IOM Statement on the Situation of Migrants in Tunisia


Geneva - Tunisia's recent announcement (05/03) to uphold the principled values of eliminating all forms and manifestations of racial discrimination and improve assistance and residence permits for migrants in the country is welcomed. The commitment to combat trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling that can help in countering xenophobia and misinformation about migration, remains a priority for IOM. We urge States, international actors, as well as media to collectively counter harmful and negative rhetoric, hate speech and hate crimes.    

IOM reiterates the UN Secretary General’s call to all, to ensure that the dignity and rights of migrants are upheld at all times, everywhere, regardless of their migratory status, nationality, race, or gender.  "Migrants need to be protected everywhere. Migrants have human rights,” said UN Secretary General António Guterres. “When I hear political leaders describing migrants in a way that doesn’t take into account their dignity and the fact that they are human beings, with human rights, it is something that deeply shocks me. It shocks me in Tunisia, it shocks me in Europe, it shocks me everywhere." 
IOM stands ready to continue working with our national and regional partners to translate the Government’s commitments into concrete actions to improve migration governance and support services to migrants. We will continue working to provide protection- especially for the most vulnerable, including victims of trafficking, women and unaccompanied and separated children, medical and psychological support, legal counseling, as well as assisted voluntary return and reintegration.   

There are currently over 100 migrants outside IOM’s office in the capital, Tunis, seeking various types of assistance. We are working as fast as possible to offer support while appealing for calm and dialogue to ensure dignified and human rights-based solutions. We count on the Tunisian government’s continued support to facilitate our work to improve the living conditions of migrants, and to promote efforts to ensure safe, regular and orderly migration.   

IOM is ready to provide post arrival assistance to migrants who have returned from Tunisia to their countries of origin, with help from their governments, and is coordinating with authorities across the region to ensure provision of support.