China's officials trained on the MICIC Guidelines

Location: Beijing, China

On 6-7 February, IOM Beijing hosted a two-day seminar on mixed migration flows under the framework of the European Union (EU)-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support, attended by 26 Chinese officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Civil Affairs, State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, and Foreign Affairs Office representatives at provincial levels, including Beijing and Shanghai municipalities, as well as officials from EU Member States. Experts from Germany, Sweden, South Africa and IOM described current global trends in mixed migration flows, national approaches to managing the issue, IOM’s practical response to supporting migrants in countries in crisis, and the role of the international community in establishing shared principles and commitments for effective management of such flows. Discussions focused on China’s perspective and its future role in the international response to mixed migration challenges.

During the Migrants in Crisis Situations session, IOM presented on the MICIC Initiative. Through examples of recent natural disasters and conflicts that have disproportionately affected migrants, the presentation stressed the factors of vulnerability migrants are subject to in times of crises. These factors include limited knowledge of the local language and habits, limited economic capability, regulations limiting their free movement, discrimination, isolation and exploitation. Participants were then introduced to the MICIC Guidelines, and presented with targeted suggestions for stakeholders before, during and after a crisis to better protect and respond to migrants’ specific needs. IOM’s specific activities under the MICIC framework to capacitate foreign services and emergency management personnel were introduced to the participants, as well as China’s current involvement in the translation of the MICIC e-learning tools, an online training course aimed at strengthening the awareness of consular officials on the specific challenges their nationals overseas may face in times of crises.