To improve migrant protection, voluntary return and reintegration along the Central Mediterranean route in Africa, the European Union (EU), through the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), and with contributions from Germany (€48 million) and Italy (€22 million) launched with the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in 2016 the Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Africa. 

At a time when the numbers of deaths, exploitation and abuse recorded on the Central Mediterranean migration route are at an all-time high, the need to promote safe and informed migration, protect and assist migrants en route or stranded, including through assisted voluntary return and reintegration, is more important than ever.

The joint initiative was launched to strengthen migration governance and to respond to the urgent need to protect and save the lives of migrants along the Central Mediterranean migration route.

The initiative has three regional components:

  • The Central and West Africa component is implemented in 13 countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and The Gambia) through 14 specific actions including the regional one. It aims to make sure that the migration process is safer, more informed and better governed for both migrants and their home communities. 
  • The North Africa component of the initiative is implemented in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. Its objective is to contribute to the strengthening of migrant protection and sustainable reintegration systems in North Africa. 
  • The Horn of Africa component of the initiative is implemented in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan. The programme aims to improve migration management in the region, and to address the trafficking and smuggling of migrants within and from the Horn of Africa. The priority of the programme is to strengthen the rights of migrants and protect them better from violence, abuse and exploitation. The overall objective is to make migration in the region easier and safer.
Expected results from the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration
Results Activities
Increased protection and assistance for vulnerable and stranded migrants
  • The establishment of referral mechanisms and referrals;
  • The Establishment or enhancement of « transit centres » or « protection and assistance centres »;
  • Immediate assistance to migrants (primary needs);
  • The strengthening of the capacities of governments and/or local actors to protect and assist migrants;

Assisted voluntary humanitarian return of migrants

  • The development or updating of Standard Operating Procedures for assisted voluntary return;
  • Assisted voluntary return;
  • Capacity building of government and/or local actors in the implementation of assisted voluntary return

Support towards the sustainable reintegration of migrants

  • The development and popularisation of Standard Operating Procedures for the identification of reintegration assistance needs, the formulation and implementation of reintegration plans, referral mechanisms and monitoring of reintegration;
  • The mapping and socio-economic profile of areas of return;
  • Direct support on arrival;
  • Reintegration assistance;
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the impact of reintegration assistance;
  • Enhanced government and stakeholder policies and responses by strengthening technical and operational capacities of state and non-state actors directly involved in the management or referral of reintegration activities;

Enabling migrants and potential migrants to make informed decisions about their migratory journey and sensitize communities on migration through awareness raising and information actions;

  • Regional and nationwide awareness raising and information campaigns targeting local communities with high migration potential

Improved data on migration flows, routes and trends as well as migrants' needs and vulnerabilities

  • Assessments of transit areas;
  • Flow Monitoring Points (FMP);
  • Flow Monitoring Surveys (FMS);
  • The establishment of a database of voluntary return and reintegration;
  • The collection and dissemination of data collected;
  • The strengthening of the technical and operational capacities of State and Non-State Actors directly involved in migration statistics.