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ATTITUDES OF EGYPTIAN

YOUTH TOWARDS
MIGRATION TO EUROPE
2006
Attitudes of Egyptian youth Towards
Migration to Europe
Attitudes of Egyptian youth Towards
Migration to Europe
Prepared for IDOM Project by

Ayman Zohry

March 2006
ACKNOLEDGMENTS

Many individuals and entities contributed to the production of this report and the
fieldwork preceded it. Special thanks go to the Italian Government who sponsors the
Information Dissemination on Migration Project (IDOM), The International
Organization for Migration (IOM) for providing technical support, and the
Emigration Sector of Ministry of Manpower and Emigration of Egypt for hosting
and implementing the activities of this project. Thanks go also to the Steering
Committee and the Scientific Committee of the project for providing guidelines and
support for the IDOM activities. The contribution of the Emigration Sector staff and
professionals are highly appreciated.

Thanks go also to Dr. Ayman Zohry, the principal investigator of this study who
prepared this report. The space is limited to mention all names of those who
contributed to the success of this study, but without a highly qualified data collection
team, and data processing staff, this work could have not be done; thanks to all of
those who made it possible to have this work done.

National Project Director International Project Director

Magda Abdel Rahman Bruno Botta

i
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgments i

Preface 1

Executive Summary 4

Chapter 1: Introduction 9

Chapter 2: The Study Population 16

Chapter 3: Migration Intentions 21

Chapter 4: Migration Experience 28

Chapter 5: Exposure to Mass Media 37

Chapter 6: Conclusions and Recommendations 41

References 50

Appendix A: Survey Staff

Appendix B: Fieldwork Sites

Appendix C: Survey Questionnaire

ii
PREFACE

This report has been possible thanks to the collaboration of the Emigration Sector of
the Ministry of Manpower and Emigration and the key sponsors of the Information
Dissemination on Migration Project (IDOM); the Italian Government (Italia
Cooperation) and the International organization for Migration (IOM). This report
presents finding of a field survey on attitudes of Egyptian youth towards migration to
Europe as part of the IDOM project.

The responsibilities of the Emigration Sector (ES) are to develop a comprehensive


Egyptian Emigration Strategy; to provide the necessary care for Egyptians abroad;
and to benefit from their scientific potential in order to contribute to the process of
development in Egypt. The ES has undertaken wide-ranging responsibilities
according to the following objectives:

• To develop executive plans and policies to encourage Egyptian emigration


and provide the opportunities that eventually ensure its success, on the basis
of the assumption that migration is a natural and stable phenomenon;
• To sponsor Egyptians abroad, encourage them to create Egyptian gatherings,
unions and clubs and focus on the second and third generations of migrants
by fostering their ties to their homeland;
• To achieve the maximum capitalization on Egyptian potential abroad,
whether in relation to scientific and research knowledge transfer or to the
contribution in savings to Egyptian development strategies; to support
Egyptian capacities inside and outside Egypt; and
• To establish an integrated database on Egyptians abroad, emigration markets,
and migration regulating legislations in destination countries.

1
The ES, in the framework of its objectives, duties and responsibilities, provides care
to all Egyptian gatherings abroad and facilitates their contribution to the
development strategy in accordance with the following activities:
• Supporting and encouraging Egyptian gatherings abroad;
• Conducting surveys and studies on the needs and requirements of external
labor markets and focusing on the provision of emigration opportunities
especially to potential permanent migrants;
• Collecting information on a regular basis on migration legislations in
different hosting countries in cooperation with Egyptian embassies and
consulates in these countries;
• Identifying the human and financial resources resulting from the migration
phenomenon in order to make the best use of them in development projects in
Egypt, and to achieve the maximum utilization of Egyptian expertise abroad.
• Encouraging Egyptian migrants to invest in Egypt in order to create strong
ties between them and their homeland;
• Developing an information dissemination campaign for the Egyptian youth to
raise awareness of the risks of illegal migration and guide them towards legal
migration channels;
• Cooperating with audiovisual media in order to maintain the Arabic language
among consecutive generations of Egyptians abroad;
• Developing and supporting cooperation channels with the entities and
institutions concerned with migration through the Supreme Committee of
Migration
• Receiving the complaints and inquires of Egyptians abroad through the
internet or mail and processing answers for them;
• Activating the role of the General Union of Egyptians abroad and amending
its legal framework; and
• Encouraging the creation of secondary unions under the supervision of the
General Union of Egyptians Abroad.

2
This report aims at exploring factors associated with Egyptian youth’s attitudes
towards migration to Europe in order to design an information dissemination
campaign to raise youth’s awareness of illegal migration and its negative
consequences and to provide directions for policy and advocacy.

3
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

IDOM Project
Information Dissemination for the Prevention of Irregular Migration Project (IDOM)
aims at limiting irregular migration and curbing its risks. Through the provision of
information, it aims at positively influencing the choices of Egyptian Potential
migrants and to let them achieve a better understanding of migration realities. Egypt
is a labor migrants’ sending country and the number of Egyptian migrants abroad is
estimated between 3 and 5 million. Egyptians represent one of the target groups for
smuggling rings within and outside the Middle East. The Emigration and Egyptians
Abroad Sector of the Egyptian Ministry of Manpower and Emigration cooperates
with IOM in defining the profile of Egyptian irregular migrants and in raising their
awareness on the realities and risks of irregular migration including migrant
trafficking. IOM through this project aims at assisting the Government of Egypt in
developing specific means of information through the cooperation of institutional,
non-institutional and media counterparts in order to reach potential target groups and
influence their perception of migration realities. A mass Information Campaign
combining selected media, the participation of NGOs/Youth groups and tackling the
multiple aspects related to irregular migration (legal, socio-economic etc.) will be
developed in the second phase of the project. Through the project, a survey on
“Attitudes of Egyptian Youth Towards Migration” was carried out in the first phase
of the project in eight governorates; Cairo, Alexandria, Gharbiya, Dakaqliya,
Sharqiya, Fayoum, Menoufiya, and Luxor. Some 1,552 completed questionnaires
were successfully completed and analyzed. This report presents some primarily
results of this survey.

4
Objectives of this study
This survey and the focus group discussions are carried out to fulfill two main
objectives:

1. The first objective is linked to the identification of the push factors in the
country, with particular attention to the dynamics governing the irregular
migratory flows from Egypt to the European Union. The research focuses on
the broad dimensions of migration, both legal and illegal, towards the
northern shores of the Mediterranean. The research further tries to define the
socio-political and economic environment in which the decision to migrate
mature, with the aim of finding appropriate responses at the point of origin.

2. The second objective is to gather information about the level of awareness of


potential migrants about irregular migration and migrants smuggling from
Egypt. An important element of the survey is the identification of the
information consumption habits of the potential target group.

The study population


The study population was set to be young males between 18 and 40 years old. This
segment of population forms the pool from which illegal – and legal – migrants
comes from. Since Egyptian migration is masculine in nature, only males were
interviewed. A survey team was recruited and trained. The team was consisted of
highly qualified researchers from the Central Agency of Public Mobilization and
Statistics (CAPMAS), and the Emigration Sector. The fieldwork took place in urban
and rural areas in eight governorate; Cairo, Alexandria, Gharbiya, Dakaqliya,
Sharqiya, Fayoum, Menoufiya, and Luxor. The total number of completed
questionnaires was 1,552.

5
The preparation for this survey started with in the beginning of the project by
determining sample size and the geographical coverage of the fieldwork. The survey
questionnaire was prepared and tested in three villages in Menoufiya governorate
before being administered in the main fieldwork phase. Research approvals and
security clearance rules were followed and the Head of the Central Agency for
Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) approved the survey tools to be
administered in the eight governorates. Field interviewers received an intensive
training course for two days- 9-10 September 2005 – where role play and other
training techniques were used. A training manual was prepared and every
interviewer and supervisor received a copy of this manual. A senior CAPMAS
researcher with 20 years of experience was appointed as fieldwork coordinator.

Results
Reasons of migration
The results of the study indicated that the vast majority of youth who want to migrate
to Europe intend to return to Egypt after a temporary stay in the countries of
destination. These findings indicate that the Egyptian migration to Europe is a re-
production of the pattern of Egyptian migration to the Arab Gulf countries, where
young males migrate to achieve specific financial goals and then they return to
Egypt. Egyptian migration to Europe is different from other migration streams,
especially the Maghreb countries and Sub-Saharan African countries. Egyptian
migration to Europe is mainly male-dominated and temporary migration in general,
while Maghreb and Sub-Saharan Africa migration streams are dominated by males
and females who intend to stay in the destination countries in general. With respect
to the reason for migration, the study indicated that the main reasons behind
migration are the low wages and salaries in Egypt, and the lack of employment job
opportunities in Egypt, especially among new graduates.

6
Youth’s awareness of hazards of illegal migration
Regarding youth’s awareness of illegal/irregular migration and their consequences,
the results indicated that most of the interviewees are aware of the negative effects of
this phenomenon. At the same time 80 percent of the interviewees indicated that
legal migration to Europe is not easy. For those who intend to migrate to Europe, 61
percent prefer to migrate to Italy, 16 percent to France, and then comes Germany,
Britain, Netherlands, and Greece.

