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Statement on Syria Brussels Conference - Laura Thompson, UN Migration Agency Deputy Director General

PBN News Germany - 6 hours 31 min ago


Laura Thompson

Deputy Director General, International Organization for Migration

Syria Brussels Conference -  "Supporting the Future of Syria and the region"

25 April 2018, Brussels, Belgium


Distinguished Guests,

On behalf of the International Organization for Migration, I have the honor to submit to you the following considerations on the Syria crisis:  

Now in its eighth year, the humanitarian crisis in Syria remains unprecedented in scale, severity, and complexity. Despite sporadic and partial halts to the fighting, Syrians continue to face, every day, a level of hardship that is almost unheard of in recent times. Last year alone, 2.9 million people were displaced inside Syria. In the first few months of 2018, nearly 700,000 people have been displaced, many more than once.

Humanitarian partners have stayed alongside Syrians and delivered assistance to millions of people. They have done so despite the danger; despite deliberate attacks. More than 7 years into the conflict, the pressures and threats continue to prevent many of us from doing our work in a credible manner. The example of needs assessment is revealing. Local Syrian partners risk their lives on a daily basis to help humanitarians get an independent and impartial picture of the needs inside Syria. Until now the ability of the humanitarian community to do so continues to be undermined by parties to the conflict, which threatens our collective humanitarian response inside Syria.

Last but not least, let me touch upon the issue of returns. IOM tracked over 800,000 spontaneous returns in 2017 and nearly half a million in the first few months of 2018, mostly from internally displaced people. These figures might appear high to some of you, but they are still considerably low if compared to new displacements.  Returns are often happening in areas that are not safe, contaminated by mines and other unexploded ordonnances. The international community should not facilitate or promote returns at this stage of the conflict. On the contrary we need to increase our support to the neighbouring countries of Syria who continue to host millions of refugees. This includes helping refugees to access durable solutions such as resettlement. In 2017 alone, IOM resettled over 37,000 Syrian refugees from Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt to 23 countries.

Thank you

Language English Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 15:34Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Committed to Beating Malaria through Partnership and Action

PBN News Germany - 17 hours 3 sec ago
Language English

Geneva – On World Malaria Day (25/04), IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and other global partners are promoting efforts to tackle malaria, one of the oldest, yet most pervasive public health threats of our time.

In 2016, there were over 216 million cases of malaria globally, 445,000 malaria related deaths, and USD 2.7 billion invested in prevention, treatment and elimination of the disease. Africa contributes to nearly 90 per cent of the global burden of malaria. 

 “In the world today, an unprecedented number of people are on the move and migration can pose challenges to malaria control and elimination. However, we have the tools to beat malaria – and we will – with the partnership and action called for at the January meeting of African and world leaders in Addis Ababa,” said Jacqueline Weekers, IOM’s Director of Migration Health.

Movement of individuals from higher to lower prevalence settings, or malaria free areas, impact control efforts. Limited access to malaria prevention, including health education, and treatment before, during and after the migration process render migrants more vulnerable and impact progress to control, eliminate and eventually eradicate the disease.

This year’s Ready to Beat Malaria theme highlights the reality that stakeholders have the tools to eliminate the deadly disease, but measurable gains made in previous years must be sustained.

In January 2018, world leaders met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and emphasized a renewed commitment to a malaria-free Africa by 2030, following the release of the World Malaria Report (2017) by the World Health Organization (WHO), which indicated that trends in combatting the deadly disease have stagnated for the first time in a decade. The Report emphasizes the need for continual investment and partnership, utilizing evidence based strategies for prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

IOM supports member states to implement migrant-inclusive policies to ensure the targets are met for the Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. This is enacted through support to national disease programmes and governments in executing high impact and sustainable programmes.

Strengthening community responses that address the determinant’s of migrants’ health to building sustainable and population mobility sensitive health systems are key to addressing the pervasive challenges of malaria control.

IOM currently supports malaria programming across dozens of countries globally, often with the support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In Yemen, Thailand and Somalia, IOM has implemented multi-pronged evidence based public health strategies including interventions around vector control, distribution of long lasting insecticide treated bed nets (LLIN) and behavior change communication campaigns to raise awareness around prevention and encourage treatment seeking, including drug compliance.

Read stories about IOM’s work with malaria-affected migrant communities here.

For more information please contact IOM HQ:

Kelsi Kriitmaa, Tel: +41227179263, Email:

Jorge Galindo, Tel: +41227179205, Email:


Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 11:08Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Press Release Type: Global
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121 Cameroonian Returnees Arrive Home Safely with IOM Assistance

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 10:52

Yaoundé — Last week (19 April) 121 Cameroonian migrants returned home from Libya after being assisted by IOM, the UN Migration Agency. The returnees were welcomed at Nsimalen international airport in the capital Yaoundé, by representatives from the European Union Delegation, Cameroon’s Ministry of External Relations and Boubacar Seybou, IOM Chief of Mission in Cameroon. 
Upon arrival, the returnees received medical check-ups including psychological support from the Ministries of Health and Social Affairs. IOM provided food assistance and distributed a delivery kit to pregnant women, which included clothes, basins, towels and other useful material.

“I have lived the worst nightmare in Libya, moving for nine months from prison to prison. And now that I’m back, I ask myself what pushed me outside Cameroon,” one of returnees told IOM staff at the airport.

This latest charter was organized within the framework of the EU-IOM Joint initiative for migrant protection and reintegration in Cameroon, financed by the European Union and implemented by IOM. This project aims at strengthening the mechanisms for migrant protection and assistance all along the migration route.

So far 1,357 Cameroonians (1,105 men, 252 women) have returned home under the initiative.

In addition to facilitating the voluntary return to the country of origin of Cameroonian migrants, the EU-IOM joint initiative also focuses on supporting returnees’ reintegration in the country and on raising-awareness on the risks of irregular migration. The programme’s operations in Cameroon started in June 2017.

With the cooperation of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education, 184 returnees have been supported by IOM to start their livelihood activities. In addition, the business plans of more than 700 migrants have been approved as of the end of March, and the migrants will soon receive the material they need to start activities in fields such as agriculture, livestock breeding and retail, among others.

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 15:18Image: Region-Country: CameroonThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

184 Cameroonian returnees have been supported by IOM to start their livelihood activities. Photo: IOM

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UN Migration Agency Supports Migrant Regularization Process in Chile

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 09:34

Santiago — IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is providing technical support to the Government of Chile to regularize the status of irregular migrants under its Extraordinary Migratory Regularization Process, which began yesterday (23/4).

The regularization process, led by the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security through its Department of Immigration and Foreign Services, will run until 22 July 2018.

This process is part of the proposal to reform the Migration Law, signed on 9 April by the President of the Republic of Chile Sebastián Piñera Echeñique, which includes a series of measures to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration. During the announcement of the proposal to reform the Migration Law, President Piñera said: “Chile has been, is and will continue to be an open and welcoming country to migrants."

Within the framework of the Regularization Process, IOM Chile is providing information to migrants about the procedures to be followed and the documents required for the regularization.

A team consisting of five people, led by IOM Chile's Coordinator of Immigration Affairs Carlos Baeza, oversaw coordination in the field. The team included Rodrigo Ubilla, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security, Alvaro Bellolio, Head of the Immigration Department, Mijail Bonito, from the Immigration Department management team, and Norberto Girón, IOM Chief of Mission in Chile.

