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1st immigrant resource centre opens in Kabul

AT-KABUL: The first migrant resource centre was set up in Kabul as part of an initiative by the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation in joint venture with the International Centre for the Development of Migration Policy.

The refugee ministry in a statement said the centre will provide clear, accessible and understandable information to potential migrants on possibilities for orderly migration, as well as rules and regulations, including relevant pre-departure information.Raising awareness on the risks and dangers associated with irregular migration is another aim.

These efforts seek to warn potential emigrants about being exploited by organised groups of people smugglers as well as to protect them from human trafficking. Considering the large number of returnees, the Centre will also provide information on and referral to reintegration services in the country and will work closely with the respective ministries, civil society, international organisations and media.

Overall, the centre assists people in realistically assessing the opportunities and conditions in the countries of destination.

Better informed people will make better informed decisions. It is as simple as that, and it is the simple aim of this Migrant Resource Centre.

The MRC staffs provides information services in Kabul as well as in communities in various regions of Afghanistan, at schools, universities and other government services, such as the offices of passport-issuing authorities.

“We want to save potential emigrants from opting for irregular approaches and thereby falling into the hands of criminal networks. And we help people to make realistic assessments of the often overrated opportunities and prospects in the countries of destination, particularly in Europe,” Director General ICMPD Michael Spindelegger explained.

Meanwhile at the opening Carney Minister of Refugees and Repatriationscalled migration as an integral part of human society and said that efforts should be made to create a legal framework that will benefit both migrants and countries of origin and destination.

According to him, “the Afghan government has put migration management at the top of its agenda, which is why the High Commission for Migration was established in the government structure under the chairmanship of the Presidency, and the Subcommittee of the Council of Ministers under the chairmanship of the Chief Executive of the country.”

The Migrant Resource Centre in Kabul is being set up and run with funding from the European Union as part of the project “Improving Migration Management in the Silk Routes Countries”. ICMPD operates the centre together with the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations, of which the MRC is also a part.

As Afghanistan is the second country after Syria in the number of refugees originating from within its borders in recent years. Officially, about 2.5 million refugees have left Afghanistan in the almost four decades of this country being marked by hostilities and terror. The unofficial figure for the number of people who have fled exceeds six million. The majority of them are currently in the neighbouring countries of Pakistan and Iran as well as in Turkey. It is in this context that the first information centre for potential migrants was opened in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

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