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Europe could end trafficking by forging agreements with migrants

If the migrants are paying significant money to traffickers to escape from places such as Syria, Libya and Eritrea to head for Europe then it could be worth considering the problem from a different angle — the market angle.

There is a lucrative black market in providing risky transport across the Mediterranean to vulnerable people desperate to find a better life. This black market will continue to operate (and benefit the criminals exploiting its existence) as long as the borders to the wealthy democratic states remain closed, and the desperate migrants have no chance of getting through an airport or port to safety.

Suppose the borders to European countries were to become economic turnstiles... Instead of paying the trafficker you pay the administration of the country (to which you are applying for asylum) — and that administration sets the rate and conditions of your asylum in a legal agreement. Each country could set its own prices and conditions. In exchange for safety, free healthcare and education your payment could be, for example, the equivalent of one year’s dole plus one year’s rent of a home. If after two years you haven’t found your feet with employment or setting up a small business then you must re-apply to stay for the next two years or be repatriated.

With an influx of new people and new ideas to a country — who knows, the economy could go very well with such diversity of talent. Some migrants might also take the path of choosing to return to their home country after a year or two, bringing new skills, and the invaluable experience of having lived in a democratic state where the rule of law applies.

Alison Hackett

Crosthwaite Park East

Dun Laoghaire

Co Dublin


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