"IOM Chile has a key role in this process which will allow the regularization of an estimated 300,000 migrants in Chile as well facilitate their integration including full access rights, under equal conditions with the Chileans," explained Girón.

According to the information provided by the Chilean Ministry of the Interior and Public Security, as of March 2018 there are 4,000 applications for regularization per day on average, with an estimate of 1.1 million applications expected this year, which represents an increase of 21 per cent compared to 2017 (only in the Metropolitan Region). Similarly, between 2016 and 2017 the number of applications at a national level grew by 45 per cent, from 567,000 to 823,000.

In 2002, 1 per cent of the population was of foreign origin. In 2017, this figure reached almost 1 million migrants, equivalent to 5.5 per cent of the total population.

Most migrants in Chile are concentrated in two regions: Metropolitan Region, which comprises 63 per cent of the total migrant population, and the Region of Antofagasta, with 9.4 per cent.

For more information, please contact José Estay, IOM Chile, Tel. + (56) 2 2963 3710, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 15:28Image: Region-Country: ChileThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM provides information to migrants during the regularization process in Chile. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
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VAMAS Launches Revised Code of Conduct to Promote Ethical Recruitment of Migrant Workers in Viet Nam

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 09:34

Hanoi – The Viet Nam Association of Manpower and Supply (VAMAS) has published an updated Code of Conduct for the recruitment of workers for overseas jobs to improve ethical recruitment and better protect migrant workers.

The Code and its monitoring tools will help recruitment agencies to measure their compliance with national and international laws and best practices and aim to reduce fees charged to migrant workers in line with international labour standards. By making the costs transparent in advertisements, contracts and pre-departure training, the risk of exploitation of migrant workers should be reduced.

The Code and its monitoring tools were launched by VAMAS with support from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organization of Migration (IOM) in Hanoi today.

The 2018 Code, which follows an initial 2010 version, and the accompanying monitoring tools are expected to increase transparency in the ranking of recruitment agencies and address challenges often faced by migrant workers, particularly domestic workers.

New standards included in the Code focus on reducing fees charged to migrant workers by making costs known to potential migrants through advertisements, in employment and placement contracts and sharing cost information during pre-departure training.

“The language in the Code has been strengthened towards a rights-based approach,” said VAMAS Chairman Nguyen Luong Trao. “The new Code better reflects international standards on non-discrimination and standards enshrined in the ILO’s Convention 189 on Domestic Workers.”

Along with key assessors from within VAMAS, the monitoring and evaluation process of the Code will include participation by migrant workers, along with the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ Gender Equity Department.

Sources of information for assessing compliance with the new Code will include self-assessment by participating recruitment agencies, document review, monitoring visits and triangulation with the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee charged with assessing agency compliance with the Code.

“The development of industry-based codes of conduct and monitoring tools is an important means through which to improve business practices and encourages sharing of reliable information with potential migrant workers and improved support in destination workplaces,” said ILO Viet Nam Director Chang-Hee Lee.

“The effective operation of recruitment agencies is crucial in protecting migrant workers from abuse. Currently, this abuse persists, with increased numbers of migrant worker complaints, particularly from domestic workers who toil in isolated workplaces.”

“Migrant workers are an important part of today’s global workforce and global supply chains,” said David Knight, IOM Chief of Mission for Viet Nam. “Migration must be managed in a way that ensures all migrant workers enjoy access to safe migration, so that their migration is able to contribute to the development of their communities and families.”

According to the Vietnamese Government, there are approximately 540,000 Vietnamese migrant workers overseas, mainly in Taiwan (China), Japan, Republic of Korea and Malaysia. A record 134,751 migrant workers went abroad in 2017. Most are low skilled workers from rural areas. 

The 2018 Code of Conduct and its monitoring tools were developed within the framework of ILO’s TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme and IOM’s CREST program.

The ILO’s TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme is supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Global Affairs Canada. TRIANGLE in ASEAN delivers technical assistance and support with the overall goal of maximizing the contribution of labour migration to equitable, inclusive and stable growth in the ASEAN region.

IOM’s CREST is a regional partnership initiative, supported by the Embassy of Sweden in Thailand, that aims to realize the potential of business to uphold labour and human rights of migrant workers in their operations and supply chains.

For more information please contact David Knight at IOM Viet Nam, Tel: +8424 3850 1810, Email: Or Anna Olsen at ILO’s TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme. Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: Viet NamThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Rohingya Refugee Families Reinforce Shelters, Relocate Ahead of Monsoon, But Dangers Remain in Crowded Bangladesh Camps

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 09:33

Cox’s Bazar – Over 40,000 Rohingya families in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar refugee camps have now been trained in shelter upgrade techniques ahead of the fast approaching monsoon and cyclone season. Women are playing a key role as part of a major project being rolled out by IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

With the first rains already affecting the camps, IOM now has completed its shelter upgrade trainings, but will continue to support workshops run by partner agencies. These show refugees how to best secure their shelters ahead of the strong winds and heavy rains expected in May.

In total 100,000 families will be reached through the trainings, while IOM is overseeing the roll out of a similar number of upgrade kits containing ropes, bamboo, tarpaulin and tools.

At least 120,000 people are expected to be at grave risk of landslides and floods when the monsoon hits the steep sandy slopes of the Cox’s Bazar settlements, where almost a million Rohingya refugees are now living after fleeing violence in neighbouring Myanmar.

Dabal Rokaha, an IOM programme officer overseeing the trainings, said the workshops had proved hugely popular with the refugee community, with the number of women taking part steadily increasing, until women regularly outnumbered men.

“Often their husbands are busy taking part in cash-for-work programmes [to improve ground conditions in the camps.] When we started the trainings there might be 20 men and 5 women, but now we often see 70 per cent female participation. The women are getting more confident. They will take ownership of what they learn and when they go back to their shelters, their husbands will listen to them and take their advice,” she said.

Tasmin, a 25-year-old mother of four, was among those who took part in an IOM shelter upgrade workshop this week. “I feel good now I’ve had this training and I’m very pleased to have learned these things. They taught me how to build my shelter stronger. Now I can show my husband how to do these things. If we apply the things we’ve learned, our shelter will be better and we won’t face so many problems,” she said.

With monsoon and cyclone season just weeks away, urgent action is underway by IOM and partner agencies, along with the government of Bangladesh, to improve conditions in the camps and help the refugees to build resilience against the dangers to come.

In addition to shelter upgrades, thousands of families at risk are also being relocated to safer ground. IOM is working with WFP and UNHCR in the race to prepare more land for people to set up their shelters in safer locations less prone to flooding and landslides.

But despite the efforts underway, the topography of the camps and the expected weather conditions ahead means that mitigating against all disaster is near impossible. IOM is also training refugees in search and rescue and first aid.

IOM and its partners have been working with the Bangladesh authorities over the past months to create roads, pathways, bridges and drains, and to stabilize land, which will help keep vital access ways open during the rains. Portering teams have also been created to bring in supplies on foot, if necessary. Distribution sites have been established in remote areas so that even if parts of the camp are cut off, people will still have access to aid.

But the cost of the operation has spiralled and IOM is now urgently appealing for additional funds and the cash shortfall is threatening the ability of aid agencies to respond to the inevitable emergencies that will arise during monsoon. To date just 7 percent of IOM’s USD 182 million funding appeal for the rest of the year has been secured. The overall USD 951 million Joint Response Plan for all agencies has secured just $23 million.

