Languages

  • English
  • Deutsch

UN Migration Agency Offers Support to Guatemala After Deadly Volcanic Eruption

PBN News Germany - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 07:33

Guatemala City – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has extended condolences to the families of the victims following Volcán de Fuego’s eruption, which occurred last Sunday (03/06). IOM has also expressed its solidarity with the people and government of Guatemala and stated its willingness and readiness to contribute to the immediate humanitarian assistance of those in need, in support to the National Coordination System for Disaster Reduction (CONRED).

The support offered by IOM, within the framework of its mandate as the main intergovernmental organization in the field of migration, focuses on four specific areas: shelter management; information systems for monitoring populations displaced by the eruption; evaluation of damaged infrastructure; and attention to migrants stranded in transit.

IOM reiterates its determination to contribute to the resilience of migrants due to natural disasters to support the fulfilment and restitution of the rights of all individuals affected by this catastrophe, facing the subsequent rebuilding process.

According to CONRED, the main affected departments are Sacatepéquez, Escuintla, and Chimaltenango, which, to date, have an estimate of 1.7 million affected people; 3,265 evacuated; 1,689 in shelters; 46 injured and 62 deceased.

The government of Guatemala has declared a state of public calamity in these three departments. Collapsed bridges, floods, and cracked structures have affected other 2,754 inhabitants of Suchitepéquez, Retalhuleu and Alta Verapaz.

For more information, please contact Melissa Vega, IOM Guatemala, Email: mevega@iom.int, Tel: +502 2414-7401, or Alba Miriam Amaya, Email: aamaya@iom.int, Tel: +503 2521-0511

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 13:05Image: Region-Country: GuatemalaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 33,192 in 2018; Deaths Reach 785

PBN News Germany - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 07:32

Geneva IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 33,192 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 22 weeks of 2018. IOM reports that deaths over the weekend on all three major Mediterranean routes marked the first time in 2018 that fatalities spread across the entire littoral in this way. The estimated 125 men, women and children drowned in waters off Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, Spain and Morocco made 1-3 June the Mediterranean’s deadliest for migrants this year.

“This is the first time this year that we recorded three incidents on the three routes over the same weekend. The incident in Tunisia, with 112 deaths, is also the deadliest recorded in the Mediterranean this year,” said Julia Black of IOM’s Missing Migrants Project in Berlin. She added IOM recorded 100 deaths in a single incident on 9 January off Al Khums, in Libya, and 100 more deaths off Zuwara on 1 February.

This past weekend, however, was not the deadliest in recent times. Black reported that the Mediterranean’s five deadliest days since 1 January 2017 were the weekend from 15 to 19 June last year, when  286 people died in the Mediterranean – divided between  281 on the Central Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Italy, and five in the waters of the Western Mediterranean linking Africa with Spain.

Even deadlier weekends were reported in 2016 and 2015, she added:

  • 25-29 April 2016: 1,114 people lost their lives in the Central Mediterranean
  • 13-18 April 2015: 1,214 people died in the Central Mediterranean.

The 33,192 arrivals since 1 January this year compares with 72,158 arrivals across the region through the same period last year and about 206,790 at this time in 2016.

In other words: Mediterranean arrivals at this point in 2018 are running at under half last year’s level on this date, and about 16 per cent of 2016’s volume at this point in the year. Deaths, too, are much lower than at comparable periods of the past two years. In 2017 IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reported 1,650 deaths through 4 June; at this time in 2016 the figure was 2,512 – or over three times 2018’s estimated total of 785.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo noted that a shipwreck occurring off the Tunisian coast on Saturday night was responsible for most of the weekend’s carnage.  According to testimony or survivors, migrants were travelling on a boat carrying 180 people. By Monday it was reported that 68 migrants had been rescued and 60 bodies had been recovered. That left approximately 52 missing, Di Giacomo said.
Arrivals to Italy continue to be very low, compared with recent years, Di Giacomo said.

In Spanish waters so far this year, IOM Madrid’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that a total of 3,121 migrants have been rescued on the Western Mediterranean route through all of May – compared with 835 for the entire month of May last year. That, plus 503 in June, brings to 8,251 the total number of men, women and children who have been rescued trying to enter Spain by sea this year (see charts below). 

In the Mediterranean alone, 785 people have lost their lives at sea since the beginning of 2018.

In the Western Mediterranean, the Spanish maritime safety agency rescued 41 people from a sinking boat on 2 June. One person had already died when the rescue team arrived; tragically, the body could not be recovered. On the same day, the remains of two people, including one woman, washed up on a beach near Tangiers, Morocco.

IOM Greece’s Kelly Namia reported Monday that over five days (29 May-2 June) the Hellenic Coast Guard reported there were at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos and Samos. The Coast Guard rescued 73 migrants and transferred them to these respective islands.

Namia reported that besides those 73 another 71 arrived during the five days, landing in Megisti, Rhodes and Kos and bringing to 11,119 the total number of irregular migrants entering Greece via sea since 1 January – for an average of around 72 persons per day (see charts below).

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 1,312 people who died or went missing while migrating in 2018 (see chart below).

 

In the Mediterranean alone, 785 people have lost their lives at sea since the beginning of 2018. On Saturday night, a boat carrying approximately 180 people capsized off the coast of Kerkennah island, in Sfax, Tunisia. Tunisian authorities have rescued 68 survivors and recovered 60 bodies during a search and rescue operation which is still underway.

The remains of the 60 victims have been transferred to the Habib Bourguiba Hospital in Sfax. At least 48 of the deceased are Tunisian, while for the remaining 12 the nationality is unknown. According to survivors' testimonies, approximately 180 people were on the boat when it sank – therefore an estimated 52 remain missing.

Additionally, the Turkish Coast Guard reported that on 3 June 2018, nine people died and one went missing after the boat in which they were travelling sank four kilometres southeast of Kekova Geyikova island, off the coast of Turkey´s Antalya province. The search and rescue team saved three men and a woman, while a fishing boat rescued another man. Six children have perished during this tragic and disastrous incident.

In Europe, the Missing Migrants Project team recorded another death on the Kupa/Kolpa river, on the Slovenia-Croatia border: on 3 June, the body of a man was retrieved from the river near Gornje Prilišće, Croatia.
Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.
Download the Latest Mediterranean Update infographic here.

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

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

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448 Email : chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 13:08Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Promotes Safety, Empowerment of Migrant Women and Girls at EU Development Event

PBN News Germany - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 07:31

Brussels – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is drawing attention to the realities facing women and girls on the move and how to unlock their untapped potential at this year’s “European Development Days” (EDD) events taking place in Brussels, 5-6 June.

IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson will headline the Organization’s participation at the two-day forum on Wednesday’s (06-06) high-level panel focusing on safer work and migration for women and girls. 

The panel caps a series of debates and workshops with IOM involvement at the EDD engaging the theme of women and girl migration and their intersection with the realities of human trafficking, return and reintegration, displacement and development. 

“We all must think about the potential of women and girls that is lost if they are not free from violence, abuse and exploitation. They lose out on being able to live the life they want to live, of being able to achieve what is important for them and their families. But we all lose out in terms of what they might be able to contribute to our communities, to our countries, and to humanity as a whole,” said Ambassador Thompson ahead of the event.

Ambassador Thompson and panelists at the high-level event – “Women and girls on the Move: Towards Safer Work and Migration for Women” – are set to discuss how safe, orderly and regular migration can mitigate vulnerabilities and allow women to develop new skills, flourish as entrepreneurs, and contribute more to the growth of their host and home countries.

