• English
  • Deutsch

Documentary Tells Story of Memorial Created by Women Victims of Sexual Violence in Colombian Armed Conflict

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/10/2019 - 10:54

Bogotá – IOM Colombia supported the production of Fragmentos, el documental (Fragments, the Documentary). The short film tells the story of the creation of the memorial Fragmentos out of 37 tons of weapons voluntarily surrendered by the former guerrilla FARC-EP, in fulfillment of their commitments to the Peace Accord. The memorial was created by women victims of sexual violence.  

The documentary not only accounts of the collection and smelting of the rifles used by the guerilla group, but also traces the experience of the women victims who forged the metal molds for the project. “It’s a metaphor for how fire can transform things,” said Spanish journalist Mayte Carrasco, director of the documentary. 

The ‘counter-monument’ is the work of Colombian artist and activist Doris Salcedo, who invited a group of women who were victims of sexual violence in the context of the armed conflict, to shape the floor tiles, which are made of cast weapons.  

For days, this group of survivors developed the design that would symbolize an end to the power these weapons had over them. “This work is not monumental, nor does it monumentalize or tell a grandiose story. Beauty had to be eliminated in this work. It seemed immoral to give beauty to weapons, that's why I refused to make a monument; this is a ‘counter-monument’. You cannot glorify violence, you have to criticize it,” Salcedo explained.  

“Weapons are no longer over us, now we tread on them and so we tread on pain. For days, we hammered this metal to mark the symbolic end of the relationship of power imposed by weapons,” commented a woman from the Network of Women Victims and Professionals, who supported this development.  

The participation of survivors of sexual violence in this piece is part of the symbolic reparation, recognition and non-repetition that is necessary for the peace-building and reconciliation process that is taking place in Colombia after the signing of the Peace Accord. 

Fragmentos, el documental has been circulating at film festivals around the world. On 22 March it was presented in Malaga, Spain and on 14 April in Mecal, at the Barcelona International Short and Animation Festival. At the end of April, it was screened at the Busan International Documentary Festival in the Republic of Korea and on 3 May at the Bogotá International Book Fair. It is hoped that this documentary will continue to be screened at festivals to project the voices of women victims of sexual violence. 

Through this documentary, IOM seeks to raise awareness at the global level on the opportunities created by peace processes, such as the one in Colombia, which put an end to nearly 50 years of armed conflict between the FARC-EP and the State. The conflict contributed to the internal displacement of over 7 million persons – heading the list globally, ahead of Syria and Iraq – according to official figures from the Unit for Integrated Attention and Reparation for Victims. 

“Documentary cinema is a tool for telling stories that have happened or are happening, through characters that exist or have existed within the plot, in order to educate, sensitize and generate debate,” said Ana Durán, IOM Chief of Mission in Colombia. 

She added, “This is the case of Fragmentos, a documentary that generates a special empathy in the public for the issues it addresses, and the message of reconciliation, forgiveness and peace it projects. It is in this spirit that IOM has supported Fragmentos as an educational and social mobilization tool.”  

The documentary was made possible thanks to the support of the National Museum of Colombia and IOM, as well as the financial contribution of the Canadian Embassy in Colombia. 

It is permanently projected in the Fragmentos space for art and contemporary memory in Bogotá, a memorial that marks the end of the armed conflict with the FARC-EP. 

Watch the trailer of the documentary at:   

For further information please contact Emmanuel Fontalvo, Email:; Karen Mora, Tel. + (57) 1 639 7777, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, May 10, 2019 - 16:55Image: Region-Country: ColombiaThemes: Gender and MigrationMigration and genderDefault: Multimedia: 

Women hammering the molds that shaped the fragment slabs.  Photo: IOM/Juan Fernando Castro

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Migrants in Yemen Languish in Detention as Ramadan Begins

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 11:06

Aden - Some 3,000 migrants continue to be held in two temporary detention sites in Yemen's Aden and Abyan governorates. Among those detained are Ethiopian nationals, many practicing Muslims, who are embarking on thirty days of Ramadan fasting while detained.  

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been providing clean water and emergency food at the 22nd of May Stadium in Aden where nearly 2,500 migrants are detained. 

On 21 April, authorities in Yemen began detaining nearly 5,000 irregular migrants in two sports stadiums and a military camp in the Aden, Abyan and Lahj governorates. The detainees predominately are Ethiopians, who entered Yemen to seek livelihoods and opportunities on the Arabian Peninsula.   

On Friday (03/05), IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) teams confirmed that 2,473 migrants remain under detention in Aden’s 22nd May Stadium. Of those, the DTM determined 873 are children.  

Since last week’s headcount, more people have been brought to that site. An estimated 500 migrants are also being held in a second sports stadium in Abyan. 

