Human Rights Migration News

Over 11,000 migrants recorded missing in Africa since 2014, Joint Communiqué reveals

Mr. Musa Camara, Director of Diaspora and Migration Directorate at MoFA

A Joint Communiqué issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross  (ICRC), the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) & Migration Stakeholders on the fate of missing African migrants at the end of a two-day international conference organised by the above-mentioned migration stakeholders in Tunis, Tunisian from 24th – 26th May 2022, has revealed that over 11,000 migrants are recorded missing in Africa by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) since 2014.

The participants also deplored the disappearance of the over 11,000 migrants and the tragic humanitarian impact it has on their families.

The migration stakeholders drafted a Joint Communiqué, intended to solve the challenges encountered in the fate of missing African migrants, especially from North and West African countries.

However, The Gambia has also greatly participated in this maiden and very important conference held in Tunis. The Gambian delegation was led by Mr. Musa Camara, the Director of Diaspora and Migration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Below is the full Communiqué:

Communiqué on occasion of the Meeting of States and Other Stakeholders along the North/West African Migration Routes to Discuss a Joint Approach on Missing Migrants.

Tunis, Tunisia, 24-26 May 2022.

1. A joint effort convened by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) brought together in Tunis representatives of the governments of Algeria, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia, as well as the African Union, the African Commission of Human and Peoples’ Rights, the League of Arab States, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to discuss a joint approach to the issue of missing migrants and refugees.

2. The participants deplored the disappearance of thousands of persons along migratory routes (more than 11,000 migrants recorded missing in Africa by IOM since 2014 – with real numbers likely to be much higher), including in the West and North African Region, and the tragic humanitarian impact this has on their families.

3. They acknowledged the need to increase awareness on the issue of missing migrants, including the multifaceted needs of their families. They agreed that it was necessary to strengthen joint efforts to prevent and resolve cases of missing migrants and refugees, namely by:

• Working towards the integration of the missing migrant issue into migration and asylum policies at continental, regional and national level and other relevant cooperation frameworks;

• Strengthening bilateral and multilateral cooperation efforts to exchange information and coordinate search efforts in order to bring answers to families of missing persons;

• Enhance efforts to save lives including through search and rescue activities, and preventing migrants from going missing, including information campaigns engaging with the affected communities;

• Encouraging participating States to create a network of focal points;

• Strengthening relevant institutional and technical capacities at national and local level, including resource mobilization;

• Sharing best practices, including through peer to peer support.

4. The ICRC, the IFRC, the IOM and the UNCHR reiterated their readiness to provide technical advice and support and to facilitate cooperation including with the families of missing migrants
and civil society actors.

Done in Tunis, 26 May 2022.

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