Europe Slams Its Gates (Part One)
European aid intended to combat African migration may just be making the problem worse.
Today, Foreign Policy launches a special investigation “Europe Slams Its Gates,” a powerful five-part series of photos and reporting on the millions of people who will be streaming from Africa to Europe in the coming decade, and the efforts by governments to stop them. The journey from western sub-Sahara through Mali and Niger on to Libya and Algeria and across the Mediterranean is harrowing and expensive. Migrants fleeing poverty and political instability pay smugglers to shepherd them across perilous terrain teeming with bandits and armed government forces that do not discriminate between smuggler and civilian.
In 2015, at the height of the European migration crises, the European Union established the Trust Fund for Africa to combat the economic causes of migration. But in creating economic opportunity for African workers, is the EU actually financing their journeys? And does the price of action ignore the human cost of exploitation that many migrants encounter as a result?
On this week’s first episode of The E.R, FP’s executive editor for the web Ben Pauker is joined by Tuesday Reitano, Peter Tinti, Nichole Sobecki, and FP’s Ty McCormick, who reported from the smuggling havens and detention centers dotting the migration route. In the week’s second episode, we’ll explore the political consequences for Europe.
Tuesday Reitano has been studying organized crime networks and their impact on governance, conflict and development for over 20 years, both in the U.N., and as the head of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime, which she co-founded in 2013. She is based in Beirut, Lebanon. Follow her on Twitter: @Tuesdayjaded.
Peter Tinti is an independent journalist and FP contributor. He is senior research fellow at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime. Formerly based in West Africa, his writing, reporting, and photography has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Vice, among other outlets. Follow him on Twitter: @petertinti.
Peter and Tuesday are the authors of Migrant, Refugee, Smuggler, Savior.
Nichole Sobecki is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya. She began her career in Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria, focusing on regional issues related to identity, conflict, and human rights. From 2012-2015 Nichole led Agence France-Presse’s East Africa video bureau, and was a 2014 Rory Peck Awards News Finalist for her coverage of the Westgate mall attacks in Kenya. Follow her on Twitter: @nicholesobecki.
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