Reintegration as a key part of migration management
In support of and in conjunction with the Assisted Voluntary Return activities, it is essential to provide reintegration assistance to migrants in their country of origin to ensure the sustainability of returns. Reintegration is indispensable to sustainable and humane migration management and is a key part of IOM's activities.
The process is designed to help migrants acclimate back in their country of origin through social and economic support. While individual reintegration is aimed at and designed for returning migrants, IOM also implements community reintegration programs which are intended for returning migrants and communities of origin, to avoid that local (non-migrant) populations who have not migrated feel disadvantaged. Reintegration packages take into account push factors of irregular migration through a consultative process that addressses the needs and concerns of communities affected by migration.
The individual reintegration package which is implemented by IOM and partner organisations includes:
- Creating a sustainable business plan
- A reintegration grant
- Reintegration advice and follow up
- Reintegration monitoring to ensure sustainability and efficiency of the program.
The community reintegration package is implemented, as much as possible, through local NGOs that are based in the regions of strong migration with support from IOM country offices. Through a consultative process, community projects are developed and financed through grants and focus on sustainable income generating activities.
Reintegration in 2016
Individual Reintegration: 200 direct beneficiaries
Individual reintegration assistance offered by IOM Niger in 2016 was targeted at vulnerable migrants meaning unaccompanied minors, women, victims of trafficking and other vulnerable cases who are evaluated on a thorough case-by-case basis. The individual assistance package is distributed through the creation of a business plan and then through a reintegration grant.
The beneficiaries lead their own reintegration process and are advised on sustainable business opportunities. Many set up shops selling foodstuffs or clothes, or begin agricultural projects. For minors, the reintegration grant also pays for their schooling.
Community Reintegration: 870 direct beneficiaries made up of 301 returned migrants and 569 community members
The targeted areas of community reintegration projets are the main regions of origins of migrants assisted with voluntary return by IOM Niger.
Through implementing partners, a total of 77 community projects were initiated in Senegal (1), the Gambia (12), Nigeria (43), Mali (8) and Guinea Bissau (10) with over 875 direct beneficiaries including community members, migrants and potential migrants alike.
The projects include joint community activities that achieve a greater impact in the targeted regions. Investment in key livelihood activities such as agriculture, fisheries, transportation or trade are the primary focus of the initiative. In order to ensure the sustainability of the individual projects,IOM recruited 8 local NGOs and 1 private company to help identify needs, deliver business management training and facilitate counselling for the beneficiaries before starting the activities.
Vocational Training: 632 direct beneficiaries
In addition, IOM Niger organized and implemented three vocational trainings in the transit center of Agadez for migrants and members of the local community. Thes vocational trainings aimed at reinforcing the capacity of migrants before returning to their country of origin, as the return is often difficult and can be perceived as a 'failure' on the part of the migrant. The trainings intentionally included members of the local community to strenghten the relationship and communication between these groups.
3 trainings were offered over the course of the year:
- Tuareg jewelry manufacturing
- Brick production
- Business management
A total of 623 beneficiaries attended the training, 342 of whom were part of the local community.
Reintegration in 2017
Individual reintegration packages continue to be targeted to vulnerable cases.
IOM launched 20 call for proposals for community based micro projects to be implemented in countries of origins with returned migrants and local NGOs or other patners. Each micro project targets 300 beneficiaries resulting in a total of 6 000 direct beneficiaries amongst migrants and members of communities of origin.
The targeted countries are Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, Cameroon, Mali, and Senegal, which are high sending countries for migrants.
Currently 9 projects are signed and have begun.