In addition to regional work in Africa, the IDC strongly supports the sub-regional initiative, the Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA), which will take place in Gaborone, hosted by the government of Botswana next week.
MIDSA aims to facilitate regional dialogue and cooperation on migration policy issues amongst the Southern African Development Community (SADC). IDC Africa and Middle East Regional Coordinator, Junita Calder will be attending the 2016 MIDSA meeting to follow up with SADC officials and related agencies on recent developments and actions taken on developing Alternatives to Detention and Detention Monitoring in their migration programs.
According to IOM statistics, the Southern African region has some of the highest numbers of people participating in mixed and irregular migration. This includes both economic migrants and individuals displaced by conflicts and natural disasters in other African states like Ethiopia and Somalia. Access to Southern African countries has been increasingly sought by these migrants due to increasing job opportunities in sectors like mining, manufacturing and agricultural industries.
Some of MIDSA’s aims include increasing awareness among SADC officials and policy makers about the positive aspects of having migrants in an economy, as they foster social and economic development. MIDSA also aims to strengthen institutional capacities to deal with challenges in migration management through enhanced cooperation. In this area, IDC has been engaging with agencies in Southern Africa to resource governments to maintain their MIDSA Alternatives to Detention and Detention Monitoring commitments as outlined in the Regional Action Plan. This year, IDC will look for key developments and new commitments from members in this area.
Don’t miss IDC’s live tweets on @IDCAfrica to learn about this meeting and other relevant migrant news on the continent.