ISLAMABAD: The European Union announced on Friday launching of a new project that would contribute to migrant protection in Pakistan covering all phases of migration, including countering and preventing irregular migration, trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants.

A new migrants resource centre is being opened in Peshawar, joining the existing centres in Islamabad and Lahore to provide counselling and guidance to prospective migrants and returnees.

Announcing the new project in Islamabad, EU Ambassador Dr Riina Kionka stated that EU would invest five million euros to support the continuation and expansion of these migrant resource centres through the new project.

The ‘Improving Migration Management and Migrant Protection’ project aims to contribute to migrant protection in the different countries covered by the programme - Pakistan and several countries along the ancient Silk Route - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

Irregular channles

A considerable number of people in the Silk Route region migrate through irregular channels. This puts them at risk of human trafficking, migrant smuggling, exploitation, and abuse throughout their migration cycle. Migrant women are particularly vulnerable, the EU ambassador said.

The project will be implemented by the Inter­national Centre for Migra­tion Policy Develop­ment, and it will enhance awareness on the risks of irregular migration, and facilitate the protection of migrants. ICMPD is a European organisation that deals with the global phenomenon of migration.

The project also aims to support informed migration decision-making at the individual, family and community levels.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2023

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