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UNHCR and IOM: Over 5,000 Somali Refugees Voluntarily Returned Home from Yemen Since 2017

PBN News Germany - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 13:58

Sana’a – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have helped 5,087 Somali refugees return home from Yemen since 2017.

In this latest departure, a boat carrying 145 Somali refugees left the Port of Aden today, and will arrive at the Port of Berbera Friday December 13. The voluntary returns are part of UNHCR’s Assisted Spontaneous Return (ASR) programme to which IOM is a partner. 

UNHCR manages a Return Help Desk (RHD) as part of ASR in Aden, Al Mukalla city in Hadramaut governorate and Kharaz in Lahj governorate. Somali refugees can visit the RHD to receive counselling on ASR and get registered. UNHCR, in collaboration with IOM, supports Somali refugees who wish to return home with documentation, transportation and cash assistance to facilitate the journey.

IOM provides operational support to refugee return movements through chartering a boat, providing medical support upon arrival and transportation assistance to the refugees’ final destinations.

“The ongoing conflict in Yemen has made it difficult for many refugees to cover basic needs for their families and to sustain themselves given the limited work opportunities and economic hardships,” said Martin Manteaw, UNHCR Deputy Representative in Yemen.

“Some refugees are now opting to return home and it is important for UNHCR to continue to help those voluntarily wishing to go home to do so in dignity and safety,” said Manteaw.

Yemen hosts the world’s second largest Somali refugee population, around 250,000 refugees. It is a long-standing refugee host nation and the only country in the Arabian Peninsula which is signatory to the Refugee Convention and its protocol.

But, after more than four years of conflict in Yemen - the situation for civilians, refugees, asylum seekers and migrants has deteriorated. More than 24 million people need assistance in the world’s largest humanitarian crises.  

“For refugees who have made the choice to return from Yemen, it is important that they can travel home safely and that reintegration into their communities of origin is facilitated,” said Christa Rottensteiner, IOM Yemen Chief of Mission.

Thirty-nine organized departures have now taken place from Yemen to Somalia since the ASR programme commenced two years ago. The programme is facilitated by UNHCR in partnership with IOM, and in cooperation with humanitarian partners and authorities in Yemen and Somalia.

Amongst those who departed today was 20-year-old Naima who is hoping to go back to school in Somalia. She had to stop her education 10 years ago when her father got sick. Naima was left helping her mother around the house and working in the family business.

“I hope to be able to go back to school, complete my education, study medicine, and one day become a doctor,” said Naima.  

For more information on this topic, please contact:

In UNHCR Sana’a, Heba Kanso,, +967 71 222 5123
In IOM Sana’a, Olivia Headon,, +967 73 055 2233  

Language English Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2019 - 20:54Image: Region-Country: SomaliaYemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM and UNHCR have helped over 5,000 Somali refugees return home from Yemen via Aden port since 2017. Credit: Olivia Headon/ IOM 2019

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

The United Nations Network on Migration Commemorates First Anniversary of the Adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

PBN News Germany - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 10:38

GENEVA - The United Nations Network on Migration commemorates this first anniversary of the adoption in Marrakech, Morocco, of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (Global Compact) and celebrates the world’s 272 million migrants and their important role and the contributions to countries of origin and destination.

In the run-up to International Migrants Day on 18 December, the United Nations Network on Migration is gathering today in Geneva to review its progress in the year since Marrakech and seek ways to improve migration for the benefit of all. The Network reaffirms its commitment to support partners in upholding the guiding principles of the Global Compact, in promoting international cooperation for the development and implementation of principled and effective national migration policies from a 360-degree approach, and to highlight that national sovereignty and the protection of human rights are mutually reinforcing.

The Global Compact is a significant step by Member States towards making migration work for all.  Based on international law and aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Global Compact highlights the need for international cooperation to address migration’s challenges and reap its benefits, while respecting, protecting and fulfilling the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their migration status, and promoting the security and prosperity of all our communities.   

The Global Compact unambiguously recognizes migrants as enriching our societies, ultimately contributing to sustainable development for all. Women comprise almost half of all international migrants, and there are 164 million migrant workers around the world.  It also calls for the dispelling of misleading narratives that generate negative perceptions of migrants and the elimination of all forms of discrimination, including racism, xenophobia and intolerance, against migrants and their families.

In 2020, the Network will continue to work with Member States and all relevant stakeholders in implementing the Global Compact, including through upholding their principled commitments; with migrants to better ensure their safety and dignity; and with communities around the world to ensure the benefits of migration are enjoyed by all. 
For more information, please contact:
Leonard Doyle
Senior Spokesperson, International Organization for Migration
Tel: +41-792857123,

Rupert Colville
Spokesperson / Head of Media
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Tel: +41 22 917 9767

Adam Cathro
Head, Media and Advocacy (ai)
United Nations Development Programme
Tel: +1-212-906-5326
Christopher Tidey
+1 917 340 3017

Sonya Yee 
Speechwriter and Spokesperson, UNODC
Phone: (+43 1) 26060-4990
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-4990


Language English Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 17:33Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Global Compact on MigrationUNDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Côte d’Ivoire: World-Renowned Photojournalist Reza Trains Returned Migrants, Journalists in Photography

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 03:33

Abidjan – “Photography is a universal language which can help express feelings and convey emotions without using words,” said Reza Deghati, the internationally acclaimed news photographer, who began his celebrated career 40 years ago, after he left his native Iran. 

This month, he is sharing his expertise, and his enthusiasm, with migrants returning to their African homeland after hard journeys abroad. “Photography allows returnees to gain self-confidence and rediscover themselves,” he explained. “Learning how to take a good picture of their daily lives helps them value their life and show us their side of their own story.” 

During the dates 6-8 December, Reza Deghati worked in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) which organized a three-day photography training event in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Six young photographers participated in the training here in the Ivorian capital. 

After learning the technical aspects of photography, the participants trained their newly acquired skills on by visiting reintegration and recreational activities organized by IOM for returned migrants and community members. For instance, the participants attended a street art painting performed by returned migrants on the walls of a school rehabilitated by other returnees.  

The aim of this pilot project was to offer returned migrants an opportunity to become visual storytellers of their daily life back home and help local journalists change the narrative on migration in the country.  

“I couldn't finish the first level of high school last year because I left for Algeria,” said 17-year-old Laciné who now is back at school as part of the reintegration assistance he received from IOM after returning to Côte d’Ivoire.  

“For me, this training is a new start as it can help me show others what I have experienced and what I am experiencing without using words,” Laciné explained. 

The training will be followed by a three-month coaching by IOM photographer Mohamed Diabaté, and the photographs taken by the participants will be exhibited in Spring 2020. 

“Learning photography means learning to look at the world in a different way,” Diabaté said. The IOM Côte d’Ivoire photographer and filmmaker added: “It also gives a new dimension to the returnees’ daily lives and it shows a reality that someone else cannot grasp. It enables us to see through their eyes.”  

This training is the first of a series that will be organized by IOM across West Africa in 2020. It was organized in the frame of an EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions. 

One participant, reporter Benjamin B., explained what he gained from the sessions with Reza Deghati this way: “As a journalist, I have a pen, and I can write. Words can explain reality. But the pictures will show it. If I have both skills, I can better write about migration.” 

For more information, please contact Florence Kim at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa: Tel: +221 78 620 62 13; Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 10:20Image: Region-Country: Côte d'IvoireThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

World-renowned photo reporter Reza trains returned migrants and journalists in photography. IOM/Mohamed Diabaté.

World-renowned photo reporter Reza trains returned migrants and journalists in photography. IOM/Mohamed Diabaté.

World-renowned photo reporter Reza trains returned migrants and journalists in photography. IOM/Mohamed Diabaté.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

EU-IOM Nepal Pilot to Integrate Migration into Efforts to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 03:32

Kathmandu – On average, 400,000 young Nepalis enter the international labour market each year. The reasons affecting their decision to emigrate vary, but a lack of rural development and education opportunities are often cited.  

Nepal has made strides in translating the development potential of migration into development planning through support for earlier programmes such as the UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative. However, a better understanding of the ways in which migration impacts and is impacted by development would establish greater coherence in policies and activities designed to meet the country’s 2030 sustainable development targets.  

A recent International Organization for Migration (IOM) assessment carried out in the country earlier this year found that that there was a need for improved coherence between migration, sustainable development, education and rural development. The European Union (EU)-financed assessment recommended that Nepal upgrade its data on internal and international migration, strengthen coordination between existing migration measures and new policies in different sectors, and update its migration policies to reflect the complex relationship between migration and sustainable development.   

In follow-up to the assessment, this week the EU and IOM are launching a pilot initiative in Nepal as part of IOM’s EU-funded Mainstreaming Migration into International Cooperation and Development (MMICD) project. 

Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to Nepal Eloisa Astudillo Fernandez highlighted the value of integrating migration into development sectors.  

“It’s a two-way relationship between sustainable development and migration as it can both benefit migrants and transit communities, but at the same time it brings many risks. Therefore, it is important to manage the whole process of migration in a way that gives as many benefits as possible while also mitigating the risks,” said Fernandez.  

She added, “For this project we have identified nine sectors that are impacted by migration. In Nepal, we have chosen to focus on the rural development and education sectors. The idea is to integrate the concept of migration within those sectors, as they have a strong impact on the outflow of migrants from Nepal.”  

Under the project, which is also piloting in Ecuador and Madagascar, IOM will work with Nepali partners to integrate migration into development planning, with a focus on education and rural development.  Assessments and trainings to identify links between the different policy areas will be conducted in consultation with stakeholders to develop a roadmap for further action. 

IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Lorena Lando sees value added in the initiative. “In order to achieve the central principle of Agenda 2030 – ‘leave no-one behind’ – IOM advocates mainstreaming migration into national development plans. The socio-economic impacts of migration need to be addressed in a more comprehensive manner,” she said.   

Piloting the project in Nepal is timely as the ‘decade of action’ to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 is approaching. Nepal is also preparing for its Voluntary National Review in July 2020, which will examine progress made towards the SDGs at a national and sub-national level. 

For more information, please contact Ruchi Thapa at IOM Nepal at Tel. +977-1-4426250 ext:167 Mob: +9841365316, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 10:05Image: Region-Country: NepalThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Sigil Bati Shada lives in Jogidha 7, a tiny village of 11 households. She is building her house in a flood prone area. Photo: IOM/ Amanda Nero

The intensity and pattern of rainfalls has affected the cultivation of rice, the main product in Udaipur area and source of income of thousands of families. Photo: IOM/ Amanda Nero

River in Udaipur region during the dry season. Photo: IOM/ Amanda Nero

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Nigeria Partners with Google to Train Returnees in Digital Skills

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 03:31

Benin City/Lagos – Ever wonder how IOM finds collaborators? Well, in this instance, it ‘Googles’ them. Literally. 

Since 5 December, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been partnering with Google Nigeria to conduct IOM’s first Digital Skills Training for returnees and potential migrants in Benin City, Edo State and Ikeja, Lagos State.  

The training drew 93 participants, including returning migrants, interested in setting up small-scale businesses as well as mentorship and job placement opportunities. The one-day training consisted of hands-on sessions on how to build participants’ online presence and improve their search campaigns, job-seeking skills online. 

“Today I learned how to register my business online and how to use Google ads. This will help me get more customers and it will save me a lot of money and time,” said Owegie, a trainee. 

Most Nigerian returnees are between the ages of 18-35, and many of them return with knowledge, skills and experiences they gained prior to- or during their migration experience.  

IOM’s partnership with Google highlights the private sector’s contribution to returnees’ sustainable reintegration in Nigeria. 

“This training is aimed at helping participants start a career in digital marketing, be encouraged to build digital start-ups, and advance in the workplace,” said Temitope Saliu, Growth Tribe Africa trainer for Google Digital Skills Programme. 

The initiative complements the traditional business skills training, which equips Nigerian returnees with the knowledge and skills to prepare themselves for the next steps in their reintegration and kickstart small businesses. Business skills training is an opportunity for returning migrants to meet one another and allows returnees to share their experiences and pool together their in-kind assistance, skills, and resources to establish more sustainable businesses.  

Since 2017, IOM’s reintegration support has contributed to the development of over 44 different types of small-scale businesses in all Nigeria.  

Following the event, the trainees will have access to the Google Digital Skills for Africa e-learning platform to continue their learning. 

“The digital skills training will help improve the participants’ use of digital skills to contribute to their economic growth as entrepreneurs, thereby further filling in critical gaps in the labour market, fitting their businesses within existing supply chains, and invariably contributing to development,” explained Alex Cole, IOM Nigeria Programme Support Officer - Migrant Protection and Assistance. 

