Stranded Migrants in Belarus: Migratory Routes, Intentions and Needs

The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report focuses on migrants in highly vulnerable situations present in Belarus, excluding Ukrainian refugees who are covered in a separate report. The report clarifies the reasons behind migration, the most commonly used migratory routes, transit countries, and the entry points into Belarus.

It was found that 31.2% of respondents left their countries of origin for economic reasons. They were looking for jobs or other livelihood opportunities. 24% of respondents said they left their countries of origin because of personal or targeted violence. The majority of those who named this reason were nationals of Afghanistan who mentioned danger and threats to life due to persecutions by the Taliban regime in the country. Another 21% left due to a war or conflict in their country of origin.

The most commonly reported migratory routes of respondents were projected by combining data on the top five countries of origin, top five transit countries, and top five intended destination countries. Most of the respondents started their journeys from Somalia, Eritrea, Syrian Arab Republic, Republic of Iraq, and Afghanistan, then transited through either Türkiye, Armenia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Uzbekistan, or Russian Federation with the aim of reaching either Belarus, Russian Federation, Poland, Germany, or France. The report found that the Russian Federation was among the most common transit countries of respondents.

Most common migratory roots of respondents
Most common migratory roots of respondents
*This map is for illustration purposes only. The boundaries and names shown, and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by IOM.

22% of migrants were planning to return to their countries of origin for a number of reasons: to reunite with family members, due to responsibilities for taking care of family members, because they have accommodation there and do not have enough fund to cover living expenses outside of their country of origin. IOM provides support to such people with its Assisted Voluntary Return programme, which ensures safe and dignified return to the country of origin. The report highlights the top needs of migrants in Belarus, which include financial support, long-term accommodation, food supply, assistance with documentation, and short-term accommodation. The top difficulties encountered in Belarus were a language barrier, financial issues, long-term housing, arrest/detention, and obtaining regular status.

Read the full report here.


SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities