Roadmap for sustainable migration management in the Sahel: lessons from Agadez

Conflict Research Unit of Clingendael Institute

This is an output from a project that was part of the fifth Applied Research Fund (ARF) on mixed migration flows. The ARF is executed by NWO-WOTRO in close collaboration with the Platform. The call aims to strengthen the evidence-base for security and rule of law policies and programming, addressing the root causes, and the dynamics and consequences of mixed migration flows within and from fragile and conflict-affected settings.

An evaluation of the consequences that European Union (EU) migration policies have had for Agadez shows that the drive to stop migration has resulted in the implementation of policies that are not context- and conflict-sensitive and which thereby harm local stability and development. A related problem with the dominant focus on stopping migration is that the reduction of migratory flows has become the sole indicator of the effectiveness of migration policies. This unilateral focus misses migration’s larger challenges for stability and local development in the region, as migration industries have beneficial and harmful effects that fall outside of the scope of current regulations and international policies. Therefore, as well as putting forward practical recommendations to increase economic development, the legitimacy of authorities, and security in transit regions, this policy brief advocates for the adoption of more sustainable migration policies driven by a holistic and long-term development agenda that works towards inclusive development and stability for these regions.

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