Detail from "the second line," a painting by Bob Graham. For more about the artist, click here.

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Irregular Migration among Youth in Nigeria: Methodological Issues and Results

*Lanre Olusegun Ikuteyijo, Obafemi Awolowo University 

Keywords: irregular migration, youth, Nigeria, qualitative research methodology

Nigeria’s population was 150 million according to the 2006 census and the prevailing socio-economic situation in the country present a sustaining situation for emigration. However, attempts at studying the phenomenon of irregular migration has been hindered by some factors primary among which is the access to participants. This study uses the referral method in social research to identify some youth who had left the country under irregular circumstances and were still in transit. The life histories of participants were used to analyze the situation surrounding their departure and also their experiences in transit. Seven youth were interviewed and they responded to questions bordering on their background information, migration intention, international migration experience as well as exposure to the media. This paper discusses some of the methodological challenges faced in the conduct of this study and these include: definition of what constitutes irregular migration; identification of participants; securing the trust and cooperation of participants, and other ethical issues involved in the study of this type. The paper concludes with some policy suggestions on the control of irregular migration as well as discussions on lessons learnt in getting irregular migrant which no doubt constitute the part of the hard to reach population.

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