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Movies on Migration from Around the World – Countdown to the 2017 Global Migration Film Festival Begins

PBN News Germany - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 05:00

Geneva – From Guyana to the Philippines, filmmakers from around the globe will showcase their vision at the Global Migration Film Festival. Organized by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the festival will take place in over 100 countries from 5 to 18 December 2017.

The second edition of the annual Festival will explore the challenges and promises of migration, the heterogenous journey of migrants, moving from one location to another, settling for temporary or permanent periods, in search for a better future and economic prosperity, reuniting with loved ones, or fleeing war and despair.

Films have the power to show different facets of life, through which viewers may cultivate deeper empathy for migrants and a better understanding of their realities, needs, perspectives and capacities. The objective of the Festival is to use films as educational tools that influence perceptions towards migrants bringing attention to social issues.

The opening movie of the festival in Geneva, Lost in Lebanon, delves into the news reports on the Syrian war and gives an intimate look at how four Syrians in Lebanon are trying to find ways to overcome the torment of their shattered lives.

One of the protagonists of the opening film, Mwafak, was invited to create the award statue for the Festival that will be collected and delivered by DHL, one of the partners of the Festival.

Mwafak describes the statue as “a human, female figure standing upright, portraying an optimistic gesture. The woman, stands as a symbol of harmonic life and consistent peace. She looks up to the sky, into the future. Her hair and cape wave softly in the wind. The breeze can be at the same time a challenge and her chance to fly and feel light. The material, bronze, with its warm color gives the sculpture a feeling of both strength and warmth.”

Explaining his choice for sculpting a woman, Mwafak says that “women represent hope – they are the ones who continue life as they give birth”, further adding that the women who endure the danger and strain of the migration journey are exceptionally strong and resilient.

Among others, the Festival will screen Sans Le Kosovo, in which the director and her father retrace his exile as a 19-year-old refugee from Kosovo in 1968. In Nowhere Man, a nameless refugee in Korea from Pakistan who does not appear onscreen, reminds us of all the refugees who have passed by us over the years. Over 30 movies in total will be screened worldwide.

Some of the filmmakers participating in the Festival have migrated at a certain point in their lives, and will put forth their talent, experiences and vision through movies spanning across all genres. Most of the screenings will be followed by a discussion panel consisting of filmmakers, migrants and other guests.

A committee of international film professionals and migration specialists will select three standout productions from the Emerging Filmmakers category and one standout production from the Professional Filmmakers category. Each winner will receive USD 1,500. The award ceremony will take place on 18 December in Les Cinémas du Grütli, Geneva.

The Global Migration Film Festival is not only spreading migration stories around the globe to inform, inspire, educate and transform, but it is also bringing the skills of storytelling through filmmaking, to vulnerable communities. With the support of IOM Development Fund (IDF) and Norcap, Participatory Video workshops took place in Amman, Jordan and Malakal, South Sudan.

During the five-day process, the youth groups created their own films. The participatory process empowers the participants. From the decision of the subject to the editing, every step was conducted by the group with the support of the facilitators.

The Global Migration Film Festival is a partner of Plural+, a youth-produced video festival, and the UN campaign, TOGETHER, which aims to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants.

For more information, please contact IOM HQ:

Leonard Doyle, Tel: + 41 22 717 9589, Email: ldoyle@iom.int

Amanda Nero, Tel: +41 22 717 9111, Email: anero@iom.int

 

 

Language English Posted: Monday, November 13, 2017 - 11:55Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Hostile Terrain Slows Delivery of Lifesaving Aid to Rohingya Refugees

PBN News Germany - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 11:28

Cox’s Bazar – Since 25 August, an estimated 613,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, fleeing violence in Myanmar. The total refugee population in the area is now over 826,000.

The makeshift sites where the Rohingyas have settled are desperately overcrowded and located on inhospitable, hilly terrain with insufficient drainage and little or no road access. The few roads that exist are impossibly congested, making it extremely difficult to reach refugees with the support and services they need.

In the Kutupalong – Balukhali Expansion Site, which is now home to an estimated 423,000 refugees, and where IOM, the UN Migration Agency is responsible for coordinating site management, many areas are extremely difficult to access.

People hike for hours under the scorching sun, often carrying heavy loads from distribution points, to reach their shelters. Steep hills and dangerous paths mean that children, the elderly and people with disabilities are often unable to move around the site.

In October, IOM built some 850 metres of road into Balukhali to enable humanitarian agencies to deliver lifesaving assistance to at least 50,000 refugees. “The road has vastly improved access for both refugees and humanitarian actors,” said IOM Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Project Officer Stephen Waswa Otieno.

“Contractors can now deliver materials inside the site, which has allowed us to build new, essential infrastructure. For example, one of our partners has just built a new distribution centre, bringing aid much closer to the families who need it,” he notes.

IOM is currently working on six other road projects, providing more access from main roads outside the sites, and inside the sites. It is also building five bridges, which will allow people and vehicles to cross canals and streams in different parts of the sites, which currently make access impossible.

IOM is also working to mitigate the threat of landslides on the newly de-forested land where many of the shelters perch on steep hillsides. IOM teams have been distributing bags that the refugees can fill with soil and use to create retaining walls and steps. These can also be used to raise shelters off mud floors, helping to keep them dry, especially when flash floods occur.

For more information please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Cox’s Bazar. Tel: +8801733335221, Email: oheadon@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 18:22Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

A Rohingya refugee arrives at Balukhali carrying all of his possessions. Once surveyed, he will be given materials to build a shelter and will hike to a less congested part of the site. Photo: Olivia Headon / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

A group of newly arrived Rohingya refugees hike up a steep hill to a less congested part of Balukhali to find space to build their shelters. Photo: Olivia Headon / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Much of Balukhali site, where Rohingya refugees are living, is extremely hostile, hilly terrain, which makes aid delivery difficult. Photo: Olivia Headon / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Relocates 698 Displaced Households from Unplanned Camp in CAR

PBN News Germany - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 11:22

Kaga Bandoro – This week IOM, the UN Migration Agency, completed the relocation of 698 internally displaced households from the impromptu camp that formed around MINUSCA’s (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic) base following the 2016 attacks in Kaga Bandoro, Central African Republic (CAR). Over 20,000 people settled around the base after ex-Séléka members attacked the Evêché IDP camp, the Prefect’s office and the MINUSCA camp on 12 October 2016.

One of the blocs constituting the provisional camp borders an airstrip (Bloc One) and another (Bloc Nine) was near the fuel depot, exposing residents to health risks. Bloc One has also complicated the landing and take-off of planes, forcing humanitarian aviation operators to suspend flights. This gravely affected surrounding communities and humanitarian efforts by preventing the adequate implementation of programmes and the evacuation of serious medical cases.

“The dangerous position of Blocs One and Nine made it very clear to IOM and CAR’s humanitarian team that everyone must be urgently relocated to a safer location,” said IOM CAR Chief of Mission Dr. Jean-François Aguilera.

Following the visit of the Humanitarian Coordinator and the Ministry of Humanitarian Actions of Kaga Bandoro in August, it was recommended that all the IDPs be urgently relocated to new and safe nearby locations.

After numerous consultation sessions with residents of the camp, and in partnership with OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the relocation of the first bloc started on Tuesday 17 October and finished on Wednesday 25 October. It involved 312 households, of which 15 returned to their old neighbourhood. The relocation of Bloc Nine began on Thursday, 26 October and finished on Friday, 3 November. This one included a total of 319 households, with one returning to its old neighbourhood. A last group of 67 households close to Bloc One were also relocated from Saturday, 4 November to Tuesday, 7 November.  

“The consultation sessions with the households allowed us to ensure that their particular needs are met and they are fully informed and consulted all along the process,” said Dr. Aguilera.

