African migrants queue for aid boxes distributed by the Raoued town hall in Tunis, Tunisia on April 22, 2020 | Photo: EPA/Mohamed Messara
African migrants queue for aid boxes distributed by the Raoued town hall in Tunis, Tunisia on April 22, 2020 | Photo: EPA/Mohamed Messara

Tunisia has begun its first census on immigration. The census aims to help define the country's migration policies, the Tunisian statistics institute has announced.

The Tunisian statistics institute (INS) on July 22 announced it had started the first census on international migration in Tunisia. The aim of "Tunisia-Hims," the name of the survey, is to provide accurate and clear statistical data on immigration in Tunisia.

The survey, the first of its kind in Tunisia, was launched this month and will end in March 2021. It will cover the entire national territory and will include all affected social groups, such as migrants, repatriated people and foreign immigrants residing in Tunisia, the statistics agency said.

Study migration flows

According to INS, the survey is mainly aimed at contributing to the creation of a data system that can be used to draft, implement and monitor national migration strategies.

It will also allow the study of international migration flows, their causes, dynamics and effects, as well as the connection between migration and development, INS said.

According to the director-general of INS, Adnène Lassoued, the survey cost around 5 million dinars (approximately €1.5 million).

Italy supports IOM in Tunisia

The Italian foreign ministry on Tuesday said that it has allocated funding from the Migration Fund to support the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Tunisia in agreement with the interior ministry.

"The goal is to offer the possibility of assisted voluntary repatriation to migrants stranded in Tunisia, with correlated services to support resettlement in countries of origin," the foreign ministry said on its website.

The ministry also said that, given "the global negative consequences of the coronavirus epidemic, it is in fact essential to enable migrants who are in a situation of difficulty (for example due to losing their jobs) to be able to voluntarily return home in safe and dignified conditions," thus "preventing the risk that they rely on human traffickers."
 

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