On 3 - 4 May 2023, Uganda hosted the Khartoum Process Thematic Workshop on Data on Human Mobility in the context of Climate Change, attracting over 50 representatives from diverse backgrounds, including academia, government, NGOs, and international organisations. The workshop provided a unique opportunity for attendees to exchange knowledge and engage in discussions about the latest research and trends in climate displacement and migration data.

The workshop's agenda was filled with exciting and informative sessions. Existing actors in the climate displacement and mobility data research world presented their latest findings and shared their experiences. The presentations covered a range of topics, including the latest data on climate change-induced migration, the challenges of collecting and analysing climate migration data, and best practices for using data to inform policy decisions.

One of the highlights of the workshop was an interactive exercise facilitated by the Mixed Migration Centre (MMC). Participants worked together to understand how to interpret and draw policy-relevant conclusions from climate mobility data and identify policy recommendations and next steps for policy design. The exercise was a great opportunity for attendees to collaborate and share ideas.

Another key session was a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities for using climate migration data to inform policy decisions. The panel was made up of European and African policy makers as well as academia, who discussed the role of data in shaping policies that support climate migrants, identifying how existing data and evidence can be leveraged to inform policy making on displacement and migration in the context of climate change, while also identifying the capacity level for early warning and early action.

In conclusion, the interactive exercise, presentations, and panel discussion were all informative and engaging, and participants had the chance to meet and network with like-minded professionals, forge new partnerships, and build relationships that could lead to future collaborations. The workshop demonstrated the importance of collaboration and knowledge exchange in tackling the complex challenges of climate mobility and data collection and analysis.

On 16 March 2023, Khartoum Process partners met for the 9th Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM), which was preceded by a Steering Committee (SC) Meeting on the afternoon of 15 March and a reception dinner organised by the host of the two events, the German Federal Foreign Office, at the Berlin Red City Hall. The reception featured welcoming remarks by Ms Sibylle Katharina Sorg, Director General for European Affairs, German Federal Foreign Office, Ms Ana-Maria Trǎsnea, State Secretary for International Relations of the Federal State of Berlin, and Honourable Mary Ayen Majok, Deputy Speaker of the Council of States, as representative of the outgoing Chair of the Process, South Sudan.

The Senior Officials’ Meeting featured the Chairmanship handover from South Sudan to Germany, who presented their priorities for the year ahead. Among other priority areas, the German chairmanship will focus on human mobility in the context of climate change and the protection of internally displaced people. As a cross-cutting theme and in line with Germany’s Feminist Foreign Policy Guidelines, gender-specific issues will receive special attention.

The SOM agenda also featured a High Level Panel Discussion titled: Migratory trends and their implications in the Khartoum Process region over the course of the next five to ten years. The panel discussed migratory trends in the next 5-10 years for the Khartoum Process region and deliberated on policy priorities for African and European member states.

Building on the outcomes of the High Level Panel, a World Café session in the afternoon of the SOM provided delegates with the opportunity to further reflect on how various drivers of displacement and migration might evolve in the immediate, medium- and long-term future, what the important uncertainties are and how they might combine to create a range of different possible migration outcomes and impacts. This forward-looking discussion focused on 4 thematic areas: future trends of (1) political, (2) economic, (3) social & (4) environmental drivers of displacement and migration considering all five domains of the Joint Valletta Action Plan (JVAP).

Delegates additionally discussed the recent developments within the Khartoum Process and within partner organisations and explored new governance strategies for the Steering Committee, as well as the work plan ahead.

The Thematic Workshop on Innovative Law Enforcement Tools to Tackle Irregular Migration took place on 22 – 24 November 2022 in Cairo, hosted by Egypt and co-hosted by France.

The workshop brought together over 60 participants and experts from 19 countries and 12 different organisations and institutions, among which are EUROPOL, EUROJUST, ICMPD, INTERPOL, UNHCR, Regional Operational Centre in Khartoum (ROCK), and UNODC.

The aim of the workshop was to provide law enforcement professionals in Khartoum Process countries with practical, hands-on innovative tools to address irregular migration – trafficking in human beings (THB) and smuggling of migrants (SoM) in particular – with a focus on the financial aspects, document security, and the use of technology and digital tools, with cooperation and partnership as an overarching theme.

On the financial aspects, the workshop aimed to explore the “follow the money” approach, looking at best practices and concrete strategies to better identify and detect smugglers and traffickers’ illegal money and investigate criminal proceeds.

In regard to the interrelation between cybercrime and the use of technology to prevent and investigate THB & SoM and respond to the use of the cyberspace by criminal groups, the workshop aimed to explore promising practices for addressing current impediments and challenges in the use of technology, as well as how to adapt and use modern applications to detect, investigate, prosecute and counter THB & SoM, with due consideration to privacy, safeguards and data protection policies.

In terms of document security, the workshop aimed to explore tools and strategies to detect fraudulent documents, including highly sophisticated types of fraud, used for the purpose of THB and SoM and, subsequently, to facilitate successful investigations.

On 5 - 7 October 2022, Ethiopia, with Germany as co-host, welcomed delegates from Khartoum Process (KP) and Rabat Process (RP) partner countries and organisations to Addis Ababa for a Thematic Meeting (TM) on Climate Change and Migration: Addressing Impacts & Adaptation Strategies for Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change. This meeting, addressing climate mobility for the first time in the framework of both dialogues, aimed at establishing an understanding of the nuanced nature of the climate change - human mobility nexus, with a focus on the regions involved; establishing a conceptual framework for mainstreaming climate mobility into migration governance and other connected areas such as urban planning, while sharing experiences on strategies and initiatives at the local, national, and regional levels on human mobility in the context of climate change. Furthermore, the meeting intended to explore the role of migration dialogues such as the Khartoum Process and the Rabat Process in deepening intergovernmental cooperation and facilitating collaborative responses to climate-induced mobility. This should also include identifying areas for further exploration and recommendations for further implementation and cooperation among and within the dialogues.

