Addis Ababa, 27 - 28 November 2018- The African Union organised a joint African Union- European Union Technical Workshop on Sustainable Reintegration in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with the support of the International Organization for Migration. Held in the context of the AU-EU-UN Taskforce on the Situation of Migrants Libya, the workshop exchanged good practices, identified challenges and lessons learned, and looked at what more can be done to achieve sustainable reintegration of migrants returning from various regions.
“Our focus must be on ensuring that returnees are sustainably reintegrated into their communities with both community-based approaches and sensitivity to individual specificities and needs. We should also recognize that reintegration requires structured cooperation among us all, so that we accordingly respect the dignity of refugees and migrants and protect their human rights, while are cognizant of the sovereignty of the countries involved”, noted H.E. Mrs. Amira Elfadil, the Commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union Commission.
The European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, commented: “The EU’s migration agenda is comprehensive, balanced and broad, covering the many complex and intertwined aspects of migration. Accordingly, European Union welcome initiatives such as this workshop, and we thank the African Union for organising it. Through the EU Trust Fund for Africa, the EU has invested €360 million in this crucial area of protection, return and reintegration of migrants in Africa.
“While individual assistance already is a part of the reintegration landscape, this event is an opportunity to develop a technical dialogue and exchange about the more novel elements of practice at community and structural levels, ensuring a more comprehensive, integrated approach to sustainable reintegration,” Renate Held, IOM Department of Migration Management Director, highlighted.
Recent years have seen a rise in large-scale irregular migratory flows, including higher numbers of migrants returning to their countries of origin. Sustainable reintegration is a key aspect of the migration process. If it is to succeed, it must be comprehensive, joined-up and needs-based. In this context the workshop brought together participants from AU and EU Member States, the UN, civil society and returnees to discuss the economic, social and psychosocial dimensions of reintegration, as well as the different levels of intervention – individual, community and structural – needed for the sustainable reintegration of migrants.
The workshop’s outcomes will feed into the African Union’s future Return, Readmission and Reintegration Guidelines for Africa and the forthcoming IOM Reintegration Handbook, supported by the UK’s international development ministry.
For further information:
Mr Sabelo Mbokazi
Head: Labour, Employment and Migration
Department of Social Affairs | E-mail: Mbokazis@africa-union I Website: www.au.ac I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia
Mr Thomas HUYGHEBAERT
Counsellor & Team Leader: Peace, Security and Governance
Delegation of the European Union to the African Union| E-mail: Thomas.HUYGHEBAERT@eeas IAddis Ababa| Ethiopia