IOM and ILO last week hosted a cross section of Somali government officials at an inter-ministerial dialogue on migration to discuss key migration and mobility issues.
The meeting, which was held in Nairobi, Kenya on Wednesday, 4 November 2015, was attended by officials from the Ministries of Youth and Sports, Interior and Federal Affairs, Labour and Social Affairs, Internal Security, the National Commission for IDPs and Refugees, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Somalia, and the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD.)
“Migration is of great concern to our government because it affects a huge percentage of the Somali Youth, who make up 70 per cent of the total population in the country. Often driven in search of employment opportunities, or fleeing situations of conflict and crisis in Somalia, youth leave their areas of origin and face particular challenges during their migration,” said Youth and Sports Minister Maxamed Cabdullahi Xasan.
According to the ILO, in 2014 an estimated one in eight migrants were between the ages of 15 and 24. The Labour Force Survey for Somalia conducted in 2014 points to the bleak employment situation of Somali youth, as young people (aged 15-24) struggle to find work, especially in the formal sector, where youth unemployment is estimated at 22 per cent.
State Minister of Interior and Federal Affairs Abdirashid Mohamed Hidig said: “As of 6th October 2015, Somali migrants have accounted for 13 per cent of all boat arrivals in Italy. Between January and July this year they included a total of 800 Somali unaccompanied minors.”
Gerard Waite, IOM Somalia Chief of Mission said: “In 2015 a minimum of 359 people from the Somalis and Eritreans from the Horn of Africa have died making the Mediterranean crossing. Between January and March this year, 45 migrants also died crossing the Gulf of Aden, and another four died off the coast of Yemen. This is why IOM is working in Somalia to reduce irregular migration and promote orderly migration.”
In the second quarter of 2015, smuggled migrants from the Horn of Africa were the second largest group of Mediterranean arrivals in the European Union after Syrian nationals. Eritreans and Somalis accounted for 17 per cent of all Mediterranean boat arrivals in Europe in the third quarter of 2015. They have been in the top five countries of origin of asylum applicants in 11 different EU states over the last two years.
Paul Crook, ILO Chief Technical Advisor in Somalia noted: “ILO is currently engaged in fragile states and disaster response anchored in the role of socio-economic programmes and policies in peace-building and recovery. Through its work, the ILO will continue to strengthen institutional capacity and governance in countries and regions affected by conflict, irregular migration and disaster to lay the foundations for stable communities.”
© Radio Dalsan