African Union Meets for AU-Horn of Africa Counter Trafficking Initiative
IOM Egypt this week supported the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to organize the second ministerial meeting of the AU-Horn of Africa Initiative on Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants (AU-HoAI) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
The AU-HoAI was formally launched through the signing of the Khartoum Declaration on 16 October 2014. Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan are core countries to the initiative. The neighboring countries of Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan also are taking part. The initiative provides a forum to improve cooperation on migration management in the Horn of Africa and to address the challenges of human trafficking and irregular migration.
The event was attended by ministers from Kenya, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tunisia, Djibouti, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Yemen, in addition to representatives of partner countries, including Italy, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, Britain, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia.
At the meeting, ministers agreed to: “ratify and implement relevant international and regional instruments that address human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and organized international crime.”
IOM – which with UNHCR and the African Union Commission forms the Initiative Secretariat – was mandated to follow up on implementation of decisions taken at the conference.
Ambassador Naela Gabr, Chair of Egypt’s National Coordinating Committee on Preventing and Combating Illegal Migration, said: “Egypt will engage with all [its] African neighbors in order to reach a consensus on the best way to confront illegal migration from and within the continent in a way that preserves the dignity and life of [its] citizens.”
The Initiative supports the implementation of a “Migration Policy Framework for Africa” and the “Ouagadougou Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings”.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Office of Migration (IOM).