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Conflict and Migration: From Consensual Movement to Exploitation by Organised Crime by Dr Sasha Jesperson

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ (map)

A light sandwich lunch is provided for seminar participants at 12:50. 

Conflict and political violence is a major driver for migration flows. People smuggling has become a lucrative trade for organised crime groups moving people to safety. The involvement of organised crime groups however, has blurred the division between consensual, often paid for, migration, and coercive or exploitative migration linked to human trafficking and slavery. While conflict is pushing people into migration, migration is also creating tensions at migratory hubs. In this seminar, the blurred distinctions between different migrants will be discussed, considering their linkage with conflict – whether as a push factor, a result of migration flows, or a hub of exploitative practices. The exploitative and coercive end of this spectrum will be probed in more depth, looking at the implications for victims of trafficking or exploitation and how the current response to migration responds to their needs.

Sasha Jesperson is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery at St Mary’s University Twickenham. Before coming to St Mary’s, Sasha was leading research on organised crime at the Royal United Services Institute, working closely with government departments to ensure that research is useful for strengthening policymaking on organised crime. Her research background is on organised crime and particularly the role of development is preventing and responding to criminal activity.
Sasha completed her PhD at the London School of Economics. Her research examined international initiatives to address organised crime through peace building missions under the framework of the security-development nexus, comparing examples from Sierra Leone and Bosnia. Sasha also completed an MSc in Human Rights at the London School of Economics and worked for Amnesty International for three years, primarily focusing on human rights in conflict and post-conflict contexts.