The book reports the research conducted within the Project FLOWS. It gives the opportunity to delve deeper into the theoretical reasoning and empirical evidence behind the findings and supporting the policy proposals. The book, edited by Ernesto U. Savona, Rob T. Guerette, and Alberto Aziani will be available on the website of Springer International in April 2022. The book focuses on the:

  • Theoretical and technical framework of the dynamics of displacement and convergence applied to transnational crimes;
  • Historical, legislative, and geopolitical description of displacement and convergence of human smuggling and drug trafficking in North Africa and across the Mediterranean Sea;
  • Description of the structure and evolution of human smuggling and drug trafficking routes in North Africa and the Mediterranean Sea, and evaluation of their causes and determinant factors;
  • Analysis of the possible displacement and convergence effects associated with changes in enforcement activities.

The Displacement and Convergence of Transnational Crime Flows Rob T. Guerette, Florida International University Alberto Aziani, Università Cattolica and Transcrime

Abstract

This chapter delineates the concepts of displacement and convergence of transnational crimes. Extant theorizing on crime displacement has typically focused on micro-level dynamics (individual/situational), while macro-level (regional/national/transnational) analyses have hitherto developed in a largely fragmented manner via various studies of specific transnational crime types. Similarly, empirical studies on displacement have also rarely gone beyond urban crimes and small-scale geographical units, such as single street blocks, shopping centers, or parking lots. The related concept of crime convergence, which refers to the merging of crimes, at a particular place or time, and also with respect to specific targets, offenses, tactics or offenders, following a change in the penal laws or law enforcement activities, has received even less attention in analyses of transnational crimes. Nevertheless, the underlying rationale for the idea of crime displacement and convergence is potentially equally applicable to transnational crimes. This chapter explains why and how the concepts of crime displacement and convergence can be expedient tools, both for understanding transnational crime and for designing policies to combat it, insofar as they allow for a deeper consideration of the potential consequences of various preventive measures.

Autor
Rob T. Guerette, Florida International University

Rob T. Guerette is Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice in the Steven J. Green School for International & Public Affairs at Florida International University (FIU). He has published extensively in the areas of trans-national crime, program and policy evaluation, and crime pattern analysis for crime prevention. In addition to his work analysing domestic crime patterns, his research has focused on human smuggling and kidnapping for ransom. He was a Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University and will serve as a U.S. Fulbright Specialist to Iceland in Fall 2021.

Alberto Aziani, Università Cattolica and Transcrime

Alberto Aziani is Assistant Professor at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan and Researcher at Transcrime. He holds a PhD in Criminology and a MSc in Economics and Social Sciences. His main research interests are Transnational Crimes, Organized Crime, Illicit Markets, and Illicit Financial Flows. On these topics, he has conducted studies and developed projects for international organizations and funding institutions. He cooperates with the UN and the EC in research projects related to illicit drug trafficking and money laundering.

Trafficking in the Mediterranean World: A Historical Perspective Sasha D. Pack, University at Buffalo

Abstract

This chapter presents a historical overview of the illicit trafficking of humans and goods both around and across the Mediterranean world. Although it has become a pressing problem for law enforcement in the 21st century, this type of activity has been a constant feature of the region’s history for more than two millennia. The argument delineated in this paper is that although there are not perfect parallels to be drawn between the contemporary situation and historical events, we can nevertheless identify historical antecedents for today’s traffickers in the activities of pirates, bandits, smugglers, and others who have formed part of the intensive flow of people and goods around the Middle Sea since ancient times. Each historical era has presented new opportunities and dangers for traffickers, who are forced to adapt to ongoing transformations in regional politics, inter-imperial relations, technology, and international law.

Autor
Sasha D. Pack, University at Buffalo

Sasha D. Pack is Associate Professor of History at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. He is a historian of Modern Europe, specializing in Spain and the Mediterranean world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His thematic interests include the comparative history of authoritarian and fascist regimes, the history of travel and tourism, and modern international and transnational history.

