As 2017 draws to an end, it is time to reflect on what we have accomplished. What have our Actions achieved during these past 12 months in order to advance migration cooperation between EU and partner countries? Here is a selection of five main achievements and nine Actions that illustrate our progress.
1. Enhancing migration governance through policy development
All throughout 2017, we have assisted several governments in Africa with the drafting of migration policies that reflect best practices in public policy cycle methodology, take into account the needs of the target population, and promote a whole-of-government approach, while establishing sound mechanisms for their implementation, evaluation and monitoring.
In Sierra Leone, we presented the National Migration Policy in October. The policy was developed by the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other key Sierra Leonean authorities with guidance and support from a team of African and European experts selected by MIEUX.
2. Linking migration policy-making with development
During 2017 we have assisted governments to align migration policies with national development strategies framed within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The examples below show how we are responding to target 10.7 of the 17 Global Goals ‘[to] facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies’.
In Côte d’Ivoire, we assisted the government in drafting a coherent overarching National Migration and Development Policy, presented last April, to harness the potential of migrant communities and diaspora for the country’s progress. Six strategic pillars will respond to the needs of the current national migration context.
In Mauritius, we presented the new Mauritius National Migration and Development Policy in November. Structured around four pillars covering policy coherence, prosperity, partnership and protection, the policy is aligned with the country’s current national development plan “Mauritius Vision 2030” and its commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into actionable steps at the national level.
3. Improving social cohesion in multicultural societies
As the lines between a country of origin, destination and transit become more blurred, the needs of migrant populations evolve. During 2017, we have assisted several governments faced with new migratory situations to create policies that would uphold rights of migrants and contribute to creating inclusive societies. The two cases below illustrate well how governments in Latin America and the Caribbean are creating public policy responses to cater to the new contexts they are facing.
In Costa Rica, we assisted the Costa Rican Directorate for Integration and Human Development (DIDH) under the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners (DGME) in designing the second National Integration Plan (NIP) 2018 – 2022, presented in December. The NIP covers several six crucial dimensions of integration, such as access to health; education; labour market insertion; recognition of diversity; strengthening of institutions and vulnerability.
In Mexico, we are assisting the Mexican Secretariat of Interior (SEGOB) and the National Institute of Migration (INM) with two key areas of migration management: asylum and integration. By sharing the experiences of EU States in both of these topics, Mexican authorities will increase and strengthen the internal coordination of agencies at national and federal levels to deal effectively with these two topics.
4. Communicating about irregular migration
In 2017, communication was at the heart of strategies aimed at preventing irregular migration and at dealing effectively with the everyday situations that might arise in border crossings.
In Niger, a team of experts from Ireland and Mali selected by MIEUX are supporting the Ministry of Youth and Sports and NGO
In Moldova, we have assisted the Border Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in communicating more effectively with civil society on irregular migration. Our teams of experts and the Moldovan administration will jointly develop a communication training toolkit that will be launched in 2018.
5. Building operational cooperation against Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Human Beings
We regularly conduct activities and Actions that promote cooperation between agencies, government bodies, and institutions in general, but the examples below are demonstrative of how small-scale interventions can create lasting positive change to fight against Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) and Trafficking in Human Beings (THB).
In Latin America and the Caribbean, together with partners Spanish Development Agency AECID and UNODC’ s Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants - GLO. ACT, we assisted the Ibero-American network of Public Prosecutors on Trafficking in Persons to incorporate Smuggling of Migrants into a regional cooperation Protocol to better identify, investigate and prosecute THB and SOM cases in 23 Latin American countries as well as Spain.
In the Philippines, we assisted the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in producing a Handbook for the Investigation and Prosecution of Illegal Recruitment Cases and Illegal Recruitment Cases Connected to Trafficking in In Human Beings, improving inter-agency cooperation coordination and partnership at central and local levels.
In 2018, we will continue working on these issues along with some of the most important topics of migration like diaspora engagement, climate change-induced migration, migration data management, and Trafficking in Human Beings.
We will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of MIEUX with special events in all regions of the world and publish a series of publications that will showcase the expertise we have acquired over this period of time.
As migration practitioners, we look forward to seeing the outcome of the Global Compact on Migration negotiations, and at EU level, the roll-out of the new External Investment Plan among other initiatives to support partnerships between EU and partner countries.