International Organization for Migration

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Capacity Building, Information and Awareness Raising towards Promoting Orderly Migration in the Western Balkans (February 2008 – January 2010)

Location: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo under UNSCR 1244
Donor: European Union, Italian Government

In coordination with the National Employment Services in the participating countries, 22 Migrant Service Centres (MSCs) have been set up, providing information, referral and counselling services to migrants, potential migrants, immigrants and returnees as appropriate. Forty Destination Guides with information about work and study abroad opportunities were produced and translated into six languages and are used by the MSCs on a daily basis. Outreach and information campaigns have been undertaken in all project locations, and skills development sessions were provided on an as-needed basis on CV writing, interview techniques and Internet search. To contribute to project sustainability, officials at the project’s associate institutions (national employment centres) have been trained by IOM staff to provide information service to clients during and after the project’s duration. Statistics on the users of MSC services have been generated quarterly on a regional basis and fed into a detailed statistical and narrative report.

The capacity-building component consisted of the Regional Workshop on “Establishing Labour Migration Policies in Countries of Origin and Destination and Inter-State Collaboration in the Western Balkans”, held in Tirana in Feb 2009, as well as seven national-level week-long training courses on Labour Migration Management, held in each participating location between May and November 2009, based on the OSCE/ILO/IOM “Handbook on Establishing Effective Labour Migration Policies in Countries of Origin and Destination”, which has been translated into local languages and distributed to policymakers. The training courses have been delivered by IOM, ILO and external experts.

In addition, six statistical reports on the users of Migrant Service Centres and six project newsletters have been produced and distributed. All project publications and information materials are posted on the project website www.migrantservicecentres.org, which will continue beyond the project’s duration with IOM’s support. All associate institutions, namely national employment services in the participating countries, have confirmed their commitment to the MSC services and are expected to continue providing assistance to potential migrants and immigrants.

Since the interim report (March 2009), the MSC services continued uninterrupted in all 22 MSCs.
Albania (14): Berat, Fier, Lezhe, Diber, Gjirokaster, Shkoder, Durres, Korce, Vlore, Elbasan, Kukes, Tirane, Pogradec, Sarande. MSCs provide services to migrants, potential migrants, returnees and immigrants, providing information and advice on migration possibilities within and out of the region, but also on domestic labour market and integration/reintegration related issues (housing, health, education, residence, etc.). In Albania, Migration Counters/Sportele Migracioni already run quite independently of IOM and constitute a measure within the National Action Plan on Migration (creation of Migration Counters to provide information on migration).