MPs call for improved migration governance

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PARLIAMENTARIANS have resolved to facilitate amendments to the Immigration, Refugee, The Trafficking in Persons, Citizenship and the Birth and Death Registration Acts to, among other things, strengthen migration governance in the country.

The resolution was made by the parliamentary portfolio committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services and the thematic committee on Human Rights at a workshop held in Kadoma last week.

A communiqué issued after the workshop shows that the legislators agreed on recommendations for comprehensive migration legislation review and the ratification and domestication of the United Nations Protocol against the smuggling of migrants by land, sea and air.

“Parliament must use the Constitution, international benchmarks, best practices, norms and standards in relevant treaties in the amendment of these laws.

“Parliament committed to undertaking an institutional assessment relating to, among other issues, the performance and functions of various agencies and institutions dealing with refugees, migration and trafficking in persons,” the communiqué signed by the defence committee chairperson Levy Mayihlome and his Human Rights counterpart Sydney Sekeramayi reads.

MPs committed to undertaking a capacity building and sensitisation programme for all legislators on issues relating to trafficking in persons, Statelessness and smuggling of persons.

The committee also committed to making an assessment of migrants in the country’s prisons and refugee camps and come up with reports that would be tabled in Parliament.

“Parliamentarians committed to embark on benchmarking visits to refugee camps in South Africa and Botswana. Parliament should develop a handbook on best practices and bench markings on migration governance on migration governance.

“Parliament must develop a tracking tool for the implementation of international treaties and protocols.

“The Legislature and its partners to set up a platform for collaboration and continued engagement on migration governance,” the communiqué reads further.

Zimbabwe has a long history with cross border mobility and has also witnessed a significant brain drain in the past two decades.
Highly-skilled and semi-skilled Zimbabweans emigrated to countries such as the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, South Africa and Botswana in search of greener pastures.
The country has also witnessed increased internal and border migration resulting in an upsurge in irregular migration, human smuggling and mixed migration flows.

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