Established in 1951, IOM is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration and works closely
with governmental entities and intergovernmental and non-governmental partners; with 162 member states, 9states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all.
IOM has been operating in Sudan since 2000; contributing to the Government of Sudan’s (GoS) efforts to facilitate and manage migration effectively while upholding the human dignity and well-being of migrants including internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and asylum seekers. With over 150 staff members and 1,000 operational contractors in the field, (during 2015); IOM provides assistance/services through its country office in Khartoum and Sub-offices in the Darfur Region: Nyala, El-Fasher, El Geneina; and Southern Sudan in: South Kordofan, West
Kordofan and Abyei; as well as providing programming in East and Central Darfur, Blue Nile, Kassala, Red Sea, and Gedarif. As Sudan is a source, transit, and destination country for migration; IOM provides services that cover the spectrum of assistance for human mobility with a wide variety of projects and programmes delivered through three strategic areas/units.
IOM Sudan’s Strategic Objectives
1. To support the GoS in building technical capacity and policy to manage migration effectively and humanely and fulfill its responsibilities in assisting, protecting and upholding the rights of vulnerable mobile populations.
2. To facilitate efforts to end displacement and identify progressive resolution of displacement by providing immediate to longer-term support for populations affected.
3. To strengthen and establish orderly, safe, responsible migration management systems to benefit Sudan’s development.
Sudan Vision Interviewed IOM Sudan Chief of Mission Mr. Mario Lito Malanca Excerpts
Q: What is IOM’s Work in Sudan?
A: IOM has been operating in Sudan for over 15 years (since 2000); contributing to the Government of Sudan’s (GoS) efforts to facilitate and manage migration effectively while upholding the human dignity and well-being of migrants including internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and asylum seekers.
With over 150 staff members and 1,000 operational contractors in the field, (during 2015); IOM provides assistance/services through its country office in Khartoum and Sub-offices in the Darfur Region: Nyala, El-Fasher, Gineina; and Southern Sudan in: South Kordofan, West Kordofan and Abyei; as well as providing programming in East and Central Darfur, Blue Nile, Kassala, Red Sea, and Gedarif.
As Sudan is a source, transit, and destination country for migration; IOM provides services that cover the spectrum of assistance for human mobility with a wide variety of projects and programmes delivered through three strategic areas/units: The Preparedness and Emergency Response Unit, The Transition and Reintegration Unit, The Migration Management and Development Unit (please find attached the outline of units and activities in IOM Sudan Country Profile.)
IOM Sudan works with all types of migrants which it defines as:
Any person who is moving or has moved across an international border or within a State away from his/her habitual place of residence, regardless of:
I. The person’s legal status;
II. Whether the movement is voluntary or involuntary;
III. What the causes for the movement are; or
IV. What the length of the stay is.
2. What are IOM’s activities and achievements in the past 6 months?
3. What is the organization’s most noteworthy/ important work in Sudan?
(Please find attached IOM Sudan’s country profile for highlights of achievements by unit-Questions 2 and 3)
4. With regards to the refugees and displaced, what are the latest developments and what achievements have been done?
The Syrian and the ongoing South Sudan crises have seen some seeking refuge in Sudan. UNHCR is best placed to discuss refugee related developments.
5. What is new in the resettlement portfolio?
IOM’s Resettlement support aims to provide effective implementation of refugee resettlement and migrants’ voluntary return and reintegration assistance. Therefore, dignified services to:
? (non-Sudanese) refugees hosted in Sudan resettling in third countries
? migration health processing for travel abroad
? vulnerable migrants willing to voluntarily return to Sudan
? migrant assistance operations
There has been additional resources from countries that are willing to share the refugee responsibility of those coming (non-Sudanese refugees) from Sudan which has allowed for bigger numbers of non-Sudanese refugees to be assisted to resettle in Europe and North America.
IOM Sudan assisted over 19,500 non-Sudanese individuals to resettle in at least 14 different third countries under the respective government refugee quota and family reunification categories from 2005 to the end of July 2016 (Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, and US.) Of those, over 2,300 non-Sudanese individuals were resettled during the year of 2016 to date. IOM is gradually increasing its operational capacity to cope with the demand of the resettlement processing components.