Human smuggling in the Mediterranean: A Comparative Analysis of the Central and Eastern Mediterranean Smuggling Routes Luigi Achilli, European University Institute

Abstract

By building on a mixed-methods approach that combines the use of secondary sources with ethnographic research, this paper compares two separate smuggling contexts—the Eastern Mediterranean route via Turkey and the Central Mediterranean corridor via Libya. While the analysis provides an overview of the phenomenon since its inception in the early 1990s, primarily it focuses on its evolution over the last five years. Comparing these two smuggling routes allows for a broader consideration of the nature of human smuggling and border controls, insofar as these two routes constitute the most important smuggling hubs in the world. Furthermore, European Union Member States’ responses to human smuggling have hitherto been fairly homogenous—criminalizing clandestine migration, while, simultaneously, militarizing border control. However, human smuggling has been in a continual state of evolution within both these contexts, with smugglers employing a wide range of techniques along the Eastern Mediterranean route and across the Central Mediterranean corridor, respectively. This chapter identifies the similarities and differences in the organizational structures of these respective smuggling networks, provides profiles of human smugglers, and sheds light on the smuggler-migrant relationship. In so doing, the analysis presented in this chapter attempts to provide a nuanced and comprehensive understanding of how enforcement and policy interventions are primarily responsible for the convergence and displacement of smuggling activities within the region.

Autor
Luigi Achilli, European University Institute

Luigi Achilli is currently Research Associate at the Migration Policy Centre at the European University Institute. He holds a M.A. and a Ph.D. in political anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He taught at Cambridge, SOAS, and various universities in the Middle East and Europe. His research and writing focus on irregular migration and smuggling networks, refugee studies, political engagement and nationalism in the Middle East, and the Palestinian issue. Ethnographic in approach, his work is based on extensive field research in the in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean countries.

Global Cocaine Flows, Geographical Displacement, and Crime Convergence Tim Boekhout van Solinge, TBVS Consultancy

Abstract

This chapter adopts a geographical and criminological perspective to examine the world’s major cocaine smuggling routes, namely from the northwest of South America to the U.S. and Europe. It provides practical examples of crime displacement and analyzes how and why cocaine trafficking routes have evolved and changed geographically over the course of the last half century. It pays particular attention to the concept of place and the comparative advantage of certain places (countries or subnational places) in the illegal supply chain of cocaine.

At various places along the two main global illegal supply chains of cocaine—in Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, Spain, Morocco and The Netherlands—crime convergence can be observed, particularly in those places where emerging cocaine smuggling routes profited from previously established cannabis smuggling routes. In the wake of the ever-growing large-scale cocaine trade, this type of crime displacement and crime convergence is also associated with increased risks of violence and corruption along cocaine smuggling routes.

Autor
Tim Boekhout van Solinge, TBVS Consultancy

Tim Boekhout van Solinge is an Amsterdam-based independent criminologist and consultant. He is also research fellow/guest lecturer at the Department of Criminology of Erasmus university Rotterdam. Tim holds a MA in human geography (University of Amsterdam) and a PhD in criminology (Utrecht University). He is specialized in the geographical and criminological analysis of transnational illegal activities and trafficking routes in various countries and regions.

Human Smuggling in North Africa: A Preliminary Exploration of Macro- and Micro-level Displacement Effects Paolo Campana, University of Cambridge

Abstract

This chapter offers a first preliminary assessment of displacement effects in the context of human smuggling from North Africa to Italy and Spain. Overall, there is little evidence of macro-level spatial displacement between the two routes—apart from a brief period following the strict “closed ports” policy adopted by Italy in June 2018. Yet, this displacement remained limited in terms of both time and volume, thus pointing toward an overall combined reduction in flows. Next, the chapter focuses on the local crackdown in Zuwara (Libya) in order to explore micro-level displacement effects. While it finds evidence of some degree of spatial displacement to a nearby city, the majority of human smugglers reportedly opted for a strategy of offence displacement, namely switching to oil smuggling, while a limited number desisted and switched to legal activities. Further, smugglers appeared to adapt their modus operandi to changes in the policy environment, which underscores that tactical displacement can take place relatively quickly and to a considerable extent.

Finally, the chapter sheds light on the key role played by governance institutions, including local militias, in fostering the conditions for smuggling to thrive, which, in turn, triggers a process of convergence of smuggling activities. The evidence presented in the chapter raises several policy implications, including the need to establish coordinated crime prevention policies—particularly along the same route. These policies should primarily address the local conditions on land rather than at sea, they need to take into account potential unintended consequences as well as their impact on the human rights of migrants and asylum-seekers.

