Silk Routes III: Improving Migration Management in the Silk Routes


Like few other regions in the world, the Silk Routes region is characterised by mobility. This ICMPD project aims to help maximising its development potential of migration and mobility.

The countries of the Silk Routes region are all affected by large migration flows and several of them are dealing with protracted refugee situations. Some countries are sending migrants, some are receiving countries, and others experience immigration, emigration and transit simultaneously. Maximising the development potential of migration and mobility within the Silk Routes region and towards major labour receiving countries remains a top priority.  

Thus, 2017 marked the beginning of a major programme for the Silk Routes Region following the completion of the Silk Routes Partnership project under the Budapest Process. Funded by the European Union, it takes forward many of the initiatives launched under the previous project between 2014 and 2017. It aims to reach its potential with full respect of human rights and the protection of migrants. The new programme supports the political dialogue under the Budapest Process and works towards its operationalisation, especially through initiatives in the areas of migration governance and mobility.

On 19 April 2013 the Istanbul Ministerial Declaration on a Silk Routes Partnership for Migration was adopted at the 5th Budapest Process Ministerial Conference; it established the operational framework for cooperation along the Silk Routes from Asia to Europe.

Subsequently the United Kingdom initiated the first operational project entitled "Bridging Measures for Migration Management in the Silk Routes Region". This project focused on capacity building in migration management and carried out initial assessments and pilot trainings for officials of Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. It also laid the groundwork for a more comprehensive and regional migration management project. “Support to the Silk Routes Partnership for Migration under the Budapest Process” was launched in February 2014 as the first big step and multilateral pledge to contribute to the implementation of the Istanbul Declaration.

During its three years of implementation the project strengthened the migration management capacities of authorities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan at national level and at regional level also including Bangladesh and Iran. It also initiated the development of sustainable training systems, enhanced data management and expertise and supported migration policy development frameworks. First Migrant Resource Centres were set up in Pakistan and the initiative Regional Law Enforcement Cooperation Silk Routes and Turkey (RELEC) was launched.

The EU-funded project “Improving Migration Management in the Silk Routes Countries” built on the foundations and achievements set by these and other earlier initiatives implemented under the Budapest Process. The “Silk Routes project”, in brief, helped maximise the development potential of migration and mobility within the Silk Routes region and towards major labour receiving countries. It also helped establish regional responses to migration and mobility with full respect of human rights and protection of migrants.

In a nutshell, the “Silk Routes project” strengthened the regional migration dialogue under the Budapest Process, based on a shared and clear understanding of migration and mobility between Silk Routes countries, Central Asian countries and European counterparts, enhanced migration governance and mobility and operationalises the Budapest Process through concrete initiatives such as the establishment of further Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs), the Silk Routes Facility for capacity building, Protection of Migrants’ Rights (MIGRA.P) and continuation of the RELEC initiative.

The project was implemented from August 2017 to April 2022; it was funded by the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Partnerships and implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).

Detailed information about the project's activities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraq and Pakistan is available here.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

Afghanistan / Bangladesh / Iran (Islamic Republic of) / Iraq / Pakistan
August 2017 to July 2021
European Commission

Marija Raus

Regional Portfolio Manager

Caroline Ambiaux

Project Manager

Golda Myra Roma

Project Manager

Isabelle Wolfsgruber

Project Manager

Saad Ur Rehman Khan

Project Manager

Sedef Dearing

Director Migration Dialogues & Cooperation

ICMPD Headquarters
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