IOM assisted the 682 relocated households in transporting all their belongings, including huts and hangars, to new and safe locations. They also received a total of USD 30,103 (USD 44 per household), as well as non-food item kits. The 16 returning households were provided with return kits and assisted in the rehabilitation of their homes and the transportation of their belongings.

CAR is experiencing a resurgence of violence and faces the risk of a repeat of the devastating crisis that beset the country four years ago. The number of both internally displaced persons and refugees in neighbouring countries have dramatically increased over the past few months.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jean-François Aguilera at IOM CAR, Tel: + 236 72 18 7635, Email: jfaguilera@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 18:19Image: Region-Country: Central African RepublicThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Civilians on board trucks during a previous IOM relocation of internally displaced persons in the Central African Republic in 2014. Photo: IOM/Sandra Black 2014

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 155,856 in 2017; Deaths Reach 2,961

PBN News Germany - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 11:19

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 155,856 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 8 November, with just over 73 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder landing in Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 340,934 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

IOM Rome reported Thursday (9 November) that 114,411 migrants or refugees have landed in Italy after departing North Africa since the first of this year – which is a decline of over 30 per cent from the 164,822 arrivals to Italy along this route through 8 November 2016.

IOM Rome also released figures Thursday from Italy’s Ministry of Interior which show that through 31 October, Nigeria remains the largest sender of sea-borne migrants along the Central Mediterranean route, although its numbers appear to be falling, along with those from elsewhere in Sub Saharan Africa (see chart below).

The end-of-October figures show 17,462 Nigerians have been registered as arrivals in Italy since 1 January, almost twice the total from the second top sender, Guinea (Conakry), which registered 9,361 arrivals during those same ten months.

Nonetheless, the numbers arriving from both countries just in October, were smaller than usual: from Nigeria, just 362 men, women and children; from Guinea, just 144.  Similar numbers were reported from this year’s other leading senders. Bangladesh, with 8,896 arrivals this year, showed just 26 arrivals in October; Eritrea, with 5,739 for the entire year, registered just 28. The Gambia, with 5,691 for the year, registered only 42 new arrivals in October while neighbouring Senegal (5,786 for the year) reported only 170 in October.

Tunisia was the country that showed the most activity into Italy in October, with 2,733 new arrivals during the month, or more than all the arrivals (2,643) from Tunisia that landed between January and September (5,433). Moreover, Tunisians and Moroccans (320 arrivals) represented a slim majority of all arrivals to Italy for the month (5,979, see chart below).

With November’s arrival numbers showing an uptick through the first eight days of the month, the Tunisian surge appears to be something of an anomaly.

Other IOM figures released Thursday show just how dominant migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa have been along this corridor since the start of 2015.  According to composite figures released by IOM Rome, some 77,250 Nigerians have now arrived in Italy via sea over the past 34 months, or an average of almost 2,300 monthly. From Eritrea over the past 34 months, 65,619 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea. From the Gambia: 26,074; from Guinea: 25,504; from Cote d’Ivoire, 25,106; from Sudan: 24,111; from Somalia: 22,236 from Senegal: 22,094; from Mali: 22,576; from Bangladesh: 22,067; Syria 10,832 (see chart below).

In the Central Mediterranean on 6 November, a rubber boat carrying approximately 140 migrants capsized 30 nautical miles north of Tripoli, Libya. Both the Libyan Coast Guard and the NGO Sea Watch took part in a rescue operation, reporting at least five people had died, including one child.

While 58 people were rescued by Sea Watch, the Libyan Coast Guard intercepted 48 survivors – the reports of 140 migrants on the boat would indicate that an estimated 29 remain missing.

On 7 November in the Western Mediterranean, one migrant was found dead in a dinghy intercepted by the Moroccan Navy off Tangiers, Morocco. Missing Migrants Project (MMP) added one more death from an incident on 3 November in the Eastern Mediterranean, where IOM Greece confirmed three deaths and seven missing from an earlier report of six missing. These deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,961, compared with 4,303 through the same date in 2016.

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Thursday (09/11) of at least five incidents off the island of Lesvos that required search and rescue operations. The Hellenic Coast Guard managed to rescue the 158 migrants and transfer them to Lesvos.

Since 1 August, a total of 13,427 men, women and children have entered Greece by sea from waters of the Eastern Mediterranean. That is more migrants than entered during all of 2017’s first seven months. Namia further reported that just over 1,000 migrants or refugees entered Greece by sea during the first week of November, bringing migrant sea arrivals to Greek territory to 24,832 for the year so far (see chart below). 

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded the deaths of 5,005 people migrating in 2017 through 8 November. MMP noted that the 5,000 mark was reached last year on 26 August, and in 2015, on 20 October. Because of the way data was compiled in 2014, MMP’s first year, there is no way to determine on what date migrant deaths that year passed the 5,000 mark (see chart below).

As has been true most weeks since MMP began tracking migrant fatalities, the Mediterranean remains the most lethal migrant location. Additionally, three migrants died and three went missing this month after a boat capsized between the French island of Mayotte and Comoros Islands on 2 November.

MMP also received data from the Pima County Officer of the Medical Examiner regarding migrant deaths in Pima County, Arizona, for the month of October: the remains of six migrants who lost their lives crossing the US/Mexico border were recovered at different locations. Between January and October of this year, the remains of 117 migrants had been recovered in southern Arizona. The MMP team also received disaggregated data from the South Texas Human Rights Centre on migrant deaths in Brooks County, Texas: the remains of 44 people were retrieved this year in different ranches across the county.

Missing Migrants Project 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: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/171110_Mediterranean_Update.pdf

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Abby Dwommoh, IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email: MediaIOMTurkey@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel:  +216 28 78 78 05 (mobile) office: +216 71 860 312 EXT. 109  Email: mchabbi@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 18:02Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Supports Voluntary Humanitarian Return of 243 Guinean Migrants from Libya

PBN News Germany - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 11:02

Conakry - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, recently topped 10,000 rescued migrants repatriated from Libya under IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme. Since March 2015, when the return programme was launched, returns have taken place to 30 different countries with a total of 13,530 men, women and children returning home to their families.

It was around 2:30 am on Wednesday (08/11) when the flight chartered by IOM Libya touched down at Conakry-Gbessia International airport. Onboard were 243 Guinean migrants, including eight unaccompanied children and 10 women – one with four children.

Among the returnees, too, was a medical case that was directly transported to the hospital for medical follow up. This was the second November flight from Libya; on 1 November, 247 Guinean migrants returned to Conakry.

As with all charters of this type, IOM conducted pre-departure interviews, medical examinations and facilitated the acquisition of travel documents and issuance of exit visas for all passengers. The migrants of this flight were registered in Trig al Matar and Tajoura Detention Centres in the Tripoli region.

On hand to welcome them at the airport were the different teams comprising Government and non-Government officials: SENAH (National Service of Humanitarian Affairs), representatives of the Ministry of Guineans Abroad and the Ministry of Social actions, IOM, and the Guinean Red Cross.

Upon arrival at the Conakry airport, the returning migrants were provided with on-the-spot assistance which included the provision of food and water, as well as non-food items by IOM Guinea. The migrants were then registered and the questionnaires used will enable IOM to better understand the profile of the returnees, to learn more about the reasons of their departure, their migratory path and their living conditions in Libya to ensure the proper alignment of activities relating to their reintegration into their various communities.

Returning migrants residing in Conakry were able to return directly to their homes, while others from different parts of Guinea were accommodated for one night by SENAH at the Matam Transit Centre, from where they will be able to proceed to their final destinations.

After this registration exercise, IOM provided each migrant with the local equivalent of EUR 50 to take care of their immediate needs (including transport). Within the next three months, and as part of the programme Strengthening Governance of Migration and Supporting the Sustainable Reintegration of Migrants in the Republic of Guinea derived from the initiative of the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF), IOM will be assessing the returnees' situations on a case by case basis to help them find alternatives to ensure their sustainable reintegration in Guinea.

At the same time, IOM provides continuous psycho-social support to vulnerable migrants and, where necessary, any added support designed to address their immediate needs.

Seydou*, one of the returnees from N'zérékoré (in Forest Guinea Region), arrived with a hand injury, explaining that he was held by bandits in a private prison in Sabratha on the Libyan coast, west of Tripoli. When the camp was raided by government forces, he fled not knowing who was attacking. He fell, and a piece of wood perforated his hand.

After the transfer of liberated migrants to centres administered by the Libyan state in Tripoli, IOM cared for Seydou and took him to a hospital for surgery. Today he is recovering, thankful to be back in Guinea.

This latest flight was the ninth organized by IOM for Guinean migrants from Libya since early 2017. It adds to the returns from other countries (Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco and Niger, amongst others).

In total, since January this year, 2,682 Guinean migrants have returned to Guinea with IOM support. One hundred and thirty-five were children.

Strengthening the Governance of Migration and Supporting the Reintegration of Migrants in the Republic of Guinea is a joint initiative between IOM and the European Union Trust Fund. Launched in April 2017, it will be implemented over a period of three years and will cover six administrative regions of Guinea: Conakry, Boké, Mamou, Labé, Kankan and N'zérékoré.

As part of this project, IOM Guinea will assist returning migrants (depending on their profiles and needs), to create small businesses, to involve them in a collective and/or community entrepreneurial initiative or to enroll them into professional training programmes.

*The names of migrants have been changed to protect their privacy.

For more information please contact Lucas Chandellier, IOM Guinea, Tel. +224 628 33 86 53, Email: lchandellier@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 17:57Image: Region-Country: GuineaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM, this week (08/11) assisted 243 Guinean migrants return home from Libya under its Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Supports Return of Marawi Displaced in Southern Philippines After Conflict Ends

PBN News Germany - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 10:21

Marawi City – The Government of the Philippines, with support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, last week (29/10) started returning thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) back to Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao, after the end of clashes between government forces and armed groups.

As of 4 November, over 20,000 IDPs had been assisted to return to nine barangays (neighbourhoods). IOM has so far mobilized 20 vans daily for six days and distributed food and water to 18,000 of the returning IDPs. The process is expected to last up to six months.

There are 353,626 individuals or 77,175 families displaced from Marawi after conflict flared up on 23 May 2017 between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and ISIS-inspired Maute Group, prompting the Government to declare martial law in Mindanao.

From the onset of the conflict, IOM provided much needed humanitarian aid in the form of Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) support such as training for camp managers, local government units, NGOs and IDP leaders, tracking of needs inside the evacuation centres using the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) tool, setting up alternative dwelling spaces (ADS) to decongest evacuation centres and upgrading camp facilities.

In the months since the crisis, IOM has provided ADS, privacy partitions, multipurpose halls and CCCM welfare desks for 10 evacuation centres in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur. To strengthen camp management staff, IOM provided CCCM training to 145 camp managers and 160 IDP leaders, as well as 120 local government personnel.

IOM partnered with Maranao People Development Center, Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits and Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology to implement the DTM. Using the information management tool, the needs, gaps and concerns were tracked for 87,408 IDPs – including 48,547 children and 45,919 women – settling in evacuation centres and home-based sites in five locations prioritized by IOM: Iligan City, Balo-i, Pantao Ragat, Pantar and Saguiaran.

Besides providing transportation for IDPs, IOM is working in close partnership with the Task Force Bangon Marawi, Department of Social Welfare and Development, AFP, and Local Government Units of Marawi and the five municipalities where IOM operates.

“After the declaration of Marawi’s liberation on 17 October 2017, IOM is now assisting the authorities to facilitate the return of the IDPs to their respective places of origin. The returns are being done in phases to facilitate an orderly and secured return of the IDPs,” said Conrad Navidad, IOM Philippines CCCM Programme Coordinator.

With the ongoing clearing operations by the military, the government identified the first nine barangays that IDPs can now return to, after they were cleared for unexploded ordnance. These are Matampay, Tampilong, Panggao Saduc, Datu Saber, Bo Green, Moriataw Luksadatu, Marawi Poblacion, East Basak and Basak Malutlut. These barangays experienced the least damage from the conflict, allowing IDPs to safely return.

The IOM Marawi response is funded by the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). Once the clearing operations are completed, especially in the main location affected by fighting and the transitional shelters for families living are constructed, all IDPs are expected to return by middle of next year.

For more information, please contact Conrado Navidad, IOM Philippines, Email: cnavidad@iom.int 

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 17:13Image: Region-Country: PhilippinesThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

The Government of the Philippines, with the support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency starts returning thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao, after the end of clashes between government forces and armed groups. Photo: Erika Sasy Lumanta / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The Government of the Philippines, with support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency start returning thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) back to Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao, after the end of clashes between government forces and armed groups. Photo: Erika Sasy Lumanta / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The Government of the Philippines, with support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency start returning thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) back to Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao, after the end of clashes between government forces and armed groups. Photo: Erika Sasy Lumanta / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Brings Ukrainian Businesses Together through Interactive Platform

PBN News Germany - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 10:13

Kyiv – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, launched an online business exchange platform in Kyiv today (10/11) to foster networking and cooperation among self-employed persons and owners of small businesses. The platform, funded by the Government of the United Kingdom and run by a partner NGO, contains a directory of established entrepreneurs from all the regions of Ukraine, educational materials, as well as business-related news and opportunities.

IOM started its economic empowerment programme in Ukraine to help reintegrate victims of trafficking over ten years ago. In 2014, with the outbreak of the conflict in the East of the country, the programme was expanded to respond to the needs of conflict-affected people.

“IOM has supported over 6,500 people, including trafficking survivors and internally displaced persons (IDPs), with grants for self-employment, micro-enterprise and vocational trainings,” said Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission. “We wanted to further support our beneficiaries in their business activities and so we created a space where they could connect, communicate and unite with other entrepreneurs to develop, grow and expand their businesses,” he added.

With its economic empowerment programme and the newly established Business Exchange Platform, IOM aims to support more people like Oleksandr. He arrived in the city of Vinnytsia in winter 2015 with only two bags after having been forced to leave his native Luhansk. With money borrowed from his family, he bought a compressor and two staplers to start a furniture upholstery business in a garage. Later he took part in an IOM-supported business training, successfully defended his business plan and received equipment enabling him to expand his business and hire employees.

Oleksandr eventually opened a furniture production company, and despite being busy with his business, regularly volunteered at IOM’s local partner NGO. At one of the events, he met Viktor, an IDP from Donetsk Region and another IOM-supported beneficiary, who had an eco-wood furniture business near Vinnytsia. The men decided to join forces and create aesthetically pleasing high-quality furniture.

“Co-sharing equipment is a great opportunity for any business, but for IDPs who often lack resources in a new community it is especially relevant,” said Oleksandr. “And of course, learning from each other and new ideas born in partnership are often even more important than funds,” he added.

For more information, please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, Email: vzhluktenko@iom.int 

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 17:06Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Community StabilizationInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM facilitates opportunities online and offline. Pictured: IOM-supported IDP entrepreneur showcasing his products at a fair in Kyiv. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Ghana Holds Counter-Trafficking Workshops for Communities in Volta Region

PBN News Germany - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 10:06

Ghana – IOM Ghana held a closing workshop (2/11) for its project: Increasing Child Protection and Combatting Child Trafficking in 8 Districts of the Volta Region through Community Child Rights Education.

Under this two-year project, supported by UNICEF, a toolkit on child protection and counter trafficking titled Free to Be Me was developed in 2013. The toolkit was distributed in 43 selected communities within eight districts of the Volta Region, with an additional six communities reached through the project’s pilot phase which began in November 2012.

