22 Apr 2019

Human smuggling / Migrant smuggling and human trafficking from Libya to Europe: What does the media say?

Clearer media reporting on 'smuggling' and 'trafficking' create a better understanding of the migration crisis.

The abuse of migrants by organised criminals, traffickers and armed groups has become a common feature of the current migration crisis in Libya. While not all migrants fall victim to trafficking, many experience some form of threat, coercion or exploitation, and many are subjected to forced labour and prostitution. This study analysed the ways in which a sample of English-language news media covered the topics of migrant smuggling and human trafficking from Libya, and the frequency of words used to denote slavery, abuse and financial transactions.

About the authors

Ciara Aucoin is a senior research consultant with the ISS’ ENACT project, and was formally with its African Futures and Innovation programme. Before joining the ISS, she was a senior researcher at the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project and an Africa programme associate at the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum at the Social Science Research Council in New York.

Jihane Ben Yahia is the Regional Organised Crime Observatory Coordinator for North Africa. Based in Tunis, she joined the ENACT project in February 2018. Prior to joining the ISS, Jihane was a legal consultant and worked in local civil society organisations in the field of rule of law and governance.

Photo © David Ohana/OCHA AVMU


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ENACT is implemented by the Institute for Security Studies in partnership with
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