In a bid to address challenges related to mixed and irregular migration along the Southern and Western Indian Ocean routes, Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security Permanent Secretary, Dickson Matembo, emphasized the importance of regional togetherness to promote regular migration for enhanced national and regional security.
During the official opening of a three-day Inter-regional Consultative Meeting held in Lusaka, Mr. Matembo underscored the need for countries to develop policies that support regular migration over mixed and irregular migration.
The meeting brought together source, transit, and destination countries, along with other stakeholders, providing a platform to devise lasting solutions to the challenges associated with mixed and irregular migration.
Mr. Matembo stated that this is a good platform to engage and find lasting solutions to the problem of mixed and irregular migration, especially trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.
Mati Hashemee, representing the International Organization for Migration (IOM), highlighted movements along the Southern route, with over 17,000 reported cases over the last decade. Political and socio-economic factors were identified as contributors to this migration, raising security concerns.
United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms. Beatrice Mutali, expressed the UN’s commitment to protecting individuals on the move, emphasizing the inherent human right to be treated with dignity and respect, irrespective of race or origin.
Her statement was read by the World Health Organization country representative to Zambia, Nathan Bakyaita.
Valentin Tapsoba, the Regional Director for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), commended IOM and Zambia for hosting the conference.
The three-day event, held under the theme “Responding to mixed migration flows along the Southern route and Western Indian Ocean routes,” aims to foster collaboration and develop strategies to address the complex challenges associated with migration in the region.