For more information please contact IOM Cox’s Bazar:
Fiona MacGregor, Email:, Tel. +880 173 333 5221
Shirin Akhter, Email:, Tel: +880 341 52195

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 15:34Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Stronger shelters will be key to surviving the monsoon and cyclone seasons in Bangladesh’s refugee camps. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 18,939 in 2018; Deaths Reach 570

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 09:33

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 18,939 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 16 weeks of 2018, with about 42 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (38%) and Spain (20%). This compares with 44,058 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 205,613 at this time in 2016.

In other words: Mediterranean arrivals at this point in 2018 are running at only 43 per cent of last year’s level, and just 9 per cent of 2016’s at this point in the year, a point in which arrivals from Turkey into Greece had been falling dramatically for almost a month.

Although fatalities, too, are down across much of the region, they do continue. At least 12 people died over the weekend on the Central Mediterranean route. IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported that off the coast of Sabratha, Libya, the remains of ten men and one infant were recovered on Sunday by the Libyan Coast Guard. 

A sister of one of the dead was on the same boat and could identify her brother, a Nigerian man.  Otherwise, the identities of those who died are currently unknown.  On Monday, IOM learned of one other fatality in the area.

On Monday (23 April) IOM Italy reported over 1,000 migrants have been rescued over the weekend by Italian and international rescue ships in the Mediterranean who carried out a total of 14 operations: 417 migrants were rescued on Saturday and 512 on Sunday. Some of the migrants have already been brought to Italy yesterday, while others are being brought to land today (Tuesday).

Fewer than 200 migrants were Tunisians, said IOM Italy’s Flavio Di Giacomo, who explained they were rescued while travelling in small groups, generally on small wooden boats. The rest of migrants were mainly African migrants fleeing Libya. In one case migrants were rescued on a big wooden boat with two decks. The 224 people on board were rescued by the ‘Aquarius’ (NGO SOS Mediterranée), in very difficult conditions.

“We haven’t seen two-decked wooden boats for quite a long time, since migrants arriving from Libya usually travel on rubber dinghies,” Di Giacomo, the IOM Italy spokesperson, explained. “In this case, the boat was mainly carrying Eritrean migrants, persons who – according to witness testimonies – had been victims of violence and ill treatment in Libya.”

IOM Libya reported the Libyan Coast Guard and local fishermen rescued 291 migrant men, women and children over the weekend. IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported six migrants were rescued by local fishermen outside Surman (two men from Guinea, one woman from Cameroon and three men from Côte d’Ivoire). Two were immediately transferred to a hospital, where IOM provided medical services; both have now been discharged.

The rest of the migrants, 83 of them, believed to have been on the same boat, included women from Gambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Guinea and Cameroon who were transferred to Shuhada al Nasr detention centre after being brought back to Libyan shores by the Coast Guard. Many suffered from minor injuries while three migrants received urgent medical care.

Another group, 203 migrants (including 39 women and one child), were returned by the Libyan Coast Guard to a Tripoli disembarkation point where they received medical assistance, food and water from IOM staff. Most migrants were suffering from headaches, dehydration, cramps and muscular pain. Most of the migrants come from Bangladesh, Somalia and Sudan. The chief of the disembarkation point thanked IOM for being the only humanitarian organization present upon disembarkation.

On Monday, the IOM LIbya spokesperson added, 125 migrants (79 men, 40 women and six children) were returned to Libyan shore by the Coast Guard. While the Libyan Coast Guard worked on registering all migrants, IOM provided all migrants with basic health and protection screenings, as well as food, water and juice. Five pregnant women and five children below the age of 5 were identified and received health check-ups. No urgent medical cases were identified.
These migrants reportedly embarked from Azzawiyah on a rubber boat, the majority of the migrants come from Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Guinea Bissau. All migrants were transferred to Trig al Seka detention centre. 
So far this year, 4,790 migrants have been returned to Libyan shore by the Libyan Coast Guard.
Petré also reported nearly 600 migrants from 10 countries were returned from Libya during the first two weeks of April. Over the past 16 months, some 25,000 stranded migrants have been able to go home from Libya with IOM’s assistance, returning to 30 countries.

IOM Greece’s Kelly Namia reported Thursday that over the four days (18-21 April) there were two incidents requiring search and rescue operation off the island of Lesvos. The Coast Guard rescued  83 migrants and transferred them to that island.
Namia reported as well that another seven migrants landed at Rhodes, bringing to 7300 the total number of irregular migrants landing by sea in Greece since January 1, for an average of about 66 per day. She noted no arrivals were reported during three days last week: 19-21 April.

Nonetheless irregular migration to Europe via Turkey remains active.

According to figures compiled by the Turkish Coast Guard (TCG), a total of 6,718 migrants have been apprehended/rescued at sea so far this year. In the same period last year (1 January – 23 April 2017), 4,157 were apprehended/rescued, constituting a 62 per cent increase.

Pinar Genc Akcakaya from IOM Turkey attributes the large increase in the number of migrants attempting to cross from Turkey to Greece to the lack of economic opportunity in countries of origin and the desire to reunite with family members who have already reached Europe. Akcakaya reported that IOM has provided 3,402 rescued migrants with humanitarian assistance so far this year including Syrians (68%), Angolan, Central African and other African nationalities (21%), Afghans (8%), and other nationalities (3%). Lado Gvilava, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Turkey, emphasized the important role IOM is playing in developing the capacity of the TCG to curb irregular migration. He said, “Migratory routes through Turkey to Europe continue to be very active, putting immense pressure on local capacity to manage responses. IOM continues to do its part by providing crucial assistance to rescued migrants at its reception centre, ensuring their safety and wellbeing.”

Gianluca Rocco, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Greece, reported that IOM is coordinating with the Greek authorities in closely monitoring the situation and tracking developments related to the steep increase so far this year in migrant arrivals to Greece.  He noted that there were 6,000 new arrivals to Greece in the first three months of 2018, an average increase of 35 per cent in comparison to the inflows detected during the same period of 2017.

According to IOM teams in the field, the number of persons crossing into Greece with various vulnerabilities – such as families and unaccompanied migrant children – also is increasing. He said that the number and pace of the new arrivals raises concerns about future spikes and increased migrant vulnerabilities. 

Eugenio Ambrosi, Director of IOM’s EU office in Brussels, remarked that because arrivals to the Greek islands have been on the rise, reception centres are becoming overpopulated and creating tensions among migrants, local authorities and local communities. At the same time, he noted, exceptionally high numbers of newly arriving migrants are increasingly detected at the land borders with Turkey at Evros where reception conditions in that area are limited.

“The situation is challenging to deal with under the current reception system because available accommodation has almost reached full occupancy. IOM is working closely with government authorities to address this situation and engaging with international actors to jointly identify alternatives and immediately respond to any emerging emergency situations,” said Ambrosi.

