IOM Hosts Workshop on Migrant Protection and Gender Mainstreaming in East and Horn of Africa Region
Entebbe –The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in partnership with the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa and the Better Migration Management (BMM) Programme, held a 5-day regional workshop (4-8/7) on Protection and Gender Mainstreaming in the East and Horn of Africa region.
The workshop, which was held in Entebbe, Uganda, was attended by various state and non-state protection and assistance providers who work directly with vulnerable migrants from both the Joint Initiative (JI) and BMM implementing countries which include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.
During the workshop, the stakeholders learned about key concepts and themes relating to migrant protection, Gender-Based Violence (GBV), and gender mainstreaming in the context of migration, and shared best practices on the identification and response to discriminatory migration practices within their institutions aimed at ensuring that policy and programme implementers in the region adopt a gender sensitive approach in their programming. Participants also familiarized themselves with IOM’s methodology regarding the protection of trafficked persons, identification and assistance of vulnerable migrants, and gender mainstreaming in crisis situations.
The facilitator-led sessions utilized multimedia aids and conducted group activities allowing participants to learn and apply their newly acquired skills. This interactive modality allowed participants to improve their own knowledge and expand the capacity of others through their experiences as practitioners.
A local acting troupe engaged participants and allowed for an interactive evaluation of the knowledge gained on Psychological First Aid (PFA) and Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA).
“IOM and partners need to create a culture where women, men, boys, and girls are assisted based on their needs. We must not be passive recipients of gender inequitable social norms. Mainstreaming gender and mitigating GBV risks in everything we do is the responsibility of everyone involved in assisting migrants. This regional training is the first step in providing the base and tools for integrating gender in our work of supporting migrants,” said Steven Iphani, a Gender Equality and GBV Officer with IOM South Sudan.
The workshop aimed to benefit both migrants and their communities, with impacts on local development and some irregular migration drivers. To ensure the sustainability of its protection initiatives for migrants, IOM works with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local authorities in direct assistance to vulnerable migrants, whose contribution is essential to a holistic approach.
Based on discussions held during the workshop, the capacity building of different actors and stakeholders on protection and gender mainstreaming issues will continue with technical support from IOM. Further recommendations include systematically mainstreaming protection and gender into national development plans while enhancing local ownership among governments, host communities, and migrants.
About the EU-IOM Joint Initiative
Launched in December 2016, with funding from the European Union Trust Fund for Africa, and contributions by the governments of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan, the EU-IOM Joint Initiative brings together 26 African countries of the Sahel and Lake Chad region, the Horn of Africa, and North Africa, along with the EU and the IOM, around the goal of ensuring that migration is safer, more informed, and better governed for both migrants and their communities.
For more information please contact: Laura Bouscein, Regional Migration Response Centre Officer at IOM Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org