www.icmpd.org https://www.icmpd.org/ NEWS CENTRE en www.icmpd.org https://www.icmpd.org/typo3conf/ext/tt_news/ext_icon.gif https://www.icmpd.org/ 18 16 NEWS CENTRE TYPO3 - get.content.right http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Mon, 18 Jan 2021 19:20:06 +0100 Expert Voice Series: TAPPING INTO GLOBAL TALENT - Putting Talent Partnerships in motion https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/expert-voice-series-tapping-into-global-talent-putting-talent-partnerships-in-motion/ One of the innovative tools proposed by the EU’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum is the Talent...

By Oleg Chirita and Diana Stefanescu

Learning from the first generation of the MPF-funded pilot projects

In 2018, as a response to the EU Migration Agenda, the Mobility Partnership Facility (MPF) was mandated by DG HOME to support a series of pilot projects aiming to test modalities of cooperation in the area of legal migration between EU Member States and priority countries. To date, four pilot projects have been funded – coordinated by Belgium, France, Lithuania and Spain - focusing on North Africa and Nigeria.

As a tried and tested, flexible and scalable mechanism with a track record in fostering cooperation on migration, the MPF is well placed to further accompany the EU in designing and implementing the Talent Partnerships through knowledge, research, networks, coordination and its operational ‘powerhouse’ that finances partnerships on legal/labour migration.

The MPF-funded Pilot Projects’ experience and emerging practices suggest that the upcoming Talent Partnerships would need to consider the following critical aspects:

  • Enabling environments - many partner countries do not (yet) have the appropriate institutional and legal frameworks and infrastructure in place to implement and pilot fully-fledged mobility schemes with EU MS. Hence, dedicated opportunities for research, preparation and incubation of pilot partnerships should be offered that could help create an enabling environment for the implementation of sustainable legal pathways. 
  • Bridging the gaps between the public and private sectors by engaging with their mandates, needs, motivations, expectations and interests. Private sector engagement remains a key aspect that makes or breaks the success of a Pilot Project. More structural engagement and exchange with relevant bodies (such as chambers of commerce, employers’ associations and others), and investment into trust building, are needed in both national and international contexts. 
  • The matching of skills to the demands in both EU and partner country labour markets remain complex and challenging. Competencies often formally lie with public employment services which have insufficient capacities. A mixed approach, based on timely research on skills,  making the most of the breadth of available technological tools, should be encouraged to help systematise approaches.
  • A dedicated monitoring and evaluation framework for mobility initiatives with specific and measurable qualitative objectives and indicators is indispensable to foster learning, and demonstrate the impact and added value of the talent partnerships – looking beyond mere numbers of mobility beneficiaries as a measurement of success. 

Paving the ground for the Talent Partnerships

The Talent Partnerships represent a tremendous potential cooperation instrument between the EU and its key partner countries, yet their conceptualisation would need to be predicated on the following dimensions: 

1. Inclusive and multi-stakeholder partnerships with tailored-made mobility schemes

The only way to achieve meaningful outcomes and impact is to involve a wide range of institutions, actors and networks in partnerships. The Pact makes clear reference to several actors, yet the modalities to bring them into the process are still to be defined. The most suitable skills and mobility schemes, that take into consideration these actors’ potential, capacities and interests, are yet to be designed and eventually tested out. In this respect, skills mobility schemes with circular movements and additional practical elements of support (internships, vocational training, mentoring, business development, entrepreneurship, diaspora engagement, apprenticeship) can help leverage more positive effects in both countries of origin and destination. Nevertheless, simplicity of design is often key to ensuring that pilot initiatives can be scaled up, replicated and transformed into permanent legal pathways that can be sustained without public funding. 

2. Enabling ecosystems, robust and coherent multi-stakeholder governance 

The success of the Talent Partnerships will be contingent upon the institutional capacities, policy and legislative frameworks, administrative practices, institutional infrastructure, and overall migration governance structures in the key countries and EU Member States. The more advanced and well-structured the conducive environments and the cooperation frameworks are, the smoother the facilitation and implementation of talent partnerships could be.  

