IOM Zimbabwe Holds International Migrants Day Commemorations

Dec 15, 2017

Harare — IOM Zimbabwe this week (12/12) organized International Migrants Day commemorations in Harare to celebrate the contribution of migrants in origin and host countries and to create awareness of the need to respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all migrants.

Representatives from government ministries, civil society organizations, the Zimbabwean diaspora, returned diaspora members, the media and the general public participated in the event.

Key activities of the event included testimonies of experiences of Zimbabwean diaspora members and the screening of a global migration film When I’m There, which was followed by a post-screening debate led by three panelists who have extensive diaspora experience.

The key messages from the testimonies and the film concerned the contributions of migrants in the development of home and host countries; challenges of migrants in transit, in host countries and during their return home; the intrinsic connection of migrants to their roots and the importance migrants’ rights regardless of their status.

Calls were made during the event for a “whole of government” approach and deliberate resolve by governments to address the negative drivers of migration, such as underperforming economies and climate change, so that people can migrate by choice rather than out of necessity.

Speaking at the commemorations Ambassador Hamadziripi, a director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reiterated that Zimbabwe is involved in dialogues within the region and beyond to foster cooperation and collaboration in managing the complex realities associated with migration. 

IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Lily Sanya highlighted that due to globalization and technological advancement, migration is now a reality and here to stay. “Migration is not only inevitable and necessary but also desirable,” Sanya said. “It is therefore imperative for governments to put in place a migration governance framework that ensures that migration takes place in a well-managed manner and that the migrants rights, which in themselves are human rights, are upheld,” she added.

Addressing participants during the commemorations, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare, Ngoni Masoka, said: “The Government of Zimbabwe calls for renewed global commitment towards the plight of migrants given our firm belief that the human rights framework, which is often neglected in the migration discourse, should be the center piece of the envisaged global impact on migration.”

The event ended with the observation of a candlelight vigil to remember migrants who have lost their lives or disappeared while trying to reach safe harbour after arduous journeys across seas and deserts this year.

For more information, contact Gideon Madera at IOM Zimbabwe, Tel: +263 4 704285; Email: