Democratic Republic of the Congo

Operations, Emergencies and Post-crisis

 IOM’s emergency operations in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo aim to assist vulnerable migrants, such as internally displaced persons.

IOM will continue to implement the Displacement Tracking Matrix, an IOM survey tool, to produce data on and maps of the situation in displacement sites. IOM will also implement the biometric registration programme, which was launched in 2014, with the aim of improving collection of data on internally displaced persons.

IOM will also continue to ensure that basic minimum standards are met within displacement sites. In addition, because many sites are closing due to the signing of a peace agreement, IOM will be assisting internally displaced persons to return to and reintegrate into their communities. These post-crisis activities aim to encourage reconciliation and resilience in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

As part of IOM’s environment strategy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and given that the eastern part of the country has two active volcanoes, a contingency plan is being developed to assist vulnerable populations in case of a volcanic eruption. In addition to activities in the eastern part of the country, IOM has ongoing initiatives to assist vulnerable migrants who have been expelled from neighbouring Angola and Congo, as well as activities to support the wives and families of the army of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the national police and ex-combatants through the creation of cooperatives and income-generating activities. The Organization is further developing initiatives to fight violence against women and girls through community therapy and sensitization activities.

Target populations

  • Governments and regional bodies
  • Local NGOs and CSOs
     

Migration Health

In partnership with the Ministry of Health, IOM’s migration health activities aim to provide equitable access to health-care services and psychosocial support for migrants, mobile populations, internally displaced persons and other vulnerable persons, including victims of sexual and gender-based violence. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a high disease burden country, particularly in terms of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria and other communicable diseases. IOM intends to engage with the Ministry of Health’s national programmes on HIV, tuberculosis and malaria to ensure that migrant-inclusive policies and health services are included in their respective national strategies and action plans.

IOM has previously implemented activities in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo to ensure access to health-care services for migrants and internally displaced persons. The strategic objective for 2015 is to reactivate the network of experts and existing trainers to expand the experience to the whole country.

IOM’s recent and ongoing projects include the establishment of a health centre for returnees from Angola and the delivery of training and capacity-building activities to the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence. Ongoing support to protection cases, mostly internally displaced persons, who need medical assistance, is provided.

IOM will also continue to support health assessment and travel health assistance for Government-funded refugees and self-paying immigrants bound for Canada, the United Kingdom and other resettlement countries, where required.

Target populations

  • Governments and regional bodies
  • Migrants and vulnerable populations
     

Immigration and Border Management

IOM works closely with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly the Directorate General of Migration and the National Congolese Police on integrated border management. In 2015 IOM will continue to provide capacity-building activities and technical support to these partners through the rehabilitation of border crossings and the upgrade of the mechanism for collecting statistical data on migration.

In 2014 IOM received funding for six new initiatives which will be implemented in 2015. These activities include the provision of equipment and delivery of training on migration-specific issues, such as the recognition of fraudulent travel documents, to the Directorate General of Migration, the National Congolese Police, which comprise the Border Police and the Riverine Police, and other partners. In addition, IOM works with foreign governments to assist Congolese nationals wishing to visit or immigrate abroad, specifically through its Canadian Visa Application Centre. The centre receives visa applications of all categories and proceeds with a preliminary examination of the applications before forwarding them to the Canadian regional visa office.

IOM also assists migrants wishing to travel to the United Kingdom with tuberculosis examination. Finally, IOM continues to cooperate with partners to integrate the Democratic Republic of the Congo within regional bodies, such as the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.

Target populations

  • Governments and regional bodies
  • Migrants and vulnerable populations
  • UN/IOs/INGOs
     

Migrant Assistance

IOM assists the voluntary return and (re)integration of former Angolan refugees from neighbouring countries. The Organization further supports the reintegration of unaccompanied minors returning from the Netherlands. IOM is also conducting activities aimed at facilitating the return of expelled Congolese migrants from various neighbouring countries.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, IOM will also launch a sensitization campaign against human trafficking and people smuggling. This campaign will first be focused in the eastern part of the country, but IOM seeks to expand it nationwide.

Target populations

  • Migrants and vulnerable populations

Labour Migration and Human Development

In 2015 IOM will continue to implement an initiative focusing on the mineral extraction industry in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo that aims to ensure responsible gold and mineral mining, for example, by establishing certification processes intended to eliminate the exploitation of migrant workers and ensure mineral traceability, thus reducing sources of conflict in the region. IOM has ongoing projects in this area and is developing new ones to ensure the continuity of activities, and prospective initiatives would see IOM working in partnership with national authorities, as well as international non-governmental organizations. To promote economic growth in communities, IOM has put in place cooperatives and incomegenerating activities. IOM seeks to also implement additional initiatives targeting vulnerable women, thus empowering them and helping develop their capacities.

Under its Youth Strategy, IOM aims at reducing juvenile delinquency by reintegrating them into their communities. This initiative would run activities in health, social services and livelihood opportunities, consequently promoting economic reintegration and reducing irregular migration.

IOM is also developing a diaspora database that will gather information on Congolese communities abroad and facilitate networking. IOM seeks support to launch the database once development is completed. Finally, IOM seeks to initiate actions to strengthen the legal framework governing labour migration in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Target populations

  • Governments and regional bodies
  • Migrants and vulnerable populations
  • Private sector
     

Migration Policy and Research

IOM has developed policy papers on: (a) human trafficking and people smuggling and (b) mixed migration flows and international migration law. The first paper provides an overview of the various international and national legal instruments regulating human trafficking and people smuggling.

Throughout this research project, the various ministries of the government were consulted and a counter-trafficking sensitization campaign emanated from this work. A more comprehensive counter-trafficking programme proposal will be developed for 2015. Also, following the Government’s request, IOM will provide support to legislators to assist them in drafting a counter-trafficking law.

The second research paper aims to provide an understanding of mixed migration flows in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in order to promote the development of a migration policy and legal framework. It defines mixed migration and assesses its impact on border management. It analyses the existing institutional and legal frameworks in the DRC and internationally. This research would allow IOM to approach the Government and propose an action plan for the elaboration of a comprehensive migration policy and legislation.

Target populations

  • Governments and regional bodies
  • Migrants and vulnerable populations