Human rights of migrants during emergencies are considered by Government of Iraq at Humanitarian Border Management workshop

On 17-18 August, a Humanitarian Border Management (HBM) workshop for Central Government and Kurdistan Regional Government authorities was held in Erbil through the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Iraq’s HIJRA AMINA programme, funded by the European Union. The workshop aimed to initiate dialogue in Iraq on the concept of HBM through collective reflection on the complex challenges that emerge during a migration crisis when large influxes of migrants suddenly gather at a border check point. It also aimed to facilitate the exchange of views on a HBM strategy that will facilitate movement and protect human rights.

HBM is a term conceptualized by IOM and denotes border management operations before, during and after humanitarian crises which trigger mass-migration. It seeks to improve preparedness for sudden changes in cross-border movements in order to protect migrants and guarantee their human rights while maintaining national sovereignty and security. In Iraq, HBM can be integrated at national borders, in provincial areas and at checkpoints, to address the massive waves of internally displaced persons (IDPs) travelling across governorates since January 2014.  

IOM Iraq’s workshop included 24 stakeholders from the Ministries of Interior, Migration and Displacement, Health, Foreign Affairs and Finance; as well as the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Cell and Crisis Coordination Centre. Each participant contributed  unique expertise to the break-out session, when groups mapped Iraq’s current HBM capacities in information management, operations and regulatory framework. The groups then considered challenges and brainstormed a strategy to integrate HBM into the emergency response as a substantial tool to address the massive influxes. This exercise encouraged inter-ministerial coordination, as participants discussed contributions each insitution can offer to improve HBM in the current crisis and to ensure preparedness in the future. 

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