Defying Human Security : The Commodification of Migrants in Contemporary Libya

University essay from Linköpings universitet/REMESO - Institutet för forskning om migration, etnicitet och samhälle

Abstract: The world-system today promotes inequalities between and within states through the maintenance and strengthening of uneven and hierarchical global relations established by colonialism. The reinforcement of colonial structures has unfolded into neocolonial relations in the post-colonial world, explaining the underdevelopment and marginalization of former colonies in the world-system today, and why many African countries largely experience internal instability on several fronts, revealing how individuals from these states tend to experience some sort of human insecurity. This scenario is permissive to the development of the new wars – representing a different perspective on the patterns of violence and war of contemporaneity – and the new global war economy and its parallel economy. It is from this context that the commodification of migrants happens, challenging and often defying migrants’ access to human rights andhuman security. The present study is therefore primarily a theoretical research and an empirical investigation on the commodification of migrants in contemporary Libya, sustained by four main theoretical frameworks and the analysis of selected secondary materials from international organizations and NGOs. This study aims at addressing the different forms of commodification of migrants in Libya today and who are the actors that control these markets and benefit from the commodification of human life. This analysis evidences the contradiction between the bleak reality of migrants in contemporary Libya and the applicability of the normative concepts of human securityand migrants’ rights.

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