Suitable enabling ecosystems, which incorporate a wide spectrum of constituents, policy areas and dimensions, are essential to pave the ground for increased communication, collaboration, engagement and cooperation across the board or coherence between institutions, sectors and policies. They also facilitate relevant processes and stages (e.g. skills intelligence, matching, pre-departure, visa, mobility, integration, upskilling/reskilling, return and reintegration, etc.), build common understanding, as well as enable the management of expectations and interests. 

Coordination of all interventions in countries of origin, in EU Member States and in Brussels should be strengthened to ensure strategic engagement with partner countries across policy or project boundaries. Governance structures within projects or at local level should be used to ensure and make the most of multi-stakeholder dialogue and participation. Any enabling environment will need to benefit from tailor-made, peer-to-peer capacity development and technical assistance measures. 

3. Better local contextualisation and ownership in partner countries

The selected regions - the EU’s Neighbourhood, the Western Balkans, and Africa - have been long promoting legal pathways with the EU (including within the Mobility Partnerships framework), hence their engagement in the upcoming Talent Partnerships is expected to be unproblematic. Apart from understanding the opportunities and challenges of their institutional environments, it will be salient to further understand their development, labour market and migration priorities and other needs with due consideration to avoiding brain drain, investing in their human resources capital and strengthening their enabling systems (e.g. vocational education training, emigration procedures, etc.). 

In turn, this should build more confidence between partners, facilitate the implementation of partnerships and, very importantly, ensure full ownership of the partner countries throughout the entire lifetime of partnerships. Partner countries should be given a strong voice as far as their priorities, coordination and engagement modalities are concerned. Ownership is also key when it comes to ensuring flexibility and adaptability of partnerships, based on research, labour market developments, the dynamics in the private sector, and monitoring and evaluation. 

Therefore, the creation or consolidation of formal settings for the purpose of coordination with a wider range of entities in the area of labour migration should be favoured. Deliberate and strategic engagement has already proved to be effective in fostering the ownership of different stakeholders in broader consultative contexts (such as for Mobility Partnerships) in the recent past. Learnings from these processes can inform the set-up of new and more targeted platforms for engagement on skills and mobility. 

More information about the lessons learnt of the MPF actions could be found in this Policy Brief

Oleg Chirita is Head of the Global Initiatives Programme, ICMPD

Diana Stefanescu is Project Specialist - Labour Migration, Mobility Partnership Facility 

Mon, 18 Jan 2021 19:20:06 +0100
Project News: The impact of Covid-19 and associated mobility restrictions on Arab South Partner Countries: the case of the Middle East-Gulf States corridor https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-the-impact-of-covid-19-and-associated-mobility-restrictions-on-arab-south-partner-coun/ This study is issued by the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies on behalf of EUROMED Migration...

The outbreak of the first Covid-19 cases in the Gulf States in early February 2020, and subsequent economic downturn shed a new light on the MENA region’s dependency on, and vulnerability to migration to the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

This publication outlines and analyses the main consequences of mobility and travel control for migrants and migrant-sending countries of the region. Focusing on Middle Eastern SPCs (Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon) mobility corridor with the GCC as an example, the paper will discuss prominent mobility issues revealed by and arising from the crisis, from the migrants’ and origin countries’ perspectives. The paper then articulates a set of recommendations for national policymakers and the international community. 


Fri, 15 Jan 2021 09:04:33 +0100
Project News: Countering cross-border organised crime, EU4SAFEALB steering committee meeting https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-countering-cross-border-organised-crime-eu4safealb-steering-committee-meeting/ In the framework of the EU funded project EU Support for the Effective Management of Green and...

The project was launched in February 2020, however it was temporarily suspended due to the COVID -19 pandemic and resumed in June 2020, when the situation improved and allowed for project continuation. 

The Project Steering Committee meeting aimed to look into the progress in the project implementation and endorse the next steps, in particular the supply of equipment and training delivery. It was co-chaired by the EU Delegation to Albania and ICMPD and attended by the beneficiary, Albanian Border and Migration Police, relevant international organisations (Frontex, IOM, OSCE, PAMECA) and bilateral donors that are providing support to Albania in the area of border management and countering organised crime. 

In the next project implementation phase, the Border and Migration Police will be equipped with the patrol vessels of different sizes, two mobile surveillance systems, a coastal radar surveillance system and a mobile maintenance workshop. In addition, the project will assist the Border and Migration Police in its capacity building through trainings on patrol vessels operations and equipment maintenance, including logistics related matters. 

The Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Interior of Albania, Mr Julian Hodaj informed about the full support to the project and said: “I am certain that this project supported by EU, will boost border police capacities by building safer borders, and a safer country in a safer region. It is never enough to stress the excellent cooperation between the EU and Albania and in particular, the Albanian government appreciates the support to these types of projects that help addressing important needs of the Albanian Border and Migration Police. It is worth also mentioning other important initiatives such as the joint operation with Frontex, which is being successfully carried out, the first of this kind in the region, with a non-member state country and also PAMECA which provides important technical assistance for many years. I believe the results of these actions are tangible in building capacities of the Albanian State Police and in preventing illegal migration.” 

Mr Mario Mariani, the Head of Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union to Albania said: “EU4SAFEALB will give an important boost to the capacity of the Albanian Border and Migration Police to fight effectively organised cross-border crime and drug trafficking. With a contribution of EUR 6 million, this is the latest in the long line of EU-funded support to law enforcement in Albania. In the last five years, support amounted to more than EUR 20 million. These initiatives share one goal: increasing the capacities of the Albanian law enforcement, promoting EU-Albania partnership in the fight against crime and in so doing, paving the way towards the EU accession of Albania.“

Mr Borut Eržen, the Head of ICMPD Border Management and Security Programme praised the level of cooperation with the project beneficiaries and the donor and highlighted the importance of the project for ICMPD: “ICMPD prioritised the project as one of the flagship activities in the Western Balkan which also shows long lasting cooperation between Albania and ICMPD. Thus, ICMPD pays outmost importance to the project implementation in line with the good practices from EU Member States in the area of border management and countering organised crime.”

The project is building on the assistance already provided to the Albanian Border and Migration Police in recent years and will address the immediate needs by enhancing the overall national capacity to counter cross-border crime including drugs trafficking  at the Albanian borders. 

Background information: 

The EU funded project “EU Support for the Effective Management of Green and Blue Borders in Albania (EU4SAFEALB)” with EUR 6.000.000 budget and with duration of 24 months, supports the provision of the modern technical means to the Border and Migration Police to enhance the Albanian national capacity to counter organised cross-border crime and drug trafficking.  

More information on the project can be found here.

Wed, 13 Jan 2021 12:09:59 +0100
Project News: Expansion of ENHANCER Project https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-expansion-of-enhancer-project/ ENHANCER Project Expanded to Include Employment Activities- Final contracts under FRIT II funds...

During the contracting ceremony, Pınar Yapanoğlu has also took the stage and introduced details of project's new component. A new component which amounts to EUR 6,13 million will be added to the ENHANCER  project, implemented by ICMPD, in order support the creation of new employment opportunities of the Syrians under Temporary Protection and local host communities. This will be achieved through better services and support to the economic sector and actors in prioritised areas. When the project ends, it is expected that the local priorities and mechanism to foster job creation for the Syrians and host communities are developed according to the local needs. SMEs and cooperatives will be in a position to provide new employment opportunities and improve their service capacity. These activities will be carried out in  Istanbul, Izmir, Bursa, Konya, Kayseri and Mersin provinces among the 11 provinces determined in the ENHANCER Project. With the inclusion of the new component budgeted at 6.2 Million Euros, the ENHANCER Project will be carried out with a total budget of 32.5 Million Euros.

For detailed information click here

Migathon announcement 

ENHANCER Project kicking off “Migathon” an online migration an entrepreneurship hackathon with the focus of technology start-ups for the prospective Turkish and Syrian entrepreneurship in 11 provinces. Detailed information can be found in the “Migathon EN” attachment. Our website: http://www.enhancerprojesi.com/basvuru.html (available in Turkish)

You can find the migathon detailed program here 

Mon, 04 Jan 2021 09:21:59 +0100
In Focus: ICMPD Director General Michael Spindelegger begins his 2nd term https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/in-focus-icmpd-director-general-michael-spindelegger-begins-his-2nd-term/ Under the guidance of ICMPD Director General Michael Spindelegger, the organisation saw a...

In January 2016, Michael Spindelegger was elected ICMPD Director General for the first time and served his first term from 2016-2020. Following re-appointment by the ICMPD Steering Group, he takes on his second term, starting 1 January, 2021. 

