IOM, Partners Host Workshop to Address Irregular Migration in Southern Africa

Capacity Building, International and Regional Cooperation

South Africa – Following the Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA) Conference held in Zimbabwe in July 2015, IOM, UNHCR, UNODC, UNICEF and Save the Children International yesterday (30/11) jointly launched a regional stakeholder workshop to facilitate technical discussions for the implementation of priority actions identified at the 2015 Ministerial MIDSA.

At the last MIDSA conference, Ministers and Deputy Ministers responsible for Home Affairs and Immigration issued a signed statement that approved a regional action plan on mixed and irregular migration, developed by senior officials of Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member States with MIDSA support, as a viable framework to address mixed and irregular migration in the region.

The three-day workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa brings together senior government officials drawn from relevant Ministries of Member States that provide services to or are responsible for the protection of children, detention of migrants, return of migrants and protection of stateless persons.

The workshop is aimed at promoting ownership and sharing the regional action plan approved by the Ministers at the last MIDSA, including the Ministerial Statement, with stakeholders who will be involved in its implementation at the national level.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Acting Regional Director for IOM Southern Africa, Bernardo Mariano, said: “This meeting will allow all the partners an opportunity to identify gaps, tools, processes, systems and related technical support required to implement work on the four thematic areas that were prioritized by governments without delay.”

The prioritized themes are the protection of unaccompanied migrant children; statelessness, alternatives to detention, and return. At the end of the workshop, a clear roadmap outlining agreed measures, timelines and responsible parties will be developed.’ The roadmap is also expected to indicate related technical support that Member States require from cooperating partners to implement the measures under the four prioritized areas of the Regional Action Plan.

The workshop was made possible through financial contributions from UNHCR, the European Union through Save the Children, and the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), which funds IOM’s regional project to address irregular migration.

For further information, please contact Ntokozo Mahlangu at IOM Pretoria, Tel: +27 12 423 9613, Email: [email protected]