ISLAMABAD: On Friday, the European Union announced the launch of a new initiative that will contribute to migrant protection in Pakistan by addressing all phases of migration, including combating and preventing irregular migration, human trafficking, and migrant smuggling.
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In addition to the existing centers in Islamabad and Lahore, a new migrants resource center is opening in Peshawar to provide counselling and guidance to prospective migrants and returnees.
EU Ambassador Dr. Riina Kionka announced the new project in Islamabad and stated that the EU would invest five million euros to support the continuance and expansion of these migrant resource centers through the new project.
The ‘Improving Migration Management and Migrant Protection’ project seeks to contribute to migrant protection in the various countries covered by the program, including Pakistan and several countries along the ancient Silk Route, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan.
A significant number of Silk Route residents migrate through unofficial channels. Throughout their migration cycle, this places them at risk for human trafficking, migrant smuggling, exploitation, and abuse. The EU envoy stated that migrant women are especially vulnerable.
The initiative will be carried out by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development, and it will raise awareness about the dangers of irregular migration and improve the protection of migrants. ICMPD is a European organization concerned with migration on a global scale.
Additionally, the initiative seeks to facilitate informed migration decisions at the individual, family, and community levels.