Southern African Development Community (SADC) is in the process of developing a Regional Migration Policy Framework in order to promote regular, safe and orderly migration. The Migration Policy Framework will outline key strategies and actions for regional response, as well as the roles and responsibilities of various actors in migration governance and also assist SADC Member States to align to Global, Continental and Regional frameworks on migration. Once in operation the Regional Migration Policy Framework will facilitate and promote the development and implementation of National Migration Policies as well as tailored National Action Plans.
Delivering her remarks during the online launch event of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Continental Strategy on Migration in Africa 2020-2024 on 19th October, 2020, SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Tax, underscored that SADC places great importance to migration governance and has over the years made strides by designing and implementing tailored protocols, policies and programmes that were meant to harmonise processes and interventions in migration governance.
These include the Protocol on the Facilitation of Movement of Persons (2005); Labour Migration Action Plan (2020-2025), SADC Common Regional Policy Framework on Refugees and Asylum Seekers (2019); SADC Guidelines on Coordinated Border Management (2011); the Regional Strategy to Combat Illegal Migration, Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons (2016-2020), and the SADC-United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Action Plan (UNHCR) (2020-2024).
H.E Dr Tax commended the launch of the IOM Continental Strategy for Africa and said SADC is confident that the strategy will assist in laying down the foundations for maximising the benefits of migration, and thus contribute to the realisation of the Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030, AU Agenda 2063, and SADC Vision 2050.
She said in the wake of COVID-19, and its unprecedented impact on migration and human mobility, it was heartwarming to note that the Continental Strategy on Migration in Africa highlights the importance of addressing health dimensions of migration and against countries’ commitments towards achieving universal health coverage, to which no one, including migrants, must not be left behind.