The global Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) initiative is a “multi-stakeholder, state-led consultative process to develop non-binding, voluntary principles, guidelines and effective practices for States and other stakeholders to better prepare for, respond to, and address the longer-term consequences of migrants caught in countries experiencing conflicts or natural disasters”. Through a broad and inclusive consultative process launched in 2014, the Governments of the Philippines and the United States launched the MICIC initiative to address the impact, which crises, conflicts and natural disasters have on migrants. The MICIC Secretariat is hosted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The initiative successfully concluded in June 2016 with the release of the Guidelines to Protect Migrants in Countries Experiencing Conflicts and Natural Disasters. Work to improve the situation of migrants in the context of crises continues through dissemination of the Guidelines, capacity building activities, research and the development of operational tools.

“Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC): Supporting an Evidence-based Approach for Effective and Cooperative State Action” is an EU-funded comprehensive project, which supports and complements the global MICIC initiative. The project was launched in January 2015 and ended in December 2019 and was implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). It consisted of three interrelated components:

  1. Consultations – directly contributed to the development of the Guidelines by supporting the organisation of the six regional consultations.
  2. Research – broadens the evidence base on the issue of migrants in countries in crisis, with its particular focus being on the socio-economic implications for development, employing a case-study approach in order to inform future efforts in this field.
  3. Capacity building – various activities to implement recommendations derived from consultations, the MICIC Guidelines and research. Through several parallel initiatives, this component contributes to better crisis preparedness, emergency response and the post-crisis action of governments and other relevant actors.

Georgia has been involved in the programme’s training initiatives since 2017. Tremendous efforts have been made within two of MICIC capacity building initiatives: Consular Crisis Management Training (CCMT) and Diaspora Engagement for protection of Migrants throughout Emergencies (DPME).

The overall objective of Consular Crisis Management Training (CCMT) program was to strengthen the training curriculum and core capacities of Georgian consular officers abroad and Diplomatic Training and Research Institute (DTRI) on consular crisis management. The implementation went through two phases and ultimately lead to the following results: development of a comprehensive training curriculum on consular crisis management and the creation of a pool of trainers in this field; development of the national policy paper on crisis management at post level; elaboration of a training curriculum for pre-departure and mid-service trainings; strengthening capacities of consular staff and diplomats on consular crisis management by the trainers trained under the programme; development and piloting crisis simulation exercises in Georgian embassies abroad. Main outcomes of the CCMT initiative: adoption of national guidelines and institutionalisation of trainings/drills. The national policy document- The Rule of taking Action in Crisis Situations Occurring Abroad – has established crisis management system, which manages risks of crisis that may occur in the host country where a diplomatic representation is located; determines mechanisms of coordination between the Ministry and Georgia’s diplomatic Missions regarding crisis preparedness and response; distributes and allocates functions and responsibilities among the relevant officials at Georgian Missions abroad, etc. The following activities was carried out in the framework of the CCMT in Georgia: Training of Trainers – 5 experts have been trained and best practice was shared by the representatives of the UK, the USA, France, Sweden, the Philippines; Practical mid-service training for the officials of various Departments of MFA Georgia and training of around 70 consular officials of Georgia posted abroad was organised to enhance Georgian foreign posts’ capabilities to act as first responders and to address the specific needs and mitigate the vulnerabilities of Georgian migrants in countries in crisis. Moreover, training-simulations semi-live/functional crisis simulation were developed and organised at five of Georgian Embassies (the USA, Greece, Italy, Japan and Ukraine). The exercises were backed by detailed simulation instructions outlining the different tasks and guidelines derived from the national guidelines.

The Diaspora Engagement for the Protection of Migrants throughout Emergencies (DPME) program was aimed at building the capacities of nationals’ abroad, promoting more active engagement of diaspora in crisis management. Within the frame of the initiative, workshop for migrant communities and organizations were conducted in five countries: the USA, Greece, Italy, Japan, and Ukraine. The primary objectives of the workshops were factoring the role of migrant communities and organisations in crisis preparedness and management tools; and strengthening the communities’ organisational structure and decision-making mechanisms in crisis situation. The workshops were followed by two joint meetings of diaspora representatives in Georgia. The main outcome of the initiative is policy recommendations for improvement of engagement of Georgian diaspora in crisis management abroad. The document is aimed at strengthening the dialogue between the State and diaspora, promotion of mutually beneficial cooperation and fostering the participation of diaspora communities throughout emergencies. The document encompasses the pre- and during phases of crisis situations identifying capability of diaspora and possible fields of engagement as illustrated on the schemes on the slide. Implementation of mentioned recommendations by the Embassies and Diaspora organisations would lead to the creation of frameworks to facilitate the engagement diaspora organisations in the design and implementation of prevention, preparedness and emergency response systems, specific focus on factoring migrant communities and diaspora organisations into the Georgian consular crisis management system.