Report – ESODI / EXODI. Migratory Routes from Sub-Saharan Countries to Europe


The interactive web map is built upon the testimonies of 1.000 migrants coming from Eritrea, Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Sudan and other Sub-Saharan Countries.Five major routes departing from West Africa or the Horn of Africa and leading to Europe through Algeria, Libya and Egypt are described. Concerning the push factors to migration, less than one migrant out of ten reported having left the country of origin for economic reasons. Regardless of their motivations, all migrants face dramatic conditions in crossing the desert and the Mediterranean sea. Nine out of ten witnesses were victims of intentional violence, torture and inhuman and degrading treatment in the country of origin and/or along the migration route. The psychological consequences of these extreme traumas are often more insidious and debilitating than physical injuries. Indeed it can be considered as a “hidden epidemic” that needs to be addressed by countries of asylum.

EXODI is an interactive web map built on the basis of the testimonies of 1.000 migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa collected in nearly three years of activity (2014-2016) by the operators and volunteers of Medici per i Diritti Umani/Doctors for Human Rights Italy (Medu). They are a part of those 770 thousand men, women and children who have landed on Italian shores in the last 15 years (more than half of them have arrived in the last 32 months). The map describes clearly and in detail the migratory routes from Sub-Saharan Countries to Italy and the difficulties, the violence, the tragedy and hopes encountered by the protagonists during their trip. The web map is addressed to all those who are willing to deepen the understanding of the migration phenomena, a human experience that is marking our time. In this sense, EXODI is a map showing the stages and routes as well as a report with data and statistics, but above all, it is a testimony on migrants’ life stories. Being interactive and in progress, the web map will be periodically updated with new testimonies gathered from all those who will share the story of their own journey. Through updated data, EXODI aims also to describe the physical and mental consequences of the journey on the health of an entire generation of young Africans; a journey in which, as a witness said, “you are no longer considered as a human being”.
The information was collected in Sicily (in the Special Reception Centres for Asylum Seekers/CAS of Ragusa and in the Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers/CARA of Mineo) and in Rome (in informal reception centres and at Medu Psychè Centre for rehabilitation of victims of torture). Testimonials were also collected in Ventimiglia and Egypt, specifically in Aswan and Cairo. In all these places Medu work grants and first medical assistance and social support to all migrants but also psychological rehabilitation services to victims of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment. Of the 1,000 migrants assisted and interviewed by Medu 870 are men and 130 are women. The average age is 26 years, whereas 133 are minors met by MEDU mainly at informal settlements in Rome. All migrants interviewed in Sicily were asylum seekers hosted in institutional reception centres, while most of those met in Rome and in Ventimiglia were in transit towards other European countries. Conversely, testimonies collected in Egypt were from refugees and detained migrants. Regarding the countries of origin, the majority of migrants interviewed in Sicily were coming from West Africa, while those met in Rome, Ventimiglia and Egypt were mainly coming from the Horn of Africa.