The Government of Sierra Leone has formally launched the National Migration Policy with support from IOM, on 20 January.

The policy contains a comprehensive framework to improve and enforce administrative and legislative procedures towards migration’s management in Sierra Leone. It sets out several prescriptions on how to address some of the issues towards migration governance in the country.

Over the years in Sierra Leone, the governance of migration has been quite challenging as the country continues to grapple with responding to the consequences and impact of both regular and irregular migration. This is compounded by Sierra Leone’s comprehensive policy framework within which migration processes are governed.

“In Sierra Leone, young people see migration as a way out of poverty. Therefore, migration is becoming a threat to national development, peace, and security if it is not well managed” said Mangeh Sesay, who represented IOM Sierra Leone at the launch ceremony.

“So, IOM is very pleased to support the development and launch of the National Migration. The policy will now be the basis for better migration management and governance in the country” he added.

Sierra Leone’s Chief Minister, Jacob Jusu Saffa who launched the policy document on behalf of the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone said: “the Government places not an only premium, but an equally great emphasis on human capital development, and closely linked to this is to facilitate citizens of Sierra Leoneans to realize their full potential’’.

“One of the ways to ensure citizens critical potentials can be utilized for their individual and national development is to ensure that the state promotes, and safeguard as requires the free movement of individuals both internally and externally of the country”, the chief minister explained.

The Migration Policy addresses issues related to diaspora engagement, border management, internally displaced persons, asylum seekers, return and reintegration, migration and national disasters, statelessness, human trafficking among others.

“The adoption of national migration public policies, to manage migration in a comprehensive way, addressing migration in all its aspects, is key. We welcome the very important step taken by Sierra Leone towards this goal”, said Juan Antonio Frutos, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone.

He further stated that: “the EU remains strongly committed to better managing migration together with our partner countries, based on the shared and common responsibility of countries of origin, transit, and destination. We stand ready to support the efforts of Sierra Leone in this area”.

The development and launch of the policy were made possible thanks to the support of the European Union, and the Africa Regional, Migration Programme implemented by IOM, the Government, and other partners in Sierra Leone with support from the United States Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.