Highlighted results

More than 100,000 refugees benefited from better protection, education, psychosocial care and work.

More than 2,800 migrants were saved in the desert

More than 5,800 youths expressed an intention to reconsider their migration plans to Europe

More than 2,100 migrants were supported in their voluntary return from the Netherlands

More than 8,600 stranded migrants were supported in their voluntary return from North Africa

Additional sources

Comprehensive agenda on migration

The Netherlands’ integrated approach to migration issues

State budget chapter XVII BHOS 2018

Budget for Foreign Trade and Development Co-operation (in Dutch)

Theory of Change

Narrative on the what, why and how of the themes: Improving prospects for refugees and vulnerable host communities and Migration Cooperation

Introduction

The focus on the situation of refugees and migrants increased significantly during the period from mid-2017 to mid-2018. The protection of migrants was a major theme at the EU Africa summit in Abidjan in November 2017, for instance. Migrants often fall victim to serious exploitation, extortion, mistreatment and (sexual) abuse. In countries that host large numbers of refugees, such as Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and the Horn of Africa, public facilities like education are under severe pressure. Many refugees have insufficient access to work and basic services such as education.

For this reason, the Netherlands has made additional resources available to improve prospects for refugees and vulnerable host communities, and protect the human rights of refugees and migrants. The focus was on Northern Africa, the Horn of Africa and the region around Syria, with special attention paid to women and young people.

Results 2018

In the ‘improving prospects for refugees and host communities’ result area, the Netherlands offered support to countries around Syria and in the Horn of Africa to improve the situation of refugees and vulnerable host communities. Tens of thousands of people gained access to education, work and psycho-social care. More than one million people obtained personal documents, such as birth certificates, which are crucial for access to justice, education, work, property and building a future.

In the ‘migration management’ result area, we contributed to the prevention of irregular migration and the protection of vulnerable migrants. In addition to providing assistance to countries tackling human trafficking, the Netherlands facilitated the rescue of 2,800 migrants in distress. Moreover, potential migrants were informed about the risks and opportunities related to migration, and more knowledge on migration motives and methods was gathered. Finally, the Netherlands helped migrants to return to their countries of origin voluntarily, both from the Netherlands itself and from Northern Africa.

Result areas

Improving prospects for refugees Migration cooperation Return and reintegration

Featured project prospects for refugees and host communities and migration cooperation

Protection and prevention of gender-based violence against women and girls in Lebanon

Gender equality and helping women and girls to become more independent and resilient is a major priority for the Netherlands. In addition to being a human right, it also enables them to have a greater say in their own futures.

In this framework, the Netherlands supports ABAAD in preventing and tackling violence against women and girls in Lebanon. The programme helps local institutions to provide aid to victims of violence and includes the training of aid workers and police. In addition, ABAAD established awareness campaigns and victims are provided with psychosocial care. In the period from mid-2017 to mid-2018, Dutch aid helped to provide some 7,500 women and 50 men with individual therapy, group therapy and psychosocial support.

Improving prospects for refugees

The Refugee Law Project provided 1,186 South Sudanese refugees and local residents with medical and psychosocial care in Uganda.

Improving prospects for refugees and vulnerable host communities in the region

The Netherlands supports countries around Syria and in the Horn of Africa in improving the situation of refugees and vulnerable host communities. Focusing on women and young people, Dutch support is aimed at:

Protection and legal status
Access to education and vocational training
Opportunities for work and income

The objective is to offer refugees protection and future prospects close to their country of origin. More than 100,000 people gained access to education, work and psychosocial care. Other achievements include improved quality of education, access to the labour market and safe transport to school.

Open result area

The Refugee Law Project provided 1,186 South Sudanese refugees and local residents with medical and psychosocial care in Uganda.

Protection

The Netherlands has made a significant contribution to strengthening the legal status, protection, and safety of refugees and vulnerable host communities.

Refugees in various countries were given improved opportunities for registration thanks to Dutch funding. Thousands of children who were born after their parents became refugees received their birth certificate from the host country. It also became possible to register other matters, such as marriage, divorce or death. Registration and documentation are essential for access to justice, education, work, property and many other practical matters, such as applying for a bank account, phone or licence to establish a business. More than one million people were registered in the reporting period.

Mental health and well-being are also crucial aspects in relation to protection. By funding mental health care, the Netherlands helped people to process traumas and regain a foothold on their lives. This is especially important for refugees that have experienced violence and loss. One of the projects supported by the Netherlands was a War Child project, which provided psychosocial care to 12,869 vulnerable people. It revolved around sports and games, a method that was also used to bring together Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian youths.

