The scale of irregular migration driven towards Europe by a mix of factors reached unprecedented levels in 2015, with over 1,000,000 migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea feeding into the coffers of transnational criminal networks. Migrant fatalities have reached levels of a humanitarian emergency, with 3,771 migrants dying during maritime migration in 2015. Although Libya continues to be the primary departure point, Egypt’s geo-political position as one of the few stable neighbouring countries in its makes it a crucial partner in combating the evermore lucrative criminal enterprise of migrant smuggling. Besides the immediate potential for human rights violations implicit in smuggling of vulnerable migrants especially where it turns into human trafficking, significant evidence suggests the involvement of smuggling networks in financing and supporting other types of criminal and terrorist activities in Egypt and North Africa. This is of particular concern in light of increased terrorist attacks in greater Cairo, Sinai, and beyond which have in turn have crippled Egypt’s main economic sector, tourism, which had already suffered decline after the 2011 revolution. This economic malaise is driving increasing numbers of Egyptian youth to emigrate irregularly toward Europe as well as providing a feeding ground for violent extremism. These ingredients combined form a toxic mix that is eroding the stability and security of Egypt which will inevitably have repercussions for the region at large.


PRIME seeks to consolidate integrated and multidisciplinary government responses to irregular migration under a rights-based approach in light of the substantial flows of irregular migrants to and through Egypt, as well as towards Europe. Specifically, it is expected that 1) NCCPIM&TIP and relevant national agencies develop inclusive and rights-based policies to manage irregular migration using enhanced disaggregated data and evidence based approaches; 2) that NCCPIM&TIP and relevant national agencies employ enhanced technical resources and capacities to manage irregular migration and to counter migrant smuggling in a rights-based and gender-sensitive manner in coordination with regional partners; and 3) NCCPIM&TIP and relevant national agencies can replicate and conduct outreach on interventions engaging Egyptian youth and women at-risk of irregular migration in positive alternatives.

  • Donors: UK Government
  • Duration: October 2016 to September 2019
  • Location: Egypt
  • Beneficiaries: Egyptian youth and women in at-risk communities, judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officials, NCCPIM&TIP, CAPMAS
Expected Results
  • Relevant national agencies have the skills and resources to conduct gender sensitive periodic assessments of complex migratory flows from, to and through Egypt;
  • NCCPIM&TIP and relevant national agencies have the tools and resources to document, monitor and analyse complex migratory flows from, to and through Egypt;
  • Law enforcement officials, public prosecutors and judges have skills, procedures and resources to investigate, prosecute and trial migrant smuggling offenders while safeguarding the rights of migrants;
  • NCCPIM&TIP and relevant national agencies have technical resources to strengthen rights-based migration management processes while enhancing regional dialogue among participating countries;
  • Youth and women in at-risk communities along irregular migration routes have access to information and material resources in order to make positive life choices.
Links to Broader National and International Commitments
  • Egypt Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS): 2030 Vision – Social Justice pillar: “A society that provides protection, and support to marginalized and vulnerable groups
  • President El-Sisi Statement in front of the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly (2015): “We must seek ways to channel the productive energy of our youth away from extremists and their false ideas, and to employ our youth's capabilities in building the future that will soon be their own.”
  • Declaration of the Ministerial Conference of the Khartoum Process – “Assisting in improving national capacity building in the field of migration management”; “Assisting the national authorities in stepping up prevention measures”; and “Assisting in improving identification and prosecution of criminal networks”.
  • Valletta Action Plan (2015): Priority 1.3 “Support State building, rule of law and good governance”; 2 “Support the elaboration and implementation of comprehensive national and regional strategies on migration and mobility”; and 4: “Prevention of and fight against irregular migration, migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings”.
  • Sustainable Development Goals – Goal 10.7 Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies”; Goal 16: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”.
  • IOM Migration Governance Framework – Objective 3 “Migration should take place in a safe, orderly and dignified manner”.