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Darkness before DaybreakAfrican Migrants Living on the Margins in Southern Italy Today$
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Hans Lucht

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520270718

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520270718.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

The Mediterranean Passage

The Mediterranean Passage

(p.119) Four The Mediterranean Passage
Darkness before Daybreak

Hans Lucht

University of California Press

This chapter describes the special position of Guan canoe fishermen in Libyan transit migration into Italy. It also considers the moral aspects of migrant deaths in the borderlands of EU nation-states. According to the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), about 100,000 people cross the Mediterranean each year. An estimated 30,000 are sub-Saharan Africans. The main point of transit is Libya. Research on the dangers of Libyan transit migration emphasizes the role of inexperienced captains, or people posing as captains though they have no real seafaring experience. But in many cases the smugglers organize the operation together with a connection man who leaves it up to selected migrants with seafaring experience to handle the boat. The Guan fishermen are sought after precisely for this reason. Guan migrants with seafaring experience thus occupy the role of intermediaries, neither smugglers nor passengers. For this effort they are paid in the form of a ride for themselves as well as seats they can sell to friends or relatives at a reduced price.

Keywords:   Guan canoe fishermen, Libya, illegal immigration, Italy, migrant deaths, seafarers, Guan migrants

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