IOM Strengthens the Foundation for its Activities in Crimea

8 June 2012

A Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation was signed between the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (ARC). The signing ceremony took place in the framework of the First Forum of Foreign Technical Assistance, held in Crimea at the end of May 2012. The Memorandum was signed by the Minister of Economic Development of ARC Svitlana Verba and the Chief of the IOM Mission in Ukraine Manfred Profazi.

The concluded agreement lays grounds for development and implementation of potential joint projects in the field of migration, counter-trafficking in human beings, assistance to displaced persons and integration of national minorities, with the aim of maximizing social, economic and cultural gains of migration and minimizing its negative effects.

?Crimea has a long and complex migration history and as such is high on the agenda of IOM. We are convinced that migration and migrants can contribute to more development in Crimea and that tackling the negative aspects of migration will also help to improve the overall situation,? says IOM Ukraine?s Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi, ?The MoU shows that the Government of ARC has recognized the importance of the subject and we look forward to working with them on improving their migration management.?

IOM is currently engaged in counter-trafficking and community development programmes in Crimea, implemented in partnership with local authorities and NGOs. Inter alia, with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IOM is contributing to the establishment of the National Referral Mechanism for Assisting Victims of Trafficking in the Autonomous Republic. Under the Programme, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, IOM is preventing human trafficking through social work and community mobilization. Likewise, jointly with the Republic of Korea, IOM supports economic and social integration of the ethnic Koreans in ARC, as well as in other southern regions of Ukraine.