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IOM Greece Supports over 2,000 Voluntary Returnees to Reintegrate, Start Businesses Back Home

PBN News Germany - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 09:11

Athens – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, announced today (24/10) that more than 2,000 migrants who returned home voluntarily from Greece have successfully implemented personalized reintegration plans in their countries of origin over the last 15 months.

The 2,084 beneficiaries who returned home voluntarily from Greece with IOM support between June 2016 and September 2017 put their reintegration assistance to use through a grant of 1,500 euros in in-kind support, provided exclusively or in combination, to set up small businesses or receive medical assistance, education, temporary accommodation, vocational assistance, material assistance, and job placement.

The vast majority of approved reintegration plans were for setting up small businesses (1,953).

Gianluca Rocco, IOM Chief of Mission in Greece, explained that reintegration support is an essential component of IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) projects because it further strengthens a cooperative, humanitarian approach for people who have decided to return home from Greece.

“Building on the collaboration between Greece and the countries of origin, this reintegration support enhances opportunities for social and economic sustainability, both for returnees and local communities,” he said.

IOM’s social workers and psychologists, working with cultural mediators, conducted 3,671 individual counselling sessions with voluntary returnees, 2,084 of whom were eligible for reintegration assistance.

The main considerations for selecting candidates to be approved for reintegration support are a person’s vulnerability, work experience, and skills that can guarantee the sustainability of the reintegration plan.

“My dream has become a reality. I have not only returned to my home country, but I also have the ability to teach young people. My private coaching school may be an innovation for my city, but for me is something more. It is my new way of life,” says Eliso Basheleishvili from Georgia. Read her story and others here.

The vast majority of voluntarily returning migrants originate from Pakistan (1,184), Georgia (342) and Iraq (173). Some 1,750 beneficiaries were male and 334 were female.

Hassan Hosseini, a voluntary returnee from Afghanistan, decided to invest in a metal workshop in Kabul after his return. He approached his former boss, a metal smith, with whom he had worked before leaving for Europe, to explore an interest in starting a business together. With the assistance of IOM’s offices in Greece and Afghanistan, the plan became reality. Read Hassan’s story here.

IOM global presence makes reintegration assistance available worldwide, and the assistance is based on collaboration between the countries where the plans are being implemented.

IOM in Greece currently works closely with over 25 IOM offices and third countries to enhance tailored reintegration assistance, link it with the needs of the local labour market, and ensure long-term, sustainable reintegration assistance.

IOM’s reintegration assistance is provided under the framework of the EU and Greek government supported programme Implementation of Assisted Voluntary Returns including Reintegration Measures (AVRR) funded by the EU’s Asylum Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and by the Greek Ministry of Interior.

The AVRR programme in Greece is open to undocumented third-country nationals, those who no longer want to stay in Greece, asylum seekers who have abandoned their request for international protection, or those whose asylum application has been rejected. Beneficiaries come from both the mainland and the Greek islands.

For more information please contact Christine Nikolaidou, Tel: +30 210 991 9040 ext. 248, Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int or Zoi Vanikioti at IOM Athens, Tel: +30 210 991 9040 ext. 154, Email: zvanikioti@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 14:42Image: Region-Country: GreeceThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Pharmacist Muhammad Shafi. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)  2017

Eliso Basheleishvili returned home to Georgia from Greece to set up a private coaching school. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2016

Kazbeg Khanishvili returned from Greece to farm in Georgia. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2016

Hassan Hosseini at his new metal workshop in Kabul after choosing to return home from Greece. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Responsible Business Alliance Sign Agreement to Combat Forced Labour and Exploitation

PBN News Germany - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 09:09
Language English

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), formerly the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 17 October to boost cooperation, promote ethical recruitment and protect the rights of migrant workers.

According to the latest global estimates of modern slavery, approximately 25 million people worldwide are working in situations of forced labour. Unethical recruitment is a root cause of forced labour, as a large share of migrant workers, rather than employers, are still paying for recruitment mediation fees, suffering from personal debt, a lack of transparency about their eventual working conditions, and inadequate legal protections in the countries in which they work.

