Human trafficking


Months after an overloaded boat carrying hundreds of migrants from Pakistan, Syria and Egypt capsized and sank in open seas off Greece, the trial is set to begin against nine survivors accused of causing the deadliest shipwreck in the Mediterranean, participating in a criminal organisation and migrant smuggling. The men deny these charges and continue to point fingers at the Greek coastal guard whose towing attempt is said to have overturned the vessel.
Ample evidence suggests that Adriana could be easily prevented. While humanitarian organisations view the entire episode with suspicion where Greece’s failure to offer support to a fast-sinking ship does not sit well with the official statements about the latter refusing help, the international community needs to open its eyes to the big picture.
There may not have been a horror of this scale in recent years but human smuggling still continues in all possible forms. Amid extensive crackdowns and strict measures in place to treat every asylum-seeker with nothing but disdain, the human aspect of the tragedy is neither discussed nor contemplated as a solid foundation for immigration law.
There’s a lot that goes thousands of miles away from destination countries, forcing over one million men and women to resort to highways through hell for a slight chance at improving their lifestyles. Rampant inflation, instability, little to no livelihoods in the home country and states’ overall failure in responsibilities towards the ordinary men should be considered by international lawmakers when and if they feel the need to turn immigration into a human-centric process.
Instead of punishing those whose miseries render them sitting ducks for smuggling rackets-readily available targets to be exploited, deceived off their entire savings and tortured-, law enforcement agencies would be better off reframing the narrative and going after the actual culprits.