The Refugee Law Project provided 1,186 South Sudanese refugees and local residents with medical and psychosocial care in Uganda. In addition, 545 police officers, soldiers and immigration workers were trained in improving the protection of refugees.

Results

Indicator

Number of people enrolled in formal or non-formal education or training

Progress

On track

More than 80,000 people gained access to education or training in the period from mid-2017 to mid-2018.

This indicator measures the number of people that entered into formal or informal education and/or training. The data is divided into men/women and refugee/host community/internally displaced persons (IDPs). In addition, the data provides insight into the type of training/education involved (e.g. primary and secondary education, catch-up schooling, schooling for drop-outs, customised training, life-skills training and vocational education). They also show in which countries the results were booked.

Crisis situations often have a severe impact on children. Having no access to education can lead to a lost generation and good-quality education is a fundamental right.

Thanks to Dutch contributions, more than 80,000 people gained access to education or training from mid-2017 to mid-2018. In Lebanon and Jordan, most Syrian children go to local public schools where they benefit from afternoon schooling (so-called second shift classes). In addition, they are offered catch-up classes, which allow children who had no access to schooling for a long time to catch-up on their education as soon as possible, before being integrated in normal classes. Those children and youths for whom a return to the classroom is no longer feasible are given access to special drop-out classes to teach them various basic skills.

Many young people in the focus countries were also trained in life skills, varying from fundamental behavioural rules (how to behave with others, personal hygiene, ‘no means no’, etc.). Finally, many were given the opportunity to receive vocational education or training in areas such as computer skills or entrepreneurship. These training courses are often realised in collaboration with (international or local) NGOs, such as United Work, SPARK and the Norwegian Refugee Council. To reduce tension between the local population and refugees, all programmes are essentially also open to vulnerable local communities.

Indicator

Number of people assisted to develop income-generating activities

Progress

On track

Almost 4,000 people received support in developing income-generating activities from mid-2017 to mid-2018.

This indicator measures the number of people supported in the development of income-generating activities. The data is divided into men/women and refugee/host community/IDPs. In addition, the data provides insight into the type of income-generating activities involved, such as access to financing (loans or grants), business support or information on financial training. They also show in which countries the results were booked.

In the period from mid-2017 to mid-2018, nearly 4,000 people in the countries around Syria and the Horn of Africa received support in developing income-generating activities. Examples include work permits that help people to work in proper conditions and the provision of micro-credits, enabling people to establish their own businesses, such as barbershops and catering companies. Employment mediation was also included, with companies being approached to open up job vacancies to refugees.

All programmes explicitly look at the opportunities and possible risks for women and young people, and extra measures are taken to encourage their participation wherever possible; for example, by providing day care for children or safe transport to and from work.

Progress in result area Improving prospects for refugees

In the period mid-2017 to mid-2018, the Netherlands worked towards improving prospects for refugees and host communities in the Syria region and the Horn of Africa. The willingness of host countries to improve conditions for refugees has increased, partly due to extra funding. The Netherlands played a prominent role in realising sustainable solutions for refugees and integrating them in local public facilities in countries such as Turkey, Jordan and Uganda. Thanks to support from the international community, including the Netherlands, 46,717 Syrian refugees in Jordan obtained a work permit in the mid-2017 to mid-2018 period, for example. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of refugee children gained access to education in Turkish, Lebanese and Jordanian schools.

Progress on improving the economic perspectives of refugees and host communities is not going as well as was envisioned. Although many local and international companies are willing to work together, the poor investment climate is a major obstacle (inhospitable environments, shortages of water and power, concerns about stability and the rule of law). This is one of the reasons why it is essential to work with international partners. The Netherlands has therefore set up a multi-year partnership with UNICEF, ILO, UNHCR, IFC and the World Bank, with a focus on Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan and Egypt. Our hope is that this partnership will bridge the gap between humanitarian aid and development aid and give refugees opportunities to build a new life and become less dependent on aid.

In this framework, the acceptance of the Global Compact for Refugees by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018 was a major milestone. In line with the Dutch government’s efforts to improve prospects for refugees in the region, the pact calls for the provision of support to countries hosting large numbers of migrants.

The Netherlands also contributed to improving prospects and protection for refugees and host communities in the European context, including via the EU facility for refugees in Turkey (FRIT) and the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (Madad Fund). These funds enabled the European Union to reach more than four million people in the areas of education, employment, health care and protection.

Ensuring decent industry working conditions for Jordanians and Syrian refugees

The Netherlands aims to offer refugees better prospects by stimulating economic growth and creating work opportunities. The goal is to provide decent work for everyone. By contributing to the International Labour Organisation, 1,521 jobs were created and filled in factories in Jordan in the period from mid-2017 to mid-2018. Some 57% of these jobs were filled by women, including 173 Syrian women. In addition, participants were trained in developing skills and implementation of decent working conditions were monitored.

Ghazalla Hussein Al Daher is a Syrian woman who has been living in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan since 2014. Now that she has found work, Ghazalla and her family are no longer living in extreme poverty. “My daughter is at school but she cannot read and write. I try to help but it is not enough. So I registered to take part in the embroidery programme. Now I am helping my husband and my daughter has a teacher to help her after school. It is good.”

Information on this project is available via the International Labour Organisation website

Read more about this project on the International Labour Organisation website

Refugee Employment & Skills Initiative (RESI)

Refugee Employment & Skills Initiative (RESI)

In Kenya, the Netherlands is financing a Norwegian Refugee Council and International Trade Centre project that trains Somali refugees in the Dadaab refugee camp in matters such as bookkeeping and administration. Refugees are given access to an online freelance platform where they can offer their skills in order to get jobs with international companies. 83 refugees have successfully concluded their training so far and several have acquired paid jobs with (international) companies via the online platform. The same project also supported 50 women in establishing a co-operative that designs and produces interior products, which are then sold in Kenya and abroad, including Canada.

The co-operative’s 50 women jointly manage a website

Read more about the co-operative of 50 women in Dadaab

Global Compact on Refugees

Read more about the Global Compact on Refugees

Migration cooperation

'Are you a migrant who needs help?’ The IOM posted this sign in the desert to inform migrants in Niger that support is available if they need it. Source: IOM

Migration cooperation

Everyone is familiar with images of rickety boats on the Mediterranean Sea and ‘slave markets’ in Libya. Human trafficking has terrible consequences. Uncontrolled migration also leads to political tensions in Europe. The Netherlands focuses on the prevention and management of irregular migration and the protection of the human rights of vulnerable migrants. We do so by supporting countries in regions close to the EU in tackling migrant smuggling and human trafficking and providing information about the risks of irregular migration and alternatives (such as supporting the establishment of private businesses or legal migration). More than 2,800 people were rescued in the desert and more than 5,800 young people reconsidered their plans to migrate to Europe.

Open result area

'Are you a migrant who needs help?’ The IOM posted this sign in the desert to inform migrants in Niger that support is available if they need it. Source: IOM

The Netherlands aims to combat migration-related human trafficking and assist the victims. Some examples:

Awareness raising on migration choices

Although migrants often realise that they are taking risks when embarking on a journey with the aid of migrant smugglers, it has been shown that they often don’t fully understand the consequences of their decision. Reliable information helps them to make well-considered choices and learn more about the opportunities they have in their country of origin. This helps them to make better informed choices about a future in their homeland, which in turn limits irregular migration and prevents unnecessary suffering.

Not all awareness raising is effective. It is important to avoid pitfalls like one-sided communication that is not aligned to the target group, or campaigns purely focused on scaring people off. The Netherlands aims to include newly developed insights in its latest activities.

Rescue of migrants in distress in Niger

Many migrants travel by pick-up truck via Niger, often traversing the Sahara on their way to Libya and then Europe. Due to the difficult conditions and unreliable smugglers, many encounter significant problems along the way.

With Dutch support and in cooperation with the government of Niger, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) carries out rescue missions in the desert. In the mid-2017 to mid-2018 period, they rescued more than 2,800 migrants who would otherwise most likely have perished. These migrants were given shelter and support in returning to their own countries.

Support for West African countries

Tackling criminal networks that traffic and exploit migrants is initially a responsibility of African countries themselves, but they aren’t always successful in their approach. Via UN organisations, the Netherlands supports countries in West Africa in improving their legislation and tracking and prosecuting human traffickers. In addition, the Netherlands promotes cross-border co-operation in this field as well as the protection of migrants’ human rights.

Better migration data

Good figures related to irregular migration are scarce. The Netherlands helps the IOM to collect and analyse this data.

Results

Indicator

Number of potential migrants in target communities either abandoning, delaying or seriously reconsidering their plan to migrate irregularly to Europe, through DSH-MO programming

Progress

On track

We measured the effects of an awareness raising campaign by the social enterprise Seefar in Nigeria, The Gambia and Iraq (Kurdish Region). The campaign revolves around facilitating consultations between people with migration plans and a trusted counsellor. The indicator shows how many migrants say after the meeting that they will reconsider their plans. This figure is already exceeding the current goal.

