IOM Helps Belarus Develop Irregular Migration Management Policy

Posted: 
10/30/18
Themes: 
Migration Policy

Minsk – A new EUR 7 million project to address irregular migration was officially launched in Minsk on 23 October 2018.  The management of irregular migration is one of many priority issues for almost every country in Europe, including Belarus – which faces a 30 per cent increase in irregular migration this year compared with last year.

The project “Helping Belarus address the phenomenon of increasing numbers of irregular migrants” is a four-year EU-funded project to be implemented by IOM Belarus jointly with the Ministry of the Interior and the State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus. Among other project partners are the UNHCR Office in Belarus and civil society organizations – the Belarus Red Cross Society and the Belarusian Movement of Medical Workers.

“The idea of the project we are launching today emerged some years ago when the EU and Belarus started to negotiate visa facilitation and readmission agreements and, later, the EU-Belarus Mobility Partnership that was agreed on in 2016,” said Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin, Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus.

The main purpose of the project is to help Belarus develop and implement a comprehensive migration policy in compliance with international standards. The project has three key components:

Amending legislation following a comprehensive “gap and needs” assessment and capacity-building activities for competent migration specialists.
Establishing a sustainable national Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) system and provision of voluntary return and reintegration assistance to those most vulnerable migrants.
Constructing and refurbishing several specialized semi-open migrant accommodation centres in line with best EU practices and international standards for such facilities.

Zeynal Hajiyev, Chief of IOM Mission in Belarus, pointed out that “the successful implementation of the project will require maximum involvement, flexibility and readiness for change from all concerned stakeholders to ensure that all project activities are always based on respect for the human rights of migrants.”

“The EU and Belarus are at the final stage of negotiations on the Readmission agreement under which Belarus will have an obligation to readmit migrants who entered the EU from the territory of Belarus in an irregular manner. This project will help Belarus fulfil its obligations under the future Readmission agreement in compliance with international standards,” explained Nickolay Melchenko, Deputy Minister of the Interior.

By 2022, Belarus – with the support of the EU, IOM and other project stakeholders – will have a comprehensive irregular migration management system, contemporary migrant accommodation infrastructure and effective AVRR system that would altogether operate with respect for gender dimension and migrants’ rights.

For more information please contact Olga Borzenkova at IOM Belarus, Tel: +375 17 2882742, Email: oborzenkova@iom.int

  • Opening ceremony of the EU-funded project “Helping Belarus address the phenomenon of increasing numbers of irregular migrants” to be implemented by IOM Belarus jointly with the Ministry of the Interior and State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus, Minsk, Belarus. Photo: IOM 2018

  • Opening ceremony of the EU-funded project “Helping Belarus address the phenomenon of increasing numbers of irregular migrants” to be implemented by IOM Belarus jointly with the Ministry of the Interior and State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus, Minsk, Belarus. Photo: IOM 2018