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Inauguration of the Registration and Temporary Accommodation Center for Irregular Migrants at Qafë Botë Border Crossing Point
Qafë Botë, Sarandë, July 11, 2023 - The Department of Border and Migration at the Albanian State Police, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Interior have officially inaugurated the Registration and Temporary Accommodation Center for irregular migrants at the Qafë Botë Border Crossing Point.
The establishment of the Registration and Temporary Accommodation Center has become necessary due to the increased flow of irregular migrants entering the Republic of Albania through the southernmost border with Greece. During the first half of this year, 3,596 irregular migrants have been identified in the territory of Albania, with over 1,500 entering through this Border Crossing Point. To ensure appropriate facilities for the identified needs and access to services that address vulnerabilities and protect the rights of migrants, IOM has positively responded to the request of the Albanian authorities to support the establishment of this center.
"The International Organization for Migration is committed to upholding the human dignity and well-being of migrants, as well as assisting governments in addressing the operational challenges of migration management. This new center is an example that will guarantee that people on the move are treated with dignity and provided with shelter, medical assistance and safety, among others," said Alma Jani, Head of Office of IOM in Albania.
The Registration and Temporary Accommodation Center for irregular migrants at Qafë Botë has the capacity to accommodate 60 individuals, including dedicated spaces for migrant registration, interviewing of vulnerable individuals, child-friendly spaces, a medical outpatient clinic and dedicated containers to ensure proper hygienic and sanitation conditions.
Saimir Boshnjaku, Director of the Department of Border and Migration at the Albanian State Police, who was present during the center's inauguration ceremony, stated: “The Department of Border and Migration is receiving continuous support from the IOM to ensure the capacities for the identified needs and to provide services in the protection of the rights of migrants with the appropriate standards of a country toward European Union membership”.
This is the third facility established in response to the needs of migrants and Albanian authorities in managing migration flows, following the Registration and Temporary Accommodation Center at the Regional Directorate of Border and Migration in Gërhot, Gjirokastër in 2017, and the one at the Kapshtica Border Crossing Point in 2019.
The establishment of this center has been made possible with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the project “Addressing Mixed Migration Flows in the Western Balkans” and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, through the regional projects “Western Balkans Integrated Border Management Facility (WBIBM)”, “Western Balkans Readmission Capacity Building Facility (WBCAP), and “Western Balkans Joint Actions Against Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Human Beings (WBJAST).