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12 July 2017

Predators and victims media picture of irregular migration too simplistic says study

Long-established methods of irregular migration have become increasingly stigmatized, traveling clandestinely being perceived as an inherently — and uniquely — criminal activity, says new research from the Centre for Migration Studies.

The dominate characterisation of smugglers as predators and migrants and asylum seekers as victims has often obscured the perspectives of those who rely on smugglers for their mobility.

Many smugglers do take advantage of the naiveté and helplessness of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, stripping them of their valuables and abandoning them to their fate during their journeys. Yet the relationships that emerge between smugglers and those who rely on their services are much more complex, and quite often, significantly less heinous than what media and law enforcement suggest, concludes the study.