Specifically, Canada has an active resettlement programme which aims to uptake 3,500 non-Sudanese refugees residing in Sudan in the course of 2016. Additionally, Germany and Italy have recently fulfilled their pledged share by resettling 180 and 48 non-Sudanese refugees respectively.
The Resettlement Coordination Committee – Commission for Refugees, IOM, UNHCR, Aliens’ Department in the Ministry of Interior, and NISS – meet once a month, and has proven to be effective in reviewing and addressing resettlement challenges from Sudan.
6. What has the organization done in response to combatting human trafficking and smuggling?
The IOM is supporting the work of the Government of Sudan to combat human trafficking by working in partnership with the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice, and other Government of Sudan entities through the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCT). Particularly, IOM is providing assistance to build the national capacity in order to enhance security and mitigate risks while strengthening protection responses for trafficking victims and other vulnerable migrants. IOM is also collaborating with the NCCT to raise awareness among migrants on the risks of irregular migration as a way of facilitating an informed decision-making process.
7. What is your view on the GoS’s efforts and response to the problem of human trafficking and smuggling?
In 2014, the GoS took significant steps in joining the global fight against human trafficking by acceding to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol). It enacted the first federal law to combat trafficking in Sudan (the Human Trafficking Act 2014) and established a National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCT). In the same year, it also hosted the first African Union regional conference on human trafficking and smuggling in the Horn of Africa and participated in the EU-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative (Khartoum Process) as a key member state in discussions on migration and mobility across the African and European continents. The GoS continues to work with international stakeholders to address human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
8. Is the GoS collaborating well with the international community to combat trafficking?
Further to the mentioned actions taken, the Government of Sudan endorsed the 2013-2014 IOM-UNHCR Joint Strategy to Address Human Trafficking, Kidnappings and Smuggling of Persons in Sudan followed by an extended inter-agency strategy for 2015-2017 including also UNFPA, UNICEF and UNDOC as its members. In line with its commitment, in May 2016, GoS hosted the 7th meeting of the IGAD Regional Consultative Process (RCP) aimed at enhancing dialogue and cooperation on migration management between Member States, countries of transit and destination and other stakeholders. The event was combined with the 4th Meeting of the Regional Migration Coordination Committee (RMCC), a platform for Member States to deliberate and share information on migration management in the region which has the permanent membership of the Heads of Immigration and Heads of Labour and ad hoc representation depending on the topic of discussion. Shortly after, the GoS also hosted the first Thematic Meeting on People Smuggling under the Khartoum Process, focused on the regional law enforcement and judicial response.
9. What is your reading on the GoS’s policies and laws to combat human trafficking?
The Government of Sudan has made significant progress in laying the foundations for tackling human trafficking and migrant smuggling. The NCCT is currently finalizing the formulation of the National Strategy to combat trafficking to be further completed with the adoption of an Action Plan in the coming months. Based on regional and international instruments, standards and best practices, the National Strategy and Action Plan are aimed at including clear objectives and delineation of the roles and responsibilities of all Committee members and other relevant partners, focusing on prevention, protection, prosecution and participation.
Furthermore, in line with the provisions of the IGAD Regional Migration Policy Framework and the Migration action Plan 2015 -2020 Sudan is currently putting an effort towards the establishment of the National Migration Coordination Mechanism, a government led inter-agency coordination platform in charge of discussing emerging migration issues and facilitating cooperation among relevant stakeholders with migration related functions.
10. The 2016 Report published by the United States on Human Trafficking, puts Sudan as the 4th in the list; how does this affect the GoS relationship with the EU and its efforts to combat human trafficking?
As mentioned above, the GoS has shown its commitment in the fight against trafficking in persons. The Khartoum process provides a comprehensive strategic and operational framework informing relationship with the EU focused on processes, initiatives, programmes and projects addressing human trafficking and migrant smuggling alike.