IOM has addressed a Sudan National Assembly hearing on migration and refugees at the invitation of the Assembly's Committee on External Affairs and International Cooperation, in coordination with the Defence and Security, Justice and Legislation, and Human Rights Committees.
The invitation, from Chairman of the National Assembly Professor Ibrahim Mohamed Omer, was the first of its kind since IOM opened an office in the country in 2000. Sudan became an IOM Member State in 1998.
The hearing was attended by representatives of the Ministries of Justice, Interior and Foreign Affairs; the National Population Council; the Commission for Refugees; the Director General for IDPs and Returnees, representing the Humanitarian Aid Commission; and the Director of the Sudan Centre for Migration, Population and Development Studies, representing the Secretariat of Sudanese Working Abroad.
IOM Sudan's Acting Chief of Mission Tatjana Cerovina told participants: "Historically, migration has been overwhelmingly positive. Good migration governance requires that we respect and protect the rights and well-being of migrants irrespective of their status. It also requires that migrants respect national sovereignty, laws and customs. In other words, good migration governance and policy seeks a balance between national sovereignty and individual rights, between national security and human security."
Head of the External Affairs Committee Dr. Mohamed El-Mustafa Aldaw reiterated the importance of discussing migration management and not ending migration. He noted that migration has been a historical occurrence since the start of time.
At the end of the hearing, the External Affairs Committee recommended the need for a national migration strategy, in collaboration with the international community, to address the migration challenges facing Sudan today.
Sudan has ratified its own Law to Combat Trafficking in Persons and hosted the Conference of the African Union-Horn of Africa Initiative on Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants in October 2014. The conference and resulting initiatives culminated in the European Union (EU)-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative known as the Khartoum Process.
The Khartoum Process has established a continuous dialogue for enhanced cooperation on migration and mobility, while identifying and implementing concrete projects to address trafficking in human beings and the smuggling of migrants. It has thus given new impetus to regional collaboration between countries of origin, transit and destination on the route between the Horn of Africa and the European Union.