Sources of information on migration


The role of formal/governmental media as a source of information on migration is
almost negligible. The vast majority of youth indicated that they don’t depend on
formal/governmental sources. The main source of information about migration is
relatives and friends. The very limited role of governmental agencies, journalism,
media, and embassies makes it easy for rumors and falsified information on
migration to widespread.

Due to the way information about migration is disseminated, it is not a surprise to


notice that migration streams to Europe are originated in a network of villages in The
Nile Delta and Upper Egypt where family members and relatives help each other in
sustaining migration flows and lubricate migration through legal and illegal means.
The results also indicated the importance of migration brokers in the process of
illegal migration.

Future Migration Trends


Inspite of the hazards illegal migrants face in their journey to the other shore of the
Mediterranean, many return migrants indicated their desire to re-run the risk of
migration to Europe. It may look unwise, but the unemployment and low income in
Egypt, in addition to remittances current migrants send to their families and their
utilization in marriage, building modern houses in rural Egypt, attract new young
men to attempt to migrate.

7
Some Policy Recommendations
Since the motives of migration are overwhelmingly economic, reducing the
unemployment rates through creating job opportunities for Egyptian youth is viable
solution for reducing the risk of illegal migration and increasing protection. Bilateral
agreements aim at increasing the quota for Egyptian migrants and opening new
markets for Egyptian labor force are highly recommended.

The results of this study indicated that the main sources of information on migration
are friends, relatives, and peers. Hence, it is important to design information
dissemination to include face-to-face communications and community/village-level
activities to reach to potential illegal migrants. Mass media campaign is very
important, but it should be supported by advocacy campaigns at the level of the
villages and communities with high prevalence of illegal migration. Youth centers,
clubs, and places where youth gather can be used as venues for these activities.

8
1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background
In the face of the tightened policy adopted by the European community, especially
after the Schengen agreement in 1990 and the Maastricht Treaty (requiring a visa,
strict border surveillance, and imposing a selective ceiling for work permits), illegal
migration increased and illegal migration networks grew, especially from Morocco
to Spain across the Straits of Gibraltar and from Tunisia and Libya to the nearby
Italian coasts and islands across the Mediterranean. Statistically speaking and due to
the clandestine nature of this movement of people, accurate figures of the numbers
involved are difficult to estimate. Although the governments of sending countries set
measures to stop illegal migration, they can not eradicate it completely. Similarly,
the governments of host countries in Europe can not stop the movements of illegal
migration with high rates of success due to the complicated nature of this
phenomenon and its linkages to policy and socioeconomic conditions in the sending
and receiving countries.

Information Dissemination for the Prevention of Irregular Migration Project (IDOM)


aims at limiting irregular migration and curbing its risks. Through the provision of
information, it aims at positively influencing the choices of Egyptian Potential
migrants and to let them achieve a better understanding of migration realities. Egypt
is a labor migrants’ sending country and the number of Egyptian migrants abroad is
estimated between 3 and 5 million. Egyptians represent one of the target groups for
smuggling rings within and outside the Middle East. The Emigration and Egyptians
Abroad Sector of the Egyptian Ministry of Manpower and Emigration cooperates
with IOM in defining the profile of Egyptian irregular migrants and in raising their
awareness on the realities and risks of irregular migration, including migrant
trafficking. IOM through this project aims at assisting the Government of Egypt in
developing specific means of information through the cooperation of institutional,

9
non-institutional and media counterparts in order to reach potential target groups and
influence their perception of migration realities. A mass Information Campaign
combining selected media, the participation of NGOs/Youth groups and tackling the
multiple aspects related to irregular migration (legal, socio-economic etc.) will be
developed in the second phase of the project. Through the project, a survey on
“Attitudes of Egyptian Youth Towards Migration” was carried out in the first phase
of the project in eight governorates; Cairo, Alexandria, Gharbiya, Dakaqliya,
Sharqiya, Fayoum, Menoufiya, and Luxor. Some 1,552 completed questionnaires
were successfully completed and analyzed.

1.2 Rationale and Research Objectives


According to the project document, this survey – and the focus group discussions – is
carried out to fulfill two main objectives:

1. The first objective is linked to the identification of the push factors in the
country, with particular attention to the dynamics governing the irregular
migratory flows from Egypt to the EU. The research focuses on the broad
dimensions of migration, both legal and illegal, towards the northern shores
of the Mediterranean. The research further tries to define the socio-political
and economic environment in which the decision to migrate mature, with the
aim of finding appropriate responses at the point of origin.

2. The second objective is to gather information about the level of awareness of


potential migrants about irregular migration and migrants smuggling from
Egypt. An important element of the survey is the identification of the
information consumption habits of the potential target group.

1.3 Methodology
The study population

10
The study population was set to be young males between 18 and 40 years old. This
segment of population forms the pool from which illegal – and legal – migrants
come from. Since Egyptian migration is masculine in nature, only males were
interviewed. A survey teem was recruited and trained. The team was consisted of
highly qualified researchers from the Central Agency of Public Mobilization and
Statistics (CAPMAS), and the Emigration Sector. The fieldwork took place in urban
and rural areas in eight governorate; Cairo, Alexandria, Gharbiya, Dakaqliya,
Sharqiya, Fayoum, Menoufiya, and Luxor. The total number of completed
questionnaires was 1,552. In the presentation of the data, the names and identities of
the respondents are not provided to protect their privacy.

Fieldwork sites
In order to obtain a geographically representative sample, the research fieldwork
took place in eight governorates; four from Lower Egypt (Gharbiya, Dakaqliya,
Sharqiya, and Menoufiya), two from Upper Egypt (Fayoum and Luxor), and two
Urban governorates (Cairo and Alexandria). Except for Cairo and Alexandria, the
selection of the governorates within each region and the selection of fieldwork sites
within each governorate were based on the existence of well-established migration
streams (legal and illegal) between these sites and European countries. The judgment
was based on media reports in the last two years, the few available research reports,
and personal experience of the principal investigator.

A listing team was sent to the selected sites to construct lists of potential
interviewees. However, interviewers were asked to interview any person who could
be available in the data collection phase. Interviews took place in the coffee shops,
workplaces, houses of respondents, youth centers, and many other places where
youth could be available.

Questionnaire development

11
The IDOM survey involved a standard questionnaire for the collection of
quantitative data and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) for the collection of
qualitative data. The standard questionnaire was obviously constructed in such a way
as to provide some data for formulating answers to the research questions set out
above. In drafting the questionnaire schedule followed a “common-sense” approach,
based on linking the research objectives with relatively simple questions which could
be readily understood by the respondents. However, also cross-checked the design of
the schedule with other surveys that were carried out in Egypt and developing
countries related to migration research.

An English translation of the final Arabic Language questionnaire is included in


Appendix C. It includes the following main groups of questions:

1. Background information:
Age, education, place of origin, marital status, work and income, family size, etc.
2. Migration intentions:
Reasons affecting migration intentions, preferred country of destination,
awareness of migration regulations, awareness of illegal migration, etc.

3. International migration experience:


Country of migration, reasons behind migration, experience of migration in the
destination country, work experience there, etc.

4. Migration of friends and relatives:


Experience of friends and relatives and their migration experience, etc.

5. Exposure to media:
This part of the questionnaire measures youth’s exposure to mass media and their
media consumption habits.
6. Plans for the future:
“What are your main aims in life long-term?” This was the only open-ended
question included in this part of the questionnaire. The purpose of addressing this

12
question to respondents is to have an idea about their future plans and aims in
general.

Data processing and editing


After the data collection was completed, questionnaires were reviewed for
consistency and completeness by office editors, and then were coded. The data were
entered and edited on micro-computers using a package called Epi-Info. The
statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to produce tables and to
carry out statistical analysis of the survey data. The data entry, computer editing,
tabulation, and statistical analysis were completed in four weeks.

Focus group discussions


Six focus group discussions (FGDs) were held with youth in four governorates
(Menoufiya, Gharbiya, Sharqiya, and Fayoum). Through FGDs, qualitative data on
migration intentions and experiences were collected to support and explain
quantitative data collected through the field survey. The results of the FGDs are
integrated in this report with the analysis of the quantitative data.

Training materials
A variety of materials were developed for use in training personnel involved in the
fieldwork (questionnaire and focus group discussion). A brief interviewer manual
giving general guidelines to be followed in conducting an interview, as well as
specific instructions for the focus group discussions with specific topics to be raised
in the discussion were developed.

1.4 Survey timetable


The preparation for this survey started with the start of the project by determining
sample size and the geographical coverage of the fieldwork. The survey
questionnaire was prepared and tested in three villages in Menoufiya governorate
before being administered in the main fieldwork phase. Research approvals and

13
security clearance rules were followed and the Head of the Central Agency for
Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) approved the survey tools to be
administered in the eight governorates. Field interviewers received an intensive
training course for two days- 9-10 September 2005 – where role play and other
training techniques were used. A training manual was prepared and every
interviewer and supervisor received a copy of this manual. A senior CAPMAS
researcher with 20 years of experience was appointed as fieldwork coordinator. See
table below for details on the survey phases.

