Visit of IOM Director-General at Fedasil and Immigration Office

Brussels - On 23 April, the Director-general of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Mr. William Lacy Swing, met his counterparts, Mr. Jean-Pierre Luxen, Director-general of Fedasil and Mr Freddy Roosemont, Director-general of the Belgian Immigration Office.

Mr Swing welcomed both meetings, especially given the fact that Belgium is one of the founding member states of the IOM and the largest donor of the organization after the United States.

Fedasil is the federal agency for the reception of asylum-seekers in Belgium and also responsible for the assisted voluntary returns organized by IOM.

The Immigration Office is responsible for the access to the Belgian territory, stay, settlement and removal of foreigners. It also manages the EU Return Fund at the Belgian level, in collaboration with Fedasil, allowing IOM to manage specific projects linked to voluntary return and reintegration.

During both meetings, the excellent collaboration between IOM and the 2 Belgian entities was stressed.

During the meeting at Fedasil, the need for more attention on the specific situation of unaccompanied minors when returning voluntarily was highlighted. To this end, the family assessment tool was seen as decisive to assure smooth returns.Mr Swing particularly welcomed the observation and monitoring missions organized by IOM and Fedasil for the staff working in the centers, which allow practitioners to better grasp the reality in destination countries and understand the different steps of the return and reintegration process.

During the meeting at the Immigration Office, Mr Swing particularly highlighted the importance of irregular migration prevention campaigns carried out by IOM in some countries of origin and funded by the Immigration Office, as part of good synergies between both organizations.

The international dimension of IOM actions and activities world-wide (family reunification, resettlement, migration and health, migration and development, counter-trafficking, etc.) was positively welcomed by both Belgian organizations.