Regional MICIC Workshop in Almaty Discusses Protection of Migrants During Emergencies

Location: Almaty, Kazakhstan

Almaty, Kazakhstan - May 15-16th: The Regional Training Workshop on Protecting Migrants in Emergencies is co-hosted by IOM’s Sub-Regional Coordination Office for Central Asia and the Center for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction, in participation are emergency management officials and consular staff from Central Asian States and Afghanistan. The training is conducted by IOM’s international and national trainers from IOM Headquarters in Geneva and IOM CA missions.   

A number of recent crises have shown that migrants are often among those who suffer the most during crises, such as conflicts and natural disasters. Due to the increasing international mobility and an unprecedented number of people displaced by conflicts, violence and disasters – most countries today host some kind of migrant population. The presence of such a significant number of people living outside their countries of origin pose particular challenges in times of crisis, especially if migrants are undocumented and have limited income and/or access to local resources. As such are they likely to need specific forms of support and assistance, which local stakeholders might not have the sufficient capacity to provide for.

International interest and commitment on the situation of crises-affected migrants is increasing, though capacities to alleviate their specific conditions of vulnerability and to provide them with appropriate response and assistance in crises remain limited in many countries.

As such, the Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative, chaired by the United States of America and the Philippines, has worked to explore and define the issues. Based on best practices, evidence and a series of stakeholder consultations, the voluntary and non-binding Guidelines to Protect Migrants in Countries Experiencing Conflict or Natural Disasters were launched in June 2016.

In order to strengthen national and regional capacities to address migrants’ vulnerability during times of crises, IOM has begun to implement tailored capacity building activities for Governmental actors in migrants’ countries of origin and destination in many regions of the world. Such as in Central Asia, due to the significant regional mobility, in the event of a crisis, current planning among States in Central Asia requires migrant focused response mechanisms in the event of a crises. Central Asia is a dynamic region where people move primarily for economic purposes. It is estimated that at least ten million CA citizens are on the move, at any given moment, looking for better work and life opportunities. Central Asia is an important region in terms of human mobility and Kazakhstan is a major destination for labor migrants. Also, the region is vulnerable in terms of natural and man-made disasters with large number of the population affected by such disasters (earthquakes, floods and mud slides etc., resulting in large numbers of internal migrants). 

The overall objective of the training is to enhance the regional capacity to address the needs of migrants in countries experiencing a crisis. Also, concrete information and practical guidance will be provided on how to reduce migrants’ vulnerability through a variety of measures, i.e. on delivery of appropriate and accessible information and services. Lastly, the training aims to build the capacity of consular officials and enable them to address these challenges before, during and after crisis. 

For more information, visit the MICIC website or contact the MICIC team at IOM Geneva: