Think thank sur les politiques publiques dans le secteur agricole et rural en Afrique de l’Ouest

Accueil / Que faisons-nous ? / Recherche / Migration et emploi des jeunes / Migration et intégration régionale en afrique de l’ouest : Cas du Sénégal, du (...) / Migration and regional integration policy in west Africa : Sierra Leone’ (...)

Migration and regional integration policy in west Africa : Sierra Leone’ case

Publié le 18 février 2022

This report presents the findings of a survey conducted in Sierra Leone as part of a wider sub-regional action research on migration and regional integration commissioned by Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale (IPAR), with the complimentary support of its partners namely : Confédération Nationale des Travailleurs du Sénégal (CNTS), and the Forum Social Sénégalais (FSS). The survey was funded by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) to examine the gaps and challenges in the implementation of the ECOWAS Protocol on free movement of people, goods, and service with critical attention to the promotion of good migration governance, mobility as well as the protection of migrants’ rights in the ECOWAS sub-region.
The study design included the recruitment of a Country Expert whose deliverables included collating, analysing and interpreting data, as well as writing a contextual country report ; the recruitment of National Coordinator charged with the responsibility to coordinate data collection processes and procedures, and also conduct one-on-one structured and semi-structured interviews with purposive samples of Senior Government Officers (Security and Immigration officers in the border area), staff of Embassies, members of Migrant’s Associations and representatives of Local Civil Society Organizations in Sierra Leone. This also included the recruitment of twelve (12) intermediate and junior level researchers who were trained in research methods, as well as tools and equipment used throughout the survey.
The survey was conducted at the height of the raining season between August-September 2021. Despite some challenges encountered at this time of the year, the study was able to address some of the critical questions on migration governance in the Sierra Leonean context ; deepened understanding of the gaps and challenges in the implementation of ECOWAS Protocol ; and came up with key action-oriented recommendations and suggestions on how to better influence national migration policies and practice. The study was particularly able to identify and review migration laws, policies, and practices in the Sierra Leone, and propose advocacy-oriented options to foster state compliance to ECOWAS migration Protocol.
The survey results revealed that despite the social, political, economic, and environmental challenges the country has experienced in the past decades, Sierra Leone continue to attract thousands of migrants from other West African states for different reasons. The result also helped to affirmed existing claim that intra-regional migration has positive social and economic impacts on Sierra Leone owing to the significant economic contribution of ECOWAS migrants in the informal sectors. However, migrants are structurally discriminated to prevent them from competing for the same job with Sierra Leonean nationals in the formal sector.
It is anticipated that the outcomes of this study will contribute to influencing policy reform in line with ECOWAS vision towards fostering integrated West African society. It is also hopeful that the findings and recommendations will help to inspire other countries within the ECOWAS member states to effectively implement ECOWAS Protocol on free movement of person good and service.