The Introductory Consultative Workshop on “Effective Partnership and Implementation of ‘Strengthening the resilience of conflict-affected communities in Kachin and Northern Shan states through increased safe and rewarding migration’ (SAFE) Project,” was held on 10 October 2019 in Nay Pyi Taw. 

The purpose of the workshop was to introduce the SAFE project and to ensure effective partnership and implementation between government departments, IOM and Metta Development Foundation. 

Twenty representatives from the Department of Labour, Department of Rehabilitation, Department of Social Welfare, Department of Disaster Management, Department of General Administration and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Metta Development Foundation and the Livelihoods and Food Security Fund (LIFT), attended the workshop. 

U Win Shein, Director General of the Department of Labour and Mr. Akio Nakayama, Chief of Mission of the IOM Mission in Myanmar, held opening remarks highlighting the vulnerabilities of local communities, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), in conflict-affected areas in Kachin and Northern Shan states to issues such as human trafficking, and particularly forced marriage to China. 

The consultative workshop resulted in support for the SAFE project as well as fruitful discussions and recommendations for SAFE from the Director General and other representatives from the aforementioned departments. 

During the discussions, the Director General underlined the importance of effective coordination with relevant government departments, the need for accountability and responsibility in project interventions; and requested SAFE partners to generate a study on the local context of project areas to ensure that interventions are carefully aligned with the needs of the communities, while noting the importance of ensuring ethnic inclusiveness, local partnership and outreach to communities in remote areas. Representatives from other departments also requested SAFE partners to share the knowledge generated through the project with them, and recommended their department’s participation in the planned state-level policy dialogues on migration. 

ABOUT SAFE: Funded by LIFT and implemented by IOM and Metta Development Foundation, the SAFE project aims to support IDPs and members of host communities in Kachin and northern Shan states, to enjoy safer labour mobility and reduced vulnerability to human trafficking and associated forms of exploitation and abuse. In doing so, SAFE focuses on equipping aspiring migrants with relevant knowledge and awareness to help plan their migration journeys through the provision of tailored safe migration trainings. The project will also install community-based support mechanisms which – led by local civil society organisations – will counter the adverse factors/drivers of migration and support government and local authorities to increase their capacity to respond to the migration-related needs of conflict-affected populations through, for example, Migrant Resource Centres. Lastly, the knowledge generated by the project and the relationships among stakeholders as facilitated through project activities, will contribute to increase willingness by policy makers to incorporate migration perspectives – particularly as applicable in humanitarian settings – into state-level policy processes.