This MoU provides a formal framework for IOM and RBA to pursue shared goals and objectives through exchange of information, subject matter expertise and connecting global networks. This includes coordinating the objectives and technical aspects of the RBA’s Responsible Labour Initiative (RLI) and the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS), which is being developed by IOM and a consortium of partners, as well as IOM and RBA training and other capacity-building initiatives and special projects.

IOM’s IRIS is a voluntary multi-stakeholder certification system for international recruitment intermediaries. It comprises an international standard certification scheme and a compliance and monitoring mechanism. RBA’s RLI is a multi-industry, multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together members, suppliers, recruitment partners and stakeholders to use their collective influence and application of due diligence to drive the transformation of recruitment markets and reduce the risk of forced labour in global supply chains.

“The exploitation of migrant workers often begins at the recruitment stage when workers are charged predatory recruitment fees or provided with misleading information about the job on offer,” said Marina Manke, head of IOM’s Labour Mobility and Human Development Division. “It is imperative that governments, civil society and the private sector work together to stop this exploitation and to change the current international recruitment model. We are therefore pleased to be working with the RBA on this important issue,” added Manke.

“The IOM and RBA complement each other’s strengths and capabilities related to ethical recruitment and together we can be more effective at promoting the rights of workers vulnerable to forced labour in global supply chains,” said Rob Lederer, Executive Director of the Responsible Business Alliance. “The combination of IOM’s IRIS and the RLI’s Labour Agency Maturity Model with stepped levels of compliance toward certification is a robust tool in the fight against forced labour.”

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo, IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 9111, Email: jgalindo@iom.int and Jarrett Bens, Responsible Business Alliance, Tel: +1 571 858 5721, Email: jbens@responsiblebusiness.org

Posted: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 14:40Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

South American Journalism Award on Migration Launched by UN Migration Agency

PBN News Germany - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 09:09

Buenos Aires – The IOM Regional Office for South America today launches the South American Journalism Award on Migration, which aims to recognize and encourage the work of journalists in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, whose journalistic pieces on migration include a human rights-based approach and a gender perspective.

Eligible submissions must have been published in the press, radio and television, whether in traditional or digital media, between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2017.

The submitted works must have contributed to raising awareness about the well-being of migrants, including access to healthcare, employment, education, among others. The reporting also must disseminate objective information about the causes and characteristics of migration movements.

The journalistic content must have also highlighted the social, economic and cultural contribution of migrants in countries of origin and destination as well as contributed to the prevention of xenophobia, racism and discrimination against migrants and their families.

“The media play a key role not only in informing but also in shaping public opinion about migration,” said the IOM Regional Director for South America, Diego Beltrand.

"With the South American Journalism Award, we want to recognize the work of journalists who, through their journalistic content on migration from a human rights approach, have contributed, among others, to change the negative perception of migrants, to make visible their positive contribution, as well as to prevent xenophobia, racism and discrimination,” Beltrand added.

The 10 winning journalists (one per participating country), will receive a statuette during a ceremony to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. IOM will cover winners’ flight tickets and accommodation.

The call for entries is open from this week until 20 January 2018. Award winners will be announced in February 2018. The jury will be comprised of renowned experts from the field of migration and media.

During their stay in Buenos Aires, the winning journalists will be invited to participate in a training about journalistic coverage of migration from a human rights-based perspective.

Conducting this contest contributes to the global campaigns “Soy Migrante” (I am a migrant) and “Together”, which aim to change negative perceptions of migrants and combat xenophobia, racism and discrimination.

The contest rules and the registration form are available at: http://robuenosaires.iom.int/premio-de-periodismo

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 14:39Image: Region-Country: ArgentinaDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Zimbabwe Holds High-level Meeting on Migration Governance

PBN News Germany - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 09:04

Harare – On 19 October 2017, the Government of Zimbabwe held the inaugural meeting of its Sector Policy Review Committee, which comprises representatives of ministries with migration mandates, and provides oversight and strategic direction to the country’s Inter-Ministerial Committee on Migration. The meeting formally institutionalized the Committee, reviewed the Promoting Migration Governance in Zimbabwe

(PMGZ) project, which IOM, the UN Migration Agency supports, and discussed measures to strengthen migration governance in Zimbabwe.