When Michael Spindelegger first took office, the organisation counted 15 Member States. In 2018, first Malta joined ICMPD, and then Turkey, followed by Germany, who joined the organisation most recently in 2020. The membership of these countries is proof of the far-reaching impact that ICMPD has been able to demonstrate in recent years. 

This impact is also reflected by the number of new regional offices that have been opened across Europe, Asia, the Mediterranean Region, the Silk Routes countries and the Middle East since 2016, growing from 19 duty stations to 30 worldwide. Numerous country cooperation agreements, alongside a lean organisation structure, ensure that ICMPD staff can carry out their duties in the field stations in the most efficient way. The growth is reflected by the number of ICMPD staff members, which rose from under two hundred people in 2016 to close to four hundred in 2020 – doubling capacity.

Finally, ICMPD’s impact under the leadership of Michael Spindelegger can be assessed by its financial figures. More than 60 projects carried out worldwide operated on an overall annual budget of 60 M. euros in 2020. In 2016, the organisation was operating with approximately 20 M. euros. The annual budget has tripled within just four years.

ICMPD Director of Policy, Research and Strategy, Lukas Gehrke, has been reappointed as Deputy Director General.

Tue, 22 Dec 2020 13:00:42 +0100
Project News: MIEUX releases publication to look back on ten years of successful capacity building activities https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-mieux-releases-publication-to-look-back-on-ten-years-of-successful-capacity-building-a/ The joint EU-ICMPD Migration EU eXpertise Initiative has released a new publication ‘Building... The MIEUX+ team launched its 10-year publication ‘Building Bridges – Capacity Building on Migration and the MIgration EU eXpertise – 2009 – 2019’ during an online event organised on Tuesday 15 December.  Over 150 participants joined the event, including academics, civil society organisations, government delegates, and migration and development practitioners.

The event, moderated by Oleg Chirita, Head of Programme, Global Initiatives, featured Francesco Luciani, Head of Unit B3 Migration, Employment (DEVCO – European Commission) and Ralph Genetzke, Director, ICMPD Brussels Mission. Two delegates from partner countries that received support from MIEUX provided concrete examples about how the initiative helped them to build capacity in various areas of migration.

Dr Carmem Barros Furtado, President of the High Authority for Migration, Cabo Verde, explained MIEUX’s support when developing Municipal Action Plans for Immigration and Integration in 2017. In addition, Alejandro Austria de la Vega, Director of Relations with the Foreign Service at the Mexican National Institute of Migration, shared his experience of working with MIEUX on an Action where certified trainers from the European Asylum Support Agency (EASO) shared the content of their training curriculum on case assessment of international protection with INM officials.

Several members of the MIEUX team presented the key features and success factors of the initiative, as well as the way forward with the phase newly inaugurated called MIEUX+.

The publication Building Bridges – what is it about?

Building Bridges” commemorates the first decade of implementation by summarising the achievements and impact of the initiative and its role in building bridges between public officials, practitioners and institutions in Europe and partner countries.

The publication provides readers with a comprehensive analysis of the features and impact of the MIEUX Initiative, including a review of its practices, which have been developed, piloted, adjusted and calibrated to the priorities and interests of all the stakeholders involved during its first decade of operations (2009 – 2019). It is available in English, French and Spanish.

MIEUX 2009 - 2019

Operating since 2009 across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean or the EU Neighbourhood, and with a wide variety of actors, MIEUX (named MIEUX+ since April 2020) has allowed States to benefit from European expertise in all areas of migration, thus enhancing migration governance at various levels.

MIEUX has contributed to building bridges between the EU and partner countries by enhancing the understanding of migration and narratives; brought together various stakeholders to set national and regional migration goals; supported the establishment of institutional cooperation frameworks; equipped partners with tailor-made practices, solutions and policies; and, in general, initiated and developed new opportunities for cooperation.

By delving into MIEUX’s portfolio of 100+ interventions and presenting the highlights to the readers, the publication offers a glimpse of the broad range of tools, methodologies and approaches that can inspire public officials as well as migration and development practitioners in general to advance towards a cooperative and sustainable international architecture of migration.

MIEUX+: phase newly inaugurated in April 2020

Launched in April 2020, MIEUX+ focuses on delivering targeted support based on partner countries’ needs while building and fostering innovative partnerships with migration and development practitioners. MIEUX+ activities may also support  COVID-19 recovery efforts led by partner countries.