On the High-level Panel, Ambassador Thompson will join Myria Vassiliadou, EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator; Isatou Touray, Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment of the Republic of the Gambia; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director; Audrey Le Guével, Director of the Brussels office, ILO; and Esther Nakajjigo, EDD Youth Representative from Uganda. Discussions will be moderated by Ambassador Thomas Gass, Assistant Director General of the SDC.

The panel is co-organized by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), IOM, UN Women, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform (ADEPT), and the Migrant Forum in Asia. 

At the EDD, IOM is also co-organizing or participating in a series of thematic debate and brainstorming events.

Today, (05-06) IOM, the European Commission, and the International Trade Centre are holding a special debate titled Women on The Move: Stories of Resilience and Reintegration. The session will feature stories and discussion centering on the strength and resourcefulness of women who have returned and are contributing to their home countries and communities in Africa under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migration Protection and Reintegration.

Taking part in the debate are Idrissa Sompare, programme manager (IOM Guinea), Guglielmo Schinina, Head Mental Health, Psychosocial Response and Intercultural Communication (IOM), Didier Versé, Head of Unit European Commission’s DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), and Fatou Mbenga Jallow, project coordinator, Youth Empowerment Project Gambia. 

The stories and perspectives of two IOM beneficiaries, Aline from Guinea and Deborah from Nigeria, who were not able to receive their travel visas on time to make it for the event, will be shown by video.

Also happening today: Understanding and preventing trafficking of women and girls. Recommendations from the ACP context and beyond, a brainstorming lab organized by IOM and LUMOS to shed light on the nexus between gender, age and trafficking in human beings. The aim will be to better understand the many factors and underlying mechanisms that render women and girls vulnerable to exploitation, and how we can prevent trafficking of these groups and empower women and girls. The lab will feature Lori Mann, IOM’s ACP-EU Migration Action trafficking in human beings expert, Chissey Mueller, Migrant Assistance Specialist (IOM), and Irina Papancheva, EU Advocacy Manager (LUMOS).

Another roundtable, Girls on the Move – Protecting Girls in Migration and Displacement organized by Save the Children in partnership with IOM and the Danish Refugee Council, is taking place today with keynote speakers keynote speakers include Stefano Signore, Head of Migration and Employment at the European Commission (DEVCO), Kathrine Starup, Global Specialist Lead on Protection (Danish Refugee Council), Irina Todorova, Senior Regional Migrant Protection and Assistance Specialist (IOM), Natalia Alonso, Senior Policy & Advocacy Advisor (UNICEF), and Hannah Newth, Child Protection Advisor for Children on the Move (Save the Children).

IOM also will participate as co-organizer of the United Nation's Action Hub Stand which is highlighting the Sustainable Development Goals and the Spotlight initiative’s campaign to end violence against women and girls.

The EDD is the EU’s flagship development event, and this year marks its 12th edition. The annual forum has attracted 42,000 participants – including 7 Nobel Prize laureates and 100 world leaders – from over 154 countries, representing 4,500 organizations in the fields of development cooperation, human rights and humanitarian aid since 2006.

For more information on the High-Level Migration Panel, please visit:
https://eudevdays.eu/community/sessions/835/women-and-girls-on-the-move-towards-safer-work-and-migration-for-women

For more information, please contact Annika Lenz, Email: alenz@iom.int; Tel. +32 2 287 7126, or Ryan Schroeder, Email: rschroeder@iom.int, Tel. +32 2 287 7116 at IOM’s Regional Office for the EU in Brussels

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 13:09Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: Gender and MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

A migrant girl at an IOM transit center in Niger. Photo: Amanda Nero / IOM 2016

A Syrian refugee girl crossing the Serbian-Croatian border. Photo: Francesco Malavolta / IOM 2015

A migrant girl on the Greek island of Lesbos. Photo: Amanda Nero / IOM 2015

Myriam, a Cote d Ivoire reutrnee from Libya. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Very Concerned After Tragic Sinking of Migrant Boat Off Tunisian Coast

PBN News Germany - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 07:30

Tunis Sixty-eight survivors, at least one hundred dead and missing migrants off Kerkennah-Sfax, Tunisia – this is the provisional report of the night of Saturday to Sunday, 3 June, when some 180 migrants undertook an uncertain crossing to European coasts on a fragile and overloaded craft.

According to Lorena Lando, IOM Chief of Mission in Tunisia, among the 60 victims transferred to the forensic department at Habib Bourguiba hospital in Sfax, 48 are Tunisians, of whom 24 have already been identified, while 12 are non-Tunisian (6 women and 6 men); their identifications are in progress. The 68 survivors include 60 Tunisians, 2 Moroccans, 1 Libyan, 1 Malian, 1 Cameroonian and 3 Ivorians (including 2 women).

The migrants reportedly paid 2,000 to 3,000 TND (EUR 700 to 1,000) for the crossing. The fishing boat that transported them left the Kerkennah coast on Saturday, 2 June in the early evening, and began taking on water two hours later.

It was around 22:45 that the maritime units of the Tunisian Army and the National Guard responded to the call for distress, five miles from the Kerkennah coast.

“There are no words to describe this tragedy," said Lando. "Behind these numbers, men, women and children have lost their lives while pursuing an uncertain dream. Our thoughts are with families and loved ones to whom we present our sincere condolences and assure of our most absolute solidarity.”

After the rescue, the IOM team in Sfax was mobilized on site to provide emergency assistance, conduct needs assessment interviews and provide psychological support to survivors, in close collaboration with the crisis unit deployed by the Ministry of Health, the Tunisian Red Crescent, the local authorities and the partners involved.

The search and rescue operations carried out by National Guard and National Navy units, with the participation of a military aircraft and divers of the National Army and Civil Defense, continue in the hope of rescuing survivors and recovering the bodies of the victims. “IOM continues to gather information on the tragedy and to assess ways to support the survivors,” added Lando.

This tragedy comes as IOM identified 1,910 Tunisian migrants who reached Italy’s coasts between 1 January and 30 April 2018, including 39 women and 307 minors – 293 unaccompanied. They were 231 for the same period in 2017.

IOM, which calls for an approach based on dialogue and cooperation to better respond to migration challenges and to protect all migrants regardless of their legal status, recommends, inter alia, intensifying outreach activities, and in particular, information campaigns targeting the risks of irregular migration and promoting legal alternatives to make migration an informed choice and not an absolute necessity.

For more information, please contact IOM Tunisia: Lorena Lando, Tel: + 216 28542954, Email: llando@iom.int or Myriam Chabbi, Tel: + 216 28787805, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 13:15Image: Region-Country: TunisiaThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Stands with Partners to Combat Plastic Waste and Environmental Degradation

PBN News Germany - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 05:18

Geneva –This World Environment Day (05/06), IOM, the UN Migration Agency, adds its voice to the chorus of global actors seeking to combat plastic pollution and environmental degradation around the world.

The theme of this year’s World Environment Day (WED) is “Beat Plastic Pollution” — a simple phrase which underscores huge implications for our planet. Single-use or disposable plastic has become one of the greatest challenges to our natural environment; up to 13 million tons of this plastic also leak into our oceans each year, threatening marine life, ecosystems, and our health as it enters our drinking supply.

IOM recognizes that a healthy environment is intrinsically linked to the well-being and resilience of migrants and their host communities. “If we invest in protecting our environment today, we can reduce the risks of displacement due to climate change and environmental degradation for future generations,” said Dina Ionesco, Head of IOM’s Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) Division. “It will mean reducing losses and damages that occur when migration is a tragedy and a last resort.”