With the remains discovered Monday, total Mediterranean deaths in 2018 number 571, compared with 1,091 a year ago – or just 52 per cent of the 2017 total thus far. Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 962 people who died or went missing while migrating in 2018. (see chart below)

The identities of most of the known migrant deaths over the past few days are unknown, and tragically, will likely remain so. Last Wednesday, one Indonesian migrant is thought to have drowned off the coast of the small Singaporean island of Pedra Branca. The migrants were en route from Malaysia back to Indonesia when their boat ran out of fuel and they became stranded. The Singaporean Coast Guard performed a rescue mission to save the over one hundred other migrants on board. 
In Eastern Turkey, two migrants died last Thursday when the truck in which they were riding lost control and overturned. Over 130 other migrants were also riding in the back of the truck and survived the accident. Also last Thursday, four Venezuelans drowned in the Táchira River on the border with Colombia. The water level of the river, which traces part of the border, is reported to be particularly high, and thus particularly dangerous, at the moment.  Two of the dead were a father and his 16-year-old son.
On Friday, a migrant around 30 years old was found dead outside Thessaloniki, Greece when he was electrocuted when he climbed on top of a freight train. 
Since the beginning of 2016, MMP has recorded ten fatalities with the same cause of death in Europe.  Ten fatal rail incidents involving migrants have already been recorded in Mexico in 2018.
MMP data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit:
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email:
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail:
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email:
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya. Tel. +216 29 240 448 Email :
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 Ext 109, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 15:32Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

African Youth and Irregular Migration, Theme of IOM Côte d’Ivoire Partnership with Major Urban Music Festival

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 10:44

Abidjan — IOM, the UN Migration Agency is this week (17-22/04) participating in the 2018 Anoumabo Urban Music Festival (FEMUA) under the theme: African Youth and Irregular Migration.

One of the biggest festivals in Sub-Saharan Africa with over 200,000 participants expected each day, the 11th Edition of FEMUA takes place in Abidjan and Korhogo, Côte d’Ivoire.

A series of activities have been organized around to raise awareness among young Ivorians and Africans on the risks of irregular migration specifically and migration in general.

Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncanattended the opening ceremony on 17 April along with the Minister for the Promotion of Youth, Youth Employment and Civic Service Sidi Tiémoko Touré as well as the Ivorian world-famous group, Magic System, through its Fondation Magic System. Marina Schramm, IOM Côte D’Ivoire Chief of Mission was also present at the launch.

“The theme of this edition offers an important opportunity for IOM and Fondation Magic System to work together to raise awareness among young Africans in general and Ivorians in particular on the risks of irregular migration as well as on available alternatives,” explained Schramm.

On 17 and 18 April, the Carrefour Jeunesse side event gathered young Ivorians and Africans who exchanged on issues of irregular migration. During these two days, IOM conducted and facilitated eight brainstorming workshops to which 50 young people participated.

Throughout the festival, IOM is hosting an information booth to raise awareness and share information about the Organization and its activities and continue raising awareness among festival goers on the risks of irregular migration.

The partnership with Fondation Magic System was established under the EU-OIM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Côte d’Ivoire, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) and implemented by IOM in partnership with the Ivorian government.

For more information please contact Marina Schramm, IOM Côte d’Ivoire, Tel: +225 22528200, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:00Image: Region-Country: Côte d'IvoireThemes: Community StabilizationOthersDefault: Multimedia: 

Marina Schramm, IOM Chief of Mission, Côte d’Ivoire during the opening ceremony of FEMUA 11. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 18,575 in 2018; Deaths Reach 559

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 10:42

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 18,575 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 108 days of 2018, with about 40 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (38 per cent) and Spain, at roughly 20 per cent. This compares with 43,645 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 205,613 at this time in 2016.

In comparative terms, then, current arrivals are running at 42 per cent of last year’s pace, and at just over 9 per cent of 2016’s.

Much of this drop can be explained by changes in the Central Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Italy, where IOM – citing Italian Ministry of Interior figures – reports 7,541 migrants have arrived through 18 April, which is approximately 20 per cent of last year’s total during the same period.

The 1,245 arrivals to Italy so far this month are fewer than those arriving in Greece (which had 2,207 through 17 April) although considerably ahead of Spain (with 409). This decline reflects the sharp drop in departures from Libya, which this month are at under a fourth of levels from last April,  and about a third of those of 2016 (see chart below).

In the Central Mediterranean IOM Libya’s Christine Petré shared an update on rescue/interception activity along Libya’s coastline for the month of March. IOM Libya reported 1,058 men, women and children were brought in from thwarted smuggling vessels during the month of March, bringing to 3,479 the total for the first three months of 2018.  IOM reported the discovery of just one body at sea – on 20 March 20, off Tripoli – during the month of January, an increase of more than three times over January 2017 activity (see chart below).

IOM Libya this week also reported IOM has assisted 5,775 migrants to return to their countries from Libya since 1 January 2018, and over 12,000 since the scaler up of returns started after 28 November 2017. On Tuesday IOM assisted 155 migrants to return home to Gambia on one chartered flight.  With this latest flight on Tuesday IOM now has returned a total of 25,145 men, women and children from 30 different countries, since 1 January 2017.

IOM Greece’s Kelly Namia reported Thursday that over three days (15-17 April) the Hellenic Coast Guard reported at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos and Chios. The Coast Guard rescued 95 migrants and transferred them to those islands.

Namia reported that another 222 migrants landed during these same days on Farmakonisi and Kos – as well as others landing at Chios and Lesvos who did not require rescue – bringing to 7,209 the total number of men, women and children arriving in Greece by sea since 1 January. That’s an average of just over 66 persons per day.  April 2018 is shaping up to be Greece’s busiest month since last September (2017), when 4,604 irregular migrants came to Greece by sea, one of only four months migrant arrivals have topped 3,000 on any given month since January 2017. 

Last September, daily arrivals of these migrants averaged 153, which is slightly above the 119 daily arrivals’ average this month. Nonetheless, April surely will be the busiest month of this year so far, having already surpassed arrival numbers for January and February and coming very close to those of the full month of March (see chart below).

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 3,778 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 18 April, including 409 reaching Spain during this month.  This figure compares with 3,226 through the first full months of 2017.

An additional 1,822 have also arrived by land, chiefly at Spain’s two enclaves in northern Africa (see chart below).

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 942 deaths and disappearances during migration in 2018. There were three additions to the MMP database since last Monday’s update (see chart below).

On the Pakistan-Iran border, two young Pakistani men died when attempting to cross into Iran near Gwadar, Balochistan on 12 April. On the US-Mexico border, where 67 migrants are estimated to have died this year, on 17 April the remains of a male migrants were recovered from the Rodhe canal, near the International Bridge Reynosa-Mission in Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Also on 17 April, in Nuevo León, Mexico, the remains of a 45-year-old man were found near train tracks in Montemorelos. Of the 23 deaths recorded by the Missing Migrants Project in Central America and Southern Mexico in 2018, 10 were due to train accidents.

MMP data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic here
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit:
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:

For more information, please contact:
For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email:
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail:
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email:
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel. +216 29 240 448 Email :
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 71 860 312 Ext. 109, Mobile +216 28 78 78 05, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:23Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

As First Rains Hit Rohingya Refugee Camps, Scale of Monsoon Challenges, Need for Heavy Equipment Triggers Funding Concerns

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 10:40

Cox’s Bazar – Humanitarian agencies welcomed the arrival yesterday (19/4) of vital road clearing equipment as early rains struck Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps causing flooding and highlighting the severe challenges ahead when the monsoon proper arrives.

The first instalment of machinery, which included three excavators, is part of a stable of key equipment -  which will also include bulldozers, compactor rollers, track loaders and all-terrain vehicles - being provided under a multi-agency response. The initiative involving IOM, WFP and UNHCR, will allow rapid clearing of key access roads and waterways during the serious flooding and landslides expected to occur during heavy rain.