Funded by the European Union, the 44 month-long PMGZ project, which began last year, aims to strengthen migration governance in Zimbabwe by supporting the development of sector specific migration policies, while establishing and strengthening coordination and institutional frameworks on migration management. Over the last year, the Government of Zimbabwe, with support from IOM, has developed and adopted a national diaspora policy and is also finalizing a draft labour migration policy.

The Committee proceeded to review the progress of the project to date, focusing in particular on the validation of the Migration Governance Technical Capacity and Needs Assessment report, the migration law reviews and the formulation of the National Immigration Policy. The Committee adopted significant recommendations which included: ratification of key international instruments (among them the 2000 UN Protocol on Human Trafficking); domestication of the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention); and finalization of the outstanding migration policies and migration law reviews.

Ambassador Joey Bimha, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, acknowledged that over the past two decades, Zimbabwe has been grappling with an array of complex migration issues characterized by high levels of cross-border mobility, increased trafficking in persons, human smuggling and mixed migration flows among others. “It was in response to these complex migration challenges that the Government of Zimbabwe and IOM partnered to implement the Promoting Migration Governance in Zimbabwe project,” he added.

Ambassador Philippe Van Damme, Head of the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe, added that migration is an issue of common interest and called upon the Government of Zimbabwe to take maximum advantage of the collaboration in order to achieve improved governance for enhanced development.

“The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals; the inclusion of a specific migration target in this process; the September 2016 Summit for Refugees and Migrants and the inclusion of migration in major international frameworks such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk and COP 21 Agreement on Climate Change are an acknowledgement of migration as an emerging global phenomenon,” said Charles Kwenin, IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa. “The PMGZ project and the establishment of the High-Level Committee is a step in the right direction for the Government of Zimbabwe in its endeavour to improve migration governance in the country,” added Kwenin.

For more information, please contact Gideon Madera at IOM Zimbabwe, Tel: +263 4 704285, Email: gmadera@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 14:38Image: Region-Country: ZimbabweDefault: Multimedia: 

From left: Ambassador Phillipe Van Damme of the EU, Ambassador Joey Bimha, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Lily Sanya, IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission attending the PMGZ launch. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Joint Press Release - Pledging Conference for the Rohingya Refugee Crisis

PBN News Germany - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 20:08

 

DONORS PLEDGE OVER $344 MILLION IN RESPONSE TO ROHINGYA REFUGEE CRISIS

Geneva -  The international donor community today announced pledges for more than US$344 million to urgently ramp up the delivery of critical humanitarian assistance to Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh.

Funding was also pledged for the humanitarian response inside Myanmar where violence, insecurity and growing humanitarian needs have sent nearly 600,000 Rohingya from the northern Rakhine state into Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh since 25 August. This ongoing exodus is the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world.

“Humanitarian donors have today expressed their solidarity and compassion with the families and communities in need. These very generous pledges must now quickly translate into life-saving relief for the vulnerable refugees and support to host communities who have been stretched to the limit,” said Mark Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

35 pledges were made at the conference in Geneva which was co-organised by the UN Migration Agency (IOM), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and with Kuwait and the European Union as co-hosts.

"More than 800,000 stateless Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh aspire to a life that meets their immediate needs for food, medicine, water, and shelter. But beyond that, a life that has hope for the future where their identity is recognised, they are free from discrimination, and are able to return safely to their homes in Myanmar. As we come together in solidarity, I want to thank Bangladesh and its refugee hosting communities and the donors for supporting them,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.

The Government of Bangladesh, local charities and volunteers, the UN and NGOs have been working around the clock in recent weeks to help the stateless refugees who depend on humanitarian assistance for food, water, shelter, health services and other essentials.

The UN and partners have launched a response plan for six months (Sept 2017 - Feb 2018) to meet the needs of a combined 1.2 million newly arrived and existing refugees and their Bangladeshi hosts. The appeal requests $434 million, and pledges made today will increase the funding level of this plan. A preliminary list of pledges announced today is available here

“Today’s pledges from the international community will help rebuild Rohingya refugees’ lives. Without these vital funds, humanitarians would not be able to continue providing protection and life-saving aid to one of the most vulnerable groups in the world. While we are thankful, I hope that the end of this conference does not mean the end of new funding commitments. We have not reached our target and each percentage point we are under means thousands without food, healthcare and shelter,” said William Lacy Swing, UN Migration Director General.

