Migrants: Tunisia rejects practice of forced repatriations

Agreements necessary, minister

19 December, 12:24

    (ANSAmed) - TUNIS, DECEMBER 19 - Tunisia ''categorically refuses forced expulsions of its irregular migrants from their respective hosting countries'', Tunisian Social Affairs Minister Mohamed Trabelsi said, opening a seminar in Tunis on migration in relation to objectives of sustainable development.

    The minister added that the Tunisian government supports the right to access basic services and integration projects in hosting countries and does not accept for its migrants to return unless they are willing to do so.

    In his address, Trabelsi denounced the use of unilateral measures by some hosting countries, stressing that irregular migration can only be tackled with the help of conventions and international agreements.

    Trabelsi said an estimated 200,000 Tunisians are residing abroad without regular documents.

    He announced the presentation of a national strategy on migration to Parliament in 2019 with the objective of institutionalizing the system of migration, asylum and residence in Tunisia.

    Trabelsi continued by recalling that the majority of illegal migrants are fleeing war, human rights abuses and difficult economic conditions, insisting that the migration dossier should be handled with more responsibility and equality between northern and southern Mediterranean countries. He said the world economic system should be fairer. Lorena Lando, head of the mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), spoke about the relation between migration and sustainable development targets in the UN's 2030 agenda, noting that a national strategy could be one of the possible solutions for Tunisia to tackle the migration dossier.

    According to IOM, there are an estimated 60,000 undocumented migrants in Tunisia, while Tunisian migrants living abroad without regular documents are about 1.3 million. (ANSAmed)

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