North Africa Mixed Migration Hub - Survey Snapshot - Italy | May 2017

from Mixed Migration Hub
Published on 06 Sep 2017 View Original


  • 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.


Cumulative surveys: 523

This snapshot forms part of a wider, ongoing data gathering project with respondents who have recently transited the Central Mediterranean route through North Africa on their way to Europe. To date, data has been gathered from 523 respondents in Italy, with respondents coming from Nigeria (26.4%), Eritrea (11.9%), Gambia (11.3%), Cote d'Ivoire (9.2%), Mali (7.3%), Senegal (7.1%), Ghana (5.5%), Bangladesh (4.6%), Guinea (3.8%), Cameroon (2.5%), Pakistan (1.9%), Togo (1.7%), Ethiopia (1.5%) as well as (cumulatively 5.3%) Burkina Faso, Morocco, Niger, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR), Sudan, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia and Nepal.

Findings in this snapshot are based on 35 surveys conducted during the month of May. Nearly half of those interviewed are from Nigeria and Gambia (8 respondents from each country respectively), while 6 are from Guinea, 4 from Senegal, 3 from Cote d'Ivoire, 3 from Pakistan and 1 each from Togo, Somalia and Eritrea. All respondents are adult males with 21 between the ages of 18 and 25, 12 between the ages of 26 and 31 and 1 over the age of 32.


  • 20 (57%) out of the 35 respondents had begun their journey with the intention of reaching European countries, with 15 (43%) of the total number of respondents planning to end their journeys in Italy. 7 (20%) reported Libya as their prearranged destination while 1 (3%) had sought to settle down in a Sub-Saharan African country and another 1 (3%) in a North African country other than Libya, such as Algeria and Morocco. 6 (17%) did not have any intended destination at the outset of their journey.
  • Out of the 35 respondents, 22 (63%) reported that they had not changed their plans during the course of their journey while 12 (34%) reported they had. 1 respondent's answer was inconclusive.


  • 21 (60%) respondents reported seeking information before undertaking the journey while 12 (34%) said they did not actively seek such information and 2 declined to answer the question. With regards to sources of information, 17 reported receiving information by talking with migrants abroad and/or smugglers, humanitarian organizations and friends/family. 4 (11%) respondents reported receiving information through social media.
  • All respondents traveled from Libya to Italy by boat using the services of smugglers. The greatest number of respondents, 25 (71%), arrived in Libya, their last stop before Italy, by Jeep, while 6 (17%) by pick-up truck, 3 (9%) flew in directly and 1 (3%) arrived by lorry. The majority of respondents, 25 (71%), arrived to Libya through Niger, 4 (11%) through Algeria, 2 each through Sudan and Turkey and 1 each from Egypt and Mali. 34 out of 35 respondents reported using the services of smugglers for this segment of the journey and all 35 said that they had chosen the route into Libya themselves.


  • 18 (51%) respondents reported witnessing one or more deaths along their journey. Of those who reported witnessing deaths, 14 reported the deaths to have taken place in Libya, 9 in the desert and 3 at sea. Of the 35 interviewees, 25 (71%) reported experiencing and/or witnessing physical abuse during their journey, while 22 (63%) reported experiencing and/or witnessing detention. Of those who reported experiencing and/or witnessing detention, 26 reported such detention to have taken place in Libya, 1 in Niger and 1 in Algeria. Furthermore, 10 reported that smugglers were responsible for the detention, while 4 reported that detention was carried out by official forces and 14 reported other groups (such as bandits and Asma boys) as those responsible for detention. 19 (54.3%) were and/or witnessed others forced into labour. 22 (63%) reported witnessing or having experienced robbery along their journey. It is noteworthy that none of the respondents reported either having their own or witnessing others' documents being destroyed.


"In Niger, smugglers would tell you that only migrants who sail by rubber raft Zodiac die. That they will make you sail with a different boat, on a safer boat, on a wooden one. But once in Subratah, in Libya, you discover that it is not true at all" Male respondent from Mali, May.17

"In the desert, when on the lorry, you must hold a stick between your legs. That stick is your life. If it falls, you fall off the lorry... The driver won't stop to collect you if you fall" Male respondent from Nigeria, May.17

"I asked my friends who were in Libya about their journey. They said that it was not easy. But I did not trust them- I mean, why should I believe it is a deadly journey if they were still alive?" Male respondent from Gambia, May.17

"I will tell my friend everything. I will not lie. But I will not tell them not to come otherwise they will think I am jealous" Male respondent from Gambia, May.17

"Someone should prevent people from making this journey! This journey is not advisable. It is not really what you think it is. I greatly regret my choice" Male respondent from Nigeria, May.17