Traditionally, Tunisia has been known as a country of emigration. However, the recent development of migration trends within the Middle East and North African region marked the start of a massive migration flow. Thus, Tunisia has rapidly become an immigration and transit country, with migrants coming mainly from the Maghreb and Sub-Saharan Africa with the aim of reaching Europe through irregular migration.
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). The vast majority of these third-country nationals have either returned to their country of origin or been resettled in third countries as refugees.
In the last few years, Tunisia has institutions to in a democratic process where the Government of Tunisia is making significant efforts to address the growing complexity of migratory patterns through innovative rules and institutional framework. These include the establishment of a democratic constitution, the adoption of a new law by the Tunisian Assembly in July 2016 to address human trafficking, and the recent creation of institutions to further support Tunisians living abroad (“Conseil des Tunisiens à l’étranger”). Also, evidence-based researches (“Observatoire National pour la Migration), and the creation of a migration department within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Secretary of State in charge of Immigration and Tunisians Abroad) in August 2016 are among the major steps accomplished these past few months toward an improved Migration management strategy in Tunisia.
National Development Plans
National Migration Related Policies
Public / Private entities or Project Partners
- Secretary of State for Migration and Tunisian Abroad
- The “Haut Conseil des Tunisiens à l’étranger”
- The Office for Tunisian abroad “Office des Tunisiens a l’Etranger” (OTE)
- L’Observatoire National de la Migration (ONM)
- The Migration Information center / Centre des Ressources sur la Migration (CRM)
- The European Union Action Plan for 2013-2017
- The Joint Migration Development Initiative
- The Swiss funded project for Tunisians living abroad