At the stadium in Aden, IOM is combatting the spread of communicable disease by providing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and health services. Between 26 April and 5 May, IOM has conducted over 1,800 health consultations and rehabilitated 30 latrines. 

In recent days, more than 1,400 people detained at the military camp in Lahj reportedly were released.  IOM is making efforts to confirm the locations and wellbeing of all migrants released in Lahj, particularly because some had been suffering from acute watery diarrhea (AWD).  

At Lahj’s Ibn Khaldoon Hospital, IOM is treating more than 70 former detainees with AWD in its newly-opened diarrhea treatment centre. Tragically, since Wednesday (01/05), 14 migrants have perished from the illness

Twenty-three-year-old Abdi* comes from a farming family in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. As Ramadan commences, he wishes he could go home, or anywhere rather than stay in detention in the sports stadium in Aden. 

“I wanted to come to an Arabian country to make my life better than my parents’, but when I arrived here [in Yemen] they caught me and brought me to this place,” said Abdi, who left his home just over a month ago without telling his parents.  

Starting his journey with only 2,000 birr [USD 70], he eventually he arrived in Djibouti, where he called his parents explaining he needed funds, some 11,000 birr [USD 380], to continue his journey. His parents sold a cow. He said he knew he would perish in the desert without a smuggler to help him complete this “hard journey.” 

*Name changed to protect identity   

IOM remains extremely concerned for the people being held in inhumane conditions in Aden and Abyan. Alongside humanitarian partners, IOM is providing lifesaving services, while engaging with authorities to advocate for the release of those detained.  

Thousands of migrants are stranded in other locations throughout Yemen. From Sana'a starting this past Monday, IOM intends to move a total of 327 Ethiopian migrants to Addis Ababa, under IOM’s voluntary humanitarian return (VHR).  

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Yemen, Tel: +967730552233, +967730552233, Email: 


Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - 17:02Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Some 3000 migrants are detained in temporary detention sites in Yemen, many of whom are fasting for Ramadan. Photo: Olivia Headon / IOM 2019

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Art Meets Migration: Mirage of Hope Exhibition Opens in Tunisia

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 11:02

Tunis – “In art, no borders,” said Victor Hugo. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Centre for Culture and Arts opened the Mirage d'espoir (Mirage of Hope) exhibition this past weekend (03/05), which continues through 2 June at Palais El Abdelliya.  

This contemporary art exhibition is part of an IOM Tunisia initiative to present art merged with migration as a pluralistic phenomenon. 

To this end, the Mirage d'espoir project was conceived as a Mediterranean encounter and a linkage among the artistic identities of migrants and migration.  

In order to create a dynamic of sharing and exchange, Michela Margherita Sarti, curator of the exhibition, gathered 13 artists representing, besides Tunisia, 10 Mediterranean countries as part of an artistic residency which took place at the Sadika art space in Tunis from 1 to 15 April. The residency produced works addressing the theme of migration through different approaches. 

Artists participating in the project included: Austin Cammileri (Malta); Gulin Hayat Topdemir (Turkey); Lisa Perini (Italy); Marianne Catzaras (Greece); Michela Margherita Sarti (Tunisia/Italy); Mohammed Elouanti (Morocco); Nacho Martin Gomez (Spain); Omar Bey (Tunisia); Teresa Carneiro (Portugal); The Yellow Man (Algeria); Wael Darweich (Egypt); Walid Ardhaoui (Tunisia) and Yves Gobart (France).  

A workshop for students of fine arts and young artists also took place during the residency to create a space for reflection and debate on the place of migration in art on the one hand, as well as to offer aspiring artists an opportunity to work alongside internationally recognized professional artists. 

The exhibition’s opening in La Marsa was attended by artists, patrons, partners and friends of IOM. 

For more information, please contact Paola Pace, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 29 566 934, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - 16:54Image: Region-Country: TunisiaThemes: OthersDefault: Multimedia: 

Poster for Mirage d'espoir (Mirage of Hope) Exhibition. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Aid Arriving to Northern Mozambique in Wake of Cyclone Kenneth

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 10:39

Pemba, Cabo Delgado — Cyclone Kenneth—the second devastating blow to Mozambique in six weeks following Cyclone Idai—has displaced around 21,000 people in northern Mozambique into accommodation centres, while others have gone to stay with host families. The Government of Mozambique estimates Cyclone Kenneth has affected more than 200,000, now one week after its landfall. 

“When the cyclone first hit, in the heavy rain and wind, the entire settlement around our house started to slide away. We ran for our lives. Everything that we had, our home and belongings are gone, all gone,” said Maria Semao from the Shibwabar neighborhood here. Semao and her family now are staying at an accommodation site arranged by local officials. “We can’t go back,” she explained. “The area is ruined and destroyed. The land is unsafe – it has slid away. We await resettlement to a different area.” 

