled; Cultural History of Slavery & Human Trafficking.