Since its inception in 2000, International Migrants Day has served as a platform to discuss human rights issues affecting migrants. This year, the UN is focusing on safe migration in a world on the move—opening up an international dialogue about how to ensure safe and systematic migration during times of instability. The migration system today is largely dependent on smugglers: as millions seek to escape violence and economic inequality, many become dependent on criminal networks to facilitate their transport.
Media coverage of the European migrant crisis often focuses on the migrants themselves—capturing their stories as millions escape violent conflicts and crushing poverty. In Migrant, Refugee, Smuggler, Savior, Peter Tinti and Tuesday Reitano consider the smugglers involved in transporting migrants throughout Europe. Although many smugglers are viewed as saviors, others give little regard to the human rights issues.