The machinery will be prepositioned in ten key forward operating bases along key access roads in the megacamp and southern parts of Cox’s Bazar, which will act at hubs to ensure the flow of aid can continue as much as possible even when ground conditions are at their worst.

But the damage caused by this week’s early rains also highlighted the desperate need for more funding. The cost of work to help protect almost a million refugees from the life-threatening dangers of cyclones, severe flooding, and landslides far exceeds current financial resources and pledges. To date just 7 percent of IOM’s USD 182 million funding appeal for the rest of the year has been secured.

John McCue, IOM's Senior Operations Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar said: "The arrival of the rains first marks the start of what is going to be an incredibly challenging period for the refugees and those working to support them, with the worst yet to come when cyclone and monsoon seasons hit in the coming weeks.”

"IOM and our partners are working flat out to do as much as possible to mitigate risks and prepare people for the dangers to come. But the grim reality is that most people are living under tarpaulins on highly unstable ground and are going to have to survive months of rain, floods, landslides and possible cyclones. They are in desperate need of support and protection and we simply do not have the funding we need to deliver a fraction of what is required,” he added.

The arrival of around 700,000 refugees in just a few months had a major impact on the topography of the area. Trees and vegetation were cleared by people who urgently needed land to put up their shelters. Because of that, it is impossible to identify for certain where the most severe weather-related damage will occur. But IOM studies show that when the monsoon proper hits, an estimated 120,000 people will be at grave risk from flooding and landslides.

IOM and other agencies working to support the Government of Bangladesh have to be ready to respond to a wide range of potential emergency situations. As the agency responsible for the Balukhali extension area of the megacamp, which has been recognized as one of the most at risk areas of all because of the topography, IOM faces particular acute challenges.

Keeping access open will be crucial and IOM and its partners have responded by working with the Bangladesh authorities over the past months to create roads, pathways, bridges and drains, and to stabilize land. 

IOM is also establishing sites across the camps with emergency supplies to ensure that even if areas are temporarily cut off, people will still have access to aid. Portering teams have also been readied to bring in supplies on foot, if road access is impossible.

IOM and its partners are also supporting the relocation of thousands of families from areas deemed most at risk and ensuring that the refugees themselves are enabled to be as resilient as possible before the severe weather hits. While overseeing the distribution of shelter upgrade kits to 120,000 households, IOM is also showing families how to strengthen and stabilize their shelters ahead of rainy season.

But the ground conditions and the extreme weather in the area mean that it is impossible to mitigate against all disasters. In recognition of this, IOM and its partners are also training refugees in first aid, search and rescue, and warning systems as part of a cyclone preparedness programme.

In addition to the risks from flooding and landslides, the rains and poor sanitation will also make people highly vulnerable to life-threatening waterborne diseases, including dysentery and cholera. Rehydration points are being established at medical facilities across the camps.

IOM’s monsoon preparedness efforts in the camps to date focus on the shelter and safety of the refugees. They include:

  • 26,000 families have received upgrade shelter kits.
  • 37,032 households have received community training on shelter upgrades and disaster risk reduction.
  • 9,600 refugees have provided feedback to prepare key messaging on personal safety during the monsoon.
  • 1,400 community mobilizers are conducting a door-to-door awareness campaign on preparedness measures.
  • 30 field staff have been trained on cyclone season message delivery.
  • 650 refugees and local community members are being trained in first aid, as well as search and rescue in emergency situations.
  • 5 mobile medical teams are being trained to provide primary lifesaving health care services to displaced people during the monsoon

For more information, please contact IOM Cox’s Bazar:
Fiona MacGregor, Email:, Tel. +880 173 333 5221
Shirin Akhter, Email:, Tel: +880 341 52195 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:25Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Early rains struck Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps causing flooding. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Training Manual Helps Vietnamese Authorities Plan Relocation of Communities Displaced by Environmental and Climate Change

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 10:40

Ho Chi Minh City —Viet Nam experiences frequent natural hazards including typhoons, flooding and landslides. These are expected to increase with environmental and climate change. Planned relocation – an adaptive strategy to respond to physical and economic impacts of environmental changes – is the permanent, voluntary migration of people to a new location with the support of government policy or projects, which includes the reconstruction of communities’ infrastructure, services, housing and livelihoods at their destination.

Where in situ adaptation is not possible, well-planned relocation can help to increase resilience and reduce disaster risk, and can support improved quality of life in rural areas, according to a new training manual  for provincial and local authorities, published in English and Vietnamese by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in Viet Nam.

Planned Relocation for Communities in the Context of Environmental Change and Climate Change provides guidance for provincial and local-level leaders on the planning and implementation of relocation projects in the context of environmental change.

The manual identifies key concepts surrounding the complex issues of migration, environment and climate change, as well as practical tools and guidelines for application in a local context. It provides a community empowerment approach to planning and implementing relocation programmes at provincial and local levels. 

The manual draws on the Hoa Binh Relocation Project, which began in 2010 and aims to relocate 1,200 households from two remote communes in Viet Nam’s Northwest region that face high risks of landslides, flooding and storm damage. To date, over 246 households have moved to relocation sites.

IOM and the Institute of Sociology, Viet Nam Academy of Social Sciences, recently released a study report that assesses project implementation, household decision-making processes and relocation outcomes for 406 households within the scope of the project, including those who have relocated, those who wish to move, and those who have chosen to remain or are undecided.

Findings from the study demonstrate the potential for relocation to contribute to improved quality of life and new opportunities for relocated communities, with existing policy providing important support that can help relocated households transition successfully to new, safer locations.

But the implementation of the current project demonstrates the complex nature of household decisions on relocation and the practical challenges encountered in supporting households to address the multiple factors which impact relocation outcomes.

“Planned relocation, and migration in general, are possible responses to environmental change, which can increase households’ resilience to slow onset and rapid onset disasters,” said Paul Priest, IOM Viet Nam Head of Programme.

“But they can be complex and are probably best when safe in situ adaptation or other options are not feasible. They also need to be planned, designed, implemented and monitored with full community participation. We hope that this training manual will help building the capacity of provincial and local authorities who are directly involved in this complex undertaking, and contribute to achieving that aim,” Priest added.

For more information please contact David Knight at IOM Viet Nam, Tel: +8424 3850 1810, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:21Image: Region-Country: Viet NamThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeDefault: Multimedia: 

A researcher interviews a re-located family. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Highly Skilled Moldovan Migrants Present Public Policy Proposals to Moldovan Government

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 10:35

Chisinau – Ten Moldovan emigrants who left the country 10 to 20 years ago returned on 17 April 2018 to present to the Moldovan Government five public policy proposals. The policy proposals aim to advance Moldova’s development agenda in justice, public health, economy, environment protection and diaspora relations.

The policy proposals were developed under the Diaspora Excellence Groups programme – implemented by IOM and the so-called Diaspora Relations Bureau. The mechanism of consulting highly skilled Moldovan emigrants was tested and is ready to be taken over and continued by the Moldovan Government.

“Moldovan scientists and scholars who left the country in the 1990s and built great careers abroad are an unexplored resource of development. They acquired an insight that can be used to respond multiple challenges that Moldova faces,”said Ghenadie Cretu, Migration and Development Programme Coordinator, IOM Moldova.

After 23 years of working in the US, Dr. Ian Toma, Assistant Director for Genomic Clinical Research, George Washington University, proposed to create the Centre of Excellence in Biomedical Research in Moldova. The Centre will enable Moldovan medical workers, computer sciences specialists and students to digitalize medical data so it can be used for medical research to study such diseases as TB, HIV, and third- and fourth-stage cancer.

“We reckon that by establishing the Biomedical Centre we will create job opportunities in a new field for Moldova such as bio-informatics and bio-medical research, which will also prevent young medical workers from emigrating,” added Dr. Toma. For more information about the highly skilled experts involved in the Diaspora Excellence Groups, click here.

The Governmental programme Diaspora Excellence Groups is part of the Diaspora Engagement Hub which is implemented by the Diaspora Relations Bureau and IOM Moldova within the “Enhancing the development of Moldova through engagement with diaspora-homeland partnerships” project, which is funded by the IOM Development Fund.

For more pictures from the event, please click here.

For more information, please contact Iulia Tvigun, IOM Moldova, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:19Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central Asia/Republic of MoldovaThemes: Capacity BuildingLabour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Highly skilled Moldovan diaspora representatives presents public policy proposals to the Moldovan Government. Photo: State Chancellery of the Republic of Moldova

Highly skilled Moldovan diaspora representatives presents public policy proposals to the Moldovan Government. Photo: State Chancellery of the Republic of Moldova

Highly skilled Moldovan diaspora representatives presents public policy proposals to the Moldovan Government. Photo: State Chancellery of the Republic of Moldova

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Facilitates Return of Internally Displaced Persons in Central African Republic

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 10:33

Bangui – On Wednesday (18/04) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in coordination with the Government of the Central African Republic (CAR), facilitated the return of five displaced families (13 individuals) to their areas of origin. The families had been living in an internal displacement site since May 2017 when violence broke out in Bangassou.

This return support took place as part of ongoing emergency assistance under funding from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

Bangassou is a town in south eastern CAR on the border of the Oubangui River, which separates the country from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The area had been relatively peaceful prior to May 2017 when violent clashes broke out between the largely Christian anti-Balaka armed group and the Muslim community of Bangassou. The result of this conflict was that all Muslims living in the Tokoyo neighborhood of Bangassou were forced to seek refuge on the land surrounding the town’s Cathedral, where they found relative security.

Given their now protracted displacement, this land has become an internal displacement site known colloquially as ‘petit seminaire’ [small seminary].

IOM has been working with partners in Bangassou for years and is currently the only UN agency to have a permanent presence through its office, which opened last October in this South Eastern town engulfed by violent conflict for nearly a year. In an effort to provide solutions to the increasingly difficult displacement situation in Bangassou, IOM conducted a return intention survey in line with its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) operations in and around Bangassou in August 2017.

The results of this survey showed that several families living on the site were not from Bangassou or its surroundings but rather from other, distant areas in CAR, and had only been passing through at the time of the clashes and separated from their families and homes since. 

IOM facilitated the return of the 13 individuals from Bangassou to their area of origin in Bangui. The UN Peacekeeping Mission (MINUSCA) and IOM escorted them from the displacement site to the airstrip where a plane chartered by IOM transported them to Bangui.

On arrival at Bangui airport, the individuals were greeted by representatives from IOM, the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and Reconciliation and PARET (a government-humanitarian liaison organization). 

The passengers – five women, two men and six children – were first brought to the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and Reconciliation where IOM provided them with basic return kits. The kits included basic hygiene materials including toothbrushes, soap, detergent, toothpaste, first aid kits and diapers for families with children. From there, the passengers were taken by bus to the 3rd district courthouse before they left for their respective homes.

“I have been separated from my wife and children for nearly a year and am overjoyed at their safe return home,” said Oumar Abakar, the head of one of the returning families’ households, who came to the airport to welcome his family of four. They had been separated for nearly a year.

IOM continues to support social cohesion activities in Bangassou and plans to expand its operations to support both displaced and host communities in the area with future funding.

For more information, please contact Cecilia Mann at IOM CAR, Tel: +236 72 34 80 37, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:17Image: Region-Country: Central African RepublicThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM facilitates the return of displaced families to their areas of origin from Central African Republic. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Supports National Response to Human Trafficking in Zimbabwe

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 10:32

Harare – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, with funding support from the European Union under the project Promoting Migration Governance in Zimbabwe (PMGZ), handed over yesterday (19/04) a state-of-the-art public address system to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage in Zimbabwe.   

The provision of the sound equipment is part of IOM’s technical support to the Trafficking in Persons (TiP) Secretariat to enhance its capacity to effectively implement the Zimbabwe TiP National Plan of Action (NAPLAC). NAPLAC is premised on the four Ps – Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnership.

Human trafficking awareness raising through outreach programmes and public events such as the Zimbabwe International Trade Fare and the Harare Agricultural Show are some of the key deliverables of NAPLAC. The PA system is therefore crucial in raising awareness about anti-trafficking activities.

The initiative is part of the framework of the Promoting Migration Governance in Zimbabwe project that is being implemented by IOM with funding from the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund. The aim of the project is to contribute to the establishment of a migration governance framework in Zimbabwe that supports governments to manage migration in collaboration with non-state actors and in a migrant-centred, gender-sensitive, rights-based and development-oriented approach.

Under the same project, the TIP Secretariat received equipment including office furniture and stationery to be able to carry out its mandate in coordinating anti-trafficking activities. Technical support was also provided to establish five Provincial Trafficking in Persons Task Forces in the provinces of Manicaland, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central.

In his remarks, Melusi Matshiya, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage re-affirmed the Government of Zimbabwe's commitment in combating trafficking in the country. “The TiP Secretariat’s work plan for 2018 prioritizes public awareness campaigns on human trafficking targeting the entire country including the rural areas,” said Matshiya. “The public address system we have received will enable us to effectively implement the work plan,” he added. 

Recognizing the Government of Zimbabwe's current achievements in the fight against human trafficking, Daniel Sam, Project Manager, IOM Zimbabwe re-iterated IOM's commitment to working closely with the Government of Zimbabwe, civil society organizations and partners. "We look forward to our continuing efforts in the fight against the heinous crime of Human Trafficking," said Sam.

For more information, please contact Gideon Madera, IOM Zimbabwe, Tel: +263 4 704285, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: ZimbabweThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM hands over yesterday a state-of-the-art public address system to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage in Zimbabwe. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches Opens Migration Information Centre, Launches MigrantApp in Belize

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 10:30

Belmopan IOM, the UN Migration Agency this week (18/04) in Belize, launched a Migration Information Centre and the MigrantApp, a mobile app which provides migrants with free and reliable information on regular migration options in Mesoamerica.

The Migration Information Centre – a collaboration with the Child Development Foundation (CDF) – will provide information and referral services to migrants on a variety of migratory procedures and raise awareness in key communities about the risks of irregular migration and trafficking in persons. The information hub is located at the CDF offices at 13th Garbutt Creek Street, Belmopan, Belize.

This is the 27th information centre opened by IOM in the Mesoamerica region.

The latest data on migration indicates that emigrants as a percentage of the Belizean population stands at 15 per cent, with the United States as the main destination, while immigrants represent 15.3 per cent of the total population in country, mainly coming from Central America.

However, lack of accurate and updated information about the demographics of the population and reasons for migration remains a challenge. One solution will be the Migration Survey supported by IOM that will take place as a preamble to the development of a National Migration Policy. 

“Having an information centre in Belmopan where migrants can readily access information will promote smoother and more effective procedures. The information centre will also raise awareness in key migration communities through mobile hubs, for example, the first one in Benque Viejo Town, in May,” said Rene Chuc, Head of Office of IOM Belize.

IOM has provided extensive training to CDF staff in areas such as interview techniques, profiling migrants with special needs, identification and referral mechanism, trafficking in persons, migrants smuggling, among others.

This ongoing training is complemented with courses hosted at IOM’s Virtual Learning Platform on Migration ( and meetings with Belizean institutions including the Labour Department, the Immigration Department, the Refugees Department and UNHCR.

“The sessions have been informative and well delivered. The information shared gave the staff a better understanding of the specific terminologies and basic concepts underpinning migration and role play exercises have allowed staff to understand how to interview migrants in situations of risk to best determine where to refer them to and what information they will need to address their migration concern,” said Diana Shaw, Director the Child Development Foundation.

Shaw added, “CDF is pleased to be a part of this initiative and is grateful for the capacity building by IOM which will go a long way to complement the services we currently provide.”
The event also served as a launch pad for the MigrantApp in Belize. The application is free of charge and provides information on services for migrants such as health centres, embassies and consulates, entry requirements for more than 40 nationalities, and has allowed IOM to send emergency alerts regarding natural or epidemic hazards.

"Together, both initiatives contribute to the promotion of regular and safe migration by making reliable information accessible to migrants. Through the establishment of a coordination mechanism between the Information Centre and key institutions, as well as by mapping key service providers in the MigrantApp, IOM seeks to contribute to the ongoing efforts to improve migration management in Belize," said Justin Scharf, IOM Project Assistant for the Mesoamerica Program.

These activities are part of the Mesoamerica Program, which seeks to contribute to the development and implementation of strategies for regular, orderly, and safe migration. The Mesoamerica Program is funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).

For further information please contact Justin Scharf at IOM Belize, Email:, Tel: +501 223 9500

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:13Image: Region-Country: BelizeThemes: Immigration and IntegrationIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

The Migration Information Centre in Belize is the 27th opened by IOM in the Mesoamerica region. Photo: IOM

The Migration Information Centre in Belize is the 27th opened by IOM in the Mesoamerica region. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, ACP-EU Migration Action Help Tackle Trafficking in Persons, Migrant Smuggling in DR Congo

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 10:29

Kinshasa – Beginning on Monday (16/04) and at the request of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), IOM and ACP-EU Migration Action hosted a five-day training on countering trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling for Congolese Government officials.

Experiencing numerous cases of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, the DRC is a country of origin, transit and, to a lesser extent, a destination for trafficked and smuggler migrants.

Concluding today (20/04), this training of trainers brought together senior officials from different key ministerial entities involved in the fight against human trafficking and smuggling. Participants will be provided with the necessary information and knowledge on important aspects of human trafficking and smuggling of migrant in order to conduct trainings for other relevant Government actors. They will be better equipped to prevent, protect and assist victims of human trafficking and smuggling.

Attending the opening ceremony on behalf the Minister of the Interior and Security, the Secretary-General emphasized that: “the necessity to think about the possibility of establishing quickly a national committee to fight against trafficking and smuggling of migrants.”

This training demonstrated a commitment from Government authorities to move forward to raise awareness of the Congolese populations on dangers of trafficking and smuggling and to protect victims and punish the perpetrators.

ACP-EU Migration Action and IOM will continue to support the government of DRC in order to help them find tools and appropriate solutions to face and deal with this scourge.

The ACP-EU is a development cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).

For more information, please contact Emery Kianga at IOM Kinshasa, Tel: +243 81 686 76 13, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:11Image: Region-Country: Democratic Republic of the CongoThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM and ACP-EU Migration Action hosted a five-day training on countering trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling for Congolese Government officials.  IOM

IOM and ACP-EU Migration Action hosted a five-day training on countering trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling for Congolese Government officials.  IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

New IOM Project Boosts Integration of Syrian Refugees in Europe

PBN News Germany - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 04:47

Bucharest – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is today (19-04) kicking off an innovative multi-country project to provide resettled refugees with the building blocks to start their new life in Europe. 

Initially targeting 500 Syrian refugees, the LINK IT project aims to link pre-departure and post-arrival support to facilitate the social and economic integration of resettled refugees in four European countries: the United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal and Romania.

“Ensuring migrants and refugees can contribute economically and socially to their host communities is key to the future well-being, prosperity and cohesion of European societies,” said Mircea Mocanu, IOM Chief of Mission in Romania. “But too often, Europe has seen underemployment of migrants and refugees, negatively affecting the economic potential of the communities.”

“Integration means overcoming language barriers, administrative hurdles, cultural differences, and discrimination. It also means better recognition of existing skills and qualifications of migrants and refugees,” added Mocanu. 

The EU-funded project, which will run for 18 months, will pilot a skills profiling tool in the pre-departure orientation course for Syrian refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey who will be resettled to the four EU countries. The tool will help authorities in the receiving countries get advance information about the refugees’ background, education and skills to support their integration into the labour market at the earliest stage.

“The LINK IT project, and in particular, the skills profiling pilot, is a powerful tool to inform policy makers across the EU how to best design innovative integration and support for refugees,” said Dipti Pardeshi, IOM Chief of Mission in the UK.

The project will also provide post-arrival orientation and training activities once the refugees have arrived and help prepare local governments and employers to receive resettled refugees, dispel myths and provide a channel to share best practices in the larger European context. 

Pardeshi explained that under the project, the integration process will involve both refugees and host communities to share information and strengthen cohesion among the community.

“To be successful, integration must be a holistic and two-way process, when both refugees and the local community understand one another’s expectations, practices and cultural differences,” she said.

In September 2017, the European Commission announced a new scheme to resettle at least 50,000 of the most vulnerable refugees throughout the EU over the next two years.  A March 2016 European Commission report noted substantial divergences among integration programmes in different EU countries. 

IOM is holding a kick-off meeting today for project partners to discuss LINK IT implementation. Tomorrow (20-04), IOM is facilitating EU Exchange on Integration Practices for Resettled Refugees, a one-day conference to promote integration practices with regional, national, and local governments, as wells as international organizations, and civil society.

Please click here for more information on IOM’s LINK IT project.

For further information, please contact Abby Dwommoh at IOM UK, Tel: +44 (0)7873301193, Email:

Language English Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 10:35Image: Region-Country: RomaniaDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM's LINK IT project is piloting a skills profiling tool for refugees resettled to UK, Germany, Portugal or Romania.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Refugees and Locals Work Together to Prepare for Monsoon in Cox's Bazar Camps

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:26

Bangladesh - Rohingya refugees and local people in Teknaf, a southern sub-district of Cox’s Bazar, are racing to prepare for monsoon rains forecast to start as early as this week. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has been supporting efforts to prepare the camps, which although smaller than the giant Ukhiya sub-district settlements of Kutupalong and Balukali, still house thousands of people, who face similar threats of flooding and landslides.

To date IOM has supported 24 quick impact projects in Teknaf under the umbrella of 20 Para Development Committees (PDCs) – community platforms, each comprised of six refugees and five locals. The projects include building bridges, access roads, steps, drains, and slope protection work that will enable communities to better weather the monsoon.

The projects are mainly located in the densely populated Unchiprang, Leda Makeshift Settlement, Nayapara and Shamlapur camps. Over 21,310 people live in Unchiprang, 9,320 in Leda, 24,790 in Nayapara and 22,700 in Shamlapur. In all, some 250,000 Rohingya refugees live outside the main Ukhiya camps.

“At present, the most critical issue for both the Rohingya refugees and local people is to be safe from the rains,” said Maulavi Shaker, 35, a Rohingya member of a Teknaf PDC. “We’ve been working towards that, building roads and bridges so that our area won’t get cut off if there is flooding,” he added.

“Most refugees in Teknaf are living in shelters built only with plastic sheets and thin bamboos, which are highly vulnerable in the monsoon,” said Mohammad Helal Uddin, 35, another Teknaf member.

IOM and partner agencies recognize the risks posed by the flimsy structures in high winds and rain and have been racing to upgrade the shelters. In Teknaf over 15,000 shelters – covering over 78,000 people – have been identified as in need of upgrades, including plastic sheets, poles and guy ropes. IOM itself is targeting 13,204 shelters housing 66,020 refugees.

“The PDCs are helping our teams to identify workers and organizing cash for work in order to ensure that households living in flood-prone and landslide-prone areas get back-filling to elevate their shelter plots. We’re also constructing drainage to protect the shelters from run-off water, building embankments to prevent tidal surges and doing a number of slope protection works,” said Rafael Abis, IOM’s site management area coordinator. “The PDCs will also help IOM in the event of an evacuation - particularly if it involves those who are unable to evacuate themselves,” he added.

IOM has also helped the PDCs to establish Youth Safety and Security sub-committees within each of PDC to cope with possible emergencies such as flash floods, landslides, fires or conflicts. The sub-committee members have been trained to build the response capacity of their respective communities.

“Despite all the challenges that the Rohingya influx has created in Cox’s Bazar, the refugee and local communities have maintained a harmonious relationship throughout the crisis,” said John McCue, IOM Senior Operations Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar. “Representatives of both communities have come together to identify shared needs and solutions. The roads and bridges that they have constructed to provide access, particularly during the rainy season, is a significant example of communal harmony in this disaster-prone area,” he added.
For more information please contact IOM Cox’s Bazar:
Fiona MacGregor, Email:, Tel. +880 173 333 5221
Shirin Akhter, Email:, Tel: +880 341 52195

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 15:24Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Refugees and locals work on a bamboo access bridge in a Teknaf camp as part of an IOM cash-for-work initiative. © IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

USD 38 Million Sought to Aid Conflict-Affected People in Ukraine throughout 2018

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 09:39

Kyiv – Four years into the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, acute humanitarian needs persist. These include the basics – access to health care, food, water and employment. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is appealing for USD 38 million to assist 340,000 people in critical need this year, an increase from the 215,000 people the Organization has assisted over the four years since start of the conflict.

Since April 2014, over 10,000 people have been killed in the fighting in Eastern Ukraine and a further 24,000 have been injured. In total, 3.4 million people require humanitarian assistance. According to Ukraine’s Ministry of Social Policy, about 1.5 million people are registered as internally displaced persons.

“Due to the protracted nature of the conflict, slow economic growth and increased social tensions, 2018 is a critical year for the crisis response efforts,” said Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission. “We are working intensively with our partners in the Humanitarian Country Team and the Government of Ukraine to bridge the gap between humanitarian and development interventions. This is critical if we are to address the urgent and longer-term needs.”

The number of conflict-affected people in Ukraine who do not have enough food has almost doubled to 1.2 million people since 2016. Additionally, over three million people in the Eastern Conflict Area do not have sufficient water to drink, cook and wash with, as infrastructure has been damaged by the ongoing hostilities.

IOM’s humanitarian relief efforts will include water, health and sanitation, and rehabilitation of infrastructure in the non-government controlled area (NGCA), and winterization and hygiene assistance on both sides of the contact line. IOM will also provide cash transfers for the most vulnerable residents of the Government-controlled parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

In addition to that, as a part of its recovery programme, IOM plans to further support internally displaced persons and their host communities through business training and grants. IOM’s economic empowerment programme will be expanded to include other vulnerable population categories, such as veterans of the current conflict. 

IOM will also rehabilitate important critical and social infrastructure such as healthcare facilities, geriatric centres, and schools; host community events; and provide psychosocial assistance where needed.

The ongoing unrest has provoked an increase in human trafficking.

“Last year, we assisted over 1,200 victims of trafficking, nearly all of whom were trafficked and exploited during the years of conflict,” said Weiss. “The true numbers may be even higher. To alleviate risks and protect people from exploitation and abuse, we are focusing our anti-trafficking efforts on people living near the contact line.”

IOM’s National Monitoring System will conduct regular surveys among internally displaced populations and returnees on their situation, intentions and movements. This will inform strategic planning by Government counterparts, NGOs and the international community.

View the Appeal here.

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: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 15:26Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Maria, a victim of shelling attacks in 2014, receives humanitarian assistance from IOM. © IOM/V. Shuvayev

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Signs Landmark Agreement with Slovenia to Resettle 60 Syrian Refugees from Turkey

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 09:39

Ljubljana – Slovenia will implement its first ever refugee resettlement programme with the support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, by resettling 60 Syrian refugees from Turkey to Slovenia in 2018.  The new programme officially came into effect after the signing of a Framework Agreement between IOM and the Slovenian government on Thursday (12/04).

“The resettlement agreement marks a new milestone in the cooperation between Slovenia and IOM,” said Iva Perhavec, IOM Slovenia Head of Office.

“Through the programme, we will support the Slovenian Government in meeting its commitments to providing a safe and legal pathway for vulnerable Syrian refugees in Turkey, and sharing responsibility with Turkey as a host country for refugee protection,” Perhavec continued.

In 2017, Turkey was the top departure country for resettlement globally, with 10,162 vulnerable refugees resettled to European countries alone. 

Resettlement from Turkey is implemented through a close partnership between EU Member States, the Turkish Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM), UNHCR and IOM.

The resettlement process from Turkey begins with the DGMM and UNHCR, which identify, assess and submit refugee files to countries for resettlement consideration. Following the selection missions undertaken by EU Member States in Turkey, selected refugees are assisted by IOM with case processing, including assistance with obtaining visas and travel documents, pre-departure health assessments, pre-departure orientation sessions and movement management.

When the refugees are travel-ready, IOM facilitates their transfer from Turkey, including by providing operational and/or medical escorts to particularly vulnerable persons with special needs to resettlement states in the EU, where representatives of the local IOM office meet and greet them at arrival.

Following the arrival of refugees in Slovenia, local non-governmental organizations and other service providers will provide them with integration assistance to support their smooth and successful start to integration in their new home.

Resettlement of refugees has continued to be one of the fundamental purposes and priorities of IOM. Founded in 1951 to assist in the resettlement of Europeans displaced in the aftermath of World War II, IOM has been working closely with governments, UNHCR, non-governmental organizations and other partners to provide a durable solution for vulnerable refugees through resettlement for over 65 years.

In 2017, some 93,216 refugees were resettled worldwide by IOM, of which 26,673 beneficiaries were assisted with resettlement to and humanitarian admission in European countries, an increase of 49 per cent compared to the previous year. A total of 23 European countries implemented resettlement or humanitarian admission programmes in 2017, two more than in 2016.

For more information please contact Iva Perhavec at IOM Slovenia, Tel: +386 1 434 73 51, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 15:24Image: Region-Country: SloveniaThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

A woman gazes out the window on a resettlement flight. © IOM/M. Mohammed

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN