Newly drafted Kenya National Migration Policy complete

By Claire Wanja

The National Coordination Mechanism on Migration (NCM) has completed a draft Kenya National Migration Policy.

The draft policy is now set for validation.

The document drafted originally in 2013 by the Immigration Department covers various migration issues ranging from acquisition of Kenya citizenship, foreign nationals management, migration enforcement, trafficking in persons, and refugee movement, Labour Migration, Migration and Health, Border Management among others.

The newly drafted policy will outline a comprehensive normative framework that will guide migration management, with the main goal to enhance socio-economic development and security in the country, while taking into consideration the UN-inspired Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The latter aspect is vital as the SDGs are now driving policy planning and implementation across borders and across sectors, recognizing the interlinkages between migration and development and the fundamental contributions of migrants in this regard.

The mainstreaming of the SDGs in migration related functions also assists the Government of Kenya in planning and progressively enhancing migration management in the country for the purpose of mobilising additional resources and maximising the utilization of available resources by avoiding duplication and wastage.

The draft policy advocates for enhanced border surveillance, improved capacity of existing points and enhanced use of modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools at all ports of entry. It will also guide overall rules on immigration and stay in the country.

While opening a three-day workshop on 9 March, which also discussed the migration component of the SDGs, the Director of Immigration Services Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Dr. Gordon Kihalangwa hailed the stakeholders’ commitment towards the formulation of the policy, noting that migration has moved to the top of the national security and development agendas, not only in the developing countries of the South, but also of the highly industrialized countries.

“Migration is intricately linked to other important global issues including poverty and human rights,” he told a workshop supported by IOM that brought together high level government officials drawn from various agencies in Elementaita.

This Workshop was also the first dialogue deliberating on the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration building towards the International Dialogue on Migration 2017.

On his part, the Head of the IOM Kenya Country Office, Mr. Michael Pillinger, said that the ongoing assistance to NCM by IOM will also continue supporting the establishment and strengthening of similar national platforms and mechanisms for cooperation on migration.

NCM, which was launched in July 2016, is tasked with facilitating interagency coordination, collaboration and information-sharing on migration issues at the national level in Kenya.