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Establishment of “Migration Volunteers” Public Union to facilitate mutual understanding and appreciation of migrant cultures and those of destination

Primary GCM Objectives

GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Dates

2019 - Present

Type of practice

Project/Programme

Latest content

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Summary

The “Migration Volunteer” Project was launched on February 7, 2019 at the initiative of the Chief of the State Migration Service, and on June 28, 2019, the “Migration Volunteer” Public Union was formed. One of the key objectives of this Union is using support of volunteers in order to facilitate migrants' access to services provided by the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as other state institutions. Moreover, one of the priorities of the Public Union is to contribute to Azerbaijan's youth policy by strengthening relations with non-governmental organizations and increasing existing cooperation.

“Migration Volunteers” assists migrants when filling out application forms for the relevant services, provides counselling and guidance to them, as well as helps with collection of relevant documents required for application process. Furthermore, members of the Public Union design and implement various social projects targeting migrants. A series of psychological trainings for volunteers has been implemented within the organization. The ongoing "NLP Diploma" is a psychological project, which is divided into several parts and consists of 8 lessons. At the same time, volunteers are involved in trainings within the Regional Training Center on Migration.

Key beneficiaries of the projects and activities are migrants residing in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Another main mission of the Public Union is to provide young people with new knowledge and experience on migration, to provide them with new opportunities for personal development, to take measures to stimulate and increase their initiative, to involve them in the activities of the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan and to familiarize them with migration field. The Public Union has 24 workers and 7 departments. More than 7.000 young volunteers have been registered with the Migration Volunteers Public Union. The Public Union is financed by NGO’s, state agencies and donations.

Organizations

Main Implementing Organization(s)

Government of Azerbaijan

Detailed Information

State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Benefit and Impact

The “Migration Volunteer” Public Union (MV) played an essential role in facilitating access of migrants to services rendered by the State Migration Service, as well as in the implementation of social projects targeting vulnerable migrants.

The Public Union implemented a number of projects, including delivery of relevant documents like residence permits, certificates, etc. to migrants during the lockdown in 2020-2021 due the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, “Migration Volunteers”, together with the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the IOM Azerbaijan, delivered humanitarian assistance to 276 stranded migrants in the frame of the “Contribution for humanitarian Activities included in IOM Global Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan Coronavirus Disease 2019 (IOM COVID GSRP) COVID-19 – South Caucasus” Project, funded by the United State Department of State, the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. It aimed to provide humanitarian assistance to stranded, vulnerable migrants in Azerbaijan between September-December 2020. So, regardless of the restrictions and risks, migration volunteers provided significant assistance to migrants during the pandemic.

In 2019 it started as a project and later became a Public Union, which is currently represented in the Public Council under the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan. During these years the public Union implemented more than 10 projects targeting vulnerable migrants, as well as refugees.

Key Lessons

Main challenges on establishment of “Migration Volunteer” Public Union:

1. Attracting youth to the Union
The relevant support from the State Migration Service (SMS) was provided by announcing this Project in the social media accounts, official webpage of the Service, etc. Later members of the project used social media to promote participation of youth in the project. The specialist of the Service, as well as from the different companies were invited to promote this Project and Union within the migrants, youth and Governmental and Non-governmental organizations.

2. Identify the structural form of the organization
The structure of the Union was drawn up with the help of specialists from the SMS and other government institutions.

3. Finding donors
The Public Union started to design successful projects targeting vulnerable migrants which were funded by the international organizations, charity organizations and state institutions.

Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)

We believe that establishment of such volunteer projects may help in informing young people and migrants about benefits of migration, as well as helping migrants to benefit from services of the state institutions, NGO’s and international organizations.

Innovation

The project used the power of youth to promote migration, as well as inform young people about benefits of migration and assist vulnerable migrants. Between October-November 2019 MV together with the Azerbaijan Medical University assisted more than 1000 foreign students studying at Azerbaijan Medical University in the process of their documentation. The project later catalyzed establishment of Migration Volunteers Public Union which is currently one of the key NGO’s in the sphere of migration in Azerbaijan. The Union expands its activities with various targeted social projects, including those implemented during the pandemic.

Date submitted:

04 May 2022

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.

 

 

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).