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Jamaica: Government defends programme for returning nationals

By CMC

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Returning deportees (File Photo)

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Feb 12, CMC – The Jamaica government says it is providing support to all Involuntary Returned Migrants (IRM) so as to facilitate their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

In a statement, the Ministry of National Security said through its IRM Project, the capacity of service providers, such as non-government organizers, has been improved “to ensure that those IRMs who are not received by family and friends are also adequately supported with food, shelter, clothing, employment and education opportunities”.

The issue came to fore last week, when several persons where deported from the United Kingdom with the London-based lobby group, Movement for Justice, indicating that several of those deported had come to the UK as children and others had no connections in Jamaica.

The Ministry of National Security said that since the establishment of the IRM programme in 2008, significant strides have been made to streamline the processing of various categories of involuntary persons from the point of reception to reintegration.

The statement highlighted successes achieved in achieving more efficient processing and identity verification of IRMs and the issuance of official national identification.

It states there’s also an emerging partnership involving the Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Local Government and Community Development and the Cities Alliance through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“The partnership seeks to strengthen migration policies, legislative and institutional frameworks that guide the management and treatment of IRMs in the country,” the statement said, noting that the initiative was part of a part of a broader programme “embedded in the Ministry’s Five Pillar Crime Reduction Strategy with a specific focus on the Rehabilitation and Redemption Pillar, in keeping with the Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan.”

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