Regional Mixed Migration Committee for Horn of Africa and Yemen Meets in Ethiopia
GENEVA, Switzerland, October 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Regional Committee on Mixed Migration for the Horn of Africa and Yemen is today holding its 4th annual meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The two-day meeting, hosted by Ethiopia, aims to improve multi-state collaboration to make and endorse recommendations that will serve as a roadmap for influencing policies affecting migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in the region.
“The Regional Committee provides a unique platform for government actors to discuss cross-border issues related to migration, at a time when coordinated action is needed to save lives,” said IOM's Regional Project Coordinator for Mixed Migration Craig Murphy.
Based on recommendations from the 2013 committee meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya, 2014's meeting focuses on three key areas: Migration & Health, Migration Data Analysis, and Environmental Migration.
Committee members at the Addis Ababa meeting will include Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Somaliland, Puntland and Yemen. Observers will include the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU).
Observer state embassies including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Sudan, South Sudan and Egypt also will attend, together with IOM, UNHCR, the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS), ILO, and other partner organizations and donors.
The Horn of Africa has unique migration challenges. Every month thousands of irregular migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers cross borders to escape conflict, drought and economic difficulties.
Migrants make the journey from their places of origin through Puntland and Somaliland to Djibouti and across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen and the Gulf States. En route many perish, disappear or face grave human rights violations.
Between January and September 2014, 61,224 migrants arrived in Yemen from the Horn of Africa via the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. This year there have been 215 migrant deaths in the Red Sea, more than during the past three years combined.
The Regional Committee continues to place emphasis on strategic regional governmental initiatives that will ensure increased protection of migrants' rights and a reduction in the number of lives lost.