This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Irregular Migration from Africa to Europe Has Been Shifting

Dr. Debbie Fugate's visit here to San Diego State University was a reminder to us all to stay on top of the incredibly detailed and useful maps that she and her staff put together at the State Department's Humanitarian Information Unit. The maps are technically generated for use by the White House and the Secretary of State, and the U.S. government more generally, but the unclassified versions are available online to the rest of us. The most recent map details the trends in irregular ("undocumented") migration from Africa to Europe. Here's what is looks like, but you need to download it yourself to clearly see all of the information that is conveyed:

Here are two key summaries of what's going on:
1. Although European and African efforts to reduce irregular migration have successfully lowered overall numbers entering Europe, some migrants are transiting increasingly hazardous smuggling routes across the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea, risking human rights abuses and indefinite detention. The UN’s voluntary humanitarian return program assisted over 19,000 migrants to return to their home countries from Libya in 2017, up from around 3,000 assisted migrant returns from Libya in 2016. An estimated 400,000–700,000 migrants live in detention in Libya.
2. UN agencies estimate that more migrants may die attempting to cross the Sahara than the Mediterranean.

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