Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies

"You can’t go back." Navigating the Central Mediterranean during Europe’s Refugee Crisis

Dr Simon Macmahon, University of Coventry

15 November 2016

Abstract

 
Dr Simon Macmahon

Dr Simon Macmahon

 

 

In 2015, over 150,000 people crossed the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa to Italy in search of safety and a better life. For every 53 people who arrived, one would die on the journey. Pressure to respond has been enormous, leading to significant changes in the governance of migration in the Mediterranean. And yet in 2016 migration flows from North Africa to Italy have been at the same levels as during the last two years whilst the journey has become more deadly, with one death for every 42 arrivals between January and August of 2016.

To understand why requires a closer look at the dynamics of migration that have continued to lead people to Europe. This presentation does so by drawing on interviews with over 200 people who made the journey from North Africa to Italy by boat and 45 in-depth interviews with key stakeholders. With a particular focus on the motivations, journeys and experiences of refugees and migrants along the way, the presentation shines light on the decisions made by people continuing to risk their lives on the most deadly sea crossing in the world.

More information on the MEDMIG project.