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Migration and Security: A European perspective. Fernando Álvarez

 Irregular migration, that is the one that takes place outside of legal channels, carries a series of risks that justify approaching it as a matter of security. These risks work on a double level; national security and human security. This essay examines the risks operating on the latter that is those affecting migrants, specifically in relation with the southern border of the EU. The existing model of irregular migration in this area is based on the extraction of profits by facilitators, most of whom belong to Organized Crime. Both the EU and its member countries have recognized the nature of the problem and have put in place measures aimed at increasing border control and pushing barriers further south. However, this has not reduced the demand for the services of facilitators or their turnover. This can be partly explained by the flawed approach of some measures which ignore that migration is a multidimensional phenomenon with a reduced sensibility to the policies of countries of destination. A better understanding of migration would help to come up with a more adequate response, aimed at managing migration rather than trying to stop it. This involves creating legal alternatives to irregular migration, redriving the focus of deterrence measures and providing real incentives so the countries of origin and transit become part of the solution, instead of part of the problem.


Author: Fernando Álvarez

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