IOM Holds Regional Consultation for Enhanced Rights-Based Search and Rescue (SAR) Operations

Cairo - IOM Egypt, together with IOM Regional office for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), are organizing the fourth Regional Consultation for Enhanced Rights-Based Search and Rescue (SAR) Operations from 31 October till 02 November 2023 in Tunis.

Building on the success of the previous editions of the Regional Search and Rescue Workshops, the event gathered key stakeholders and country representatives  from Algeria, Bangladesh, Chad, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Italy, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Lebanon, Mauritania, Portugal, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.

The consultation seeks to enhance communication and cooperation among participating countries, leading to better exchanges in terms of practices and information on Search and Rescue operations with an overall aim of protecting vulnerable migrants.

It also targets improving participants’ capacities by exploring new technologies and techniques in SAR operations and building towards more cooperation between all responding countries.

The event, organized under the Africa Regional Migration Program (ARMP) funded by U.S. Department of State:  Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, saw a special participation from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and African Capacity Building Centre (ACBC).

Discussions focused on the national training curricula relevant to Search and Rescue under the third pillar of the ARMP which aims to enhance technical expertise of governments to improve their capacities and capabilities, to be better prepared for, and respond to migration flows as a result of emergencies, internal conflicts and crises which require Search and Rescue activities.

Participants expressed a great interest in coordination mechanisms and training programs addressing issues that need improvement.