More than a year after the events of January 14, 2011, the socioeconomic situation of Tunisia remains fragile and the country is facing important challenges. A permanent source of tension is the gap between strong migration pressure and limited legal migration channels. Tunisia has also rapidly become an immigration and transit country, with migrants coming mainly from the Maghreb and from Sub-Saharan Africa whose aim is to reach Europe through irregular migration from the Tunisian coasts. More than 25,500 Tunisians took to the sea in the aftermath of the fall of the Ben Ali regime with the hope of finding work or joining their families or friends in Europe. Furthermore, Tunisia has experienced an upsurge in immigration since the Libyan crisis started in early 2011, after which nearly 350,000 fled Libya via the Tunisian border in the course of a few months (including 97,000 Tunisian returnees). As of 31 January 2012, the vast majority of these third country nationals have either returned to their country of origin or been resettled in third countries as refugees. IOM has played an active role in the management of these extraordinary inflows of migrants at the borders, carrying out a number of activities in strict coordination with the Tunisian authorities, UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) and other UN agencies. Considering unemployment, and despite pro-active employment policies developed by the Tunisian authorities, the unemployment rate has increased considerably (from 14.2 per cent in 2008 to 18.3 per cent in 2011). Unemployment particularly affects young people, including a growing percentage of university graduates, whose number has skyrocketed in the last two decades. Disparities at a regional level between inner and coastal areas in terms of growth and work opportunities, as well as consequent internal migration flows, also contribute to the increase of social tensions among the young population.


6 Lac du Bourget
Tunis 1053, Tunisia

Tel: +216 71 860 312


Migration Activities
Movement, Emergency and Post-crisis Migration Management
Project 1 IOM assists refugees resettling to Belgium, Ireland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Spain, Canada, Australia and the United States. IOM Tunisia has assisted the movement of some 861 refugees from Tunisia since the beginning of the crisis to 14 resettlement countries. IOM's role includes coordination, health assessment, treatment, providing ground transportation and air transportation to the refugees’ final destination, airport assistance at the ports of departure, transit and arrival.
Project 2 IOM assists third country nationals to return to their countries of origin. IOM Tunisia has assisted in the return of over 115,000 third country nationals (TCNs), many of whom are from Sub-Saharan African nations as well as South Asia, who have fled the violence in Libya.
Migration and Development
Description / Donors European Commission
Project 1 Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI, UN/EU Migration and Development): North Africa Regional Conference
Project 2 Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI, UN/EU Migration and Development): Tunisia’s Small-scale Actors' Projects Selected within the 2009 Call for Proposals
Project 3 Stabilizing At-risk Communities and Enhancing Migration Management to Support Transitions in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya
Regulating Migration

Government of Switzerland

Government of Belgium

Government of Italy

Government of Poland

Government of Germany

Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, US Department of State (J/TIP)

Project 1 Family Tracing for Unaccompanied Minors in Italy
Project 2 Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Unaccompanied Minors
Project 3 Counter-trafficking
Facilitating Migration
Description / Donors

European Commission

Italian Ministry of Interior

African Development Bank

Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

IOM Development Fund

MDG Achievement Fund

Project 1 Best Practices on Collecting and Sharing Labour Migration Data for the Improvement of the Labour Market Information Systems
Project 2 Engaging the Tunisian Youth to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals (Youth, Employment and Migration)
Project 3 Migration of Tunisians to Libya: Dynamics, Challenges and Perspectivesnternational Mobility Programme