Conference participants stressed that the international community must help bring a peaceful solution to the plight of the Rohingya and ensure conditions that will allow for their eventual voluntary return in safety and dignity. The origins and the solutions to the crisis lie in Myanmar.

“The mere convening of this humanitarian conference is a message of hope sent to the Rohingya refugees and their host communities in the friendly Republic of Bangladesh, reaffirming that the international community stands by them and supports them in their humanitarian plight. The State of Kuwait is always willing to take any initiative that is likely to alleviate humanitarian crises that strike affected populations, and to support humanitarian programmes in line with all efforts exerted at an international scale to assist the Rohingya refugees,” said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait, His Excellency Mr. Khaled Al-Jarallah.

“Today, we stand united for the right cause,” said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides. “The cause of stateless people who have suffered for too long: the Rohingya. The Rohingya deserve nothing less than every other human being in the world. They deserve a future. We have a moral duty to give these people hope.”

 

Media contacts:

IOM: Olivia Headon, Mob: +41 (0)794035365, oheadon@iom.int

UNHCR: Duniya Aslam Khan, Mob: +41 (0)79 453 25 08, khand@unhcr.org

OCHA: Vanessa Huguenin, Mob: +41 (0)79 202 68 44, huguenin@un.org

 

Language English Posted: Monday, October 23, 2017 - 20:00Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Tens of thousands of the new arrivals are still living in the open with little or no shelter, food or access to healthcare. Photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Jordan’s Queen Rania Urges More Global Support for Rohingyas After Visiting IOM’s Kutupalong Clinic

PBN News Germany - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 11:56

Cox’s Bazar – Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan today (23/10) urged the world to pay more attention to the crisis unfolding on the southern border of Bangladesh as she visited IOM’s Kutupalong Extension Primary Health Care Centre in one of the newly formed makeshift settlements for the Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar.

Shocked by the limitations of basic services to health care and other lifesaving support, Queen Rania said, “It is unforgivable that this crisis is unfolding, largely ignored by the international community.  The world response has been muted. I urge the UN and the international community to do more to ensure we can bring peace to this conflict.”

She also talked about the tangible hardship and suffering of the Rohingya refugees, 60 per cent of whom are children x  who need targeted support.

At the clinic, she observed the breadth of services available to the newly arrived Rohingya refugees, the majority of whom are women and children. The clinic has carried out 3,675 primary healthcare consultations since the influx started on the 25th August, and has the capacity to provide 8,000 consultations per month to the Rohingya. 

Dr Quamrul Hassan, who runs the clinic, says that he is particularly worried by acute watery diarrhoea, acute respiratory tract infections symptoms and emergency obstetric complications, amongst the population who come seeking support.

IOM is working closely with the World Health Organisation to coordinate health response planning. A revised emergency health sector response plan for the next 6 months has been created to address short- and medium-term plans for addressing the acute health needs of the population.

IOM medical teams have provided a total of 47,764 clinical consultations since August 25. A total of 3,285 women received pregnancy-related care, including 2,438 antenatal care, 504 postnatal care, and 343 deliveries, in September.

A cholera vaccination campaign led by the Ministry of Health and WHO, supported by agencies including IOM, reached a total of 700,487 people by 19 October.

IOM provides health care services to over 1,300 people each day. Delivery facilities and a patient stabilization unit have been activated in IOM Primary Health Care Clinic in Kutupalong, Ukhiya, where 24-hour services have been launched.

IOM has also scaled up services in its existing 12 health facilities, including the provision of 24-hour services in Leda Health Clinic, Shamlapur and in 2 Upazilia Health Complexes, where IOM provides support to government health facilities.

Some 800,000 Rohingyas are now living in the settlements, 603,000 of whom have arrived since August 25th. Of these about 51 per cent are women and girls, of whom 15 per cent are lactating or pregnant, 58 per cent are children between new born to 17 years old, with many child led households.

