New migrant resource centre in eastern Sudan
A new migrant resource centre (MRC) in the eastern Sudanese city of Gedarif opened on 5 March 2019, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported.
The new MRC in Gedarif is the latest among several such centres across the Horn of Africa, offering information, medical assistance, psychosocial support, and assisted voluntary return to irregular migrants.
It is available for seasonal migrant workers, potential migrants, host and migrant communities, victims of human trafficking, and local institutions. The centre will help meet migrants’ immediate needs for protection, assistance and information. The first MRC in Sudan was launched in Khartoum in 2015.
Sudan is as a source, transit and destination country of migrants. Gedarif state, located on the country’s eastern border with Ethiopia, is one of the main transit points for migrants from the Horn of Africa towards North Africa and onwards to Europe.
People migrating to Europe or to Arabian Gulf countries from the Horn of Africa are highly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse by smugglers. Migrants have been sold as slaves, kidnapped for ransom, and held under inhumane conditions.
“We’re happy to work closely with the state government towards improving the protection of vulnerable migrants and access to assistance and services of both host and migrant communities,” IOM’s Chief of Mission Catherine Northing said during the opening ceremony.
MRCs offer a neutral space for potential and migrants to obtain accurate information on legal migration procedures and documentation required, the risks of irregular migration, how to stay healthy and safe during the migration process, and the rights and responsibilities that migrants have throughout the migration process.
TMP – 22/03/2019
Photo: StreetVJ/Shutterstock. Scene in Gedarif, Sudan.