• English
  • Deutsch

IOM To Relocate Internally Displaced Persons at Risk of Eviction in Baidoa

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 10:32

Baidoa—Internally displaced migrants—of whom there are millions across Africa—are a social challenge, and not merely because they require shelter and services. Their presence may also create tension across poor communities, often because as many do establish temporary homes to live in, they raise conflicts of over land tenure and their very right to remain in place. 

Consider the city of Baidoa, in Somalia’s southwestern Bay region, where thousands of internally displaced persons are under constant threat of eviction. Baidoa currently hosts more than 323,000 displaced people, many of whom live on private land without secure tenure agreements.  

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has joined an effort to provide a more durable solution to displacement in Baidoa by planning to relocate some 24,000 IDPs at risk of eviction to public sites in coming months. One crucial early step: the South-West State has provided public land to humanitarian partners, coordinated by the Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster, for development and subsequent relocation of displaced families who find themselves at risk of eviction.  

“This effort by the authorities in Baidoa and South-West State is vital to ensuring that displaced people in Baidoa live in dignified conditions until they wish to return to their home areas, or integrate into the local community,” said Rainer Gonzalez, IOM’s Senior Programmes Coordinator.  

Maalim Osman, a community leader, agreed. ‘‘I came to Baidoa a year and a half ago and I have been evicted twice—while still facing the same risk,” he explained. “Every night as I sleep on my makeshift shelter, I worry a lot – not on where the next meal will come from, but when the next eviction will be.”  

According to the Housing, Land and Property Sub- Cluster, more than 11,900 individuals were evicted in Baidoa without proper notice this year just between January and March. The rise in cases of evictions have been attributed to sprawling urbanization. The turmoil also contributes to a spike in local demand which in turn raises the value of Baidoa’s accessible land.  

An eviction risk assessment conducted in February by humanitarian partners revealed that 48 out of the 391 IDP sites hosting 5,170 households in Baidoa were at very high risk of eviction and 117 IDP sites hosting 12,697 households were at high risk.  Discussions and community consultations were held with the local leaders and communities from these 48 IDP sites in Baidoa town to identify those who would be interested in being relocated. 

Of the 48 IDP sites involved, residents from 15 of them showed willingness to be relocated.  

This latest effort began last October when IOM received funding support from European Civil Protection And Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the United States Government’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). Together with those stakeholders, IOM launched development of this donated land in partnership with UN HABITAT and Baidoa municipal authorities.  

On 7 April, IOM along with other partners and government representatives, accompanied community representatives from the 15 IDP sites to the public site for a “Go and See visit”. Communities were shown the site and services available, including the security posts, plot sizes, water collection points, and lockable household latrines. “Relocation is voluntary,” said IOM’s Kathryn Ziga, a camp management consultant. “If they like what they see, they can decide to move.” 

Osman, for one, is ready. “Today, as I stand here at the public site, my worry is over. I can’t wait to settle on a plot to call home and my own.’’  

For more information please contact: Jan Van ‘T Land, Programme Support Unit IOM Somalia. Tel.: +254 705 832 020. Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, May 3, 2019 - 16:29Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM distraught over killings of migrant women in Cyprus 

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 10:28

Nicosia - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is deeply saddened by the recent news regarding a series of killings in Cyprus targeting young migrant women and girls and regrets the terrible loss of life. 

Migrants, particularly migrant women, often find themselves in situations of vulnerability. These shocking revelations highlight the need for strengthened capacity to provide protection and support to migrants and victims of violence, as well as strategies to combat the exploitation of migrant workers.   

Further cooperative efforts are also needed to enhance inclusion and promote integration of migrants into local society and to enable receiving communities to harness the positive contributions that migrants make.  

For more information please contact IOM Cyprus, at Tel: +357 22 77 22 70, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, May 3, 2019 - 16:27Image: Region-Country: CyprusThemes: Gender and MigrationDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 16,806 in 2019; Deaths Reach 410

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 10:26

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 16,806 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 1 May, roughly a 25 per cent decrease from the 22,439 arriving during the same period last year. Arrivals to both Spain and Greece are each between 7,500 and 8,000 individuals, with the balance arriving in much smaller numbers this year to Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Arrivals to Greece are lower in 2019 than those at this time last year. Arrivals to Spain are higher, although Spain’s totals have fallen considerably since the surge of January and early February.  

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through 120 days of 2019 are at 410 individuals – or about two-thirds of the 616 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018 (see chart below). 

IOM Italy 

According to IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo, citing official Ministry of Interior figures, 812 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy in 2019.  That total, through four months, is less than the total recorded for almost any single month between January 2016 and (see chart below) and November 2018, as well as during all the months of 2014 and 2015.

IOM Greece’s Christine  Nikolaidou said on Thursday (2/05) that over the past week, since 25 April, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least ten incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Chios, Lesvos, Samos, Farmakonisi and Sifnos. The HCG rescued a total of 190 migrants and transferred them to those respective ports. 

Those arrivals were among some 175 IOM recorded during those days, bringing to 7,547 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year (see chart below). 

Arrivals by sea

* Unofficial data collected by IOM Greece and the Greek authorities of arrivals by sea. 


Missing Migrants Project 

2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project.  

Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 31,776 individuals, including 817 in 2019 (see chart below), although due to the challenges of collecting information about these people and the contexts of their deaths, the true number of lives lost during migration is likely much higher. Missing Migrants Project records should only be viewed as indicative of the risks associated with migration, rather than representative of the true number of deaths across time or geography.   

In Morocco, 18 people from sub-Saharan Africa were killed in a car accident on Saturday (27/04) after their car fell into a canal while travelling from Saida to Nador. Another 28 were injured, including two men with serious injuries who were transferred to the university hospital in Oujda Saturday evening. Reports from the Moroccan Association for Human Rights in Nador indicate that several women are among the dead, as well as a father who is survived by his two children. In Ceuta, the Spanish enclave in Northern Africa, a 24-year-old Moroccan man died from his wounds after being stabbed in the Port of Ceuta on 29 April. He had just crossed the border two days before with the aim of reaching mainland Spain. He leaves behind five siblings and his parents.  

At least 53 people have lost their lives during migration across the Americas in April, including 23 Venezuelans who drowned on 24 April while attempting to sail to Trinidad and Tobago. Another 21 people have died attempting to cross the United States-Mexico border in April. Most recently, five people drowned in different areas of the Rio Grande/Río Bravo: the remains of an unidentified person were recovered on the US side of the border, near Eagle Pass, while the remains of four men were retrieved by Mexican civil protection authorities near Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas and Piedras Negras, Coahuila. On 25 April, a 54-year-old Mexican man was killed in a car accident while being pursued by the US Border Patrol in California. A few days later, the body of a man was found inside a freight train in the Eagle Pass train station, in Texas – it is believed he died inside a train carriage crushed by cargo.  

