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MMC West Africa & North Africa 4Mi Snapshot – September 2021 Smuggling, risks, and abuses: characteristics of respondents and the perception of smugglers as perpetrators (part 2 of 3)

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This is the second in a series of three 4Mi snapshots looking at the conjunction between smuggling and the risks and abuses faced by refugees and migrants moving through West and North Africa. It draws on 2,427 interviews conducted in Libya, Niger, Mali, and Tunisia between March and July 2021.

The first snapshot focused on smuggling and dangerous routes, and the role of smugglers as perpetrators of risks relative to other actors in these locations. This second snapshot focuses on the link between the individual characteristic of the respondents (gender, nationality, and financial status) and reports of smugglers as perpetrators of risks.

This snapshot is produced in the context of a partnership with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Observatory on Smuggling of Migrants.

Key findings

• Among nationalities that cited the most risks, higher proportions of respondents from Eritrea (36%) and Sudan (24%) perceived smugglers as perpetrators. However, only in the case of respondents from Eritrea were smugglers cited more than any other perceived perpetrator, like criminal, armed groups or border guards.

• Respondents with insufficient funding for their journey may be at greater risk of abuse at the hands of smugglers. 57% of mentions of smugglers as perpetrators were made by people whose financing had not been sufficient for the journey thus far as compared to 33% of mentions made by those with adequate funds.