Sub-Saharan migration in Morocco : Mobility and perceptions of migration management

University essay from Lunds universitet/Kulturgeografi och ekonomisk geografi

Abstract: Sub-Saharan migration towards Europe is an increasing concern amongst politicians and citizens in Europe. While migration to Europe across the Mediterranean generally has decreased since 2015, the number of people transiting through Morocco to Europe has increased significantly during these same years. This paper explores the experiences of sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco and how their mobility is affected by their perceptions of Moroccan migration management and Morocco as a transit zone. This is done through a qualitative case study based on participant observation and semi-structured interviews with sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco. Taking a starting point in the concepts of transit zones and migrants’ agency and resistance, it has been found that sub-Saharan migrants perceive the Moroccan migration management as a business for Morocco where the government is taking advantage of its position as a transit zone towards the European Union. It is found that migrants acknowledge that they are part of this geopolitical interest game but resist the control and disruptions of their journeys by the authorities by gaining and sharing local knowledge and by organising in social communities.

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