IOM Strategy Responds to Complex Migration Challenges in Southern Africa
GENEVA, Switzerland, June 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Southern Africa experiences all types of mixed and irregular migration, labour and forced migration, including displacement due to conflict and natural disasters. These migration flows involve over four million economically active persons, and an additional unspecified number of undocumented migrants, including many vulnerable populations such as women and children.
The IOM Regional Office for Southern Africa in Pretoria, South Africa will today launch a three-year (2014 -2016) strategy to address the complex and mixed migration challenges in the region. The launch will be attended by government leaders, IOM partners in the region, members of the diplomatic corps and donors.
The regional strategy establishes a focused and coherent framework that articulates the role of IOM in the region in the context of current and emerging migration trends. It also lays out key regional objectives in order to guide interventions by IOM and its partners in support of humane and orderly migration for the benefit of migrants, as well as migrant sending and receiving countries.
The complex and mixed migration patterns to Southern Africa from the Horn and East Africa pose a number of challenges for migrants and receiving communities alike, including humanitarian concerns, legal and human rights implications, law enforcement capacities, national and regional security, as well as strategic issues around inter-country cooperation.
The regional strategy identifies six practical key areas of intervention to address these challenges:
• Supporting better management of mixed migration flows in order to provide greater protection to vulnerable migrants.
• Strengthening systems to support well-organized labour migration, including engaging the diaspora to promote South-South circular migration.
• Enhancing protection-sensitive immigration and border management to facilitate migration through open but secure borders.
• Reducing the health vulnerability of people affected by migration.
• Building resilience and strengthening response to natural disasters and man-made crises in the region.
• Strengthening the regional response to migration management through stronger intra- and inter-regional coordination among States and Regional Economic Communities.
“Through this regional strategy, we hope to strengthen IOM organizational effectiveness by promoting a results-based culture and effective monitoring and an evaluation of IOM projects in the region. In collaboration with all our stakeholders in Southern Africa, we look forward to jointly working towards our goal of achieving well-managed, well-organized, and well-regulated migration for the benefit of all,” says Bernardo Mariano, IOM Southern Africa Regional Director.
IOM Southern Africa will continue to work with governments, regional bodies, donors and other key partners to uphold the human dignity of migrants, encourage social and economic development through sound migration policies. The regional strategy provides a holistic approach, taking into account the inter-related nature of the various migration aspects, as well as the need to tackle them from a regional level rather than a country-by-country approach.