Overview

Tunisia is an important country of origin and transit for migrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. Since mid-2017, the number of Tunisians attempting to migrate to Europe has increased significantly, driven in large part by high unemployment and the perceived lack of economic opportunities in Tunisia.?Tunisians are currently the most represented nationality among migrants who arrive in Italy from the Central Mediterranean migration route, with approximately 5,000 new arrivals since January 2018.?  

Though most migrants departing from Tunisia are Tunisians, a growing number of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from other countries arrive in Tunisia with the aim of moving elsewhere, often to Europe.? Once in Tunisia, many migrants face restricted access to healthcare, shelter, and employment, as well as exposure to protection risks such as human trafficking and scams.? Some migrants also end up becoming trapped in a state of limbo in Tunisia as a result of the government’s practice of imposing fines for residing in the country without proper documentation, as well as making migrants pay for their flights home when deported.?

INFORM measures Tunisia’s risk of humanitarian crises and disasters to be low, at 3.2.?

Latest Developments

10/05: At least 65 migrants have died after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean off the coast of Tunisia. The boat, that left from Zuwara in Libya, ran into trouble during strong waves. The Tunisian navy rescued 16 people. ?

Key priorities

Protection – Many migrants in Tunisia fall victim to scams and are subjected to abuse at the hands of smugglers. Other protection concerns for migrants include the risk of deportation and restricted access to services.?