UCF Global Perspectives


Al Jazeera Interviews Controversial Gambian “People-Mover”

Jenna Dovydaitis, Francis Bok Human Trafficking Awareness Fellow

July 11, 2017

Al Jazeera recently interviewed Gambian Mohammed Lamine Janneh, known as L-Boy, on his business of helping people enter Europe the “backway” (Al Jazeera). The “backway” refers to the popular and dangerous route of traveling through the Sahara to the Mediterranean and finally to Europe. An estimated 181,000 Africans took this route in 2016 to flee poor conditions in their native countries (Guardian). L-Boy claims he has helped around a thousand Africans since 2011 make the journey with a 90% survival rate (Al Jazeera).

Al Jazeera asked L-Boy to weigh in on his own characterization: human trafficker or something else? L-Boy believes his line of work does not qualify as trafficking because there is no coercion involved (Al Jazeera). In fact, L-Boy claims his work has “increased [his] reputation in [Gambian] society” to that of a hero to those who look to Europe for opportunity (Al Jazeera). L-Boy is one of many African “people-movers,” behind the migrant influx that is currently referred to as Europe’s Migrant Crisis (BBC).







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