Refugee Initiative to Combat Trafficking Begins in the Balkans
Saturday, July 3, 2004 8:00 AM

Bosnian, Croatian, Macedonian, and Serbia and Montenegrin ambassadors to Albania met with the Deputy Forreign Minister Luan Hajdarage in order to sign a memorandum of understanding establishing the Migration, Asylum, and Refugee Retun Initiative or MARRI, according to RFE/RL.  The initiative is designed to promote the freedom of movement and other human rights while combating human trafficking and organized crime. Supporters of the initiative recognize the right of migrants to return but also see a need for making sure that those that choose not to return are granted social, economic and and cultural rights, according to the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. One of the key contributions of MAARI is the cross-border method of addressing issues of migration and trafficking. In the past, efforts to address problems were ad hoc and/or country-specific, according to the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. A regional center will be set up in Skopje in order to address issues of asylum, migration, border control, refugee return and settlement as well as offer a clearinghouse for information about these issues.  The program is supported by the EU and U.S. and one objective is to bring the states involved into compliance with EU principles and norms, especially those laid out at the EU Theassaloniki Summit of 2003

Compiled from:

"New Balkan Regional Initiative Launched" Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (3 July 2004). Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Copyright (c) 2004. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Libery, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www

"New Regional Forum endorses Access to Rights Approach for Remaining Refugees and Displaced Persons" Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe (5 Apr 2004).

"Migratoin in Southeastern Europe: Stability Pact launches programme of action for comprehensive migration, asylum and refugee return" Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe (23 June 2003).