The numbers spiked again in the past week when over 18,000 Rohingya crossed into Bangladesh, according to the IOM-hosted Inter Sector Coordination Group.

Almost all new arrivals require health assistance.

The great majority (around 72 per cent) of new arrivals are living in a large makeshift settlement in a congested area in Ukhia unofficially called the Kutupalong mega camp, which has become a surging sea of humanity.

Most families have nothing. The lucky ones managed to bring some clothes, pots and pans, the odd water carrier. IOM and other partner agencies are racing against the incoming tide of new settlers to try to ensure organization within the camp, and to distribute basic items including shelter kits and kitchen sets to allow families to settle in and look after their basic needs.

Only 27 per cent of the sites are accessible by a vehicle of any kind, making aid delivery difficult and access to existing health services hard.

Many have been subjected to extreme violence and sexual assault. Children have witnessed their parents’ deaths and are now left to fend for their even younger siblings. Outreach must be strengthened to identify and meet their special needs.

Lifesaving services delivered by IOM and its partner agencies include clean water and sanitation, shelter, food security, healthcare, education and psychosocial support for the most vulnerable individuals, many of whom are suffering from acute mental trauma or are survivors of sexual violence.

Meanwhile, a pledging conference for the crisis organized by IOM, UNOCHA and UNHCR, and co-hosted by the European Union and Kuwait, takes place in Geneva today (23/10). The conference will provide governments from around the world an opportunity to show their solidarity and share the burden and responsibility for the Rohingya refugees.

Earlier this month, the UN launched a Joint Response Plan, in order to sustain and enhance the large humanitarian effort already under way. The plan requires USD 434 million to meet the life-saving needs of all Rohingya refugees and their host communities – together an estimated 1.2 million people – for the difficult months to come.

For more information, please contact:
Cox’s Bazar: Hala Jaber, Tel: +8801733335221, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int
Dhaka: Shirin Akhter, Tel: +8801711187499, Email: sakhter@iom.int

Language English Posted: Monday, October 23, 2017 - 17:49Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan (right) visits IOM’s Kutupalong Extension Primary Health Care Centre in one of the newly formed makeshift settlements for the Rohingya Refugees in Cox’s Bazar. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Delivers Hygiene Kits to Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

PBN News Germany - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 03:12

Cox’s Bazar – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is distributing hygiene kits to the most vulnerable of hundreds of thousands of people who have fled violence in Myanmar’s North Rakhine State for the relative safety of the vast refugee settlements that now cover the Cox’s Bazar district of southern Bangladesh.

The kits, which include soap, tooth brushes, water containers, hygienic cloths, menstrual hygiene products, undergarments, antiseptic liquid and other small personal items, are funded by the United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF.)  

“These kits ensure that Rohingya families - particularly women and children – can at least meet their personal care and hygiene needs as they face the reality of life in the makeshift settlements,” said IOM Bangladesh Chief of Mission Sarat Dash. 

An estimated 603,000 refugees have arrived in Cox’s Bazar since August, joining some 200,000 others already sheltering in the settlements. Most of the new arrivals come with nothing but the clothes on their back, often having walked for days without food or water. Many have experienced devastating physical and emotional trauma. 

To date, IOM has distributed 6,626 hygiene kits to the most vulnerable families, reaching an estimated 33,130. 

The kits are part of a USD 5 million CERF contribution to IOM shelter, health, water, sanitation and hygiene operations in Cox’s Bazar.

“CERF funding has been critical to saving lives in this humanitarian crisis. It has allowed us to scale up and respond to the escalating needs of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar in a very short timeframe,” said Dash. 

IOM is appealing for USD 120 Million to meet the needs of the most vulnerable Rohingya and the Bangladeshi communities hosting them over the next six months. You can find out more about the appeal here.