In their introductory remarks, both the host and co-host country, as well as the Chair of the Process, South Sudan, the European Commission and African Union Commission representatives underlined the need to achieve collective impact by harnessing the potential of mobility in the context of climate crisis and the addressing vulnerabilities of the concerned communities. Furthermore, all speakers confirmed the need to support the collection and sharing of data across institutions and regions, in order to achieve better coordination of policy and programming coherence.

On 12 – 13 July 2022, Kenya, with Germany as co-host, welcomed delegates from Khartoum Process partner countries and organisations to Mombasa, Kenya, for a Thematic Meeting (TM) on Legal Pathways: Talent and Skills Mobility Partnerships to Match Labour Market Needs. This meeting built on the successful outcomes of the TM  on Legal Frameworks and Policy Development:  Optimising the Benefits of Organised Labour Migration hosted by Egypt in 2019, narrowing down the focus of the extensive topic of labour migration, to explore specifically the matter of talent and skills mobility partnerships to match labour market needs.

The meeting objectives were to:

  • Establish a conceptual framework for discussions on enhancing the effectiveness of skills mobility partnerships;
  • Share experiences on practices and procedures at the national and regional level on labour migration governance in general and skills mobility in particular;
  • Understand the constraints of governments in the formulation of policies that promote easy, safe and predictable pathways for migration;
  • Identify areas in national and regional policies and frameworks that need improvement to promote better cooperation on talent and skills mobility;
  • Propose recommendations for further implementation.

On 24 – 26 May 2022, South Sudan hosted a Regional training for officials of border management agencies on international cooperation to combat cross-border crime.

During the 2.5 days training event, officials of border management agencies operational at the border and professionals in charge of border management and law enforcement policy in the Khartoum Process African region and the neighbouring Central African Republic were invited to exchange and expand their knowledge on challenges and good practices on cross-border cooperation to address cross-border crimes, such as trafficking in human beings, smuggling of migrants, and terrorism.

A total of 28 participants of different ranks and seniority in law enforcement agencies from 8 countries attended and were led throughout the learning process by ICMPD experts in border management and trafficking in human beings (THB). Their presentations and interactive exercises were complemented by contributions by Brig.Gen. Emmanuel Ndayegamiye from the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO) and online by Mr. Akseli Saviranta from Frontex.

On 22 – 23 March 2022, Khartoum Process partners met for the 8th Khartoum Process Senior Officials’ Meeting, which was preceded by a Steering Committee Meeting on the morning of 22 March.

The Senior Officials’ Meeting featured the Chairmanship handover from The Netherlands to South Sudan and marked the commencement of the South Sudanese Chairmanship. Delegates discussed the recent developments within the Khartoum Process and within partner organisations, deliberated upon the Work Plan for 2022/23 and explored new governance strategies for the Steering Committee.

Reflecting on the social and political developments since the last Senior Officials’ Meeting in March 2020, delegates acknowledged the value of the Khartoum Process as a dialogue platform in times of crisis, reactively adapting its agenda and allowing their participating countries to explore COVID-19 implications on mobility and migration, jointly exploring responses to these novel migration dynamics. In this context, delegates stressed the need to further ensure dynamism and flexibility, in particular in the governance of the Process.

A brief update on the European Union-African Union Summit referenced the importance of dialogue platforms such as the Khartoum Process, the Rabat Process and the Continent-to-Continent Migration and Mobility Dialogue, with the encouragement to seek out further synergies between the Khartoum and the Rabat Process, for example through joint thematic or governance meetings.

On 24 and 25 November 2021, Switzerland, with Ethiopia as co-host, welcomed delegates from the Khartoum Process to Geneva for a Thematic Meeting on “Return, Reintegration, and Integration: Finding Durable Solutions”.

The objectives of the meeting were to facilitate the sharing of good practices and harness the strong cooperation built under the Khartoum Process, which benefit the region and the migrants concerned. The Thematic Meeting capitalised on the knowledge and inputs shared by a broad range of experts on the three thematic pillars (return, reintegration and integration) during a Virtual Roundtable held on 21 September 2021. The roundtable was organised as a means of setting the grounds for in-depth deliberations, establishing a conceptual framework of durable solutions in all three fields for the discussion and identifying priority areas for further exploration.

In addition to specific findings and good practice examples pertaining to each thematic pillar, several overarching considerations were highlighted throughout the two-day face-to-face meeting. The themes of return, reintegration, and integration are essential elements of a well-functioning migration system and have to be seen in context with all other elements that make up the migration process. If returns take place, they have to take place swiftly, in a decent and dignified manner, which always involves the three elements: the actual return, readmission and reintegration afterwards and the way to support that. These are also very sensitive issues. Leaving one’s home country is a difficult decision. To turn this decision around and go back is an even harder and more complex process. In this context, three aspects are important. First, migration is not a new phenomenon; people were always on the move. Second, migration can cause severe tensions within societies, between countries and even between continents. Third, and most importantly, there can only be one answer to the challenges of migration and that is international cooperation. In this regard, platforms such as the Khartoum Process provide a valuable space for fostering this kind of much needed cooperation.