IOM organized a workshop on the MICIC Guidelines for the Government of Ecuador
Location: Quito, Ecuador
On 20-21 June IOM Ecuador organized a workshop with experts from the Ecuadorian Government on the Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative (MICIC). The MICIC Guidelines, launched in June 2016, provide recommendations to protect migrants in natural disasters and conflicts.
The workshop counted on the participation of the Vice Minister of Human Mobility, José Luis Jácome; IOM Ecuador's Chief of Mission, Damien Thuriaux; The Regional Projects´ Coordinator for IOM, Alejandro Martínez; Ecuador´s Ambassadors; and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility.
The event responded to the need of improving the Government's response to natural disasters and other types of emergencies. The earthquake that hit Ecuador in 2016 is the most rcent crisis that motivated the Government to better prepare for future crises, including by integrating migrants in crisis response systems.
The MICIC initiative, consisting of a set of guidelines designed to be applied in countries with political conflicts, natural disasters or risk situations, aims to provide protection to migrants living in those countries. It also is a tool that offers concrete guidance on how to prepare and respond to an emergency or conflict.
During the workshop, the Vice-minister Jácome thanked IOM for organizing the workshop and mentioned that "These initiatives help us to use resources and inputs efficiently and it is important to build an adequate protocol to be able to react efficiently in the future". In addition, he stressed the importance to "differentiate between the initial phase of the emergency response and what comes in a second phase. This is what we need to know to improve the way we assist Ecuadorians living abroad; and how to facilitate that help."
Similarly, Damien Thuriaux, IOM Ecuador's Chief of Mission, stated: "Language barriers, restrictions on human mobility, migration status, loss of identity or travel documents, limited social support networks, isolation, as well as attacks and discrimination, are some of the factors that make migrants highly vulnerable." He added, "IOM has a large experience in assisting migrants caught in crisis situations. We also provide technical support to States to assist and evacuate their citizens abroad when crises occur."
Alejandro Martínez, IOM´s expert in the region, explained how to improve assistance for nationals affected by crises abroad. Participants discussed information regarding the main destinations of migrants in Ecuador and potential risks they may face. Other topics covered during the workshop included the specific factors of vulnerability and resilience of migrants in crisis situations; the provision of adequate assistance in relief and recovery activities; and the participation of migrants in State-led preparedness, response and recovery efforts.
The MICIC workshop was organized by IOM and hosted by the National Government as a preventive measure, to share with the Government notable practices to improve the management of future crises that may negatively impact the life and well-being of migrants, both domestically and abroad.