In a ceremony held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara Conference Centre, VP Touray recalled that the NCM was launched in November 2019 with the intention of strengthening coordination and collaboration among multiple stakeholders, thus ensuring timely redress of migrant issues, mainstreaming of migration into the national development plan and ensuring policy coherence.
“Since the launch of the NCM, six of the eight TWGs have been fully functional in ensuring effective migration governance through border management; communication and advocacy; labour migration; migration and development; policy, legislation and data; and return and reintegration.”
She further reiterated that under the umbrella of migrant protection, it is important to ensure access to justice, especially for those victimised by traffickers and smugglers.
Minister for Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Fatou Kinteh, explained that her ministry is mandated to lead efforts aimed at gender equalities in all matters concerning the welfare of women, children and other vulnerable groups. She added that the mandate aligns perfectly with the objective of TWG that will take the lead in ensuring all vulnerable migrants are protected.
“With support from the IOM and other key partners, the ministry has led significant milestones in the past two years of its existence. This includes developing a National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for the protection of vulnerable migrants; developing Standard Procedures (SOPs) for assistance to migrant children, including those returning unaccompanied.”
She said there is a need to protect and assist migrants regardless of their migratory status, ensure that migration policy approaches are gender-responsive and promote the best interest of the child, and mainstream migration into the child protection system.
The representative of the Justice minister, Mrs. Tulie Gassama-Ceesay stated that trafficking in persons continues to be one of the key migration-related challenges the country faces. She added that the Ministry of Justice in coordination with the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons have been at the forefront of counter-trafficking efforts.
“Let us remember that there is no migrant protection without access to justice and effective remedies, especially in cases of sexual and gender-based violence. Justice for those who have fallen victim to traffickers and smugglers must be delivered in a transparent, impartial and non-discrimination way.”