Podgorica, 26th April 2012:
As part of the Migration for Development in the Western Balkans (MIDWEB) project, IOM in Montenegro organized a two-day training on labour migration and migrant protection for personnel of the consular department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration.
Mr Sergey Brestovitsky, an experienced migration consultant, presented best international practices and guidance regarding migrant protection, return programmes, identifying needs for foreign labour in destination countries, and promoting the availability of the qualified labour force able to fill these needs.
The training included a series of active discussions, dominantly focused on labour migration and study abroad opportunities. Consular officers shared their views and experiences, and through an open debate identified major migration management challenges, including lack of support for student mobility, legislative gaps, inadequate information flow and other issues.
Ms Stanica Lola Popović, Minister Plenipotentiary, Consular Section, said: “There is a need for more such training events, because better understanding of migration issues and education of future consular staff, will help resolve migration problems in the future”.
“We believe that knowledge and concrete advice gained through this training event will help consular officers strengthen their capacity for their future work in embassies and consulates abroad”, said Ms Mirjana Vlahović, the IOM MIDWEB Project assistant and expressed hope that that the training will result in concrete benefits for all participants from the consular department.
Ms Zorka Kordić, Attaché from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration told that better cooperation and coordination between relevant institutions on migration issues is required. IOM representatives highlighted that four Migrant Service Centres in Montenegro, developed within the MIDWEB project, represent solid support to improvement of the migration management, and can also assist the work of consular staff.
The existing network of Migrant Service Centres in the Western Balkans aims to ensure efficient dissemination of information about legal channels for migration among potential labour migrants and to provide opportunities for return of skills and human capital and their contribution to the development of the Western Balkans to the mutual benefit of migrants and countries of origin.
Dusica Živković, the MIDWEB Project Coordinator for Montenegro concluded: “There are big challenges in Montenegro regarding migration, because of its position en route to Western Europe as well as being a destination country with a need for seasonal foreign workers“.
The training was supported financially by the European Commission IPA 2009 Multi-beneficiary Programme 2 and IOM Development Fund.