We want to know if our awareness raising campaigns are having an impact. If someone from the target group says that they changed their attitude towards migration, we can consider this an effect of the campaign. The effect is measured by asking the migrant questions prior to and after their meeting with the trusted advisor.

The surveys show that 5,880 people say that they are willing to reconsider their plans; 65% of the total number of people that participated in the meetings. All of these people had indicated that they wished to migrate before the meeting.

Not all migrants stick to their opinion after the meeting. Seefar therefore takes another measurement several months later. These latter results were not yet available for this reporting period.

Indicator

Number of stranded migrants rescued by IOM missions

Progress

On track

Large numbers of migrants become stranded in the desert in the north of Niger. The IOM carries out rescue missions to save these people, who are often in mortal danger. In the mid-2017 to mid-2018 period, the IOM rescued more than 2,800 migrants with Dutch support. This figure is slightly lower than the intended 3,000 but we can generally conclude that the programme is meeting expectations.

Progress in result area Migration cooperation

Significant results were achieved in the mid-2017 to mid-2018 period. Thousands of migrants were helped to return to their countries of origin from Northern Africa or rescued from the desert in Niger. Moreover, informative communication convinced thousands more to reconsider their migration plans, preventing suffering and contributing to the goal of safe and regular migration (SDG 10.7).

There are also challenges within this theme, such as the approach to migrant smuggling and human trafficking. This often requires amendments in legislation, changes in the police force and justice department, tackling corruption and setting up new types of collaboration. It is a long-term process in countries in which the protection of human rights and properly functioning governments are not a matter of course. Another challenge is making results measurable, for example in the case of awareness raising aimed at potential migrants. Collecting and reporting results is sometimes only an option in the long-term. An additional factor is the fact that some projects have started only recently.

Progress has clearly been made, however. The financing and appointment of a Nigerian prosecutor in Italy resulted in better co-operation in the tracking and prosecution of human traffickers. Additionally, agreements were made with IOM to start measuring the effects of providing information to migrants in a scientific way. Another example involves new insights from data collected by the IOM for the Netherlands regarding irregular migration from Nigeria, Somalia and Ethiopia, which showed that most migrants did have jobs but chose to migrate because of their low incomes. Moreover, very few migrants seemed to know what the asylum procedure involves, while they did indicate their wish to apply. This allows us to better understand irregular migration and align our activities in this field.

MIRAA II: Rescuing migrants in the desert in the north of Niger

MIRAA II: Rescuing migrants in the desert in the north of Niger

Irregular migration is often hazardous. Many migrants become stranded in the desert in the north of Niger and would die without help. Supported by the Netherlands, IOM travels the desert to rescue these migrants before helping them to return to their country of origin.

Adoara is a 22-year-old woman who was rescued by the IOM after she and other migrants had been roaming the desert for five days. “I could no longer walk, I was ready to give up,” she says. Two migrants carried her until they were rescued and brought to an IOM centre. There, they were provided with medical aid, food and water. They can also receive support in returning to their country of origin to rebuild their lives there.

Press release related to this project

Read a press release from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) about this project.

Migrants as Messengers: information on migration for and by migrants

“We all went through a lot during our journey to Libya. It wasn’t what we planned for. The journey was just too rough. There are so many things you people can’t imagine.” The words of Abimbola from Nigeria, a young migrant who returned from Libya and shared her story. The MaM project publishes stories in the communities from which the returning migrants come via social media and other channels. They attract attention as it is the migrants themselves who share their often gruesome experiences. Their stories result in discussions on the many perils of irregular migration and the opportunities available at home. Some migrants do more than tell their own story; they join the project as a volunteer and spread their stories even further on film or enter into dialogues with youths who are considering irregular migration. Those who return are increasingly active contributors to creating awareness among their peers. The video shows a volunteer at work and testimonies by returnees.

Migrants as Messengers

Read more about the Migrants as Messengers (MaM) project via the MaM Facebook page.

Together against Human Trafficking programme

Read more about our work against human trafficking

Migration data

Migration data from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM)

Return and reintegration

© IOM/Muse Mohammed

Return and reintegration

Migrants who wish to return to their country of origin from the Netherlands can under certain conditions receive support from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). IOM helped more than 2,100 migrants return home in this way in 2018.

