Thousands Of Migrants Voluntarily Give Up On Settling In Europe

REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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Some 10,000 African migrants have given up on settling in Europe and are instead lining up to fly home under a United Nation scheme.

Around one million illegal migrants are believed to be in Libya with the hopes of crossing the Mediterranean. Many of them face rape, torture and extortion in detention centers until they voluntarily arrange plans to return to their home countries.

The U.N. is offering help to people who agree to give up on the European dream, and more and more are using the scheme.

“We are targeting flights home for up to 12,000 migrants this year, after only about 2,000 last year,” Federico Soda, of the U.N. agency International Organisation for Migration (IOM), told The Times.

The scheme comes with a grant that helps people set up a new life once they return to their home countries.

“It’s a dignified return since many get a small grant and by the time they have gone through their travels they are a lot more entrepreneurial and often ready to set up businesses,” IOM spokesman Leonard Doyle told The Times.

Thousands of people have drowned on the Mediterranean this year as authorities have stepped up efforts to intercept ships carrying illegal migrants. More than 100,000 migrant arrivals have been recorded in Italy throughout 2017, according to Missing Migrants. At least 2,353 people have drowned during their journeys.

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