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Immigration Law Review Gains Momentum

The Director General of Immigration, Dr. Japhet Lishomwa has expressed confidence that once passed into Law, the New Immigration Law will be responsive to contemporary matters as set out in the National Migration Policy launched in 2022 and address most of the contentious issues that the Department has been unable to due to lack of a legal framework.

Some of the contemporary matters for consideration include measures to reduce barriers to regular migration, migration and governance, migration and the environment, migration data and research, migrant’s rights, non-discrimination, vulnerable groups such as women and children, adolescents and youths, including migration and older persons.

He disclosed this during the Official Opening of the Law Review Internal Consultative Meeting held this morning at Sandy’s Creation, Chilanga.

“We are all aware that migration is a key contributor to development. In this regard, I wish to urge you to not only limit yourselves to border governance; irregular migration; and migration and trade; but to also provide for other contemporary issues” He said.

He also urged the workshop participants to do everything possible to be mindful of the negative consequences of migration and ensure that the law makes the necessary provisions to minimize them.  “I am however, cognizant of the global security threats perpetrated by transnational organized crimes such as human trafficking and smuggling, financing of terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption, child trafficking, child pornography and cybercrimes,” He said.

The workshop aims to review the consolidated submissions from both internal and external consultations, develop regulations and forms in line with the amendments as proposed by the stakeholders and ultimately develop a layman’s bill for presentation to a National Consultative Meeting before it is finally submitted to the Ministry of Justice through the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security.

Mr. Enos Chibombe who is the Deputy Director General – Operations revealed this as he presented the key outputs of the Meeting during the Official Opening.

“I wish to confirm that the technical Committee received and consolidated submissions from a multiplicity of stakeholders including all Officers through the established structure, Government and Quasi-Government, and the Private Sector in all the ten Provinces,” He said. 

The five-day workshop is part of the process of repealing and replacing the Immigration and Deportation Act No.18 of 2010, which has not undergone a comprehensive review in over thirteen years.  This process is being conducted with the technical support of the Ministry of Justice. Provincial consultative meetings covering all ten provinces were carried out in the fourth quarter of 2023.  Meanwhile, the second phase of the legal review process, which was sponsored by the European Union under the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), COMESA EDF 11 Trade Facilitation Programme under the Zambia Border Post Upgrading Project, and the Department of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry was held 29th May to 5th June 2023 in  Chirundu.