Table 1.1
Survey Timetable
Activity Dates
Sample Selection and Locations 17 Sep. - 2 Oct. 2005
Questionnaire design 17 Sep. – 9 Oct. 2005
Training Field Supervisors 10 Oct. 2005
Pre-test 11 Oct. 2005
Finalization of Questionnaire 12 Oct. – 15 Oct. 2005
Training of Data collection Staff 9-10 Nov. 2005
Fieldwork 11-18 Nov. 2005
Office Editing 26-30 Nov. 2005
Coding 30 Nov. – 10 Dec. 2005
Data Entry 14-21 Dec. 2005
Computer Editing 25 Dec. 2005 – 1 Jan. 2006
Tabulation and Preliminary Report 2-8 Jan 2006
Detailed Tabulation 10 Jan. – 2 Feb. 2006
Focus Group Discussions 25 Jan. – 8 Feb. 2006
Final Report Preparation 27 Jan. – 4 March 2006

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1.5 Organization of this report
After this introductory chapter, the analysis of the findings of the field survey and the
focus group discussions follows the sequence of the survey questionnaire.
Characteristics of the study population are presented in Chapter Two. Chapter Three
is devoted to the analysis of migration intentions of non-migrants, while Chapter
Four presents migration experience and dynamics of the study population. Exposure
to mass media is analyzed in Chapter Five. The last chapter is devoted to the
conclusion of the study and some policy recommendations.

15
2 THE STUDY POPULATION

This relatively brief chapter commences the presentation of the filed survey and
focus group discussions data. It contains the analysis of the background
characteristics of the youth interviewed in the eight governorates where the
fieldwork took place. This chapter therefore helps to answer the following
questions: What are the basic demographic, educational and socio-economic
characteristics of the study population? What are their migration choices?

Due to the masculinity nature of Egyptian migration where migration is


dominated by males, the study population was identified as males between 18-
40 years old. Almost 90 percent of Egyptian migrants are males (Zohry, 2005).
In addition, the involvement of females in irregular migration is almost nil. No
evidence of females’ involvement in irregular migration, especially to Europe.

1.1 Socioeconomic and demographic characteristics


Table 2.1 shows the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the
study population. With respect to the geographical location of respondents by
governorate, the number of respondents ranges between 154 in Alexandria and
278 in Sharqiya (9.9 and 17.9 percent respectively). The distribution of
respondents by place of residence indicates that 52.4 percent are urban residents
while 47.6 percent are rural residents.

Age of respondents ranges between 18 and 40 years old with a mean age of 27.4
years old. However, more than one-third of the total respondents are less than
25 years old (38.6 percent), and 26.5 percent are between 25 and 29 years old.
Hence, almost two-third of the respondents is less than 30 years old.

16
Given the relative young age structure of the respondents, the percentage of
singles is high (59.3 percent) and the percentage of married respondents is 40.1.
Only few cases of respondents are divorced or widowed.

Educational attainment is an important factor in explaining social behavior. The


educational profile of respondents indicates the dominance of the “technical
secondary certificate” and the “university degree”. Respondents with technical
secondary diploma comprise 42.3 percent of the total number of respondents
followed by respondents with university degree who comprise 23.6 percent.
Respondents with no education comprise less than one-tenth of the total
respondents. This educational profile is higher than the national average with
illiteracy rate around 30 percent. This is attributed mainly to the young age
structure of respondents.

Work status of respondents indicates a high level of unemployment (38.2


percent) compared to the national level (around 10 percent). Respondents who
are engaged in paid work were asked to give estimates of their monthly income.
While the average monthly income was 527.7 Egyptian Pounds, more than 50
percent of respondents’ income was less than 400 pounds. But we should keep
in mind that measuring unemployment using a simple unique question is not the
most appropriate way; it just gives a rough indicator of unemployment among
the study population.

Family size is an important demographic indicator. It summarizes many


socioeconomic factors; dependency burden, extended family norms and
traditions, cultural and societal factors. The results indicate that respondents
come from families with an average of 5.4 persons which is around the
national average.

17
Table 2.1
Background characteristics of respondents

Background characteristics Frequency Percent

Governorate
Cairo 176 11.3
Alexandria 154 9.9
Gharbiya 207 13.3
Sharqiya 278 17.9
Daqahliya 184 11.9
Menoufiya 205 13.2
Fayoum 163 10.5
Luxor 185 11.9
Total 1552 100.0

Residence (Urban/Rural)
Urban 814 52.4
Rural 738 47.6
Total 1552 100.0

Age of respondents
18-24 599 38.6
25-29 411 26.5
30-34 253 16.3
35-40 289 18.6
Total 1552 100.0
Mean Age 27.4 years

Marital status
Single/Engaged 917 59.3
Married 621 40.1
Divorced/Widowed 9 0.6
Total 1,552 100.0

Highest level of schooling successfully completed


None 139 9.0
Primary 92 5.9
Preparatory 115 7.4
Secondary (General) 183 11.8
Secondary (Tech.) 657 42.3
University or more 366 23.6
Total 1,552 100.0

18
Table 2.1 Cont’d
Background Characteristics of Respondents

Background Frequency Percent


characteristics
Work Status
Yes 959 61.8
No 592 38.2
Total 1,551 100.0

Income
LT 200 108 11.8
200 - 408 44.6
400 - 192 21.0
600 - 81 8.9
800 - 33 3.6
1000 + 93 10.2
Total 915 100.0
Mean 527.7 LE

Family size
LT 5 564 36.3
5-6 590 38.0
7-8 278 17.9
9+ 120 7.7
Total 1,552 100.0
Mean 5.4 Persons

2.2 Migration Experience and intentions of respondents


Out of the 1,552 individuals who were interviewed, less than one-third (31.6 percent)
ever migrated to any European country, while 68.4 percent never migrated. When
they were asked about their desire to migrate to any European country, 87.1 percent
of the youth who declared that they never migrated, expressed their desire to migrate
to Europe. When responding to a question on their willingness to stay permanently in
Europe in case of migration or they prefer to return to Egypt, 87.9 percent of those
who expressed their desire to migrate to Europe indicated that they want to return to
Egypt. Only 7.2 percent indicated that they will stay abroad (See Table 2.2).

19
Table 2.2

Migration Experience and Intentions

Question Frequency Percent

Migrated to any European country?


Yes 491 31.6
No 1,061 68.4
Total 1,552 100.0

Want to migrate to any European country?


Yes 924 87.1
No 137 12.9
Total 1,061 100.0

In Case of migration, do youth want to stay abroad or return to Egypt?


Return 810 87.9
Stay abroad 66 7.2
Not sure 46 5.0
Total 922 100.0

20
3. MIGRATION INTENTIONS

Migration intentions are just the starting point of the migration project. Prospective
migrants have to go through many stages in order to realize their migration
intentions. Considering the large supply of potential migrants on the one hand, and
the limited access to securing abroad jobs through legal channels on the other, some
prospective migrants may fall victim to various schemes and irregular practices prior
to migration. The need to address pre-migration conditions is important to prevent
other problems later on, particularly when migrants are already in the countries of
destination and are beyond the reach of national laws. In the interest of promoting
safer migration, this field survey collected data on migration intentions of youth to
explore their migration intentions and knowledge of countries of destination.

This chapter explores the following aspects:

1. Countries of desired migration ;


2. Reasons for intention to migrate abroad;
3. Source of information regarding desired country of migration; and
4. Awareness of illegal migration and its hazards.
5. Intention to stay abroad.

3.1 Countries of Desired Migration


The results of the field survey indicate that the prime desired destination for
Egyptian youth who wish to migrate is Italy. More than one-half of the study
population (53.4 percent) stated Italy as their favorite destination. France comes
second with almost one-fourth of respondents stated it as their favorite destination in
Europe. The relative weight of other countries is almost negligible; other countries
include the United Kingdom (6.5 percent), Netherlands (3.6 percent), Greece (1.8
percent), and Sweden (1.2 percent).

21
Table 3.1
Countries of Desired Migration

Country Frequency Percent


Italy 492 53.4
France 214 23.2
Germany 60 6.5
United Kingdom 52 5.6
Netherlands 33 3.6
Greece 17 1.8
Sweden 11 1.2
Switzerland 3 0.3
Don’t know/Any country 9 1.0
Other Countries 31 3.4
Total 922 100.0

Hence, Italy and France were stated by


more than 75 percent of the respondents. Youth Said
So that it is clear from these results that
“Every family in this village has at least
the current Egyptian migration streams
one migrant in Italy. In the past we used
to Europe target Italy and France. This
to migrate to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait,
may be attributed – in part – due to the
but now Italy is much better than these
well-established migration stream
countries”
between Egypt and Italy in many of the
field sites covered by this study.

3.2 Reasons of Migration


Respondents who intend to migrate to any European country were asked about their
reasons behind their intention to migrate. Reasons are classified under two
categories; reasons related to origin (push factors), and reasons related to destination
(pull factors). With respect to push factors, three main reasons were stated by a
significant number of respondents:

22
• Income in Egypt is lower than in Europe (stated by 53 percent of
respondents)
• Bad living conditions in Egypt (stated by 52.8 percent of respondents)
• No job opportunities available in Egypt (stated by 36.6 percent of
respondents)

It is clear that all the main push factors


are economic; they are related to income Youth Said
disparities between Egypt and receiving
countries, bad living conditions, and the “Working in Italy for only one year is

unemployment problem that youth face. the same as working in Egypt for 15

It was also clear from the focus group years. Income there is very high and you

discussions that most of those who wish can save money”

to migrate and also those who were deported while attempt to migrate are young
unemployed males. Most of them are primarily unemployed and lack the opportunity
to join the labor market for many years after their graduation.