As stated by Alfred Woeger, Senior Project Manager, MIEUX+: "It is great to see many of our partners, experts and other stakeholders celebrating the first decade of implementation of MIEUX+. The strength of this initiative lies in its community of partners and experts dedicated and committed to contribute to a safe, orderly and regular migration. We look forward to continuing our work in the years to come!”

You can download the publication by accessing this web article.

For more information about MIEUX, visit the website

Thu, 17 Dec 2020 11:45:42 +0100
Project News: Lebanon and the EU seal the year-end with the successful results of a unique project https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-lebanon-and-the-eu-seal-the-year-end-with-the-successful-results-of-a-unique-project/ The project is the first-ever aviation security action funded by the EU in Lebanon. The funding...

"The new system will allow the airport's staff to inspect travellers’ luggage in a faster and securer way, and check passports more quickly, in order to enable a smooth flow of passengers", were the words of Ex-Interior Minister Raya el Hassan in May 2019, during an official press conference, about an EU project which ended  in November 2020. “It is the Lebanese citizens and visitors to this beautiful country who will benefit most from the new measures”, added Martijn Pluim, Director of Migration Dialogues and Cooperation at the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) which was entrusted with the implementation of the unique EU funded project “Reinforcing Aviation Security at Rafic Hariri International Airport”  – also known as AVSEC Lebanon.

Noticeably more security

Aviation security is a shared priority by the Lebanese government and the EU, not the least to prevent terrorist attacks and curb criminal activities such as smuggling and human trafficking. Those aims become more important for Beirut’s airport, especially that the airport has become a major hub with a steady increased volume of passengers and goods since 2008

Thus, so for the last two years the EU and  ICMPD  have been working closely with all security agencies at the airport such as the Airport Security Apparatus, to ensure that Lebanese and all other passengers using the airport remain safe when taking off or arriving in Beirut.

The actions financed by the project were designed to deliberately complement parallel investments in security technology taken by the state. The project’s contributions included the installation of internationally standardised technology – hand luggage scanners, walk-through detectors and explosives trace detectors (ETDs) - in the Airport Security Training Centre (CERSA). This, in combination with completely new, web-based training software also procured by the project, has not only significantly enhanced training capabilities but has also ensured that learning can continue regardless of the physical presence of students. Because of this and despite the unforeseen challenges caused by  COVID-19, all personnel have been able to access uninterrupted and improved training that is so essential to their work.

Brigadier General Georges Doumit, Commander of Airport Security Apparatus, is delighted with how the project has gone: “The project is excellent as it has contributed in closing gaps that were not noticed in the tender for the modernisation of the airport. Developing and modernising of training methods at CERSA, which contributed to increasing the level of performance of the aviation security staff and enhancing their capabilities to detect and deal with any suspicious object, was one of the main improvements”.

Besides enhancing infrastructure and inter-agency cooperation, the project has promoted also exchange with experts abroad on subjects such as emergency planning and criminal police intelligence. This enabled staff working at the airport to benefit from best practices. “The strong involvement of EU Member States strengthens the ties between Lebanon and the EU in the area of aviation security, paves the way to a better and direct cooperation and leads to an increased network in both directions”, comments Colonel Georges NADER, Director of CERSA, on the cooperation of experts.

Leading-edge technology and a good nose for detection

Airport security has not only improved in terms of technology and organisation. As part of the project, twelve, four-legged colleagues have joined the security team. The dogs are an efficient addition to the new security and checkpoint technology. They specialise in sniffing out all kinds of explosives. The dogs are particularly effective at finding carefully hidden items like for example an explosive charge in the sole of a shoe or built into an electronic device.   “The sniffer dogs are enhancing the security capabilities at the airport also in terms of inspection of luggage and cargo which are difficult to inspect by X-Ray machines due to their big size. In short, they have added benefit by providing support for the inspection staff in order to avoid any human error”, states Brigadier General Georges Doumit.

As incredible as it sounds, two of the dogs at the airport have already been trained to identify passengers infected with COVID-19, even before symptoms occur. How does it work? Well, one indicator for a positive case lies in human odours – specifically, sweat. This additional training has proven significantly successful.

