UN MIGRATION AGENCY HOLDS A POLICY WORKSHOP ON ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF STRANDED AND VULNERABLE MIGRANTS IN THE EAST AND HORN OF AFRICA

Date Published: 
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Government representatives of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania as UN Migration Agency, IOM at a policy workshop on addressing the needs of stranded and vulnerable migrants on the Southern migration route.
UN Tanzania Resident Coordinator-Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez
Commissioner of Immigration Services in Zanzibar, Mr. Johari Masoud Sururu

From 18-20 July 2017, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, held a policy workshop for government representatives of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania, on addressing the needs of stranded and vulnerable migrants on the Southern migration route. The workshop was one of the concluding events in a broader European Union-funded programme, which was carried out in close cooperation with the governments of Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Yemen, and other countries in West Africa.  Participants shared experiences on safe and dignified return migration processes and discuss the protection of vulnerable migrants in the frameworks of ongoing regional initiatives such as the Khartoum process (which Ethiopia and Kenya are members of) and the European Union Valletta Action Plan, as well as the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2016.

Every year, hundreds of Ethiopian youth, mainly young men, are intercepted in Kenya and Tanzania as they try to make their way to South Africa and beyond. They often pay unscrupulous human smuggling gangs to clandestinely take them across the border, thus putting themselves and their families at risk of exploitation and physical harm.

With the support of this project, IOM was able to assist a total of 438 stranded Ethiopians, who had expressed their wish to return home, to return to Ethiopia safely. Moreover, in a series of capacity building initiatives, Tanzanian law enforcement officers, community leaders, and representatives of media and non-governmental organizations were sensitized on rights-based and protection-sensitive migration management. In addition, a total of 107 biometric registration equipment kits were donated to the Ministry of Home Affairs for the registration of irregular and vulnerable migrants, and distributed to Regional Immigration offices across Tanzania. Registering as a migrant in Tanzania allows migrants to reside in the country without fear of deportation, pending confirmation of their status in the country. Finally, a series of three regional dialogue meetings  organized by IOM in this project have resulted in a much smoother workflow in the referral and assistance mechanisms to help migrants in need.

Speaking at the launch, the Commissioner of Immigration Services in Zanzibar, Mr. Johari Masoud Sururu, remarked: “We must place migrants and their rights, needs and capacities at the heart of our efforts, and we need to address the relationship of migration to critical adjoining policy domains, including development, humanitarian  and peace and security, in a truly comprehensive way’’.

The workshop was also attended by the UN Tanzania Resident Coordinator-Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez and Dr. Qasim Sufi, the IOM Chief of Mission in Tanzania. Speaking on the margins of the meeting, Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez highlighted the importance of the event, noting also the key value of the policy recommendations on migration management in the region which will be made there.

For further information, please contact Dr. Qasim Sufi-IOM Chief of Mission in Tanzania: qsufi@iom.int (+2556892563796).