Joint Press Release: Launch of the Regional Forum for Sharing Experiences and Best Practices in Addressing Irregular Migration and Protection of Unaccompanied and Separated Children
Red Sea - The National Coordinating Committee for Combating and Preventing Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons (NCCPIM&TIP) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Egypt and Algeria launched today the "Regional Forum for Sharing Experiences and Best Practices in Addressing Irregular Migration and Providing Assistance to Smuggled Migrants Especially Unaccompanied and Separated Children” during the period from 28-30 August 2023. This forum is generously funded by the U.S. Department of State's Office of Population, Refugees, and Migration through the ARMP Sub Regional Desk in Cairo.
The conference aims to create a platform for the exchange of experiences and best practices in combating the smuggling of migrants, providing protection for migrants with psychosocial support, and discussing the root causes of migration, especially the migration of unaccompanied children.
The conference is attended by representatives of West, Central, East and North African countries, as well as European and Middle Eastern countries along key migration corridors. There are also representatives from UNICEF, UNHCR, and UNODC as well as representatives from Civil Society Organizations such as Save the Children and the Egyptian Red Crescent.
Ambassador Naela Gabr, Chairperson of the National Coordinating Committee for Combating and Preventing Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons, expressed her pride in Egypt hosting this forum, saying: "Egypt has always supported the efforts of the international community to promote human rights within the framework of its approach to combating smuggling of migrants, especially the smuggling of children, which is increasing day by day in the whole world, and requires providing them with protection as they are among the most vulnerable groups stipulated in international conventions.”
She added that Egypt has established the National Coordinating Committee for Combating and Preventing Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons and issued Law 82 of 2016 as the first related law in the region that sets penalties on smugglers. Egypt has also developed a national strategy that includes an action plan and that resulted with the absence of any irregular migration boat from the Egyptian coast since September 2016. Egypt considers regional cooperation as a successful approach to combating and curbing this issue.
In addition, IOM Chief of Mission in Egypt, Mr. Carlos Oliver Cruz said: "In recent years, the world has witnessed a rise in complex and mixed migration flows, motivated by the need to flee conflict, natural disasters, violence, lack of economic opportunities, or deteriorating environmental conditions, to name a few.”
He also added "This conference will provide national coordinating bodies with a platform to address the root causes of migration and respond to the growing number of migrants departing towards Europe, especially unaccompanied children, while working closely with African countries with the participation of receiving countries.”
Mr. Paolo Caputo, IOM Chief of Mission in Algeria, said: "This forum offers a unique opportunity to unite and shape a brighter future for migrant children. As we dive into discussions about their urgent needs, risks and challenges, we stand together to confront obstacles and forge a lasting solution. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the important actions and good practices which Algeria and other countries are already implementing. Even though we have a long journey ahead, remember that together, the impossible becomes possible."
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