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Can Information and Alternatives to Irregular Migration Reduce "Backway" Migration? School of Economics and Finance Seminar

Speaker: Dr Catia Batista, Nova School of Business and Economics

Abstract: Irregular migration from West Africa to Europe across the Sahara and Mediterranean is extremely risky for the migrants and a key policy concern. We conducted a cluster-randomized experiment with 3,641 young men from 391 settlements in The Gambia to test three different approaches designed to reduce risky, irregular migration. The first is to provide potential migrants with better information about the risks to be faced during the journey, including testimonials from those who have attempted the journey and statistics on the likelihood of experiencing negative events en route. The second intervention is to also provide a second safer migration alternative by adding information and assistance for migration to neighboring Senegal. The third approach is to provide vocational skill training in addition to the information about irregular migration. We evaluate the effect of these policies on actions towards migrating the “backway”, migration to Senegal, and overall well-being.

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