Autor
Paolo Campana, University of Cambridge

Paolo Campana is a lecturer at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. He is an academic expert on human smuggling, currently working on smuggling and trafficking of human beings into Europe. On this topic, he has recently published in Crime&Justice (“Human Smuggling: Structure and Mechanisms”, 2020), European Journal of Criminology (“Out of Africa: The Organization of Migrant Smuggling across the Mediterranean”, 2018), Policing (“The Market for Human Smuggling into Europe: A Macro Perspective”, 2017), and the European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research (“Exploitation in Human Trafficking and Smuggling”, 2016).

Displacement of human smuggling: An exploratory analysis of the effects of Law 82/2016 in Egypt Gianluca Bertoni, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Transcrime Alberto Aziani, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Transcrime

Abstract

Although crime displacement has been extensively investigated, there is a relative dearth of studies on the displacement of transnational crime. Despite the scarcity of literature, it is nevertheless routinely argued in the public sphere that interventions aimed at curtailing crime in a given country may simply displace it somewhere else. In particular, human smuggling is believed to be rather fluid and responsive to changes in the situational landscape, such as renewed enforcement actions and normative changes. Whether this is the case or not remains an unsolved question. Hence, this study seeks to investigate displacement dynamics vis-à-vis the temporal and spatial discontinuity in the regulatory environment produced by Egyptian government’s introduction of Law 82/2016. Specifically, the study exploits geo-temporal data on missing migrants, as well as data on arrivals to Europe, in order to investigate the spatial and target displacement of human smuggling in the Mediterranean during the months following the introduction of Law 82/2016. The results indicate that although the introduction of Law 82/2016 produced almost no target displacement, it likely resulted in the spatial displacement of human smuggling routes, with a marked intensification—in relative terms—in the flows along the Central and Western Mediterranean routes. These results, although exploratory, nonetheless support the hypothesis concerning the adaptability of human smuggling. In this respect, a better understanding of the dynamics underlying displacement of human smuggling would aid the designing of more coordinated criminal policies, with respect to both the safeguarding of human rights and enhancing the effectiveness of counter-smuggling efforts.

Autor
Gianluca Bertoni, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Transcrime

Gianluca Bertoni obtained a MSc degree in Economic and Social Sciences from Bocconi University in March 2019. From June 2019 to February 2021 he was a Researcher at Transcrime, while from February to June 2018 he was an intern at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers (DG JUST) in Brussels, working in the Economic Analysis and Evaluation Unit, collaborating on the 2018 edition of the “Consumer Market Scoreboard” and the “Behavioural study on advertising and marketing practices in social media”.

 

Alberto Aziani, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Transcrime

Alberto Aziani is Assistant Professor at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan and Researcher at Transcrime. He holds a PhD in Criminology and a MSc in Economics and Social Sciences. His main research interests are Transnational Crimes, Organized Crime, Illicit Markets, and Illicit Financial Flows. On these topics, he has conducted studies and developed projects for international organizations and funding institutions. He cooperates with UN and the EC in research projects related to illicit drug trafficking and money laundering.

Can Migration Flows be Controlled? The Effects of the Italian 2017–2018 Policy Against Illegal Immigration Martina Elena Marchesi, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Transcrime

Abstract

The Italian migration control policy during 2017–2018 that sought to combat illegal migration caused a significant reduction in the number of sea arrivals to Italy, especially after Libyan non-state actors began to collaborate with the Government of National Accord to prevent emigration. However, variations in the absolute number of migrants on move is not sufficient in itself to conclude that a migration policy has been effective. Displacement/substitution effects can occur, which means that a policy could lead migration flows to relocate across time/space, change characteristics, or cause manifold side effects, rather than simply ceasing migration. These effects might reduce the intended impact of the policy. In the case of the Italian migration control policy during 2017–2018, some displacement/substitution effects did occur: a spatial redirection of migration flows originating in the North-Western African continent from Italy to Spain and Greece; a decrease or relocation of migrant smugglers; deterioration in migrant smuggling services, which, in turn, made the Central Mediterranean Route even more dangerous than it had been in the past; and the seeds of a possible intertemporal relocation of migration flows in the future. All these elements must be considered when evaluating the impact of the Italian migration control policy of 2017–2018 against illegal migration.