Understanding that swift action is needed to protect our environment, IOM joined the United Nations Environment Management Group and established its institutional environmental sustainability programme in line with United Nations’ sustainability standards in 2017.

The commitment to reduce waste also extends to the organization’s offices; IOM Egypt recently established Green Egypt, an internal environmental working group that aims to mainstream environmental sustainability in procurement and programmes. Green Egypt comprises of staff from each unit who act as focal points within their respective teams as they work towards achieving a list of waste management goals for 2018.

In Madagascar, a country facing multiple environmental challenges including deforestation and soil erosion, IOM partnered with a private company to treat the office’s paper waste — separating it from the rest so that it can be recycled for use in new commercial products.

Such local initiatives align with the “Beat Plastic Pollution” theme, chosen by WED 2018 host India as a means to “[invite] us all to consider how we can make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural places, our wildlife – and our own health. ”But beyond its own facilities, IOM has been contributing to policy-level discussions to highlight the significance of environmentally sustainable practices in migration management and governance.

“We have to look at migration policy and practice with innovative eyes, to see how safe and orderly migration can provide solutions and opportunities for people who are affected by climate change and environmental degradation to move in dignified matter,” Ionesco added.

Read more about IOM’s environment and climate change initiatives here.

For more information please contact IOM HQ:
Migration, Environment and Climate Change Division, Email: mecchq@iom.int
Vanessa Okoth-Obbo, Tel: +41227179366, Email: vokoth@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 13:13Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Fishermen and women are able to fish 30 kg per day thanks to the coral reef that protects the island of Sainte Marie in Madagascar. Photo: Giacomo Dei Rossi / IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Dreams Come True as Refugees Cheer on England Ahead of World Cup

PBN News Germany - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 07:51

London – Fifteen Syrian refugees cheered on England’s Three Lions 2-1 victory in a friendly match against Nigeria at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday (02/06).

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and England’s Football Association (FA) partnered in the initiative that invited and brought the Syrians to Wembley for the match which took place just two weeks before the FIFA World Cup kicks off in Russia.

Ahmad Al-Rashid, a 28-year old Syrian refugee living in London who is also an IOM staff member, was one of the Syrians in attendance at the England-Nigeria friendly.

“Football has always been a big part of my life – growing up in Syria, as a refugee in the region and now in the UK,” Ahmad said. “To me, it doesn’t matter where you are from. As long as there is a love of football, we will always have something to talk about.”

“Watching England play Nigeria at Wembley was like a dream come true.  This was my chance to show my support for the country that has welcomed me,” he added.

The IOM-FA collaboration was part of a developing partnership between the two organizations to make football more accessible to migrant and refugee communities by creating opportunities for greater community interactions through shared interests and a love of sport.

“The collective contribution of migrants and refugees to British society can only be realised through active inclusion,” said Dipti Pardeshi, IOM’s Chief of Mission for the United Kingdom.   

“Football is a great unifying force because it crosses national, cultural and socio-economic lines.  Through the power of sport, we can counter migrant isolation and increase their opportunities to contribute to the community,” Pardeshi continued. 

Through its digital platform i am a migrant, IOM recently launched the Together Through Sport campaign based on the premise that sport can be a powerful tool for facilitating integration and building links within communities, amongst players and their most devoted fans. The campaign seeks to highlight positive stories of sport, migration and integration like Ahmad’s via the i am a migrant site and on social media.  It also features a World Cup showcase that explores the link between migration and international professional football.

Over 8.8 million migrants and refugees live in the United Kingdom, according to IOM.  

In the UK, there is a growing need for integration support due to expanded resettlement, increased migrant numbers, and reductions in support services aimed at fostering community cohesion.

IOM continues to support the British government’s commitment to resettle 20,000 people by 2020 through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS). To date, IOM has supported the resettlement of over 10,500 refugees under the VPRS.  In 2017 alone, a total of 6,212 people were resettled in the UK – a 19 per cent increase from 2016, according to Home Office numbers.

IOM also continues to work to advance the socioeconomic wellbeing and resiliency of migrants and refugees and UK society through a two-way integration process that promotes thriving, multicultural communities.

IOM’s activities in the UK provide resettled refugees with the building blocks to start their new life, including Syrian refugee integration projects like LINK IT, cultural orientation programmes, and Syrian information sessions that provide training to front-line support workers in the UK’s local authorities.

Read Ahmad’s story about how football has affected his life before and after becoming a refugee.

For more information, please contact Abby Dwommoh at IOM UK, Tel: +44 (0)78 733 011 93, Email: adwommoh@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Monday, June 4, 2018 - 13:50Image: Region-Country: United KingdomThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Ahmad at Wembley for the England v Nigeria match on Saturday 2 June 2018. Photo: Fiona Hanson/TheFA.

Syrian refugees cheered on England as they won over Nigeria at Wembley last 2 June. Photo: IOM

Ahmad Al-Rashid, a 28-year old Syrian refugee living in London who is also an IOM staff member, was one of the Syrians in attendance at the England-Nigeria friendly. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Helps Somali Migrants Return Home from Libya

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 10:43

Tripoli/Mogadishu – This week (30/05), IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in collaboration with the Libyan and Somali Governments and with support from the European Union, facilitated the voluntary return to Mogadishu of 150 Somali migrants stranded in Libya. The majority of them had been held in Government-run detention centres.

Migrants in Libya are exposed to numerous risks, including smuggling, trafficking, kidnapping, abuse, detention and torture. Through the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), IOM has tracked over 660,000 migrants in Libya. However, the true number could be closer to one million people.

“I lost everything in Libya: time, health and money,” said 23-year-old Mohamed, who left Somalia for a better future. “But I will return to Somalia and start from scratch, build a better future away from the daydreams of illegal migration,” he added.

IOM is grateful to the Somali Government for the expediency in providing the returning migrants with the appropriate documentation and to the Libyan Government for organizing exit visas. “The support to these Somali nationals wishing to go back to Somalia is the positive result of close collaboration with the Somali Government and UNHCR,” said Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission.

"This was a massive undertaking between the Somali government and IOM and I am very glad that we are finally able to assist this number of migrants in desperate need of humanitarian return assistance. In the name of the Somali government, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to IOM for their unwavering support to our migrants stranded in Libya,” stated Ambassador Ali Said Faqi, Special Envoy of the President of Somalia for Somali Migrants Stranded in Libya.

Upon return, representatives from the Federal Government of Somalia and IOM welcomed the returnees in Mogadishu. IOM will be fully screening all returnees and providing group psychosocial sessions in the immediate days after arrival. Following these screenings, ongoing reintegration assistance will be provided through general support and complementary assistance, according to the project’s selection criteria.

This is the fourth and largest voluntary humanitarian return of migrants from Libya to Somalia.* The reintegration assistance in Somalia is part of the larger EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, which facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused policies and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. The EU-IOM Joint Initiative, backed by the EU Trust Fund, covers, and has been set up in close cooperation with, a total of 26 African countries.

“The EU recognizes the importance of supporting stranded migrants who wish to return to Somalia and reintegrate with their host communities and I believe that, through this initiative, returning migrants will be able to lead meaningful lives and contribute to a rising Somalia,” said Pencho Garrido Ruiz, Chargé d'Affaires at the EU Delegation to Somalia.

For more information, please contact:
IOM Libya: Ashraf Hassan, +21629794707, ashassan@iom.int
IOM Somalia: Amy Edwards, Tel: +201097435167, Email: aedwards@iom.int

* Somali men, women and children had been one of the most represented nationalities leaving Libya for irregular sea crossing to Italy in recent years, although IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported Thursday the number of Somalis registered by Italian authorities has fallen drastically in 2018. Di Giacomo reported just 154 Somali arrivals have been recorded by Italy’s Ministry of Interior through 30 April.

