N’Djamena – Through its Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) Programme for vulnerable migrants, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) ensured on Wednesday 18 May 2022, the reception of 125 Chadians who were stranded in Libya.

The voluntary return of these Chadians was made possible thanks to the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration and brings to 1,429 the number of Chadians who benefited from assisted voluntary return under this initiative. These returnees, who arrived on a special flight, includes 14 women and 10 children. As a vast landlocked country in Central Africa, Chad is a transit point for African migration. In recent years, a significant number of young Chadians, in search of a better life, have risked their lives on irregular migration routes.

Testimonies from returnees reveal dangerous travel conditions across the desert as well as physical and emotional abuse by smugglers and traffickers. For those who manage to reach any destination, living conditions are sometimes precarious, with some working in non-contractual and exploitative conditions.

Implemented since 2019 in Chad, the Joint Initiative is the first comprehensive programme to save lives, protect and assist migrants along the main migration routes in Africa. “Under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative, IOM Chad has provided safe return assistance to 1,429 Chadians stranded in Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan, Niger, Senegal, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire. Over the same period, IOM has also supported 1,941 foreign migrants stranded in Chad to return voluntarily to their countries of origin,” explains Jean-Claude Bashirahishize, Migrant Protection and Assistance Officer at IOM Chad. The programme also provides returnee reintegration assistance, including psychosocial support, skills training, counselling or in-kind assistance to set up individual, collective or community-based socio-economic projects.

For more information, please contact François-Xavier Ada AFFANA, Communication Officer. E-mail: fadaaffana@iom.int.