Displacement of human smuggling: An exploratory analysis of the effects of Law 82/2016 in Egypt

Alberto Aziani, AG Bertoni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Evolution of Illicit Flows: Displacement and Convergence among Transnational Crime
EditorsEU Savona, RT Guerette, A Aziani
Pages155-187
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Transnational Crime
  • Migration
  • Policy Evaluation
  • Border Externalization
  • Organized Crime
  • Target displacement
  • Anti-Smuggling Law
  • Migrant Smuggling
  • Spatial displacement

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