President Horta and IOM discuss protecting Timorese migrants

DILI (TOP) - President J. Ramos-Horta met with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Representative for Timor-Leste, Ihma Shareef, at the Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace. The meeting focused on how to protect Timorese citizens working abroad.

In her interview, Shareef acknowledged the large number of Timorese who have migrated overseas for work opportunities. She noted that while this migration has benefited the country economically through remittances, there are concerns about irregular migration, human trafficking, and migrant smuggling that need to be addressed.

"As you know, many Timorese leave overseas, and the President works very closely with the IOM to understand where the issues are as well as how we can support Timor-Leste on some of these issues," said Shareef.

She stated that IOM wants to ensure Timorese citizens are able to migrate and work abroad through regular and safe channels. IOM is prepared to work with the government to enhance protection and support for Timorese abroad.

President Ramos-Horta affirmed his commitment to collaborating with IOM on strategies to curb irregular migration and human trafficking of Timorese citizens. He emphasized the need to provide information and assistance to Timorese considering overseas work opportunities.

The meeting reflects the shared priorities of the government of Timor-Leste and IOM to promote safe, orderly, and regular migration that benefits both Timorese citizens and the country as a whole. (pr)

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