Europe: Challenges Faced by African Migrants

Europe: Challenges Faced by African Migrants
As various reports and data show, immigrants, especially African immigrants, are deprived of their most basic rights, which are inalienable and necessary for everyone anywhere in the world. European countries need to take the necessary measure to put an end to these tragic conditions by adopting migration policies that comply with human rights principles.

Since late 20th century, around 60000 migrants have lost their lives across the world on migration routes. For example, in 2017, nearly 6280 migrants were reported missed or dead, the majority of whom belonged to the sub-Saharan Africa (Migration Data Portal, 2018). Unfortunately, European countries fail to protect refugees and migrants who try to reach Europe via the Mediterranean. As stated by Council of Europe Commissioner for human rights (2021), their failure leads thousands of avoidable deaths annually.

Aside from the hazardous route and travel conditions to destination, refugees face different living conditions from one country to the other. As an example, in some places such as the Global South refugees are provided with refugee camps until determining their applications. On the other hand, some EU countries use places such as immigration detention centers or community centers, restricting the chance of migrants for employment. Some of these accommodations have very hazardous conditions and signify some extent of political indifference toward this population and the process of their admission (Davies, Isakjee, & Dhesi, 2017). In some cases, the conditions are much similar to detention and make no difference from those experienced when these people were in their home countries (Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre of International Refugee Law, 2018).

When settled in the country of destination, immigrants want jobs, but rules and regulations are required to protect migrant workers from abuse. Many migrant workers are found in crucial but undervalued sectors, including social and healthcare, transport, construction, agriculture, and domestic work. Migrant women have, particularly, lower income while facing insecurity and vulnerability to sexual abuse and harassment. Migrants, especially those undocumented, are a good source of cheap labor for unprincipled employers who abuse this population (Ludovic Voet, 2021). Another survey by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) (2020) also indicated the important negative consequences of migration, including disruption in livelihoods, increased regional destabilization, continued smuggling, increased violation of human rights, and the erosion of the citizen-government relations. The human smuggling industry is intertwined with migration and adapts to the changing circumstances, increasing migrant vulnerability and leading to violations of their fundamental right in transit and destination countries.

The European Network Against Racism (ENAR, 2017) performed a comprehensive survey and published several key findings on the conditions of migrants, particularly Africans, in Europe. Migrants, among whom Black Africans can be mentioned, had very low life satisfaction and did not feel close to people in the area where they lived. Housing was another problem, with totally 77% of migrants having problems finding a place to live in.

Another important problem was associated with migrants’ vulnerability to crimes, including severe cases of assault. Particularly, Black Africans experienced verbal abuse. As the reports showed, 36% of the migrants interviewed felt the crime committed on them was related to their ethnicity and 53% overall associated with their migration status. However, it is noteworthy that many cases of crime may not be reported, particularly by undocumented migrants as they are afraid of deportation.

Finally, the survey referred to unemployment as one of other problems faced by migrants. In many cases, language barriers and legal status prevent migrants from doing jobs which match their qualifications. The same survey reported that Black Africans (27.3%) were more likely to receive worse treatments than their colleagues. Many migrants of the study reported of high levels of discrimination and verbal abuse, feeling of being treated worse than their colleagues at work and being victims of crime because of their ethnicity or migration status.

As various reports and data show, immigrants, especially African immigrants, are deprived of their most basic rights, which are inalienable and necessary for everyone anywhere in the world. European countries need to take the necessary measure to put an end to these tragic conditions by adopting migration policies that comply with human rights principles.

REFERENCES
Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law. (2018). Refugee status determination in Nauru. Retrieved from www.kaldorcentre.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/Res earch%20Brief_NauruRSD_Aug2018.pdf.
Council of Europe. (2021). www.coe.int/en/web/commissioner/-/european-countries-must-urgently-change-their-migration-policies-which-endanger-refugees-and-migrants-crossing-the-mediterranean
Davies, T., Isakjee, A., & Dhesi, S. (2017). Violent inaction: The necropolitical experience of refugees in Europe. Antipode, 49(5), 1263–1284. https://doi.org/10.1111/anti.12325.
www.enar-eu.org/Survey-reports-appalling-living-conditions-for-migrants-in-Europe-77
Ludovic Voet (2021). EU migration and asylum pact abandons compassion and human rights, EU migration and asylum pact abandons compassion and human rights – Ludovic Voet (socialeurope.eu)
Migration Data Portal. (2018). Migrant deaths and disappearances. Retrieved from https://migrationdataportal.org/themes/migrant-deaths-and-disappearances