A 'migration management' perspective
The philosophy of migration management
The paradigm of migration management sees trafficking and smuggling as processes that should be addressed in the wider portfolio of measures to induce or restrict immigration or emigration. Within this framework, smuggling and trafficking are seen as illegal forms of what could be legal migration, if the migrants were desirable to the host communities and their representatives. The premises are that tough national or regional immigration controls are essential, that opportunities for legal migration must always be finite, and that trafficking and smuggling are attempts to undermine the integrity of national borders and the laws of a sovereign state.
The management of migration has became a high-profile political issue in many parts of Europe, North America, and Australia during the late 1990s and early 2000s. The focus is on issues of asylum and economic migration, but there are also deeper issues of cultural diversity and hegemony within the host communities. As a result police forces tend to be pragmatic, short-term in outlook, and highly responsive to public opinion.
When trafficking and smuggling enter the debate, they often do so as interchangeable concepts that demonstrate the inadequacy of existing policies of border control. Only recently have discussions about increasing the quotas for 'legal' migration to some European countries emerged, but these measures are not commonly seen as solutions to the perceived growth in trafficking and smuggling. Rather, the analysis of smuggling and trafficking as issues of migration management points to a series of policy solutions:
strengthening border controls and increasing obligations on carriers, port authorities, neighbouring countries, etc.;
intercepting smuggling and trafficking routes, and returning migrants to their countries of origin or processing asylum claims in transit countries;
tackling smuggling and trafficking at source by informing the would-be migrants of the dangers of leaving;
offering voluntary return programmes to migrants and refugees wherever and whenever possible.
International approaches to migration management
Approaches to managing migration usually take the form of domestic legislation or regional cooperation between nation states. What are shared at an international level tend to be models of best practice. The best known forum for these exchanges is the International Organization for Migration (IOM), although some governments will also meet under the auspices of the Standing Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). A self-selecting group of European, North American, and Asia-Pacific governments meet under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Consultations on Asylum, Refugee and Migration Policies (IGC).
Regional and national approaches to migration management
In Western and Central Europe, the EU has spent a considerable amount of time discussing issues of smuggling and trafficking within the context of controlling immigration from outside. Following the 1999 Tampere Europe Council, which guaranteed 'access to European territory' to asylum seekers, draft council directives were formulated on penal frameworks for those who facilitate 'unauthorized entry and residence'. Meanwhile, the work of the European Union's High Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration incorporates proposals for migration control measures around the world to combat the smuggling and trafficking of migrants that are destined for Europe. This runs alongside the work of the European Commission and its funding of anti-trafficking programmes, such as the STOP programme (since 1996), as well its issuing of communications on trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children.
An influential centre for policy and operational exchange on anti-trafficking and anti-smuggling measures, involving many East European countries, is the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) in Vienna. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has also been influential, particularly in the region of the former Yugoslavia. A constructive critique on the migration management tendencies of European governments can be derived from the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), including an analysis of anti-trafficking policies.
- ECRE http://www.ecre.org European Union (2002) Council Framework Decision on combating trafficking in human beings (2002/629/JHA). http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/dat/2002
- European Union (2001) Communication from the Commission to the Council and European Parliament on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Combating Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography (Com 2000 854 final/2) http://www.ecre.org/eu_developments/cmtraffick.pdf
- ICMPD http://www.icmpd.org
- OSCE http://www.osce.org
- Salt, J. and Hogarth, J.,Migrant Trafficking in Europe: A Literature Review and BibliographyMigrant Trafficking in Europe: A Literature Review and Bibliography. IOM, 2000.
IOM . Assessment on Trafficking of Haitian Children to the Dominican Republic. http://www.iom.int
US Government, Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (HR 3244), 2000 http://www.thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c106:H.R.3244.ENR
US State Department, Trafficking in Persons Report of 2002 http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2002/
IOM . Capacity Building for Combating Trafficking of Women and Children in Bangladesh. http://www.iom.int
IOM . Assisted Return and Reintegration of Trafficked Women and Children in Nepal. http://www.iom.int
IOM . Measures to Counter Trafficking in Nigerian Women and Minors and Prevention of HIV/AIDS and other STDs. http://www.iom.int