By: V4 Agency
Speaking in a recent TV show, a historian-turned migration expert stressed that many young migrants trying to reach Europe are not driven by poverty, but by a strong desire for adventure.
The French France 5 channel has interviewed left-leaning migration expert Herve le Bras. Speaking on the channel’s C Politique programme, the expert elaborated on the possible causes of migration in connection with his recently published book.
According to le Bras, it is not always poverty which drives young people to Europe. In many cases, they are driven by a desire for adventure, with the journey being viewed as an initiation ritual.
In his book devoted to the issue of migration, the expert tells the story of some 20 thousand young Senegalese people, who left their homeland last year. For many of them, the journey was part of an ancient ritual, as the tradition of sailing the high seas originates from Africa. To bolster his argument, le Bras provides an example, recalling an encounter with young Senegalese people in Rome who were waiting for the verification of their refugee status. He began chatting with one of them, who explained that he came to Europe because his dream was to become a footballer. This appears to show that young people trying to reach Europe are not primarily driven by destitution or financial reasons, but by a strong desire for adventure.
Figures from statista.com indicate that nearly 69,200 Senegalese migrants arrived in France in 2017, most between the ages of 25 and 44. Hundreds of young people vanish at the Mediterranean Sea every year, with most of them setting sail from Senegal to the Canary Islands, according to an article published in November 2020 by the weekly Le Point newspaper.