A mother of a lost migrant holds a photo of her son during a demonstration in front of government palace in Tunis, Tunisia on April 27, 2017. Photo Credit: Hamdi Yildiz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

What’s Behind the Dramatic Rise in Migrant Boats from Tunisia

Article in Refugees Deeply
4 December, 2017

Anti-smuggling policies, alone, are counterproductive as they push migrants deeper in the underground, into the hands of smugglers, traffickers and exploitative employers. As long as there will be inequalities in this world, a small minority will always try to move: trying to stop them only diverts the movement to another more dangerous and onerous route. Taking over the mobility market by offering migration candidates more legal mobility options would considerably reduce the migrant smuggling market, while allowing security agencies the opportunity to make appropriate security checks.

“To understand why migration is increasing, the best place to start is with the origin of many of the apprehended migrants: Tunisia’s southern and interior regions, such as Kasserine, Sidi Bouzid and Tataouine, to name a few. These regions have a long history of economic and political marginalization and frustration, which occasionally sparked mass unrest. The 2011 revolution caught fire in these regions with calls for dignity and economic justice long before they swept the streets of Tunis and other coastal cities. However, what is much less discussed is that since the revolution, the economic and political marginalization fueling frustration in these regions is unresolved, and for some has worsened. For Tunisia, 2017 has been particularly rough.”

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