IOM’s New Strategy for Arab Gulf Countries to Protect Rights of Migrants

Carmela Godot, Regional Director of the International Organisation for Migration for the Middle East and North Africa, said that the strategy launched by her organisation on migration in the Gulf states comes to strengthen the organisation’s growing efforts in the Gulf countries to ensure that migration is safe and orderly.

Three days ago, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) launched a 4-year strategy for the Gulf states (2021-2024) with the aim of guiding its work with governments and stakeholders in the region towards strengthening migration governance.

The strategy, which is the organisation’s first for the Gulf region, identifies 9 objectives based on 3 strategic pillars: governance, mobility, and resilience.

Through these pillars, the organisation seeks to support the Gulf countries in managing migration priorities and reforming their governance, ensuring safe and dignified transit routes for migrants, dealing with human trafficking, and predicting migration drivers for safer, more regular and more organised migration movements.

The strategy highlights IOM’s vision of continued collaboration with Gulf governments and stakeholders on key migration priorities. The strategy is also in line with national development agendas and visions and the Gulf countries’ commitment to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (the Global Compact on Migration) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, while responding to the context and specificities of each country.

Through the strategy, the organisation emphasises its ability to work with Gulf governments and stakeholders in new areas and encourages consultation mechanisms between Gulf countries and countries of origin and transit in Asia and Africa.

The strategy adopts interlocking priorities focusing on youth, gender, disability inclusion, research and evidence-based programs and policies, building partnerships and alliances with governments, the private sector, UN agencies, civil society, migrant organisations, academia, media and other important stakeholders.

It is noteworthy that in 2020, more than 30 million international migrants were living in the Gulf countries, according to United Nations data.

We stress the need to make this strategy a national plan for the Arab Gulf states, to mitigate the violations of the rights of migrants passing through their lands.

A close follow-up must be kept by other organisations concerned with the rights of migrants to ensure the implementation of these plans, which will leave an effective impact on the policy of the Gulf countries.

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