Ministry of Youth, IOM unite to empower migrant returnees

Minister of Youth, Mohamed Oman Bagura and IOM Head of Office, Christos Christodoulides in photo opps

By Alhaji Haruna Sani

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Sierra Leone and the Ministry of Youth Affairs (MoYA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on June 12 to strengthen their cooperation in supporting youth empowerment and migrants sustainable reintegration into the country.  

The MoU signed between the MoYA and IOM confirms their shared interest in strengthening the support to youth empowerment and capacity development, including those of the returned migrants. The MOU is founded on the common interests, stronger synergies and partnerships that will be sought, including the implementation of the MOYA’s Youth livelihood/employability support program.

Christos Christodoulides, Head of Office of IOM Sierra Leone, said “the MoU signed with the Youth Minister will reinforce the partnership to scale up the efforts by IOM and the Youth Ministry to empower youth in Sierra Leone, including those who voluntarily returned to the country.”

‘’We are looking forward to continuous collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Affairs,” said Mr. Christodoulides, adding that “This MoU signed by both parties is a great step forward towards consolidating efforts for youth empowerment, including for those of returned youth, through the whole of government and society approach.”

The Minister of Youth Affairs, Orman Bangura described the signing of the MoU as a step to deepen the partnership with IOM in addressing youth-related issues, especially around youth empowerment, employment, and the right for Sierra Leonean migrants to voluntarily return home.

Many Sierra Leonean youth embark on risky irregular migration journeys with the hope to reach Europe or the Middle East in search of better life and opportunities. Over the last two years, IOM Sierra Leone has assisted the voluntary returns of about 3,000 Sierra Leonean migrants who were stranded abroad. This number includes victims of trafficking (VOT) and young people, including women and children.

Those migrants not only experience life-threatening experiences during their migration journeys, but once the return home, they face many obstacles for sustainable reintegration such as stigma, shame, exclusion, and mental health challenges.

IOM the UN Migration is at the forefront to promote safe and regular migration as stipulated in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here