Insecurity and Irregular Migration in North Africa

5th October 2020
Author: Alex Walsh, Alma Boustati

Irregular migration and insecurity interplay in complex ways in North Africa. Data covering this interaction is uneven. The available literature on the subject addresses this link less through data analysis – perhaps because of its scarcity – and more through a contextual, qualitative understanding of the political and socioeconomic situations in the region and how different actors, including migrants, smugglers, and militia react to changes in policies and incentives. Insecurity as a cause of irregular migration in North Africa is expounded in the literature, but it is difficult to disentangle the impact of security given the interplay of other factors, including economic and environmental drivers. As for the effect of irregular migration on security, the connection is more difficult to establish. Policies put in place by Europe and North African governments that try to curb the flow of illegal migrants have a direct effect on the livelihood of nodal and border communities in the region.

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Suggested Citation

Boustati, A., and Walsh, A., (2020) Insecurity and Migration in North Africa, K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


5th October 2020


Continent: Africa, Europe

Country: Libya, Tunisia