GENEVA, Switzerland, October 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM has opened a Country Office in Madagascar to support the Government through implementation of projects in a number of critical areas related to migration, including environmental-related internal migration, diaspora engagement and border management.
“The opening of an office in Madagascar marks the beginning of an important step that will reinforce collaboration between IOM and the Government of Madagascar in addressing migration challenges of the 21st century,” noted IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson, who was on an official visit to Antananarivo.
IOM will launch two counter-trafficking projects in response to a request from the Government of Madagascar, which has identified combating trafficking in persons as priority.
One project, funded by the IOM Development Fund, will provide the government with an assessment of human trafficking activities in the country, raise awareness among vulnerable communities, and strengthen coordination in the fight against human trafficking.
The second project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will support research and the development of referral and identification mechanisms; help improve services for victims of trafficking; and raise awareness in target areas on the dangers of irregular migration.
Despite a previous lack of a formal presence in the country, IOM has implemented activities in Madagascar since 2002 in the areas of migration and environment, migration health, labour migration, and assisted voluntary return and reintegration.
In May 2014, IOM published a Migration Profile for Madagascar to help strengthen the capacity of government institutions to develop policy and strategies on migration informed by relevant data and reliable statistics. With the establishment of an office, IOM aims to further strengthen its collaboration with the government and other partners.