For more information, please contact Abdusattor Esoev at IOM Dhaka, Tel: + 88 02 550 448 1113, Email: aesoev@iom.int

Language English Posted: Monday, October 23, 2017 - 09:10Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

The UN Migration Agency distributed hygiene kits to Rohingya families in Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh. Photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

15,000 Eritrean Refugees Relocated in Ethiopia by UN Migration Agency

PBN News Germany - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 10:59

Addis Ababa – IOM, the UN Migration Agency has relocated over 15,000 Eritrean refugees in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia since 1 March 2017. In close partnership with the Government of Ethiopia’s Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs and the UNHCR, IOM has medically screened and transported newly arrived Eritrean refugees from the Reception Centre in Endabaguna/Shire to four refugee camps in the North of Ethiopia. 

“Currently IOM is relocating an average of about 100 persons per day which represents an increase in what has been the most continual refugee flow into Ethiopia in 2017,” said Khatab Khalid, the head of IOM Ethiopia’s Shire Sub-Office.

According to official figures, there were 21,215 new Eritrean refugee arrivals to Ethiopia in 2016 while over 20,000 have arrived in 2017 to date. Most of the refugees are youth with 46 per cent of the total transported by IOM aged between 18-24 years old. Many of them report walking for days to reach Ethiopia.

“I was a sophomore political science student in university back in Eritrea, despite performing well in my studies, I did not see myself making a good living after graduation. I would have probably ended up as a teacher and earned a meagre salary which would have been just enough to stay alive,” said Goitom, one of the young refugees. The young man explained how he was sent to jail for eight months when his first attempt to leave the country failed. He was then released and conscripted into the military but later managed to successfully flee to Ethiopia.

Tigist (19) said that she dropped out of high school at grade 11 and decided to migrate. However, she also did not make it to the border and was caught by a border patrol last year. After being sent to jail for a year, she decided to migrate again. “My family were disappointed at my decision to migrate last year. They said that I should have consulted them before deciding to migrate.”

The only girl in a family of boys, her family supported her but she did not want to share her plans to migrate with her family as she suspected this might get them in trouble.

Both Goitom and Tigist hope that they can get back to their studies somehow and graduate either in Ethiopia or abroad.

(Names of the interviewees has been changed for their safety and that of their families)

For more information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251.11. 6611117 (Ext. 455), Mobile: +251.91.163-9082, Email: salemayehu@iom.int 

 

Language English Posted: Friday, October 20, 2017 - 16:05Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Most of the refugees are youth with almost half of all beneficiaries transported by IOM between 18 and 24 years old. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Chief Ends Visit to Bangladesh as Bleak Picture Emerges of Rohingya Settlements

PBN News Germany - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 10:18

Cox's Bazar - Yesterday (19/10) over 6,900 Rohingya refugees who were stranded in dire conditions in no-man’s land at Anjuman Para on Bangladesh’s side of the border, were moved by the Bangladesh military to several makeshift settlements in the Ukhia and Teknaf sub-districts of Cox’s Bazar. Some 800,000 Rohingyas are now living in the settlements, 589,000 of whom have arrived since August 25th.

Also yesterday, IOM Director General William Lacy Swing concluded a three-day visit to Bangladesh and thanked the government for its continued willingness to open the country’s borders to hundreds of thousands of desperate Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar.

During Ambassador Swing’s meetings with high level officials, the Bangladesh Government reconfirmed its commitment to allow Rohingya seeking protection from violence in Myanmar to continue entering the country. It also confirmed its willingness to consider additional options for the settlement of the new arrivals, including the creation of more manageable, smaller camps to alleviate public health and security concerns.

On Thursday, men, women and children continued to pour into the settlements where IOM and its humanitarian partners are on the ground providing lifesaving assistance. They walked in long lines – exhausted, hungry and muddied after days of walking from villages in Myanmar’s North Rakhine State to Anjuman Para.  Men carried tired children and old people in baskets on shoulder poles, together with whatever meagre possessions they had salvaged from their homes. Children carried younger siblings on their backs and women trudged through the mud with infants in their arms under the rain.

The entrances to the Kutupalong refugee camp and makeshift settlement are a surging sea of humanity. Most families have nothing. The lucky ones have managed to bring some clothes, pots and pans, the odd water carrier.

One family arrived with their three daughters, but told IOM staff they had to leave their two sons behind to come later with neighbours. Another family said they had to leave their two young sons with neighbours, as they would not have been able to carry the boys, given the fact that their mother was ill and needed her husband’s help to walk.
Mohammed Hanun said he trekked for 11 days before reaching no man’s land in Anjuman Para. He waited there for three days without any food, before finally reaching Kutupalong yesterday.

