Tackling the root causes of human trafficking and smuggling from Eritrea
The Horn of Africa remains a major source of mixed migration, with people moving to neighbouring countries, the Gulf, Southern Africa and Europe. There are multiple drivers of migration, from issues around political persecution, armed conflict and natural disasters, to problems accessing livelihoods in contexts of extreme poverty and economic exclusion, which is often the result of deliberate government policy. While multiple drivers may affect the same individual and blur the distinction between refugee and migrant, the price people on the move are paying has become remarkably high in recent years, and many have lost their lives.
In 2014, in recognition of the challenges of “mixed migration”, 37 states in Europe and Africa, along with the European Union (EU) and African Union (AU), formed a policy platform (the “Khartoum Process”), with a particular focus on tackling smuggling and trafficking. This paper, based on 67 qualitative interviews conducted in Ethiopia, Sudan and Europe with Eritreans on the move, directly engages with this framework. It analyses the approach taken by states in the region, in cooperation with regional and international actors, to more effectively combat trafficking and smuggling in light of the experiences and decision-making processes of the individuals interviewed.