Title: Economies of transit: exploiting migrants and refugees in Indonesia and Libya

Authors: Melissa Phillips; Antje Missbach

Addresses: School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010 Victoria, Australia ' School of Social Science, Monash University, 20 Chancellor's Walk, Clayton Campus, Victoria 3800, Australia

Abstract: Increasingly restrictive border protection measures cause more asylum seekers, refugees and labour migrants to attempt to reach their destinations by unauthorised means and enable illicit markets that facilitate irregular migration to form and expand. Smuggling networks, funds for journeys, and access to sites where passages can be negotiated allow irregular migration to flourish. The micro-economies that form at transit sites because of the irregular presence of migrants and refugees are a less recognised aspect of transit. This article compares transit sites in Indonesia and Libya - key transit locations on routes to Australia and Italy - and investigates the exploitation of transit migrants in both countries. It illustrates that those crossing borders are exploited not only in illicit spaces but also when under government control or management by international organisations. It argues that these economies of transit encourage informal networks that prey on transit migrants and extend their exploitation.

Keywords: transit migration; Indonesia; Libya; transit economies; exploitation; border control; lack of protection; lack of rights; stasis; labour migrants; refugees; border protection; asylum seekers; irregular migration; transit sites; transit locations; Australia; Italy; informal networks; illicit markets.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMBS.2017.083246

International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, 2017 Vol.3 No.2/3, pp.139 - 157

Received: 08 Oct 2015
Accepted: 22 Apr 2016

Published online: 15 Mar 2017 *

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