Friday, June 23, 2006

Thousands reach 'Fortress Europe' each year

Thousands of Africans try to reach Europe's southern shores each year, crossing the sea in rickety boats. Human rights groups say thousands have died trying. Here are some key facts on immigration from Africa:

Why do people leave?

Africa's population is rising sharply and economic growth has not kept pace. From a population of 221 million in 1950, there are now around 800 million, or 13.5 per cent of the total world population.

In 2001, around 46 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa's people lived on less than a dollar a day. Africa is also grappling with environmental degradation, diseases like HIV/AIDS, conflict and famine. In sub-Saharan Africa, 44 per cent of the population is aged under 15.


More than 9,500 immigrants arrived in the Canaries by boat this year, double the number from last year. Malta and Italy face similar problems.

The co-ordinated attempts to enter Ceuta and Melilla last year indicate mounting pressure on Morocco. At least 11 migrants were killed trying to storm the razor-wire fences around the outposts last October.

The Red Cross recently estimated that more than 1,000 African migrants have died since the start of this year trying to break into "Fortress Europe" by ever longer sea routes.

Eurostat, the EU statistics office, has said the EU population rose by 2.3 million in 2004, 1.9 million of these were immigrants.

About 10 per cent of the Dutch population of 16 million is defined as having "non-Western" roots, 1 million of them Muslims, mostly from Turkey and Morocco. Among the young in the big cities such as Rotterdam, immigrants are in the majority.

The United Nations has said that Europe hosted 34 per cent of all migrants in 2005, North America 23 per cent and Asia 28 per cent. Only 9 per cent were living in Africa, 3 per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 3 per cent in Oceania.

What is being done?

Spain called earlier this month for a common EU immigration policy and more resources.

The EU's border agency pledged 2.1 million euros (US$2.64 million) to help co-ordinate EU help to the Canaries and Malta. The money will help organize the EU's first joint sea patrol mission, aimed at stopping migrants reaching the Canary Islands.

France and Morocco have agreed measures to curb illegal migration to Europe, including offering financial support to stop Africans emigrants sailing to the Canary Islands.


Anonymous Imane said...


Facts are nice.. but what is YOUR opinion ?
As a Moroccan woman who lived her whole life in Europe, i can truly say..I wish I could live in Morocco, I wish I could live in my own country, I wish I could live amongst my own people, I wish I wish I wish...
But you can't always get what you want.. maybe if I wish hard enough, I can get what I wish for.. ;)

4:33 PM, July 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice blog. Look forward to some future work you may post.

12:29 AM, August 21, 2006  

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