Additionally, nine people lost their lives while transiting through Central America and Mexico during the month of April. A 31-year-old Honduran man died of unknown causes on 23 April while travelling in the migrant caravan in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. Another three Honduran men who were migrating as part of the caravan were shot and killed in Tabasco, Mexico, on the same day. On 26 April, a Guatemalan man died in a hospital in Calpulalpan, Mexico from injuries he suffered in a car accident which took place on the Federal Highway México-Veracruz, near Hueyotlipan, Tlaxcala, Mexico. Fifteen others were injured but survived the crash. A 23-year-old man from El Salvador died of a heart attack while riding on top of a freight train on 28 April.  

In total, at least 240 people have lost their lives in the Americas in 2019, compared with 163 recorded through this point in 2018.  

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here

See chart here 

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, click here. Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project.  

See contacts here.

Language English Posted: Friday, May 3, 2019 - 16:00Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Migrants Die While Detained in Inhumane Conditions in Yemen

PBN News Germany - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 12:31

Aden—The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is alarmed by reports of migrants dying of preventable illnesses, being shot and suffering other inhumane treatment in makeshift detention centres in Yemen, now in its fifth year of conflict.

IOM is monitoring the conditions of some 5,000 migrants from the Horn of Africa held across three sites –-two sports stadiums and a military camp--in Yemen’s Aden, Lahj and Abyan governorates.

IOM learned yesterday (01/05) that at least eight migrants died from complications related to acute watery diarrhea (AWD) at the Ibn Khaldoon Hospital in Lahj governorate. Those migrants—predominantly Ethiopian—had been held at a military camp in Lahj where more than 1,400 people are detained. Authorities at the camp report they have detected at least 200 AWD cases. IOM is establishing a diarrhea treatment centre at Ibn Khaldoon Hospital, which is currently struggling to treat 53 AWD cases, including eight severe cases.

This morning, 14 migrants with signs of AWD were brought to Aden’s 22nd of May stadium where IOM is providing critical life saving assistance. IOM’s health team, who has carried out over 1,000 health consultations at the site since 26 April, acted fast to ensure the patients were evacuated to a nearby hospital.

In Geneva, Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s Director of Operations and Emergencies said, “I am deeply saddened by the deaths of these eight migrants, who were among the thousands of migrants being held in deplorable conditions across Yemen. We have decried this policy to the authorities, urging them to take a humane approach to irregular migration.”

IOM’s team in Aden became aware of the mass arrest and detention of thousands of migrants on 21 April and their detention in cramped buildings, not fit for human inhabitation. Abdiker noted these migrants, “at best, have only limited access to basic services or protection.”

On Tuesday (30/04), guards fired on migrants detained at the Aden sports stadium, two of whom suffered gunshot wounds, leaving a teenage boy likely paralyzed for life. That, Abdiker said, “demonstrates the inability of authorities to care for the expanding detained population as well as the immediate need to have a dedicated civilian authority humanely managing these sites. Our teams could see that without ensuring immediate access to sufficient food, clean water, safe sanitation and medical attention, a catastrophe was waiting to unfold.”

Abdiker added: “IOM stands ready to support Yemen and other regional partners to identify sustainable responses to irregular migration, which do not involve the shortsighted abuse of vulnerable migrants and fully respects international law.”

“I am greatly concerned that this dire situation will further deteriorate,” he concluded. “Our team on the ground has been making strides with local advocacy among the different levels of government. However, it is time to see these words turned into action that puts an end to this abuse before more innocent lives are lost.”

For more information please contact Olivia Headon in Aden. Tel: +967 730 552 233. Email: 

Language English Posted: Thursday, May 2, 2019 - 12:25Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Detained migrants treated  by IOM's health team in the 22nd of May Stadium where over 2,500 people are being held. Photo: Headon/IOM 2019

Detained migrants treated  by IOM's health team in the 22nd of May Stadium where over 2,500 people are being held. Photo: Headon/IOM 2019

Stadium. Photo: Headon/IOM 2019

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mobile App Aids Detection of Human Trafficking at Sea

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 11:23

Jakarta – A new mobile app developed by IOM Indonesia provides frontline law enforcement with a powerful tool to quickly detect victims of human trafficking in the fisheries sector.

The simple app provides a list of 21 questions in multiple languages, allowing investigators to gather information directly from non-Indonesian crew rather than having to rely on the word of a vessel’s captain who may have reason to mislead them about the crew’s status and wellbeing.

Human trafficking and labour exploitation are widespread in the global fisheries. The issue is of concern within the context of migration because so many victims are foreigners who have been trafficked across international borders.

Between 2011 and 2018, nearly 2,000 fisheries workers were rescued from traffickers operating in Indonesian waters, according to IOM data. Virtually all of them were migrants, mainly from Cambodia and Myanmar.

The development of the app follows five years of close collaboration between IOM and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) to tackle trafficking in persons on fishing boats operating in Indonesian, according to IOM Indonesia’s Chief of Mission ad interim, Dejan Micevski.

“IOM has supported the KKP and the Task Force for Eradicating Illegal Fishing (Task Force 115) since its formation in 2015.  With the documented nexus between illegal fishing and forced labour, Task Force 115 has been remarkably successful in combating the growing problem of trafficking in persons, human smuggling and forced labour in the fisheries sector,” he said.

The collaboration saw high profile rescues between November 2014 and October 2015 of 1,342 enslaved crew members, in Benjina, Ambon (Maluku) and Pontianak (West Kalimantan). Most had been at sea for years working without pay under brutal conditions aboard foreign vessels reflagged to operate in Indonesia. IOM helped to identify the victims and provided temporary shelter, health services and daily subsistence support until they were able to return home.

The app’s survey is designed to indicate within three minutes whether a fisheries worker may be a trafficking victim by asking about an individual’s age, contractual status, living and working conditions on the vessel, and any restrictions on his or her movement or ability to communicate with others.

If the initial identification process suggests that trafficking may have occurred, individuals are put through a more comprehensive on-shore screening developed by KKP and IOM.   

Rescued victims of trafficking will be assisted after the KKP determines their basic needs, including legal, medical and return and reintegration support.

The mobile app was developed with funding from the US State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP).   

For more information please contact Among Resi at IOM Indonesia. Tel: +62.2157951275, Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - 17:23Image: Region-Country: IndonesiaThemes: Human SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

In March 2015, the Government of Indonesia rescued hundreds of crew from conditions of modern slavery aboard foreign fishing vessels. IOM helped to identify the victims of trafficking, provided shelter, health and catering services and ultimately organized the safe return home of all of the men including these Myanmar nationals. Photo: Ed Wray/IOM Indonesia

The mobile app is designed to help Indonesia officials identify cases of human trafficking at sea. Photo: IOM

In March 2015, the Government of Indonesia rescued hundreds of crew from conditions of modern slavery aboard foreign fishing vessels. IOM helped to identify the victims of trafficking, provided shelter, health and catering services and ultimately organized the safe return home of all of the men including these Myanmar nationals. Photo: Ed Wray/IOM Indonesia

In March 2015, the Government of Indonesia rescued hundreds of crew from conditions of modern slavery aboard foreign fishing vessels. IOM helped to identify the victims of trafficking, provided shelter, health and catering services and ultimately organized the safe return home of all of the men including these Myanmar nationals. Photo: Ed Wray/IOM Indonesia

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches Report on Indigenous Migration from Venezuela to Brazil

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 11:23

Brazil – This decade’s flow of Venezuelans from their homeland remains Latin America’s most important migration event, and one of the region’s most compelling human mobility stories of all time. Approximately 3.7 million Venezuelans have left their country during the last four, including hundreds of indigenous people.  

