EU targeting Nigerian Migrants for ‘return and readmission’
According to the UNHCR, almost one in five migrants crossing the Central Mediterranean are from Nigeria. Of 157,000 migrants who have reached Italy this year, 19 percent are Nigerian.
Many cite unrest, particularly in areas where Boko Haram insurgencies have caused widespread displacement. Most, however, are considered economic migrants and are now to be the target of the evolving EU Partnership Framework policy, which sees Nigeria as a top priority.
A special report published by IRIN on 28 October 2016, notes that a Partnership Framework progress dossier, issued on 18 October, stated: “stepping up cooperation [with Nigeria] should be a particular focus of the coming weeks”, with the main goal being “a swift conclusion” on a readmission agreement.”
IRIN reports a flurry of diplomatic activity in recent weeks involving EU officials visiting Nigeria. A major priority is achieving agreement with the Nigerian Government of a “return and readmission” of migrants who reach the European Union. Their goal, the IRIN reports reveals, is to send 50 percent of Nigerian migrants back to Nigeria in the next three to six months, and 75 percent by 2018-2019.
The full IRIN report can be read here: