North Africa Mixed Migration Hub - Survey Snapshot - Italy | December 2016
MHub is undertaking field surveys with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers along key migratory routes to build up a body of data over time and to map country and regional level mixed migration trends.
This snapshot presents early survey findings of the profiles, intentions and experiences of those moving in mixed migration flows who have recently arrived in Italy in the last year.
Though these findings cannot be considered statistically representative of the migration population, they do provide key insights into the migration process.
Findings are based on 341 interviews conducted between 3 March and 22 December in Asti, Bologna, Castellammare del Golfo, Milan, Modena, Palermo, Rome, Trapani, and Turin.
85% of respondents (91% of female and 83% of male) began their migration journey without feeling fully aware of the risks and conditions on their chosen route. For those from West Africa, this represented 90% of male and 97% of female respondents. For those from East Africa, this decreased to 43% for males and 74% for females.
The majority of respondents from Cameroon (100%), Guinea (100%), Senegal (96%), Nigeria (96%), Cote d'Ivoire (88%) and Gambia (83%) reported not having enough information on the risks and conditions present on their journey. Nigerian respondents mainly came from Edo State (59%).
Available data indicates a strong inverse relationship between awareness of potential difficulties and risk factors and the number of abuses actually experienced by respondents.
57% of all respondents felt regret about their journey due to conditions encountered en route. 45% reported that they would not have travelled at all, and 12% would have taken a different route.
The journey through Libya was reported to be the most dangerous segment for respondents traveling from and through North Africa to Italy with 78% of all abuses recorded as occurring in Libya. This is followed by abuses reported as occurring in the Sahara Desert (10%), Niger and Sudan (2%).
Respondents that travelled through Libya reported forced labour (95%), arbitrary detention (88%), physical abuse (83%) and sexual abuse (76%) as the most frequent abuses witnessed or experienced.
The majority of sexual abuses reported happened in Libya (76%), followed by the Sahara Desert (15%), Niger (3%), Sudan (2%) and other transit countries such as Burkina Faso, Algeria, Egypt and Togo (4%).
65% of sexual abuse cases reported in the Sahara Desert were perpetrated by the smugglers or those affiliated to the smugglers such as drivers. Some respondents claimed that smugglers often offered migrants to their drivers for rape as part payment. The remainder were perpetrated by rebels (11%), desert tribes (8%), bandits (8%) and militia/soldiers/police (8%).