This activity is co-financed by the GIZ, commissioned by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany under the Strengthening Assistance for Returnees and Potential Migrants and Promoting Safe Migration Practices Project in Communities of Origin. 

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 815 5263 827, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 09:59Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationPrivate Sector PartnershipsDefault: Multimedia: 

The Google-IOM training drew 93 participants, including returning migrants in Benin City and Ikeja. Photo: IOM/Barinedum Agara

The Google-IOM training drew 93 participants, including returning migrants in Benin City and Ikeja. Photo: IOM/Barinedum Agara

The Google-IOM training drew 93 participants, including returning migrants in Benin City and Ikeja. Photo: IOM/Barinedum Agara

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM and H&M Group Sign MoU to Promote Ethical Recruitment and Protect Migrant Workers

PBN News Germany - Mon, 12/09/2019 - 13:03

Geneva —The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and H&M Group today (9 Dec) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote cooperation and mutual assistance in relation to ethical recruitment and protection of migrant workers in global supply chains. 

The MOU was signed by the Head of IOM’s office in Finland Mr. Simo Kohonen and H&M Group’s Head of Sustainability Ms. Anna Gedda. IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and combats all forms of exploitation and abuse of migrant workers, while H&M Group is a public company that operates retail stores in more than 70 countries and partners with suppliers in over 30 countries. 

Unethical recruitment practices and gaps in the governance of labour migration are leading risks that face migrant workers in the global economy. Fee-charging to workers, fraud during the hiring process, the confiscation of personal documents: these are all-too-common abuses that migrants encounter during the hiring process. There is no better time than now to address these challenges. Sustainable Development Goal 10, Reduce Inequality Within and Among Countries, highlights safe migration and migrant workers as priorities for engagement, and IOM and H&M Group are committed to contribute to its realization. This MOU will leverage the strengths, expertise and global footprint of IOM and H&M Group to enhance migrant protections and improve the recruitment, employment and livelihood opportunities for migrants. 

IOM Deputy Director Laura Thompson said: “IOM is delighted to enter into this partnership with H&M Group today. With this MOU, the company shows its true commitment and leadership in the fashion industry. We look forward to bringing our mutual strengths to tackle the complex challenges facing migrant workers in supply chains.” 

H&M’s Anna Gedda said: “The partnership with IOM will strengthen our work to ensure fair working conditions for migrant workers in our supply chain. By joining forces, we can more efficiently address the systemic challenges migrant workers face. We see a need to collectively advocate for improved legislation and cross-border regulations at the same time as continuing the work on the ground, together with our business partners and other brands.” 

IOM’s Labour Mobility and Human Development Division focuses on the protection of migrant workers and seeks to enhance the benefits of labour migration for all parties involved. The Division operates the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) — a global initiative designed to promote ethical recruitment with the support of governments, civil society, the labour movement, private sector and ethical recruiters. IOM also implements the Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) programme, which works collaboratively with companies to tackle the vulnerabilities of migrant workers in supply chains. 

H&M Group, with its newly launched Migrant Workers Fair Recruitment and Treatment Guideline, seeks to contribute to address the working conditions of migrant workers on the ground in its sourcing countries and collaborate with IOM to address the systemic and governance challenges ahead. 

For more information please contact Philip Hunter (IOM), Tel: +41 22 717 92 15, Email: or Katarina Kempe (H&M Group), Tel: +46 796 53 00, Email:

Language English Posted: Monday, December 9, 2019 - 13:01Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Finland Chief of Mission Simo Kohonen and H&M Group Head of Sustainability Anna Gedda sign an MoU to Promote the Ethical Recruitment and Protect Migrant Workers. Photo: IOM

IOM Finland Chief of Mission Simo Kohonen and H&M Group Head of Sustainability Anna Gedda sign an MoU to Promote the Ethical Recruitment and Protect Migrant Workers. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Ethiopia Launches National Durable Solutions Initiative for Internally Displaced Persons

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/06/2019 - 10:18

Addis Ababa – Ethiopia’s national Durable Solutions Initiative (DSI), which will promote conducive conditions for internally displaced persons (IDPs) to rebuild their lives, was launched in the capital city today (06/12) at an event organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).  

The Initiative – developed by the Government of Ethiopia, the United Nations, international and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and donors – seeks to ensure internally displaced communities in the country are supported to either return, integrate or relocate voluntarily. 

Opening the meeting, Ethiopia’s Minister of Peace, Muferihat Kamil said: “Those of us who have solutions at stake cannot simply rely on a project-based approach. We need development actors to systematically integrate the concerns of displaced persons and affected communities as active participants in programmes.”   

The DSI will support interventions across national development policy, legislative reform, institutional strengthening and mainstreaming of IDP-friendly solutions in spatial and town planning.  It also supports area-based, government-led and community driven programmes in areas of voluntary return, relocation or local integration, additionally ensuring that internally displaced households and individuals have access to livelihoods.  

The initiative comes at a critical time when ethnic-based tensions and communal violence in some regions of Ethiopia have forced millions of people to flee their homes over the past two years, leading to a complex crisis of population displacement in the country. This has driven the government, in collaboration with humanitarian and development partners, to increase its focus on an approach that cultivates long-lasting solutions to the situation of IDPs in the country.  

More than 200 delegates from government and partner agencies discussed how the DSI will be implemented in the country, highlighting the ongoing development challenges and peacebuilding agenda in Ethiopia. Participants also identified opportunities for support, partnership and financing under DSI platforms.  

UN Resident Coordinator and UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia, Steven Were Omamo, said the Initiative is a vital step in fulfilling and restoring the rights of citizens in distress, and in assisting them to rebuild their lives. He added that much more work needed to be done to ensure those in search of durable solutions will be able to access basic rights.  

According to the Switzerland-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), a ‘durable solution’ is said to be achieved when internally displaced persons no longer have any specific assistance and protection needs linked to their displacement.   

Reflecting relevant governmental plans and strategies as well as international standards, the DSI will provide an operational framework or platform to design and implement solutions in support of IDPs and host communities.  

“We need to see both internally displaced communities and those receiving them as people who can use their capacities and skills to drive solutions forward and enhance peaceful co-existence in affected areas,” said IOM Ethiopia’s Chief of Mission Ms. Maureen Achieng at the launch.

The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is looking to fund programmes under this initiative and is currently undertaking a feasibility mission in the Somali and Oromia regions of Ethiopia, where IOM has ongoing initiatives in this area and is looking to scale up its programming to reach  thousands of more IDPs and returnees that could benefit from the DSI.  

