With the adoption of the Istanbul Ministerial Declaration, the UK funded project Bridging Measures for Migration Management in the Silk Routes Region initiated the first steps towards its concrete implementation. Following a set of visits to all three countries to further concretise priorities and needs in the area of migration, the first pilot activities were implemented for Afghanistan (December 2013), Pakistan (January 2014) and Iraq (February 2014).
The training for Afghan and Iraqi senior officials focused on covering a broad area of migration expertise, including definitions, terminology, best practices and national examples on international protection, irregular migration, legal and labour migration as well as an introduction to migration statistics.
The training implemented in Pakistan was specialised on irregular migration, human trafficking and migrant smuggling. Furthermore the training put a distinctive focus on exchange of best practices with partner authorities from Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
All three activities targeted a broad range of authorities involved in migration management, also aiming to support the inter-agency cooperation at national level.
The conclusions drawn from these activities fed substantially into the design of the more comprehensive project “Support to the Silk Routes Partnership for Migration under the Budapest Process”. Furthermore, the final regional meeting in Dubai in March 2014 allowed participants to reflect on lessons learnt and prepare for the implementation of the larger action (Silk Routes Partnership project) funded by the EU, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.