The compulsion in voluntary migration

Franca F. C. Attoh, University of Lagos
Michael Kunnuji

Although the trans-Atlantic slave trade has become history in the opinion of many, there appears to be a semblance of this dehumanizing practice in migration by Africans to Europe and America. While trans-Atlantic slave trade attracted condemnation from different quarters, trans-Atlantic migration - its contemporary equivalence is noted for the availability of willing victims. A staggering quantum of African youths avail themselves of any imaginable and unimaginable fatal and illicit opportunities such as tortuous travels across the Sahara and/or the use of forged documents in search of “greener pastures.” A local newspaper in Nigeria reports that the police in the Spanish enclave of Melilla have reported 12,000 attempts by African migrants to enter Europe illegally. Many are caught while many others drown attempting to cross to Spain either across the Mediterranean Sea or to the Canary Islands over the Atlantic. These migrants would rather die than remain where nature has planted them. In search of explanations to this unusual practice, a survey was conducted and these researchers have been led to the conclusion that the desperation is premised on the accentuated disparity in income and quality of life between the North and the South.

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Presented in Poster Session 2