• Francois-Xavier Ada-Affana | Project Support Officer IOM Chad

Each year, the global community comes together on 18 December to commemorate International Migrants Day as a reminder of the reality of migration, and the importance of migrants’ social, cultural, and economic contributions to their societies.

Chad, one of the largest countries in Central Africa, is a crossroads that has attracted migrants and travellers for many centuries, creating a rich migration heritage.

Here are 8 facts you probably did not know about migration and human mobility in the land of Toumaï.

  1. Chad has one of the longest land borders in Africa. At 5,968 kilometres, Chad’s land border is the 5thlargest in Africa which it shares with Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Libya, Niger, Nigeria, and Sudan. Being a landlocked country, Chad has created vital trade links with its neighbors through migration (both temporary, seasonal, and permanent) over centuries.
  1. Nomadic transhumance is the most common form of migration in Chad which has been practiced for centuries and allows herdsmen to develop alliances and exchanges with sedentary populations. However, recent disruptions to resource access linked to climate change and environmental degradation have created tensions between herdsmen and farmers. Across the country, IOM works with national and local authorities to foster social cohesion and reconciliation by harnessing the powers of traditional peacebuilding mechanisms and strengthening youth engagement.
  1. Northern Chad is an important crossroads characterised by multiple mobility patterns including labour migration of non-Chadians as well Chadians from other parts of the country towards mining areas, seasonal domestic and international transhumance, trade, and circular migration within the Chad – Libya – Niger triangle dating back to centuries.
  1. Chad has the second highest number of refugees per capita in Africa. According to the Global Change Data Lab, 28.75 out of every 1,000 persons in Chad is a refugee from Sudan, Cameroon, Nigeria or the Central African Republic. Durable solutions are high on the agenda of national and international actors, including IOM and UNHCR who work closely with the Government to provide resettlement solutions to refugees.
  1. 381 289 people or 2.3% of Chad’s population is internally displaced due to insecurity linked to non-state armed groups and the effects of climate change in Chad’s Lac province. The province also hosts 44 581 returnees and 19 346 refugees who leave peacefully in host communities, camps, or sites. IOM supports national and local authorities in designing and implementing innovative programmes aiming to build the resilience and identify solutions towards the progressive resolution of the displacement crisis in the province. 
  1. Chad is the third most vulnerable country to climate change in the world according to the Notre Dame Global Adaptation InitiativeIn 2022 alone, heavy rains led to record floodings of the Logone and Chari rivers which forced over 181 000 persons to flee their homes in N’Djamena alone, according to the UN. Likewise, the variability of the surface area of Lake Chad in the past 50 years has profoundly altered livelihoods, forcing lakeside communities to move in search for better living conditions. As climate change is becomes an increasingly important migration factor in Chad, IOM supports national authorities in developing tailored solutions to enhance climate change adaptation among internally displaced persons.
  1. Chad is a “Champion Country” in the implementation of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) and has made significant progresses in enhancing its institutional framework for migrant protection since 2018 including the criminalization of trafficking in persons (2018). Work is also ongoing to domesticate the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention) and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
  1. According to a study conducted in 2021 by IOM and the Government of Chad, Chadian diaspora members send 125,302 CFA francs (131 USD) per month to family members in N’Djamena which is more than the average monthly income is 113,807 CFA francs (119 USD). This makes diaspora migrant workers and remittances a powerful lever for Chad’s development.

These eight facts only provide a snapshot of the challenges, benefits, and opportunities of migration in Chad today. But the key takeaway is that the reality of human mobility in Chad requires innovative approaches and programming anchored in cooperation to harness its full potential for development.


To learn more about migration in Chad, check out the Chad Mobility Mapping Report – 2022.

For more information, please contact Francois-Xavier Ada-Affana. Email: