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Migrant Smuggling and trafficking in Portugal: Immigrants, networks, policies and labour markets since 1990s Mobility & Migration a presentation by: Godwin.

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Presentation on theme: "Migrant Smuggling and trafficking in Portugal: Immigrants, networks, policies and labour markets since 1990s Mobility & Migration a presentation by: Godwin."— Presentation transcript:

1 Migrant Smuggling and trafficking in Portugal: Immigrants, networks, policies and labour markets since 1990s Mobility & Migration a presentation by: Godwin Tengey 29 th May, 2012 GLEB, Faculty of Economics, University of Cassino

2 Conceptual Delineation Although smuggling and trafficking are usually used interchangeably, there are important theoretical differences between the two terms. The main difference can be seen in the UN definition for the two terms: Smuggling is the procurement in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit, of the illegal entry of a person in a State Party of which the person is not a national or a permanent resident. SSmuggling does not require an element of exploitation, coercion, or violation of human rights). On the other hand: Trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. EExploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. Migration Package – travel bouquet obtained by a migrant, which usually includes means of transportation from sending country to host country and a contact person in the host country from an agency.

3 Smuggling and trafficking of migrant labour (1) Trafficking in and smuggling of irregular migrant labour to Portugal target mainly the informal segment of the labour market. Case of Eastern Europe (Push and Pull factors)  The Eastern European (EE) immigration is a new kind of migration to Portugal −Dates from late 1990s to a peak in −Previous flow was only a few 100 individuals (1999) to almost (2002). −This was due to regularisation policies on the part of government granting permits to stay. Permits were requested mainly by EE immigrants. However problem was not eliminated. −Most of these migrants entered Portugal in an irregular way. −Countries involved include Ukraine (most migrants), Moldova, Romania and Russia. −The new migration wave was tied to labour market dynamics in Portugal catalysed by Portugal joining the Schengen area in −Networks of smugglers/traffickers include contacts (network members) in sending country, travel agency (responsible for advertising trips to host country), transport personnel; contacts in transit countries and contacts in host country. −They are either lose or well-organised. Smuggling and trafficking networks in Portugal are fading with time. This is because: o Decrease in job offers (mainly in construction o Downturn of the economy of Portugal o Difficulty in acquiring legal status o Stronger police control o Spread of information and social support network

4 Smuggling and trafficking of migrant labour (2) Case of Brazil (mainly push factors) Brazilian immigration has deep roots in Portugal. It historically started as counterflow of the Portuguese emigration to Brazil (flows visible at end of 19 th Century and 1 st decades of 20 th century). Since mid-80s, there has been significant flow of skilled and middle class Brazilians. o Fled from insecurity and economic problems in Brazil o Attracted by the Portugal’s new status as part of the EU Since the late 1990s there has been a 2 nd wave of Brazilian immigration. o Larger numbers, more irregular in character and of different social extraction Less skilled, more middle-lower-class than the former (civil construction, domestic service, restaurant etc.) o Only this new wave have been involved in smuggling and/or trafficking networks. Networks of Brazilian smugglers are mostly loose and less organised than their EE counterparts. Brazilian system is more of smuggling as there is little evidence of violence, coercion, exploitation and intimidation.

5 Trafficking in Women for Sexual Exploitation Case of Trafficking in Women from Brazil  Little literature on the flow of women from Brazil to Portugal for sexual exploitation however, majority of foreign women working in this sector are believed to be Brazilians.  The phenomenon grew in late 1990s accompanying the growth of sex and entertainment industry all over Portugal (urban and non-urban centers.) – night bars, strip clubs etc.  Mode of network operation  Form of work  Evidence of coercion or of own volition?  Who are the victims?  Caused by push factors  On the decline  Conflicting evidence Women from other countries (on a much lesser scale) particularly from EE, which exhibit incidences of trafficking.

6 Discussion and theoretical implication Trafficking or Smuggling? The are clear conceptual differences between smuggling and trafficking. In Portugal, evidence suggests that: There are many forms of intertwining between trafficking, smuggling and regular economic migration including coercion and violence against voluntarily smuggled migrants. Labour flows w.r.t. Trafficking and/or smuggling indicate economic migrants moving under own free will – little evidence of “forced labour” However, particular cases exist. For e.g. in the EE case, there are clear cases of coercion, exploitation, violence etc. In the case trafficking women for sexual exploitation; There is evidence of exercise of free will for economic migration and work in the sex and entertainment industry among many women. Sex industry seem to be target by some women due to strong demand, high income and less stringent regulatory measure in host country However, sexual exploitation of many women is evident as a regular labour migrant is coerced or forced into the sex industry. Difficulty is properly delineating the problem in Portugal as in other countries due to victims conniving with smugglers and/or traffickers. Causes of Trafficking and Smuggling i.Push factors existing in sending countries ii.Significance of EU agreements e.g. Schengen Agreement. iii.Pull factors existing in Portugal in the late 1990s. iv.Portugal’s immigration policy Dynamic interaction between agents (migrants, intermediary networks, employers and the state continually creates a very changeable profile for immigration with respect to its rhythm and characteristics in Portugal.

7 Conclusion As is the case all over the globe, smuggling and trafficking do no appear as clear-cut and distinct phenomena. Instead they are connected with each other and with regular labour migration. The causes are multiple (both push and pull) and relate to all agents involved in migration. The agents involved are migrants, smugglers and/or traffickers, employers, and institutions (government and non- governmental), all active in this field. It is their concrete mode of interaction that leads to the concrete and changeable ways of smuggling and trafficking in a country such as Portugal.

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