Facts and Figures
Population (2020)
27.7 million
Women as a Percentage of Immigrants (2020)
Immigrants (2020)
GDP per Capita PPP (2021)
USD 1,635.4

For the past few years, Madagascar has been slowly recovering from the five-year political crisis (2009-2014). Although the economic situation in the country is steadily improving, Madagascar’s development challenges remain vast. As one of the poorest countries in the world, more than seventy per cent of Madagascar’s population lives in extreme poverty. Madagascar’s education, health, and nutrition outcomes remain some of the lowest in the world. Unemployment, lack of basic resources, and environmental changes drive a significant number of Malagasy nationals to seek opportunities in other regions or abroad, resulting in complex migration trends both internally and transnationally.

Following the signature of a cooperation agreement between the Government of Madagascar (GoM) and IOM in October 2014, IOM opened a permanent office in Antananarivo.  Since then, IOM has been implementing programmes in the fields of migration and health, international migration law, migration and the environment, counter-trafficking, border management, forced migration and internal displacement, labour migration, and the mobilization of the diaspora, channelled through the provision of capacity building, advisory, operational support, and technical expertise.

Migration activities

Counter-trafficking Programme

Because of inadequate labour migration management, Madagascar still factors as an important source country for trafficking in persons (TiP). Within Madagascar, TiP takes the form of domestic servitude, prostitution, forced begging, and forced labour, both in rural and urban areas. Internationally, Malagasy women and men have been reported to be trafficked for sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, as well as exploitation in textile factories and the fishing industry.

IOM’s counter-trafficking programme contributes to the Government of Madagascar and Civil Society Organizations’ efforts to improve national capacity in coordinating the anti-trafficking response, preventing TiP, protecting victims of TiP, and prosecuting traffickers. Within this programme, IOM conducts activities focused on strengthening of the judicial system, institutionalization of a national referral mechanism for trafficking cases, improving TiP data collection and reporting as well as the provision of direct emergency and reintegration assistance to victims of TiP.

Labour Migration Programme

With more than 70 per cent of Madagascar’s population living in extreme poverty, the search of an employment abroad continues to represent an attractive opportunity. While labour migration can be a positive agent for development when well-managed, it also presents challenges to ensuring that the rights of Malagasy migrant workers are protected, and that labour migration management is concerted and responds to national development priorities.

IOM works closely with relevant ministries, and under the leadership of the Ministry of Labour, supporting the Government through razing awareness of the national stakeholders on key concepts of labour migration, building their capacities on the elaboration of bilateral labour agreements, facilitating development and adoption of national policies on labour migration strategies in Madagascar and supporting exchanges between national stakeholders in charge of labour migration governance and their counterparts abroad.

Diaspora Engagement Programme

The Malagasy Diaspora, in its diversity, presents significant but still largely untapped potentials for engagement and contribution in meeting the challenges of sustainable national development, given its generally high levels of education, professional successes, dynamism, and creativity.

In support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IOM implements activities to establish the sustainable and productive engagement of the Malagasy Diaspora for national development. Such activities include holding consultation sessions on diaspora engagement and mobilization, conducting studies profiling Malagasy Diaspora abroad and developing and institutionalizing a youth diaspora volunteers’ programme to build links and engage with rural communities of Madagascar, and to contribute to their local development initiatives.

Migration and Health Programme

Health is a basic human right and an essential component of sustainable development. Being and staying healthy is a fundamental precondition for migrants to work, to be productive and to contribute to the social and economic development of their communities of origin and destination. The migration cycle can expose migrants to health issues including increased vulnerability to communicable diseases, mental health issues, occupational health and safety conditions and negative sexual and reproductive health outcomes. 

IOM’s work and advocacy in Madagascar focus on ensuring that the concrete manifestations of the interdependence between human mobility and public health are taken into account and streamlined to public health frameworks. IOM participates in activities aimed at preventing disease outbreaks, rationalizing health screenings efforts through the roll out of Population Mobility Mapping (PMM) tools, enhancing health surveillance capacities along key internal mobility flow points, and at principal international Ports of Entry (PoEs) such as airports and ports.

Migration, Environment, and Climate Change Programme

With 80 per cent of the population relying on agriculture as a primary source of income, one of the main challenges lies in the high vulnerability to the devastating effects of environmental disasters and climate change. Madagascar remains one of the most economically impacted countries in the world from natural disasters and one of the most likely to be negatively affected by climate change.