Autor
Martina Elena Marchesi, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Transcrime

Martina Elena Marchesi holds a PhD in Criminology and a Master’s Degree with honours in International Cooperation and Development at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan. In 2020, she did a visiting period at Leiden University. Formerly she was a Researcher at Transcrime, and Associate Managing Editor of the European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research. Her areas of research are human trafficking, migrations, transnational organised crime and illicit markets. On these topics, she conducted studies and collaborated in different international projects.

Does Human Smuggling Converge with Other Transnational Crimes in North Africa and the Mediterranean Area? Marina Mancuso, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Transcrime Francesca Maldi, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Transcrime

Abstract

This study investigates the convergence between human smuggling and other transnational crimes (i.e., trafficking of drugs, tobacco, weapons, wildlife, cultural artefacts, fake medicines, fuel) in North Africa and the Mediterranean Area. Although the available literature posits that there is a convergence between these different forms of illegal trade, the evidence to support this is scant and largely anecdotal, in part, due to the paucity of data. This research adopts an innovative methodology that is capable of gathering information on a multitude of human smuggling events, by virtue of carrying out a text mining exercise on online news and press releases published in English, French and Arabic during the period January 2011–December 2019. This methodology allows for the identification of whether, and if so to what extent, there is a convergence between human smuggling and the specific types of transnational crimes considered in this study. The results provide a preliminary indication that a marginal and episodic convergence exists, but the intensity of this convergence varies over time and according to illicit markets. The most recurrent convergence is between human smuggling and drug trafficking, while other relevant forms of convergence relate to trafficking of weapons, tobacco, fuel and wildlife. An ancillary content analysis of the news articles also indicates that there is a potential convergence in terms of routes, tactics and offenders. An exploratory analysis of the relationship between the observed convergence and law enforcement operations in the Mediterranean Area does not allow for the drawing of meaningful conclusions regarding the impact of law enforcement actions on this convergence. All the results have implications for both academic research and policy, insofar as they expand extant knowledge and provide policymakers with concrete insights into how to combat different transnational crimes.

Autor
Marina Mancuso, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Transcrime

Marina Mancuso is Researcher at Transcrime and Adjunct Professor at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. She graduated with the International PhD in Criminology at Università Cattolica in 2014 and she received an Honours Master’s degree in Applied Social Sciences, specialising in Crime and Security from the same University in 2009. Her main research interests are illicit markets (e.g., firearms, tobacco, human smuggling and human trafficking), the systematized collection and analysis of open sources and social network analysis.

Francesca Maldi, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Transcrime

Francesca Maldi is Ph.D. candidate in Criminology at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, and Researcher at Transcrime. In March 2019, she obtained a MSc degree in Economics and Management of Government and International Organizations at Bocconi University, where she also graduated in Economic and Social Sciences in 2016. Formerly she was an intern at Crime&tech in Milan, and at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok. Her main research interests include cybercrime, money laundering and illicit markets.

Structure and Evolution of Drug Trafficking Networks in North Africa: The Impact of Rule of Law and Corruption Cecilia Meneghini, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Transcrime

Abstract

Interdiction efforts that aim to curtail transnational drug trafficking activities along a specific route may unintentionally displace drug flows to another location. Although this is a popular hypothesis in extant literature on drug trafficking, few empirical studies have attempted to test it due to both the paucity of available data and the empirical complexity of isolating intervention effects when focusing on transnational dynamics. The present study analyzes both the structure and evolution of the drug trafficking network in North Africa, along with investigating the impact of law enforcement on drug trafficking connections. The methodology combines social network analysis and regression models. To overcome the limitations of traditional data sources, the analysis relies on an innovative approach that exploits the co-occurrence of country names within newspaper articles and press releases, in order to build the networks that describe the characteristics of drug trafficking connections. Network data are analyzed longitudinally and combined with data on the rule of law and the control of corruption (that serve as proxies for the quality of law enforcement), in order to assess whether the structure of the network is dependent on cross-country differences in the level of enforcement, which is a necessary precondition for the existence of displacement. The results provide a preliminary indication that displacement might occur following country-specific policies to combat corruption, insofar as the models indicate that drug traffickers may exploit asymmetries between corruption levels in their strategic decision-making over where to ship their products.