Nonetheless, the total number of arrivals from Somalia entering Europe via Libya during 2014-2017 is among the highest of any nationality in this period. IOM counted nearly 30,000 migrant arrivals from Somalia since the start of 2014 (see chart below).

IOM intends to return some 300 more vulnerable migrants in Libya back to Mogadishu in the coming weeks, Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission, said.

Language English Posted: Friday, June 1, 2018 - 16:42Image: Region-Country: LibyaSomaliaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Helping Somali migrants stranded in Libya to return home. Photo: IOM

Helping Somali migrants stranded in Libya to return home. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Finding Safety Together: Rohingya Refugees, Local Villagers, IOM, Partners Join Forces with Bangladesh Authorities to Prevent Disaster

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 10:42

Cox’s Bazar – As Rohingya refugees and local residents in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, learn how to prepare for monsoon disaster scenarios, the UN Migration Agency has been rolling out vital supplies to help them in their life-saving efforts.

Radios, megaphones, first aid kits, stretchers, protective clothing, warning flags and sirens are among the items being distributed among over 500 Rohingya emergency volunteers in the Kutapalong/Balukhali extension, also known as the ‘megacamp’. In addition, almost 1,000 volunteers from the host community have received similar emergency “toolkits” in the Teknaf area, in the south of Cox’s Bazar.

Almost one million Rohingya refugees are sheltering under tarpaulins in Cox’s Bazar after fleeing waves of brutal violence in Myanmar. Now a new threat to their lives looms on the horizon in the form of cyclones and monsoon storms.
Most of the refugees are living on steep sandy slopes. Studies by IOM and other agencies found around 200,000 people will be in serious danger from landslides and floods when the worst weather hits.

But people living in the region suffered the deadly impacts of cyclones and monsoon landslides, even before the arrival of almost 700,000 people in just six months dramatically altered the topography of the area, making it even more vulnerable to environmental disasters.

The Bangladesh authorities in conjunction with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and American Red Cross have been training local residents in cyclone preparedness programmes (CPP) since 1972. Now, with the support of IOM and other partners, those skills are being shared with the refugees, such as Laila, a 25-year-old Rohingya mother of two, who is among those tasked with saving others in emergency events.

Sitting in her shelter in the heart of the Balukhali camp, Laila shows off some of the equipment she recently received from IOM. She is among 650 Rohingya and local volunteers whom IOM has also supported to receive training in first aid, search and rescue, and fire safety through partnerships with the Bangladeshi Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD), American Red Cross and CPP.

“I feel much more confident after my training and now I have these items to help me,” said Laila, who added she had never been involved in any kind of volunteer project before coming to Bangladesh.

One of Laila’s main tasks is to lead her most vulnerable neighbours to ‘safe havens’ – buildings and shelters strong enough to stand up to stormy weather. Pregnant women are a major concern.

“Three of my neighbours are pregnant. I have to be able to respond immediately. I am happy to be able to look after pregnant women in particular. I am a woman and a mother myself, so I can understand what they are thinking and feeling in these dangerous situations,” says Laila.

As well as looking after pregnant women during emergencies, Laila has also learned how to teach her neighbours how to make their shelters more secure against bad weather. Other refugees participating in the emergency response training projects are gaining different skills, including first aid, early warning, and search and rescue.

Across the region, IOM and other agencies are on standby to support the Bangladesh authorities to help keep vital access open and provide medical and other essential services in the event of a disaster.

But when emergencies strike, it is the people on the ground who will often be the first responders. That is why IOM is supporting the local community, as well as the refugees, with emergency response equipment.

“It’s all about the preparedness of the volunteers. Now they can spread their knowledge among others and work to reduce the suffering of affected people,” said Rafael Abis, Site Management Area Coordinator, IOM.

In the Teknaf area, there are almost 1,000 CPP volunteers from the local community, around one third of whom are women, ready to respond to emergencies.

IOM has now provided them with equipment including bicycles, radios, megaphones, hand sirens, stretchers, warning flags, rain coats, gum boots and first aid kits to support them in the months to come.

“The volunteers had needed the equipment for a long time and now IOM is with us to provide the support,” said Hafiz Uddin, Deputy Director, CPP, Cox’s Bazar District at the recently held toolkit handover programme in Teknaf.

Upazila Executive Officer (UNO) Md. Rabiul Hasan told the participants, “Take proper care of these tools and equipment, as these are very precious for us.”

The process needs to be owned by participants and a strong monitoring mechanism should be in place by the CPP for the equipment, he added.

For more information please contact Shirin Akhter in Cox’s Bazar, Email: sakhter@iom.int, Tel: +880 341 52195

Language English Posted: Friday, June 1, 2018 - 16:49Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Rohingya volunteer Laila shows off some of the equipment she recently received from IOM which will allow her to take part in emergency response activities during monsoon. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

How Do Countries Govern Migration? Country Profiles Published on Migration Data Portal

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 10:42

Geneva – Migration has become a major political issue over the past few years at the local, national and international levels, yet there has been little attention paid so far to how states currently govern migration.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is initiating a conversation by supporting voluntary states in taking stock of their migration governance through the Migration Governance Indicators (MGI).

On 25 May, MGI country profiles for 12 countries were published on the Migration Data Portal with the aim of sharing best practices, but also to better understand common challenges. Besides the 12 country profiles published today, another 27 profiles will be published on the Migration Data Portal in the coming months. 

Watch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ6kbZYCofs

The profiles summarize the key findings from a set of approximately 90 indicators. These are based on the six policy areas that IOM considers to be the building blocks of effective migration governance as defined in the Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF), the first and so far only definition of well-managed migration policy.

This points out to the idea that not only national laws on entry and exit are relevant for immigrants, emigrants and host societies, but also many others pertaining to health care, education and the labour market, as well as the existence of bilateral migration agreements between states, national disaster plans and state engagement with diasporas.

The MGI is not intended to measure policy or institutional outcomes, nor to rank countries on the design or implementation of their migration policies. Rather, the MGI is a tool based on policy inputs, which looks at the comprehensiveness of national migration policies and offers insights into areas that could be further developed. It also does not pretend to provide a one-size fits all approach to migration governance, but rather recognizes that all countries have different realities, challenges and opportunities that need to be taken into account.

The MGI is meant to spark a discussion within governments, and with other relevant stakeholders in the country, on their migration policy structures and whether these structures, that often have been in place for several years, still address the main challenges and opportunities of today’s reality.

“Not only do these profiles give us a snapshot of how migration is governed across countries, the aim of the MGI is to help governments plan and subsequently implement migration policies in-line with their commitments under the 2030 Agenda, and in particular under Target 10.7,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

“Looking forward, we hope to gradually roll out the MGI in a greater number of countries, and build mechanisms to ensure that these assessments are the starting point of a concrete plan of action to enhance migration policies,” Ambassador Swing added.

Governments interested in taking part are encouraged to contact their local IOM office.

The reports are available here.

