On assuming her submit as the brand new director normal of the Worldwide Group for Migration, Amy Pope mentioned that one in every of her primary priorities was to construct extra common pathways for migration for individuals who have misplaced hope for a viable future and can’t keep house.
“I’m taking the helm of IOM at a time of unprecedented motion world wide,” she instructed journalists in Geneva on Monday. She additionally mentioned conflicts, the shortcoming to discover a job or a future at house, or violence inside neighborhoods or communities, drove an increasing number of folks “to discover a higher life elsewhere.”
The IOM estimates there have been about 281 million worldwide migrants on the earth in 2020, about 3.6% of the worldwide inhabitants.
Pope, the primary girl to go IOM in its 72-year historical past, mentioned the No. 1 objective of the group she leads “is to essentially harness the advantages and the promise of migration.”
Pope mentioned it was essential to construct up extra common channels as a result of the present state of affairs was not tenable.
“If we don’t work with member states to construct out extra common pathways for people who find themselves in want of motion, we are going to proceed to see overwhelming appeals for asylum programs and folks coming as much as borders making an attempt to cross the Mediterranean,” she mentioned.
She mentioned this example was taking part in out in lots of components of the world. Within the Americas, for instance, she mentioned the variety of folks on the transfer and the profile of individuals on the transfer has advanced significantly.
“We’re seeing folks from all around the world present up and attempt to cross the Darien as of late,” she mentioned, referring to the Darien Hole migration route, a dangerous stretch of jungle between Colombia and Panama.
Lots of of hundreds of individuals cross this harmful territory yearly in hopes of reaching america.
Pope mentioned folks make this journey as a result of there usually are not sufficient common avenues for people who find themselves determined to seek out work and enhance their impoverished lives.
“Proper now, after we have a look at the alternatives that exist, most individuals are looking for asylum pathways. And so, they’re crossing the Darien as a result of they give the impression of being to current themselves at a border to hunt asylum at that border,” she mentioned.
Although many don’t qualify, she mentioned folks proceed to assert asylum as a result of they see this as the one choice open for them.
“That, to me, says that we collectively, with our member states and with the assist of IOM, must construct up extra common pathways.
“Whether or not they’re labor pathways, whether or not they’re different humanitarian or household reunification pathways, we have to make sure that individuals who can’t keep at house have a secure technique to transfer with out going by way of extraordinarily harmful jungle,” she mentioned.
Pope leaves for the Horn of Africa on Sunday. She mentioned she selected this area as her first mission overseas as a result of greater than 80% of migration takes place inside the African continent.
“Finally, our job as a U.N. group is to not focus simply on South to North migration, which I do know occupies a number of political house and a number of print house, however to work with communities internationally to allow migration and outcomes regardless of the place they occur,” she mentioned.
Pope begins her journey in Ethiopia, the place she is going to meet with the African Union Fee and authorities officers, after which journey to Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti.
A spotlight of her go to, she mentioned, was to determine secure pathways and alternatives throughout the African continent and see how IOM can guarantee migration allows improvement inside international locations in Africa.
“Now we have seen elevated migration heading south all the way down to South Africa. We all know that migrants alongside the route typically are going through discrimination, risks, a number of violence alongside the best way, and sometimes once they land,” she mentioned, including that it was essential to construct consciousness and higher pathways for them.
Pope mentioned she additionally will search options for African migrants who’re going to the Gulf for work. She probably was referring to the Gulf of Aden, the place the IOM has been coping with issues regarding Somali and Ethiopian migrants crossing into Yemen to achieve Saudi Arabia for work.
“There have been many troubling studies in regards to the remedy of migrants getting back from the Gulf,” she mentioned.
Pope mentioned she desires to make sure higher safety for migrants towards exploitation and higher entry to providers.
Relating to the state of West African migrants, the IOM chief known as the state of affairs in Niger, which just lately went by way of its third coup in lower than two years, significantly worrying. She mentioned that many African migrants expelled from Algeria had been amongst some 5,000 migrants at present in eight transit facilities in Niger ready to go house.
“We’re very a lot advocating to have some humanitarian hall that’s open in order that we are able to enable the migrants who wish to go house to have the ability to go house safely,” she mentioned.
Pope refuted arguments that migrants had been a drain on society. She mentioned overwhelming proof confirmed that migration advantages economies.
“If you have a look at economies which have had a big inflow of migrants over time, should you have a look at how they’re performing sooner or later, we see overwhelmingly that individuals are usually higher off on account of migration,” she mentioned.