Session on Protection and Assistance to migrants

During the 12th Mediterranean Conference, Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will address the humanitarian consequences of forced migration and how to respond to migrants’ needs.

'Desert Hope', training for volunteers of the MENA region on Disaster Management in a camp in Lybia. Photo Contest for Youth in the Mediterranean, 2010. Ibrahim Malla/CCM

As underlined by UNHCR, the Mediterranean Sea is, by large, the deathliest migration route in the world. In 2014 more than 3,500 people died in route, 75% of the total number of migrants who died around the globe. Last year 350,000 people crossed the Mediterranean, not just to look for a better life but also to seek asylum due to, for example, the conflict in Syria (with almost 4 million refugees) or the unrest in different parts of the region.

The Mediterranean region includes destination, transit and/or source countries of migration; hence the approach of National Societies - focusing on assistance, protection and advocacy - adapts to their needs all along their migratory trails. As stated by the Migration Policy of the IFRC, “patterns and issues associated with migration change over time. We should, therefore, continually examine our ways of working with and for migrants to ensure that our action remains strong, coherent, and mindful of crosscutting issues”.

Two issues will be discussed in depth during the Conference: ‘Migration and Youth’ and ‘Human Trafficking’

There are 28 million migrants aged between 15 and 24 around the globe, which is 12% of the total number of migrants. Young migrants face the same risks as the adults, yet those risks worsen when they are in an irregular situation and aged under 18: exploitation, precarious employment, trafficking, exclusion, detection and deportation.

On the other hand, Human Trafficking is a growing concern among institutions. According to the International Organization for Migration, over 800,000 people are trafficked every year for sexual exploitation or forced labour across international borders, without counting domestic trafficking. The Mediterranean Sea, the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Turkey are the main routes of human trafficking in the region.

People leave their homes due to different reasons: socioeconomic, demographic, because of climate change or conflict. Yet their needs are the same. The RC/RC National Societies of the Mediterranean will debate on how to face the humanitarian consequences of forced migration, and how coordinated support may be provided to respond to migrants’ needs. The opportunity will be provided to debate and discuss how to effectively exchange expertise and build the capacities of volunteers and staff acting in the field of migration.

  • Humanity
  • Impartiality
  • Neutrality
  • Voluntary Service
  • Independence
  • Unity
  • Universality