West African Migrants in Spain: Human Factors and Emerging International Policy

By Yvonne Captain.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Migration is as old as the human experience. Current globalization renders that experience almost inevitable for some groups. Yet, the recent trend in migration from West Africa into Western Europe is noteworthy. For the student of African Diaspora culture, today’s migration constitutes the third most significant outpouring from the African continent in modern history. Of this trend, the most specific focus of this paper is the flow of Senegalese citizens into Spain. The more detailed comparative portion of this study forms part of a larger project that analyzes the outcome of migration from three different sending nations—Ghana, Guinea, and Senegal into the Southern European receiving nations of Italy, Malta and Spain.
In many ways the Senegalese immigrant experience is similar to that of migrants from other parts of Western Africa and indeed the whole of the developing world. There are a variety of reasons why they choose to leave their countries, yet, the overwhelming cause of their trek is an economic one. Air travel is a significant mode of travel, but perilous boat travel is the only option for some. The migrants themselves are not the only actors involved in the choice to take the life-altering journey. Family, community, smugglers and others play a decisive role in the process. On the more formal, official side of the issue the governments of both the sending nations and of the receiving nation, Spain, have altered their approaches to the situation. The question becomes are the migrants, the sending countries and the receiving countries always better off because of the migration?

Keywords: African Diaspora, Aging Population, Brain Drain, Brawn Drain, Borders – Land, Sea, Air, Human Rights, Human Trafficking, Interdiction, Labor Migration, Low Birth Rate, National Security, Outmigration vs Inmigration, Points of Departure; Points of Entry, Push and Pull Factors, Remittances, Sending Country vs Receiving Country, Social Costs of Migration, Third Wave Migration, Undocumented Migrants

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 10, pp.61-68. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 566.142KB).

Dr. Yvonne Captain

Associate Professor, Dept of Romance, German, Slavic, Languages and Literatures, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA

Professor Captain teaches courses related to Latin American Film and Intellectual History in addition to a course on U.S.-Africa Relations. She is an expert on the African Diaspora in Latin America and has broadened her research scope to include comparative approaches to the African Diaspora including: the historic Diaspora and the recent Diaspora; comparative regional Diaspora experiences; and Louisiana Creole experiences as part of the Diaspora. She has published, interviewed, and lectured widely on Latin America and is preparing a manuscript on the recent Diaspora in Europe. Finally, Professor Captain is the Executive Director of Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars which boasts a membership of over 165 colleges and universities.


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