Senegal: Press release from 28 organisations on the drama of so-called irregular migration


Press release issued on 3 November by the Collectif des Organisations de la Société Civile et Aceturs de la Migration (C.O.C.S.A.M.), known as Lu waral lii. Translated with permission by Statewatch.

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For the past two (2) months, we have been witnessing a daily increase in the number of pirogues going to the Canary Islands (Spain) in Senegal, with more than 200 deaths at least according to our estimates.

The last collision between a Senegalese naval vessel and a pirogue, mainly carrying young Senegalese as well as other Africans from the sub-region, caused about forty deaths.

We extend our sincere condolences to the grieving families and the people of Senegal and Africa who are still losing a significant part of their strength. May they rest in peace. Amine.

Faced with these tragedies, the authorities have no other attitude than to "criminalize" young people under the false pretext that they left without notification. This shameful and arrogant position in fact reflects the lasting inability of the public authorities to find adequate responses to the needs of young people for decent jobs and the accelerated demand for a reduction in social inequalities.

All the policies implemented increase these inequalities, as shown by the nebula around fishing licences, which have destroyed the country's fishing heritage and dismantled artisanal fishing.

In reality, the absence of a migration policy geared towards these issues translates into steering on sight and transforms the country into a gulf of billions obtained from international cooperation.

It is deplorable to note that there is no transparency on these funds, no effectiveness since the Valletta Summit which was followed, among other things, by the adoption of the Global Pact on Migration. Otherwise there are oversized ministries, actions without positive impact, and a gap with the expectations of young people in particular. All this feeds and enriches unscrupulous traffickers.

The State is responsible for all these evils.

This is why we organisations are grouped together in the "Lu waral lii" collective,

Let us denounce:

  • Increasing social inequalities within Senegalese society reinforced by the presence of foreign private companies, most of which do not favour Senegalese in recruitment and do not respect labour legislation.
  • Ineffective government responses to the migration issue
  • Stigmatisation of migrants in political and media discourse through the use of inappropriate and discriminatory terminology such as "irregular migrants" or "clandestine migration".
  • The absence of a real migration policy, truly inclusive, centred mainly on national development at the service of Senegalese people, to meet the expectations of young people in particular.
  • Nebulous practices in the governance of migration
  • Fishing licences granted to foreign boats that plunder our resources
  • The despicable trafficking of migrants

Let us call for a general mobilisation against these scourges, practices and policies.

We demand,

  • The publication of all projects managed by the State with the amounts, sources of funding and the ministries that manage them
  • An audit of the funds obtained from international cooperation for at least the last 5 years
    The publication of all (readmission) agreements signed with European countries, the European Union, Frontex...
  • The need to make public the activities carried out by Frontex in Senegal.
  • An independent evaluation of the funds received via international cooperation since 2015.
  • The setting up of a permanent consultation framework including civil society and the diaspora, without ostracism or political cronyism.
  • The elaboration of a labour migration policy
  • The Estates General on migration in relation to sustainable development.

Let us launch an appeal to all civil society, migrants, communities, socio-professional groups, all youth, women, trade union and civil society organisations as well as social movements for sustainable alternatives to meet the challenges linked to migration.

Done in Dakar, 3 November 2020


1. Migration Development Network (REMIDEV)
4. Cadre d’Action et de Réflexion Intersyndicales sur la Migration (C.A.R.I.S.M)
5. Association Sénégalaise de Solidarité des Émigrés de Retour (A.S.S.E.R)
6. Cercle d’Etudes et de Recherches sur les Migrations (C.E.R.MI)
8. Point d’Accueil pour les Réfugiés et Immigrés (P.A.R.I)
9. Association MIGDEV (Yaraakh)
10. Union pour la Solidarité et l’Entraide (U.S.E)
11. Action Humaine pour le Développement intégré au Sénégal (A.H.D.I.S)
12. Confédération Nationale des Travailleurs du Sénégal (C.N.T.S)
13. Action Aid Sénégal
14. Délégation Sahel
15. ONG Hahatay de Gandiol, Saint Louis
16. A.F.E Pikine (Saint Louis)
17. Association Keur Talibé Ndar, Saint Louis
18. Académie Banlieue Culture (A.B.C) de Yeumbeul
19. Association des Journalistes en Migration et Sécurité (A.J.S.M)
21. Association des Jeunes Rapatriés de Thiaroye (A.J.R.A.P)
22. Afrique Sans Frontières (A.S.F)
24. Réseau Droit au Développement pour d’autres Alternatives (R.E.D.A)
25. Association des Migrants de Retour de Tambacounda
26. Cadre départemental de concertation sur les questions migratoires (Vélingara)
27. Association ADESC de Saré Coly Sallé (Vélingara)
28. Forum Social sénégalais

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