IOM seeks to inform the formulation of national policies and operational planning on Migration, Environment and Climate Change, through conducting country assessments and increasing the awareness of the local stakeholders on the interdependence between migration and environmental changes. IOM has also supported the creation of the Internal Migration Observatory, the first research centre and platform of reference, exchange and capacity building on internal migration in Madagascar.

Emergency and Post Crisis Programme

As Madagascar is regularly affected by natural disasters, IOM seeks to provide actionable and timely information on disaster-related population displacement in the country, respond to humanitarian emergencies, and support prevention and adaptation strategies to reduce incidences of displacement from occurring.

IOM provided robust shelter assistance to communities most affected by the 2017 Intense Tropical Cyclone Enawo, rolled-out the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) tools to track and report on drought-induced displacement from and within the “Grand Sud”, and facilitated community-based dialogues in the areas particularly affected by the migratory outflow to develop and implement effective community stabilization initiatives. IOM also implements activities aimed at restoring the authority of the State and security forces in southern areas affected by banditry, through the construction of postes avancés for the Gendermerie Nationale and the promotion of a positive engagement between the local population and security forces.

Immigration and Border Management Programme

With more than 5,000 km of coastline and owing to Madagascar’s strategic location across the Mozambique Channel, the porosity of borders and weak controls at formal entry points to the territory has been conducive to forms of transnational and national criminal and illegal activities that can ripple inland and throughout the region. Effective and efficient border management remains essential to ensure border security, reinforce the fight against transnational organized crime, and enhance protection of vulnerable migrants.

IOM works with the Ministry of Public Security and other key border agencies such as Customs to build the capacity of frontline and back office border management officers and to streamline and further coordinate and integrate border management risks assessments and controls. IOM activities include holding regular meetings with lead national counterparts on immigration and border management, raising awareness of the stakeholders on the concept of the integrated border management, conducting border management assessments and improving the technical and material capacities to collect and treat information at the important entry points.

Mainstreaming Migration Programme

It is estimated that more than 100,000 people move from rural areas to the capital, Antananarivo, every year. Unplanned urbanization impacts local development capacities, and it is estimated that between 60 to 70 per cent of all settlements in the capital comprise of informal constructions in slum-like conditions. Increased attention should be given to developing the capacities of formal economic integration and social inclusion of the new settlers, as well as to the development of standardized and practical tools to streamline migration into sustainable urban development planning.

In the effort to integrate migration aspects into the sectors of rural development and urban development, IOM provides quality research and assessment support to national stakeholders. In particular, IOM conducts assessments on the extent of migration mainstreaming in the sectors of rural development and urban development, supports the development of strategies related to migration governance in the context of urban development, and assists in the implementation of operational responses to the challenge of inclusion of migrants in urban areas.

Migration initiatives

In 2020, IOM Madagascar will continue to support the Government in addressing the challenges and advancing the benefits of migration. Priority initiatives will include the following:

  • Support stakeholders in the fight against trafficking in persons. IOM will support stakeholders in the implementation of the new National Action Plan to protect VoTs, prosecute traffickers, prevent trafficking and consolidate partnerships in-country and at the subregional level.
  • Enable stakeholders to implement labour migration policies that proactively seek to reduce risky labour migration behaviours by vulnerable women, diversify and make available alternate destinations and foreign labour markets where the rights of migrant workers can be ensured, and improve pre-departure preparation and training of migrant workers.
  • Engage stakeholders at the central, regional and community levels in areas where the environment, social cohesion and human security is threatened by the important influx of internal migrants who leave their areas of origin due to land degradation and the negative effects of climate change.
  • Develop strategic and operational capacities of border management stakeholders to put to practice the concepts of IBM in the administrative and operational context of border management prevalent in Madagascar and in the context of an island State.
  • Promote the engagement of the Malagasy diaspora to sustainable development of the country, including through the implementation of a second edition of the groundbreaking Diaspora Youth Volunteers implemented in 2018.
  • US Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TiP)
  • IOM Development Fund (IDF)
  • French Embassy in Antananarivo
  • United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF)
  • Government of Japan
  • Australian Aid
  • United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)
  • European Union
  • Ravilana Airports
Related documents

Annual Reports

Mission Newsletters

Related links
Contact information

International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Porte 108, 1er étage Immeuble SONAPAR
Zone Galaxy Andraharo
Antananarivo (101)

Tel: +261 20 23 308 09
Email: iommadagascar@iom.int

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