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Research brief – Migrant debt: Cote d’Ivoire – West and central Africa (November 2020)

Côte d'Ivoire
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The debt of migrants assisted with voluntary return and its impact on the sustainability of reintegration in Côte d’Ivoire

This research study is part of the « Safety, Support and Solutions along the Central Mediterranean Route » programme, funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), whose Outcome 3 aims to improve governments, humanitarian agencies and national organizations’ understanding on migration trends in order to formulate responses tailored to the needs of the populations. Between 2018 and 2020, the programme’s Outcome 3 has enabled short-term research studies to be conducted in six countries in West and Central Africa (Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Senegal, The Gambia and Côte d’Ivoire).


More than 8,000 migrants returned to Côte d’Ivoire between January 2017 and July 2020 through IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme. However, reports on the socio-demographic profiles of return communities published by IOM in 2018 revealed that the level of debt of return migrants has a significant impact on reintegration processes. To better understand this impact, IOM conducted a study in Cote d’Ivoire which aimed at:

• Developing the profile of returning migrants with debts.

• Understanding the mechanisms by which returning migrants contracted debts, at which stages along the migration route, and which actors are involved in the process.

• Assessing the impact of debt on the reintegration process of returnees in their communities of origin

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