20 October 2017
On 17-18 October, the Expert Meeting on Preventing Facilitation of Irregular Migration took place in Kyiv. The event was co-hosted by Ukraine and Lithuania with the support of the European Commission and the IOM Mission in Ukraine under the framework of the Eastern Partnership Panel on Migration and Asylum.
The issue of preventing the facilitation of irregular migration is of great importance worldwide. According to IOM, in 2016 alone 7,934 migrant deaths were recorded worldwide, more than half of them while being smuggled. These numbers demand an adequate response of all stakeholders: countries of origin, transit and destination, intergovernmental organizations, civil society and the international community as a whole. The recent upsurge of migrants using a Black Sea route will require more attention and adequate response of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) states. The Expert Meeting provided a unique occasion for discussions and sharing experiences between representatives from the European Commission, EUROPOL, EUBAM, EU Member States, EaP countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), Serbia, UN agencies and international organizations (IOM, UNODC, ICMPD), academia and civil society.
Mr. Robert Rybicki, European Commission Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs, stressed that countering the facilitation of irregular migration is important “for both who are struggling on the frontline of the migration crisis and also for those who are less affected by it as they can see how to prepare for what may come.”
Over the two-day EaP Panel meeting, participants addressed legal solutions and best practices of countering facilitation of irregular migration. Importance of interagency, cross-border and international cooperation for effective responses to the phenomenon of migrant smuggling, as well as the humanitarian dimension of preventing the facilitation of irregular migration and respecting human rights of all migrants, were the focus of the discussions.
Meeting materials are available under the link.