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We are launching a campaign to help Nigerian refugees and migrants returning to Nigeria from the UK and elsewhere access the information they need to secure their rights. The number of Returnees to Nigeria has reached an all time high, with the UNHCR reporting that 11,140 individuals returned to the country within the first quarter of 2019 alone (Returnee Dashboards 2019 ). Although most of these returns were voluntary, 15% of overall returnees did not do so voluntarily, and 97% of returning households reported damage, or total destruction of the property they left behind when they migrated.
Those individuals that returned from their host countries voluntarily can access provisions for their reintegration provided by the Nigerian Government, and on occasion the country that they have returned from, for example the reintegration scheme funded by the IOM and the UK and Nigerian Governments to help voluntary returnees from the UK (IOM Volunatry return).
However, those individuals whom returned involuntarily often have little in the way of support available to them upon arrival back in Nigeria. Instead, once a forced returnee lands back in Nigeria, their host countries responsibility for them ends – There is no help given for their onwards journey from the aport. There is also no official support, either financially or socially, from the Nigerian government for forced returnees when they arrive back in the country. Those individuals who do not have family/friends who are able to collect them from the airport and house them must make their own way onwards. Those returnees who’s migration was undocumented face the same lack of support or provisions upon their return.
In response to the lack of official provisions for forced returnees to Nigeria, there are plenty of NGO’s and small organisations offering support. However, for those forced and undocumented returnees that arrive back in Nigeria, accessing these organisations is easier said than done, due to, amongst other factors, geographical location, funds for travel, difficulty accessing the internet, and a lack of awareness of their existence.
It is thus clear that provisions need to be made in order to ensure that forced and undocumented returnees are made aware of the organisations offering provisions and support to those in need. We want to help, but we first need your help to do this.
Do you know of, or work for, any great organisations offering support, assistance, or guidance to Nigerian returnees, ether in the UK or Abroad – ranging from established NGO’s to church groups or community organisations? If so, please do get in touch!
We would also love to hear from you if yourself, or a friend or family member has experience in returning to Nigeria after migrating elsewhere. Your experiences will help us to understand the concerns, worries, and obstacles faced by returnees in more depth, and allow us to create a programme that addresses these issues directly.
If you would like to get in touch please feel free to do so via Facebook messenger!
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