Via IOM, the Netherlands also supports the voluntary return and reintegration of migrants who stranded in Northern African transit countries while they were on their way to Europe. . The support gives these migrants the opportunity to rebuild their lives in their homeland. In the mid-2017 to mid-2018 period, more than 8,600 migrants returned home from Northern Africa with the support of the Netherlands. These results mean that the programmes are meeting expectations.

Open result area

© IOM/Muse Mohammed

Providing stranded migrants in transit countries with the option to return home offers them a way out of an often hopeless situation. It also prevents a treacherous crossing to Europe. After having returned home, migrants receive reintegration support to rebuild their lives. The Netherlands supports various programmes for voluntary return and reintegration, two of which are highlighted below.

Voluntary return and reintegration from the Netherlands

Migrants without residence rights have to leave the Netherlands. This is essential in order to preserve societal support for migration in the Netherlands. To stimulate independent return, the Netherlands offers support via IOM, including airline tickets, money for the first weeks after returning home and support for the rebuilding of one’s life, for example by establishing a business in the country of origin. This removes the main practical obstacles to returning. In 2018, IOM supported 2,149 migrants in their voluntary return from the Netherlands and the reintegrating in their country of origin.

Return and reintegration from Northern African transit countries

The Netherlands supports the voluntary return and reintegration of stranded migrants in Northern Africa by contributing to the EU Trust Fund for Africa. These migrants, many of which are on their way to Europe, often live in inhumane conditions, such as in the detention centres in Libya. With European funding, IOM offers these migrants a way out; to return home and receive support in rebuilding their lives there. In the mid-2017 to mid-2018 period, Dutch support helped IOM to asssist the return of more than 8,600 stranded migrants from Northern Africa back to their countries of origin. In addition, more than 1,700 migrants received reintegration support. These results mean that the programme is fulfilling expectations.

Results

Indicator

Number of irregular or stranded migrants in North Africa that have returned to their countries of origin, via IOM and with the support of the Netherlands.

Progress

On track

8658 irregular or stranded migrants were able to return from North Africa to their country of origin

This indicator reflects the number of migrants that were able to return from North Africa to their country of origin with Dutch support via IOM.

Progress in result area Return and reintegration

Our support helped to achieve the goal of realising more returns and sustainable reintegration in the mid-2017 to mid-2018 period. Since the programmes described have a long duration, it will only be possible to measure exactly how many migrants received return support after the programmes have been concluded. To determine whether return is sustainable, the people involved must be monitored over a long period of time. Although this is tricky, it does not affect the fact that clear successes were achieved in the short term. A concrete result is the return of tens of thousands of migrants who were stranded in Libya via the Dutch support to IOM. Support from IOM to migrants wishing to return from the Netherlands is also delivering good results.

It is expected that many more vulnerable migrants will need support in returning to their country of origin from Northern Africa over the coming period. The reintegration of this sizeable group of returning migrants demands major efforts from IOM, donors and local partners. The Netherlands will continue to contribute these efforts.

REAN – supported voluntary return and reintegration from the Netherlands

In this programme, IOM helps migrants who wish to return to their country of origin. IOM counsellors inform people about possible support, the return process and the situation in their home country. In addition, IOM helps with preparations (such as booking airline tickets) and drawing up a reintegration plan. Most asylum seekers that have not received asylum status also receive reintegration support after returning home, such as skills training or assistance with setting up a business. This removes (practical) obstacles to their return and stimulates voluntary return.

IOM The Netherlands website

Read more about support for voluntary return and reintegration on the IOM The Netherlands website

EU-IOM Joint Initiative: return and reintegration support under the EUTF via IOM

EU-IOM Joint Initiative: return and reintegration support under the EUTF via IOM

“I knew the stories from girls about their experiences in Libya but didn’t think I’d end up like them. If I had known, I would never have embarked on the journey,” says Titi from Nigeria. She fell victim to human traffickers in Libya and eventually found support from IOM to voluntarily return, reintegrate and build a new life in Nigeria. Titi is not alone: thousands of other migrants who found themselves in similar situations benefitted from the IOM programme. The programme offers migrants initial reception, airline tickets and support in reintegrating in their country of origin. It includes economic, social and psychosocial help, which also involves the community at home.

EU-IOM Joint Initiative website

Read more about the EU-IOM Joint Initiative

Biannual report on the immigration process

The biannual report on the immigration process contains information on the number of people that left the Netherlands with IOM support (in Dutch)

Background information theme prospects for refugees and host communities and migration cooperation

Additional sources

Central government theme page on migration

Page on current policy on the migration theme

Facebook page

Follow this theme on Facebook

Expenditure by channel

Expenditure - Improving prospects for refugees and host communities
Expenditure - Migration management