JUBA, (Xinhua) --
South Sudan with support from the International
Organization for Migration (IOM) has kicked off meetings in Juba
aimed at developing the country’s first ever comprehensive
migration policy, the UN agency said on Friday.
IOM, which organized
a three-day meeting which ended on Friday saw key government
stakeholders set priorities to be addressed by the migration
Tya Maskun, IOM
South Sudan Head of Operations, said discussions centered on
establishing correct facts and figures around migration in South
Sudan, mixed migration, labor migration, and migration and
irregular migrants contribute to the country’s economy,
particularly through payments for business licenses and creating
employment opportunities,” Maskun said in a statement.
She said the
consultation marked the beginning of South Sudan’s journey
towards establishing a legal framework, which should aim to
protect and address migrants’ needs while harnessing the
benefits they bring to the country.
According to Maskun,
due to its status as a member of the East African Community,
South Sudan is a party to the free movement protocol, an
agreement that should be at the core of migration policy.
The IOM said the
outcome of this week’s consultation will lead to another
landmark step forward for the country which is a major transit
country on the route to Northern Africa.
“We saw the need for
South Sudan to come up with a migration policy when we realized
that there were some legal loopholes. We need to close these
gaps,” said Riaw Gatlier Gai, South Sudan’s Deputy Minister for
According to 2017
International Migration Report, South Sudan hosts about 845,000
migrants in 2017, the majority of whom are from the East and
Horn of Africa and are often travelling irregularly.