March 3, 2023 (ADAMA, Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) conducted a Pre-Crisis Stage National Sensitisation Workshop on Humanitarian Border Management and IGAD Free Movement Protocol in Adama.
The main objective of the two-day workshop is designed to strengthen capacities of the Government of Ethiopia to support authorities in addressing crisis situations at port of entries and manage the mixed migration flows through Pre Crisis, In-crisis and Post Crisis stages of interventions.
Participants of the workshop are drawn from the various border management mandated government agencies (immigration, police, customs), county authorities, disaster management authorities.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Mr. Mujib Jemal IGAD, Migration Governance Project Coordinator explained that the Roadmap for Implementation of the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in the IGAD Region includes the necessary action to “develop, review, and unify laws, policies, and procedures to allow the movement of disaster-displaced persons in line with the Protocol.”
“It will provide an opportunity to discuss the development of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on cross-border disaster displacement that will be used for further bilateral/regional consultations between Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia”, he added.
Furthermore, Mr. Mujib recalled that in 2021, IGAD adopted a Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in the IGAD Region, which included a provision (Article 16) to ensure admission and stay in the IGAD Member States for persons moving within the region due to natural disasters and climate change.
Ato Abrham Ayalew, Head of National Partnership Coalition for Migration Secretariat at the Ministry of Justice of Ethiopia disclosed that the recent influx of people forced to move from Ethiopia in the context of drought and loss of livelihoods is an example of the urgency to strengthen the preparedness of national and regional authorities.
“You will also have an opportunity to discuss on the development of the Standard Operating Procedures ( SOPs) on cross-border disaster displacement that will be used for further bilateral/regional consultations with other IGAD Member states”, he said.
In his opening remarks, Ato Kadiralla Idiris, IOM Ethiopia representative, described that the present consultation meeting organised jointly by IGAD and IOM Ethiopia focuses on introducing Standard Operating Procedures and policies agenda among key government actors in Ethiopia.
In addition, he vowed that IOM and IGAD are happy and ready to provide the required supports to the two governments in their border management interventions in addressing the rights and needs of migrants.
At the end of the workshop the sensitised participants associated with disaster displacement and the humanitarian border management framework will better manage the complex migration flows by taking a people-centred approach.
The workshop is funded by the Swiss Government