About MRCs and what they do
In collaboration with its partner countries, the Silk Routes project establishes and operates various Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs) to help people make informed decisions when considering to migrate. They provide outgoing, intending and potential migrants with information on a broad range of migration-related challenges and opportunities.
A team of counsellors provides consultations in person, via phone and skype, and raises awareness of the benefits of safe and regular migration and the dangers and consequences of irregular migration. The MRCs are located either in the capitals or a major city of the Silk Routes countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, and Pakistan. The Migrant Resource Centres strive to provide:
- clear and understandable information to outgoing, intending and potential migrants on possibilities for safe, legal and orderly migration, as well as rules and regulations, including relevant pre-departure information
- pre-departure orientation (where applicable) and information on work and living conditions abroad, rights and obligations, access to protection mechanisms and information on return processes and referral to reintegration support upon return
- awareness raising of potential migrants and local communities on the risks, dangers and consequences of irregular migration
- information on return processes and referral to reintegration support upon return.
MRCs do not only provide information to the public and migrants but also to governmental and non-governmental stakeholders who are directly or indirectly involved in the facilitation or communication of migration related issues. MRCs conduct information sessions at relevant institutes, such as vocational and technical training schools, universities, colleges and schools as well as with the communities and during conferences and other events.
The work of the MRCs is adapted to the local context and can develop further activities based on the needs of each country. The Migrant Resource Centres are established and managed jointly by the responsible government authority and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). They are operated by a minimum of three staff – one coordinator and two counsellors.
Three Migrant Resource Centres are already operational: they are in Islamabad and Lahore, Pakistan, as well as in Kabul, Afghanistan. Others are planned in Bangladesh and Iraq and at district level in Pakistan. Migrant Resource Centres should eventually be fully incorporated in the government structures once the Silk Routes Project comes to an end in August 2021.