UNHCR urges mixed migration in refugee protection

Friday, March 15, 2019

Omar Camara, the representative of the UNHCR country director has said that over the past years, they had realised that their traditional approach to refugee protection needs to be shifted to accommodate what they now call ‘mixed migration.’

He made this remark at the launching of the “Identification, Information and Referral of Persons of Concerns UNHCR Within Mixed Movements.”

The pilot project which is being implemented by The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) in partnership with UNHCR is aimed at improving the identification, and referral of people in need of international protection in The Gambia, moving within mixed flows.

Mr. Camara declared that UNHCR has been mandated by UN General Assembly to coordinate and give international protection for refugees and other persons concerned which maybe asylum seekers or stateless persons.

“In Libya, UNHCR is working on evacuating thousands of individuals out of Libya and finding safe hands in places like Niger and Burkina Faso,” he stated.

He indicated that migration and UNHCR refugee protection are closely linked and with the Gambia Red Cross Society; a worthy partner to the UN agencies and has been providing life saving assistance under the protection cluster together with UNHCR for many years.

Alhassan Senghore, secretary general, GRCS, said that he came back to the national society to work for his country, contribute and give back as well.

“I have interacted with different people in different countries in different levels and that alone is very rich, and I have learnt a lot too so I should not just hold my hands but give back to the community,” he said.

He added: “The board of Gambia Red Cross Society deems it necessary to give opportunity and they have started the journey which is to transform GRCS into a well functioning national Red Cross Society that will be the partner of choice of development and humanitarian services in The Gambia.”

UN Resident Coordinator to The Gambia, Seraphine Wakana, said that UN has been partnering with Red Cross in many countries, saying that is why she was keen to visit the Red Cross in The Gambia.

“It is my objective to understand what they do, how they are done,” she said, adding that The Gambia is one of the countries that come into sharp focus on the issue of migration.

Madam Wakana further assured of their partnership with all actors that are ready to support the population.  “We are counting on the capacity of Red Cross because we know what they can do.”

Author: Fatou B. Cham