Comparative Migration Studies (Sep 2022)

The role of environmental factors and other migration drivers from the perspective of Moroccan and Congolese migrants in Belgium

  • Loubna Ou-Salah,
  • Lore Van Praag,
  • Gert Verschraegen

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 1
pp. 1 – 17


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Abstract This manuscript describes findings from 53 interviews conducted with Moroccan and migrants from The Democratic Republique of the Congo living in Belgium, with an emphasis on discussing the extent to which environmental factors in the migrants’ home countries may or may not have influenced their migration decisions. A comparative approach clarifies and disentangles the relationship between natural environmental factors and other drivers of migration in two distinct contexts. Applying a comparative approach and having extensive biographical accounts of each interviewee’s migration trajectory and history enables us to understand how individual migration aspirations develop gradually and how the importance of environmental factors changes during different stages. Conceiving of migration as a multi-stage process, this study demonstrates how environmental factors are closely linked to other factors and play different roles during a migration trajectory.