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Professors Hamid Shihab and William Warda, researchers on immigration issues, participate in a consultation workshop held by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Professors Hamid Shihab and William Warda, researchers on immigration issues, participate in a consultation workshop held by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
  • Professors Hamid Shihab and William Warda, researchers on immigration issues, participate in a consultation workshop held by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
  • Extensive discussion on migration issues, protection of displaced persons from negative discrimination and hatred, adoption of sustainable development of countries of origin, transit and destination, and observance of human rights.
  • On the results of the workshop, nominating two rapporteurs to follow up files and present ideas to serve the Iraqi national strategy for migration.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) held a special consultation workshop on Thursday, February 18, 2021, with civil society organizations and stakeholders on the Global Compact for Migration, which is a historical document and the first global agreement for safe and orderly migration, joined by (152) countries, including Iraq, at the meeting held in Morocco, Rabat, on 10 and 11 December 2018.

The meeting, held at the Baghdad Hotel and linked to a closed-circuit television meeting in Erbil with participation of number of civil society organizations and stakeholders involved in migration and refugees issues. The two researchers Professor Hamid Shihab, honor member of Hammurabi Organization and Professor William Warda, Director of Public Relations of the Organization, specialized on immigration and asylum issues.

The meeting agenda included:

A welcoming speech by Mr. Gerard White, Head of the International Organization for Migration Mission in Iraq , an overview on the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) presented by Mr. Vincent Valdmanis, Senior Migration Policy Adviser at the International Organization for Migration in Iraq, and clarifications on the regional review process, presenting an intervention on the most important principles of the compact based primarily on the human being having all activities, carrying a solid human dimension based on the safety of immigrants and enhances relations with members of societies, whether in the countries of origin, transit or destination. As well as respect for the rule of law and access to justice in immigration management.

To achieve that, international cooperation and dialogue should be adopted at all levels to address migration, taking into account human rights standards, non-discrimination and the protection of human rights, regardless of migration situation, the need to eradicate hatred against migrants, the need to take into account gender, the promotion of the status of women and the protection of the rights of children, women and girls at all stages of migration.              

He also focused on other principles of the compact that promote sustainable development for countries of origin, transit and destination, and the adoption of a comprehensive approach to dealing with migration, since tackling it requires policies that should involve the entire community, and that everyone contributes to managing migration effectively, whether from stakeholders, civil society organizations, academics bodies , media, private sector, national human rights institutions, trade unions and others.        

Representative of the High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR , gave a brief intervention in which he talked about the overlap between the issue of refugees and migrants and the issue of support for the implementation of the Global Compact for Migration by members of the United Nations Migration Network, and assistance to Iraq in developing a national strategy for migration.                                                                                                                                                                                      

A representative of the Ministry of Immigration and Displacement also spoke about the national strategic goals for migration and Iraq's ratification of the charter out of (152) countries that have ratified it.

He also added about the participation in the regional conference that will be held in the period (24 to 25) February, in which 22 countries will participate, including Iraq, which will be devoted to reviewing the Compact, identifying best practices and challenges in the field of immigration, and reviewing the reports submitted, as Iraq had submitted a report. Voluntarily, in October of last year, 2020, in which he addressed the progress made by Iraq towards the compact.

Professor Hamid Shihab and Professor William Warad participated in drafting proposals and recommendations for the development of the immigration management strategy in Iraq within the team work, Mr. Warda provided two interventions in which he explained that Iraq, despite the development of its policies on the issue of immigration, should develop its legislation and laws to ensure comprehensive protection for refugees and migrants. And the development of policies that are consistent with human rights standards in dealing with immigrants, especially in the issue of border management, reception of refugees and immigrants, the process of their integration, and what is related to providing services, health care, education, access to work and others, so that they include all categories of refugees and immigrants, and he also added that Iraq should work to join the the International Convention for the Protection of Migrant Workers and Their Families of 1948 and its 1967 Protocol.

Mr. Warda also indicated that Law No. 21 of 2009 of the Ministry of Migration and Dispalced  is not sufficient to address the issues of refugees and displaced persons and suggested accelerating the comprehensive immigration and refugee law.

Participants divided into four groups to study the goals of the Compact and the extent to which they are employed in implementing the national strategy for migration in Iraq in terms of the approach required to achieve immigration governance, the necessary protection for migrants, and access to services, practices and promising lessons from the experience of Iraq.

After that, the four groups in Baghdad presented the outcomes of their discussions, as well as the outcomes of the group results in Erbil, through on-line discussion. In conclusion, two rapporteurs were named to follow up on future activities in light of the comprehensive results that were reached.