Africans make up just 4% of the population of Europe, and 86% of migrants leaving West Africa go to other African countries. But prejudices die hard in Europe and in West Africa: on the one hand, Europeans fear a flood of immigrants and the Islamisation of the population of Europe; on the other side, Africans dream of an Eldorado to be found over the sea, despite knowing the risks and the barriers of ‘Fortress Europe’.
Such perceptions translate into a contagion of xenophobia which infiltrates the behaviour of citizens and the policies of European states. In Africa, governments tend to shrug off national responsibilities and adopt incoherent or even duplicitous national migration policies.
These attitudes produce double standards in addressing the rights of migrants. Rights violations suffered by African migrants in Europe are denounced, while violations they suffer in African host countries are met with silence and complicity, despite regional agreements in ECOWAS. For their part, European countries allow free circulation of capital and goods, but not of people.
Media, both African and European, contribute to weaving mistaken perceptions about migration in general and migrants themselves. In West Africa, in Europe, and in the transit countries between them such as the Maghreb countries, the role of media can be crucial in deconstructing false ideas, documenting the consequences of these false ideas for human rights, and fostering better debate about policy on migration.
What PIWA is doing
Activities include :
Since 2011, PIWA has conducted two big projects, over three years and in several countries:
These projects were carried out in West Africa (Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Mauritania); in North Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia); and in Europe (Great Britain, France, Spain and Italy).