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Question 2 – media, academic and policy circles suggest that human smuggling is a gateway into human trafficking. Many times both terms are used interchangeably. Does your work provide any insight into these phenomena and what does that say about migration?
As we summarised in the concluding remarks of a recent report I just published with Monzini and Abdel Aziz, specific factors in the Mediterranean region "have produced a dramatic increase in the levels of vulnerability of migrants and refugees. This feature is made evident by the systematic emergence (along both the Central Mediterranean and Eastern Mediterranean routes) of situations in which en route migrants turn from customers of smugglers into victims of traffickers and/or local exploiters who take advantage of the total lack of protection and of the desperate need of the migrant to accumulate the resources needed to pay for the next migratory step. Such blurring in everyday migration realities of the officially defined legal boundaries between smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings as criminal behaviours is a key evolutionary trend which raises major challenges at the operational, political, and legal levels."
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