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Justice and Society Research Centre

Irregular Migration Flows into the European Union: Migrants, Asylum-Seekers and Criminal Networks

Main contact: Dr Paolo Campana and Prof Loraine Gelsthorpe (Institute of Criminology)

This project explores both smugglers’ and migrants’ perspectives to understand the dynamics underpinning irregular migration into the European Union. It adopts a mixed methods approach combining qualitative interviews and quantitative analysis of network data sets. The project seeks to explore migrants’ experience of being smuggled, including their decision making at different points during the journey, as well as the relationships between migrants and local communities in host countries. Particular attention will be paid to the problems that migrant women may face.

At the same time, the project reconstructs the organisation of smuggling operations based on the quantitative analysis of police investigations and court files. Through a systematic coding procedure, a number of network datasets are being created and analysed using advanced network analysis techniques. Finally, the project will develop evidence-based policy recommendations to inform policy-makers at the local, national and European level.