Making policies work


External event


Panel Discussion

Understanding the human smuggling industry

16 February 2016 1:00 pm
16 February 2016 2:30 pm

Share Button

Wars, terrorism, long-standing repressive regimes, chronic poverty and inequality have driven more than one million refugees and migrants into Europe in 2015 alone. Those making the journey are assisted by an increasingly violent and opportunistic smuggling industry. Sustainable profits made by this industry have allowed transnational networks to develop where they previously did not exist, with serious implications for human security and state stability. Effective responses to Europe’s migration crisis will require not only an understanding of the drivers and dynamics of the crisis, but also how the smuggling industry is working to perpetuate the flow.

In order to further the evidence basis, the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) commissioned a study from the Geneva-based Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime ( and the pan-African Institute for Security Studies ( to provide a unique holistic perspective on the dynamics of illicit migration across the African continent, focusing in particular on the role of the migrant smugglers. The final study with the title “Survive and advance: The economics of smuggling refugees and migrants into Europe” draws upon investigations conducted in 10 countries, with more than 200 long-form interviews with migrants

in six locations along the main routes to Europe and in migrant destination countries (Libya, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Germany and Sweden). The report provides an unprecedented and detailed understanding of the motivations and modus operandi of both migrants and smugglers, and the interplay between them. By shedding light on areas where the least is known, this report seeks to help policymakers chart out a stronger response to the crisis.

This debate in Brussels will present the main outcomes and relevant policy recommendations of the mentioned study, and discuss them with European and African representatives and policy makers.

Conference language: English and French

Anna Knoll is a speaker at this event.

See the ECDPM Dossier on Linking Migration and Development


12:30 Registration and Light Lunch

13:00 Welcome and Introduction

Michael Hinterdobler – Director, Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the European Union

Markus Ferber, MEP – Vice Chairman, Hanns Seidel Foundation; First Vice Chair, Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament

13:10 Presentation of Study: “Survive and Advance: The Economics of Smuggling Refugees and Migrants into Europe”
Tuesday Reitano – Head of the Secretariat and Editor-in-Chief, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, Geneva

13:30 Panel Debate: “Policy Recommendations for Migration Management between Africa and Europe”
Tuesday Reitano
Yohannes Abraha – Minister Counsellor, Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the EU, Benelux and the Baltic States

H.E. Attilio Pacifici – Advisor on Migration to the Managing Director Africa, European External Action Service

Simona Ardovino – Policy Officer, Unit for Irregular Migration and Return Policy, Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission

Anna Knoll – Policy Officer Strengthening European External Action Programme, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)

Moderator: Conny Reuter – Secretary General, SOLIDAR

14:30 Coffee Reception

Please contact Katharina Patzelt <> for more information.

EU foreign and development policyMigrationEurope