High-level panel on migration in Africa launched

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – Image source FPA

TMP – 28/06/2017

A High-level Panel on International Migration in Africa, which will work to tackle migration issues on the continent, was launched earlier this month in Liberia.

The 14-member High-level Panel is chaired by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The panel has been established with the aim to push migration issues to the top of the UN policy agenda.

The panel hopes to increase collaboration and cooperation among African member states, regional economic communities and international development partners to promote migrants’ rights and facilitate their movement and reduce the vulnerability of migrants, especially women.

“Travel in Africa by Africans is curtailed by stringent visa requirements, excessive border controls and immigration restrictions,” said Abdalla Hamdok, the Acting Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa at the launch of the panel. Hamdok noted that this not only increases the costs but also multiplies the risks that migrants are forced to take, and prevents Africa from realizing the benefits of migration.

The panel will provide guidance and support to policy dialogues about international migration and will encourage the effective use of migrants’ political, financial and intellectual resources for the development of the African continent.

Over the next few months, the High-level Panel will hold consultations at a national, regional and global level and will propose recommendations on building and sustaining a broad political consensus about migration issues affecting Africa.