IOM: 80,000 migrants voluntarily repatriated to home countries since 2015

IOM: 80,000 migrants voluntarily repatriated to home countries since 2015
Photo Courtesy: International Organization for Migration

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced on Tuesday that 80,000 migrants have been voluntarily deported from Libya to their home countries since 2015 via the Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) program. 

Libya has become one of the main transit points for migrants from Asia and Africa seeking to reach European shores. Many don’t make it and find themselves stranded in Libya. Those who seek to return home have limited options.  

“IOM Libya’s staff work around the clock to assist vulnerable migrants in Libya that are in need of urgent protection assistance” said Tauhid Pasha, IOM Libya's Acting Chief of Mission in a press release. “Enabling migrants to make informed choices and ensuring their right to return home is advocated for, the VHR program offers a glimmer of hope in the face of extreme adversity”.

Those who want to return home, are offered health checks, individual counseling and help with transportation and consular services before departure.  Once they return to their home country, the migrants are provided with economic, social, and psychosocial assistance to make reintegration as smooth as possible.  

According to the IOM, the repatriated migrants included 2,733 victims of human trafficking, 843 unaccompanied or separated children, and 5,144 individuals with medical needs.


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