IOM and migration stakeholders in Ghana work toward first National Referral Mechanism for returned migrants

Stakeholders engaging in brainstorming sessions at the National Referral Mechanism Training of Trainers Workshop

Accra — On 25 and 26 January 2022, IOM Ghana in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), brought together migration stakeholders for a 2-day Training of Trainers workshop on the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for Protection, Return and Reintegration of Migrants in Ghana.

The National Referral Mechanism is a comprehensive framework intended to outline the roles and responsibilities of state and non-state actors to protect and promote the rights of Ghanaian returning migrants and provide protection assistance services including provision of shelter, medical support, and access to documentation. In institutionalizing the referral process to these services, the NRM improves cooperation and coordination among various stakeholders.

“By establishing a National Referral Mechanism, we can deliver comprehensive and timely assistance as well as specialized protection services to Ghanaian migrants and third country nationals stranded or in transit in Ghana,” said IOM Ghana Chief of Mission, Fatou Diallo Ndiaye, in an address delivered by Eric Akomanyi, IOM Ghana National Project Officer.

Participants of the Training of Trainers workshop – representatives from Government of Ghana Ministries, academia, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and the private sector – drafted the structure of the NRM and created a training curriculum for other migration stakeholders using the Mechanism in their respective areas of expertise. The training provided participants with the knowledge to put into practice the NRM in their own workplaces, guiding them in making referrals to relevant governmental and non-governmental bodies to better assist returning migrants.

Olivia Dodoo, Principal Disaster Control Officer of the Migration Department of the Government of Ghana’s National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), reflected on how the NRM will positively affect the work of NADMO and other stakeholders: “This NRM is a priority for Director-General, Hon. Eric Nana Agyeman Prempeh, and Director of Migration and Reintegration, Kofi Osei. It is a major leap in our work to coordinate reintegration activities of migration stakeholders in Ghana. The NRM will enhance our work by providing a common database of national migration actors and their roles – a place to share information collectively for a better coordinated effort.”

Prior to the training, IOM and NADMO, in coordination with key stakeholders, developed an assessment report on existing national and local referral mechanisms for returning migrants and other vulnerable groups in Ghana, and mapped out the state and non-state service providers best equipped to deliver crucial assistance to vulnerable migrants.

Going forward, a task force will be established by NADMO to oversee the creation of the Mechanism. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will also be elaborated for all stakeholders to ensure the Mechanism’s implementation.

The development of the NRM is made possible with funding by the European Union through the EU - IOM Individual Measures Project on Migrant Protection and Reintegration.

IOM looks forward to providing further support to the Government of Ghana in building the capacity and enhancing the coordination of all those involved in the return, reintegration, and protection of migrants.

For more information, please contact Pooja Bhalla, Project Manager, IOM Ghana, at

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