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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

IOM Trains Puntland Immigration Officers

Puntland – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, conducted a training session last week (19-21/02) for immigration officers based at Somali air and sea ports in Garowe, Galkayo and Bossaso.

The training, aimed at raising the officials’ awareness on human trafficking, the risks and potential outcomes of irregular migration and migrants’ rights, was organized with support from the Government of Japan.
In addition to being sensitized about the need to respect and protect migrants, the 15 immigration officers who participated in the training were also trained to detect and respond to cases of human trafficking.

Speaking at the training, IOM project officer Mohamed Abdullahi said: “Identifying cases of trafficking is key because it is the first step towards assisting Victims of Trafficking. Migrants are vulnerable to all forms of exploitation and abuse, and IOM is sensitizing the immigration officers on how to treat migrants in a dignified and humane manner that meets international standards.”

During his closing remarks, the Director of Puntland Immigration and Neutralization Directorate Mohamed Abdi Farah stated: “Through this training, the immigration officers gained knowledge on human trafficking, irregular migration and migrants’ rights which will enable them to detect, identify and provide support to victims of human trafficking that they identify at Puntland entry and exit points.”
IOM has held similar trainings for immigration officers in the past, and in all the trainings the officers were informed of Puntland’s referral mechanism for irregular migrants and victims of trafficking, through which they can report cases of human trafficking.
A referral mechanism was established to coordinate issues of trafficking and now irregular migration in Puntland; it comprises the Puntland Counter Trafficking Board and members of the Child Protection Working Group. The mechanism facilitates provision of direct assistance to victims of trafficking and helps create awareness of both trafficking and irregular migration.