THE VOICES OF IRREGULAR MIGRANTS
“If you have a family, you have to ensure they have food, shelter, medicine, and education. I have a young daughter. People may ask what kind of father I am, to leave behind my wife and infant daughter. But what kind of a father would I be, if I stayed and couldn’t provide them a decent life?” - Yerima
Irregular migrants who made the fraught journey from Africa to Europe would do so again despite knowing the dangers of the trip. Some 93 per cent of almost 2,000 irregular migrants surveyed experienced danger on their journey, but only two per cent said that greater awareness of the risks would have caused them to stay home.
This and other findings emerge from a landmark report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Scaling Fences: Voices of Irregular African Migrants to Europe.
The report, which interviewed 1,970 migrants from 39 African countries in 13 European nations, all of whom self-declared that they arrived in Europe through irregular means and not for asylum or protection-related reasons, challenges commonly held assumptions around irregular migration from Africa to Europe.
"Migration is a reverberation of development progress. It helps us to understand and appreciate more clearly the perspective of migrants who travel through irregular channels. It illustrates that development is taking place in Africa, but not fast enough and with gains that are uneven and limiting".
Download the report here