Migration is a phenomenon with a regional/international dimension and cannot be tackled by one country alone nor through a country-by-county approach. It requires close working relationships between countries, in particular at the regional level. As such, there is a need for the establishment of harmonized systems and policies/action plans as well as effective collaboration mechanisms. The regional bodies – including the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) for the Southern African region – play a key role in this endeavour.
IOM will continue to increase collaboration with the African Union (AU), SADC, COMESA, IOC and other partners to strengthen the regional response to migration flows or cross-border population movements. Further, IOM will continue to work closely with the Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa States (MIDSA), the regional consultative process (RCP) for SADC Member States established in 2000, as well as the newly established RCP for COMESA Member States, to promote inter-state and intra-regional dialogue on migration in Southern Africa. An essential aspect of this objective will be building on the success of MIDSA with the aim of implementing recommendations made at the Ministerial level held in 2013 and ensuring that regional governments view MIDSA as useful, dynamic and action-oriented.
Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA)
The Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA) was established in 2000, with the overall objective of facilitating dialogue and cooperation among governments in the Southern African region and contributing to regional migration management. MIDSA has created a platform for migration to be discussed in an informal setting – identifying, shaping and working towards the achievement of shared goals. MIDSA further raises awareness on challenges and best practices, and has to date put different aspects of migration management on the agenda, including but not limited to migration and health, human trafficking, border management, and facilitated movement of persons in light of regional economic integration and trade liberalization.
Over the last 1.5 decade, MIDSA meetings were held, initially only at the technical level, in various countries in the region including in recent years in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mauritius, Swaziland, Zambia, Tanzania and Lesotho. In 2010, the first ministerial MIDSA meeting was held in Namibia with high-level participation of most countries in the region as well as donors. This was followed by the second ministerial level meeting in Mozambique, in 2013. It is expected that technical and ministerial level meetings will be held on a bi-annual, alternating basis.
Among latest outcomes, a Labour Migration Action Plan was developed and presented at the ministerial Meeting in Mozambique. Ministers have endorsed the Regional Action Plan and were anxious to see implementation of the recommendations set for the years to come. It was also during this meeting that it was agreed that Member States should all provide financial contribution to the MIDSA platform and process, which will be further discussed during the next ministerial MIDSA.
Linked to the global system on migration, MIDSA is part of the Regional Consultative Processes on migration (RCPs) which bring together representatives of states, international organizations and, in some cases, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for informal and non-binding dialogue and information exchange on migration-related issues of common interest and concern. The majority of RCPs worldwide address a wide range of issues, such as migration and development, labour migration, social integration of migrants, protection of migrants’ rights, smuggling and trafficking in persons, migration and health, and trade and migration. These diverse agendas reflect governments’ growing recognition that migration significantly affects other major public policy areas, and vice versa.
The latest technical level meeting was held in Malawi in 2014. It focused on mixed migration and irregular migration, in a follow up to the Dar Es Salaam Regional Action Plan 2010. From its recommendations, an action plan will be taken forward for endorsement by the Ministers in 2015.
MINISTERIAL MIDSA 2015
Addressing Mixed and Irregular Migration in the SADC Region: Protection of the Unaccompanied Migrant Child
The third Ministerial-level Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA) was held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from 7-9 July 2015. MIDSA was established in 2000, with the overall objective of facilitating dialogue and cooperation among SADC Member States and contributing to improved regional migration management. MIDSA is a platform for migration to be discussed in an informal setting – identifying, shaping and working towards the achievement of shared goals. MIDSA further raises awareness on challenges and best practices, and has to date put different aspects of migration management on the agenda, including the protection of vulnerable migrants, refugees and asylum seekers travelling in mixed and irregular migratory flows.
The MIDSA 2015 Ministerial meeting addressed the topic of mixed and irregular migration, with a particular focus on protection of unaccompanied migrant children (UMC).
Ministers and Senior Officials responsible for immigration from all 15 SADC Member States participated in the meeting, representing: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
A key outcome of the meeting was a Statement signed by SADC Ministers responsible for immigration endorsing the Regional Action Plan as a relevant and feasible framework to develop a common approach to respond to and address the challenges of irregular and mixed migration.
1. MIDSA Action Plan consolidated version 2015-01-16
2. English MINISTERIAL STATEMENT MIGRATION DIALOGUE FOR SOUTHERN AFRICA 2015
3. French DIALOGUE MINISTERIEL SUR LA MIGRATION EN AFRIQUE AUSTRALE 2015
4. Portuguese DIÁLOGO MINISTERIAL DE MIGRAÇÃO PARA ÁFRICA AUSTRAL 2015
MIDSA Final Report
1. English Final Report MIDSA 2015
2. French Rapport Final MIDSA 2015
3. Portuguese Relatorio Final MIDSA 2015