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Research project

Saharan and Mediterranean Cross-Border Migration and Deaths and the Impacts on Economic and Social Development of African Countries

Project overview

This project seeks to contribute to our understanding of the economic and social impacts that irregular migration and linked deaths resulting therefrom have on migrants' countries of origin in the African region. The number of migrants who die or those missing while travelling from their origin country to Europe, whether overland or across the sea, has been on rising. In the last five year (2016-2021) over 15,000 irregularised migrants were recorded dead or missing. Irregularised migrants from African countries such as Nigeria and Ghana usually undertake a notoriously treacherous journey across the Sahara Desert to reach Libya, Morocco or Algeria before they embark on the dangerous journey to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea onboard dinghies and unseaworthy boats. In these unsafe journeys, undocumented migrants heavily rely on smuggling networks involving significant protection risks. This human tragedy has devastating consequences not only for migrants, but also for migrants' families.

The project brought together a group of scholars and policy makers from Africa and Europe to discuss these and related questions, in a series of round-table discussions over two days in July 2021, during which a scoping report prepared from the project team served as the starting point for these discussions.


Lead researcher

Professor Remigius Nwabueze


Research interests

  • Law, Dead Bodies, Body Parts and Biomedical Technology
  • Medical Law and Bioethics
  • Property Law
Connect with Remigius
Other researchers

Dr Julie Vullnetari

Associate Dean EDI
Connect with Julie

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups