Accepted Paper:

What do we know about smuggling in Mali and Niger: empirical data collected by 4Mi.  
Ekaterina Golovko (Independent researcher)

Paper short abstract:

The presentation provides insight on the profiles, motivations, services given by smugglers in Mali and Niger and the networks in which they operate. The research takes into account local social and economic dynamics related to movement, trade and connectivity in the region.

Paper long abstract:

What do we know about smuggling in Mali and Niger: empirical data collected by 4Mi.

Every day in West Africa thousands of people move intra- and inter-regionally. The movement of people within ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) is regulated by the Protocol relating to free movement of persons, residence and establishment. Nonetheless, people on the move often prefer to organize their travel through smugglers who facilitate their movement.

This MMC presentation based on the Briefing Paper provides insight on the profiles, motivations, services given by smugglers in Mali and Niger and the networks in which they operate. The research explores the services smugglers provide to refugees and migrants prior to their arrival in major transit hubs such as Agadez and Gao. It also discusses protection incidents involving smugglers, as reported by refugees and migrants surveyed by the 4Mi. The research takes into account local social and economic dynamics related to movement, trade and connectivity in the region. We propose to critically discuss what such polysemic terms as 'smuggler' might mean adopting and external or internal position of observation.

The research is based on the data collected by the Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism Initiative (4Mi) between 1 August 2017 and 1 August 2018 with migrants and smugglers. In total, 153 smugglers and 3404 migrants were interviewed in major transit hubs.

Panel Anth31
Decolonising Africanist migration research? [CRG AMMODI]