A majority of Africans do not hesitate to make the journey to European countries along irregular routes, defying life-threatening dangers, a new study by the U.N.’s development agency found.
The report published yesterday by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said that 93% of Africans who already experienced danger on their migration would make the perilous journey to Europe again despite knowing the dangers of the trip. Only 2% said that a greater awareness of the risks would have caused them to stay home.
The report, titled “Scaling Fences: Voices of Irregular African Migrants to Europe,” also set out to find out their motivation to undertake the trip and put their lives in danger. Migrants take dangerous routes from Africa to Europe not because they need protection or jobs but because their countries do not meet their aspirations quickly enough, the U.N. report found.
Around 58% were either employed or in school at the time of their departure, with the majority of those working and earning competitive wages. But around half of those working said they were not earning enough.
The major factor keeping migrants working in Europe is the apparent shame of failing in their mission to send sufficient funds back home, according to UNDP. Around 53% had received support from family and friends, in order to make the journey, and once in Europe, around 78%, were sending money back.
“[The report] highlights that migration is a reverberation of development progress across Africa, albeit progress that is uneven and not fast enough to meet people’s aspirations. Barriers to opportunity, or ‘choice-lessness’, emerge from this study as critical factors informing the calculation of these young people,” said Achim Steiner, a UNDP administrator.
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