In the photo, a group of Tunisians upon their arrival on the island of Lampedusa | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/CONCETTA RIZZO
In the photo, a group of Tunisians upon their arrival on the island of Lampedusa | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/CONCETTA RIZZO

A survey by the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) highlighted that the main reason Tunisian migrants leave disadvantaged neighborhoods is in order to provide financial support for the family. Those who leave residential neighborhoods, on the other hand, are more likely to depart due to the desire to buy a home and improve their living conditions.

The primary reason why Tunisian migrants leave disadvantaged neighborhoods is to provide financial support to the family while those living in residential neighborhoods are more likely to depart due to the desire to buy a home and improve their living conditions.

That's one of the findings of a study by the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) entitled "Social Thinking and Resonances With Extremism" which was conducted in collaboration with Attorneys Without Borders.

Family obligation vs. voluntary choice

A total of 805 young people between the ages of 18 and 30 were interviewed from four neighborhoods in Grand Tunis: Kabaria, Sidi Hassine, El Mourouj and El Menzah.

Three focus groups were conducted with youths from these neighborhoods, which were selected based on the goal of working with two types of structured and non-structured neighborhoods of Tunis.

The report said support of the family is the main reason behind the departure of migrants from the neighborhoods of El Mourouj, Kabaria and Sidi Hassine, while buying a house and better living conditions are behind the departure of migrants from the "residential" El Menzah neighborhood.

This means that in the first three neighborhoods, going abroad is a kind of family obligation, an imposed choice, whereas for the population of El Menzah, going abroad is rather a kind of voluntary choice.

Data from the four neighborhoods

The living conditions in these neighborhoods were studied through various data such as, among other things, the level of education, access to means of communication, and the level of unemployment.

According to these characteristics, living conditions do determine, to a very large extent, the following ranking of the four neighborhoods: El Menzah, El Mourouj, Kabaria and Sidi Hassine.

  • Level of education

In fact, the survey showed that nearly half the population of El Menzah (49.2%) has reached higher education, which can also perhaps explain their economic position.

In the other neighborhoods, the rate of those with a high school diploma is 23.9% in El Mourouj and only 14% in Kabaria and 7% in Sidi Hassine. The same pattern is reported among those who have never been to school: 15.6% in Sidi Hassine and 12.3% in Kabaria, but only 5.5% and 4.5% in El Mourouj and El Menzah, respectively.

  • Internet access

As for internet access, El Menzah and El Mourouj have the highest rates (77.73% and 64.23%, respectively), while in poor neighborhoods these rates are relatively low (48.68% in Kabaria and 34.49% in Sidi Hassine).

  • Employment

In El Menzah, seven out of 10 employed people have a university degree, while in Sidi Hassine the rate is only one out of 10.

For the neighborhoods of Sidi Hassine, Kabaria, and El Mourouj, the highest proportion of the employed population has a secondary education level (four out of 10 employed).

In addition, El Menzah has a particularly low unemployment rate, while Kabaria has the highest unemployment rate at 18.41%, compared to the national average of 15.50%.

Conclusions of the study

Although it is clear that the level of poverty and marginalization of the populations in these neighborhoods' could explain a tendency to violence, it is rather wrong to establish a direct cause-effect relationship between the difficult living conditions and the practice of violent extremism, the study said.

The theory is that difficult economic and social conditions alone cannot be the triggering factors for engaging in violent extremism. Nevertheless, these conditions can be perceived by young people as a source of marginalization and thus of violence against them, the study concluded.

 

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