For more information, please contact:
Maurizio Busatti at IOM HQ in Geneva, Tel: +41 22 717 9 581, Email: mbusatti@iom.int
Frank Laczko, at the Global Migration Data Analysis Centre in Berlin, Tel: + 49 (0) 30 278 778 20, Email: flaczko@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, June 1, 2018 - 16:45Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Assists Island of Socotra Following Devastating Cyclone Mekunu

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 10:41

Sana’a, Yemen – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is supporting the island of Socotra after it was devastated by Cyclone Mekunu on 23 May. Working with inter-cluster partners and local authorities on the ground, IOM has determined the most urgent needs to be food and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

Cyclone Mekunu had a devastating effect on the island resulting in the loss of 120 fishing boats, some 500 fishing nets and some farmland being swept away. Water networks collapsed and some medical facilities were adversely affected. In addition, 1,000 households were reportedly displaced with significant damage to their homes.

There is also great concern about the situation on two other islands near Socotra – Abd Al Quri and Samhah – due to lack of communication with the populations there. There are reportedly 2,500 families spread across both islands, whose condition is unknown. 

The UN has sent 15 metric tons of World Food Programme emergency food supplies. Two more rotations are scheduled soon, to bring in UNICEF WASH supplies, and UNHCR/IOM shelter and aid kits.   

As an immediate response, IOM is assisting with shelter materials for nearly 3,000 people.

“The affected populations have been forced to leave their homes or places of residence because of the destruction of their houses and shelter. IOM is providing shelter kits which will provide necessary measures to reduce the number of persons who might become internally displaced as a result of this disaster,” said Hazim Torlic, IOM Yemen Officer in Charge.

In November 2015, two rare tropical cyclones, Chapala and Megh, made landfall in Yemen’s southern coasts, severely flooding Socotra Island, the port city of Mukalla, and Shabwa Governorate displacing local residents, damaging critical infrastructure, livestock and fisheries. Further severe flooding caused by seasonal rains resulted in landslides, which caused damage to houses, crops and vital infrastructure across the country with roads cut off and food stocks, household furniture, vehicles and livestock swept away.

Then, IOM helped affected communities by providing direct assistance, including water, food, shelter, and hygiene kits, to flood-affected households in Al Maharah, Socotra, Shabwah and Hadramaut. Between 1 December 2015 and 7 January 2016, IOM distributed 1,124 shelter and non-food item (NFI) kits in Hadibu and 876 kits in Qulensya Wa Abd Al Kur districts to a total of 2,000 cyclone-affected households (14,000 individuals).

For more information, please contact Saba Malme in IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email: smalme@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, June 1, 2018 - 16:43Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Distributes Water Filters for Displaced Families in Ethiopia

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 10:39

Dollo Ado – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, started distributing on 20 May, self-made water filters to drought displaced communities in four kebeles (Rob Don, Haidure, Row Row and Alan) in Dolo Bay Woreda, Somali Regional State of Ethiopia.

A needs assessment conducted by IOM in the Dollo Bay and Dollo Ado Woredas in Somali Region identified 2,500 internally displaced persons (IDP) households in need of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support. In the framework of the IOM WASH programme, beneficiaries are exposed to basic water, sanitation and hygiene practices through practical sessions that target women in the communities. During the sessions, participants are introduced to a water filtering technique for ensuring the safety of water which is typically collected from ponds and seasonal rivers in the vicinity of IDP settlements.

“This water tastes bitter, and it gives us and our little ones stomach sickness,” said Mariama Oumar, a 32-year-old mother. “But it is the only water source that is accessible. This is where the animals come to drink water and the children come to swim. So it gets even dirtier.”

Using IOM-supplied five-layered water filters, displaced community members like Mariama can decrease bacterial contaminants in the water. “There are several ways to clean the water, but we were aiming to supply this low maintenance self-made water filter so that the community can easily maintain and replicate it,” said Tabata Fioretto, IOM’s WASH specialist. “Chemicals are effective for preassembled filters; however, they are unsustainable given the long distance that these hard-to-reach communities have to travel to get to a market supplying the chemicals. These people need something customized for their needs.”

In addition to water filters, IOM has also supported some communities with Emergency Shelter (ES), Non-Food Items (NFI) and the construction of 22 gender-segregated sanitation facilities comprised of latrines and bathing stalls. The facilities are also equipped with solar lights to ensure safe access after dark, given the absence of electrical connectivity in the communities. The community, and especially its women, established their own sanitation committees whose objective is to maintain the facilities. IOM awarded women representatives who championed the hygiene and sanitation initiatives within the communities with encouragement trophies.

IOM WASH assistance in Dolo Bay is supported through funding from the United States Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). WASH needs across IDP communities in Ethiopia remain vast. IOM Ethiopia is appealing for USD 1,650,000 to provide additional water, sanitation and hygiene support to 60,000 IDP beneficiaries.

For more information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Ethiopia: Tel: +251116611117 (Ext. 455), Mobile: +251911639082, Email: salemayehu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, June 1, 2018 - 16:41Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Back On Track: Republic of Moldova Redoubles Efforts to Tackle Trafficking

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 10:39

Chisinau — After being downgraded last year in the influential US Department of State Trafficking in Persons (TiP) Report, IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the Government of the Republic of Moldova have launched an innovative counter-trafficking project to get the country back on track. The launch event was held on 28 May 2018 in Chisinau.

The project will fill gaps in counter-trafficking efforts in the country by training and equipping representatives of the Witness Protection Division in the Moldovan Ministry of Interior, among other measures.

“We hope that, thanks to the efforts made by the Government, as well as through this project, Moldova will advance in the US State Department report on human trafficking,” said Tudor Ulianovschi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration.

The skills of other stakeholders will be also enhanced: Border Police officers will be introduced to a mandatory rights-based approach online training course for victims of trafficking; an offline training will be delivered to judges, prosecutors and public lawyers; and over 850 law enforcement representatives and 360 civil servants will receive training through this project.

“The Republic of Moldova has previously demonstrated leadership in projects funded by the US,” said Julie Stufft, Chargé d’Affairs, US Embassy in Moldova. “We anticipate that the Republic of Moldova will continue to be a leader for other countries in the region in combating this important issue.”

The project will also work to convince private sector entities to collaborate with the Moldovan authorities, as internal labour exploitation is now widespread – an element that has been missing from national anti-trafficking policies in the Republic of

Moldova until now. In 2017, 87 per cent of identified and assisted trafficking victims were exploited within the country.

The Permanent Secretariat of the National Committee for Combating Trafficking in Persons will improve its coordination efforts with partners, especially those at the local level. Given the ever-changing landscape of the phenomenon, local commissions eed to constantly advance their knowledge of trafficking issues."The apparent attractiveness of job offers sometimes masks traps, and results in trafficking,” said Eduard Harunjen, General Prosecutor of the Republic of Moldova. “This phenomenon has a transnational character; it involves victims of all ages and of all genders.”
IOM Moldova Chief of Mission Antonio Polosa noted: “It is important to break the trafficking chains, to restore the dignity of the victims and eradicate the negative attitudes that make for secondary victimization.”
IOM Moldova and the Information Centre run by the NGO La Strada will conduct a nationwide awareness-raising campaign on the risks of trafficking and promote the existing anti-trafficking Hotline (+373 0 800 77777).

“The effects of trafficking are very hard to repair,” added Alexandru Jizdan, Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova. “After these crimes, we end up with traumatized people. That is why we will focus the next two years of the project on Moldova's ability to protect victims and citizens from this scourge.”

For more pictures from the event, click here.

For more information, please contact Iulia Tvigun at IOM Moldova, Tel: +3736 9123 905, Email:  itvigun@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Friday, June 1, 2018 - 16:37Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central Asia/Republic of MoldovaThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

Tudor Ulianovschi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 32,080 in 2018; Deaths Reach 660

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 10:38

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 32,080 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 150 days of 2018, with about 42 per cent arriving in Italy and 34 per cent in Greece, with the remainder (24%) arriving in Spain.

