THE ROYAL Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) has signed a deal with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to further strengthen cooperation in migration management.

Signed in late February, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) will help the groups work together more effectively in areas including counter-trafficking, human security, civil protection, internally displaced persons and peace building, the IOM said in an announcement.

IOM Papua New Guinea Chief of Mission George Gigauri said the agreement would enhance joint efforts.

“Both of our organisations are fully committed to safeguarding the human rights of migrants, refugees, the displaced and mobile populations,” he said.

RPNGC Commissioner of Police Gari Baki said the RPNGC had a responsibility to assist IOM regarding common challenges facing both organisations.

“This MOU is the first of its kind between RPNGC and IOM and it will give us an open mind to tackle challenges that confront us both,” he said.

“We will embrace the MOU and do everything possible to implement it.”

IOM has been assisting the RPNGC for over six years in a wide array of activities, mainly focusing on counter-trafficking, including victim identification and referral, criminalisation and prosecution of traffickers.

In recent months the organisation has also been working with PNG’s National Disaster Centre to respond to the El Niño phenomenon, opening field offices in Enga, Simbu and Jiwaka provinces to ensure rapid delivery of aid.

The IOM announced in a report released on 29 February that it had conducted conservation agriculture training for 110 affected farmers in these provinces, while also training employees of the Department of Agriculture and Livestock.

It has also conducted initial community assessments following recent flooding and landslides in the Jiwaka and Morobe provinces, and was moving to identify which combination of shelter, food and non-food items per household need to be distributed.