Better Migration Management

Project description

Programme title: Better Migration Management
Commissioned by: European Union (EU), German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda (regional Cooperation also with Egypt and Tunisia)
Overall term: 2016 to 2019


Some 9 million people in and around the Horn of Africa have fled their homes; 7 million people are currently displaced within their own countries and a further 2 million are seeking refuge chiefly in neighbouring states. Overall, the needs of these people are not being adequately addressed. The absence of state infrastructure and the lack of migration management in the region are contributing significantly to the growth of people smuggling and human trafficking, as migrants are often defenceless and have no alternatives. Tackling these criminal networks requires cooperation between the countries of origin, transit and destination throughout the region. However, those countries have limited scope to ensure that cross-border migration takes place in an orderly and humane fashion. It is therefore important to develop a responsible approach to migration management in the region that guarantees adherence to international obligations in order to protect migrants and other people in need of protection.


The programme aims to improve migration management in the region, and in particular to address the trafficking and smuggling of migrants within and from the Horn of Africa. The priority is to strengthen the rights of migrants and protect them better from violence, abuse and exploitation. The aim is to make migration in the region easier and safer.


Human trafficking and people smuggling are cross-border problems. The programme is therefore being planned and implemented on a transnational basis. The values and regulations governing German and European development cooperation are binding, as are the principles and guidelines of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The programme is funded from the European Union (EU) Trust Fund for Africa and is being implemented in cooperation with five member states (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) and a number of prominent institutions, including the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the British Council, Civipol, Expertise France, the Italian Ministry of the Interior and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). GIZ heads the implementing partnership.

A total of EUR 46 million is available for the programme (EUR 40 million from the EU and EUR 6 million from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)).

The programme’s activities were devised jointly with representatives of the responsible ministries in the respective countries along with non-governmental organisations and the implementation partners. They are being implemented on four levels.

  • Harmonisation of diverse migration policies in the various countries with the goal of strengthening regional cooperation on migration issues and facilitating cross-border migration

    The programme’s long-term aim is to establish a harmonised migration policy in these countries in order to enable migrants to be treated in keeping with the principles of human rights. Regionally coordinated migration policies are therefore being drawn up in cooperation with the national institutions responsible for dealing with refugees and migrants and for prosecuting human traffickers and people smugglers. It is also planned to set up national interministerial consultation bodies where all relevant issues surrounding migration will be coordinated. Individual authorities within the countries, such as the National Committee to Combat Trafficking (NCCT) in Sudan, will also receive advice. The aim here is to refine the existing strategy on combating human trafficking and put an appropriate plan of action in place.
  • Strengthening of institutions that combat human trafficking, for example by improving cooperation between investigators, public prosecutors and magistrates on the effective prosecution of human traffickers

    In selected countries it is planned to offer training courses for border officials on the rights of migrants and refugees so as to ensure respect for human rights and put the officials in a better position to identify vulnerable migrants and refugees and refer them to appropriate aid programmes. There are also plans in Kenya and Eritrea, for example, to run training courses for investigators and judicial officers to enable them to take more effective action against human smuggling.
  • Protection and support for migrants, for example by establishing safe houses and mobile teams providing legal advice and psychosocial support; assistance with the voluntary return of migrants

    At present, many refugees are defenceless against violence, enslavement and rape. The programme intends to take effective action to rectify this, for example by offering protection in safe houses for victims of trafficking and violence, especially women and children. These are places where they can stay in safety and be looked after quickly. Initial appraisals have already taken place in Kenya and Ethiopia.

    In addition, in Djibouti the programme is supporting a health centre in the Obock refugee camp that treats both migrants and the local population. In collaboration with the centre it is intended to set up five mobile health teams to provide first aid for migrants on the refugee routes.

    In early 2017 it also proved possible to enable about 230 Ethiopian migrants to return home voluntarily. They had migrated southwards in search of better income-earning opportunities and had been arrested in Zambia and Malawi.
  • Information and advice for migrants, for example on safe, legal migration routes, employment opportunities and available support

    Campaigns and information material developed in conjunction with national governments, non-governmental organisations and local media will be aimed at raising awareness of potential alternatives to risky and illegal migration, for example providing information about employment opportunities in migrants’ country of origin and/or in the host country.

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Further Information


Programme Factsheet


Partner countries