Find out more about the Durable Solutions Initiative here.

For more information, contact David Coomber, at IOM Ethiopia, Email: or Eric Mazango, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 - 15:00Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Religious leaders attending launch of the DSI in Addis Ababa. Photo: IOM

Ethiopia’s Minister of Peace, Muferihat Kamil making opening remarks at the launch of the national Durable Solutions Initiative. Photo: IOM

Some of the dignitaries at the launch of Ethiopia's DSI. Photo: IOM

Some of the delegates at the DSI launch. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Death Toll from Mauritania Ship Sinking Mounts as Support to Survivors Gathers Momentum

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/06/2019 - 10:04

Nouadhibou – The death toll from Wednesday’s tragic sinking of a fishing boat carrying migrants to the Canary Islands rose to 62 late yesterday with the recovery of four bodies as IOM’s efforts to help survivors gathered momentum. The captain of the vessel is thought to be among the death and based on witness testimonies there are concerns the toll will continue to mount. 

IOM is now focusing on helping migrants recover from shock, receiving appropriate medical treatment and that specific health vulnerabilities are identified.  

An IOM doctor is now working alongside Mauritanian authorities in Nouadhibou, the second largest city in northern Mauritania to assess cases, and two of the Organization’s psychologists will arrive today to offer psychosocial assistance to the 85 men, women including at least ten minors who managed to swim to shore after the vessel sank in rough seas.  

At least 150 people were thought to be aboard the vessel, which began its journey last Wednesday (27/11) in The Gambia. The Organization is now working with the ICRC in Mauritania to link families who believe their loved ones were aboard the boat, with consular officials who began conducting interviews with the survivors on Thursday. Seventy-nine of the survivors are from The Gambia and six are Senegalese. 

“We have been receiving calls from families in The Gambia who believe their loved-ones were on the boat,” said IOM Mauritania Chief of Mission Laura Lungarotti. “This is one of our priorities at this time.” 

IOM’s Missing Migrant’s Project reports 158 people have died in 11 confirmed fatal shipwrecks this year along the 1,400km-long Western Africa migration route which runs from Cabo Verde to the Canary Islands. Eight of the earlier fatal trips began in Morocco and two in Mauritania. At least 43 people died in five reported tragedies at sea in 2018. 

The Project reports that collecting reliable data along this largely unpatrolled route is challenging and vessels may be disappearing without a trace. 

IOM will work with the Mauritanian and consular authorities to assist the survivors with potential family reunification and return to their countries of origin. 

For more information, please contact Laura Lungarotti at IOM Mauritania: Tel: +222 41 74 82 73, Email: or Florence Kim at IOM Dakar: +221 78 620 62 13, Email: or Paul Dillon at IOM Geneva: +4179 636 9874, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 - 15:28Image: Region-Country: MauritaniaThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the 85 survivors from Wednesday’s tragic sinking of a fishing boat off the Mauritanian coast. Photo: IOM 

Some of the 85 survivors from Wednesday’s tragic sinking of a fishing boat off the Mauritanian coast. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Chief Appeals for Solidarity and Support to Ease Migration Pressures in Greece

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/06/2019 - 08:18

Athens – International Organization for Migration (IOM) Director General António Vitorino said today (06/12) in Athens that the significant migration pressures facing Greece should be met with greater political and practical support from the European Union (EU).   

During his one-day visit to Greece, DG Vitorino met with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, for discussions focused on the need for a comprehensive, balanced and durable way forward to address the current migration situation.   

DG Vitorino welcomed the government’s policy initiative to protect and assist unaccompanied migrant children and efforts to ease overcrowding on the islands. Here, he offered IOM’s steady support to the Greek government through the continued provision of humanitarian services to migrants and refugees in need, the movement of vulnerable people from the islands and their accommodation on the mainland. 

“The transfer of migrants and refugees from overcrowded, very poor conditions on the islands to the Greek mainland is a humane and practical demonstration of solidarity within Greece itself,” Vitorino said following the meeting.  

“Likewise, Greece needs continued solidarity and support from fellow EU member states to share the responsibility and to buffer against any future shocks,” he continued.  

Irregular migrant crossings to Greece have increased in the second half of this year, adding stress to already overburdened structures and communities, particularly on the islands.  

The Director General stressed that a balanced approach to migration management will be more effective in the longer term.  

“We are convinced that the dangers and the pressures of irregular migration facilitated by pervasive smuggling networks can be alleviated by improving and increasing channels for orderly and legal migration, including resettlement and complementary pathways and responsibility-sharing mechanism among EU member states,” he said.   

“There needs to be greater urgency in the ongoing discussions, but after today I’m confident that migration management and cooperation will receive new impetus,” he said. 

DG Vitorino also met with the Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis. Together they visited the Elaionas open facility in the centre of Athens which currently hosts some 1,800 refugees and asylum seekers. Elaionas is one of the 30 long-term accommodation facilities active in the Greek mainland, where IOM ensures dignified reception and protection standards for some 24,000 migrants and refugees with the support of the European Commission. 

Note for Editors 

Greece is a founding Member State of IOM.  IOM has been present in Greece since 1952 where it has established a long-standing network of cooperation with the Greek Government and civil society.   

IOM’s mission in Greece supports the refugee and migrant community through a wide range of projects and activities which include accommodation, integration, interpretation, transportation, protection and non-formal education services, with special care provided for unaccompanied migrant children.  

IOM also facilitates assisted voluntary return and reintegration of migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in Greece and wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin. 

For further information, please contact Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: GreeceThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Visit of IOM DG António Vitorino to the camp of Elaionas in Athens with the Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyiannis.  Photo: IOM

IOM DG António Vitorino and IOM Chief of Staff meet the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.  Photo: IOM

IOM DG António Vitorino is meeting the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias.  Photo: IOM

IOM staff in a town hall meeting with IOM DG António Vitorino.  Photo: IOM

IOM DG António Vitorino meets children currently residing in Elaionas open accommodation site in the center of Athens.  Photo: IOM

IOM DG António Vitorino and Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyiannis, attended the Greek courses for refugees conducted in the framework of IOM integration project.  Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Heavy Flooding Causes Extreme Destruction and Ongoing Displacement in South Sudan

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/06/2019 - 08:18

Juba – Nearly one million people have been drastically affected by flash floods following unprecedented rainfall in South Sudan.  Thousands have been displaced from their homes and seen their livelihoods destroyed; many towns are completely submerged. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and partners are ramping up their humanitarian response to affected communities in counties declared to be in a “state of emergency” by the Government of South Sudan.   