Despite the obstacles and challenges faced in Beirut, some of which still need to be overcome, Rafic Hariri International Airport is now much better equipped to handle emergency situations and threat scenarios, thanks to the support from the EU. In addition, the EU and ICPMD plan to continue supporting airport security – in particular in the areas of emergency planning and crises management -  in  Lebanon through the EU IBM Lebanon Phase III project which has been entrusted again to ICMPD.

Watch the video summarising the project achievements here.

Tue, 15 Dec 2020 13:38:31 +0100
Project News: ICMPD mission to Tripoli to meet with Libyan counterparts https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-icmpd-mission-to-tripoli-to-meet-with-libyan-counterparts/ In December 2020, ICMPD within the framework of the “Strategic and institutional management of...

Upon arrival to Tripoli, the ICMPD Libya team met with Dr Abdunnasser Segayer, Chair of the National Team for Border Security and Management (NTBSM), to review the status of the common work on the White Paper on Border Security and Management Reform, a Contingency Planning Model for Border Management in Libya, and the Migration Governance Curriculum. The partners complimented the continuous excellent cooperation.

A series of other meetings followed. At the Ministry of Labour, ICMPD’s technical assistance to issues like the development of a national migration strategy and policy, migration governance at the local level, and labour migration policies, was discussed with Mr Hassan Salem Almeselati, Advisor to the Minister; Mr Abdulaziz Ali Joha, Director of International Cooperation; and Mr Mohamed Barota, Director of the Employment Department.  

At the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meetings were held with Ambassador Dhan, Director of the European Affairs Department; Ambassador Eddeb, Director of the International Cooperation Department; and Ambassador Elqofah, Acting Director of the International Organisations Department. The Ministry expressed its interest to further the implementation of the Cooperation Agreement between Libya and ICMPD, signed in 2019, and to benefit from ICMPD’s expertise for the set-up of a migration governance system and a national strategy on migration. 

The overall inter-institutional coordination framework and ICMPD’s contribution to improve it were at the centre of discussions with Dr Thuraiya Elwerfalli, Director of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Department at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Finally, the mission team met with Mr Mohamed Al-Shaibani, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior that works on migration, to discuss which migration governance institutional and legislative reform processes ICMPD could potentially support.

Furthermore, the ICMPD mission was also welcomed by EU partners, including Mr Peter-Bastian Halberg, Acting Head of Mission of the EU Border Assistance Mission to Libya (EUBAM), Mr Luis Puig Saenz, Head of EUBAM Border Management and Migration Unit, as well as Ms Elke Leidel, Head of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations. 

ICMPD Project Coordinator, Marcello Giordani, highlighted that “ICMPD is fully committed to supporting the Libyan institutions and our expertise and capacities on addressing migration challenges are at Libya’s disposal. ICMPD looks forward to continuing the important work with its Libyan and EU counterparts.”

This mission was organised within the framework of the EU-funded “Strategic and Institutional Management of Migration in Libya” project, which is implemented by ICMPD in collaboration with the NTBSM. Its aim is to support the efforts to improve the management of migration flows and the conditions of migrants in Libya.

More information on the project can be found here

Mon, 14 Dec 2020 16:26:39 +0100
Project News: FReM III organises a Remote Thematic Workshop on Children https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-frem-iii-organises-a-remote-thematic-workshop-on-children/ On 3 December 2020, representatives from forced-return monitoring bodies and return enforcing...

The half-day workshop was structured into three main sessions. Session 1 on the rights of the child and best interests of the child featured a presentation on the relevant legal framework by FRA, followed by a presentation from the Norwegian National Police Immigration Service on operationalising the best interests of the child during forced-return operations. They presented Safe, Secure and Responsible. Police Guidelines for Asylum Cases Involving Children, which they published in 2018 within a project aimed at defining police practices that protect children’s rights. 

Session 2 dealt with the preparation for a forced-return operation and the safeguards to consider when preparing to monitor a return operation. The PICUM Director presented the relevant recommendations from the Guidance to respect children’s rights in return policies and practices. Focus on the EU legal framework that PICUM published jointly with other non-governmental and international organisations in 2019. The presentation was followed by a discussion round among participants. 

During the last session 3 participants discussed the actual monitoring of forced-return operations where children are present and what specific children’s rights could be affected in each phase. In this session, the representative of the Frontex Fundamental Rights Office summarised the main observations since 2017 related to forced-return operations where children are present. The workshop results will feed into the further development of an e-learning platform and reporting application that is currently being developed within FReM III for the Frontex pool of forced-return monitors.

