5/11: Virtual launch event: A sharper lens on vulnerability: What makes refugees and migrants vulnerable to protection incidents on migration routes through North and West Africa?


Refugees and migrants who undertake the journey along the Central Mediterranean Routemove in response to a diverse range of factors, including to seek refuge from conflict, crisis, and political oppression and/or to seek out a better future as part of a livelihood strategyor personal aspirations. Their mixed migration journeys can be long and perilous and over the past few years, news outlets, NGOs, and watchdogs have extensively documented the dangers that they face in transit and destination countries in West and North Africa.

In recent years the concept of migrant vulnerability has been increasingly used as a lens for analysis and an operational category through which to pursue protection, assistance and the promotion of rights for all people on the move, regardless of their legal status. In particular, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have advanced this thinking through separate conceptual frameworks and guidelines.

But are certain people on the move more vulnerable to incidents than others, and why? Is there a relationship between the likelihood of experiencing protection incidents and people’s origin, language, age, gender, intended destination or the way they interact with smugglers? In other words, what are the determinants of refugees’ and migrants’ vulnerability?

Based on a dataset of more than 15,000 interviews with people on the move in West and North Africa between 2017 and 2019, the Mixed Migration Centre presents two new studies focusing on West Africa and Libya respectively. The studies draw upon different conceptualizations of vulnerability and use advanced statistical analysis on the determinants of vulnerability, to throw these complex relationships into sharper focus.

How do these findings contribute to a better understanding of refugees’ and migrants’ vulnerability? How do they help us to reduce people’s vulnerability to protection incidents? How can we use this more granular understanding of the determinants of vulnerability to develop better tools and principles for protection and risk mitigation?

For more information and registration, please click here: Agenda-Launch-of-two-MMC-Vulnerability-Studies