#Backwaysolutions #Candleofhope: Global Youth Works approaches to challenging irregular migration in Sub-Saharan Africa


Hundreds of thousands of people, young people mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa, attempt to escape the “horrendous situations” they live in, in search of greener pastures. There are significant push and pull factors that catalyse into fatalities that occur from the dangerous routes taken to get into Europe, some evidenced by the news, showing videos of migrant boats capsizing in the Mediterranean or Atlantic Ocean, on a regular basis. This method of travel is known as the “Backway”. During the journey from Sub-Saharan Africa to Mainland Europe, via Libya, not only do many young people lose their lives, but there are many increasing heart-breaking stories of these young people being sold as slaves in open markets in Libya for a price of 200 – 500 dollars; subjected to sexual abuse, kidnapping, and even reports of being used for organ transplants.

This chapter is an opportunity to contribute to the dearth of African literature in this field. It responds to an invitation to contribute knowledge, especially in linking Global Youth Work Theory and social action. In presenting this case study of how Global Hands has worked with its partners to utilise the pedagogic tool of Global Youth Work (GYW) in order to provoke consciousness about this sorry state of affairs; and support disruptive action that challenges and finds solutions for the destructive trend of irregular “backway” migration to Sub-Saharan Africa. In doing this, we hope to highlight the agentic forces of some African youths and present a counter-narrative to dominant configurations of ways of knowing and being.



Backway, youth migration, Global Youth Work, Sub-Saharan Africa


Salla, M. (2018) #Backwaysolutions #Candleofhope: Global Youth Works approaches to challenging irregular migration in Sub-Saharan Africa. In: Del Felice, C. and Peters, O. (Eds.) Youth in Africa: Agents of Change. Madrid: Casa África –La Catarata.


Research Institute

Institute for Research in Criminology, Community, Education and Social Justice