“The level of destruction caused by the floods is unfathomable. People have nowhere to sleep, children are  sick, there is no food to eat,” said IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission, Jean-Philippe Chauzy. 

Many people in affected areas are unable to access to health care facilities, nutrition centres and other basic services. While impassible roads and waterlogged airstrips have put some interventions on hold, IOM has made significant progress to provide lifesaving assistance. 

“IOM stands with the Government of South Sudan and its people during these trying times,” said Chauzy. “We have rolled up our sleeves and we will continue to do everything we can to help alleviate the misery caused by these floods.” 

In Unity region’s Mankien and Bentiu towns, IOM Shelter and Non-Food Item (S/NFI) teams distributed emergency items – such blankets, mosquito nets and plastic sheeting for temporary shelters – to 3,000 households. The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) team also distributed aqua tabs and filter cloths used to treat the water consumed by 3,000 households.  

 Another 6,000 households received similar relief items in Jonglei region’s Ulang and Gumruk towns.  

Through the Rapid Response Fund, an additional 140,000 people have received water treatment and emergency items, as well as emergency mobile health services, from local organizations supported by IOM. 

 In parallel to the delivery of relief assistance, IOM is helping mitigate the potential abuse of at-risk groups.   

“We cannot forget that in crises, vulnerable populations, especially women and children, are more likely to face gender-based-violence and other kinds of abuse,” said Chauzy. 

“Protection and safeguarding are at the cornerstone of all of our activities and it is important that as we provide immediate emergency relief we also tackle protection issues,” he continued. 

 Even when the rains stop, the need for continued assistance will remain. Inevitable outbreaks of waterborne diseases, destruction of homes and lost livelihoods will require sustained support so that families can live in dignity as they rebuild.   

IOM flood response in South Sudan is supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).  

For more information, please contact: Liatile Putsoa at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211912380104, Email: or Loyce Nabie at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211912380115, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM responds to communities affected by the floods in hard-hit Ulang in Jonglei region of South Sudan. IOM /Olam Amum 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches Return and Reintegration Platform

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/06/2019 - 08:17

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) with support from the European Union, today (06/12) launched the Return and Reintegration Platform, a global tool that aims at disseminating knowledge and good practices in the field of migrant return and reintegration. 

The platform is intended to share knowledge, expertise and lessons learnt among practitioners in host, transit and origin countries. Through this unique community of practice, users will be able to take part in online discussions with peers through thematic groups, attend online courses and webinars, share resources and publications and showcase flagship initiatives.

The platform will also act as a depository of knowledge, gathering relevant publications and resources on return and reintegration in one place.  

“Strengthening information sharing and disseminating knowledge and lessons learnt is key to promoting multi-stakeholder cooperation towards dignified return and sustainable reintegration,” explained Renate Held, Director of Migration Management Department at IOM.  

“The Return and Reintegration Platform contributes to this objective by fostering continuous learning, encouraging evidence-based programming, and reinforcing cross-regional cooperation among key stakeholders.” 

The platform has been developed by the Knowledge Management Hub, established by IOM in late 2017 and funded by the European Union under its Pilot Action for Voluntary Return and Sustainable, Community-Based Reintegration. The Knowledge Management Hub aims at assisting the implementation of the EU-IOM Actions in support of migrant protection and reintegration. These knowledge management activities are further supported by workshops and a small-scale research fund to respond to knowledge gaps in the field of return and reintegration.  

The platform is accessible here.  

For more information please contact Nazanine Nozarian, Knowledge Management and Data Officer, at Tel: +41 22 717 93 14, Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 - 15:04Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

A father and son reunion in Oromia, Ethiopia. Photo: IOM

Sali, returned to Ethiopia with IOM’s support, happily embraces his aunt. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Responds as Deep Winter Compounds Hardship of Conflict-Affected in Ukraine

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/06/2019 - 05:45

Kramatorsk – Temperatures have started plummeting in eastern Ukraine, once again imperiling hundreds of thousands of forgotten people affected by the conflict largely forgotten by the world.  

In government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, in settlements close to the contact line separating two conflicting sides, 70,000 people are effectively marooned. Over 40 per cent of them are elderly, and 13 per cent of the families residing in these areas have a member with a disability.   

Take 82-year-old Vira Semenivna. She, her son Ivan and great-grandson Yaroslav live in a village 70 kilometres from Donetsk. Yaroslav’s parents left the village in search for employment, and now the boy gives purpose to both Vira and Ivan.  

“It is good to see that elderly people are not completely abandoned,” said Ivan as IOM delivered coal to heat their house.    

This winter IOM is striving to provide humanitarian assistance to over 40,000 vulnerable conflict-affected people like Vira and her family, on both sides of the contact line.  

Over 12,000 people in the non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions will get enough coal to keep their homes heated to a tolerable 18 °C when it is minus 20 °C outside. On the open market, that would cost them USD 119, way beyond the reach of most vulnerable households, whose monthly income is a maximum of USD 77. 

Another 6,000 people in non-government-controlled areas will receive winter kits that include warm blankets, bed linen, pillows and towels. One thousand households in the remote areas without access to gas will get electric heaters. 

IOM will also conduct rehabilitation works at over 30 centres for the elderly, people with disabilities, hospitals and other institutions in the non-government-controlled areas to improve insulation, roofing and heating, sanitation and water supply systems.  

Two thousand people with disabilities, the elderly, single parents and families with three and more children close to the contact line in government-controlled areas will be given cash assistance equivalent to USD 40 per month for three months. This will allow them to buy winter clothing, footwear, hygiene items, medicine and food, or pay for heating and utilities.  

“IOM is a first-line provider of support to those most deeply affected by the crisis both sides of the contact line,” said Anh Nguyen, Chief of Mission at IOM Ukraine. 

Since the outbreak of the conflict in 2014, we have provided humanitarian aid to over 160,000 people in eastern Ukraine, and we are committed to continue our life-saving operations. The needs are, quite simply, dire,” continued Nguyen. 

IOM’s interventions are funded by the EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, the U.S. Department of State Bureau on Population, Refugees, and Migration, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and by the UN Central Emergency Response Fund.   

For more information, please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15 or +38 067 447 97 92, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 - 12:18Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: IOMMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Elderly resident of Ukraine’s Eastern Conflict Area about to receive coal from IOM. Photo: IOM/Polina Perfilieva 

Opytne settlement at the contact line, where only several dozen residents remain. They have been living without electricity for over five years. Photo: IOM/Volodymyr Shuvayev 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

At Least 58 Migrants Dead after Boat Capsizes Near Coast of Mauritania

PBN News Germany - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 02:21

Nouadhibou –  At least 58 people are confirmed dead after a vessel carrying migrants sank as it approached the coast of Mauritania today.

Eighty-three others swam to shore and are receiving assistance from Mauritanian authorities, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR.

Survivors told IOM staff in Nouadhibou, the second largest city in northern Mauritania, that at least 150 people including women and children were aboard the vessel, which they said began its journey last Wednesday (27/11) in The Gambia.

They said the vessel was running low on fuel when it approached the northwest African nation.

“The Mauritanian authorities are very efficiently coordinating the response with the agencies currently present in Nouadhibou,” said Laura Lungarotti, IOM Chief of Mission in Mauritania.

“Our common priority is to take care of all those who survived and bring them the support they need.”

The injured have been transferred to the city hospital; IOM is deploying a medical doctor to support the local response. The Mauritanian authorities are coordinating with the Gambian consular services to ensure that the necessary support is provided to the migrants while in Nouadhibou and the Gambian Ambassador will travel to the city.

For more information, please contact Laura Lungarotti at IOM Mauritania: Tel: +222 42 42 00 43, Email: 

Language English Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 - 09:17Image: Region-Country: MauritaniaThemes: Missing Migrantsmigrants in vulnerable situationsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Reforestation, Solar Power, LPG Distribution Anchor IOM’s Green Actions in Humanitarian Response

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 13:07

COX’S BAZAR: IOM welcomes the 25th Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Spain and highlights our increasing efforts in Bangladesh to promote green energy in Rohingya refugee camps and the Bangladeshi host community. Since the refugee crisis erupted in August 2017, IOM has launched ambitious environmentally sustainable actions in its humanitarian portfolio, actions that both improve services to beneficiaries and reduce its carbon footprint.  

These include: 

  • A comprehensive programme to limit heavy deforestation by distributing Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) to Rohingya refugees and the Bangladeshi host community. Launched in 2018, this has seen 111,542 canisters given to families. LPG eliminates the need for wood burning and has set the stage for a reforestation effort. This initiative also improves indoor air quality in shelters, protecting the health of women and girls and other family members from smoke-induced illnesses.  
  • A reforestation drive has already planted 775,000 trees on 778 hectares (the equivalent of 1,089 football pitches), in and around the refugee camps. In addition to absorbing carbon dioxide – trees reduce landslide risk by increasing soil retention.   
  • 1,889 solar lamps have been distributed to households and placed in public areas in and around the Rohingya refugee camps. In addition to increasing protection and safety, residents are less reliant on wood fires or oil lamps.  
  • IOM is installing solar electricity systems and battery storage at most of its 23 local health clinics to provide clean, reliable electricity. We aim to increase this green electrification effort in other facilities. 
  • The humanitarian world’s largest solar-powered well system was launched this year, bringing over 20,000 litres of clean water to beneficiaries daily, supplied by a 60 KVa solar park. 

IOM’s tree-planting initiative could lead up to 37 million pounds of C02 emissions reduction since 2018.  

Deputy Chief of Mission Manuel Pereira said that the efforts have both local and global significance: “Bangladesh is a climate vulnerable country and one that is on the forefront of migration. We urge other partners, donors and governments to stand with us on this fight. The lessons learned from our host community and government support projects are significant to other parts of Bangladesh and to its objectives for the 2030 Agenda and SDGs.” 

For more information, please contact George McLeod at IOM Bangladesh at Tel: + 880 1870 71 8078, Email: 


Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 12:52Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Women Migrants in Niger Use Slam Poetry to Voice Their Experiences

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 12:50

Niamey – “This training has been both a challenge and a relief,” said Adaora, a Nigerian woman staying at IOM’s transit centre in Niamey. “It’s inspiring to see women who have been through worse things than I have, opening up and talking about their experiences. Abuse makes you feel very alone, but if we speak up, we can join forces and make a difference.” 

Adaora is one of the 40 women who participated in a 100 per cent female slam poetry workshop organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the local collective Plumes du Sahel to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25/11).  

“We know that women have important things to say about society and the way society sees them, but we also know that women's voices are often silenced,” explained Isaac Oumarou Manan, president of Plumes du Sahel.  

“By initiating women in the art of slam, we are campaigning for their empowerment through freedom of expression.” 

This 10-day workshop called upon 30 young female artists from two high schools in Niamey – Lycée Mariama and Lycée Korombé and ten women migrants currently staying at IOM transit center to share their thoughts on gender equality, domestic violence and other forms of violence towards women, and to promote women’s rights, through spoken word performances.  

“As women, we don’t often get the chance to get on stage and say what is on our minds,” said Nafissa, one of the youngest participants. “I think I have a lot to say and expressing my feelings through slam poetry has taken away much of the fear I had of public speaking and opening up.” 

Like Adaora, many of the women migrants embarking on this migration journey experience various forms of gender-based violence and abuse during their trip, such as rape, most often at the hands of traffickers and smugglers. In 2019 alone, IOM’s mission in Niger assisted 85 victims of trafficking, who were tricked into leaving their countries of origin with false promises of better lives abroad.  

“Migrant women are particularly vulnerable to violence and abuse, so it is important for IOM not only to sensitize migrants and the general public on this issue, but to also give these women a platform to speak their minds,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. “The workshop has given this vulnerable group a platform to talk about things they wouldn’t normally share without fear of retaliation.” 

The workshop will conclude with a slam poetry show on December 5 at the Centre Culturel Franco-Nigérien (CCFN) in Niamey when all the participants will perform live in front of an audience.  

The event is organized under IOM’s fourth edition of the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) with support from the European Union, within the framework of the Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism.   

The association Plumes du Sahel is a collective of young slammers and poets created in 2015 by the group ART PLURIEL. Its mission is to promote public speaking in all its forms, in the media and in schools, while actively involving women in the process. 

