A Gateway Re-opens: the growing popularity of the Atlantic route as told by those who risk it

The research for this paper was undertaken with the intention of rapidly bringing together information and analysis related to the Atlantic route towards the Canary Islands from the coast of West Africa, in the context of an increase in departures and arrivals to the Canary Islands since late 2019. It is based on interviews with 46 refugees and migrants and 16 key informants in the Canary Islands, Mali, Mauritania, and Senegal between 11 November and 17 December 2020. It seeks to improve understanding of the motivations of refugees and migrants for taking this route, as well as of the risks and challenges they face en route, including in their experiences of interception and forced return.

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