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Thursday, 18th April 2013

The People Smugglers’ Business Model

Source: Parliamentary Library of Australia

From Executive Summary:

Since the late 1990s, people smuggling has been a key focus of political debate on irregular migration to Australia. Most recently, attention has turned to how to ‘break the people smugglers’ business model’. While there is continuing debate about how best to achieve this objective, the business model being referred to remains largely unarticulated, at least publicly.

Examination of recent open source research and Australian case law reveals there is no single ‘people smugglers’ business model’ that explains how people smugglers operate, either internationally or to Australia. However, certain themes are evident, including the predominance of fluid networks over more hierarchical organisations and the flexibility, adaptability and resilience of those involved. It appears that a variety of business models are employed (either explicitly or implicitly) and that they are constantly evolving.

Some basic characteristics of maritime people smuggling from Indonesia to Australia can be discerned from open source information that can be used to outline some of the basic components of a common business model that seems to operate. However, there appear to be many variations on different components of the model. Further, the Indonesia to Australia leg is only part of a much longer journey, and Indonesia is not the only departure point for boats to Australia organised by people smugglers. Finally, while political and popular attention has focused largely on irregular maritime arrivals, people smuggling to Australia also occurs by air.

+ Direct link to document (PDF; 554 KB)



Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

More articles by Adrian Janes »

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