For more information, please contact Monica Chiriac at IOM Niger at Tel: +227 8931 8764, Email:  


Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 12:42Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

More than 40 women are participating in IOM’s slam poetry workshop this week. Photo: IOM/Daniel Kisito Kouawo 

More than 40 women are participating in IOM’s slam poetry workshop this week. Photo: IOM/Daniel Kisito Kouawo 

More than 40 women are participating in IOM’s slam poetry workshop this week. Photo: IOM/Daniel Kisito Kouawo 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support Project Phase II Launched

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 09:53

Beijing –  IOM in China has officially launched the European Union (EU)-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support Project (MMSP) Phase II – a three-year initiative funded by the EU Partnership Instrument* and implemented by IOM. 
Building on the achievements of its first phase conducted between 2015 and 2018, the second phase of the project is designed to continue to provide support and technical assistance to Chinese and EU partners on matters of mutual interest to the EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility, covering topics including regular migration, irregular migration, migration policy and research.
The launch brought together 43 European and Chinese participants, including representatives of the EU, EU Member States and other Schengen Area Embassies in China, as well as the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), National Immigration Administration (NIA), Ministry of Public Security (MPS), Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Senior officials of the EU Foreign Policy Instruments from Brussels and Bangkok also attended the event.
At the opening, Ambassador Nicolas Chapuis, Head of the EU Delegation to China and Yang Tao of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs made strong commitments to support the new project. They respectively emphasized that MMSP serves as a very good platform to jointly face the challenge of realizing safe, orderly and regular migration and stressed the vital role that migration plays in promoting socio-economic development.
IOM China Chief of Mission Giuseppe Crocetti noted that international migration is a top priority for both China and the European Union, as it touches on a multiplicity of economic, social and security aspects that affect our daily lives in an increasingly interconnected world. MMSP Programme Manager Laura Scoretti provided a brief introduction to its objectives, framework, main focus areas and proposed work plan.
The representatives of China’s NIA, the Office to Combat Trafficking at MPS and MFA stressed their interest and willingness to continue implementing the second phase of project, which is expected to result in stronger cooperation in areas including information sharing, border management and development of capacities to promote regular migration, while curbing irregular flows and jointly combatting trans-border organized crime, in particular human trafficking. They also highlighted that the project will play a significant role in promoting mutual understanding and trust to facilitate mobility between the EU and China.
Nona Deprez, Head of the Partnership Instrument Unit at the European Commission in Brussels, emphasized that expectations for the project are high, as its first phase achieved important results and supported the successful implementation of all chapters of the Roadmap of the EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility.
All stakeholders recognized that the project provides a good platform to facilitate the EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility by enhancing capacity and transfer of knowledge at relevant levels, fostering inter-agency cooperation within Chinese institutions and with European partners, and promoting the use of best international practices and standards, while strengthening the technical cooperation between EU and Chinese stakeholders.
*The EU Partnership Instrument is managed by the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) of the European Commission. It is one of the funding instruments that enable the EU to take part in shaping global change and promote its core values.
For further information please contact Laura  Scoretti at IOM China, Tel. + 86 185 1300 5506, Email:

Language English Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 - 16:47Image: Region-Country: ChinaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support Project, Phase II, Launch event. Beijing, 26 November 2019

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Iraq Launches Countrywide Strategy for Disability Inclusion

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 08:43

Erbil — The International Organization for Migration’s Iraq mission marked International Day of Persons with Disabilities by launching the Organization’s first countrywide disability inclusion strategy to help the government develop programmes that support the needs of migrants with disabilities. 

The two-year strategy will also guide the mission in supporting the Government of Iraq with data collection and policy design that are inclusive of persons with disabilities.  

“This document is an essential supplement to IOM Iraq’s strategic priorities,” said Chief of Mission Gerard Waite.   

“It will guide us as we improve our programming approach to support the Government in addressing the needs of Iraqis, including migrants and internally displaced persons with disabilities.”   

The presence of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) between 2014 and 2017 led to increased levels of violence and economic destabilisation in the country. Persons with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by conflict, violence and economic hardship in Iraq; it is also understood that the rate of disability is expected to rise in a country during and after conflict.   

The Government of Iraq, UN, international NGOs and civil society actors are making efforts towards addressing the multiple and intersecting barriers faced by persons with disabilities. Unfortunately, at a national level these efforts have been hampered by a lack of resources and insufficient institutional capacity, rather than a rights-based model of disability inclusion and mainstreaming.  

The 2019-2021 Disability Inclusion Strategy will work to better include the needs of persons with disabilities across internal policies, projects and programming, and leverage attention and funding to support quality disability inclusion across its work.  

The strategy draws from the accountability framework of the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy (UNDIS) launched in June 2019 — and prioritizes input from IOM Iraq staff and Iraqi persons with disabilities. The UNDIS is a five-year policy, action plan and accountability framework designed to increase accessibility and mainstreaming across the UN. 

IOM Iraq’s Disability Inclusion Strategy is available here

For more information please contact IOM Iraq’s Public Information Unit, Tel: +964 751 402 2811, Email: 


Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Iraq has launched a countrywide strategy to support the Government in addressing the needs of migrants and IDPs with disabilities. Photo: IOM/Anjam Rasool 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Powerful New Exhibition Launches Results of Artisanal Gold Mining Research in West Africa

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 08:42

Dakar – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for West and Central Africa, today unveils a powerful exhibition, Pour Tout l’Or du Monde (‘For All the Gold in the World’), documenting the plight of artisanal gold miners in West Africa. 

The exhibition, which showcases the harsh living and working conditions for gold miners along the so-called gold-belt in Senegal, Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso, coincides with the unveiling of IOM’s research on migration dynamics and profiles around artisanal gold mining sites in the region. 

Pour Tout l’Or du Monde includes testimonials and photographs collected by IOM, drawing attention to the vulnerability and protection needs of all those impacted by gold mining including female sex workers and unaccompanied minors working at the sites.  

Earlier this year, a young man named Famoro Sidibé died after the pit he was digging in collapsed on top of him. His death was as painful as it was inevitable, his friends say.  

“It doesn’t surprise us when we see what state the pits are in,” says Idrissa Traoré, a pit leading hand, as he watches young men dig without helmets or regular access to water. “We are scared of dying here.” 

Using Kintsukuroi, the traditional Japanese art of mending broken pottery using resin laced with gold or silver, as the guideline for the exhibition, attendees will be able to see the strength, resilience and incredible courage of all those who are broken and destroyed by this dangerous activity. 

Experts attending the event will present the key findings of the research conducted by IOM this year in the four target countries and will discuss the main recommendations to improve the living conditions in the sites including: develop accessible health facilities, including drinking water supply and the establishment of a toxic waste treatment system; support the government in developing awareness programmes on minors’ school drop-out and dangers of artisanal gold mining among minors and their families; and raise awareness among migrant gold miners on the dangers associated with gold mining and the need to use protective equipment. 

