48% reported exploitation or abuse while traveling on the Western Mediterranean Route

Human trafficking statistics

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) flow monitoring survey of over 1,300 migrants and refugees in Spain last year, nearly half (48%) of those interviewed indicated having at least one direct experience related to human trafficking, exploitation or abuse while traveling on the Western Mediterranean Route.  Men – who outnumber women nine to one among those surveyed – reported a higher percentage (49%) of incidents than women (40%). 

The survey findings are based on 1,341 interviews with migrants and refugees from 39 countries of origin who arrived in Spain in 2018. The surveys were conducted between July and October 2018 in transit and reception centres in more than 40 Spanish municipalities across four autonomous regions to shed more light on the profile and experiences of those who arrived in the country by sea and by land via the Western Mediterranean route.  

That route, in 2018, emerged as the most frequented route to Europe in 2018 with 63,325 arrivals to Spain. 

The main countries of origin of the 1,341 survey respondents were Guinea (29%), Mali (19%), Côte d’Ivoire (14%), Cameroon (6%), Senegal (6%), Morocco (5%) and Algeria (4%). These nationalities are also among the top 10 nationals registered in official 2018 statistics. French was reported as a first language spoken by 23 per cent of those interviewed.   

The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report also shows little evidence of a significant “route shift” or diversion between the Central Mediterranean Route and the Western Mediterranean Route in 2018. Among the migrants surveyed, only 1.3 per cent indicated that they had changed their route and headed towards Niger or Algeria after time spent in Libya.  All respondents had transited through either Morocco or Algeria before reaching Spain. 

The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report also shows little evidence of a significant “route shift” or diversion between the Central Mediterranean Route and the Western Mediterranean Route in 2018. Among the migrants surveyed, only 1.3 per cent indicated that they had changed their route and headed towards Niger or Algeria after time spent in Libya.  All respondents had transited through either Morocco or Algeria before reaching Spain. 

The survey shows that migrants and refugees from Cameroon, the Gambia and Guinea reported the highest share of positive responses (67%, 63% and 62% respectively) to at least one of the five questions related to direct experience of human trafficking, exploitation and abuse. Migrants from Morocco (6%), Algeria (13%) and Mauritania (24%) had the lowest share. 

Sources:

IOM

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