This compares with 70,870 arrivals across the region through the same period last year and about 230,230 at this time in 2016.

In other words: Mediterranean arrivals at this point in 2018 are running at under half last year’s level on this date, and less than 15 per cent of 2016’s volume at this point in the year.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo noted that the 13,430 migrants who are registered as having arrived by sea to Italy this year is an amount over 78 per cent less than that reported last year in the same period, when 60,228 irregular migrants and refugees arrived in Italy and an 80 per cent decline from the 70,222 arriving to this point in 2016.
Arrivals to Italy through the first thirty days of May are just over one-sixth of last year’s May volume, and one-fifth of that of May 2016 (see chart below).

 

In Spanish waters so far this year, IOM Madrid’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that a total of 3,028 migrants have been rescued on the Western Mediterranean route through 30 days in May – compared with 835 for the entire month of May last year. That brings to 7,655 the total number of men, women and children who have been rescued trying to enter Spain by sea this year (see charts below). 

In the Mediterranean alone, 660 people have lost their lives at sea since the beginning of 2018. Most recently, at least three people went missing in the Central Mediterranean on 25 May. Survivors interviewed by IOM staff in the Port of Messina, where they arrived on 28 May, reported the disappearance of at least three other passengers who jumped into the water during a rescue operation off the coast of Libya in which the Libyan Coast Guard was involved.

In the Western Mediterranean, the Spanish maritime safety agency recovered one body and rescued three survivors from a sinking boat 24 nautical miles south-west of Tarifa, Spain on 29 May. Survivors reported that one person went missing before the rescue took place. At least four times as many migrants have died in the Western Mediterranean in 2018 compared to the same period last year.

IOM Greece’s Kelly Namia reported Monday that over five days (23-28 May) the Hellenic Coast Guard shared details of at least five incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos, Kos and Samos. The Coast Guard rescued 152 migrants and transferred them to those respective islands.

Namia reported that besides those 152 who were rescued, another 155 migrants arrived during the four days, landing in Samos and Kos and bringing to 10,948 the total number of irregular migrants entering Greece via sea since January 1 – for an average of around 74 persons per day.

 

 

IOM’s Ivona Zakoska in Vienna reports this week that migration flows through the Western Balkans are still on the rise. By the end of May, authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania registered more than 6,700 new irregular migrants, more than a two-fold increase compared to an estimated 2,600 migrants and asylum seekers registered in these countries in the whole of 2017.

More than two thirds of all migrants and asylum seekers were registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina – a total of 4,227. An estimated 22 per cent of those are individuals declaring Syrian origin and the same percentage was recorded for those declaring Pakistani nationality. Some 12 per cent of migrants declared arriving from Afghanistan, 10 per cent from Iran, 8 per cent from Libya and 7 per cent from Iraq.

Authorities in Montenegro reported apprehension of 1,362 migrants and asylum seekers, mainly Syrian nationals (47%) followed by those from Algeria (12%), Pakistan (12%), Morocco (7%) and Iraq (7%). The remaining individuals were registered as nationals of 17 different countries.

In the first three weeks of May, authorities in Albania registered 1,180 migrants and asylum seekers, predominantly from the Syrian Arab Republic (57%). Other registered nationality groups were Iraq (8%), Pakistan (7%), Algeria (6%), Morocco (5%), Libya (4%), Palestinian Territories (4%) and Afghanistan (3%).

According to the field reports, migrants and asylum seekers who are undertaking this route (mainly from Greece towards Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina) aim to reach Western Europe.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 1,186 people who died or went missing while migrating in 2018.
Additionally, the IOM office in Niger reported that two bodies were retrieved during a search and rescue mission conducted in northern Niger on 26 May. IOM staff found 80 migrants in the desert north of Agadez who had been stranded for three days after being abandoned by smugglers. Tragically, two died of dehydration.
Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

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

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, June 1, 2018 - 16:34Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Germany Discuss Joint Efforts on Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Migrants

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 10:38

Berlin – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and representatives of the German Government joined a roundtable yesterday (31/05) to commemorate nearly 40 years of cooperation, to share information on assisted voluntary return programmes in host countries and to discuss support possibilities for reintegration in the countries of origin.

IOM experts from Albania, Afghanistan, Ghana, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan and Turkey shared personal experiences from their work with returnees, many of whom come back home from Germany. They provided practical insight into local approaches to reintegration, such as the preparation of communities to better integrate returnees or pre-departure trainings for returnees. Based on best practice examples, IOM staff members from Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Switzerland and IOM Headquarters illustrated how migrants in host countries could be reached, informed and counselled about existing programmes for voluntary return and reintegration.

Since 1979, IOM and the German Federal Government have cooperated in the area of assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR). Against the backdrop of this 40-year-long partnership, IOM Regional Director for EU, Norway and Switzerland Eugenio Ambrosi, said: “What began as a small project in Germany quickly turned into a model for similar IOM programmes in many other countries. Today, this an integral part of Germany's extensive engagement in the field of migration.”

Since then, more than 700,000 migrants have returned voluntarily from Germany to more than 100 countries of origin with IOM’s assistance. Between 2015-2017, the main countries or places that migrants returned to from Germany were Albania, Serbia, Kosovo (UNSC Resolution 1244), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran and the Russian Federation.

After a discussion with Regional Director Ambrosi, on the occasion of the roundtable with IOM experts, Dr. Helmut Teichmann, the State Secretary responsible for migration at the German Federal Ministry of Interior, explained: “IOM has proven itself over many years as a reliable partner of the Federal Government in the broad field of return and reintegration. We would like to thank IOM for this and look forward to future cooperation with great anticipation.”

IOM Germany Chief of Mission Monica Goracci stated: “IOM stands ready to further develop AVRR programmes jointly with the German government, taking into account the experience and capacities of IOM Missions in host countries and countries of origin in an ever-changing context.”

The roundtable on assisted voluntary return and reintegration, which was held in this format for the first time, emphasized the domestic, foreign and development policy dimensions. In addition to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development participated.

For more information, please contact Sabine Lehmann at IOM Germany, Tel: +493027877817, Email: slehmann@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, June 1, 2018 - 16:31Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, ASEAN to Enhance Skilled Labour Mobility in Southeast Asia

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 10:37

Bangkok – Representatives from eight Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will gather in Bangkok next week (4-5 June) to discuss the use of labour market information in the context of migration policy, as a means to enhance skilled labour mobility in the region.
 
The event is the first of three planned capacity-building workshops on this topic facilitated by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, to support policymakers and technical-level officials in collecting and managing labour market and migration information.

The workshops will subsequently contribute towards the development of a pilot regional information sharing platform which will contain information about labour market conditions, policies and frameworks across ASEAN Member States.

The intra-regional movement of skilled labour is recognized as one of several pathways towards higher productivity and increased regional competitiveness. But while provisions for human capital development are in place, their realization has been hampered by the lack of regular and systematic assessments of labour market imbalances, including comprehensive information on occupational shortages and surpluses. Significant variations in the quality and quantity of available labour market data also currently exist between countries.

The workshops will enable policymakers to improve coordination on data collection and exchange labour market information. It is hoped that this will in turn facilitate the design of more effective and cohesive migration policies with ASEAN, and consequently increase the flow of skilled labour in the region.

“For the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) to achieve its goal of a people-oriented and people-centred community, policy harmonization among ASEAN Member States on mutual skills recognition and mismatch reduction will be crucial to maximize the economic and social benefits of labour mobility,” said IOM Thailand Chief of Mission Dana Graber Ladek. 

