On 5-6 July 2017, the UK hosted EU and African partners of the Khartoum Process to agree how to combat smuggling and trafficking in the Horn of Africa. The thematic meeting was specifically on ‘Tackling People Smuggling and Trafficking in Human Beings, including through enhanced Border Management’. Discussions were therefore focussed on cross-border investigative cooperation; capacity building; stronger governance; and compatible legislative frameworks. 

There was evidently strong discussions and desire for cooperation between the participants and discussions led to tangible points for action and follow up. Significant contributions were made by African partners and Expertise France (French Agency for international technical cooperation).

Amongst the key topics, a need to tackle cross-border financial flows: both small payments to smugglers and larger transfers of profits, was also highlighted. Participants agreed to focus on key transit hubs to combat smugglers and traffickers and to build trust with locals and migrants alike. 

The UK will now work with partners to develop an action plan, which will be presented to the Khartoum Process Steering Committee in October, to ensure delivery within the areas highlighted.

 

The Khartoum Process held its first thematic meeting on 2017 in Berlin, hosted by Germany one of the Process' five (of ten) European Steering Commitee Members.  The meeting, taking place on 18 and 19th May, was opened by Commissioner Grzeski and welcomed experts from across the region on the topics as well as key representatives and experts from the UNHCR, IGAD and the World Bank, amongst others. Uganda also joined the Process for the first time during its inception in the steps to obtaining membership of the Process. For the first time in the Process, the delegates were split into small groups of subtopics under the theme to brainstorm solutions to many of the challenges raised.

The below include some of the concluding remarks of the meeting, communicated by the Chair:

Key observations

  • Protection challenges are high. In many cases, they are not specific to refugees but are more development and environmental challenges to refugees and host societies alike.
  • In the future, we will have even more competition for resources due to the demographic developments. What we need is the “whole of society” approach. The key requirement is the political will. We need clarity on policy and political framework.
  • We have discussed how durable solutions can be reached and could look like. Key among them is the access to education and livelihood. 
  • It became equally clear that donor interventions and the international community at large have to always keep the interest of the host communities in mind.
  • Several participants also mentioned that we need a stronger engagement of the private sector. 

Next steps

  • The issues are currently addressed via several global initiatives. We have to create synergies between these.
  • The meeting has helped participants to learn more about what is really needed. This was very useful for the identification of future priorities and the existing gaps in project portfolios.
  • The “whole of society” approach is necessary; but it requires new thinking both in the humanitarian and development community.
  • Finally, we have to continue our work on finding legal and orderly pathways.

 

Ethiopia hosted the Senior Officials Meeting of the Khartoum Process in Addis Ababa on 6 April 2017 which was dedicated to a discussion of the implementation of the Khartoum Process work plan for the year 2017. The Meeting was opened by a welcoming address of the Chair of the Khartoum Process, the European Commission and the African Union Commission, who all underlined the importance of the focus on the implementation.

As an introduction to the meeting and context, the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS) updated the participants on the migratory trends and flows from and within the region, with a specific focus on generic and new trends as well as responses to these, their impact and the resulting policy challenges.

Given the short time span between the two SOMs (December 2016 – April 2017), the main update concerned the 2017 Joint Valletta Action Plan Senior Officials Meeting. Special attention was dedicated to the presentation of the long term monitoring and reporting tool elaborated by ICMPD to ensure a throughout circulation of the information on the methods of populating the database by the members, with the active assistance of the focal points.

Thereafter, discussions moved to the timeline of activities and meetings for the year 2017 namely thematic meetings, trainings with the aim of operationalising key thematic meeting topics from 2016 as well as the possibility of another informal working group and finally a Senior Officials Meeting leading up to the handover of the Ethiopian Chairmanship of the Process at the end of this year into 2018.

On projects and activities, the EU Trust Fund was presented with an update on funding figures and Member States also updated the attendees on national initiatives and the state of play. More information on national initiatives being implemented will available on the website soon.

Finally, upon an introduction by the Chair to the topic and followed by a presentation by IOM, Members of the Process agreed that contributions of the Khartoum Process to the UN Global Compact on Migrants (GCM) will be a key objective for this year leading up to the (GCM) meeting in Mexico in 2018.