Two panels will also discuss other research topics including the feminization of migration in Côte d’Ivoire and the re-opening of the Western Mediterranean route from Senegal. 

The exhibition launch will be held between 15:00 and 18:00 GMT at the Ancien Palais de Justice in Dakar, Senegal.  

Find the exhibition guides here in French and English. Watch here the live painting performance of Senegalese artist Boubou Design at 16:00 GMT.  

For more on the plight of artisanal gold miners in West Africa, read this

The United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) funded the research in Guinea and Senegal as part of the Africa Regional Migration Programme and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) funded research in Mali and Burkina Faso as part of the Safety, Support and Solutions across the Central Mediterranean Route programme. 

For more information, please contact Florence Kim at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa: Tel: +221 78 620 62 13; Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: SenegalThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

One of the portraits at IOM’s exhibition, Pour Tout l’Or du Monde (“For All the Gold in the World”) in Dakar. Photo: IOM 

“To survive, we manage. You can dig a year and find nothing, while your opposite neighbour can dig 5 metres deep and become a millionaire.” Success on the sites is first and foremost a matter of luck. Centre-East region, Burkina Faso 2019. Photo: IOM/Alexander Bee 

“To search for gold, you need no training. All you need is equipment, courage, and patience to get started.” Metal detectors, jackhammers, ropes, picks, shovels, compressors are enough to start operations. Mandiana, Guinea 2019. Photo: IOM/Aïssata Fofana 

Being a gold miner and a mother is not always easy. There are no childcare services on the sites. In addition to the equipment, women bring their children to the work place. Mandiana, Guinea 2019. Photo: IOM/Aïssata Fofana 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

East Europeans Easy Prey for Traffickers Despite High Level of Knowledge: IOM Survey

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 08:42

Kyiv – High levels of knowledge about human trafficking do not translate into lower vulnerability, a new IOM survey* in Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine has revealed.   

The survey was presented in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv yesterday, (02/12), the International Day for Abolition of Slavery. It revealed that while 86 per cent of Ukrainians are aware of human trafficking, 13 per cent would cross the border irregularly, work without official employment status, in exploitive conditions without freedom of movement, or hand over their passport to an employer.  

The figures were 81 per cent and 24 per cent in Georgia, 85 and 11 per cent in Belarus, and 75 and 17 per cent in Moldova. Men are identified as most vulnerable to trafficking in Belarus, Ukraine and Georgia, while in Moldova the risks of falling prey to traffickers are equal for both sexes.  

“IOM is the leading provider of assistance to vulnerable migrants and victims of trafficking in the region, with more than 16,000 trafficking survivors assisted since 2000 in Ukraine,” said Anh Nguyen, Chief of Mission at IOM Ukraine.  

“The latest survey findings about high levels of irregular employment among migrant workers from Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Georgia, as well as our empirical knowledge that Ukrainians prefer to look for jobs abroad through informal channels, show the high need for intensified trafficking prevention affords in the region,” he added.  

Over one million Ukrainians now work abroad, representing nine per cent of households. In Moldova the figure is 542,000: 41 per cent of people report an extended family member is working abroad. The level of irregular employment was the highest among Ukrainian external labour migrants (30%), and the lowest among the migrant workers from Moldova (19%). Among migrant workers from Belarus and Georgia, 28 and 23 per cent worked without regularizing their status.  

The survey also assessed the number of people from the four countries who suffered from trafficking over the last three years: 49,000 people in Ukraine, 23,000 in Moldova, 11,000 in Belarus and 2,000 in Georgia.  

Germany and Poland are the most attractive destination countries for labour migration for Ukrainians and Belarusians. Most surveyed Moldovans would prefer to work in Germany and Italy. Among the Georgians interested in labour migration, top destination countries are Poland and the United States.  

*The study was conducted based on nationwide representative surveys using personal home interviews in June–August 2019. Some 2,000 people were surveyed in Ukraine, 1,041 in Belarus, 1,106 in Moldova and 1,001 in Georgia.  

For more information, please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, +38 067 447 97 92, Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 15:11Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Anti-Trafficking art installation in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Photo: IOM 

Cover of new IOM Ukraine survey of trafficking. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Women and Young People Crucial to Successful Migration

PBN News Germany - Fri, 11/29/2019 - 09:18

Tashkent – There are two keys to the success of global migration: youth and women. That was the crux of a keynote speech delivered by Argentina Szabados, Director of IOM’s Vienna Regional Office, at a high-level conference in the Uzbek capital Tashkent yesterday (28 November). 

“Migrants are overwhelmingly young, chasing their dreams, determined to make a difference,” Ms Szabados told an audience of politicians, diplomats and activists at the Tashkent International Forum on Enhancement of Partnership on Gender and Youth Issues in the 21st Century. 

“And migrants are not only young; more and more they are women,” she added, citing the fact that over half of migrants from the Central Asian region are female. 

Underpinning action on migration is the 2018 Global Compact for Migration which Ms Szabados said will allow for a “gender responsive, child-sensitive perspective” as part of the key principles needed for managing migration.  

Ms Szabados listed the challenges facing young people and women during the migration cycle, including the challenges of finding work, administrative bottlenecks, lack of legal information on their opportunities, rights, as well as marginalization and discrimination on account of their age, gender and migration status. 

“But it’s far from all doom and gloom”, she stressed. “Youth are rising up worldwide for their rights and better opportunities and demanding a seat at the table in decision-making processes, and IOM supports them in every step as they become the next generation of leaders.” 

The addition of Uzbekistan to the IOM family last year was a highly welcome development, Ms Szabados told her hosts. “You are already a fond family member and your ambition to empower migrants is already keenly felt. “Where we gather today is just one of the spaces where this participation is being ensured, and where women and youth can voice their vision for the remainder of the twenty-first century”, Ms Szabados concluded.   

These sentiments were echoed in the address of Tanzila Narbaeva, Chairperson of the Oliy Majlis Senate of the Republic of  Uzbekistan. "Youth and women are an important part of our society. Their power, including their migratory routes are influencing policies, and their voices should be acknowledged and promoted", she said. 

For further information please contact Joe Lowry at Tel: +43660 3776404, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 29, 2019 - 16:14Image: Region-Country: UzbekistanThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Regional Director Argentina Szabados interviewed by local and regional media at the Tashkent International Forum on Enhancement of Partnership on Gender and Youth Issues in the 21st Century yesterday. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN