UN Migration Agency, Somalia, KSrelief Protect Somalis from Trafficking, Smuggling, Human Rights Abuses

Human Smuggling, Humanitarian Emergencies, Migrants Rights, Migration and Environment

Somalia - Due to the worsening effects of the drought, 746,996 people have been displaced in Somalia since November 2016. These Somalis often no longer live within their traditional clan structure – the mechanism through which Somalis are protected from exploitation and abuse. Those with no clan protection are increasingly vulnerable to trafficking and smuggling.

From 16–17 May 2017, the UN Migration Agency (IOM), with financial support from the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief), held a training on trafficking, smuggling and human rights of people on the move. Eighteen officials from Somalia’s National Commission for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (NCRI) participated in the event.

Vulnerability is especially heightened for the sick, the elderly, children and women as they move in search of food, water, safety or better opportunities. The NCRI participants were alerted as to the importance of ensuring that people are not exploited or abused while on the move.

IOM’s Migration Response Centre (MRC) helps better manage migration flows, by offering services to Somalis before they migrate, as well as to migrants in Somalia. These include registration of migrants by the Government and referrals to existing technical, vocational and educational training opportunities within Somalia. The support that can be provided by the MRC to both migrants and governments was highlighted during the training. 

As the mandated government entity responsible for displaced people, migrants, and refugees, NCRI is a key stakeholder in Somalia’s fight against human trafficking and smuggling. 

“I request participants to put into practice the lessons learned and knowledge gained from the workshop by ensuring implementation in their day-to-day duties, helping to better address migrant issues,” said Ahmed Nur, NCRI Commissioner, during the training.

This training – the fourth of six planned trainings on counter-trafficking, smuggling, and human rights – is part of a USD 10 million project that benefits almost 20,000 Somalis who have returned to Somalia from conflict-affected Yemen. The project is being implemented jointly by IOM and UNHCR, in close coordination with the Somalia Task Force on the Yemen Situation, and respective regional and local authorities.

For further information, please contact: Nasser Alsubaie at KSrelief, Tel: +966 539 186 339, Email: nasser.alsubaie@ksrelief.org, or Heidrun Salzer at IOM Somalia, Tel: + 252 617 722 436, Email: hsalzer@iom.int


  • UN Migration Agency (IOM) trains Somali government personnel on protection of migrants from trafficking, smuggling and human rghts abuses. Photo: IOM