Human Trafficking and Irregular Immigration: Cause, Ways and Consequences of Irregular Indian Immigration to Spain and Italy

Nachatter Singh, Centre for Demographic Studies

India has a long tradition of emigration, which flourished during the last two centuries after the abolishment of slavery in 1832. Owing to an ever increasing desire of emigration among Indian youth (especially in the North India states of Punjab and Haryana) and increased border controls in most of the developed countries in Europe and North America, this emigration has turned into irregular human trafficking through donkee flights and false visas. A new business of irregular emigration has established and flourishing in all major cities of India, where the real benefiters of emigration industry (the travel agents or human traffickers), encourage youth to immigrate irregularly to Western countries. They charge a very high price from the emigrant families for this dangerous journey. In Europe, owing to the continuous regularisation laws and the spread of informal economy, most of the irregular immigrants from India end up in Spain and Italy, but their irregular status (no permission of work and residence) adversely affects their life in these countries also. In this paper our aim is to explore the causes, ways and consequences of this irregular immigration, through a thematic analysis of 64 in depth interviews of Indian immigrants in Spain and Italy (who entered irregularly in Europe) and their family members in India. In the preliminary results we can conclude that the irregular emigration incur a huge price (economic and psychological) for emigrant families at origin, put in danger the health and life of emigrants during the journey, and adversely affect their settlement and integration process at the destination countries.

Presented in Poster Session 3