With respect to pull factors, the main three reasons that attract youth to think of
migrating to Europe are as follows:

• I have friends there (stated by 23.6 percent of respondents)


• I have relatives there (stated by 16.9 percent of respondents)
• I have a job offer there (stated by 14.6 percent of respondents)

The results indicate that youth’s pull factors are their relatives and friends who ever
migrated to Europe. As youth clarified in the focus group discussions, job offers are
not documented job offers, they are just promises from their relatives and friend to
introduce them into the labor market in Europe should they arrive.

23
The focus group discussions with youth revealed another important factor that
pushes youth to think of migration; it is the temptation of wealth and decent life as
stereotyped by remittances, luxurious houses in the village, automobiles, and social
status of those who succeeded to migrate to Europe, especially those who were the
poorest of the poor in such villages.

Table 3.2
Reasons for the Intention to Migrate Abroad

Reason Frequency Percent

Reason for Migration Related to Origin – Push Factors


Income in Egypt is lower than in Europe 490 53.0
Bad living conditions in Egypt 488 52.8
No job opportunities available in Egypt 338 36.6
Help my family 173 18.7
To improve my knowledge 75 8.1
Family reunification 13 1.4
Escape from family pressures and troubles 7 0.8
Other 21 2.3

Reason for Migration Related to Destination – Pull Factors


I have friends there 218 23.6
I have relatives there 156 16.9
I have a job offer there 135 14.6
I want to see Europe 88 9.5
More job opportunities there 83 9.0
I Want to live in Europe 56 6.1
I could study there 22 2.4
Other 31 3.4

Total 924 100.0

24
3.3 Source of information regarding desired country of migration
Friend and relatives are the main source of information regarding the desired country
of destination. More than 80 percent of the respondents rely on their relatives and
friends on sketching a hypothetical picture on conditions prevail in the country of
destination. The role of media is less than 10 percent while the role of the Internet,
general readings, embassies, and the Egyptian authorities is almost negligible. The
conclusion to be drawn from these surprising results is that migration to Europe in
general is a sort of family-managed process where potential migrants rely on their
relative and friends – usually from the same village – to lubricate their migration to
Europe, especially with respect to illegal migration. Hence, they don’t rely on formal
entities since they have the feeling that these entities will not help them fulfill their
intentions.

Table 3.3
Source of information regarding desired country of migration

Source Frequency Percent


Friends/Relatives 749 81.1
Media 77 8.3
Internet 38 4.1
General readings 38 4.1
Embassies 4 0.4
Egyptian Authorities 1 0.1
Other 16 1.7
Total 923 100.0

3.4 Awareness of Illegal Migration and its Hazards


Generally, most of the respondents are aware of illegal migration and its hazards, but
at the same time they realize that legal migration to Europe is not easy. About 85
percent of respondents mentioned that they would not migrate to Europe without the

25
needed documents, only 15.2 percent are willing to migrate without the needed
documents. In addition, 82 percent of respondents believe that there are groups that
facilitate illegal migration from Egypt to Europe.

Most of the respondents (94.7 percent)


Youth Said
mentioned that they ever heard about
the deported illegal migrants. Some of
“We are fully aware of the hazards
the focus group discussions’
associated with migration, but what can
participants were deported while
we do without jobs or any source of
attempting migration to Italy. Almost
income? We have no other options, but
three-fourth of the respondents are
to migrate”
aware of the consequences of illegal
migration but at the same time 78 percent of the respondents believe that legal
migration to Europe is not easy. Many of the focus group discussions’ participants
tried to migrate legally but they failed to do so. As it was mentioned above, it is the
contradiction between what is legal and what is possible that drive youth to migrate
illegally.

3.5 Intention to stay abroad


In case of traveling abroad, do you intend to come back to Egypt after a specified
period of time? The responses to this question indicate that the vast majority of youth
(87.9 percent) who want to migrate to Europe intend to return to Egypt after a
temporary stay in the countries of destination. Only 7.2 percent indicated that they
may permanently stay abroad. These findings indicate that the Egyptian migration to
Europe is a re-production of the Egyptian migration experience to the Arab Gulf
countries, where young males migrate to achieve specific financial goals and then
they return to Egypt. Hence, Egyptian migration to Europe is different from other
migration streams that target Europe, especially the Maghreb countries and Sub-
Saharan African countries. Egyptian migration to Europe is mainly male-dominated
and temporary migration in general, while Maghreb and Sub-Saharan Africa

26
migration streams are dominated by males and females who intend to stay in the
destination countries in general.

Table 3.4
Awareness of Illegal Migration and its Hazards

Question Frequency Percent

Migrate to Europe without the needed documents?


Yes 140 15.2
No 783 84.8
Total 923 100.0

Do you think there are groups that facilitate irregular migration?


Yes 754 82.0
No 166 18.0
Total 920 100.0

Did you hear about the deported irregular migrants?


Yes 872 94.7
No 49 5.3
Total 921 100.0

Know the consequences and penalties of illegal migration?


Yes 686 74.4
No 236 25.6
Total 922 100.0

Easy to migrate legally to Europe?


Yes 203 22.0
No 721 78.0
Total 924 100.0

27
4. MIGRATION EXPERIENCE

This chapter presents the experience of ever migrants (current and previous
migrants). It includes the experience of legal and illegal migrants to Europe. Current
migrants who were in a visit to their home country were interviewed. In addition,
previous migrants who returned to Egypt after fulfilling specific targets and those
who were deported were interviewed as well. This chapter sheds some light on the
process of migration, its cost, and an evaluation of the migratory experience.

4.1 Countries of Destination for Return Migrants


Again, and the same as the distribution of countries of destination by potential
migrants, come Italy and France on top of the list of countries of destination. Some
61.2 percent of return migrants targeted Italy and 15.7 targeted France, then come
Germany (3.9 percent), the United Kingdom (3.1 percent), Netherlands (2.7 percent),
Greece (2 .2 percent), Sweden (2 percent), and Switzerland (1.8 percent).
Apparently, Greece is no more a favorite destination for Egyptians as before. Current
Egyptian migration streams nowadays target Italy and France (See Table 4.1).

Table 4.1
Countries of Destination for Return Migrants

Country Frequency Percent


Italy 300 61.2
France 77 15.7
Germany 19 3.9
United Kingdom 15 3.1
Netherlands 13 2.7
Greece 11 2.2
Sweden 10 2.0
Switzerland 9 1.8
Other 36 7.3
Total 490 100.0

28
4.2 Reasons for Migration to Europe
Ever migrant youth we asked about reasons behind their migration decision; reasons
are classified under two categories; reasons related to origin (push factors), and
reasons related to destination (pull factors). With respect to push factors, they follow
the same pattern as youth who intend to migrate where the three main reasons stated
by a significant number of respondents are:

• Income in Egypt is lower than in Europe (stated by 57.2 percent of


respondents)
• Bad living conditions in Egypt (stated by 54.9 percent of respondents)
• No job opportunities available in Egypt (stated by 52.4 percent of
respondents)

The findings indicate the important of economic factors in shaping migration


decision and implementation.

With respect to pull factors, the main three reasons that shape migration decision to
Europe are as follows:

• I have a job offer there (stated by 28.1 percent of respondents)


• I have relatives there (stated by 27.5 percent of respondents)
• I have friends there (stated by 19 percent of respondents)

It is clear that the pull factors for ever migrants are the same as the pull factors for
those who intend to migrate to Europe.

29
Table 4.2
Reasons for Migration to Europe

Reason Frequency Percent

Reason for Migration Related to Origin – Push Factors


Income in Egypt is lower than in Europe 250 57.2
Bad living conditions in Egypt 240 54.9
No job opportunities available in Egypt 229 52.4
Help my family 62 14.2
To improve my knowledge 18 4.1
Family reunification 9 2.1
Escape from family pressures and troubles 5 1.1
Other 11 2.5

Reason for Migration Related to Destination – Pull Factors


I have a job offer there 123 28.1
I have relatives there 120 27.5
I have friends there 83 19.0
I want to see Europe 50 11.4
I Want to live in Europe 33 7.6
Other 15 3.4
Total 437 100.0

4.3 Source of information regarding country of destination before migration

Friend and relatives are the main source of migration regarding the desired country
of destination. Almost 95 percent of the respondents relied on their relatives and
friends on sketching a hypothetical picture on conditions prevail in the country of
destination before migration. The role of other sources of information is negligible.
This pattern is similar to the non-migrants who intend to migrate. The results
confirm the family/friend nature of current Egyptian migration streams to Europe.

