Migration in Sudan: A Country Profile 2011

Originally published


Migration Profile Reveals at least 6.9 million People Affected by Migration and Human displacement in Sudan

A new IOM migration country profile of Sudan highlights that 6.9 million people are affected by migration and displacement to, from and within Sudan. With 4.9 million internally displaced people, 750,000 foreign migrants and refugees living in Sudan and at least 1.2 million Sudanese living abroad compared with a total population of 39.2 million, the country faces enormous challenges to effectively manage migration.

In line with other African countries, most of Sudan's migration flows originate from or are destined to neighbouring African and Arab countries. Given the size and implications of migration-related dynamics in Sudan, the adoption of a comprehensive migration management strategy involving government, civil society organizations and international institutions is key to a coordinated response, the report says.

The migration profile for Sudan has been developed jointly by IOM and the Sudanese Centre for Migration, Development and Population Studies and is part of a broader project funded by IOM's 1035 Facility to support the Sudanese Government in producing migration data and using it to inform its current and future migration policies.

The migration country profile has been produced with the support of a Technical Working Group that for the first time in the history of the country, has brought together all national agencies working on migration and migration-related issues such as the Secretariat for Sudanese Working Abroad, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Labour, the Central Bureau of Statistics and the Commission for Refugees.

In spite of large scale returns in the last ten years following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and other regional peace accords, Sudan is recognized as having the second-highest number of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the world. Given the future developments that will arise from the outcome of the recent referendum, managing internal migration will continue to be a significant migration challenge in Sudan.

Most of the foreign-born in Sudan are recognized refugees coming mainly from Eritrea, Chad and Ethiopia (around 685,000). These stocks decreased by around half in the last 20 years due to voluntary and organized repatriations. Sudan also hosts a total of 35,000 labour migrants coming from China, India, Philippines and Turkey and working mostly in businesses established by foreign investors.

Sudanese citizens and people with Sudanese origin currently living abroad can be estimated between 1.2 and 1.7 million people. Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries host approximately a million Sudanese labour migrants. Remittances play an important role for Sudanese families and communities of origin, though remittances which pass through formal channels are significantly lower per capita than in other Arab countries. Up to 390,000 Sudanese refugees are still living in neighbouring countries such as Chad, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya. While the data in the report confirms that irregular migration of Sudanese to the EU is very limited, the report highlights that a large, yet unidentified, number of migrants transit irregularly through Sudan en route to Libya, Egypt and other destinations.

Speaking at a workshop in Khartoum on 23 February to launch the Migration Profile, Ahmed Kermeno Ahmed, State Minister of the Council of Ministers representing the Vice President and Chairman of the Supreme Council of Migration said: "I assure IOM that the government of Sudan will translate the information in the Migration Profile into policies to promote socio-economic development and ensure that Sudan benefits from migration."

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