Aden – Early this morning (09/08), a human smuggler, in charge of the boat, forced more than 120 Somali and Ethiopian migrants into the pitching sea as they approached the coast of Shabwa, a Yemeni Governorate along the Arabian Sea. The migrants had been hoping to reach countries in the Gulf via war-torn Yemen.
Derived from the input of States, civil society, international organizations and private sector actors, these voluntary and non-binding Guidelines to Protect Migrants in Countries Experiencing Conflict or Natural Disaster reflect the outcome of the MICIC Initiative.
Repository of practices
As resilient as I know migrant communities to be, they can still easily be among the worst affected by natural disasters, extreme violence or armed conflict. They have certain heightened vulnerabilities specifically because they are migrants. Whether in cities or in rural settings, migrants frequently fall through the cracks of national and international crisis warning systems and emergency response. They are more often than not less prepared than their neighbours and are more exposed to hazards.
Sometimes a promised land becomes a land of shattered dreams. The recent news of Bangladeshi migrants putting their lives at risk to cross the Mediterranean sea, and the report of IOM repatriating some Bangladeshis back from Libya a few months ago, brings back memories of a similar crisis Bangladeshi migrants endured back in 2011, at the peak of the conflict in Libya.
Cities thrive because of their vibrant and diverse communities. In many migrant communities, factors such as culture, language, immigration status, and community isolation contribute to higher levels of vulnerability to the effects of emergencies. Disseminating relevant, culturally-appropriate emergency preparedness information to migrant populations is critical to building resilience. Effective emergency management in urban areas depends on creating links to these communities and offering the tools and information they need to be prepared.
In 2014 Mexico established its first public policy on migration, in which civil society actors, academics, governmental authorities and the migrants themselves played a key role in identifying the needs to be addressed and the rights to be upheld under the new policy.