The workshops are part of an IOM Development Fund-supported project: Strengthening Capacity on Skills Recognition, Recruitment and Labour Migration Information in Support of ASEAN Integration. The project is designed to support the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 in the realization of a politically cohesive, economically integrated and socially responsible single market.

For further information please contact please contact IOM Thailand: Petra Neumann, Email: pneumann@iom.int, Tel: +66 2 343 9333 or Reuben Lim, Email: rlim@iom.int, Tel: +66 2 343 9370.

Language English Posted: Friday, June 1, 2018 - 16:28Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Improved labour market information will enable skilled professionals, such health workers, to find jobs across the ASEAN region. Photo: IOM/Benjamin Suomela 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Trains Salvadoran Medical Staff on Migrant Protection

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 10:37

San Salvador – How do you recognize a victim of human trafficking? What medical and psychological first aid should a victim of this crime or a vulnerable migrant receive? To which authorities should you report cases of violation of migrants' human rights?

These are some of the learnings of 100 doctors and other health workers who participated this week (29/05) in a workshop organized by IOM in El Salvador.

The workshop Healthcare of Migrant Populations and Victims of Trafficking in Persons was organized by the UN Migration Agency (IOM), the Ministry of Health (MINSAL), the National Civil Police (PNC) and Crime Stoppers from El Salvador to raise awareness about the vulnerabilities faced by migrants and victims of trafficking. The workshop also offered tools to identify adequately and promptly the types of human rights violations against migrants.

Basic concepts of migration, introduction to healthy migration, health care for trafficking victims and MINSAL guidelines for dealing with victims of trafficking were other topics addressed in the workshop.

"After this workshop, health providers at all care levels will be able to detect possible cases of human trafficking and how to refer them to authorities," explained Jorge Peraza, IOM Mission for El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. "We hope that attendees will replicate this knowledge in the different spaces in which they work, such as hospitals and health centres. The themes will also be linked to existing MINSAL programmes such as home visits. "

During 2017, the Salvadoran National Council Against Trafficking in Persons registered 72 victims of this crime in the form of forced marriage, 52 victims of sexual exploitation and 14 fraudulent adoptions.

The workshops were held under the IOM Mesoamerica Program, funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the US State Department.

The purpose of the Mesoamerica Program is to contribute to the development and implementation of strategies on regular, orderly and safe migration, which will allow adequate protection of the most vulnerable migrants in Mesoamerica.
For more information, please contact José Miguel Gómez at IOM El Salvador, Email: miggomez@iom.int, or  Alba Miriam Amaya at IOM El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Email: aamaya@iom.int, Tel: +503 2521 0511

Language English Posted: Friday, June 1, 2018 - 16:26Image: Region-Country: El SalvadorThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

100 doctors and other health workers learned this week about the health-related vulnerabilities of migrants and trafficking victims. Photo: IOM/Miguel Gómez

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Opens Office in Moroni, Union of Comoros

PBN News Germany - Thu, 05/31/2018 - 04:05

Moroni – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week (29/05), opened a country office in Moroni, the capital of the Union of Comoros to support the implementation of the Government of the Comoros’ National Development Framework (SCA2D) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). IOM will assist in the implementation of various migration management initiatives in support of the 2030 Agenda /Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Migration is an essential feature of the history and social fabric of Comoros, and migration remains a topic of high relevance and priority in the national development strategy. With a population of about 807,000 and an estimated 200,000 to 250,000 of its nationals living abroad, the engagement of the Comorian diaspora for national development is – among other topics – an area that IOM will contribute technical expertise to enhance the institutional capacity building of the Comorian Government, United Nations partners, and national stakeholders.

Headquartered in Geneva, IOM’s structure is highly decentralized, enabling the Organization to acquire the capacity closer to where the needs are to effectively deliver an ever-increasing number of diverse projects at the request of its Member States and partners.

“The opening of a Local Office in Comoros underlines IOM’s business model as the proximity agency; to be present on the ground where it matters for active engagement and timely service delivery where it can make a positive contribution,” said Charles Kwenin, IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean after the official inauguration ceremony. He added, “We are very much looking forward to work with the UN Agencies and Partners to support the governments’ efforts to achieve its national development agenda.”

Also in attendance were Mirghan Abdallah, Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Matthias Naab, the UN Resident Coordinator and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UN.

During his high level official visit to Moroni, Kwenin, accompanied by the Chief of Mission to Madagascar Daniel Silva y Poveda, held various meetings with senior government officials including the Vice-President, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Interior; the UN Resident Coordinator and the UN Country Team, and other IOM partners in Comoros, to discuss migration challenges and opportunities in the country.

Despite a previous lack of a formal presence in the country, IOM has implemented activities in Comoros since the country joined the Organization as Member Sate in 2011 in the areas of migration data and policy, migration and health, and assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR).

IOM currently implements a diaspora engagement project which seeks to mobilize the human and other resources of the Diaspora to build capacities of national stakeholders and officials to foster dialogue and develop multi-sectoral strategies for leveraging its contribution to national development. IOM also continues to expand reintegration activities in Comoros for beneficiaries of the AVRR programmes.

For more information please contact Daniel Silva y Poveda, IOM Madagascar, Tel: +261.32 56 54 954, Email: dsilva@iom.int

Language English Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 08:32Image: Region-Country: MadagascarThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM opens a country office in Moroni, Comoros to support the implementation of migration management initiatives. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Helps Somali Migrants Return Home from Libya

PBN News Germany - Thu, 05/31/2018 - 03:58

Tripoli/Mogadishu – Yesterday (30/05), IOM, the International Organization for Migration, in collaboration with the Libyan and Somali Governments and with support from the European Union, facilitated the voluntary return to Mogadishu of 150 Somali migrants stranded in Libya. The majority of them had been held in Government-run detention centres.

Migrants in Libya are exposed to numerous risks, including smuggling, trafficking, kidnapping, abuse, detention and torture. Through the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), IOM has tracked over 660,000 migrants in Libya. However, the true number could be closer to one million people.

“I lost everything in Libya; time, health and money,” said twenty-three year old Mohamed, who left Somalia for a better future. “But I will return to Somalia and start from scratch, build a better future away from the day dreams of illegal migration”, he added.

IOM is grateful to the Somali Government for the expediency in providing the returning migrants with the appropriate documentation and to the Libyan Governments for organizing exit visas. “The support to these Somali nationals wishing to go back to Somalia is the positive result of close collaboration with the Somali Government and UNHCR,” said Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission.

"This was a massive undertaking between the Somali government and IOM and I am very glad that we are finally able to assist this number of migrants in desperate need of humanitarian return assistance. In the name of the Somali government, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to IOM for their unwavering support to our migrants stranded in Libya,” stated Ambassador Ali Said Faqi, Special Envoy of the President of Somalia for Somali Migrants Stranded in Libya.

Upon return, representatives from the Federal Government of Somalia and IOM welcomed the returnees at the way-station in Mogadishu. IOM will be fully screening all returnees and providing group psychosocial sessions in the immediate days after arrival. Following these screenings, ongoing reintegration assistance will be provided through general support and complementary assistance, according to the project’s selection criteria.

This is the fourth and largest voluntary humanitarian return of migrants from Libya to Somalia. The reintegration assistance in Somalia is part of the larger EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, which facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused policies and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. The EU-IOM Joint Initiative, backed by the EU Trust Fund, covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries.

