Making strides toward “Migration with Dignity”: Two Years of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration

Making strides toward “Migration with Dignity”: Two Years of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration


Bandjou is a tiler from Guinea. He left home to seek work in Libya and stayed for 10 years, earning a living for himself and his family. When violence broke out in Libya,  there for years, he finally decided that it was time to go back home, and sought assistance to do so.  In 2018, a Guinean tiler who returned from LibyaBandjou left Libya and returned to Guinea through the Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme run by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). He’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme, is now back on his feet with dignity in Guinea, heading up a tiling company with the reintegration support he received from the European Union (EU) and IOM. His initiative is also rippling out to fellow Guineans in the community.  


/europeaid/file/bandjous-story_enBandjou's story


“I was helped to build my business, and IOM motivated me to hire potential migrants, people without a jobjobs in Guinea,” he explaineds. “Everyone needs help: if employment opportunities are not given to Guineans, many of them will leave. Today, I have eight employees.”

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration recognises that choosing to go back home is just one part of the story for migrants like Bandjou. is about to enter its third year. Since its launch in December 2016, the EU-IOM Joint Initiative has focused on saving migrants’ lives and , boosting protection, but also on and offering migrants a dignified return to their homes and sustainable reintegration plans.

In that spirit, IOM has chosen ‘Migration with Dignity’ as the Dignity is the theme that IOM has chosen in markingfor this year’s International Migrants Day this year on the( 18th of December). In Announcing announcing the theme, IOM’s Director General, António Vitorino , called on the international community to safeguard the fundamental rights of all migrating peoples and their well-being in conditions of security and dignity.




Irregular migration can be a dangerous, degrading process that strips migrants of their intrinsic worth and rights as human beings. Too often, on the routes through Africa and in across the Mediterranean, human smugglers, traffickers and others take advantage of migrants who are , desperate to seek make a better life living for themselves and their families abroad. Too often, they are and unable to find ways of doing so through regular, safe and legal channels. 

To avoid people putting their lives at risk, regular, safe and legal migration channels are needed. If migrants are able to use migrate via regular channels, they can further their aspirations to rise above poverty, to seek better education and livelihoods for themselves and their families, to reunite with family members, or to escape social deprivation, conflict, violence and the effects of climate change. Migrants who are able to use regular and safe migration pathways go on to make contributions to their countries of destination and of origin, and thus the benefits are shared by all. Moreover, they are able to make their moves within dignity. 


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