In close coordination with the Government of Mozambique’s Disaster Management Agency (INGC) and local actors, IOM already has begun providing assistance. On Matemo Island, where few buildings are left standing, shelter kits are critically needed to assist affected families. A stock of 200 shelter kits provided by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) was delivered yesterday to Matemo Island, where it was distributed immediately. Four hundred more kits are scheduled to arrive for distribution today.  

The materials received yesterday (2 May), are part of two airlifts of relief material comprising over 1,600 shelter kits received at Pemba airport via UK DFID. These are the first of a total of six flights, set to deliver a total of 6,650 shelter kits and 100 tents providing shelter support to affected communities.  

The DFID shelter kits – each including two tarpaulins and a rope – will enable families to create basic shelters. They are to be distributed with the INGC and local government agencies. The tarpaulins are bound for Pemba city, Ibo Island, Macomia district, Mucojo coastal area and other heavily affected areas. 

“The United Kingdom is delighted to work with IOM. Their capacity and networks will mean that shelter will get to those in most urgent need quickly,” said Cate Turton, Director of UK DFID Mozambique, who is in Pemba.  

One week after Cyclone Kenneth, ongoing rains and flooding have compounded the destruction across northern Mozambique. More than 21,000 houses are totally destroyed and an additional 13,000 houses are partially destroyed, according to UN OCHA.

Sadly, the tropical cyclone is known to have killed more than 40 people in Mozambique, according to the INGC. 

IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission Katharina Schnoering is in Pemba to support the relief operation. “The damage caused by Cyclone Kenneth is unspeakable,” she said. “The area is heavily affected; thousands of families are displaced with their homes and livelihoods destroyed. The lives of survivors continue to be at risk, as there are immediate needs for food, shelter, and clean water. Additional humanitarian support is urgently required.”  

She continued: “Under the leadership of the Government of Mozambique and local actors, IOM is quickly responding to assist some of the most vulnerable families. This is the beginning of our support to Cabo.” 

A team of IOM staff is on the ground to support the response. IOM staff Magnus Wolfe Murray, UN Shelter Cluster Coordinator in Cabo Delgado, the northernmost coastal province of Mozambique said, “Upon receipt, relief supplies are being immediately sent out to affected areas. Additional flights of relief supplies are expected in the coming days, including tarpaulins, rope and blankets.” 

“With the Government and INGC in the lead, local philanthropists, civil society and private sector agencies in Cabo Delgado are working together in a consortium, providing a well-organized and effective response to support affected families. The response by IOM and humanitarian agencies will reinforce these efforts,” concluded Murray. 

IOM has a long-term presence in the area, in support of government and local communities. Cabo Delgado is a key province for IOM, being part of a corridor where many migrants from the Horn of Africa transit en route to reach South Africa. 

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

Language English Posted: Friday, May 3, 2019 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeDefault: Multimedia: 

Shelter kits are unloaded from a relief flight at Pemba airport on 2 May in northern Mozambique, to support Cyclone Kenneth response. Photo: IOM

Shelter kits are unloaded from a relief flight at Pemba airport on 2 May in northern Mozambique, to support Cyclone Kenneth response. Photo: IOM

Shelter kits are unloaded from a relief flight at Pemba airport on 2 May in northern Mozambique, to support Cyclone Kenneth response.  Photo: IOM

Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UK Government, Partners Propose Steps to Accelerate Refugee Employment

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 10:34

Companies can take simple steps to employ more refugees and enable them to better integrate in the UK and contribute to economy 

London – Refugees are underrepresented in the UK workforce and a great opportunity for them to contribute to growth and better integrate in the country is being missed, according to new guidelines released today by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Business in the Community (BITC) and UK Government. 

Tapping Potential: Guidelines to Help UK Businesses Employ Refugees sets out simple steps that companies can take to enable refugees to more seamlessly enter the workforce and build their skills, benefiting companies and the national economy.  

“More inclusive communities and workforces frequently report increased socioeconomic benefits,” said Dipti Pardeshi, IOM Chief of Mission in the UK.  “It’s not only about refugees learning about life here in Britain. To have inclusive societies and workforces, employers can also make strides to better understand refugees and identify beneficial employment opportunities, both for companies and refugees themselves.”   

Refugees want to become self-supporting and contribute to their new communities. They are, however, often hampered by poor understanding of language and business practices, non-recognition of their qualifications, and sometimes the impact of their experiences before reaching safety in the UK. There are measures that can be taken to support refugees into employment. These include: adapting recruitment and interview processes to put refugees at ease; recognizing experience and qualifications from abroad; offering integrated English language workplace training; ‘buddying’ and training in workplace culture; ensuring equal progression opportunities for part-time and flexible workers; and creating apprenticeships, traineeships or voluntary schemes to allow refugees to add skills and qualifications, or adapt their experience to new sectors.  