 This population—its characteristics and specific needs—is now the focus of an important new publication from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). 

 The report, Legal Aspects of Assisting Venezuelans Indigenous Migrants in Brazil, represents the first comprehensive effort at identifying these migrants. It also combines an extensive needs assessment of the Warao people, indigenous migrants who have left Venezuela by land, as well as of those of other indigenous peoples in Northern Brazil, and federal and local authorities in Brasilia, Boa Vista and Pacaraima.  

 Research leader, Erika Yamada—who serves as chairperson of the UN Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples—emphasizes that “although indigenous migration is not something new, the current flow of Venezuelans calls the attention of public authorities and civil society leaders to the need to create public policy and legislation aiming to protect this specific population.” 

 Thus, IOM’s approach spans three fields of intervention: human rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, and domestic migration law, focusing how to translate those rights into policies. The report contains 35 recommendations covering seven key-areas: due protection of indigenous migrants, institutional aspects and migration governance, documentation, reception, education, health, and social assistance. 

 Ms. Yamada explained that in 2019 the UN Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will be dedicated to draft recommendations on indigenous people´s rights in the context of borders, migration and displacement. “The situation of indigenous migrants from Venezuela is a case to understand the way the world is dealing with indigenous migrants’ human rights promotion,” she said. 

 The findings of the report are particularly important now, when the recent flows show an increase in indigenous population arriving in Brazil, with a new indigenous people, the Pémon, joining the flow originally composed manly by the Warao people.  

 According to IOM Brazil Chief of Mission, Stéphane Rostiaux, assistance to Venezuelans arriving to Brazil “has been significantly enhanced during the past year.”  

 Good practices, such as the provision of shelters exclusively for indigenous migrants that keep communities together and preserve traditional ways of life may be used as a reference point as other countries deal with indigenous people on the move.  

 The IOM report also highlights the importance of consultation with an indigenous population, which is a cornerstone for developing policies for access to education and health that are culturally sensitive and respectful of indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination. 

 In line with one of the reports’ main recommendation, two executive acts from 2018, exempt Indigenous citizens from Venezuela from the requirement that they present identification documents stating two parents' names after arriving in Brazil, as their native documents originally lack such information.  

Assessing the report Professor Elsa Stamatopoulou, director of the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Program at Columbia University, noted “indigenous people are among the millions migrating within and across countries in the Americas and around the world”. Whether this migration results from forced removal from their traditional lands, persecution and marginalization or extreme poverty, “the human rights of Indigenous migrants, including Indigenous women, are under threat.” 

 She praises the United Nations continued effort to “place focus on these challenges” adding that the “the IOM publication is a valuable addition to the topic of Indigenous People’s migration to respect and protect their rights.” 

 The launching of the English version of the report was possible with the financial support of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the United States Department of State.  

The report is available in Portuguese (link) and English (link). 

For more information please contact Vitoria Souza at IOM Brasilia, Email:; or Marcelo Torelly, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - 17:20Image: Region-Country: BrazilThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Indigenous Warao community during IOM workshop in Boa Vista. 

A Warao woman in the Boa Vista shelter for indigenous people. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Solar Energy to Power Humanitarian Hub in Malakal by 2020

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 11:20

Juba – Thanks to a new private sector collaboration linking Scandinavia to Sub-Saharan Africa, a Norwegian company will be helping the International Organization for Migration harness solar energy to power a significant part of its ongoing joint humanitarian operations in Malakal, South Sudan, by early next year.

The Norwegian company, Scatec Solar, has selected South Sudan among the first of its locations to pilot projects in humanitarian settings. The company also plans to adapt its business model to ensure the project is amenable to the unique context of humanitarian interventions, which normally are funded annually in response to sudden emergencies. 

Scatec Solar develops, builds and owns solar power plants in emerging markets where the impact potential for solar power is high, including in Egypt, Mozambique, Rwanda and South Africa to name a few. 

“We see that one of the challenges in Africa is that 250 gigawatts of diesel-run generators affect the environment, tend to be inefficient and very costly to run. This is why we believe this project can make a difference in South Sudan,” said Frédéric Grosse, Senior Vice President of Scatec Solar on a recent site visit to Malakal. 

In Malakal, IOM will invest in the initial hardware and installation costs, thanks to funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). IOM will then lease the batteries and panels for an annual fee for the duration of its operations in Malakal.  

This month, Scatec Solar visited the Malakal site to survey the terrain and begin operations. In coming months, Scatec Solar will install its solar technology at the IOM-managed Humanitarian Hub, which houses the nearly 300 humanitarian workers who provide services to nearly 30,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the nearby Protection of Civilians (PoC) site.  

The partners are anticipating some 1,900 solar panels—capable of creating up to 700-kilowatts of power—will be installed around the perimeter of the Hub by December 2019. The panels absorb solar power during the day and store excess energy to power the Hub after the sun sets. For operators of the Humanitarian Hub, the Scatec Solar project will offer an 80 to 90 per cent reduction in diesel fuel consumption. Diesel not only entails high import and transport costs, its use currently accounts for most of the Hub’s operational expenditures. 

Moreover, a reduction in diesel fuel consumption also will improve the Hub’s environmental footprint, reducing reliance on non-renewable energy and upgrading its technology to provide clean and more efficient energy sources. 

That’s in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal Seven, explained Omar Patan, IOM Project Officer for the Humanitarian Hub, who adds, “Displacement sites can at times transform into villages, so making an investment to have sustainable energy in these locations with hot, sunny environments makes a lot of sense. Furthermore, the equipment can also be relocated or handed over to communities in areas of return.”   

IOM’s Patan also explained that 300 humanitarian workers from 34 organizations will benefit from the project in the short-term. In the longer-term—should people living in the PoC site decide to return home—this same technology may help communities harness the benefits of solar power for their own use. 

This Scatec Solar collaboration will be the second solar project IOM operates in Malakal. The Organization also uses solar power to pump and distribute 500,000 litres of water daily to meet the water needs of PoC and Humanitarian Hub residents. 

For more information, please contact Angela Wells in IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 912 376 902, Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - 17:18Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Migration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

A new collaboration with Scatec Solar will reduce the diesel fuel usage of the IOM-managed Humanitarian Hub in Malakal, South Sudan by 80 to 90 per cent. Photo: IOM/Angela Wells 

A new collaboration with Scatec Solar will reduce the diesel fuel usage of the IOM-managed Humanitarian Hub in Malakal, South Sudan by 80 to 90 per cent. Photo: IOM/Angela Wells 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Burundi to Develop National Labour Migration Policy with IOM Support

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 11:15

Bujumbura – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is supporting the Government of Burundi to develop a gender-sensitive National Labour Migration Policy that aims to provide longer-term protection and good governance for migrant workers.  

The two-year project, supported by the IOM Development Fund (IDF) and implemented through the Ministry of Public Services, Labour and Employment, will include an analysis of the labour migration context in Burundi and data collection from major stakeholders, including migrant workers’ associations, national institutions, trade unions and employers’ associations.  

National authorities will also benefit from technical assistance on labour migration policy development and techniques for negotiating bilateral labour agreements. Combined, these actions will facilitate the development of a National Labour Migration Policy that will help authorities, particularly the Ministry of Labour, to have an improved understanding of the flows and dynamics of migrant workers.  

Such a policy, if made into law, will provide clear guidance on foreign labour admission policies, including the rights of migrant workers. It will also set up mechanisms for preventing or reducing irregular labour migration while strengthening international cooperation through bilateral labour agreements with selected countries, particularly with Gulf states. 

AJ Morgen, the head of IOM mission in Burundi, emphasized the importance of developing a well-defined framework for dignified labour migration and called upon stakeholders to continue their engagement in this domain.  

“At IOM, we believe that migration policies and strategies supported by relevant and comprehensive data will contribute to safer and more orderly migration,” said Morgen.  

The National Labour Migration Policy will complement the labour management legal frameworks currently being created by national authorities. This includes the recently developed strategic plan to implement the National Labour Policy (2018-2022) and the East African Community (EAC) Labour Migration Policy Framework. 

This project will align with the labour migration section of IOM’s Regional Strategy for East and Horn of Africa as well as its sub-regional strategy for the Great Lakes region. Further, it will enable the Burundian government to deliver one of the recommendations of the recently validated Comparative Study on the Free Movement of Workers in the EAC.  

The study suggests that all partner states formulate and adopt labour migration polices and laws which are open and transparent, based on best practices from the African Union framework and as recommended by the United Nations and the International Labour Organization.  

IOM has worked with the Government of Burundi on migration management services since 2007.  

For more information please contact Odette Bolly, at IOM Burundi, Tel: +257 75400221, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - 17:00Image: Region-Country: BurundiThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Students Debate Resolutions to End Modern Slavery at Model UN Conference

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 11:11

Washington, DC – More than 600 middle and high school students, educators, volunteers and guests participated in the 15th Annual Spring Model UN Conference held at the US Department of State on Friday (26/04).  

The event hosted by Global Classrooms DC (GCDC), the flagship education programme of the UN Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA), marked the culmination of a year-long partnership between UNA-NCA and USA for IOM, the nonprofit partner of the International Organization for Migration.  

The students discussed a number of global issues, including the migration-related topic of modern slavery.  

“Model UN has taught me that I don’t need to only support the ‘marketable’ opinion to be able to solve a problem,” said Fatemeh Naghavinia, a ninth-grade student who acted as secretary-general of this year’s conference. “Creativity and open-mindedness serve as a segue to successful diplomacy.” 

As part of the GCDC education programme, USA for IOM collaborated with UNA-NCA to develop a curriculum unit specifically on migration. The curriculum incorporated creative films submitted to the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival, a joint initiative between IOM and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. 

“The students demonstrated an extraordinary understanding of migration and modern slavery,” said Maria Moreno, Head of Operations for USA for IOM. “I am so inspired by their commitment to tackle critical problems like sexual and labour exploitation.” 

IOM is the leading organization in the field of migration and has decades of experience working with partners on measures to combat modern slavery. As the largest provider of services to victims of human trafficking across the globe, IOM has assisted more than 100,000 trafficked persons since 1994. With this expertise, IOM staff served as guest speakers to expose students to the growing phenomenon and discussed how countries can work together to confront these complex crimes. 

The students used skills obtained through the curriculum to debate recent global migration crises and negotiate draft UN resolutions to address these challenges. With more people on the move today, this initiative is vital to promote dialogue and understanding among youth. 

For more information, please contact Liz Lizama at USA for IOM, Tel.+1 202 716 8820, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - 17:07Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingUNDefault: Multimedia: 

Students discussed ending modern slavery at the 15th Annual Model UN Conference held 26 April at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. Photo: IOM/Maria Moreno

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Accra, Montreal and Sao Paulo conclude the pilot phase of the Local Migration Governance Indicators

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 18:36

New York - On 24 April, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) hosted representatives from the cities of Accra, Montreal, and Sao Paulo, as well as key experts on local migration to mark the conclusion of the pilot phase of Local Migration Governance Indicators (Local MGI) at the IOM Office to the United Nations in New York.

The Local MGI was launched by IOM in July 2018, and is an adaptation at the local level of the IOM’s Migration Governance Indicators, which has helped 50 countries take stock of their migration governance structures since 2015. It is a set of 87 indicators helping local authorities to assess the local migration strategies or initiatives they have in place and identify good practices as well as areas with potential for further development. The aim of the exercise is to foster the dialogue on migration between national governments and local authorities and enable local authorities to learn from one another by discussing common challenges and identify potential solutions. The tool was piloted in three cities: Accra, Montreal and Sao Paulo and the results of the assessments conducted in the three pilot cities will soon be accessible online and available on IOM’s Migration Data Portal.

The meeting was an opportunity for representatives from the pilot cities to present their results and to discuss with experts how to improve the Local MGI methodology in order to make it accessible to a larger number of cities.

“The main strength of the Local MGI is the dialogue it can create, not only between local and national authorities, but also between cities often times experiencing similar challenges with regards to migration management” said David Martineau, migration policy officer in IOM NY.

 In coming months, IOM will work on refining the methodology to rolling it the assessment in a larger number of cities.

For more information, please contact David Martineau at IOM NY. Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 18:30Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: Multimedia: 

City representatives and experts discussing the conclusion of the pilot phase of the local Migration Governance Indicators (Local MGI). Photo: IOM/Rahma Soliman 2019


Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN humanitarian leaders highlight urgent need to sustain support for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 11:58

Cox’s Bazar — At the end of a joint visit to Bangladesh, three top United Nations officials – the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) António Vitorino, and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi –  today reiterated their commitment to keep working toward safe and sustainable solutions for Rohingya refugees in Myanmar and noted the UN efforts there to help create conditions conducive to return.   

Until these conditions can be secured, they called on the international community to continue supporting the critical needs of 1.2 million people in south-eastern Bangladesh, mostly Rohingya refugees but also including generous host communities. 

