Publication date: 14 February 2017
Eritrea has during the last decade become among the largest producers of refugees and asylum seekers in the world. The dominant narrative explaining this trend refers to the combination of a highly authoritarian and militarized state structure, an infinite and abusive national service program, and gross, widespread, and systematic human rights violations. This dominant narrative has however in recent years become increasingly challenged by those who argue that migration from Eritrea predominantly is driven by economic aspirations and that Eritreans really are fleeing a stagnant economy which deprives the citizens of a viable future. This report, by Andreas Holm Røsberg and Kjetil Tronvoll, seeks to provide some clarity to this issue.