30
Table 4.3
Source of information regarding country of destination before migration

Source Frequency Percent


Friends/Relatives 459 94.3
General readings 9 1.8
Media 4 0.8
Internet 3 0.6
Embassies 3 0.6
Egyptian Authorities 2 0.4
Other 7 1.4
Total 487 100.0

4.4 Persons who helped youth migrate to Europe


Who are the persons who help youth
Youth Said
migrate to Europe? On whom youth rely
on their endeavors to the unknown? Do
“It is very easy to go to Libya, to meet
they rely only on friends and relatives?
the Libyan broker, and to depart from
Do they rely on migration brokers? The
the Libyan coast by boat, but nothing
results of the survey indicate that
after this point is guaranteed ”
relatives (in Europe and Egypt), along
with migration brokers are the main key players in paving the way for those who
wish to cross the Mediterranean Sea to the northern costs. Relatives in Europe and
Egypt helped 47.4 percent of ever migrants to cross the Mediterranean while
migration brokers helped 22.5 percent of them.

31
Table 4.4
Persons who helped youth migrate to Europe

Source Frequency Percent


Relatives in Europe 121 24.7
Relatives in Egypt 111 22.7
Migration brokers 110 22.5
Egyptian friends in Europe 49 10.0
Friends in Egypt 28 5.7
No Body 27 5.5
Travel agency 12 2.5
European Friends in Europe 10 2.0
Other 21 4.3
Total 489 100.0

4.5 Migration Dynamics


In the context of this study, migration dynamics are defined as factors and
procedures associated with the movement of youth from origin to destination and
their migration experience. These factors include payment of money to migrate,
amount of money paid to facilitate migration, documents required for migration, and
other migration-related experiences.

Cost of movement
Youth who experienced migration to Europe were asked about the monetary cost of
their movement. By cost here, we mean any expenses that were paid to facilitate
migration, not the cost of transportation or ordinary visa fees (if they migrated
legally). About 80 percent of the respondents who experienced migration indicated
that they paid money to migrate (78.8 percent); the average amount of money was
15, 890 L.E. It rages from less than 5,000 L.E (13.7 percent of migrants) to 50,000
L.E or more (only 1.6 percent of migrants) with more than 70 percent of migrants
paid between 5,000 and 40,000 L.E to migrate to Europe.

32
The focus group discussions with the
Youth Said
return migrants indicated two groups of
migrants with two patterns of financial
“I’m ready to pay up to 70,000 pounds
expenses; the first group follows the
to help me get into any European
Egypt-Libya-Italy route via migration
country, legally or illegally, I don’t
brokers who facilitate their migration in
care”
boats through the Mediterranean, and the
second group migrates by air through a touristic Schengen visa. The sea route cost is
cheap; it amounts for an average of 15,000 L.E, while the air route cost amounts for
an average of 50,000 L.E and in many cases amounts for 70,000 L.E. So that it is
clear that the cost of migration increases as the probability of success increases and
the hazards decrease.

The sea route is the choice of the poor; those who can not afford the cost of a
Schengen visa (true or falsified). However, the hazards associated with the sea route
do not prevent youth from trying this route. It is important here to indicate that the
cost of migration is for facilitating entry to the destination countries; they do not
include any other services such as facilitating entry into the labor market. Migrants
who take any of the routes know where to go when they enter country of destination.
They go directly to their friend and relatives who help them settle and introduce
them to the labor market.

Work contracts and visa


Most of those who migrate to Europe do not have work contracts. Only 6.9 percent
of those who migrate to Europe have work permit before migration. Those who have
had official visa before migration comprise 57.4 percent and more than 40 percent
migrate without visa. More than 60 percent of those who migrated without visa tried
to get visa before migration but they failed. Many interviewees indicated that having
just a touristic visa is almost impossible, so that they don’t think of a work permit

33
and they believe that they will not be eligible to apply since most of them did not
have a work contract beforehand.

Voluntary versus forced return


About 80 percent of interviewees
indicated that they returned voluntary to Youth Said
Egypt either to spend some time with
“We help each other, should you arrive
relatives before return to Europe to
in France you will find another village,
resume work or to stay permanently in
the same as our village and have people
Egypt after fulfilling monetary and social
from all families.”
achievements. More than 20 percent of
migrants were deported and sent back to Egypt because they over due their visa or
their attempt to enter Europe illegally. Only 11.2 percent of returnees (voluntarily or
forced) expressed their intention to go back to Europe.

Evaluation of migration experience


Inspite of the fact that 70 percent of migrants were not working in their
specialization in Europe, more than three-fourth of the migrants evaluated their
migratory experience positively; 33.1 percent regarded their migration experience as
a “very good” experience while 44.7 percent regarded it as a “good” experience.
Only 22.2 percent regarded their migration experience as “bad’ or “very bad”. In
their evaluation, youth reflected in their work and stay in Europe as well as the
returns of migration (remittances and work opportunities).

34
Table 4.5
Migration Dynamics

Dimension Frequency Percent

Paid money to migrate?


Yes 387 78.8
No 104 21.2
Total 491 100.0

Amount of money paid to migrate


LT 5000 53 13.7
5000 - 67 17.4
10000 - 141 36.5
20000 - 71 18.4
30000 - 36 9.3
40000 - 12 3.1
50000 + 6 1.6
Total 386 100.0
Mean 15,890

Have work contract before migration?


Yes 33 6.9
No 446 93.1
Total 479 100.0

Have an official visa before migration?


Yes 282 57.4
No 209 42.6
Total 491 100.0

Tried to get an official visa?


Yes 126 60.6
No 82 39.4
Total 208 100.0

Returned voluntary or forced?


Voluntarily 387 78.8
Forced to return 104 21.2
Total 491 100.0

35
Table 4.5 Cont’d
Migration Dynamics

Dimension Frequency Percent

Intend to go back to the country?


Yes 408 83.4
No 55 11.2
Do not know 26 5.3
Total 489 100.0

Work on your specialization?


Yes 123 30.0
No 287 70.0
Total 410 100.0

Evaluate your migration


Very good 162 33.1
Good 219 44.7
Bad 49 10.0
Very bad 60 12.2
Total 490 100.0

36
5. EXPOSURE TO MASS MEDIA

Exposure to media or what is sometimes called media consumption behavior is an


important aspect in the context of this survey. Mass media are important sources of
information on migration. Potential migrants build a hypothetical image about
country of destination through mass media. In addition, media can be utilizing to
communicate messages on appropriate means of migration and help in combating
illegal migration and smuggling. The survey questionnaire includes a separate
section on youth’s exposure to mass media. The results are presented below by type
of media.

5.1 Newspapers
With respect to reading newspapers, about one-third of the respondents read
newspapers daily, 29.6 percent read newspapers at least once a week, 7.4 percent
read newspapers less than once a week, while 29.4 percent of the respondents
indicated that they do not read newspapers at all. What are the newspapers youth
read? The most frequently prevailing newspapers are Al-Ahram and Al-Akhbar; they
are read by almost two-third of the respondents (32.8 and 31.8 percent respectively).
Al-Gomhoriya daily newspaper ranked third with 12.5 percent. The three morning
daily governmental newspapers comprise 77.1 percent of the newspapers read by
respondents.
Table 5.1
Frequency of Reading Newspapers, Listening to Radio, and Watching TV

Frequency Newspapers Radio TV

Almost every day 33.7 43.0 82.1


At least once a week 29.6 16.0 8.6
Less than once a week 7.4 4.1 2.3
Not at all 29.4 36.9 7.0
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0

37
Table 5.2
Newspapers youth read

Dimension Frequency Percent


Al-Ahram 358 32.8
Al-Akhbar 347 31.8
Al-Gomhoriya 136 12.5
Al-Massaa 83 7.6
Al-Ahram Al-Massa’i 29 2.7
Akhbar Al-Riadah 20 1.8
Akhbar Al-Hawadeth 16 1.5
Al-Nabaa 10 0.9
Al-Esbooa 9 0.8
Al-Ahram Alriady 3 0.3
Other 80 7.3
Total 1,091 100.0

5.2 Radio
Only 63.1 percent of the respondents indicated that they listen to radio. Those who
listen to radio regularly comprise 43 percent of respondents. Three radio stations are
utilized by almost 80 percent of those who listen to radio; Al-Qur’an Al-Kareem
(Holy Qur’an) with 42.3 percent, FM Songs (23.9 percent), and Al-Shark Al-Awsat
(13.5 percent). It is clear from the results that there are two categories of radio users;
those who utilize the radio just to listen to the holy Qur’an (42.3 percent) and those
who utilize it to listen to songs and light programs and varsities (37.4 percent).
Among other radio stations utilized by youth come El-Shabab wel-Ryiadha, Al-
Bernameg Al-Aam, and many other stations.

38
Table 5.3
Radio Stations utilized by youth

Dimension Frequency Percent


Al-Qur’an Al-Kareem 414 42.3
FM Songs / Songs 234 23.9
Al-Sharq Al-Awsat 132 13.5
El-Shabab wel-Ryiadha 61 6.2
Al-Bernameg Al-Aam 35 3.6
Sawt Al-Arab 30 3.1
Radio Sawa 18 1.8
BBC 14 1.4
Al-Qaherah Al-Kobra 8 .8
Any station 6 .6
Other 27 2.8
Total 979 100.0

5.3 Television
The results of the field survey indicate that TV is the most popular media source of
information in Egypt. Respondents who watch the TV almost every day comprise
82.1 percent, while those who do not watch the TV at all comprise only 7 percent of
respondents. Channel 1 of the Egyptian Radio and TV Union is the most frequently
watched TV channel where it is watched by more than one-third of respondents who
watch TV. Al-Jazeera Satellite news channel ranked second but with only 11.6
percent of respondents, and then comes Rotana and ART satellite channels. Other
channels watched by respondents include Dream, Egyptian Satellite Channel, Nile
Sport, Iqraa, Channel 2, Nile Drama, Nile News, Al-Arabiya, and local (regional)
channels.