After visiting the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar and meeting with different refugee groups, they also highlighted the critical importance of supporting the Rohingya during their time in exile, in particular by expanding opportunities for learning and skills training. They noted that almost half of the 540,000 refugee children under the age of 12 are currently missing out on education altogether, while the remainder have access only to very limited schooling. Only a handful of teenage children are currently able to access any form of education or training. 

“This remains one of the world’s biggest refugee crises,” said Filippo Grandi.  “There are more than 900,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, most of whom fled Myanmar in 2017.  

“With the current crisis almost two years on we must give refugees the chance to learn, build skills and contribute to their communities while also preparing for reintegration when they can return to Myanmar,” said Grandi. “The future of the Rohingya refugees hangs in the balance.” 

“The Rohingya community is made up of so many young people who are in need of hope and opportunities if they are to build successful lives upon their return to Myanmar, António Vitorino added. 

The visit also came just ahead of the cyclone period, which is followed by the monsoon season. Both pose serious risks, including flooding, landslides and disease outbreaks, to thousands of already vulnerable women, men and children. 

The UN leaders discussed with the Government ways the international community can further support preparedness and response efforts. While in the camps, they also assessed the ongoing work that has been undertaken to address weather-related risks, including the strengthening of shelters, the improvement of infrastructure, and the training of volunteers. They recognized the critical role the refugees themselves are playing in these efforts. 

“We are concerned for the welfare of the Rohingya refugees who live in such vulnerable circumstances in Cox’s Bazar, as well as for host communities which also face significant challenges, particularly in the lead up to the monsoon season” said António Vitorino. 

They UN leaders also met with families who were going through the joint government and UNHCR biometric registration process, receiving documents that for many are a first and that confirm their identity in Bangladesh, as well as enhance their right to access services and protection. They also witnessed an innovative World Food Programme e-voucher system which gives refugees the ability to choose from an array of locally-resourced food staples and fresh vegetables in eight designated stores. 

In their meetings with refugees, the humanitarian leaders were also reminded of the harrowing circumstances refugees fled from and were encouraged by their resilience. 

“The first time I was in Cox’s Bazar in 2017, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya had just fled across the border from the most appalling brutality imaginable,” said Mark Lowcock.  

“I met with children who had seen parents killed. Women who were just holding on told me horrendous stories of sexual violence they had survived.” 

“During this trip, we met with a remarkable group of male refugee role models as well as women volunteers who are supporting those who have survived this brutality and also working to prevent sexual and domestic violence in the camps. A wise, far-sighted approach would see a stronger focus on helping the refugees not just recover from the horrors they have experienced, but also to prepare for a dignified longer-term future,” said Lowcock. 

For more information: 

Leonard Doyle (IOM) in Geneva/Dhaka, +41 79 2857123 

Joseph Tripura (UNHCR) in Dhaka  +880 17 1309 0375 

Iffath Yeasmine (UNHCR) in Cox’s Bazar +880 1847326534 

Russell Geekie, (OCHA) in New York +1-917-331—0393 

Jens Laerke, (OCHA) in Geneva +41 (0)794729750 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 18:10Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRohingya CrisisUNDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Director General António Vitorino had a quiet moment with a Rohingya child at a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar on Friday. Credit: Will Swanson/2019

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Deep Concern as Thousands of Migrants Rounded Up in Yemen

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 11:58

Aden – Authorities have rounded up and arbitrarily detained over 2,000 irregular migrants, predominantly Ethiopian nationals, in Aden, Yemen, since Sunday, creating an acute humanitarian situation, to which aid organizations are rapidly responding. 

IOM is deeply concerned about the conditions in which the migrants are being held and is engaging with the authorities to ensure access to the detained migrants. 

“The rights of the people being detained should be respected, and alternatives must be considered,” said IOM’s Director of Operations and Emergencies Mohammed Abdiker. 

“We urge the local authorities to work with the humanitarian community to find safer alternatives to detention and to ensure a full spectrum of protection services are available for those detained, particularly the hundreds of children and approximately 60 women, who have been rounded up.” 

The detainees, including at least 400 children, were held at Al Mansoura Football Stadium in Aden city. Up to 1,000 people are also being detained at a military camp in neighbouring Lahj governorate, roughly a 35-minute drive from the city. 

On Thursday night, local youths opened the gates of Al Mansoura stadium, allowing the migrants to escape. The authorities began rounding up the escaped migrants and are now detaining an unknown number at a second football stadium in the city’s Sheik Usman area. IOM is seeking further information on the new location in order to respond to the needs of the detained migrants. 

Neither open-air stadium is designed to accommodate large numbers people. Among other concerns, holding thousands there will inevitably create a substantial sanitation problem, risking the spread of disease amongst detainees. 

IOM is coordinating the humanitarian community’s response and focusing on critical needs, providing basic health care, food and water, and sanitation. 

The government has indicated that the migrants detained in Aden city will be moved to the military camp in the coming days. The proposed sites are a few empty, damaged buildings unfit for human habitation. Clean water and safe sanitation are not available for the thousands that may be detained. 

Humanitarian actors are deeply concerned that the migrants will be moved to military camp before the site can be prepared to address the migrants’ most basic needs. 

While IOM and humanitarian partners are providing essential assistance in response to this situation, the provision of assistance or protection to vulnerable people should not be dictated without consideration for humanitarian principles. 

For more information, please contact: Olivia Headon in Aden, Tel: +967730552233, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 18:05Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance to Migrants Continues Amid Conflict in Tripoli

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 11:56

Tripoli - The International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Voluntary Humanitarian Return assistance, with support from the European Union Trust Fund, continued to provide a safe option for migrants stranded in Libya wishing to return to their countries of origin despite clashes in Tripoli that have displaced at least 32,000 people. 

A charter flight left Tripoli’s Mitiga airport Wednesday night with 153 migrants aboard bound for Bamako, Mali and onward to The Gambia. On board were 52 Malian nationals, 12 Senegalese, 17 Guineans and 72 Gambians. The Malian government supported the transit of the charter through Bamako on its way to Gambia, Senegal, and Guinea Conakry. 

“I can’t put what I have endured here in words,” Mary said, holding her infant son in her arms. 

“I lost one of my children and my husband in a detention centre. They were both ill and help did not reach them on time. My three sons are the only family I have left now, and I’m taking them home.” 

Operations at the only functioning airport in the city have been affected by the escalation in violence in the capital, limiting the availability of flights out of the country. Despite security constraints, IOM continues to provide a direct and safe option to migrants wishing to return home from Libya on chartered and commercial flights, in close coordination with the Libyan authorities. 

Migrants like Mary who was bound for The Gambia are provided with pre-departure medical assistance by IOM health teams to ensure they were fit for the journey, food and non-food items, pre-departure counselling and travel documents provided by their embassies based in Tripoli. 

The Charter comes in the framework of the EU-IOM joint initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration implemented by IOM. 

