St Helena

EU and IOM partnership key for migrant protection

04/06/2019 - 22:18
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EU High Representative Federica Mogherini met with IOM Director General António Vitorino today. They reaffirmed the close cooperation between the two partner organisations on migration and discussed ongoing work along the routes, Libya, Yemen and Venezuela.

 

The AU-EU-UN Joint Taskforce to address the migrant situation in Libya and the EU-IOM Joint Initiative continue to help vulnerable migrants: since 2017, the EU and IOM have assisted more than 65,000 stranded migrants in Africa to return to their countries of origin, with reintegration assistance.

"We are working with the IOM and the UNHCR to evacuate them outside Libya, or to move them to safer places inside Libya", Federica Mogherini emphasized in a speech before the Parliament.

This spring over 150 stranded migrants were helped to return from Libya to Mali, The Gambia, Senegal and Guinea Conakry.

Lamin, a migrant from The Gambia, was held in a detention centre in Libya for five months and remembers that "even before the flight took off, we could still hear gunshots around us". His words portray very well that common EU-IOM action is vital.

He and the other returnees were provided with pre-departure medical assistance, identification, health and immigration screening, accommodation as well as reintegration assistance adapted to their needs, skills and interests.

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative recently also facilitated the voluntary return of young Ethiopian teenagers who were given the chance to reunite with their families back in their homes.

© IOM/OIM

Earlier in the day senior representatives from the EU and the IOM met to advance the strategic partnership on key aspects of European and global migration, with discussions focusing on the way forward on cooperation on protection in mixed migration contexts, on return as well as sustainable reintegration.

Main photo: IOM/OIM