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YAIM concludes two days stakeholder roundtable discussion on migration and transitional justice

By Fatou Dahaba
Youth Against Irregular Migration yesterday concluded two days stakeholder roundtable discussion on migration and transitional justice at Kanifing Municipal Council conference hall.
The two days forum brought together CSOs, IOs and governmental bodies, to discussed some of the concrete challenges faced by returnees, the risks and factors of irregular migration, the specificities of the transitional justice context and reflecting on strategies and plans to tackle the challenges in a way which is rights-led and conducive to Gambian development.
Many Gambian migrants have died trying to cross the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe in search of greener pastures.
Mustapha Sallah Secretary General of YAIM said the reason behind the event is have migrants and returnees rights at the center of political and social debate in the Gambia.
Sallah added that the national Institutions often struggle to tackle challenges and to provide returnees with viable avenues to start a productive livelihood.
“ The various organisations involved in migration, while being surely of support to returnees’ reintegration, are often unable to respond to the immediate needs of returnees as they are constrained by the protocols and regulations of donors’ disbursement of funds. We would like to use today’s event to reflect on ways to how to overcome these difficulties and be able to exploit migrants’ and returnees’ potential to the fullest in a framework of complete respect of their fundamental rights.”
Sallah outlined that they would draw a specific attention on the challenges faced by female migrants and underage migrants, for whom the issues of discrimination and stigma as well as family responsibilities and vulnerabilities may be even more acute.
Alagie Jarju the Executive Director of National Youth Council said the issue of reintegration is an essential part on return migration because it empower and protect returnees by providing the necessary tools that is needed to ensure when they’re brought back home they’re able to settle within their families.
“These cannot be sustainable if the reason for them leaving is not address. The root causes must be addressed first and this is the only way to sustain the return reintegration.”
Jarju added that the migration policy also helps in coordinating efforts of all stakeholders to address the issue.
In December 2020, the Gambian government launched its first National Migration Policy, which is supposed to serve as a guiding framework for future national migration governance.[8] The policy addresses various key migration dimensions such as internal migration, labor migration, diaspora migration, and return migration. It was developed with strong support of the IOM.
Mr. Etienne Micallet program manager of International Organization for Migration said the issue of migrants cannot be discussed better than this, as stakeholders come to an interface with migrants and discuss the way forward.
He said the government should enforce mechanism like the freedom of movement within other ECOWAS member state because all the manhandle of migrants happens with ECOWAS state. “There is protection for freedom of movement in ECOWAS states. Even if migrants Migrate irregularly that gives no one right to maltreat or torture them.”
Basiru Bah from National Human Right Commission said the state must stand to support and protect the rights of migrants. “ EU and IOM cannot do it alone state must support reintegration to foster their needs.”

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