In coordination with four IOM missions, in Mali, The Gambia, Guinea Conakry and Senegal, all returnees were provided with post arrival support that included further medical screenings, meals and non-food items and reception assistance at various transit points and at their final destinations. 

“Working together with the Libyan authorities and four IOM Missions, we managed to provide a safe and dignified return for stranded migrants,” says IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi. 

“The current situation in Tripoli poses several challenges, that is why it is important that all migrants wishing to return home are provided with a safe option to do so.” 

On its first stop in Bamako, Mali, the nationals of Mali and Guinea Conakry were received and provided with support. The Guinean nationals will be provided with transportation home. After their arrival in Banjul, Gambian and Senegalese nationals were received and provided with post-arrival assistance; Senegalese nationals will be transported to Dakar, where they will be received by IOM Senegal. 

“Over the coming weeks, we will be working in close coordination with government and local partners to facilitate the safe and dignified return of these migrants to their communities, and to ensure their economic and psychosocial reintegration,” said Fumiko Nagano, IOM Chief of Mission in The Gambia. 

The IOM charter was the seventh to depart from Libya in April, bringing the total number of returnees this year to 3,631. Return assistance was also provided to migrants on regular commercial flights to various destinations such as Algeria, Bangladesh and Sierra Leone. 

For more information please contact: Safa Msehli in IOM Libya, Tel: +216 22 241 842, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 18:00Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationHumanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff in Tripoli helped Mary and 152 other migrants prepare for their flight Wednesday evening.  Photo: Mohamed Hmouzi/IOM Libya  

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Protecting Vulnerable Children and Youth in Ukraine from Trafficking

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 11:56

Kyiv - Hanna lived with her grandmother and younger sister on a very limited income. After finishing her first year of study at a vocational school, Hanna discovered that she had a serious eye disease, and decided to earn money for the treatment herself. Her hometown modeling school offered her a job in China, however after arrival Hanna was forced to work in a night club where she narrowly avoid being sexually exploited. 

She was rescued by law enforcement two months after she arrived in China, and received medical and psychosocial assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) upon her return to Ukraine in late 2018.  

Vulnerable youth like Hanna, 17, are a high-risk group for trafficking in human beings. IOM conducts regular surveys on trafficking awareness among general population and vulnerable groups as part of its prevention efforts in Ukraine. The latest one, conducted with funding from Global Affairs Canada, was presented in the capital Kyiv this week. 

“Most of the vulnerable children and youth in Ukraine are gradually becoming aware of the dangers of human trafficking,” Anh Nguyen, Acting Chief of Mission at IOM Ukraine said on Wednesday.  

“Over three years, the share of those aware of at least one type of modern slavery has grown from 79 per cent to 85 per cent. However, influenced by their social environment, 66 per cent of vulnerable children and youth from 13 to 20 are still ready to accept at least one offer that may lead them to falling prey to traffickers.”  

Among those surveyed by IOM were at-risk orphans in foster families and state care, homeless youth and children in conflict with the law. It also included those displaced by conflict and the children of labour migrants. 

Among the respondents, 96 per cent of youth aged 14–20 detained in penitentiaries said they were prepared to accept at least one proposal that may lead to human trafficking, with high rates also uncovered among children registered in juvenile probation centres (86 per cent), and homeless children (81 per cent). Those proposals included agreeing to work without a proper contract in an unfamiliar region, accepting well-paid suspicious or illegal work, visiting a stranger’s home or entering their vehicle, or borrowing a large sum of money.  

Last year, IOM Ukraine identified and assisted 86 children who had experienced forced labour and sexual exploitation, forced begging and exploitation in criminal activities, as well as vulnerable children in difficult life circumstances who were at high risk of being trafficked. The number of children assisted has more than doubled since 2017.  

"Such increase in identification is a result of targeted efforts and extended capacity of governmental and non-governmental agencies to identify and assist these children. It is important to continue the systematic targeted work on trafficking prevention among vulnerable groups as well as all children and youth in Ukraine," said IOM’s Nguyen. 

* Name changed to protect privacy 

For additional information please contact Varvara Zhluktenko, IOM Ukraine, Email:, Tel: +38 044 568 5015, +38 067 447 97 92 

Learn more how UN Migration works on trafficking prevention among vulnerable children and youth in Ukraine from a video.  

Language English Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 17:55Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Counter-TraffickingMigration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM targets Ukrainian children and youth with a wide range of counter-trafficking initiatives, including awareness-raising public installations like The Invisible in Plain Sight exhibit (pictured) telling the real stories of trafficking survivors. Photo: IOM/Anna Markel  

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Partners Carry Out Displacement Crisis Simulation Exercise at the Senegal-Mauritania Border

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 11:53

Bakel – More than 300 people took part in a fifth cross-border crisis simulation exercise organized Thursday by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in partnership with the Government of Senegal in the eastern city of Bakel near the borders with Mauritania and Mali. 

The exercises prepare local populations and border management actors to respond to potential security crises by testing and strengthening collaboration and communication between border communities, administrative authorities, security forces in Senegal and Mauritania, as well as health and relief services. 

"Security is first and foremost an individual responsibility that extends to the community and then becomes a national interest,” said IOM Senegal Project Coordinator Massimo Ramanzin. “With this fifth exercise, IOM reiterates the important role of the community in safe and humane border management.” 

The first pilot project “Engagement des communautés frontalières dans la gestion et la sécurisation des frontières au Sénégal" (Engaging border communities in border security and management in Senegal), was launched in 2015 by the Government of Senegal and IOM. 

Four additional exercises were carried out in Matam (February 2016), Tambacounda (December 2017), and Saint-Louis (November 2016 and April 2018). 

This type of full-scale simulation exercise has attracted increasing interest from governments in West Africa, which has led to an increase in the activities aimed at involving of border communities in the response to security crises. 

At the end of the first simulation in Matam, a specific border emergency plan was drawn up jointly with the various actors and tested in the following simulations. The plan foresees a response to the coordinated crisis on three levels, by three crisis units: departmental (at the Prefecture level), regional (coordinated by the Governance) and central (interministerial). 

The latest crisis simulation was an opportunity to put into practice lessons learned and good practices from previous experiences, including increased community participation in crisis prevention and management. 

The crisis simulation is part of the second phase of the project "Engaging border communities in border security and management in Senegal", funded by the Government of the United States and implemented by IOM in collaboration with the Government of Senegal. 

For more information, please contact IOM Senegal: Massimo Ramanzin, Tel: +221 33 869 62 00, Email: or Mohamadou Ba, Tel: 00221 77 587 88 16, Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 17:45Image: Region-Country: SenegalThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM organized a mass displacement crisis simulation exercise to improve border communities and local authorities's response. IOM/Sylvain Cherkaoui. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Cyclone Idai Needs Persist in Mozambique and Zimbabwe; Japan Supports IOM

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 11:53

The destruction Cyclone Idai wrought to infrastructure, housing and health services continues to affect the daily lives of more than two million people in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.  

