IOM in Papua New Guinea
IOM has been operating in Papua New Guinea (PNG) since 2001, working on complex emergencies, providing humanitarian relief, and building capacity of the Government. With generous support from the Governments of Australia, the USA and the EU, and in close partnership with Government partners, the UN country team and civil society, IOM is reaching displaced populations in remote communities, assisting stranded migrants, and safeguarding the rights of vulnerable groups
Operating through its head office in Port Moresby and field offices throughout the country, IOM’s programmes focus on disaster management, emergency preparedness and response, counter-trafficking in persons, assisted voluntary return and reintegration, migration and border management, and integration.
- Emergencies and Disaster Management
IOM is assisting Papua New Guinea (PNG) in enhancing its preparedness and response capacity to migration crises, as well as facilitating climate change adaptation and linking disaster management to development. In line with its mandate, IOM’s Emergencies and Disaster Management programme in PNG aims to reduce the effects of natural and man-made disasters on local communities through three pillars of community resilience, coordination and capacity building. Operating through its field offices throughout the country, IOM is focusing on the following areas:
PreventionReducing the impacts of hazard exposure, vulnerability and climate change drivers to prevent forced migration in communities. Promoting and facilitating migration as a livelihood strategy – climate change adaptation, environmental migration.
Transition and RecoveryImplementing durable solutions: relocation/resettlement, return, local integration and peace building. Promoting sustainable livelihoods, addressing, and linking disaster risk reduction to development.
MitigationReducing the environmental footprint of the displaced. Mitigating the risk associated with population movements on receiving communities (including infrastructural interventions).
- Tracking displacement during crises.
ResponseLeading the shelter and non-food items (NFIs) cluster in the country and integrating camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) tools/methodologies (as CCCM Global cluster co-lead). Emergency humanitarian assistance through rapid assessments, emergency shelter, NFIs, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), food security, protection and relocation.
PreparednessPreparing at-risk communities for disasters and potential displacement: community-based disaster risk management, early warning systems, community drills and evacuation centres. Building the capacity and bridging the response mechanisms of communities, provincial administrations and central government institutions (IOM is the deputy chair of the UN task team on environment, climate change and disaster risk management).
- Care, Transit and Return Assistance
Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR)
IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) activities are an indispensable part of ensuring the integrity of regular migration. The AVRR programme in Papua New Guinea provides suitable measures for the short-term care, accommodation and movement of irregular migrants referred to IOM for voluntary return to their countries of origin or resettlement to third countries. IOM’s enhanced services for sustainable return include counselling, medical screening, escort, documentation, departure-transit-arrival, and in some cases, reintegration assistance. IOM has accommodation facilities in Port Moresby where these migrants are safely housed while their travel arrangements are organized.
Humanitarian Assistance to Stranded Migrants
IOM provides humanitarian assistance to stranded Papua New Guinean nationals whose boats have been swept out to sea by unexpected storms or shifts in tides and drifted into international waters and neighbouring countries. In providing such assistance, IOM ensures that stranded migrants receive all necessary care and support including accommodation and medical assistance, and they are repatriated safely back to PNG.
- Immigration and Border Management
IOM assists Papua New Guinean authorities in creating the legislative framework, administrative structures, operational systems and the human resource base necessary to respond effectively to diverse migration challenges and to institute appropriate migration governance. With an international network and worldwide experience IOM is able to provide analytical reports and advice on the development and amendment of legislative acts related to migration management and border management that are aligned to recognized international standards. IOM continues to provide advice, quality assurance and training to the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority and PNG Customs Services to improve migration and border management through support in capacity building, advancing IT capabilities and enhanced legislative framework.
Counter-Smuggling in Human Beings
Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) activities are an indispensable part of ensuring the integrity of regular migration. The AVRR programme in Papua New Guinea provides suitable measures for the short-term care, accommodation and movement of irregular migrants referred to IOM for voluntary return to their countries of origin or resettlement to third countries. IOM’s enhanced services for sustainable return include counselling, medical screening, escort, documentation, departure-transit-arrival, and in some cases, reintegration assistance. IOM has accommodation facilities.
- Vulnerable Migrants Assistance
IOM is adopting a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to combat the crime of trafficking in persons in PNG. Working in close partnership with the Department of Justice and Attorney General (DJAG), IOM is directing its technical assistance to PNG authorities through four complex and integrated components: legislation and policy, advocacy and prevention, support and protection, and criminalization and prosecution. On 30 June 2014, the Papua New Guinean government, in collaboration with IOM, gazetted legislation criminalising any act involving the recruitment, movement, transportation, harbouring, transferring and receipt of persons through force, deception, threat or other coercive means for the purpose of exploitation. Convictions carry a penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment. IOM is currently placing an emphasis on raising awareness of trafficking in persons with law enforcement and protection agencies, communities at risk, youth, and the general population. A 24/7 toll-free hotline has been set up to provide information on trafficking in persons and to offer help to victims and their families. The toll-free hotline can be accessed on 7100 7777. This program is funded by the US State Department, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TiP).
Settlement and Integration
IOM PNG aims at providing resettlement and integration services by assisting PNG to acquire the policy, administrative, and operational capabilities it needs to create an enabling environment for refugees as well as host communities. IOM PNG has robust resources to provide design, implementation, and capacity building support in the areas of case management, community engagement, stakeholder relations, and strategic communications.
Since February 2015, IOM is supporting the Immigration and Citizenship Authority (ICA) on capacity building in case management, development of case management training materials, design and implementation of strategic communications, community awareness, and stakeholder engagement strategies. IOM will continue and expand the communications and community engagement capacity building of ICA, awareness-raising, advocacy, and community liaison activities. Communication and information sharing with stakeholders including general public is required to build understanding and support for the PNG Refugee Settlement Programme. IOM’s Resettlement and Integration Unit is working with the Government of PNG and other stakeholders in implementing communications, outreach, policy advocacy, public information, and community liaison activities to promote tolerance towards refugees so that communities and refugees could integrate and work together for national development.