39
Table 5.4
TV Channels watched by youth

Dimension Frequency Percent


Channel 1 541 37.5
Al-Jazeera 167 11.6
Rotana / Rotana Cinema 127 8.8
ART 117 8.1
Dream 69 4.8
ESC 49 3.4
Nile Sport 36 2.5
Iqraa 34 2.4
Channel 2 32 2.2
Nile Drama 16 1.1
Nile News 9 0.6
Al-Arabiya 6 0.4
Channel 3 3 0.2
Any Channel 66 4.6
Other 169 11.7
Total 1,441 100.0

5.4 Internet
Internet is still not widely used as a source of information since less than 30 percent
(29.3 percent) of the respondents indicated that they have an access to the internet.
Meetings with youth who use the internet utilize it as an entertainment tool rather
than a communication tool.

40
6. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The study of “Attitudes of Egyptian Youth Towards Migration to Europe” was


carried out as part of the Information Dissemination on Migration Project (IDOM) as
the base of the design and implementation of media campaign to disseminate
information that help increase awareness about irregular migration among potential
migrants. In addition, the results identified push factors in the country that affect
youth’s migration decisions. The study was carried out as the first major activity of
IDOM project. It targeted young men aged 18-40 years old in eight governorates
(Cairo, Alexandria, Gharbiya, Dakaqliya, Sharqiya, Fayoum, Menoufiya, and
Luxor). Some 1,552 completed questionnaires were successfully completed and
analyzed. In addition, six focus groups were conducted to collect qualitative data to
supplement quantitative data.

The quantitative survey was carried out in November 2005 using a standard
questionnaire that cover aspects of migration intentions, migration experiences,
awareness of illegal migration, reasons of migration, in addition to exposure to mass
media. Data on exposure to mass media and media consumption behavior are
important in the design of media campaign that will follow as a major activity of the
project in the coming few months. A professional team was recruited and trained to
collect data and interview survey respondents. Data processing and analysis was
carried out at the Emigration Sector of the Ministry of Manpower and Emigration
between December 2005 and February 2006.

Qualitative data were collected using focus group discussions. Six focus group
discussions were carried out in four Egyptian governorates (Menoufiya, Gharbiya,
Sharqiya, and Fayoum). FGDs took place between 25 January and 8 February 2006.
Cassette tapes of the FGDs were transcribed, analyzed, and integrated in the analysis
that was carried out through this report.

41
This Chapter presents the conclusions of the analysis carried out in this study and
suggests some recommendations for the media campaign in specific and migration
policy in general.

6.1 Conclusions
Instead of summarizing the findings of each chapter and then linking summaries to
the overall objectives of the survey and the project, conclusions are directly linked to
the objectives of the survey, and elaborated on under the two main objectives in the
text below.

Identification of the push factors in the country (Reasons of Migration)


Identification of the push factors that affect migration decisions of Egyptian youth is
one of the two main objectives of this study. Understanding push factors helps in
setting appropriate responses to decrease the flow of irregular migration.

The results indicate that push factors in the country of origin are overwhelmingly
economic. Egyptian youth regard migration – legal or illegal – as a possible way to
escape poverty and unemployment. With respect to the reason for migration, the
study indicates that the main reasons behind migration are the low wages and salaries
in Egypt compared to Europe, bad living conditions, and the lack of job opportunities
in Egypt, especially among new graduates. It is worse mentioning that at the time of
the fieldwork about 40 percent of the interviewees were not engaged in any work.
This is not a precise measure of unemployment but it reflects the degree of unrest
among youth for not being engaged in any productive work. Many of those youth are
university graduates who failed to find any job opportunity for years after
graduation.

The choice of destination country in Europe is not a free choice; it is related to the
migration networks. Migration networks and linkages between origin and destination

42
determine the choice of country of destination in Europe. Migration networks that
stimulate migration flows between Egypt and Europe are completely different from
migration networks between Egypt and Arab Gulf countries. Migration of Egyptian
youth to Europe is managed and activated by family kinship and ties while migration
of Egyptians to Arab Gulf countries are managed by a set of regulations, certified
migration brokers, and many other conditions. Migration to Europe is concentrated
in a set of villages in specific governorates; each village has its own destination. The
major two destinations are Italy and France. So that one may confidently say that
migration to these two destinations are operated in a close market where new
entrants come from the same village or group of adjacent villages. For example, a
well-known village in Fayoum governorate specializes in sending migrants to Italy
while another well-known village in Gharbiya governorate specializes in sending
migrants to France.

Some villages in the Delta shifted their migration directions from the Arab Gulf
countries to Italy. Youth in this village claim that migration to the Arab Gulf
countries is not profitable like before and working for one year in Italy is better than
working ten years in the Gulf. The population of migrants to Italy in this village is
increasing and youth compete to find a way to migrate, legally or illegally.
Fieldwork in this village indicated that there are many young males who attempted to
migrate to Italy through Libya more than once.

An important factor that plays a major role in stimulating migration streams to


Europe is the wealth of successful migrants and return migrants. Remittances of
Egyptian migrants who work in European countries are important factors that
stimulate a continuous stream of migration. Potential migrants claim that ordinary
workers can save an average amount of 6,000 Euro per annum while working abroad
(about 40,000 L.E). Potential migrants claim that the savings of one-year work in
Europe is more than a lifetime salary in Egypt.

43
Building luxurious houses in rural Egypt, marriages, and consumerism behavior of
returnees is strong factor that attract new young men to migrate. When waiting the
risk of illegal migration against the expected returns, youth prefer to take the risk for
an assumed better life.

“Egyptians have the reputation of preferring their own soil. Few ever leave except to
study or travel; and they always return … Egyptians do not emigrate” (Cleland
1936: 36, 52); after 70 years of Cleland’s famous conclusion on Egyptians’
migration behavior, his conclusions on return are is still valid. The results of the
study indicate that the vast majority of youth who want to migrate to Europe intend
to return to Egypt after a temporary stay in the countries of destination. These
findings indicate that the Egyptian migration to Europe is a re-production of the
Egyptian migration pattern to the Arab Gulf countries, where young males migrate to
achieve specific financial goals and then they return to Egypt.

Egyptian migration to Europe is different from other migration streams, especially


the Maghreb countries and Sub-Saharan African countries. Egyptian migration to
Europe is mainly male-dominated and temporary migration in general, while
Maghreb and Sub-Saharan Africa migration streams are dominated by males and
females who intend to stay in the destination countries in general. All it is important
to note that contemporary Egyptian migration streams to Europe are different from
the Egyptian migration streams to the West in the 1960s and early 1970s. The
economic pressures and transition to socialism at that time led many Egyptians to
migrate to the West. Most of Egyptian migrants at that time were highly educated
and economically established. Contemporary migrants to the West (to Europe) are
less educated males who suffer poverty and unemployment.

44
Awareness about irregular migration and migrants smuggling from Egypt
Regarding youth’s awareness of illegal/irregular migration and their consequences,
the results of this study indicated that most of the interviewees are aware of the
negative effects of this phenomenon. Youth also know the consequences of illegal
migration such as arrest in the migration country, expulsion, arrest in the origin
country, fines, as well as hazards in the journey between origin and destination.
Many of youth we interviewed in the focus group discussions experience one or
more kinds of these consequences. We interviewed youth who were arrested in
Europe and Libya, youth who were about to die in the Mediterranean sea, youth who
were retuned to Egypt after the failure of their attempt to migrate, and youth who
were subject to humiliating experiences in their attempt to get to the "European
Eldorado". Graduates with secondary technical certificate and university express
intense frustration at their inability to find work suited to their level of education.
Youth express a high degree of depression and hopeless regarding their current
conditions in Egypt given their unemployment status and poverty. These conditions
made them prefer taking the risk of illegal migration – including the probability of
dying – rather than staying in Egypt without any source of income.

Youth indicated a high degree of awareness of legal migration procedures such as


having a valid travel document, visa, work permit, and so on, but they believe that
the legal migration route is almost impossible. They believe that they can not comply
with the regulation of legal migration to Europe. Many of those who took the short
cut to Europe through Libya tried to get visas to Europe but they failed. They claim
that this is a valid justification of their illegal attempt to migrate to Europe. Young
men in the villages with migrants in Europe witness families who have a relative in
Italy becoming richer while their own family situation remains the same with little
prospect of improvement. This comparison pushes thousands of Egyptian youth to
regard migration as the sole alternative to improve their conditions.

45
With respect to migration smuggling and the role of migration brokers, the focus
group discussions indicated that the Libyan route of migration is the cheapest and the
frequently used route. Due to the open borders between Egypt and Libya, Egyptians
do not need a visa to get into Libya; they do not even need a valid passport.
Egyptians can enter Libya using their Egyptian national identification card only.
Daily buses between Cairo and Tripoli are there for an average of LE 100 (about
$17). Mini vans and microbuses from home to home are available from some
villages in rural Egypt to specific destinations in Libya, where all passengers belong
to one village and in many cases one family.

