Pristina/Bishkek – More than 700,000 of Kyrgyzstan’s 6.3 million citizens work abroad, making an important contribution to the development of the mountainous Central Asian country. The protection of migrants' rights was highlighted as a priority for the Government, and the focus of an online launch event last week, opened by the chairman of the country’s State Migration Service and Vice Prime Minister.
On Friday (18 December), International Migrants Day, UN agencies in Kyrgyzstan and Kosovo* launched their United Nations Local Networks on Migration to support authorities in reaching the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).
“COVID-19 emphasized the importance of well-managed migration for a prosperous and healthy society, demonstrating the negative impact of reducing people's mobility on sustainable development,” noted Zeynal Hajiyev, IOM’s sub-Regional Coordinator for Central Asia.
"Our health, food and prosperity depend on the safe and orderly movement of people,” he added. "In this connection, the Global Compact on Migration has been particularly important. The decisions we take in the face of today's global mobility will affect the global social and economic landscape of the world for many years to come.”
In Kosovo, where IOM has been present since the emergency of 1999, the Network will contribute to wider initiatives broadening partnerships on migration.
“IOM rejoices in the establishment of the local Network, an initiative that will surely improve cooperation of UN Agencies and contribute to the efforts of the Kosovo authorities in implementing migration policies in line with international standards,” stated Anna Rostocka, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Kosovo, during an online launch in Pristina, capital of Kosovo.
One Kyrgyz couple, Sanobahor and Asanbai, and their two children were assisted by UN agencies after escaping labour exploitation in Russia. Their story typifies why migrants need to be included in protection mechanisms.
Participants in the launch event learned of a new information campaign to raise awareness about the GCM among migrants, civil and human rights activists, NGO partners and other stakeholders through “Safe Migration” social media pages. Messages sent through social media aim to advocate for enhanced access to services for migrants in the context of COVID-19 preparedness, prevention, and response, building on the commitments that the state is undertaking as part of the GCM.
* All references to Kosovo should be understood to be in the context of UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).
*For more information, please contact Joe Lowry in IOM’s Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia in Vienna, Tel: +43 660 377 6404; Email email@example.com , or Florence Kim at the secretariat of the UN Network on Migration, Tel: +41 79 748 03 95, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org *
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