IOM reports surge in voluntary migrant repatriations from Tunisia

IOM reports surge in voluntary migrant repatriations from Tunisia

There has been a recent surge in the number of migrants in Tunisia choosing to return to their home countries, according to the International Migration Organization as reported by AFP

The IOM's "voluntary humanitarian return programme" which provides free return flights to migrants and help reintegrating into their home countries, saw a 200 percent increase in the first half of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023. The migrants, who reached Tunisia intending to then cross the Mediterranean to Europe,are primarily returning to Burkina Faso, The Gambia, and Guinea.

Rights groups in Tunisia have criticized the programme, saying that migrants have been pressured into leaving by worsening living conditions and a lack of basic rights. 

Last year, there were widespread attacks on migrants after President Kais Saied gave a speech claiming that “hordes of illegal immigrants” posed a demographic threat to Tunisia. Hundreds of sub-Saharan Africans were subsequently forced out of their jobs and homes.

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