Contemporary Senegalese communities are devastated by the alarming rates of deaths in the Atlantic Ocean attempting for Spain’s Canary Islands or Europe. For many Senegalese men, the clandestine journey is an inevitable quest.“Half of the 30,000 illegal migrants who arrived in the Canary Islands in 2006 were Senegalese, while 1,000 out 7,000 African illegal migrants who died during the crossings in the same year were also Senegalese” (Mbaye 2014). These estimates, however, are minimal because most clandestine migrant deaths are unreported. Often depicted as criminals, a more comprehensive approach to the phenomenon of clandestine migration is necessary “to assess the risks of irregular migration and to design policies and programmes to make migration safer” (World Bank 2017). This research study hopes to shed light on the complexity of the Senegalese clandestine migration phenomenon through analysis of its economic, socio-political and personal components. In doing so, the study aims to negate simplistic interpretations of the topic. The main argument of the study is: the economic and political challenges of the Senegalese state is deeply rooted in European imperialism and capitalism. Failing to assess the issue through this lens leads to misinterpretation and simplicity in its study. My research has proven migrants should refrain from being solely categorized as criminals, I argue they are rather pro-active agents in neo-colonial institutions.


Sene, Ibra

Second Advisor



Africana Studies; History


Arts and Humanities

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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