Working Group on Return and Reintegration Meets to Discuss Migration Management in West Africa

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration

Niamey –The Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA) Thematic Working Group (TWG) on Return and Reintegration met in Niamey, Niger, from 30-31 August. The regional working group will bring together a network of officials involved in the management of return, readmission and reintegration of migrants in West Africa.

In the past five months, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has assisted in the voluntary return to West Africa of over 5,000 migrants. The working group recognizes that the scale of this trend requires a coordinated effort to bring together governmental authorities to discuss return policies and mechanisms. 

During the two-day meeting, participants will review and discuss regional initiatives on return and reintegration, such as assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) programs and migration flow management, lessons learned, best practices and the set-up of a monitoring and evaluation system. The general objective of this TWG will be to analyse the baseline situation of the return, readmission and reintegration processes in ECOWAS Member States. It will also identify specific challenges and/or weaknesses and the concrete steps towards improving coordination among key actors. Finally, it will also work on strengthening the migrant assistance and sustainable reintegration frameworks.

Migration is a paramount factor in the economic growth of West Africa, and the free movement area among ECOWAS Member States is intended to ensure the fulfilment of the Region’s economic potentials. IOM believes that AVRR is beneficial not only to returning migrants, but also communities of origin and transit. By offering a humane and dignified return, together with a tailor-made reintegration package, IOM ensures that return is more sustainable for the returnee and for the receiving community. On top of this, voluntary return can alleviate the pressure posed on transit and destination countries in the management of irregular migration flows.

This working group is organised under the Free Movement and Migration (FMM) in West Africa project, funded by the European Union and ECOWAS and the Protecting Vulnerable Migrants in West and Central Africa, funded by the Government of the United States of America.                             

For more information please contact Frantz Celestin at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +2348141375873, Email: or Michele Bombassei at IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +221338696200, Email:

  • Enhancing the governance of labour and skills mobility, improving migrant’s rights protection and facilitating the regional tripartite dialogue on labour migration, are some of the FMM West Africa’s priorities. Photo: FMM West Africa

  • Photo: FMM West Africa