By Maimuna Sey-Jawo
As part of activities sensitising the public on risks and alternatives to irregular migration, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), recently completed a two-day training for government protection field workers on the IOM’s protection tools and procedures, especially for returnees.
The three year project, being funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, at a total of 3.9 million Euro, is part of a regional initiative for 14 countries in the Sahel and the Lake Chad region including Libya.
Therefore, the two-day training, held at a local hotel in Senegambia, aims to strengthen field actors’ knowledge and help create better understanding of the IOM institutional tools and standard procedures to enhance the establishment of referral mechanisms on social protection for vulnerable migrants.
According to the IOM data, 89 percent of returnees are male and between 19-35 years. Only 3 percent of the total returnees have been identified and assisted as ‘vulnerable,’ including unaccompanied and separated children’s, victims of trafficking and single-headed households.
Fumiko Nagano, Chief of Mission – IOM Gambia, recalled that in 2017, IOM carried out another training to reinforce protection stakeholders’ capacity to provide direct assistance to vulnerable migrants and to ensure the safeguards of their right in the framework of the project.
According to him, the training will provide participants with and enhanced understanding of IOM procedures and tools on protection to fast-track and provide quality and tailored assistance as well as strengthening the coordination among actors involved in the post arrival assistance.
He explained the IOM, in close partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, aims at building the capacity of governmental protection actors on IOM procedures and how to best incorporate them in the DSW work.
Carlotta Panchetti of the IOM, in his presentation, noted lack of education, unemployment, discrimination, gender-based domestic violence among other related things as issues leading to migration.
Other presenters at the event were Tida Joof, Pierre Jatta, Muhammed Touray and Dawda Njie both from IOM. They presented on different topics in relation to migration.
At the end of the training, participants were awarded certificates in appreciation of their ‘excellent participation’ in the two-day training.