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Scaling Fences

Oct 21, 2019

The Scaling Fences: Voices of Irregular African Migrants to Europe report presents the results of an extensive study exploring the perspectives and experiences of 1970 individuals who migrated through irregular routes from Africa to Europe, originating from 39 African countries.

Its aim is to contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between migration and development. The Scaling Fences report is the second major review of contemporary development issues affecting Africa to be published by UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa.

Highlights

  • 58% of respondents were either earning (49%) or in school (9%) at the time of their departure. For a majority of those earning, income appears to have been competitive in the national context.
  • For 66% of respondents earning, or the prospect of earning, was not a factor that constrained the decision to migrate.
  • 62% of respondents felt they had been treated unfairly by their governments, with many pointing to ethnicity and political views as reasons for perception of unfair treatment.
  • 77% felt that their voice was unheard or that their country’s political system provided no opportunity through which to exert influence on government.
  • 41% of respondents said ‘nothing’ would have changed their decision to migrate to Europe Average earnings in Europe far outstrip average earnings in Africa, even in real terms.
  • 67% of those who did not want to stay permanently in Europe said their communities would be happy if they returned, compared to 41% of those who did want to live permanently in Europe.

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