Food, non-food items and shelter support are among the most significant needs, according to recent IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) location assessments conducted in the four affected provinces of Mozambique. 

“We were all home when the cyclone hit; suddenly the water inside our home was at waist height,” said Graca, a mother six in Beira, Mozambique.

“Our house was made of brick, but now only rubble is left. We need blankets, mosquito nets and support to restart. I just want a space and material to make a house for my family.” 

Thanks to the Government of Japan, a portion of these needs will be met over the next six months, through a financial contribution of USD 1.35 million for shelter and non-food items (NFI) for cyclone- affected families in Mozambique and related emergency assistance in Zimbabwe. 

“We offer our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the people who have suffered from Cyclone Idai,” said Katsuki Urashima, Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Mozambique.  

“Japan expresses sincere solidarity with the affected population to overcome this difficult time and wishes that this humanitarian aid will be helpful for the people to do so.” 

An estimated 1.85 million people in four province in Mozambique need humanitarian assistance. Nearly 240,000 homes are damaged or destroyed, and widespread areas experienced devastation. Seven weeks after Cyclone Idea struck, nearly 68,000 persons remain displaced in over 80 temporary accommodation sites.  

DTM assessments across the border in Zimbabwe show that nearly 69,000 people were displaced by the cyclone, primarily in Manicaland and Masvingo districts. The majority of IDPs there are living in host communities, while others are in collective centres or camp like settings. Food and shelter were identified as the main needs. 

IOM’s work in support of the Government of Mozambique is closely coordinated with the country’s National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC), the Shelter Cluster and UN and NGO partners. Support will continue to INGC temporary accommodation sites and facilitated relocation schemes through engagement on Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), while regular tracking of population movements and monitoring of the needs is conducted through the DTM. 

IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission Katharina Schnoering said: “Cyclone Idai caused extensive damage to infrastructure and astounding human impact; continued humanitarian assistance is required. We greatly appreciate the Government of Japan’s attention to these needs.” 

In Zimbabwe, Japan’s contribution will assist the most vulnerable displaced families. 

“IOM Zimbabwe has taken on the coordination role of shelter, NFI and CCCM cluster; shelter and related needs remain high so the support from the Government of Japan is very timely,” said Takuya Ono, IOM’s Shelter Cluster Coordinator in Zimbabwe. 

IOM Mozambique: Katharina Schnoering, Email:, or Sandra Black, Tel: +258 852 162 278, Email:   

IOM Zimbabwe: For more information, please contact Varaidzo Mudombi, Tel: +26324270428, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 17:50Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueZimbabweThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Displaced families like this one in Samora Machel site in Beira, Mozambique, will benefit from the Government of Japan's contribution to IOM.  Photo IOM/A.Nero

IOM Zimbabwe receiving consignment donated by CERF and MoFA Japan.  Photo: IOM

Cyclone Idai affected Sarafina receiving NFIs from IOM.  Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Leverages Community Policing to Address Trafficking in Persons in Iraq

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 11:52

Erbil – In the aftermath of the ISIL crisis, the Government of Iraq is dealing with a myriad of post-conflict challenges to rebuild the country, including creating economic opportunities, delivering social services, mending the social fabric in communities, and ensuring laws are enforced for the safety and security for all the country’s inhabitants, just to name a few. 

Conditions of conflict are fertile grounds for crimes related to trafficking in persons (TiP), including sexual exploitation and forced labor, the enslavement of women and girls by members of armed groups and the use of trafficked children as soldiers and street beggars. 

IOM Iraq was instrumental in supporting the Government of Iraq with the development of the national counter-trafficking law in 2012. Now that the conflict has subsided, it is critical that State structures are empowered to take on this growing transnational crime. An innovative approach that IOM recently introduced is mainstreaming of the community policing approach to investigate cases of TiP. 

IOM’s community policing programme aims to contribute to enhanced security and stability in Iraq by facilitating dialogue between communities and law enforcement actors through Community Policing Forums (CPF) in communities affected by conflict and displacement. The programme is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. 

With the experience of strengthening community policing across Iraq since 2015, IOM recognizes the benefits of a community engagement in identifying and preventing crimes and addressing security concerns, including human trafficking. 

IOM has supported the Government of Iraq, including the Kurdistan Regional Government, to establish Community Policing Forums (CPF), which are inclusive groups of diverse community members and community police officers where security-related concerns, including TiP, are discussed in a safe environment. 

IOM has launched a set of trainings and seminars for 60 Iraqi investigative judges and law enforcement officers in Erbil and Baghdad to train them on mainstreaming community policing principles into the investigation of TiP cases. 

The training in Erbil last week was attended by senior level community policing officers, police investigators, investigative judges and prosecutors, including the head of the Counter Trafficking Directorate and the head of Directorate for Combating Violence Against Women in Kurdistan Region of Iraq. To promote collaboration on counter-trafficking across borders, an IOM regional law enforcement expert on TiP was invited to share best practices from across the Middle East and North Africa region. 

“Our directorate was newly established in 2018, and this training was really essential, especially for our new colleagues,” said Lieutenant Colonel Dara Farouq, head of Counter Trafficking Directorate in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. “The training helped us to learn new methods of investigation, as we currently have a lot of cases related to foreign migrant workers that need these methods to be applied to rescue the victims of trafficking and bring the perpetrators to justice.” 

“Iraq poses a complex TiP problem as trafficking happens before and during crisis situations and across the borders,” explained Placido Silipigni, head of IOM Iraq’s Migration Management Unit. “We are pleased to see that the community policing approach is effective in bringing these crimes to the surface to ensure law enforcement and actors in the judiciary work collaboratively to respond to, and mitigate, these crimes.” 

Following the trainings, IOM will support a series of information-sharing sessions across the country that will include an investigative judge and a police officer, alongside an IOM representative, who will speak to 100 district police officers and investigative judges about TiP in Iraq and investigative approaches based on community policing principles. 

For more information please contact: Sandra Black in IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 17:39Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Elimination of Malaria is Possible…. But only When Human Mobility is Considered

PBN News Germany - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 11:25

Geneva – Human mobility is a major social determinant of health that can increase malaria-related illness and deaths for migrants and host communities, especially along migration corridors. With close to one in every seven individuals on the move globally, populations traveling from an area with high malaria burden can potentially re-introduce malaria into low-transmission or malaria-free areas. The combination of social and economic inequalities and discriminatory policies in all sectors, such as health, immigration, labor and social protection, often limit migrants’ access to appropriate malaria prevention, diagnostics, treatment and care services. This perpetuates the disease cycle among migrants and host communities.

In 2017, malaria was one of the leading causes of death due to communicable disease worldwide; there were an estimated 219 million new cases and 435,000 deaths. It is key to understand migrant mobility patterns and associated malaria risk factors to improve migration outcomes, and reduce vulnerability in migrants’ living, working and transit conditions, which increase their likelihood of contracting malaria.

