strategic vision

Type: Interregional forum on migration (regions covered: Horn of Africa and Europe)

Formal association with regional or multi-stakeholder organization: African Union Commission (AUC) and European Commission (EC)

Established: 2014


The Khartoum Process, primarily focused on addressing the challenges of migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings, is an established regional dialogue for enhanced cooperation on migration and mobility and regional collaboration between countries of origin, transit and destination on the migration routes between the Horn of Africa and the European Union (EU). 

Khartoum Process Member States work to:

  1. Create a framework for policy and dialogue;
  2. Share knowledge and experiences to strengthen cooperation with the support of international organizations like ICMPD, IOM, UNHCR, and UNODC; and
  3. Seek funding opportunities and facilitate resource mobilization to support concrete projects. 

At the Valletta Summit on Migration on 11-12 November 2015, the Khartoum Process has been mandated to monitor the implementation of the initiatives and actions under the Valletta Action Plan, together with the Rabat Process.

Khartoum Process Map


On the African Union side, the efforts against smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings are guided by the African Union Migration Policy Framework for Africa , the Ouagadougou Action Plan and the AU Commission Initiative against Trafficking . The African Union endorsed the AU Horn of Africa Initiative (AU-HOAI) on human trafficking and smuggling of migrants by AU Assembly Declaration (Assembly/AU/Dec.6(XXV)) on Migration in June 2015. 

On the European Union side, the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM) published in 2011 laid the grounds for establishing a regional dialogue and cooperation process in the Horn of Africa / East Africa. The fight against migrant smuggling has been part of EU policies tackling irregular migration for more than a decade. In 2002, the EU adopted a legal framework on smuggling, composed of a Directive defining the facilitation of unauthorized entry, transit and residence and a Framework Decision strengthening the penal framework for these offenses.In May 2015, the Commission adopted an EU Action Plan against Migrant Smuggling designed to transform smuggling from a 'high profit, low risk' activity into a 'high risk, low profit' business, while ensuring the full respect and protection of migrants' human rights. EU actions to fight criminal networks of smugglers are a way to prevent the exploitation of migrants by criminals and to act as a disincentive to irregular migration. The European Commission's approach to trafficking in human beings begins from a gender and human rights perspective and focuses on prevention, prosecution of criminals and protection of victims. This is reflected in 21 March 2011EC Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision , 2012 EU Strategy towards the eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings and 2005 EU Action Plan on best practices, standards and procedures for combating and preventing trafficking in human beings . Additionally, the Khartoum Process is anchored in the EU-Africa Action Plan on Migration and Mobility 2014-2017 . 

Current Thematic Focus

As per the Rome Declaration, the thematic focus of the Khartoum Process is preventing and tackling the challenges of:

  • Trafficking in human beings
  • Smuggling of migrants

In the past few years, the Process has witnessed an expansion of its thematic focus, to systematically address the five pillars of the Joint Valletta Action Plan (JVAP):

  • Development benefits of migration and addressing root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement;
  • Legal migration and mobility;
  • Protection and asylum;
  • Prevention of and fight against irregular migration, migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings; and
  • Return, readmission and reintegration.

The Process also acts as a mechanism to monitor the implementation of the JVAP.

Chairing Country

  • Current Chair: Egypt (2024-2025)
  • Past Chairs: Germany (2023-2024), South Sudan (2022-2023), the Netherlands (2020-2022), Eritrea (2019), Italy (2018), Ethiopia (2017), United Kingdom (2016), Egypt (2015)​​​​​​

The first chairmanship at the establishment of the Process was Egypt in 2015.

Steering Committee

The Khartoum Process is led by a Steering Committee comprised of five EU Member States (Italy, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden), five African countries (Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan), the European Commission, the European External Action Service and the African Union Commission. 


The Secretariat is jointly managed by the African Union Commission and the European Commission, with substantive technical and logistical assistance provided by the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) through the EU-funded “Support to the Africa-EU-Africa Migration and Mobility Dialogue (MMD)” Program (2015-2026).


Member States (40 States, thereof 29 European countries and 11 African countries)

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Eritrea
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Kenya
  • Latvia
  • Libya
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovak
  • Slovenia
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Spain
  • Sudan
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda

Past Member States:

  • United Kingdom


* Note: The UK has withdrawn from the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020 and is no longer a Member State of the EU.

Note: Founding Members: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Sudan, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Tunisia and United Kingdom.


Observer Organizations (referred by the Khartoum Process as “Cooperating organizations”)

  • November 14-15, 2023, Stockholm, Sweden, Thematic Meeting on Ensuring an effective whole-of-government approach on migration
  • October 4-5, 2023, Berlin, Germany, Thematic Meeting on Exploring the Potential of Mobility in the Context of Climate Change
  • September 7, 2023, Vienna, Austria, Khartoum Process Roundtable on the Implications of the Crisis in Sudan on Migration Flows in the Region
  • July 4-5, 2023, Nairobi, Kenya, Thematic Meeting on Building Resilience and Ensuring the Protection of and Durable Solutions for Internally Displaced Persons
  • May 3-4, 2023, Kampala, Uganda, Thematic Workshop on Data on Human Mobility in the context of Climate Change: Disaggregation and Interoperability
  • March 15-16, 2023, Berlin, Germany, Steering Committee Meeting and Senior Officials’ Meeting
  • November 22-24, 2022, Egypt, Thematic Workshop for Law Enforcement to tackle Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Human Beings
  • October 5-7, 2022, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Thematic Meeting on Climate Change and Migration: Addressing Impacts and Adaptation Strategies for human mobility in the context of climate change
  • July 12-13, 2022, Mombasa, Kenya, Thematic Meeting on Legal Pathways “Talent and Skills Mobility Partnerships to Match Labour Market Needs”
  • March 22-23, 2022, Kampala, Uganda, Steering Committee Meeting and 8th Senior Officials’ Meeting
  • February 24, 2022, Juba, South Sudan, Consultations Meeting in view of South Sudan 2022 Chairmanship of the Khartoum Process
  • February 10, 2022, Tripoli, Libya, Workshop for the new Focal Points of the State of Libya for the Rabat and the Khartoum Processes
  • November 24-25, 2021, Geneva, Switzerland, Thematic Meeting on Return, Reintegration and Integration: Finding Durable Solutions
  • September 21, 2021, Virtual Event, Virtual Roundtable on Return, Reintegration and Integration: Finding Durable Solutions
  • December 15, 2020, Virtual Event, Joint Steering Committee Meeting of the Khartoum Process and the Rabat Process on the Update of the Joint Valletta Action Plan (JVAP) 
  • December 2, 2020, Virtual Event, Steering Committee Meeting 
  • October 8, 2020, Virtual Event, MMC webinar for Khartoum Process Members on ‘Mixed Migration and COVID-19’ 
  • July 2, 2020, Virtual Event, Webinar on the impact of COVID-19 on Human Mobility in the Khartoum Process Region and Partners' Responses
  • March 4-5, 2020, The Hague, Netherlands, Steering Committee Meeting and  Senior Officials' Meeting
  • October 23-24, 2019, Asmara, Eritrea,  Thematic Meeting on Migration for Development: Harnessing the Potential of Diaspora
  • September 25-26, 2019, Cairo, Egypt,  Thematic Meeting on Legal Frameworks and Policy Development: Optimizing the Benefits of Organized Labor Migration
  • March 6-7, 2019, Asmara, Eritrea,  Steering Committee Meeting and Senior Officials' Meeting
  • January 30-31, 2019, Djibouti City, Djibouti,  Regional Training Program on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings
  • November 14-15, 2018, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,  Joint Valletta Action Plan Senior Officials' Meeting
  • September 18-19, Stockholm, Sweden,  Thematic Meeting on the Protection of Women and Girls on the Move from Africa to Europe
  • July 10-11, 2018, Caro, Egypt,  Thematic Meeting on Law Enforcement and Capacity Building
  • June 19-20, 2018, The Hague, Netherlands,  Thematic Meeting on Awareness Raising Campaigns
  • May 9, 2018, Nairobi, Kenya, Senior Officials 'Meeting
  • May 8, 2018, Nairobi, Kenya, Steering Committee Meeting
  • December 7, 2017, Rome, Italy, Senor Officials' Meeting
  • December 4, 2017, Sudan, Thematic Meeting on the root causes of migration
  • November 8-9, 2017, Luxor, Egypt, Thematic Meeting on Trafficking and Smuggling of People Focusing on Unaccompanied Minors
  • November 22-23, 2017, Khartoum, Sudan, Thematic meeting on development benefits of migration and addressing root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement
  • July 5-6, 2017, UK, Thematic meeting on combing migrant smuggling and human trafficking in the Horn of Africa
  • May 24, 2017, Berlin, Germany, Thematic Meeting on International Protection and Asylum ( protection-and-asylum)
  • April 6, 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Senior Officials' Meeting
  • April 5, 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Steering Committee Meeting
  • February 8-9, 2017, St. Julian's, Malta, Joint Rabat Process and Khartoum Process Senior Officials Meeting on State of Play Implementation of the Joint Valletta Action Plan
  • December 16, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Senior Officials Meeting
  • May 24-25, 2016, Khartoum, Sudan, Thematic Meeting on People Smuggling
  • 24 November 2015, London, UK, Senior Officials Meeting of the Khartoum Process (EU-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative)
  • April 23-24, 2015, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, Steering Committee Meeting of the EU-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative (Khartoum Process)
  • November 28, 2014, Rome, Italy, Ministerial Conference of the Khartoum Process

More information on past Khartoum Process meetings is available here

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