The FReM III project contributes to a functioning EU Return System in line with the EU Return Directive (2008/115/EC) with two specific objectives, namely to further establish the pool of forced-return monitors in line with the European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG) Regulation, and to further strengthen the national forced-return monitoring systems in Member States. According to Article 51(2) of the EBCG Regulation 2019/1896, [f]orced-return monitors with specific expertise in child protection shall be included in the pool. FReM III is implemented by ICMPD in cooperation with 22 partner countries, Frontex and FRA. The project is co-funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) of the European Union.

Download the workshop agenda here

For further information please visit the FReM webpage.

Mon, 14 Dec 2020 13:43:57 +0100
Press Release: AU and ICMPD deepen and extend cooperation on migration https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/press-release-au-and-icmpd-deepen-and-extend-cooperation-on-migration/ The African Union Commission on Thursday, signed a MoU with the International Centre for Migration...

Speaking during the virtual signing ceremony of the MoU, Commissioner ElFadil said the MoU would stand for enhanced engagement between Africa and Europe under Africa’s Migration Policy Framework and also under the Continent-to-Continent Migration and Mobility Dialogue of the two continents.

”I am delighted to note with appreciation that this MoU captures and allows us to engage in most of the elements covered by our Migration Policy Framework for Africa and also elements under the Continent-to-Continent Migration and Mobility Dialogue between Africa and Europe”, she said.

She said the existing cooperation between the AU Commission and the ICMPD would contribute to orderly, safe, and regular migration and mobility between the two continents. 

Speaking on behalf of ICMPD, Mr Spindelegger said that the areas of cooperation envisioned by the MoU are in line with the Migration Policy Framework for Africa, encompassing migration governance, free movement, labour migration and mobility, remittances and diaspora engagement, migration and trade, border governance, irregular migration and information-sharing, amongst other areas.

He said that ICMPD was particularly convinced of the benefits of the AU Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons in Africa, and that its ratification and implementation would advance social development and economic prosperity on the African continent. ICMPD will endeavour to support the AUC in this crucial effort.

“With this agreement, we are honoured by the trust and confidence that the AU expresses towards ICMPD’s engagement in Africa. We are convinced this Memorandum of Understanding will pave the way to an even more fruitful partnership between ICMPD and the African Union’’, Mr Spindelegger added.

This milestone achievement is testimony to the continued cooperation between ICMPD and the AU, manifested by successful collaboration in migration dialogues, complemented by regional projects and joint activities responding to challenges of migration governance while leveraging opportunities.

The Memorandum of Understanding is the result of continuous engagement, informed by the priorities and objectives of the African Union in an effort to improve political stability, enhance safety and security, advance social development and economic prosperity. Migration governance, particularly in the areas of the free movement of people, labour migration and mobility, trade, and remittances, amongst others is central to this effort. The envisioned scope of cooperation echoes the Union’s strategic priorities, as anchored in the Agenda 2063 and in the Migration Policy Framework for Africa, while leveraging opportunities of mutual benefit for countries of origin and of destination. It will therefore serve as a catalyst for joint effort, bolstering cooperation at the continental level to complement bilateral and regional efforts, including between the African and European continents, as formalised recently in the framework of the AU-EU Continent-to-Continent Dialogue on Migration and Mobility (C2CMMD).


The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) is an international organisation with 18 Member States and about 350 staff members. Active in more than 90 countries worldwide, it takes a regional approach in its work to create efficient cooperation and partnerships along migration routes. Priority regions include Africa, Central and South Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Its three-pillar approach to migration management - structurally linking research, migration dialogues and capacity building – contributes to better migration policy development worldwide. The Vienna-based organisation has a mission in Brussels, a regional office in Malta and project offices in several countries. ICMPD receives funding from its Member States, the European Commission, the UN and other multilateral institutions, as well as bilateral donors. Founded in 1993, ICMPD holds UN observer status and cooperates with more than 200 partners including EU institutions and UN agencies.


Bernhard Schragl

Communication and Media Coordinator, Spokesman

Tel: +43 1 504 4677 2444

Fax: +43 1 504 4677 2375 



Fri, 11 Dec 2020 12:10:02 +0100