Migration brokers in Libya have their own agents and mediators in the Egyptian
villages. Agents and mediators prepare youth and direct them to specific places in
Libya where they are received by the Libyan brokers who keeps them in a big house
(called hawsh) nearby the coast. In the hawsh, Egyptian youth meet people from
other nationalities (mainly Sub-Saharan African citizens). Their stay in this hawsh
may extend to three months until the preparation of the boat. The date and time of
departure is set by the brokers. Interviews with youth indicated that the main
principal moments at which migrants are at risk of arrest and detention is on when
trying to leave by boat to Italy. Some migrants were arrested when the Libyan police
attack them at hawsh while waiting for the boat to be prepared.

The boat adventure is the most dangerous step towards the European coasts. The
boat is manufactured for one-way journey. In order to increase their revenues,
brokers always overload their boats. Usually, the driver of the boat is one of the
migrants with no past experience in driving boats. The driver is given a compass and
told a general direction to follow. As a result, many boats do not go far, often only
ending up on the Tunisian coast or drifting in the sea until they are rescued by the
Italian, Tunisian or Libyan authorities, depending on where they are found. Many of
boats sink before reaching the European coasts. Egyptian youth who went through
these experiences are completely aware of the hazards associated with this route to

46
the European coast. At the same time, many of those who experienced these hazards
expressed their willingness to take the risk again.

The role of formal/governmental media as a source of information on migration is


almost negligible. The vast majority of youth indicated that they do not depend on
formal/governmental sources. The main source of information about migration is
relatives and friends. The very limited role of governmental agencies, journalism,
media, and embassies makes it easy for rumors and falsified information on
migration to widespread. Due to the way information about migration is
disseminated, it is not a surprise to notice that migration streams to Europe are
originated in a network of villages in The Nile Delta and Upper Egypt where family
members and relatives help each other in sustaining migration flows and lubricate
migration through legal and illegal means. The results also indicated the importance
of migration brokers in the process of illegal migration.

6.2 Some Policy Recommendations


Building on the experiences of survey population presented in this report, some
policy recommendations may emerge. The recommendations may be grouped under
two main groups; specific recommendations for the design and implementation of
the information dissemination campaign, as well as general recommendations
regarding illegal migration and unemployment.

Recommendations for the design of information dissemination campaign


Given the fact that television is the most popular media source of information
utilized by youth, television should be the main mass media tool for information
dissemination on migration. Radio stations and newspapers are not highly utilized by
youth, but they also should be utilized in the information dissemination campaign to
widespread the message we wish to convey to youth regarding migration.

47
Since illegal migration is concentrated in well-known villages in Upper Egypt and
the Delta, face-to-face communications with youth in their natural gatherings (youth
centers, clubs, and coffee shops) should be utilized through advocacy campaigns.

Natural leaders (the Mayors, Imams of mosques), local politicians at the level of the
governorate and village, return migrants who suffer the consequences of illegal
migration should be involved in advocacy campaign in order to affect youth’s
choices and to reduce the volume of illegal migration. It is important to involve local
people can affect the attitudes of youth in these direct meetings, symposia, and other
face-to-face activities. Changing attitudes is the first step towards changing practices.

Multimedia tools should be utilized in these local meetings to attract audience and to
show the hazards of illegal migration and provide correct information on legal
migration. Video tapes, PowerPoint presentations, pamphlets, and handouts should
focus on the experiences of illegal migrants and hazards they face. Videotaped
materials can be presented before a general discussion with youth on migration. Non
governmental organizations should be involved in these local activities. There are
hundreds of NGOs allover Egypt who are capable to run advocacy campaigns at the
level of the governorates with minimal costs. NGOs are aware of their communities
and they can get into this arena to ensure smooth implementation of advocacy plans.

It is necessary to recommend pilot projects at the level of the governorate in order to


reach to potential migrants and to contact youth in these communities directly in a
way that affects their migration choices, especially in governorates with significant
volume of migrants in Europe. These pilot projects should be implemented by local
NGOs since they know their communities and they can determine the appropriate
way of approaching youth.

48
Policy recommendations regarding illegal migration and unemployment
Since low income and unemployment are the main push factors that affect migration,
and in order to decrease unemployment rates, the government should create new job
opportunities in the local market through attracting foreign direct investment and the
private sector, which goes hand in hand with emigration-oriented policy and opening
new markets for Egyptian labor force. This should be associated with training
Egyptian youth who want to migrate in cooperation with countries of destination.

Regional integration is an important aspect that contributes to more balanced


relationships between countries in the region. Bilateral relations between Egypt and
other European countries are important. The quota for Egyptian migrants should be
negotiated and increased. Job matching mechanisms such as IMIS and IMIS+ should
be extended to include other European countries such as France and Spain.

49
REFERENCES

Baldwin-Edwards, M. (2005) Migration in the Middle East and Mediterranean: a


Regional Study prepared for the Global Commission on International Migration,
Mediterranean Migration Observatory.

Hamood, S. (2006) African Transit Migration through Libya to Europe: The Human
Cost, Forced Migration and Refugee Studies Program, American University in
Cairo.

International Organization for Migration (2005) World Migration 2005: Costs and
Benefits of International Migration, IOM, Geneva

International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Ministry of Manpower and


Emigration (2003) Contemporary Egyptian Migration 2003, Cairo.

Zohry, A. (2005) Migration Without Borders: North Africa as a Reserve of Cheap Labour
for Europe, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO), Paris.

50
APPENDIX A: SURVEY STAFF

National IDOM Project Director


Mrs. Magda Abdel-Rahman

International IDOM Project Director


Mr. Bruno Botta

Principal Investigator
Dr. Ayman Zohry

Researchers
Wael Farrag
Sherif El-Halawany

IDOM Project Secretary


Nahla Taha

General Fieldwork coordinator


Salah Abdelatty

Fieldwork Supervisors
Emil Ramzy
Essam Fathalla
Hossam El-Din Mohamed
Saeed Kassem

Fieldwork Interviewers
Adley Mohamed
Ashrf Edward
Hamdy Esmail
Hossain Said
Ibrahim Gabr
Khaled Mohamed
Mohamed Said
Mohamed Salah
Okeil Kamel
Raaft Rgaey
Saleh Abdel azim
Samir El-Dahshan
Sherif El-Halawany
Wael Farrag
Wael Sami
Yasser Ibrahim
Office editing and coding
Wael Farrag
Sherif El-Halawany
Amina Abd-El Salam
Eman Khmees
Mona Fahmy
Okeil Kamel
Sahar El-Badry
Salwa Mohamed

Data entry
Salwa Raafat

Focus Group Team


Saeed Kassem
Sherif El-Halawany
Wael Farrag
Mohamed Abdel-Sadek Mohamed
Huda Kamal El-Sadek
Inas Abdalla Sayed

Translation services
Ghada Said
Marwa Atta
Tarek Esmail

Typing
Zakria Radwan
Zaki El-Tigi
APPENDIX B: FIELDWORK SITES

Region Governorate District Town/Village

Urban Cairo Boulak Boulak Aboul-Ela


Governorates
Madeenet Nasr Madeenet Nasr
Alexandria Bab Sharki Ibrahimia
El-Mansheiya El-Mansheiya
El-Raml Bakous
Lower Egypt Tanta Seberbay
Samannoud Meet Badr Halawa
Gharbyia Meet Habeeb Elsharkyia
Mahallet Ziad
Bana Abu Seer
Sharkyia Zagazeeg Zagazeeg City
Tahlet Bardeen
Meet Abu Hamada
Ezbet El-Saraya
Nashwa
Mina El-Qamh Meet Suhail
Dakahlyia El-Mansoura Telbana
El-Senbellaween El-Makhzan
Talkha Meet Elkorama
Meet Ghamr Meet Nagui
Menoufyia Shebein Elkom Shebein Elkom City
Menshat Bakhati
Bakhati
El-Batanoun
Meet Khaqaan
Tala Zennara
Upper Egypt Fayoum Fayoum City
Fayoum
Ettsa Tatoun (7000 in Milan)
Luxor Luxur City
Luxor Eldabeiya
El-Baiyadiya
Ettoud
APPENDIX C: QUESTIONNAIRE
International Organization for Migration

Ministry of Manpower and Emigration


Emigration Sector

Field Questionnaire
on

Attitudes of Egyptian Youth Towards Migration

Data for this survey are confidential and will be used only for scientific
research purposes and official use
Place of interview: Governorate: Urban/Rural Serial Number

Interviewer: ______________________ Supervisor: _______________________

Name of respondent: ______________________ Date: / / 2005 Village/City:


__________

SECTION I: BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

Serial Questions Coding Categories Skip to


Number
101 How old are you now? years
102 What is your current marital status? 1. Single
2. Engaged
3. Married
4. Divorced
5. Widowed
103 What is the highest level of schooling 1. None
which you successfully completed? 2. Primary
3. Preparatory 106
4. Secondary (General) 106
5. Secondary (Tech.) 106
6. University 106
104 Can you read and understand a letter or a 1. Yes
newspaper? 2. No
105 Can you write a letter? 1. Yes
2. No
106 Are you currently employed? 1. Yes
2. No 109
107 What is your monthly income
(approximately)? LE

108 Does your income fulfill your needs? 1. Yes


2. No
109 Do you have an occupation (profession)? 1. Yes
2. No 111
110 What is your occupation (profession)?
----------------------------
111 What is your total family size?

