Thousands of irregular migrants from Africa are now considering the Moroccan to Spain route in an attempt to reach Europe by land, the Migrant Project, an anti-irregular migration campaign group, has said.
In a press statement, the group said that due to the unrest and clamp down in Libya, several migrants are avoiding the Libyan route which is deemed too risky, dangerous and stressful, thereby using the borders in Morocco as the connecting point into Europe.
Over 82,000 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea between January and September 2018, with over 36,600 entering Spain, making it the leading destination for irregular migration into Europe this year, the group added.
“In July, more than 700 migrants from sub-Sahara Africa stormed the border fence of the Spanish enclave Ceuta in Morocco with dozens injured and several dead,” Tayo Elegbede, the group’s media officer said.
Mr Elegbede noted that the realities of irregular migration in Nigeria and Africa continue to generate concerns for stakeholders due to the inherent dangers of the journey which entraps, enslaves and renders many migrants stranded, unsafe and even dead.
“Our observation of irregular migration trends in Nigeria has revealed quite a number of realities,” he said.
“While the journeys are a really hard move to track, it is worrisome to note that over 1,700 people have died this year in an attempt to cross the Mediterranean sea. Similarly, thousands have lost their lives in attempts to use the Moroccan-Spain route into Europe, This is outside of the cases of forced labour, slave trade, human trafficking, organ harvesting and detention, and other inhuman experiences.”
He urged traveling Nigerians to explore legal alternatives rather than irregular migration which is fraught with risks.
“Apparently, irregular migration could be really costly to individuals, families, communities, nations and the world at large,” he said.
“Hence, we advise people, particularly potential migrants, to know the risks and realities of irregular migration and count the cost before embarking on such journies.
“Therefore, it is safe to explore alternatives to irregular migration such as legal and proper migration, foreign studies and scholarships, family reunification, home-grown opportunities for business development, entrepreneurship, job placement, and skills development.”
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