Making a “Career” in People-Smuggling in Indonesia: Protracted Transit, Restricted Mobility and the Lack of Legal Work Rights
- Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 30, Number 2, July 2015
- pp. 423-454
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Two case studies of convicted Afghan people smugglers detail the specific tasks and responsibilities of people smugglers in Indonesia. Academic research has so far overlooked the fluctuant nature of smuggling networks, the distribution of roles and the varying involvement of their members and auxiliaries. Attention to these dimensions of people-smuggling contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the operation of these networks in the Indonesian setting. This understanding suggests that entering criminal business networks such as people-smuggling networks is the last option left for failed asylum seekers stuck in Indonesia. More significantly, it makes clear that Australian and Indonesian asylum policies and border politics have, unintentionally, contributed to the evolution of transnational people-smuggling networks.