Autor
Cecilia Meneghini, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Transcrime

Cecilia Meneghini is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. She holds a Ph.D. in Criminology from the Catholic University in Milan. Her research interests include organized crime and criminal networks, life-course criminology, and the analysis of illicit markets and transnational illicit flows. On these topics, she conducted studies and collaborated on different international projects.

Human trafficking in the MENA region: trends and perspectives Carlos Manuel Abaunza, American University in Cairo

Abstract

This chapter analyzes human trafficking in the MENA region using the concepts of convergence and displacement. In order to examine how these concepts take form in this sui generis region, we chose two countries to analyze: the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt. We argue that these countries constitute ideal case studies for several reasons, including that the UAE was the first Arab country to introduce legislation against human trafficking, while Egypt is one of the current leaders in terms of combating human trafficking in the region. Convergence can be defined as the confluence of criminal activity centered around a place, time, target or tactic. We find in the Kafala System such scheme, and we argue that not because it is a State-sponsored system, it is less illicit. In fact, when holding the UAE to international standards, we see how the State is both an enabler of and an accomplice to human trafficking and various forms of human rights violations. Crime displacement pertains to changes in the ways that offenders carry out their criminal activities, which ordinarily take the form of a strategy or response to adapt to—or overcome—unfavorable or changing conditions. Given that the Egyptian government is taking significant steps towards preventing, protecting and prosecuting human trafficking within its territory, the data suggests that certain criminal activity might be displacing common forms of exploitation in the country. In this vein, the UNODC’s Global Reports (2012-2020) indicate that sexual exploitation and forced labor are in decline, while child exploitation in various forms is on the rise. We bring the chapter to a close by formulating some concluding remarks, which should not be viewed as conclusions per se, but rather as setting the stage for a broader dialogue.

Autor
Carlos Manuel Abaunza, American University in Cairo

Carlos Abaunza is a research affiliate for the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University in Cairo. As an academic and social scientist, he encompasses an interdisciplinary background that brings together the Humanities and Social Sciences. He has obtained degrees in Education, Literature, Communication, along with a Ph.D. in Sociology and Anthropology. Over the past 10 years, Carlos has focused his efforts on studying migration, violence and human development, and, in this context, has conducted multidisciplinary research in various capacities, including research for an international project on public health, gender-based violence and statelessness, developed by Johns Hopkins University & OBMICA in the Dominican Republic (2015).

Future Directions in the Study of Displacement and Convergence among Transnational Crime Flows Alberto Aziani, Università Cattolica and Transcrime Rob T. Guerette, Florida International University

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Abstract

This chapter examines some of the pressing methodological issues associated with the study of displacement and convergence among transnational crimes flows and identifies several areas for future research. Building upon ideas from prior literature on the advancement of displacement research generally, the discussion focuses on the utility of relying on both agent-based modeling and regression discontinuity designs as potential avenues through which to achieve more rigorous causal assessments of displacement and convergence effects. The chapter also underscores current limitations in data availability as well as offering suggestions as to how the international community might work to overcome this challenge. The chapter serves as a segue for future efforts devoted to increasing understanding of displacement and convergence, so that the policies and programs that are implemented at the boundaries of nation states might be improved.

Autor
Alberto Aziani, Università Cattolica and Transcrime

Alberto Aziani is Assistant Professor at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan and Researcher at Transcrime. He holds a PhD in Criminology and a MSc in Economics and Social Sciences. His main research interests are Transnational Crimes, Organized Crime, Illicit Markets, and Illicit Financial Flows. On these topics, he has conducted studies and developed projects for international organizations and funding institutions. He cooperates with the UN and the EC in research projects related to illicit drug trafficking and money laundering.

Rob T. Guerette, Florida International University

Rob T. Guerette is Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice in the Steven J. Green School for International & Public Affairs at Florida International University (FIU). He has published extensively in the areas of trans-national crime, program and policy evaluation, and crime pattern analysis for crime prevention. In addition to his work analysing domestic crime patterns, his research has focused on human smuggling and kidnapping for ransom. He was a Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University and will serve as a U.S. Fulbright Specialist to Iceland in Fall 2021.