53 / 2021
Jelka Zorn

The European Border Regime: People Smuggling and the Paradox of the Criminalization of Solidarity

The article discusses people smuggling within the European border regime, namely, the right to asylum, the demonization of smugglers, and the paradox of the criminalization of solidarity. As a commercial, illegal service, people smuggling can be seen as the opposite of solidarity with people on the move. Anti-smuggling laws blur their differences since the material benefit of helping people on the move does not qualify as criminal activity. The author presents the embeddedness of the smuggling-solidarity antagonism within the context of violent borders and state persecution. She concludes that solidarity practices are protests against, whereas smuggling is the effect of violent borders.
KEYWORDS: migration, violent borders, asylum, solidarity, people smuggling, activism

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