According to the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), the first eight months of 2022 have seen 13,500 more Tunisian migrants arrive in Italy than there were during the same period in 2021.
Tunisia’s political and economic problems have been cited as the reason to blame for the migration. Videos that have been circulated on social media this summer showed whole families boarding boats as the number of departures from Tunisian coasts sharply increased as the nation’s economic situation worsened.
According to Ben Omar, a representative of the Tunisian Forum of Economic and Social Rights, 500 Tunisian families, 640 women, and 2,600 youngsters landed by boat on the Italian beaches this year. He said, “About 570 individuals drowned off the coast of Tunisia this year.”
Ben Omar stated that, so far this year, the Tunisian authorities have blocked over 1,800 crossing attempts, preventing more than 23,500 Tunisians from traveling to the Italian coastline. Human traffickers are also taking advantage of the situation, and hundreds of people have been trafficked from Tunisian shores.
International disorderly migration is one of the top ten items on the global policy agenda right now. Many policymakers in both developing and developed countries are grappling with this issue and its implications for both origin and receiving countries.
In the past decade, thousands of migrants from North and West Africa have died at sea trying to cross into Italy and Spain. Makeshift boats carrying people have capsized, killing both young and old people. A number of push and pull factors have been cited by analysts as the causes of migration by Tunisians and other North Africans to Europe.
The country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has been slowed by the war in Ukraine and the breakdown in the global supply chains. Most Tunisians cannot afford to buy basic food items, and families have resorted to crossing to Europe. The economic and social crises in Tunisia are threatening to bankrupt the country’s public coffers, and the country’s inflation rate has risen to 8.6%, the worst level in three decades.
Unemployment is high in Tunisia and many young people have decided to leave the country rather than remain idle. Many Tunisians have lost hope in the government’s ability to provide employment.
The political unrest in Tunisia that has occurred since President Kais Saied took over power a year ago has made it more difficult to revive the economy. Saied removed the parliament and established a presidential system of government, which was viewed by the opposition as a coup.
Saied solidified his role in a new constitution that was adopted in a referendum in July on a low turnout of 30.5%. The president stated that the changes were necessary to end political uncertainty in the country.
Tunisia has seen a reduction in freedoms in the past 10 years. Freedom of speech and the press have been brutally repressed.
Climate change effects, especially in the country, have also been blamed for the migration. Climate change has resulted in the loss of people’s livelihoods in the country. Many people in the rural areas have been affected by droughts.
Most Tunisians migrating to Europe are attracted by economic opportunities. Young people and families are able to get employment in countries like Italy and Spain.
Political stability is another reason why most migrants from North Africa are crossing to Europe. Unlike their countries of origin, Europe is one of the most peaceful continents.