IOM Marks International Migrants Day 2022 in Ethiopia
Addis Ababa – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Ethiopia on 8 December 2022 observed International Migrants Day at an event attended by employees, individuals supported by the organization, partners from the Ethiopian government, the humanitarian sector, and the diplomatic community.
The event was aimed at celebrating migrants – and no better way to do that than to hearing firsthand experiences of those who have lived the realities of migration.
Two ex-combatants from Somali and Amhara regions who received assistance to reintegrate back home, and have set up small businesses, addressed the gathering. They were supported through a project that began in July 2020 to support ex-combatants who were abroad prior to 2018 and chosen in cooperation with the government.
Another returning migrant and now a musician in Addis Ababa narrated how IOM assisted him to return home to Ethiopia from Libya in 2021 and performed with his band for the gathering.
“As we celebrate International Migrants Day, let us bring some attention to the possibility that 216 million people could become internal climate migrants by 2050 if we do not take climate action. Many can come from this region, from this country,” said Abibatou Wane-Fall, Chief of Mission for IOM Ethiopia.
Speaking on behalf of the State Minister to the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, Mr. Dereje Tegyibelu said the Government of Ethiopia is committed to respecting and protecting the dignity and rights of all migrants, and is implementing reforms that will make the country a reference for labour migration governance in the region.
“Ethiopia is planning through its migration policy to adapt overseas employment policies and support systems to be fully responsive to the provision of tailored protection and assistance services to all migrants,” he explained.
One of the main draws of the ceremony was an exhibition of photographs that represents the contributions made by migrants. The Organization ran a contest in November for contestants in Ethiopia, and three winners received various prizes on the day.
The gathering also recognized and awarded some of IOM Ethiopia’s personnel for their selfless, tireless, and brave service of excellence, often in difficult circumstances.
The United Nations commemorates International Migrants Day on December 18 to highlight the contributions made by the more than 280 million migrants globally, including more than 59 million internally displaced people, and the challenges they face. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the international convention to protect the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families on December 18, 1990.
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