Making a 'career' in people-smuggling in Indonesia: Protracted transit, restricted mobility and the lack of legal work rights

Antje Missbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423 - 454
Number of pages32
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Afgans
  • Asylum Seekers
  • Australia
  • Case studies of people smugglers
  • Indonesia
  • People-smuggling
  • Profits to people-smuggling
  • Smuggling networks

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