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The ECOWAS Commission and Partner Organizations Validate Strategy on Strengthening Protection in The Context of Mixed Migration
The Directorate of Humanitarian and Social Affairs of the ECOWAS Commission in collabora-tion with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) under the Free Movement and Mi-gration in West Africa Project (FMM) jointly funded by ECOWAS and the EU, organized an Inter-nal Validation Meeting of ECOWAS Directorates on the Strategy for Strengthening Protection in the Context of Mixed Migration. ECOWAS Directorates with critical functions relating to ensur-ing the protection of the rights of persons caught up in mixed migration movements, including the Directorate of Free Movement and the ECOWAS Gender Development Centre participated in the meeting.The Director Humanitarian and Social Affairs of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Sintiki Tarfa Ug-be, represented by Ms. Raheemat Momodu, Head of the Human Security and Civil Society (HSCS) Division in her welcome remarks highlighted the complexity of the notion of mixed mi-gration as encompassing varied categories of people, moving for different reasons. While thanking colleagues from ECOWAS and Partner organizations for attending, she stated that addressing protection concerns within the context of mixed migration was a component of the ‘Protection’, mandate of the Directorate of Humanitarian and Social Affairs and specifically the Division of Human Security and Civil Society.

Similarly, the Head of Delegation of the IOM Mr. Celestin Frantz represented by the FMM Pro-gram Manager Mr. Mohamed Farah expressed his satisfaction with the progress made within the region in dealing with the subject of mixed migration and opined that the finalization of the Strategy and its implementation will go a long way in further shoring up protection of the rights of mixed migrants and furthering the integration agenda of ECOWAS.

The meeting featured the presentations of the draft Strategy by the Directorate of Humanitari-an and Social Affairs and a Review and Analysis of the draft Strategy by a Consultant. The Strat-egy will focus on improved measures for the identification of mixed migrants at risk and coor-dination both within the ECOWAS Commission and improvement at the level of Member States amongst other priority approaches.

Following the presentations, participants highlighted areas of possible improvement leading to the validation of the draft with the agreement that critical inputs received will be integrated into the Strategy before its presentation to the Member States, Mixed Migration Working Group (a working group of the MIDWA – Migration Dialogue in West Africa- Initiative).

The Closing Ceremony featured remarks from the Director Humanitarian and Social Affairs of ECOWAS and the Head of Delegation of the IOM (both represented) with each thanking partici-pants for their active participation and urging the intensification of efforts in further securing the West African space as free from risks for mixed migrants. The Partner organizations in at-tendance were the IOM, ICMPD and UNHCR.

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