IOM Supports Access to Legal Documentation for Migrants in Mauritania
Nouakchott - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Mauritania, supported by funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), signed a partnership agreement to facilitate access to individual documents for migrants residing in Mauritania. The partnership with the local NGO “Association for the Fight against Poverty and Underdevelopment” (Association pour la Lutte contre la Pauvreté et le Sous-Développement - ALPD) will provide legal and paralegal assistance to migrants in the country.
This pilot initiative intends to assist 150 migrants in vulnerable situations in preparing their application for residence permits and birth certificates for their Mauritanian-born children.. This will help reduce cases of exploitation and/or violation of migrants’ rights in the country. Thus, the Mauritanian authorities aim to promote access-right to birth certificate and legal identity for every child, whether national or foreign.
“This partnership also aims to support migrants in documentation procedures to demystify the process, sometimes unknown or complex, and to promote a better knowledge of these procedures within migrant communities, as a way to promote their empowerment” explained Ms. Laura Parker, IOM Mauritania Protection Officer.
To support these efforts, IOM is collaborating with the National Agency for the Population Registry and Secure Documents (Agence Nationale du Registre des Populations et des Titres Sécurisés - ANRPTS) to facilitate the obtaining of these documents. IOM and the ANRTPS will produce and disseminate awareness-raising materials for migrants, such as videos and flyers in local languages, that will include information on documentation procedures.
Documentation challenges faced by migrant communities in Mauritania and the arising need for such innovative activities were discussed during a meeting between the ALPD, consular representatives from The Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Mauritanian authorities (ANRPTS and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Mauritanians Abroad)This exchange framework will strengthen partnership between the different stakeholders and provide practical solutions to issues relating to the individual documentation of migrants.
"The ALPD, in close collaboration with IOM and national stakeholders, will offer its expertise to protect migrants’ rights by promoting the registration of migrants to the civil registry office," said Mr. Mohamed Vall, Chairman of the ALPD, at the signing of the partnership. "Our efforts will facilitate migrants’ access to basic social services like education, health, and employment.”