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: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda
Lead executing agency: Federal Attorney General Office (Ethiopia), Ministry of Interior (Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Eritrea)
Overall term: 2016 to 2022


More than 10 million people in and around the Horn of Africa are living outside their homes (UN 2019), as they have been forcibly displaced within their own countries, or are seeking refuge chiefly in neighbouring states. The needs of these people are not being adequately addressed. The countries in the region are severely restricted in their ability to ensure that cross-border migration takes place in an orderly and humane fashion. In the absence of necessary infrastructures, migrant smuggling and human trafficking are widespread. Tackling these criminal networks requires cooperation between the countries of origin, transit and destination. The project therefore supports the development of a responsible approach to migration management in the region and in the individual countries, one that guarantees the protection of migrants and other vulnerable groups and ensures adherence to international obligations.


The project aims to improve migration management in the Horn of Africa, and to curb human trafficking and migrant smuggling. The priority is to strengthen the rights of migrants and to provide better protection against violence, abuse and exploitation, with the aim of making migration in the region easier and safer.


Human trafficking and migrant smuggling are cross-border problems. The project is therefore being planned and implemented on a transnational basis.

The project is funded by the European Union (EU) Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Until now it has been implemented in cooperation with 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 was available for the first project phase (of which EUR 6 million was from BMZ).
The project’s activities were devised jointly with representatives of the responsible ministries in the respective countries in the Horn of Africa along with non-governmental organisations and the implementation partners. The activities were implemented on four interconnected levels.

Harmonisation of diverse migration policies in the various countries with the goal of strengthening regional and national cooperation on migration issues and facilitating cross-border migration in compliance with human rights.
What has been achieved (examples):

  • The situation of Ethiopian seasonal labour migrants in Sudan has improved: their entry and residence rights, labour rights and health care in Sudan are now regulated.
  • A referral system has been developed in Sudan with a view to better identifying vulnerable migrants and victims of human trafficking and referring them to appropriate protection and support services, such as health care facilities or legal advisory services.
  • Migration policies have been developed in Kenya and South Sudan that lay down rules for effective, humanitarian and safe immigration, emigration and integration.
  • A postgraduate course on the subject of migration has been developed and launched for immigration authorities in the region.

Strengthening of institutions that regulate migration and combat human trafficking, for example by improving cooperation between investigators, public prosecutors and magistrates on the effective prosecution of human traffickers.
What has been achieved (examples):

  • 16,600 government officials and representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs) have received further training, for example, to enable them to take more effective action against human trafficking and migrant smuggling and to improve cooperation between civil society and the government in this area.
  • An electronic visa application system has been introduced in Djibouti to facilitate entry.
  • More than 2,100 border officials, police officers and CSO representatives have been trained in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda so that they can better identify vulnerable migrants and victims of human trafficking and apply appropriate protective measures.

Protection and support for migrants, for example by establishing safe houses and mobile teams providing medical care, legal advice and psychosocial support; assistance with voluntary return.
What has been achieved (examples):

  • A total of 18,200 vulnerable migrants and victims of human trafficking have been reached, more than 9,100 of whom have received accommodation, basic services and psychosocial counselling in safe houses and more than 6,700 of whom have received medical care from mobile units.
  • The project has promoted a regional network of 40 CSOs in the region that work to protect vulnerable migrants and victims of human trafficking and take action to combat human trafficking.
  • The human rights commissions in Kenya and Djibouti have been strengthened and further trained in the area of migrant rights.

Information and advice for migrants
What has been achieved (examples):

  • A total of 174,600 migrants, potential migrants and members of host communities have been informed and advised on legal migration options and taught about potential alternatives to illegal migration, which is often fraught with extreme dangers. This includes providing information about employment opportunities in the migrants’ country of origin and/or in the host country.
  • An online platform has been introduced in Uganda to provide information about safe migration and legal advisory services.

The second phase of the project is currently in preparation. The focus will remain on human-rights-based migration management as well as the consolidation of the regional, holistic approach and its sustainability beyond the duration of the project.

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Further Information


Programme Factsheet


Partner countries





South Sudan