FILE- Migrants are seen on a boat as they are being rescued by Libyan coast guards at the coast of Tripoli in Libya, December 8, 2017 - REUTERS/Hani Amara FILE- Migrants are seen on a boat as they are being rescued by Libyan coast guards at the coast of Tripoli in Libya, December 8, 2017 - REUTERS/Hani Amara

IOM official says illegal immigration in Egypt almost disappeared

Fri, Jan. 24, 2020
CAIRO – 24 January 2020: The International Organization for Migration (IOM’s) Chief of Mission to Egypt, Laurent de Boeck, praised an Egyptian national initiative that aims at limiting illegal immigration, saying illegal immigration through Egypt almost stopped thanks to the Egyptian efforts.

In an interview with Egypt Today, de Boeck said the “Life Saving Boats” initiative launched by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has worked not only to educate the Egyptian youth about the dangers of illegal immigration, but also to provide alternatives and safe job opportunities.

The IOM works in partnership with the Egyptian government, through various partnerships, to provide safe alternatives to secure youth from smuggling and human trafficking, and to help the government toughen punishment of traffickers, de Boeck said.

Thanks to the Egyptian efforts, the number of illegal immigrants sharply declined to almost zero, although it has been thousands before 2016.

Egypt’s Minister of Immigration Nabila Makram, along with Manpower Minister Mohamed Saafan, and Social Solidarity Minister Nevin al-Kabbaj, recently launched the second leg of the presidential initiative in the northern governorate of Beheira, to educate people about the danger of illegal immigration.

The initiative targets 11 governorates, which are the main source nationwide for illegal immigrants.

During his speech at World Youth Forum (WYF) closing ceremony in Sharm el Sheikh last December, President Sisi noted that the International Human Rights Council highlighted the contributions and effects of WYF in Egypt, including establishing partnerships with other international youth forums, addressing issues such as sustainable development and dangers of illegal immigration.

On the sidelines of Munich Security Conference 2019, Sisi spoke about Egypt’s successful experience in controlling illegal immigration and countering terrorism especially in Sinai.

He added that Egypt did not ask for any aid from European countries, and managed on its own to stop illegal immigration. “Not even one case has been recorded since September 2016,” Presidential spokesman Bassam Radi stated.

He explained that the Egyptian authorities were keen to end illegal immigration and to curb the cases of illegal immigration deaths.
 
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