22 Jul 22 | News

What policies are needed to deter irregular migration from Africa to Europe?

Tijan Bah, Catia Batista, Flore Gubert, David McKenzie

While attempting to reach Europe, irregular migrants undertake extremely risky journeys across the Mediterranean Sea. Embarking on this perilous route to Europe remains one of the most popular migration options for many sub-Saharan Africans.

The impact of evolving policies and interventions has never been rigorously evaluated, which leaves room both for unintended effects and for the waste of resources spent on policies that may be ineffective.

In this context, it is crucial to implement rigorous impact evaluations of the policies aiming to prevent irregular migration. In order to be successful, such interventions must evaluate the relevant factors in the decision-making process of the potential migrants. Do they know how risky their intended voyage is? Do they have realistic expectations regarding their chances of being granted asylum upon arrival? If not, are their migration intentions and decisions affected by more accurate information? What other policies could be put in place to save lives in this process?

Three interventions have been evaluated:

  • An informational campaign on the risk of violence, death or the expected benefits of irregular migration,
  • Information on legal migration to Dakar, offer a financial help for travel and installation
  • A free professional training that could be highlighted in Gambia or Senegal

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