Launched in December 2016 with funding from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), the EU-IOM Joint Initiative on Migrant Protection and Reintegration is the first comprehensive programme to save lives, protect and assist migrants along key migration routes in Africa.

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative enables migrants who decide to return to their countries of origin to do so in a safe and dignified way, in full respect of international human rights standards and in particular the principle of non-refoulement. In close cooperation with partnering state and non-state actors, it provides assistance to returning migrants to help them restart their lives in their countries of origin through an integrated approach to reintegration that supports both migrants and their communities, has the potential to complement local development, and mitigates some of the drivers of irregular migration.

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative covers and closely cooperates with 26 African countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad, the Horn of Africa, and North Africa.

The objectives of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration include:

  • Improve protection; provide direct assistance and enable the assisted voluntary return of migrants stranded along the migration routes.
  • Support the reintegration process of returning migrants in an integrated approach which addresses economic, social, and psychosocial dimensions and fosters the inclusion of communities of return.
  • Enable migrants and potential migrants to make informed decisions about their migratory journey and sensitize their communities on migration.
  • Strengthen migration data and communication on migratory movements as well as on needs and vulnerabilities of migrants in order to support evidence-based policies and programme design.
  • Strengthen capacities of state- and non-state actors in protection and migration governance.
  • Contribute to the stabilization of communities at risk by revitalizing the local economy, improving access to basic socio-economic infrastructures, and attempting to strengthen social cohesion.