Vienna, Austria: The MRC Afghanistan relaunched its virtual counselling hub on 3rd November 2021. Counsellors work remotely providing advice to Afghan citizens in the country who are considering leaving as well as to Afghans already on the move. The MRC WhatsApp, Viber and Telegram number +93 79 959 9898 is active as well as the MRC Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Vienna, Austria: Over the past four years our Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs) have been helping people every day to make informed decisions when considering whether to migrate. They provide outgoing, intending and potential migrants across South, West and Central Asia - as well as those that are on the move - with information on a broad range of migration-related challenges and opportunities. 

And this represents only the tip of the iceberg when we consider all the work done! We have now collected information on the work of all our MRCs for the first time on the site . This virtual hub covers seven MRCs in five countries. It introduces the concept of the Centres and provides the opportunity to visit all of them online.

Vienna, Austria: The study visit of the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of Pakistan to Vienna, Austria on 11-15 October raised the awareness of executives from MOI-FIA on existing international cooperation tools and procedures, as well as good practices to combat human trafficking, migrant smuggling and irregular migration. The visit also built trust and confidence among law enforcement practitioners and explored the pathways for future cooperation to support Pakistani law enforcement in expanding their capacities.

Dhaka, Bangladesh: Partnerships between the public and private sectors offer companies opportunities to engage in areas that are traditionally viewed as falling under a public mandate. These spheres include health care, transportation facilities, infrastructure, energy and waste management services. One reason why PPPs are used is because they enable projects to be realised which otherwise would not be affordable by the government using purely the state’s own resources.

This concept of building Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) has been established in several Silk Routes countries, yet linking these to reintegration goals is an area that remains largely untapped. In order to meet reintegration as well as economic goals, ICMPD has launched a specific project to this end on PPPs.

As an initial step in Bangladesh, ICMPD held a workshop on Public-Private Sector Partnership for Reintegration in Bangladesh with the European Return and Reintegration Network (ERRIN) as well as the Bangladeshi Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) and Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment (MEWOE) on 8th November. This was followed by a training on Reintegration Frameworks and Strategies on 9th November. 

Vienna, Austria: The author Dr Parag Khanna rightly highlights that heat, drought and rising sea levels are making some regions uninhabitable, and this is creating a “push factor” for migration. It is a phenomenon which is poorly understood and not always given the attention that it deserves. 18 million people were forced to leave their homes for this reason between 2015 and 2020 in just five countries in South Asia. 

On Monday, 8th November (10:00- 12:45 CET) under the Budapest Process, with Sweden as Host, the Thematic Meeting on Promoting a Rights-Based Approach for Vulnerable Groups on the Move is due to take place. This meeting will specifically look into gender-based violence (GBV) and promoting a rights-based approach along the Routes for people on the move in a vulnerable situation. The objectives of the webinar, link to the meeting and agenda can be found here.

Dhaka and Cumilla, Bangladesh: Poverty and a lack of opportunities at home mean that many Bangladeshi women need to leave their families, communities and their country in order to make money. This is a tough experience made worse for women returning to Bangladesh after work stays abroad due to the rumours, lies and poisonous gossip that is spread in local communities about women who leave the country to find employment.

Geneva, Switzerland: The collapse of the national government in Afghanistan and subsequent Taliban takeover of the country has dominated news headlines but the practical and operational issues are often forgotten. The current conditions for a potential migration and displacement crisis were discussed on 28th and 29th November 2021 as ICMPD took part in the InterGovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees - Migration From Crisis Zones.



Islamabad and Lahore, Pakistan: ICMPD Migrant Resource Centres (MRC) in Pakistan demonstrated once again the progress of their awareness-raising activities as well as outreach activities across the country. Beyond the raw data it is important to highlight human stories. One such example from September 2021 was the story of Mr. Nadeem who wanted to accept a new job offer while working for a Pakistani company in Qatar. Unsure of what to do Mr. Nadeem contacted the MRC through their hotline, which was one of the most used communication channels last month, along with the WhatsApp messaging service. Our counsellors successfully guided Mr. Nadeem through the required visa cancellation process, which allowed him to pursue his new job.

Vienna, Austria: Sadly it is often the case that migrants in desperate situations are preyed on and exploited by human traffickers and people smugglers. These people want to make money at the expense of migrants - often lying about life in destination countries and generally making false promises - and often have no regard for their safety or security. Would-be migrants should always follow regular channels and our Migrants Resource Centres (MRCs) are always available to provide neutral, fact-based advice.

Vienna, Austria: The Budapest Process Secretariat and ICMPD's Regional Office for the Silk Routes in 2021 produced a number of reports on migration related topics, one of which is Regional Migration Outlook 2021 for South and West Asia (Silk Routes) that provides an analysis of the key and emerging trends in the region’s “hotspots”, focusing on Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan (and India and Iran tangentially). 

Vienna, Austria: ICMPD's Regional Office for the Silk Routes Region, in cooperation with the Joint Operational Office on Combating human smuggling and human trafficking (JOO) of the Austrian Ministry of Interior (MOI) and Austrian Police Academy, was delighted to welcome representatives from Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Academy to Vienna on 11-15th October 2021 for a study visit.