Gabriella Sanchez (Ph.D., Arizona State University) is a socio-cultural anthropologist by training. She researches illicit and criminalized forms of labor. Her ethnographic work has primarily explored the social organization of migrant smuggling relying on participatory research conducted alongside and by smuggling facilitators themselves. She is the author of “Human Smuggling and Border Crossings” (Routledge, 2015) which examines the daily lives of smuggling facilitators on the US Mexico Border, and was a finalist to the International Association for the Study of Organized Crime’s 2015 Book of the Year Award. Her current project explores the convergence of human smuggling and other illicit markets and the participation of women, children and teenagers in irregular migration facilitation. Along with Luigi Achilli (EUI-Florence) and Antje Missbach (Monash) Gabriella is a convenor to the Smuggling Workshop, an international collective of smuggling and trafficking researchers conducting empirically-informed research on clandestine and irregular migration facilitation. She has previously held research posts at the University of Texas-El Paso, Wellesley College, Hebrew University, Monash University and the University of Maryland.

Research programmes

Research Interests

 migrant smuggling, human trafficking, border security, illicit markets, transnational organized crime, drug trafficking

Research projects