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North Africa Mixed Migration Hub - Survey Snapshot - Italy | October 2016

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  • 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 270 interviews conducted between 3 March and 27 October in Asti, Bologna, Castellammare del Golfo, Milan, Modena, Palermo, Rome, Trapani, and Turin.


  • 97% of respondents have experienced or witnessed at least one type of abuse (physical abuse, sexual abuse, robbery, racism, detention, forced labor, etc).

  • Amongst the different abuses reported, physical abuses are the most common with 86% or respondents having experienced/ witnessed beatings or torture along their way.

  • In 82% of these cases the physical abuse occurred in Libya, 6% in the Sahara Desert, 2% in Niger, 2% in Egypt, and 8% in other places.

  • Of those 3% that reported experiencing/witnessing no abuses, 15% had traveled through Egypt while 2% traveled through Libya.

  • Responses show certain nationalities experiencing and witnessing more abuses along their journey. Amongst those that traveled through Libya to Italy – 94% of Senegalese respondents reported having experienced/witnessed at least 5 different kinds of abuse, 88% of Cameroonians, 76% of Ivoirians, 75% of Malians and Central Africans, 70% of Gambians, Togolese, and Eritreans, 66% of Nigerians, 60% of Guineans, 57% of Ghanaians and 50% of Ethiopians.

  • Responses have shown no strong correlation between incidence of abuse and gender or age.

  • Those arriving from Libya experience/witness significantly more abuses than those arriving from Egypt. 71% of respondents that passed through Libya and 23% of those that passed through Egypt experienced/witnessed 5 or more abuses.

  • Physical abuses reported are most often perpetrated by smugglers (36%), followed by militias, desert tribes, bandits, and rebels (19%), police and soldiers (15%), and street gang (13%).

  • Detention experienced/witnessed were carried out by desert tribes, bandits/rebels (23.5%), police and soldiers (27%), smugglers (24%), street gangs (8%), and militia (6.5%).