The toolkit aims to build the capacity of local communities to address and prevent child trafficking and protection violations by engaging community members, parents, and children. Over 127 volunteers and district officials were trained to implement the toolkit, and over 5,000 community members were reached.

The dissemination of the toolkit also resulted in the parent-led return of 43 children to eight communities. Additionally, there was a decrease in cases of child trafficking in the targeted communities and an improvement in children’s achievement at school, as well as improved relationships between parents and children.

According to the US State Department’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report (2017 TIP Report), Ghana is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. The exploitation of Ghanaians within the country – particularly children in the fishing and domestic service industries – is more prevalent compared with the average cases of transnational trafficking of foreigners worldwide. The project targeted the Volta Region, which has the highest incidences of child trafficking in Ghana due to the region’s growing fishing industry.

The IOM Ghana workshops provide an opportunity to share project methodology, lessons learned, and testimonials from community members and district officials. Additionally, participants can engage in a question-and-answer session and watch a summary video about the project.

A major component of the project included the drawing of the Tree of Life within communities by parents and their children, during which parents made a commitment to nurture their children appropriately. This public drawing exercise has been used in various communities to educate visitors, and even potential traffickers, on the community’s commitment to support its children so as to prevent trafficking.

The closing workshop was attended by delegations from over 29 organizations including the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection; the Department of Social Welfare; the Volta Regional Coordinating Council; and Parliamentarians without Borders for Children’s Rights.

John Terkpetey, Volta Regional Labour Officer said, “IOM and UNICEF need to be commended for this project in reducing the human trafficking menace through the use of the toolkit. The methodology used was solid.”

Community members and volunteers also shared their optimism about the future of preventing child trafficking in their communities, using the skills and tools they had learned over the course of the campaign. A community leader from Toklosu Community stated: “We the leaders will make sure that children in our community are well protected, and enjoy their basic human rights.”

“This project has demonstrated the tremendous impact that community human rights education can have on child protection,” said Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, IOM Ghana Chief of Mission. “We hope that the Trees of Life that have sprung across the Volta Region will prevent the trafficking of any more children in the communities where we’ve worked.”

Though this particular partnership project has come to a close, IOM Ghana remains committed to child protection and counter-trafficking initiatives and to continued collaboration with the Ghana Child Protection Compact Partnership (CPC).

For more information please contact Alexander Billings at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233 302 742 930 ext. 2413, Email: abillings@iom.int  

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 16:52Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

A major component of the project included the drawing of the Tree of Life within communities by parents and their children, during which parents made a commitment to nurture their children appropriately. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

The dissemination of the toolkit also resulted in the parent-led return of 43 children to eight communities. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Gambia, EU, IOM Launch Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration

PBN News Germany - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 04:43

Banjul – IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the Government of The Gambia last week (03/11) officially launched the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration: The Gambia at a ceremony in the capital Banjul, attended by the EU Ambassador to The Gambia, Attila Lajos and the country’s Minister of Interior, Mai Ahmed Fatty.  The launch was also attended by representatives from Government, the diplomatic community, civil society, the UN system and the media.

The three-year project is funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) for a total of EUR 3.9 million.

The initiative comes at a crucial time as a significant number of Gambians who have left the country become stranded on the migration routes to North Africa and Europe, with no means to continue their journeys. With little hope of reaching their intended destinations, many of them decide to return home but lack resources to do so.

The new project, part of a regional initiative addressing 14 countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad region as well as Libya, proposes to contribute to strengthening migration governance and to the sustainable reintegration of returning migrants in The Gambia, with the following three objectives:

To support 1,500 migrants returning to the Gambia to reintegrate into their communities of origin and to contribute to the strengthening of the Government of The Gambia’s capacity to provide sustainable reintegration support, including specialized assistance for vulnerable migrants;
To raise awareness of 250 communities and 2,500 potential migrants of safe migration options and alternatives to irregular migration;
To support national and local authorities and development partners in having access to data on migration factors, flows and trends to support evidence-based policy development and programmes.

IOM Chief of Mission in The Gambia, Fumiko Nagano, noted that the Joint initiative “aims to ensure that migrant rights are respected, that returning migrants are able to contribute positively to their communities, and that the migration process is safer and better managed. At the core, the Joint Initiative’s aim is to respond to migrant needs.” 

The Joint Initiative’s inclusive approach will involve key stakeholders, such as migrants’ associations, community based organizations, and local communities to ensure the sustainability of reintegration and that Gambian migrants in the future will be opting to migrate via regular means as a matter of choice, rather than necessity.

IOM will be working very closely with the Government of The Gambia, particularly the Ministry of Interior, which has the mandate to lead on migration governance and management in the country.

In a separate but closely related event, IOM supported the government in holding the validation workshop in Banjul (02-03/11), on the country’s national migration policy, the first of its kind in The Gambia. This was part of IOM’s ongoing collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, financially supported by the EU-funded regional project, Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa (FMM West Africa). Once approved by the Cabinet, the policy will ensure that the Gambian Government has a comprehensive approach to migration management and governance.

“This policy is anchored on the ideals of African solidarity as well as shared values as informed by existing African Union frameworks including the AU Migration Policy Framework for Africa, the African Common Position on Migration and Development of 2006, the Common African Perspective for Valetta Summit on Migration of 2015, and Agenda 2063,” Minister Mai Fatty noted, as he urged EU and other stakeholders to act in partnership to address the root causes of irregular migration.

The FMM West Africa project, jointly funded by the European Union and the ECOWAS Commission, covers the 15 ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania on different thematic areas of migration, such as, trafficking in persons, border management, migration policy development and labour migration.

The FMM West Africa project is driven by the ECOWAS Commission and implemented jointly by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

For more information please contact Fumiko Nagano, IOM The Gambia, Tel: +220 232 0060, Email: fnagano@iom.int

 

 

Language English Posted: Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 11:27Image: Region-Country: SenegalDefault: Multimedia: 

From left to right, holding the banner: Fumiko Nagano, IOM The Gambia Chief of Mission; Mai Ahmed Fatty, Minister of Interior; Attila Lajos, EU Ambassador and Bulli Dibba, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

‘A Theater against Human Trafficking’ Project Launched in Peru

PBN News Germany - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 09:46

Lima – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Perú, this week (6 November) launched in Lima, A Theater against Trafficking project that seeks to prevent human trafficking for sexual exploitation in the travel and tourism sectors in Perú.

Perú, like many other countries, has identified cases of sexual exploitation of children in the context of the tourism industry, some believed to be actual trafficking victims.

"Through this project, we want to engage the educational community to develop preventive actions in their schools and contribute to the reduction of social tolerance and the normalization of exploitation," said the IOM Perú Chief of Mission, José Iván Dávalos.

This project will impact more than 5,000 schoolchildren and tour operators, as well as teachers of the selected schools of the mentioned regions.

At a national level between 2009 and 2016, according to the Crime Observatory of the Public Ministry of Perú, 4,274 alleged victims of trafficking were registered and the most vulnerable age range was between 13 and 17 years old.

The project will be taken to ten schools in Piura, La Libertad, Ica, Loreto, Puno, Arequipa, Cusco, Junín, Lima and Callao. These regions were prioritized both for the high numbers of cases of trafficking identified as well as for being important tourist destinations.

Two main activities will be implemented:  the presentation of the play Angel without wings (Angel sin alas) and “awareness raising workshops,” in which, trafficking specialists—through an approach based on play and art—will inform audiences of students in the third, fourth and fifth year of high-school about the risks of human trafficking.

The play Angel Without Wings represents a common reality in the country and communicates very closely the risks that young people can face.

This project is based on the pilot that IOM developed in 2016 and on the various initiatives carried out in recent years, such as the presentation of the plays Lita’s Nightmare and Prison of Angels. These  the theatrical plays were presented in several districts of Lima as well as Puerto Maldonado, the capital of the Madre de Dios region, one of the regions with highest number of trafficking cases linked to illegal mining, logging and tourism. 

For more information please contact Inés Calderón at IOM Perú, +511 6330000, icalderon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 16:42Image: Region-Country: PeruDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Corpses of 26 Trafficked Women Arrive in Italy, as Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 154,609 in 2017; Deaths Reach 2,925

PBN News Germany - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:56

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 154,609 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 5 November, with about 75 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder arriving in Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 337,773 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.


IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean reported Monday (6 November) on operations that saved over 2,560 migrants in just four days. Those same operations resulted in 34 recovered bodies and an estimated 50 more missing at sea, at the very least.

“This is the outcome of one of the toughest weeks that rescue workers in the central Mediterranean route have experienced in the past for four months up to Monday,” said IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo.

The overall majority of migrants rescued during these days were West African nationals, but there were also some other nationalities: Bangladeshis, Eritreans, Egyptians, Sudanese, Moroccans, Syrians and Libyans. IOM staff also met an 89-year-old Syrian man, rescued at sea and brought to Taranto by the German ship "Mecklenburg", and a Nigerian girl who gave birth on board the Spanish Navy Ship “Cantabria,” soon after being rescued.

The most dramatic instance came Sunday morning, when the Spanish Navy’s “Cantabria” – operating under the EunavforMed’s Operation Sophia – brought to Salerno (Campania) the remains of dozens of women, along with 402 migrants rescued in four different operations.

Faced with the remains of only women and girls, the prefect of Salerno decided to open an investigation to clarify the circumstances of these deaths, not excluding the possibility of it being a case of homicide. Autopsies will determine the women’s actual causes of death. From the earliest information gathered during landing, IOM has learned that the bodies were recovered in two distinct operations.

On Friday (3 November), the “Cantabria” rescued a sunken rubber dinghy, saving 64 people and recovering the bodies of 23 Nigerian girls. It is estimated that there were about 140 people on board, and – if this proves to have been the case – then the true number of those still missing would be close to 50. On the sunken vessel, there were several very young Nigerian girls.

During another operation, the "Bergamini" ship of the Italian Navy retrieved corpses of three women on an inflatable boat that was transporting some 139 migrants. These were transferred to the “Cantabria”.

Just days earlier, at least eight bodies were found by the Italian Coast Guard on a rubber dinghy with 150 people aboard.

“This tragedy affects a group of people particularly at-risk.” said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean. "It is very likely that these girls were, in fact, victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. A recent IOM report has estimated that 80 per cent of Nigerian girls arriving in Italy by sea may be victims of trafficking.”

Soda added, “We’ve observed an alarming, notable increase in the number of Nigerian women and girls arriving in Italy over the last three years, from 1,500 in 2014, to over 11,000 in 2016. The most disturbing trend is that these women are younger and often under the age of 18. IOM is present at the landing points in Italy where we offer specific assistance to victims of trafficking after informing them about the risks they are running and the possibility of being protected by Italian law.”

The migrants from these rescue operations have already been transferred to reception centres throughout Italy: in Lombardy, Apulia, Tuscany, Veneto, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna and Lazio.

Survivors arriving in Salerno offered many dramatic stories: a girl claimed she was raped, another reported that she had seen her three children die at sea.

The 2,560 migrants rescued in these days may represent an inversion of trend, compared to the arrivals from Libya registered in recent months. Starting in August, arrivals by sea averaged between 4,000 and 6,000 per month, a sharp decrease compared to earlier this year.

“It is more difficult than ever to forecast the trend right now,” noted Soda. “The number of departures from Libya has slowed in the last four months, but we are still seeing large numbers being rescued and brought to Italy in relatively short periods of time. We are also heading into a season of the year when the weather will be less predictable and the seas more dangerous. Historically, we have seen the highest number of fatalities during the winter months. This year, this coincides with fewer active rescue operations in the Mediterranean, as many NGOs have suspended their operations.”

In 2016, the number of migrants and refugees perishing at sea between North Africa, the Middle East and Europe totalled 718, with another 386 reported drowned during September.

Concluded Soda: “We must keep in mind that during all this activity, at the same time, migrants’ conditions in Libya continue to be dramatic: in the past weeks, there have been military clashes in the country and migrants are the most vulnerable subjects in these situations. Finally, the conditions of detention centres, even those where we have access as IOM staff, are wholly inadequate.”

IOM Libya's Christine Petré reported Monday 48 migrants (35 men and 13 women) were rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard. According to their testimony as many as 82 migrants may remain missing since the vessel's capsizing. Among the rescued, nine reportedly suffered from burn injuries with two transferred to hospital. IOM assisted the migrants at the disembarkation point including with health assessments.

She added that on 4 November, 151 migrants (137 men, one woman and 13 minors) were rescued at sea off Tripoli. All migrants were found in relatively stable health condition. So far in 2017, 19,333 migrants have been rescued or intercepted in Libyan waters.

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Monday (6 November) news of at least five incidents off the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Kalymnos that required search and rescue operations in which the Hellenic Coast Guard rescued 234 migrants and transferred them to those respective islands.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reported that Greek authorities recovered the body of a woman and were searching for six people missing after a wooden boat carrying migrants sank off Kalymnos Island, near Turkey’s coast, on Friday (3 November). The Turkish Coast Guard recovered two bodies from the same incident.

Nearly 13,000 (12,967) men, women and children have entered Greece by sea from waters of the Eastern Mediterranean since 1 August, or more migrants (11,405) than entered during all of 2017’s first seven months. Namia further reported that nearly 550 migrants or refugees entered Greece by sea during the first four days on November, bringing migrant sea arrivals to Greek territory to 24,372 for the year so far. (See chart below.) 

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded the deaths of 4,955 people migrating in 2017. In the Central Mediterranean, the remains of 26 women and girls were recovered over the weekend during rescue operations off the coast of Libya. On 3 November, the bodies of 23 Nigerian girls were recovered from a sunken rubber dinghy off the coast of Libya. Sixty-four people were rescued from this boat – according to survivors’ testimonies, there were about 140 people on board, so an estimated 50 migrants are still missing. During another rescue operation, the bodies of three women were recovered on an inflatable boat that was transporting 139 migrants.

In the Western Mediterranean, one woman that was rescued from a sinking dinghy on 29 October died from severe fuel burns in a hospital in Tangiers, Morocco, on 4 November. In the Eastern Mediterranean, Greek and Turkish authorities together confirmed as many as eight dead or missing people.

These deaths bring the total number of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,925. At this time last year deaths on the three Mediterranean Sea routes totalled 4,305 – or nearly 1,400 more than 2017’s total thus far.
Additionally, two deaths were recorded on the US/Mexico border: the skeletal remains of one migrant were recovered on 24 October in a ranch near Sarita, in Kenedy County (Texas), while another body was recovered near Falfurrias in Brooks County on 1 November.

Missing Migrants Project 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: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/171107_Mediterranean_Update.pdf 

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Abby Dwommoh, IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email: MediaIOMTurkey@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel:  +216 28 78 78 05, Mobile: +216 71 860 312 ext. 109, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 17:38Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Rolls Out Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Services in South Sudan Displacement Sites

PBN News Germany - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:54

Juba – Thousands now have access to HIV/AIDS counselling, testing, and treatment in South Sudan since the International Organization for Migration (IOM) completed the roll out of comprehensive services at the Bentiu, Malakal and Wau Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites in October 2017, benefiting an estimated population of 171,000 people, as well as the host community.

In 2016, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis were the leading causes of mortality in the PoC sites, where people are often unable to access health facilities outside the sites due to protection concerns or destruction of public infrastructure.

“The expansion of services is a crucial development in South Sudan, where internally displaced persons, such as those living in the PoC sites, are among key populations that are considered to be at higher-risk of contracting HIV/AIDS,” explained Salma Taher, IOM Global Fund Project Officer.

Since 2014, IOM has been providing HIV/AIDS services to pregnant mothers at the PoC sites through Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programme. Through the advocacy of IOM and the UN Development Fund, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculous and Malaria expanded funding to enable the start-up and roll out of services for the general population visiting the clinics in the PoC sites, not only pregnant mothers.

Since the roll out began in July, IOM has tested 213 people, with 16 testing positive and enrolling in antiretroviral treatment.

With timely diagnosis and initiation of antiretroviral medication, the life expectancy of HIV-positive patients has been proven to improve substantially – 10 years for men and 9 years for women, as evidenced in a recent analysis of cohort studies.

A core component to comprehensive services is awareness raising and sensitization to both encourage testing and destigmatize the disease among the displaced population. Through the Global Fund support, IOM has trained over 450 peer counselors across the country, including 51 at the Bentiu and Malakal PoC sites.

Martha (name changed to protect her identity) and her husband are both HIV-positive and enrolled in antiretroviral treatment at the Bentiu PoC site. When Martha first arrived at the site in 2014, she was pregnant and tested positive for HIV. She immediately enrolled in the PMTCT programme and her child, who is now three years old, is HIV-free. Martha is an active member of PMTCT support groups and was trained as a peer counselor. With the knowledge and confidence she gained in these programmes, she was able to convince her husband to pursue treatment when he, too, tested positive for the disease.

The programme is complemented with services from IOM’s mental health and psychosocial support team, which provides peer support through family support groups, counseling for people living with HIV/AIDS and those affected by gender-based violence.

The expansion of services is funded through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria with the support of the UN Development Fund. Migration health and psychosocial support services are funded by the USAID Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the Government of Japan, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Government of the Republic of Korea, and the Government of Canada.

For more information, please contact Ashley McLaughlin at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 922 405 716, Email: amclaughlin@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 17:36Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

An HIV support group meets in the Bentiu PoC site. Photo: Amanda Nero / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Supports Dominica Rebuilding Post-Hurricane Maria

PBN News Germany - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:46

Dominica – Twenty teams of local tradesmen, carpenters, and assistants, all trained by IOM, the UN Migration Agency on safe construction skills, are rebuilding homes destroyed by hurricane Maria in Dominica. The teams are deployed in Wesley, Calibishi and Woodford Hill, three of the hardest-hit communities on the Caribbean island.

Dominica was hit on 18 September by the Category Five Hurricane Maria that devastated the island with winds of nearly 250 km per hour. It has been estimated that 23 per cent of buildings were destroyed, 39 per cent of the houses sustained severe damage, and further 28 per cent were affected to some degree.

As a response to the destruction left by the hurricane, and with funding from the UK government and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), IOM procured building materials in the Dominican Republic in record time and brought it to Dominica with the cooperation of the Dutch Navy.

IOM trained the local workforce on safe construction skills and these teams are using the building materials to repair roofs of moderately and heavily damaged homes of 400 vulnerable households.

One of the first beneficiaries was Tessa Williams, a 31-year-old Dominican mother of three. Her house was badly damaged by the hurricane, and she had to raise a makeshift hut with tarpaulins and salvaged material scattered by the storm. With the oldest of her three children in a wheelchair and the youngest still an infant, the situation for Williams was desperate. Her own community chose her to be one of the first recipients of IOM support.

“With this house, we have ensured that Tessa and her children have a safe home. The community sees there is actually something happening and we have completed the training of our carpenters on safe construction skills,” said Jan-Willem Wegdam, IOM’s team leader in Dominica.

According to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), almost 2,000 persons (roughly 360 families) are still living in shelters due to destruction or severe damage to their homes. “Many of them are elderly citizens, single-female heads of households and persons with chronic diseases,” says Wegdam.

“However, most of the families who lost their homes are staying with relatives or friends and we have heard that, after almost two months of close coexistence, tensions in these households are increasing, potentially leading to a second wave of displacement.”

With the decrease or loss of income-generating activities and destruction of their homes, Dominica locals are increasingly leaving the island in search of better opportunities in neighboring countries. IOM has set up a Flow Monitoring process at the ferry port in Roseau to understand the motivations for the departure of Dominica nationals. A quarter of respondents indicated that they would not return to Dominica and 22 per cent have left in search of employment abroad.

“Housing projects are a great way to keep locals from leaving the island, but we need stronger funding to create as many employment opportunities as possible and to rebuild the lost dwellings. It’s not only about having a roof over their heads but about creating the conditions for a full recovery after a huge disaster,” concluded Wegdam.

For more information, please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212-5300, Email: jgallo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 17:35Image: Region-Country: DominicaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

 IOM trained teams are using building materials donated by UKAid and UNCERF to repair roofs of moderately and heavily damaged homes of 400 vulnerable households. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM trained local workforce on safe construction skills. Their last lessons was to help Tessa to rebuild her home. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Asia-Pacific States Prepare for Global Compact for Migration

PBN News Germany - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:43

Bangkok – Asia-Pacific nations met in Bangkok yesterday (6/11) to begin three days of regional consultations on the creation of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).

The meeting, hosted by Thailand and the UN Regional Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), with support from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and UN partners, including UNHCR, ILO, UNFPA and UN Women, will provide regional input to inform the Global Compact – the first intergovernmental effort to comprehensively improve the management of international migration.

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing welcomed high level delegates from governments and civil society across the Asia-Pacific region, noting that a balanced and workable GCM would need to reflect the views and perspectives of all regions to ensure that it is owned and implemented by all governments and regional actors alike.

“IOM believes that the Global Compact presents an invaluable opportunity for the international community to work in a dedicated manner towards a common vision of a world in which migrants move as a matter of choice and not necessity, and in which their rights are protected throughout their migratory cycle; a world in which migration is well governed, leading to positive effects for all peoples and societies, and where any negative effects of migration are limited,” he said.

“Migration has tremendous potential to contribute to sustainable development for all people in Asia and the Pacific – migrants, those they leave behind, and their countries of destination,” said UNESCAP Executive Director Dr. Shamshad Akhtar.

“However, this potential can only be reached if we address the common problems all stakeholders face, the difficulties faced by migrants in accessing regular migration channels, the abuses migrants suffer at the hands of unscrupulous employers, and the lack of social protection of migrants,” she added.

International migration is a major phenomenon in the Asia-Pacific region, with over 62 million migrants living in the region, and almost 102 million claiming it as their region of origin.

Most are engaged in labour migration, taking up low-skilled work in developing countries, and many face human rights abuses because of their race, gender, ethnicity of cultural background. This exploitation not only affect people’s human rights. It also impacts on the contributions they make both at home and abroad.

On September 19, 2016 the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, a landmark political declaration aimed at improving the way in which the international community responds to large movements of refugees and migrants, as well as to protracted refugee situations.

It paved the way for the expected adoption in late 2018 of two new Global Compacts – one on refugees and one for safe, orderly and regular migration. The Global Compact is a significant opportunity to improve governance, and address the challenges associated with today’s migration. It will also help to strengthen the contribution of migrants and migration to sustainable development.

IOM provides policy and technical expertise to the Offices of the President of the UN General Assembly and the Special Representative for the UN Secretary-General on International Migration, Canadian jurist Louise Arbour, who serves as the Secretary-General for the intergovernmental process to adopt the GCM.

For media enquiries, please contact Chris Lom at the IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Email: clom@iom.int, Tel. +66.626028752.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 17:34Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Capacity BuildingGlobal CompactGlobal Compact on MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM DG Swing addresses UNESCAP member states in Bangkok. Photo: Chris Lom / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Ghana, Partners Hold Photo Exhibit on Migrants and Refugees

PBN News Germany - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:42

Accra – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and the Embassy of Mexico recently partnered to hold a photo exhibit in Ghana, entitled A Day in the Life of Migrants and Refugees, a subject of high interest in two countries whose citizens are among the planet’s most active migrants.

The exhibit and its associated events were co-sponsored by IOM Ghana, UNHCR Ghana, the Embassy of Mexico in Ghana, the Nubuke Foundation, AMEXCID, and the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

Mexico, the country with more migrants than any other residing in the US, and Ghana – with growing diaspora communities across North America, Europe and Africa – share a tradition and many migration stories.

Just in 2017, Ghanaians have made up 3,719 of the registered arrivals in Italy, making it the seventh source of arrivals from West Africa and eleventh largest in the world. In 2016, 5,636 registered Ghanaians reached Italy.

On 31 October, the partnering agencies hosted a cocktail reception for ambassadors, government officials, and civil society organizations in order to educate stakeholders on the impact of irregular migration and promote IOM’s support to vulnerable migrants.

In 2016 alone, approximately 30,000 migrants including men, women and children refugees, survivors of trafficking (internal and cross-border), smuggled migrants, diaspora and returnees have benefited from IOM staff’s dedication and hard work.

Photos exhibited by IOM included images of migrants along the migratory routes from Sub-Saharan Africa to Europe, highlighting the challenges of traveling through the desert and the Mediterranean.

Photos exhibited by UNHCR were captured from visits to Egyekrom and Ampain Refugee Camps and were donated by Pedro Jardim De Mattos, a renowned Brazilian photographer and lawyer, and Marcos Moreno Baez, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Mexican Embassy in Ghana. Photos displayed by UNHCR were made available for purchase with proceeds going to serving refugees in Ghana.

The exhibit ran from October 28th – November 3rd and included 49 pictures providing a snapshot into the lives of irregular migrants and refugees.

IOM Ghana’s involvement was generously sponsored by the Aware Migrants Information Campaign – Engaging West African Communities (EWAC) which includes Ghana, Senegal and Niger, and is funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

The project aims to address irregular migration along the main routes from Western Africa across the desert and the Mediterranean, by empowering migrants to make informed decisions and informing public opinion in target countries on the extreme risks of irregular migration.

A Day in the Life of Migrants and Refugees provided a considerable opportunity to educate both the public and key stakeholders on the impacts of irregular migration and the human stories behind mass migration statistics.

To learn more about IOM’s Mission in Ghana, please visit www.iom.int/countries/Ghana

For further information, please contact Olivia S. Matthews at IOM Ghana; Tel: +233 302 742 930 ext. 2414. Email: omatthews@iom.int.  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 17:33Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: OthersUNDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

East African Officials Trained in International Migration Law, Migration and Development

PBN News Germany - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:39

Moshi – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in cooperation with the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), organized a capacity building training from 30 October to 3 November at IOM’s African Capacity Building Centre (ACBC) in Moshi, Tanzania. The training aimed at enhancing the understanding of international migration law and migration and development, as well as building the capacity within the IGAD region, including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.

The first two-week training took place from 18 to 29 September also at the ACBC. Thirty-three trainees were selected from institutions belonging to the National Coordination Mechanisms (NCMs) with diverse backgrounds including Ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Labour, Members of Parliament (MPs), and Immigration and Police Services from IGAD Member States.

“We believe that it is important to have a holistic approach to migration management with the aim of emphasizing the positive contribution that well-managed migration can bring to the development of the IGAD region, ‘’ said Aaron Tekelegzi, IOM Special Liaison Office (SLO) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“Sound policy and integrated approaches to migrant assistance during crisis situations, well supported regional labour policies, and cohesive free movement frameworks are of paramount importance to the development of the region,” added Marcellino Ramkishun, IOM ACBC Senior Migration Specialist.

“Effective participation and valuable proposals are needed to improve migration management, maximize the benefits of migration and strengthen the cooperation among the IGAD countries,’’ stressed Dr. Khalid A.A. Lord, Director of the Sudan Centre for Migration and Development Studies.

The recommendations to IGAD countries emerging from the training included better diaspora mapping and closer collaboration with financial institutions and private sector to encourage diaspora investment in their home countries. The training also led to recommendations to establish closer collaboration on bilateral labour agreements with host countries, as well as the development and adoption of migration policies and their fast-tracking at national levels. 

“This second training represents an important step in achieving the project’s objectives, building predominantly on capacity building of the NCMs from the IGAD Member States,” said Qasim Sufi, IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission. “The practical recommendations made by participants are also clear indicators of the success of the Regional Migration Policy Framework project,” he added.

The training was held under the auspices of a joint regional migration project that is being co-implemented by IOM and IGAD to build regional and national capacities and implement the Regional Migration Policy Framework (RMPF). The RMPF aims at empowering the NCMs on migration through trainings, seminars and advocacy activities that help address mixed migration in the region and mainstream migration into development planning and programming by Member States.

For more information please contact:

Aaron Tekelegzi, IOM SLO Addis Ababa, Tel:+251 11 661 1197, Email: atekelegzi@iom.int

Marcellino Ramkishun, IOM ACBC, Tel: +255 2727 53 488, Email: mramkishun@iom.int

Catherine Matasha, IOM Tanzania, Tel: +255 22 260 2913, Email: cmatasha@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 17:32Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration LawMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants of the ACBC training. Photo: Melissa Tui/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM ACBC Expert delivering session on labour migration. Photo: Melissa Tui/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Dr. Qasim Sufi, IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission delivers training certificate. Photo: Melissa Tui/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Gambia, IOM Launch EU Funded Migrant Protection Project

PBN News Germany - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:37

Dakar - In the presence of the EU Ambassador to The Gambia, His Excellency Attila Lajos, a local signing of the Agreement to implement the project, “EUTF-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration: The Gambia,” took place at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Banjul on 3 November 2017 and was chaired by the Honorable Minister of Interior, Mai Ahmed Fatty.

The three-year project is funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) for a total of 3.9 million Euros.

A significant number of Gambians leaving the country often become stranded on the migration routes to North Africa and Europe, with no means to continue their journeys. With little hope of reaching their intended destinations, many of them decide to return home.

This new project, part of a regional initiative addressing 14 countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad region as well as Libya, proposes to contribute to strengthening migration governance and to the sustainable reintegration of returning migrants in The Gambia, with the following three objectives:

•          To support 1,500 migrants returning to the Gambia to reintegrate into their communities of origin and to contribute to the strengthening of the Government of The Gambia’s capacity to provide sustainable reintegration support, including specialized assistance for vulnerable migrants;

•          To raise awareness of 250 communities and 2,500 potential migrants of safe migration options and alternatives to irregular migration;

•          To support national and local authorities and development partners in having access to data on migration factors, flows and trends to support evidence-based policy development and programmes.

IOM Chief of Mission, Ms. Fumiko Nagano, noted that the Joint initiative “aims to ensure that migrant rights are respected, that returning migrants are able to contribute positively to their communities, and that the migration process is safer and better managed. At the core of the Initiative’s aim is to respond to migrant needs.”

The Initiative’s inclusive approach will involve key stakeholders, such as migrants associations, community based organizations, and local communities to ensure the sustainability of reintegration and that Gambian migrants in the future will be opting to migrate via regular means as a matter of choice, rather than necessity. IOM will be working very closely with the Government of The Gambia, in particular the Ministry of Interior, which has the mandate to lead on migration governance and management in the country.

On 2-3 November 2017, as part of its ongoing collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, IOM Gambia, with financial support from the EU-funded regional project, “Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration (FMM) in West Africa,” held a validation workshop on the country’s national migration policy, the first of its kind in The Gambia. Once validated, the policy will ensure that the Gambian Government has a comprehensive approach to migration management and governance. “This policy should be anchored on the ideals of African solidarity as well as shared values as informed by existing African Union frameworks including the AU Migration Policy Framework for Africa, the African Common Position on Migration and Development of 2006, the Common African Perspective for Valetta Summit on Migration of 2015, and Agenda 2063,” Minister Mai Fatty noted, as he urged EU and other stakeholders to act in partnership to address the root causes of irregular migration.

For more information, please contact Tijs Magagi Hoornaert, IOM Dakar, Tel: + 00221785891456 Email: tmhoornaert@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 17:31Image: Region-Country: SenegalThemes: Migrant AssistanceMigrants RightsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Arts, Culture and Talent Show Promotes Peaceful Coexistence in Baidoa, Somalia

PBN News Germany - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:45

Baidoa – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in partnership with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), supported an arts, culture and talent event in Baidoa, Somalia, on 26 October 2017. The event promoted social cohesion and common identity among communities from locations impacted by displacement and returns. Baidoa is currently hosting the highest number of drought-displaced people in Somalia.

The event attracted nearly 240 people and was planned and organized by a Core-Facilitation Team comprising local government authorities and line ministries working with representatives of displaced families and host communities living in villages around Baidoa. The event was made possible with funding from the Peace Building Fund, and was graced by Baidoa’s Youth Chairman, village leaders, religious leaders and representatives from women groups.

“Today is a historic day for South West communities gathered here to present their talents and culture. This event has the power to transform entire societies, strengthen integration between communities and show a sense of identity and belonging for people of all ages,” said Aden Ali, Deputy Mayor of Baidoa. “Such activities play a very essential role in promoting sustainable social and economic development for future generations as youth can act as a bridge between cultures and serve as key agents in promoting peace and intercultural understanding,” he added.

Different clan-based groups will continue to migrate from one place to another in order to manage risks related to armed conflict and other drivers of displacement. Refugee returnees and internally displaced persons are also expected to return to areas such as Baidoa that have been recovered from armed groups. Against this backdrop, communities will continue to face resource-based conflicts and be divided, particularly along clan lines, with weak social capital and latent conflicts that could easily resurface if they remain unaddressed.

While Somalia has made progress towards recovery, stability and the return of legitimate authority since 2012, major drivers of instability and conflict remain present, resulting in complex mobility patterns.

Baidoa is home to many internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees whose social bonds can be improved greatly through art, cultural and recreational activities. Social interaction through such events have been proven to break down unfamiliarity, fear and isolation, all of which are factors associated with clan-based conflicts. They also promote social cohesion and peaceful coexistence amongst diverse community groups, including IDPs, returnees and host communities.

Eight teams participated in the event and the winning performances were determined by a committee of four people selected by the Core-Facilitation Team.

 “We are not the only group who won today. By choosing peace, the rest of my brothers and sisters from other groups who participated and showed their beautiful talents are also today’s winners,” Said Aliow Mad, a member of the winning team.

For more information, please contact: Ben Mbaura at IOM Somalia, Email: bmbaura@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 - 17:29Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Community StabilizationInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Representatives from Horseed village and Cadado village perform a Riibay dance during the talent show. Photo: Hilowle Hassan / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Eight teams participated in the arts, culture and talent show in Baidoa, Somalia. Photo: Hassan Hussein / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Participants were drawn from villages around Baidoa, Somalia. Photo: Hassan Hussein / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The Deputy Mayor of Kismayo, Somalia, Mr. Aden Ali, delivers his opening remarks. Photo: Hilowle Hassan / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Delivers Fraud Detection Equipment to Government of Nicaragua

PBN News Germany - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:44

Managua – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, made a donation this week of technical equipment to Nicaragua’s General Directorate of Migration (DGME) to improve capacity for fraud detection of false and forged documents among immigration officials of the National School of Migration “Comandante Ricardo Morales Avilés.”

Said IOM Nicaragua Chief of Mission, Paola Zepeda, “With the provision of these equipment, the National School will be able to complete the training programme immigration officials, both of first line and second line, from headquarters and border posts,” adding that one of the main challenges to the prevention of risks associated with smuggling of migrants and their vulnerabilities, is to have on board the best staff and equipment for the identification of forged travel documents.

The donated equipment includes a digital microscope, a scanner for alteration detection, magnifying glasses and devices for forensic analysis, UV lights, and computers.

“In the past, we have been already supportive with the delivery of 100 copies of the Passport Examination Procedure Manual, as well as the printing of supporting documents such as Ethical Codes of Conduct and Guidelines for public employees of the executive branch, the CA-4 Regional Agreement, and documents of operational and gender psychology,” Zepeda noted.

This donation was delivered by the IOM Development Fund to strengthen the institutional capabilities of DGME staff. The contribution fits in the tenth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), which proposes to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.

To assure the continuation of this support, it is planned to promote an exchange of experiences and provide training to the headquarters and border posts staff on inspection and detection of false documents, based on IOM Procedure Guidelines.

For more information, please contact: Anabell Cruz at IOM Nicaragua, Tel: +505 22789569 Ext. 110, Email: amcruz@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 - 17:30Image: Region-Country: NicaraguaThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Immigration Officer working at the Passport Issuance Office in Managua, Nicaragua. Photo: Charles Porcel / UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Launches Study on Migration, Environment and Climate Change in South America

PBN News Germany - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:43

Buenos Aires – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, launched a study on Migration, Environment and Climate Change this week (1/11). The research was carried out in selected communities within Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador.

This study aims to generate substantial evidence that will contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between migration, the environment and climate change, through the collection of conceptual and empirical knowledge.

“This study is an important contribution to move towards a better understanding of the link between migration, environment and climate change in the region, and a fundamental step for the development of policies, strategies and programs at the local and national level,” said the IOM Regional Director for South America, Diego Beltrand.

Lujan Province, Buenos Aires (Argentina); Community Rumo Certo, Presidente Figueiredo Municipality, Amazonas (Brazil); Monte Patria Municipality of Coquimbo, IV Region (Chile); Tacamocho Municipality of Cordoba, Department of Bolivar (Colombia); and Santa Lucia de Chuquipogyo, Canton of Guano, Province of Chimborazo (Ecuador) are the locations targeted in this study.

The research concluded that in these five communities, there are permanent and/or transitory migratory movements due to the intensification of extreme events caused by climate change. The study also confirmed an important deficit in the information available about the causes and the magnitude of population movements caused by extreme climate changes in South America.

According to the study, there is a very limited coordination between the research and scientific knowledge generated by academics, and the decisions made by public institutions linked to the management of migration and environmental topics.

A fundamental aspect observed during the field work is the active participation of women, at the same level as men, in the identification of needs, and in the search for collective solutions to the problems linked to extreme climate events, as well as the potential displacements arising from these situations. 

The research proposes several recommendations, including the creation of a Regional Committee on Migration and Climate Change to develop policies on risk management, and adaptation and mitigation measures with a gender perspective in South America, designed to implement early warning programs and to assist displaced population groups in situations of extreme climatic events.

The study also recommends the generation and consolidation of multilateral and/or bilateral legislation and agreements that safeguard the rights of environmental migrants, as well as the provision of support for research that continues to provide evidence on the effects of migration, environment and climate change factors on the region.

South America is considered one of the most vulnerable regions to the effects of climate change due to its biodiversity, rapid urban development, inequality in income distribution and the stark division between rural and urban centers.

Download the study: http://bit.ly/2z57OI2

For more information, please contact Juliana Quintero at the IOM Regional Office in Buenos Aires, Tel. + (54) 11 32488134, Email: juquintero@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 - 17:31Image: Region-Country: ArgentinaThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

Erosion of the land boundaries of the Magdalena River in Tacamocho, Colombia caused by the flooding. File photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2016

IOM Staff meeting with the local community in Tacamocho. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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