Enabling a better understanding of migration flows and (its root-causes) from Nigeria towards Europe - Desk-Review Report - Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), April 2017

from International Organization for Migration
Published on 30 Apr 2017 View Original

Enabling a better understanding of migration flows and its root causes from Nigeria towards Europe

This desk review report is part of the outputs of the first phase of IOM’s project implementation on data collection to enable a better understanding of migration flows from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iraq, Nigeria,
Pakistan and Somalia towards Europe, a collaborative effort by the DTM support team and relevant IOM field missions funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The findings, interpretations and conclusions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of IOM or its Member States. The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout the work do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of IOM concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning its frontiers or boundaries.

For further information, please contact:
DTM Support Team Email: dtmsupport@iom.int


In the last years migration movements from Africa to Europe have gained increased and extensive attention. Through popular discourse and media coverage, a certain image of African migrants has been created, based on three main assumptions: migration from the African continent is steadily increasing, it is mainly directed towards Europe, and that its main drivers are poverty, lack of opportunities, and general violence. Images depicted in public often show only the most spectacular movements of a mi-grant’s journey and therewith tend to reinforce the public perception of African migrants as ‘desperate invaders’ or ‘poor victims of smuggling networks’ (Castles, De Haas, & Miller, 2014; Schapendonk, 2012).

The main problem with those depictions is, that most of them are based on assumptions, selective cases or individuals’ impressions instead of sound empirical evidence. Research and empirical studies on the movements of migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have increased in recent years and have high-lighted the diversity of migration from those countries, namely the fact that Europe is not the only destination. Nevertheless, the patterns of movements, migrant profiles as well as reasons and experiences of the journey still often lack evidence-based research (De Haas & Flahaux, 2016).

Therefore, this study, rolled out by DTM with support from various IOM country offices, aims to collect data to foster a better understanding of migration movements from Nigeria to Europe. A comprehensive understanding of factors shaping migrants’ decisions to leave their country, and to choose a particular route and destination can help to inform the debate on regular, irregular and forced migration. It would enable policy makers to better target interventions that address humanitarian needs and to mitigate root causes of mobility, particularly for forced migration. In order to better understand the dynamics and characteristics of mobility, IOM will implement surveys in a number of countries and will support efforts to foster a better understanding of how different factors come together in prompting a final decision to migrate, and how this may vary among different socio-demographic profiles of the mo-bile population. In order to understand which fields are understudied and might need greater attention in evidence-based research this phase of the project aims at establishing existing research gaps and at giving recommendations for further research. The study revolves around six main thematic areas:

  1. Migrant profiles (socio-demographic)

  2. Migration drivers and decision making

  3. Vulnerability factors in origin, transit and destination countries

  4. Role of intermediaries

  5. Migrants’ perceptions towards Europe

  6. Migration choices and options

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