The risks related to the migration of Nigerians to Europe can be classified into four stages: those present during the movement from origin to the Sahel (within the Economic Community of West African States); the risks present during the movement from the Sahel to North Africa; the risks associated with North Africa; and the risks at destination.

Key takeaways and perspectives:

  • The journey is risky for all, regardless of their reasons for migration.
  • Increasing border control has led to riskier journeys for migrants.
  • While a very large number of migrants and refugees travelled to Europe in 2015, the most vulnerable are left behind at origin.
  • Family reunification is seen as a legal pathway to Europe in the absence of other legal pathways, but lengthy processes for family reunification lead to more dangerous journeys being undertaken by family members remaining at origin.
  • Nigerians are being fooled by Nigerian traffickers who sell them to Libyan traffickers in situations of modern slavery, and detention centres in Libya have become hotbeds for trafficking.
  • Vulnerability is linked more to circumstances than categories of migrants. That is, migrants tend to address their own vulnerabilities quite well for the most part, but become unable to do so when they encounter unfavourable circumstances.
  • Children have a harder time moving on from the difficult things they experienced at origin and during migration.
  • Distrust of other Iraqis makes life in accommodation centres very challenging for Iraqis. • Social capital is more important than integration support for many migrants and asylum seekers.
  • Lack of faith in regular migration channels is linked to poor governance at origin.