The Silk Routes Facility

What is the Silk Routes Facility?

The Silk Routes Facility is a capacity-building instrument that supports measures to enhance migration management by providing demand driven technical assistance in ten countries. Its key priority is to support the development and implementation of migration policies, capacity development and institution building. The Facility supports the five Silk Routes Countries as well as five Central Asian countries through two instruments:

  1. A short-term technical assistance instrument responds to the emerging needs of Governments related to migration management. It provides on-demand expert support primarily for policy development and capacity building and is flexible to adjust to immediate or arising needs.
  2. The instrument for large-scale initiatives is currently funding the implementation of six projects related to enhancing implementation of priorities set out by the Istanbul Ministerial Declaration (Migration and Mobility, Integration, Migration and Development, Irregular Migration, Trafficking in Persons, and International Protection). These projects were selected through a competitive Call for Proposals, which received more than 30 Concept Notes and 13 full grant applications for funding in the range of 150,000 to 250,000 EUR. The Call for Proposals is now closed.

Expertise and assistance for the development of migration policies

The Silk Routes Facility’s short-term technical assistance instrument provides expert assistance for the development of migration related policies, as well as for establishing sustainable training capacities in the area of migration. It is currently providing assistance to three countries:

  1. In Afghanistan, the Facility collaborated with several ministries and other authorities and stakeholders to develop Afghanistan’s first-ever “Comprehensive Migration Policy for Afghanistan” Its final draft was presented in June 2019 and is currently about to be adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers.
  2. In Pakistan, the Facility supported the development of a strategic plan for Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), as well as a National Emigration and Welfare Policy for Overseas Pakistanis. The Policyis about to be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers for adoption.
  3. In Iraq, the Facility is supporting the development of a Policy on Engagement with Iraqis Abroad.

Funding for migration projects in Central Asia and the Silk Routes countries

The Silk Routes Instrument for large-scale initiatives is currently funding the implementation of migration-related projects and research in several Silk Routes and Central Asian countries: A total of 1,5 million Euro funding has been allocated for the following six projects:

  1. Towards harmonised labour migration  policies in Central Asia

This project aims to help ensure better protection of the rights of migrant workers in four Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. It contributes to the harmonisation and convergence of these countries’ labour migration policies in order to ultimately protect the rights of migrant workers, strengthen the role of civil society, and improve the legal protection of migrant workers in countries of origin and destination. It is implemented by the International Legal Initiative Public Foundation (ILI), one of the leading human rights NGOs in Kazakhstan, (and its Co – applicants, the Legal Policy Research Centre Public Foundation and the Legal Initiative Bishkek Public Foundation.)

  1. Addressing climate-induced migration in South Asia

This project’s official title is “South Asia Migration and Climate (SAMAC)”. The Silk Routes Facility’s funding shall contribute to the strengthening of national and regional policies and institutions on climate-induced migration/displacement in three countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The project is implemented by ActionAid Bangladesh and the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Pakistan as well as the Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA). They envisage developing the capacity of local Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and facilitating a joint voice and strategies on issues of climate-induced migration. The objectives are to build knowledge, conduct research, and gather evidence on climate-induced migration to enable the CSOs to engage with policy makers and media to advocate for effective policies that reduce the risks of environmental and climate-induced migration, and protect the rights of those forced to migrate as a result of climate change or due to environmental causes.

  1. Reintegrating returning migrants in Tajikistan

This project supports Tajikistan’s socio-economic development through the social and economic reintegration of returning labour migrants. It takes a holistic approach to improving supply and demand in migration management and its impact on the country’s development. The project is implemented by Mercy Corps Tajikistan and provides support for implementing Tajikistan’s national strategy and policies on reintegration of returning migrants, which includes Provincial Migration Centres (PMC) and District Migration Centres (DMC); Mercy Corps Tajikistan will also engage in capacity development, provide expertise, and facilitate direct collaboration of local government with returning migrants and their families.

  1. Improving the well-being of labour migrants and their families in Tajikistan

This project strengthens access to pre-departure information for prospective labour migrants and their families; it aims to empower them to take an informed decision and supports families left behind as well as returnees in managing their financial resources to mitigate the social impact of migration. It is implemented by the Tajikistan branch of Helvetas Intercooperation gGmbH and focuses on the cities of Kanibadam and Isfara where it strengthens local self-governance bodies through:

  • providing quality pre-departure advice and assistance;
  • better access to information for prospective migrants on legal migration;
  • provision of paralegal assistance to families left behind and returnees;
  • raising the capacities of families left behind and returnees to manage their financial resources.
  1. Safe Migration for the Women of Bangladesh

This project promotes safe and planned migration particularly for women in Bangladesh. It will be implemented in two sub-districts of the capital Dhaka and aims to reduce women’s vulnerability and exploitation throughout the migration cycle. CARE Austria is implementing the project together with CARE International in Bangladesh and the Welfare Association for the Rights of Bangladeshi Emigrants Development Foundation (WARBE). The project will mainly advocate for gender responsive migration policies by addressing women’s particular needs and vulnerabilities, and provide services tailored to women’s needs, especially in cases of sexual and gender based violence, abuse and exploitation. The implementers will also provide pre-departure services and life skills development to reduce women’s risks and vulnerabilities related to migration. Policy makers shall be enabled to understand the challenges of the migration process from a woman’s perspective. The project makes a conscious effort in applying principles of gender equality and human rights for generating evidence and crafting implementation strategies for developing policy solutions to address challenges faced by women.

  1. Reintegration of Returnee Female Migrant Workers in Bangladesh

This project’s objective is to improve reintegration of female migrant workers and support already settled returning workers in Bangladesh in rebuilding their livelihoods; it has a specific focus on three pilot areas in Bangladesh: Chattogram, Rangpur and Jessore. The project is implemented by the Danish Trade Union Development Agency (DTDA) and the Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS); it operates on both local and national level. It seeks to address the lack of services for returnee female migrant workers, the lack of knowledge and information about financial management and investment possibilities, as well as the lack of jobs and social stigma, which hinder a successful reintegration at local level. Moreover, the risk of social stigma and discrimination is addressed through an alliance formed by social actors (trade unions and NGOs) which advocate the interests of returnee female migrant workers. At the national level, the project addresses the need for improving the legal framework and conditions for returnee female migrant workers, through capacitating BILS and the trade unions to lobby and advocate for amendments on gender specific reintegration issues.

For more information please consult the most recent fact sheet of the Silk Routes Facility and do not hesitate to contact:

Ms. Marija RAUS

Project Manager Facility

Tel.: +43 1 504 46 77 2443

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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