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Project News: MICIC capacity building activities move forward
Complementing the MICIC Initiative, which is co-hosted by the Governments of the United States and the Philippines and which resulted in a set of Guidelines to protect migrants, the EU-ICMPD MICIC capacity building programme is taking action across several fronts, strengthening the responses to crises of key stakeholders and addressing the needs of the most vulnerable.
Last week in Abidjan, ICMPD hosted a capacity building seminar on crisis preparedness and consular contingency planning for consular staff from eight West African countries. This interactive training forms part of a global series of similar seminars being conducted in Lebanon, Thailand, South Africa, Mexico and Ukraine, in cooperation with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO).
Building on the participants’ experiences during previous crises and on the expertise of the Philippines and local actors such as the Red Cross, participants were walked through the practical steps of developing consular contingency plans and of stepping up their responses to protect their fellow nationals in times of crises.
Three months after each seminar, follow-up trainings are organised to apply the knowledge gained. These trainings include a session on multi-stakeholder coordination in crisis contexts as well as role playing activities and simulations to test communication strategies and evacuation plans.
Consular staff is only one of the target groups of the capacity building activities implemented in the framework of the EU-ICMPD MICIC project. ICMPD is also working on measures to support inclusive and open structures for dialogue, information-sharing and cooperation between government authorities, international organisations and civil society. The “Partners in Preparedness” initiative is currently taking shape and focuses, in its first phase, on the ECOWAS region.
Moreover, as children are often among the most vulnerable groups of migrants when a crisis hits, ICMPD is in the process of developing mechanisms to strengthen the capacities of government officials and other stakeholders safeguarding the rights, interests and well-being of minors.
Last but not least, the project has launched a series of infographics to illustrate the needs and vulnerabilities of migrants in emergencies and, through their dissemination, improve the response capacities of key actors. This feeds directly into the recommendations of the MICIC Guidelines.