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IOM, FG Launch Global Initiative to Protect, Assist People on the Move

Blessing Bature-Akpakpan, Abuja

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Social Development and Disaster Management (FMHDSD), has today launched a new project targeted towards the protection and assistance of people on the move, addressing issues of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, dignified return and sustainable reintegration.

The information IOM Nigeria, Stylia Kampani said in a statement that the project “Cooperation on Migration and Partnership for a Sustainable Solutions (COMPASS)” is a global initiative that seeks to assist individuals while working across all levels: households, communities and the wider communities through a whole-of-society approach.

according to the statement, “Nigeria, along with other countries including Afghanistan, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Mali, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Niger, partner in the global implementation of the COMPASS project.

The statement further read, “Through this initiative vulnerable migrants, particularly victims of trafficking (VoT), as well as unaccompanied children migrant will be able to access a wide range of protection and assistance services, from mental and psychosocial support to information on safe migration.

“Protection, assistance, sustainable reintegration and empowerment of migrants and their families, is at the centre of this project. Stranded migrants returning to Nigeria often have limited access to income-generating activities and opportunities to integrate back into their communities”, said Saskia Kok, IOM Nigeria Head of Migrant Protection and Assistance.

At the community level, this initiative will work with local structures to ensure sustainable reintegration support to returned migrants and vulnerable groups while addressing the issue of trafficking and smuggling of migrants through integrated community efforts.

Also, Alhaji Ali Grema, Director of Humanitarian Affairs, who represented Haijya Sadiya Umar Faraok, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development said the Ministry is delighted to launch the implementation of the COMPASS project in collaborations with IOM this clearly shows the commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria in tackling emerging challenges that may risk the livelihoods of returned migrants while ensuring their protection in the country.

She noted that over the 36-month implementation period, COMPASS initiative will compliment existing programs, such as the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration and Government of the Netherlands funded “Trusted Sources” Project, as well as other projects funded by the UK, such as the project “Strengthening Direct Assistance for Victims of Trafficking (VoTs) in Nigeria Through a Victim Centered Approach.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, as the donor to the COMPASS initiative, pledges its active support to partner countries, to improve migration cooperation mechanisms in the long-term.

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