"The EU recognizes the importance of supporting stranded migrants who wish to return to Somalia and reintegrate with their host communities and I believe that, through this initiative, returning migrants will be able to lead meaningful lives and contribute to a rising Somalia", said Pencho Garrido Ruiz, Chargé d'Affaires at the EU Delegation to Somalia.

For more information, please contact:

IOM Libya: Ashraf Hassan, +21629794707, ashassan@iom.int

IOM Somalia: Amy Edwards, Tel: +201097435167, Email: aedwards@iom.int

Language English Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 09:32Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationEUTFDefault: Multimedia: 

Helping  Somali migrants stranded in Libya to return home. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Helps 100 Ethiopian Migrants Return Home from Yemen

PBN News Germany - Wed, 05/30/2018 - 06:16

Hudaydah – Yesterday (29/05), IOM, the UN Migration Agency, helped some 101 Ethiopian migrants leave Yemen through Hudaydah Port as clashes grew closer to the area. The migrants are currently travelling via the Gulf of Aden to Djibouti, which they will transit through on their way home to Ethiopia. IOM is providing transport assistance at all stages of the journey in cooperation with its Government partners.

The group that left Yemen around noon yesterday, included nearly 51 women and 33 children, who had become stranded in the country. They are the most vulnerable cases from a larger group of about 300 migrants in total, who IOM will help leave Yemen in the coming days provided weather conditions are conducive to sea travel and the security situation allows for the movement.

The majority of the 300 migrants had been in a Sana’a holding facility run by the authorities, which Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Director of Operations and Emergency, had visited at the start of this month. Some others from had been staying with host families. IOM works with families to host vulnerable cases as they wait for voluntary humanitarian return assistance. IOM provides meals, aid items, psychosocial support and health assistance to the migrants living with these host families.

In 2017, 100,000 migrants entered Yemen, of whom the majority were Ethiopian and some were Somali migrants. They were typically headed to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in search of work and better living conditions. Even just in the period 6-12 May of this year, IOM’s coastal search and rescue teams for migrants assisted 313 new arrivals (80 boys and 233 men) in Lahj Governorate with information, food, water, emergency aid items and medical assistance, as necessary.

Both while travelling to and in Yemen, migrants are abused by smugglers and other criminals, including physical and sexual abuse, torture for ransom, arbitrary detention for long periods of time, forced labour and even death. Some migrants get caught up in the conflict, sustaining injuries or dying from shelling, and some are taken to detention centres, both official and unofficial. 

Through its Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme, IOM is providing transportation and return support from Yemen to the migrants’ final destinations in their home countries.

In 2017, IOM helped around 2,900 migrants and refugees return home from Yemen: 73 per cent of them were Somalis, 25 per cent Ethiopians and 2 per cent other nationalities. IOM has also helped 298 Ethiopian and 1,064 Somali migrants and refugees return home voluntarily to date (30/05) in 2018. Assisted spontaneous returns of Somali refugees are carried out in collaboration with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

In Yemen, IOM provides additional humanitarian assistance to migrants, including health care, shelter and aid items and psychosocial support, while also supporting displaced and conflict affected Yemenis. In Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti, IOM also provides emergency support to migrants starting out their journeys, while in transit and when returning.

“Thousands of migrants are stranded in Yemen and are in desperate need of assistance and protection, as well as the international community’s general attention and support,” said Abdiker, following his recent visit to Yemen. “When I was in the country, I met with many of these young migrants, who we helped leave Yemen today. They told me that they about their shocking experiences and that they wanted to go home. No migrant should be stranded in a conflict. However, there are reasons why they left their countries and without further support when they get home, it is likely they will attempt the perilous journey again. Right now, IOM is only funded to provide reintegration support to some vulnerable cases but not the majority of Ethiopian returnees from Yemen,” added Abdiker.

This return movement from Yemen is funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), the Government of Germany and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Fund.

For more information, please contact:
IOM Yemen: Saba Malme, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email: smalme@iom.int
IOM HQ: Olivia Headon, Tel: +41794035365, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - 12:05Image: Region-Country: YemenDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM assisting some of the Ethiopian migrants prior to departure from Yemen yesterday. Photo: IOM

Some of the Ethiopian migrants boarding vessel taking across the Gulf of Aden to Djibouti from where they will continue on to Ethiopia. Photo: IOM

The boat carrying the Ethiopian migrants leaves Hudaydah Port, Yemen yesterday (29/05). Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

High Level Panel Calls for New Narrative on African Migration

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/29/2018 - 09:39

Geneva - A two-day meeting of the High-Level Panel on Migration for Africa (HLPM) kicked off on 28 May in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting, which ends today (29/05), aims to develop recommendations to help build Africa’s case for facilitating safe, orderly and regular migration, and contribute to the implementation of the Global Compact for Migration.

In her welcome remarks, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia and HLPM Chair, noted that while a lot of work has been done on migration in Africa, taking into account all the research analysis and empirical evidence, “the truth is that we have allowed the perception to supersede the reality and not internalized the benefits of migration in our own policies.” 

Ms Sirleaf said one of the key messages emerging from the Panel’s work is the need for African states “to pursue a course of action and rigorous implementation to harness the positive contribution of migrants for inclusive growth and sustainable development.”

Citing projections by the African Development Bank (AfDB) that Africa’s real GDP will grow from 3.6 percent in 2017 to 4.1 percent in 2018, Ms Sirleaf noted the economic opportunity created with the recent adoption of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), describing it as “the largest trading bloc of participating countries since the establishment of the World Trade Center,” with a potential market of 1.2 billion people with a GDP of USD 2.5 trillion. 

In the same light, Vera Songwe, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), stated that with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), the continent “is riding on the crest of one of our significant achievements in recent years.”

Ms Songwe highlighted the need to sensitize African leaders “so that migration becomes part of the national political agenda,” and does not undermine democracy and governance. She mentioned the strong ECA-IOM collaboration to produce high-quality data towards this end.

Describing ongoing efforts towards “a new economic Pan-Africanism,” the ECA Chief highlighted the close links between the AfCFTA and the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, based on the recognition that the free movement of people, not just goods and services, is necessary to achieve Africa’s economic transformation. 

William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, stated that one billion people are currently on the move globally, “more than at any other time in recorded history.” He described the negative reactions to the migration crisis as “a perfect storm.” DG Swing lamented that some countries “are trying to protect a reality that no longer exists,” and drew attention to the “historical, significant contributions that migrants make.”

Noting the need for data and data analysis to help make a strong case, DG Swing expressed hope that the HLPM’s work would help draw attention to the contributions made by migrants, not just with regard to financial remittances, but also “social remittances” through the expertise and technical know-how, as well as business investments and trade by diaspora populations.

African Union’s (AU) Permanent Observer to the UN Office in Geneva, Ajay Kumar Brandeo, addressed the Panel on behalf of the Union’s Commissioner for Social Affairs. He highlighted the AUC’s contribution towards regional policies for safe, orderly and regular migration in Africa, including a joint initiative with IOM, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and ECA to develop a common African position in the ongoing negotiations towards a Global Compact for Migration, as well as a flagship joint project on labour migration.

Following the opening session, 10 HLPM members and representatives highlighted their views on key issues in African migration as well as where the HLPM should focus its advocacy efforts. These contributions will be incorporated in the final version of the report, which is expected to be finalized in time for the African Union Summit in January 2019. 

For more information, please contact Joel Millman, IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179486, Email: jmillman@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

Group photo at the High-Level Panel on Migration in Africa which opened yesterday (28/05) at IOM HQ, Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: IOM

 

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia, is chairing the High-Level Panel on Migration in Africa meeting. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Pages