The Joint Valletta Action Plan Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) which took place in Malta on 8-9 February 2017, embodied a spirit of cooperation and solidarity. The meeting gathered delegations from Africa and Europe to take stock of the progress made to date under the Joint Valetta Action Plan and led to the adoption of a set of joint conclusions, based on the recommendations of the Rabat Process and the Khartoum Process. The following documents of the meeting can be found below:

-        Joint conclusions

-        Khartoum Process Analysis Report

-        Rabat Process Analysis Report

-        Mapping documents Table 1 and 2

-        Final Programme

On the 15th and 16th December 2016, the Khartoum Process membership convened for Steering Committee and Senior Officials Meetings respectively in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The first meeting chaired by the new Chair of the Process, Ethiopia, this Senior Officials Meeting agreed upon next steps for the progression of the Process and its related operational activities. The meeting took place in a spirit of partnership and cooperation and was opened by a welcoming address of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Dr. Workneh Gebayehu, who underlined the importance of hosting this SOM for Ethiopia as a country which recognises the importance of paying attention to questions concerning the root causes of migration and comprehensive migration policy.

Members of the Khartoum Process and invited delegates discussed the state of play of the Khartoum Process, reiterating that the progress in the development of the Process is both structurally visible and measurable. The Process has thus provided a framework for the development of closer relationships between governments, facilitating the introduction of legislation and other measures by the partners. Also discussed were suggestions for the 2017 Work Plan of activities for the Process and the Joint Valletta Action Plan Report ahead of the Valletta SOM to be held in Malta in February 2017 where it will be presented.

Finally, Italy proposed its candidature as the next chair of the Process as of 2018, following Ethiopia. This offer was formerly accepted and approved by the members of the Khartoum Process Steering Committee on the 15th December 2016.

 

 

 

 

2nd Thematic Meeting, Addis Ababa

The 2nd thematic meeting of the Khartoum Process focused on return, readmission and reintegration - in line with the fifth priority domain of the Valletta Action Plan

It took place in Addis Ababa on 19-20 October 2016 and was hosted by Ethiopia and co-chaired by Ethiopia and Italy.

The meeting addressed returns from Europe as well as returns from transit and host countries within Africa and the neighboring region, including small-scale returns - voluntary and enforced -, and large-scale voluntary repatriation of refugees when conditions in their home countries permit.

Sessions were divided into three thematic focuses:

  1. Strategies, policies and approaches during the pre-return phase
  2. Identification: techniques, key stakeholders and cooperation mechanisms
  3. Establishing reintegration strategies

Experts from both Africa and Europe, as well as international organisations representatives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) shared best practices, case studies and concrete recommendations.

A particular focus was made on pre-return preparation, cooperation between states in the identification phase and finding sustainable reintegration methods, including for vulnerable groups and medial cases.

2nd IlWG in Rome, 8 July 2016

At their 2nd meeting in Rome, on 8 July 2016, participants to the Informal Working Group (iLWG) convened to give impetus to the Khartoum Process, including through the implementation of concrete initiatives.

They identified needs in relation to the Horn of Africa Route through the review of ongoing and proposed projects funding options and agreed on a tentative plan of activities for the second half of 2016.


Participants to the 2nd Informal Working Group discussed the following issues:

  • the outcome of the first Thematic Meeting, which took place in Khartoum on 24-25 May
  • information sharing on human trafficking and smuggling of migrants and the role of the proposed Regional Operational Centre
  • the progress on the implementation of several EU projects, including ‘Better Migration Management’ (BMM) and  ‘Addressing Mixed Migration Flows’ (MMF)
  • the outcome of the Valletta ‘stocktaking’ meeting, which took place in Brussels on 21-22 June
  • a brief update on the activities under the Regional Development and Protection Programmes (RDPP) and their link with the broader global agenda on protection and protracted displacement
  • future meetings timetable, agenda and host country 
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A technical stock-taking meeting on the state of play of the implementation of the Valletta Action Plan takes place in Brussels on 21-22 June 2016.

During this mid-year meeting, an overall assessment of Valletta Action Plan (VAP) implementation was undertaken.

The objective of the meeting was to recall the VAP objectives and commitments, as well as the implementation strategy of key stakeholders.

Conclusions and the way forward in the lead-up to the upcoming Senior Officials Meeting were also discussed. 

 

 

 

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