Consequences of the EU's Attempt to Neutralise People Smugglers

TRIPOLI - The central Mediterranean is now the busiest corridor for irregular migration into the European Union. All past efforts to combat flows have resulted in more sea crossings and more deaths at sea.

Suddenly this July and August (2017) the numbers of refugees and migrants crossing fell by two thirds.

The story of how this came about took place on three fronts: at sea where there was a concerted attempt to discredit a flotilla of charity boats that were saving lives; at the European Union, where foreign policy was transformed to pursue the single goal of reducing inward migration; and on the north coast of Libya, where Italy made deals with known smugglers and municipalities to trap migrants.
This investigation which spans, Brussels, Malta, Rome, Tunis and Libya, seeks to deliver the definitive account of European actions, their impact on stability in Libya and the right of migrants stranded there. 

Daniel Howden

Daniel Howden, the report's author, is the senior editor of Refugees Deeply.

Nancy Porsia

Nancy Porsia, who contributed research, is an award-winning freelance journalist and acknowledged expert on Libya. Her reporting has been cited by the UN Panel of Experts on Libya.
Grant of €3.500 awarded in January 2017.
European Cross-border Grants
  • Human Rights
  • Migration
  • Organised crime
  • Politics