These new arrivals bring the total Rohingya population of Cox’s Bazar settlements to around 800,000. IOM’s latest Needs and Population Monitoring Report, published on Wednesday, estimated that over half of the 582,000 new arrivals who were there by mid-week are women and girls. The report identified a total of 28 collective sites and 99 locations in host communities between 30 September – 9 October 2017.

The report noted that of the total population, 33,542 (4 per cent) were registered and living in two UNHCR refugee camps. The remaining 96 per cent (761,116) were living in makeshift settlements, spontaneous sites and host communities.

Based on sampling techniques across the sites, the assessment identified lactating mothers (9.2 per cent) and pregnant woman (4.9 per cent) as the two highest number of vulnerable groups within the population. An estimated 3.6 per cent of the total number of households were female-headed and 2.2 per cent headed by elderly persons. 

Lifesaving services delivered by IOM and its partner agencies include clean water and sanitation, shelter, food security, healthcare, education and psychosocial support for the most vulnerable individuals, many of whom are suffering from acute mental trauma or are survivors of sexual violence.

Since late August, IOM has scaled up quickly – shelter has been provided to 379,000 individuals, while 47,000 health consultations have been provided. IOM has contributed 200 staff to assist in a Ministry of Health-led Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) campaign that has reached 679,000 people. Some 678,000 litres of water have been distributed, along with over 11,000 dignity kits. IOM staffing has also been boosted with 443 staff and community volunteers in country.

Earlier this month, the UN launched a Joint Response Plan, in order to sustain and enhance the large humanitarian effort already under way. The plan requires USD 434 million to meet the life-saving needs of all Rohingya refugees and their host communities – together an estimated 1.2 million people – for the difficult months to come.

IOM’s funding requirements within this plan amount to USD 120 million. A pledging conference for the crisis organized by IOM, UNOCHA and UNHCR, and co-hosted by the European Union and Kuwait, will take place in Geneva on Monday (23/10). The conference will provide governments from around the world an opportunity to show their solidarity and share the burden and responsibility for the Rohingya refugees.

For more information, please contact:
Cox’s Bazar: Hala Jaber, Tel: +8801733335221, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int
Dhaka: Shirin Akhter, Tel: +8801711187499, Email: sakhter@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, October 20, 2017 - 16:10Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Soaked to the skin a Rohingya mother tries to protect her child with her drenched scarf, as it pelted down with rain yesterday (19/10). They were among the 6,900 Rohingya refugees who arrived in Cox’s Bazar from no man’s land. Photo: UN Migration Agency/Timothy Wolfer 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Raises PNG Awareness of Conflict Management, Peace Building

PBN News Germany - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 10:17

Port Moresby – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week (17-18/10) organized a two-day Training for Transformation Workshop on conflict management and peace building in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. 

Funded by the IOM Development Fund, the training targeted state actors at the national, provincial, district and local (LLG) government levels, including legal practitioners, police, disaster coordinators and district administrators involved in conflict mediation and peace building. Representatives from churches and communities affected by tribal conflict in Enga and Morobe provinces also took part.

Conflict and human mobility have been intertwined throughout Papua New Guinea’s history.  Most recently the Highlands region of the country has been especially plagued by tribal conflict and displacement.

IOM is supporting community-based development planning that is complemented by training of peace mediators, whose role is to promote sustainable peace and reconciliation solutions at the local level, so that community development initiatives agreed upon by consensus can be realized.

“I had the opportunity to visit Bulolo (in Morobe) and observe first-hand the commitment of the communities to resolve their differences through embracing open and inclusive dialogue.  Everyone’s voice was being heard and respected whether men, women, youth, or acknowledged leaders. It was evident in their dialogue that their commonalities outweighed their differences, and that all had a shared vision of a future free of violence,” said IOM Papua New Guinea Chief of Mission Lance Bonneau.  

“This workshop has helped me understand the importance of addressing root causes of conflict – not only the effects,” said Margaret Safuma, a women’s representative from Morobe. “Addressing the root causes of a problem will help us find lasting solutions for peace in Bulolo,” she added.

