Volume 39 - Article 36 | Pages 963–990

From hell to heaven? Evidence of migration trajectories from an Italian refugee centre

By Manuela Stranges, François-Charles Wolff

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Date received:15 Jan 2018
Date published:25 Oct 2018
Word count:11080
Keywords:asylum seekers, Italy, migrants, migration trajectories, refugees
Additional files:Declaration_about_replicability_sub3974 (Word file, 17 kB)
 refugees_DR (do file, 41 kB)


Background: In recent years, large numbers of migrants have attempted to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Italy plays a central role as a receiving country, particularly because of its relative proximity to the coast of North Africa.

Objective: This paper investigates the trajectories of migrants from their entry into a refugee centre to their departure, with evidence on the timing of the departure decision.

Methods: Using 2008–2014 data from a reception centre for refugees and asylum seekers located in Calabria (Italy), we use survival analysis tools to explore the timing and reasons for departure from the centre.

Results: We find large variation in migrant inflows, with peaks associated with political crises and wars in certain countries. There are substantial differences in outflows between groups of countries, in both the timing and reasons for departure.

Conclusions: Our results provide a better understanding of migrants’ trajectories from a reception centre in Italy. They show that a huge number of migrants leave the centre voluntarily.

Contribution: Overall, our study contributes to knowledge of displaced migrants, providing detailed empirical evidence on migrants’ trajectories.

Author's Affiliation

Manuela Stranges - Università della Calabria (UNICAL), Italy [Email]
François-Charles Wolff - Université de Nantes, France [Email]

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