1
SECTION II: MIGRATION INTENTIONS

Serial Questions Coding Categories Skip to


Number
201 Have you ever traveled to any European 1. Yes 301
country for work? 2. No
202 Do you intend to travel to any European 1. Yes
country for work? 2. No 401
203 To which country in Europe you want to
---------------------------------
migrate?
204 Why do you want to migrate to Europe? Origin-related reasons:
1. No job opportunities available
(RECORD ALL MENTIONED SPONTANEOUSLY) in Egypt
2. Income in Egypt is lower than
in Europe
3. Bad living conditions in Egypt
4. Escape from family pressures
and troubles
5. Help my family
6. Family reunification
7. To improve my
knowledge
8. Other: (specify)
-----------------------------

Destination-related reasons:
1. I want to see Europe
2. I Want to live in Europe
3. I have relatives there
4. I have friends there
5. I have a job offer there
6. I could study there
7. Other: (specify)
-----------------------------
205 What is your source of information about 1. Friends / Relatives
country of destination? 2. Internet
3. Egyptian Authorities
4. General readings
(CIRCLE ONLY ONE RESPONSE)
5. Media (TV, Radio, Newspapers
6. Embassies
7. Other sources (specify):
--------------------------------
-
206 Do you have any relatives or friends who 1. Yes
work in Europe now? 2. No 208
207 In which country?
---------------------------------
208 In case of traveling abroad, do you intend 1. Yes
to come back after a specified period? 2. No
3. It depends/ not sure

2
Serial Questions Coding Categories Skip to
Number
209 Do you have a valid passport? 1. Yes
2. No 211
210 Do you intend to have a passport in the 1. Yes
near future? 2. No
211 Which country in Europe you think is the
easiest to migrate to? (Regular and ----------------------------------
Irregular).
212 Has it been previously proposed to you to 1. Yes
migrate to Europe? 2. No 215
213 To which country?
----------------------------------
214 What kind of proposal you received? 1. a formal work contract
2. a promise from a friend or
relative to find work there
3. Other (Specify):
----------------------------------
215 In case of migrating to Europe, do you 1. Yes
expect to receive help from someone to 2. No 217
migrate to Europe?
216 Who do you expect to help you? 1. Relatives in Europe
2. Relatives in Egypt
(CIRCLE ONLY ONE RESPONSE) 3. Egyptian friends in
Europe
4. Friends in Egypt
5. Migration brokers
6. Other (specify)
-------------------------------
217 In general, how much money do you think
is necessary to migrate? LE

218 In case of migrating to Europe, can you 1. Yes


accept to work in jobs that are differ from 2. No
your current specialization or education?
219 In which of these fields can you work 1. Agriculture
abroad? 2. Industry
3. Independent work
4. Home services
(READ ALL BUT CIRCLE ONLY ONE RESPONSE)
5. Building and Constructions
6. Tourism and restaurants
7. Computer, internet, and IT-
related work
8. Other services
9. I don’t know
10. Other (specify):
--------------------------
220 Have you been asked money to migrate? 1. Yes
2. No

3
Serial Questions Coding Categories Skip to
Number
221 Which documents do you need to go to 1. Passport
Europe? 2. Visa
3. Work contract
(RECORD ALL MENTIONED SPONTAAINIOUSLY) 4. Work permit
5. Other (Specify):
---------------------------------
222 Can you go to Europe without the needed 1. Yes
documents and visas? 2. No
223 Do you think there are groups that 1. Yes
facilitate irregular migration? 2. No
224 Do you hear about those who are deported 1. Yes
from Europe because they migrate 2. No
illegally?
225 Do you know the consequences of 1. Yes
irregular migration? (Arrest in the 2. No
migration country, expulsion, arrest in the
origin country, fines).
226 Do you think it is easy to migrate legally to 1. Yes 401
Europe? 2. No 401

4
SECTION III: INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION EXPERIENCE

Serial Questions Coding Categories Skip to


Number
301 To which country in Europe did you
---------------------------------
migrate?
302 Why did you migrate to (country in q401)? Origin-related reasons:
1. No job opportunities available
(RECORD ALL MENTIONED SPONTANEOUSLY) in Egypt
2. Income in Egypt is lower than in
Europe
3. Bad living conditions in Egypt
4. Escape from family pressures
and troubles
5. Help my family
6. Family reunification
7. To improve my knowledge
8. Other: (specify)
-----------------------------

Destination-related reasons:
1. I wanted to see Europe
2. I Wanted to live in Europe
3. I have had relatives there
4. I have had friends there
5. I have had a job offer there
6. I could have studied there
7. Other: (specify)
-----------------------------
303 Before going to this country, what was 1. Friends / Relatives
your main source of information about 2. Internet
3. Egyptian Authorities
country of destination? 4. General readings
5. Media (TV, Radio, Newspapers
(CIRCLE ONLY ONE RESPONSE)
6. Embassies
7. Other sources (specify):
--------------------------------
-
304 Did you find the country the same as what 1. Yes the same
you were told before traveling? 2. No, better
3. No, worse
305 Who helped you go abroad? 1. Relatives in Europe
2. Relatives in Egypt
3. Egyptian friends in
Europe
4. Friends in Egypt
5. Migration brokers
6. Other (specify):
-------------------------------
306 Did you have to pay to go abroad? 1. Yes
2. No 309

5
Serial Questions Coding Categories Skip to
Number
307 How much did you pay?
LE
308 From where did you get the needed money 1. I saved
to migrate? 2. Friends
3. Relatives
4. Other (specify):
----------------------------------
309 Did you have a work contract before going 1. Yes
to this country? 2. No
310 Did you enter this country with a valid 1. Yes 312
visa? 2. No
311 Before going abroad, did you try to have a 1.
visa?
312 Did you send money to Egypt while 2. Yes
working abroad? 3. No 314
313 How did you send the money? -----------------------------------
314 Did you return voluntarily or you were 1. Voluntarily
forced to return? 2. Forced to return
315 Do you intend to go back to this country? 1. Yes
2. No
3. Not sure
316 In Europe, were you working in jobs that 1. Yes
are different from your current 2. No
specialization or education?
317 In which of these fields you were working 1. Agriculture
abroad? 2. Industry
3. Independent work
4. Home services
(READ ALL POSIBLE RESPONSES)
5. Building and Constructions
6. Tourism and restaurants
7. Computer, internet, and IT-
related work
8. Other services
9. I don’t know
10. Other (specify):
--------------------------
318 How do you evaluate your migration 1. Very good 501
experience to Europe? 2. Good 501
3. Bad 501
4. Very bad 501

6
SECTION IV: MIGRATION OF FRIENDS OR RELATIVES
Serial Questions Coding Categories Skip to
Number
401 Do you know any friend or relative who 1. Yes
migrated to Europe in the last year? 2. No 601
402 In which country? -------------------------
I don’t remember
403 For how long he is there?
M
Y

404 Did he migrate after getting the needed 1. Yes


documents? 2. No
3. I don’t know
405 Did he have a job contract when he went 4. Yes
there? 5. No
6. I do not know
406 Does he send money to his family? 7. Yes
8. No 408
9. I do not know 408
407 How does he send money?
---------------------------------
408 Do you maintain contact with him? 1. Yes
2. No

7
SECTION V: EXPOSURE TO MEDIA

Serial Questions Coding Categories Skip to


Number
501 1. Almost every day
Do you read a newspaper or magazine
almost every day, at least once a week, less 2. At least once a week
3. Less than once a week
than once a week or not at all?
4. Not at all 503
502 What are the names of newspapers or 1. _________________
magazines you read? 2. _________________
3. _________________
(RECORD A MAXIMUM OF THREE)

503 Do you listen to the radio almost every 1. Almost every day
day, at least once a week, less than once a 2. At least once a week
week or not at all? (Check only one 3. Less than once a week
answer) 4. Not at all 508
504 What are the names of the main radio 1. _________________
channels you listen to? 2. _________________
3. _________________
(RECORD A MAXIMUM OF THREE)

505 When do you usually listen to radio? 1. Morning


2. Mid-day
3. Evening
506 What are the programs you usually listen 1. _________________
to? 2. _________________
3. _________________

507 Are you always keen to listen to these 1. Always


programs usually? 2. sometimes/it depends
508 Do you watch television almost every day, 4. Almost every day
at least once a week, less than once a week 5. At least once a week
or not at all? 6. Less than once a week
7. Not at all
509 What are the names of the main TV 1. _________________
channels you watch? 2. _________________
3. _________________
(RECORD A MAXIMUM OF THREE)

510 When do you usually watch TV? 1. Morning


2. Mid-day
3. Evening
511 What are the programs you usually watch? 1. _________________
2. _________________
3. _________________

8
Serial Questions Coding Categories Skip to
Number
512 Are you always keen to watch these 1. Always
programs usually? 2. sometimes/it depends
513 Do you have an access to the internet? 1. Yes
2. No

9
SECTION VI: PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
Serial
Questions
Number
601 What are your main aims in life long-term?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
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__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
(THANK THE INTERVIEWEE)

REMARKS:

Write any positive or negative remarks

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