Humanitarian Programme for Stranded Migrants in Calais Wins New Backing

Posted: 
05/25/09

An IOM programme to help provide comprehensive voluntary return and
reintegration assistance to hundreds of undocumented migrants
currently stranded in and around the northern city of Calais has
received new funding from Britain's Returns and Reintegration Fund
and France's Office Français de l'Immigration et de
l'Intégration (OFII).

The 14-month programme, which will be carried out in close
cooperation with France's OFII and in coordination with the UK
Border Agency, includes the provision of impartial information on
the risks and realities of irregular migration to the United
Kingdom, as well as counselling and referral for voluntary return
assistance for stranded irregular migrants.

Initially set up in 2007, in partnership with France's OFII and
the UK Border Agency, this programme has so far assisted more than
200 stranded migrants around the Calais area.

As part of the programme, OFII will provide migrants who opt for
voluntary return with free travel assistance home and a cash grant.
In-kind reintegration assistance will be provided by IOM on a case
by case basis in countries of return.

"This reintegration assistance will help migrants who have
suffered in the hands of unscrupulous smugglers return with the
prospect of resuming gainful employment at home," says Florian
Forster, IOM's Chief of Mission in Paris. "This new funding will
allow IOM to help all those desperate migrants who regularly call
upon us to help them to return home in dignity and with enough
resources to make their return sustainable."

Migrants who wish to benefit from international protection under
the Refugee Convention are referred for advice and support to the
competent voluntary agencies and authorities.

For further information, please contact:

Florian Forster

IOM Paris

Tel: +33 1 40 44 06 91

E-mail: "mailto:fforster@iom.int">fforster@iom.int

or

Nazénine Lajili

IOM Calais

Tel: +33 3 21 97 73 68

E-mail: "mailto:nlajili@iom.int">nlajili@iom.int