Migration Support to Address Migrant Expulsions in Western Tanzania


IOM and Immigration during an assessment in Kagera Region

On 29th July 2013, the Government of Tanzania issued a public directive for irregular migrants in the Western Regions bordering Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda to leave the country by 11th August or else be forcibly removed by security and defense forces. Consequently, over the past months, approximately 65.000 migrants have been expelled from Tanzania, resulting in migration crisis for its neighbours.

In response to the expulsion of irregular migrants in Tanzania, IOM launched the Humanitarian Support to Migrants in Western Tanzania programme. Funded by DFID, the Government of Japan and the European Union, it assists the Tanzanian Government with promoting a protection-sensitive migration management approach with the objective to register migrants with a view to support their return or regularization and reduce the number of stranded and vulnerable irregular migrants around Tanzania’s borders with Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.

Through this project IOM will also provide capacity building on humanitarian border management (HBM) to immigration services in Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda for coordinated irregular migrant documentation and regularization, return management and protection-sensitive border management. The main activities include the development of Standard Operating Procedures, a HBM assessment and four return management workshops which will be of benefit to stakeholders in all four relevant countries.

Key results so far

A) 22,282 migrants registered

B) Humane and protection-sensitive border management approached adopted by Ministry of Home Affairs as basis for its own ’Comprehensive Migration Management Strategy’ (COMMSIT)

C) Burundian, Tanzanian and Ugandan immigration officer produced joint recommendations for SOPs on HBM and Return Management

D) Immigration has acquired technical skills and experience to independently operate registration software and hardware

In response to the expulsion of irregular migrants in Tanzania, IOM is assisting the Government of Tanzania in pursuing a comprehensive and protection sensitive migration management approach with the objective of reducing the number of stranded and vulnerable irregular migrants in Tanzania’s border regions with Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda. The project will build national capacity to register irregular migrants with a view to support the regularization of their immigration status in Tanzania, and offer voluntary return to those wishing to return.

Overall, the project will enable the Government of Tanzania to enhance its national migration management capacity to manage migration in a way that protects national borders and respects migrants’ human rights.

For more info on the project:

Humanitarian assistance Western TNZ last version

DFID REPORT MAY 2014