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Press releases - Central Africa - Burundi - Kenya - Rwanda - Tanzania - Uganda - Immigration
East Africa: UK and IOM Support East African Community in enhancing free movement of people between partner ptates
The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) is to sign an agreement with IOM today supporting the East African Community (EAC) in efforts to harmonize migration management in the region.

The agreement will contribute towards overall efforts to ensure free and safe movement of people between EAC partner states while tackling issues such as irregular migration, smuggling, human trafficking and labour migration.

Large refugee movements and internally displaced people, labour migration, irregular migration (including trafficking and human smuggling) and traditional temporary migration characterize East Africa’s migration flows. Many of the migrants originating from the EAC Partner States remain within the region, making the EAC Partner States countries of origin, transit and destination.

Studies have shown that countries in the region are also source and transit countries for both refugee and irregular migrant flows along the Mediterranean Route (from the region to Sudan, Egypt, Libya and onwards to Europe), and the southern route towards South Africa.

With the EAC and its partner states aiming to establish a common market for the free movement of people by 2010, several issues and hurdles need to be addressed such as national security, migrants’ and workers rights, refugee protection and human trafficking.

Funding of £507,000 (US$821,000) from DFID will allow IOM to support the EAC Secretariat and partner States - Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi - to strengthen their capacity to address these migration issues.

This will be through technical support to a new Migration Desk to be established at the EAC Secretariat, increasing migration expertise at EAC policy making level. It will also help ensure that migration is incorporated into the common market protocol and provide information to the Secretariat and partner states on emerging migration challenges and possible interventions.

In addition, a Regional Advisory Committee will be set up to enhance dialogue on migration with other regions and countries and a Migration Resource Centre established in Arusha at the EAC Secretariat. This will include a physical and online library for the collection and sharing of information on migration trends and practices.

The project will be implemented as a component of TradeMark East Africa, a multi-donor initiative managed by DFID to promote regional economic integration. It works with the EAC Secretariat, partner state governments, civil society organisations and businesses to promote greater regional integration and trade competitiveness in East Africa. The British High Commission will also be involved in overseeing the implementation of this project.

Source: International Office of Migration (IOM)


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