Luanda – Holanda: Irregular migration from Angola to the Netherlands

Against the backdrop of push-pull and social network theories on migration

and criminological theory on human smuggling, this article tries to

answer the questions of why and how Angolan asylum-seekers migrated to

the Netherlands since the end of the 1990s. The study shows that the

migrants can be described as opportunity seeking migrants, rather than

survival migrants. Most migrants made no use of typical human smugglers

during their travel. They rather used assistance from their social network

and made use of the services of middlemen, called

esquemas, on an ad-hoc basis. In this article it is argued that ‘‘archetypal’’ large smuggling organisations

in Angola have not evolved because of the existence of these highly

informal networks. Support is found that both push-pull and social network

theories can contribute to explaining irregular, asylum migration.

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