“There is huge capacity for refugees to contribute to the UK economy, either by better leveraging the skills they already have or helping them add new skills,” said Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, UNHCR’s UK Representative. “There really is untapped potential here that could be a boon for the local economy, and at the same time a powerful vehicle for better integration.”  

UNHCR estimates there are 120,000 refugees in the UK. Refugees have the right to work here, and doing so helps them build self-reliance and contribute to the economy. They represent a range of nationalities and backgrounds that could diversify business culture and attract new talent. Yet they are struggling to enter and progress in the labour market. According to a recent study, the UK unemployment rate of people who originally came to the UK as refugees is 18 per cent, three times that of the UK-born population. Meanwhile, UK employers are struggling to fill roles, particularly entry-level jobs. Yet many refugees are also ready to take on skilled roles; almost half held qualifications before coming to the UK, and many have previous experience as professionals. 

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: “The UK is committed to supporting refugees as they rebuild their lives here, including with opportunities in the workplace. Employing refugees can bring great benefits to businesses, individuals and communities. These practical guidelines highlight the crucial role for the private sector, in partnership with Government and others, in helping refugees across the country find work.” 

Minister of State for Employment Alok Sharma added: “Employers are missing out on a pool of untapped talent by potentially ruling out opening work opportunities to those who have been granted refugee status in the UK. Part of creating an inclusive society is ensuring everyone has equal access to work, which is why the Government is committed to supporting disadvantaged groups into employment. As the UK’s workforce continues to diversify, more businesses are recognizing the value it brings and these guidelines will help fuel our record employment.” 

Companies report that employing refugees has a positive impact on their own workforces, including better cultural awareness and diversity, reduction of unconscious bias and the addition of new skills and thinking. This comes as more citizens are looking to businesses to act as forces for positive change in the community. 

Nicola Inge, BITC’s Employment Campaign Director, said: “Responsible businesses are already offering refugee-friendly employment through preparing refugees for the workplace, removing barriers in recruitment and providing an inclusive environment to employees. These new guidelines will help even more employers to make practical changes and discover the benefits of employing refugees – whether it’s meeting talent shortages, improving employee engagement or increasing diversity.” 

The release provides case-studies from employers that have initiated programmes to clear the path for refugees into employment. Waitrose & Partners, the retailer, is offering work placements to resettled Syrian refugees in partnership with BITC’s Ready for Work programme. It gives participants training to prepare for the workplace, followed by a two-week work placement and post-placement support. Grant Thornton, the professional services firm, is working with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to explore how they can support individuals with accountancy qualifications not currently recognized in the UK. The furniture group IKEA has funded 122 refugees to receive employability support from Breaking Barriers; so far 30 refugees have gained employment at stores across London. 

John Pettigrew, National Grid CEO, said: “We recognize the added value that refugees bring to our company through their wealth of expertise and skills, which ensure we have the best minds in the world to meet the needs of our customers and bill payers. Integrating more refugees into the UK workforce is not only the right thing to do, it makes business sense. Increasing refugee employment means the UK not only gains the additional economic benefits of their work but improved community cohesion too.”   

The partners who drew up the Guidelines are working with the Refugee Employment Network, a recently established umbrella group of organizations supporting refugees into work. 

About the Guidelines 

The Guidelines were drawn up by IOM, UNHCR, BITC, the Home Office and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). They were developed in late 2018 and 2019. As well as offering tips to foster employment and prepare companies to hire refugees, they provide guidance to employers on the rules and regulations covering employing refugees, and their right to work. The release provides links to private partnerships and NGOs working in the area as well as an annex on immigration status and work entitlements. It also references a 10-point Action Plan from UNHCR and the OECD from regional dialogues with employers to inspire policy action and increase coordination among employers, governments, civil society actors and refugees to help society make the most of refugees’ skills and experience. The document will be distributed to employers across the UK and made available on the websites of the organizers. The Refugee Employment Network was established in 2018 and has a membership of over 80 refugee integration support organizations across the UK. Their membership supports refugees in the UK to be able to access appropriate, fulfilling, paid employment or self-employment. They also work to set best practice guidelines and offer support to organizations to attain these standards. UNHCR is hosting a launch event in Canary Wharf London on May 2, 2019. Media interested in attending should contact

For more information please contact:  
IOM:  Abby Dwommoh, Email:, Tel: 020 7811 6060 
UNHCR: Matthew Saltmarsh, Email:, Tel: 07880 230 985 
BITC: Cathy Beveridge, Email:, Tel: 020 7566 6634 

Language English Posted: Friday, May 3, 2019 - 16:32Image: Region-Country: United KingdomThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

New Guidelines sets out simple steps that companies in UK can take to enable refugees to more seamlessly enter the workforce. Photo: IOM. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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