Malaria can only be eliminated when evidence-based operational approaches have been identified to reach migrant populations, improve vector control and ensure migrants' access to malaria services, while promoting surveillance, referrals and treatment between national health systems.

Migrants urgently need to be included in global, national and local prevention and control strategies to support the elimination of malaria, following the spirit of Sustainable Development targets that aim for Universal Health Coverage, and in line with the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and Resolution 70.15 of the World Health Assembly on Promoting the health of refugees and migrants (2017).

IOM currently supports malaria programming across many countries, often through 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 behaviors, including drug compliance.

In Paraguay, a country now certified by WHO as free of Malaria (2018), IOM supported the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in strengthening the National Strategy for the Prevention of the Reintroduction of Malaria, placing an emphasis on disease prevention, identification of potential cases, accurate diagnosis, treatment as well as the empowerment of resources and skills in the 18 health regions of the country.  

The elimination of malaria will require a universal approach of strengthening community responses that understand the determinants of migrants’ health and build on sustainable and mobility competent health systems that address the many challenges of malaria control in an increasingly interconnected world.

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

For more information please contact IOM HQ:

Carlos Van der Laat, Tel: +41227179459, Email: 

Language English Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 11:12Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Response to Malaria should benefit ALL, including migrants. Photo: IOM

Elimination of Malaria is only possible when human mobility is considered. / Elimination of malaria requires understanding of human mobility.  Photo: IOM

Mosquitos know no borders!  Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Appeals for Funding to Continue Lifesaving Assistance to Migrants, Displaced Population

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/23/2019 - 15:28

Tripoli -  Nearly three weeks of fighting in the Libyan capital has displaced close to 35,000 people, claimed over 200 lives, and injured more than 1,000. Further insecurity, continued displacements and large-scale humanitarian and protection needs are expected as the conflict continues to intensify. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has provided emergency assistance to all affected populations since hostilities began but funding shortfalls are now affecting the Organization’s ability to meet the critical needs of both migrants and the local families displaced by the fighting. 

"Families are fleeing their homes as fighting in southern Tripoli rages,” Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission said Tuesday. “With thousands of people running for safety every day, and more than 3,000 detained migrants who remain at high risk, immediate action is needed to provide crucial support to vulnerable civilians in Tripoli."  

IOM is appealing to the international community today for USD 4.3 million to allow for the delivery of multi-sectoral lifesaving assistance to individuals affected by the on-going conflict for the next three months. The interventions will target over 38,000 migrants and persons displaced as a direct consequence to the armed clashes.  

IOM’s request comes as part of a more comprehensive inter-agency appeal. All civilians in Tripoli and especially detained migrants, among them children and women, are at risk. 

IOM has provided non-food Items (NFIs), emergency food for detained migrants, primary health care, support for voluntary humanitarian return (VHR) and improving living conditions of detained migrants at DCIM detention centers in close coordination with humanitarian actors to ensure an effective and efficient delivery of assistance. IOM also continues to advocate for the closure of migrant detention centres. 

The ability of the IOM and its humanitarian partners to deliver assistance has been greatly enhanced by use of the Organization’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) which provides daily updates about the number and location of internally displaced people and their specific needs. 

For further information please contact IOM Libya: Safa Msehli, Email: Tel: +216 22 241 842  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM is appealing for international support for its efforts to deliver assistance to migrants and displaced persons affected by the ongoing hostilities in Tripoli. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mozambique: Over 600 Cyclone Idai Displaced People Return to their Areas of Origin

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/23/2019 - 12:10

Guara Guara, Mozambique – Over 600 people displaced by Cyclone Idai returned to their home town over the weekend for the first time since the tragedy five weeks ago in a movement organized by the Government of Mozambique with the support of IOM and its humanitarian partners.  

Click here to watch a video on the Guara Guara movement.  

“When the cyclone hit, I was out fishing. The water was too high for me to return home to our house in the city of Buzi. The area was full of water, well over our heads,” said Franki, who was among a group of 100 families who traveled to Buzi district 145km southwest of Beira on Saturday. “I was rescued by helicopter that brought me here to Beira. I am very anxious to be back in Buzi to look for my wife and daughters, to see if they are alive.”  

A further 125 families travelled on Sunday to the same temporary accommodation site in Guara Guara, where all the families will remain until the reconstruction of their houses can begin. Led by the Government of Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC), IOM supported transportation logistics and is providing site management support at Guara Guara. The movement received support from Shelter Cluster and Protection Cluster partners, UN agencies and local NGOs. 

Sarah, her baby Willinesio and husband also made the four-hour trip to Guara Guara.  

“The cyclone was very bad. Water entered my house; the roof collapsed, and walls fell.  We climbed and stayed on top of a tree. We did not have water to drink or food to eat. The rain fell night and day. I was trying to breastfeed but stopped producing because I was not eating,” remembered Sarah. “We were very scared. A helicopter picked us up after seven days. We were brought to Beira; it is my first time here. Beira is a nice city, but we are suffering. We are so happy to go to Guara Guara. At home in Buzi we can provide for ourselves.” 

Katharina Schnoering, IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission said, "IOM is pleased to support the Government of Mozambique in their efforts to help displaced families return to their areas of origin in safety and dignity, in the recovery from Cyclone Idai.” She continued, “Thousands of families are still displaced, and after losing everything in the Cyclone, they need comprehensive humanitarian support to return home and restart their lives. The needs are extensive; a collective and concerted recovery effort from partners is needed.” 

IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) teams in cooperation with Mozambique’s INGC and the Ministry of Health recently conducted a return intention survey in Beira District, interviewing over 500 heads of household at 18 displacement sites.    

According to survey responses, the homes of nearly two-thirds of displaced households residing in Beira were completely destroyed, while others were severely or partially damaged. Just over half of the displaced households want to go back to their place of origin, and more than one third intend to go to a different place. Among the households indicating a desire to return to their places of origin, nearly half intend to return within a week, and a majority of others intend to return within the month. 

The latest United Nations figures show that more than 1.85 million people continue to be in need in Mozambique following Cyclone Idai.  

According to the latest DTM needs assessment in the four affected provinces (Manica, Sofala, Tete and Zambesia), the population of the 79 sites accommodating displaced families is nearly 68,000 individuals.  

Click here to read a story about IOM’s support for the temporary accommodation site Samora Machel in Beira.  

Link to Return Intention Survey  

Link to recent Site assessments: Tropical Cyclone Idai Site Assessments, Manica, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia (18 April 2019) 

DTM documents on Mozambique are available at: 

For further information please contact IOM Mozambique: Katharina Schnoering, Email:, or Sandra Black, Tel: +258 852 162 278, Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 11:58Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Busloads of Buzi residents were delighted to be heading back to their home town over the weekend. Photo: IOM/Sandra Black

Busloads of Buzi residents were delighted to be heading back to their home town over the weekend. Photo: IOM/Sandra Black

Cyclone Idai Response: Return to Buzi

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN