The establishment of the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS) was a response to key recommendations from the Regional Conferences on Mixed Migration in the Gulf of Aden, attended by agencies and authorities from the region (held in Yemen in 2008 and Djibouti in 2009). At that time the phenomenon of mixed migration of complex flows was emerging with high levels of human rights abuse and limited understanding of the dynamics behind it and no dedicated entity focusing on analysis and research around the phenomenon. A meeting in Djibouti in March 2011 served to specifically consult on and discuss the establishment of the RMMS. In June 2011 the Secretariat Coordinator was hired and by mid-July 2011 the Secretariat formally commenced its work.
The overall objective of the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS) is to support agencies, institutions and forums in the Horn of Africa and Yemen sub-region to improve the management of protection and assistance response to people in mixed migration flows within and beyond the Horn of Africa and across the Gulf of Aden or Red Sea in Yemen.
It hopes to act as an independent agency acting as a catalyst, and where appropriate, as an ‘agent provocateur’ to stimulate forward thinking and policy development in the sector dealing with mixed migration. Its overarching focus and emphasis is on human rights, protection and assistance.
The RMMS reinforces data and information collection and sharing, research, analysis and aims to positively impact migration and refugee policies throughout the region. It aims to have a positive technical impact as the main actors working with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants will be better informed about mixed migration trends and policies.
The four pillars and core activities of RMMS:
The RMMS is a regional hub aiming to provide:
- Information and data management.
- Synthesis, analysis and research.
- Support to policy development and dialogue.
- Support and coordination.
RMMS core activities under these pillars include:
- Publication of monthly summaries, maps and media output on mixed migration trends in the region and beyond – featured at the RMMS website which forms a critical platform for much of RMMS’ work and a one-stop site for mixed migration issues in the region.
- Publication of feature articles, discussion papers and briefing papers on mixed migration.
- Research studies.
- Data gathering and dissemination (through interactive infographics and maps and regular briefing papers) through the 4Mi project.
- Attending and organizing workshops, discussion fora, conferences, roundtables on mixed migration issues.
- Involvement with external partners like the International Migrants Bill of Rights, the International Detention Coalition and North Africa Mixed Migration Taskforce.
- Managing fora to exchange trends, developments and data on mixed migration in the region, including the organization and coordination of teleconferences with partners in the region and the Kenya Mixed Migration Taskforce.
- Providing support to other regions in case of expansion of the RMMS concept.
Although RMMS was initially established with a primary concentration on protection aspects on the so-called ‘eastern route’ (mixed migration flows from Somalia and Ethiopia and through Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti to Yemen and Saudi Arabia), it currently collects data, conducts research and provides analysis on other flows as well, in particular the ‘western flow’ from the Horn of Africa towards Libya and crossing the Mediterranean into Europe and the ‘southern’ flow through Kenya and Tanzania to the Republic of South Africa and beyond. In this regard the RMMS does not limit itself to the Horn of Africa region in terms of policy development and analysis. The concept of RMMS is not restricted to the region either, but very applicable in any areas where there is a dearth of data and analysis on mixed flows and/or where there is a need for an independent think tank to operate.
DRC and RMMS have started to publish mixed migration summaries and will embark on mixed migration research initiatives in a number of other regions. Mixed migration publications from other regions can be found here.
The Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS) is a unit co-located within the Danish Refugee Council’s regional office (Horn of Africa and Yemen) in Nairobi, Kenya. The RMMS’ work is guided by a multi-agency Steering Committee, currently consisting of the IOM, UNHCR, DRC, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Intersos, IGAD and the EU delegation to Kenya. The Steering Committee meets on a bi-annual basis and offers strategic support to the work of RMMS.