Facts and Figures
The largest country in Africa, and the continent's fourth longest land border, Algeria is an essential junction point between sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. Its central geographical position and its large surface area have placed the country at the crossroads of a region whose migratory dynamics are constantly evolving. Its wide desertic inland has served for centuries as crossroads for goods and people from West to East and from the South to the Mediterranean. More recently, the evolution of the security issue of neighboring countries, particularly Libya and the Sahel, have once again highlighted the crucial importance of Algeria in the stability of the region.
In recent years, many sub-Saharan migrants have turned to Algeria as their destination or as a transit point in their migratory journey. Each week, a large number of migrants of different nationalities (mainly from West Africa) enter Algeria. Most arrive on Algerian territory across the 1500km border with Mali and Niger in the middle of the Sahara Desert.
In response, there has been a growing interest to the challenges and opportunities represented by national and regional migratory flows in Algeria.
Algeria is an IOM Member State, and IOM activities in Algeria are grounded on a Cooperation Agreement signed in 2002. In 2016, IOM opened an office in Algiers and since then has been contributing to the efforts of the Government of Algeria to manage migration effectively through a wide variety of projects and programmes.
- Department of Migration Management
Migrant Protection and Assistance
The Migrant Protection and Assistance Division works to ensure provision of dignified and humane assistance to migrants in vulnerable situations by providing technical support in the field of assisted voluntary return and reintegration, protection and assistance to migrants in situations of vulnerability, in particular victims of trafficking, smuggled migrants having protection needs, and unaccompanied and separated migrant children, survivors of gender-based violence and migrants subject to violence, exploitation and abuse.
Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration
Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) is an essential part of a comprehensive approach to migration management for migrants who are unable or unwilling to settle in host or transit countries and who wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin.
AVRR ensures that migrants who wish to return to their country of origin but lack the means to do so are assisted to return voluntarily in safety and with dignity and are supported to reintegrate sustainably in their communities.
IOM works in close cooperation with governmental and non-governmental partners to ensure assistance and referrals of migrants for AVRR.
Countering trafficking in persons (CT)
IOM collaborates with the Algerian Government to prevent and fight trafficking in persons and protect survivors by strengthening a network capable to tackle the phenomenon in a holistic and comprehensive way. IOM follows a victim-centered approach, with a response based on the 4Ps approach: prevention, prosecution, protection and partnership. In particular, IOM’s activities work on three axes:
- Strengthening existing referral mechanisms through institutional capacity development and partnership to ensure qualitative, timely and appropriate provision of specialized assistance to potential victims and survivors.
- Provision of protection and direct assistance services to survivors in coordination with relevant service providers (shelter, legal assistance, psychological assistance, medical care, AVRR, food and non-food items). To ensure safe and dignified return, IOM Algeria in collaboration with IOM in countries of origin conducts family tracing and assessment and a risk assessment to identify potential risks upon return, put in place litigation measures and assess the socioeconomic and psychosocial conditions of the family or community of return.
- Capacity-building for frontline actors and relevant authorities to detect, identify, assist, refer, and protect victims of trafficking and bring complaints to justice.
- Implementation of information and awareness raising activities, including outreach to inform the public about trafficking and to equip potential victims with the information needed to protect themselves, access assistance when needed and migrate regularly.
Immigration and border management
In consideration of Algeria's immense borders and crucial role in the management of migratory flows in the region, IOM is committed to work side by side with the Algerian government in strengthening policies, operational systems, human resources, and technical structures for border management. The main activities of IOM in Algeria include:
- Facilitate the participation of representatives of the Algerian Government in capacity building activities, as well as participation in international conferences and exchange of good practices with peers from different countries on various topics such as migrant smuggling, search and rescue and trafficking in persons.
- Promote dialogue and exchange of information on migratory flows, dismantlement of criminal networks with neighboring countries through capacity building activities. Research on key thematic areas such as migrant smuggling and trafficking in person to support development of evidence-based policies and programs.
- Development of tools and guidelines to support the mobility of travelers across borders, including during major sanitary crises, in coordination with relevant ministries and wilayas.
Travel Health Assistance
IOM carries out health assessments and fit-for-travel checks for various categories of migrants, including returnees, resettling refugees and labour migrants before their departure from Algeria. Travel health assistance includes the liaison with receiving countries to ensure the continuity of care for migrants, and the provision of assistance during travel through a medical escort, when needed. Stranded migrants are also referred to public health facilities and partners for assistance.
IOM's health promotion programmes in Algeria aim to:
- Promote inclusive health policies that guarantee migrants' effective access to healthcare by combating linguistic and cultural barriers and by directing migrants to relevant healthcare services. Activities include building the capacity of community health workers to break down linguistic and cultural obstacles in accessing healthcare.
- Provide technical assistance and strengthen the capacity of policymakers and healthcare personnel to provide migrant-sensitive healthcare.
- Promote disease prevention and control among migrant communities, through risk communication and community engagement initiatives.
- Enhance access to healthcare for mobile populations, through the procurement of mobile clinics and laboratory equipment for public healthcare facilities.
- Support the national response to COVID-19 through technical assistance, capacity building and provision of equipment for enhanced detection and response to COVID-19 at Points of Entry.
Migration and Sustainable Development
IOM works to promote the link between migration and sustainable development and to support the role of migrants as development agents. In particular, the main areas of work for IOM in Algeria are the following:
- Strengthen cohesion, promote exchange of ideas and foster growth in the field of individual initiative and entrepreneurship by supporting networks and opportunities at the local level.
- Work in collaboration with the Algerian Government to facilitate the inclusion of migrant students and workers in Algerian society.
- Promote the exchange of best practices on social inclusion between the Algerian Government and other countries.
- Support research initiatives in the field of migration and sustainable development
- Promote information campaigns to raise awareness on the risks of irregular migration
- Department of Operations and Emergencies
Resettlements and Movements Management
IOM's Movements and Operations Department ensures that migrants and refugees are transported with dignity, until their final return or point of resettlement. Services related to the movement of migrants and refugees under the auspices of IOM include:
- Transport to the airport and help with boarding.
- Support for plane tickets (domestic and international lines).
- Establishment of operational / medical escorts.
- Transit assistance as well as arrival assistance at the destination airport.
- Management of the Transit Center for Voluntary Return, in order to guarantee adequate shelter, services before departure and on arrival for a growing number of returnees.
- Contact information
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
21/22 Lotissement El Feth, El Biar
Tel: +213 (0) 21 92 54 77
AVRR to Algeria: +213 661464622
AVRR from Algeria: +213 670433017
Assistance to victims of trafficking: +213 66191123
Facebook: OIM Algérie - IOM Algeria