Ethiopia + 1 more

Return of Ethiopian migrants from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (5 May 2017 - 31 January 2019)



  • 230,000 estimated to have returned to Ethiopia since April 2017

  • 197,085 electronically registered and profiled by IOM since May 2017 minors registered by IOM staff at Bole airport since May 2017

  • 15,793 minors registered by IOM staff at Bole airport since May 2017

  • 9,380 returnees arriving at Bole airport on average each month

  • 86% of registered migrants returned involuntarily


In March 2017, the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched a campaign titled ‘A Nation without Violations’, granting all irregular migrants an amnesty period of 90 days to leave the country without facing penalties. An estimated 500,000 migrants were present in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) when the campaign was launched in March. After multiple extensions, the amnesty period ended in November 2017.

Returnees arrive at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, where they are registered by IOM staff before continueing on to their destination. IOM also provides travel support to the most vulnerable migrants. IOM estimates that around 230,000 have returned to Ethiopia during the reporting period, 202,224 of whom have been registered since April 2017.

Since May 2017, IOM has electronically registered 197,085 returnees whose profiles are presented in this factsheet.