The Migration Industry and Future Directions for Migration Policy
The commercialization of migration facilitation and control functions promt policy responsOver the last few decades a host of new business opportunities have emerged that capitalize on migrants' desire to move as well as on governments’ attempts to manage migratory flows. The businesses involved in this ‘migration industry’ range from small migrant entrepreneurs using their own experience to assist others making the journey, to big multinational companies who compete in the booming market of government contracts to carry out migration management. The commercialization of international migration is evident at every step of the migratory process and takes place in virtually every country of emigration, transit and immigration.
This fundamental commercialization of migration has received relatively little attention by policy-makers. However, as the migration industry significantly shapes migration flows, it ought to prompt governments to reassess migration policies in terms both of how to intervene and which interlocutors to address in any attempt to manage migration.
In a new DIIS Policy Brief, Senior Researchers Ninna Nyberg Sørensen and Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen disaggregate the migration industry in facilitation, control and ‘rescue’ actors; discuss the consequences of outsourcing and commercialization of international migration management; and recommend that governments carefully regulate the outsourcing of migration functions to ensure migrants’ rights and avoid a democratic deficit.