Senior Community Development Officer at the Department of Provincial and LLG Affairs Rowen Nimb also welcomed the training. “Tribal conflict has hampered delivery of services such as health and education in different parts of our country. We are very happy to work closely with IOM and other development partners to implement community projects that address conflict-related problems and promote development initiatives in communities across Papua New Guinea,” he said.

Through bringing together key actors involved in conflict management and peace building to share information and experiences, the workshop will facilitate the development of a user-friendly conflict management manual relevant to the local context. The manual will help strengthen the efforts of conflict mediators to build local capacities for conflict mediation and peace building at the local level, through adopting a systematic and comprehensive engagement strategy.

For more information, please contact Wonesai Sithole at IOM Port Moresby, Tel: +675 3213655, Email: wsithole@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, October 20, 2017 - 16:08Image: Region-Country: Papua New GuineaThemes: Capacity BuildingCommunity StabilizationDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants of the workshop on conflict management and peace building organized by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 146,849 in 2017; Deaths Reach 2,783

PBN News Germany - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 10:14

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 146,849 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 18 October, with over 75 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 320,033 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

IOM Rome reported Thursday (19/10) that on Wednesday, 585 migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean and will be brought to land in the next few days. These latest rescues are in addition to the 110,329 migrants and refugees arriving by sea to Italy this year, according to IOM estimates.

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported on Thursday three events occurring since Sunday (15 October) off the islands of Lesvos and Farmakonisi that required search and rescue operations. The Hellenic Coast Guard managed to rescue 95 migrants and transfer them to the respective islands.

Namia further reported that migrant sea arrivals to Greek territory totalled 2,431 for the first 17 days of October, and 22,105 for the year so far. (See chart below.)


IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported Thursday on two at-sea recues/interceptions near the Libyan capital, Tripoli. On 18 October, 121 migrants (91 men, 8 women and 22 minors) in one rubber boat were rescued, she said.

The majority came from Mali and Cote d’Ivoire. All were in good health. One of the women on the boat, a 38-year-old Nigerian, travelled on the boat with her 14-year-old son, aiming to reach Europe for a better life. They left Nigeria four months ago. But soon after the smugglers left their boat at sea it started to sink. “I was hugging my boy and kept telling him to stay with me. I asked him to close his eyes and pray,” the mother told IOM.

On 17 October, 137 migrants (127 men, 4 women and 6 minors) were rescued/intercepted off Tripoli. The majority came from Morocco, Bangladesh, Egypt and Nigeria. All were in good health.

So far this year, 18,815 migrants have been rescued/intercepted in Libyan waters.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded the deaths of 4,709 people migrating in 2017.  Since last week, MMP recorded one death in Central America: a Honduran migrant fell from a freight train in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. In the Middle East, two young men died when attempting to cross the Syrian-Turkish border near Darkoush in Idlib province, Syria.

In Southeast Asia, at least 11 people (including seven children) were reported to have drowned in the Naf River on Monday, 16 October, when their boat capsized as they fled violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar to seek refuge in Bangladesh. An estimated 30 migrants are missing. Since 31 August of this year, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded the deaths of 214 Rohingya on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

Off the coast of Sfax in Tunisia, the remains of nine more victims have been recovered from the incident that occurred on 8 October.* The number of bodies recovered is now 44, with an estimated five migrants still missing. This past Monday (16 October), another body was recovered in a different location off the coast of Tunisia. These deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,783.

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


*When deaths occur at sea, Missing Migrants Project often relies on the estimates of survivors once they are rescued, with the lowest estimate of missing persons always used in the dataset.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/171020_Mediterranean_Update.pdf
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
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

 

Language English Posted: Friday, October 20, 2017 - 16:04Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Launches Second Simulation Exercise for Cross-Border Crises in Niger

PBN News Germany - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 10:14

Zinder – More than 650 members of communities, authorities, civil society and security forces participated in a crisis simulation exercise organized by IOM, the UN Migration Agency on 17 October in Zinder, Niger, close to border areas which regularly suffer from security incidents linked to the Boko Haram armed group, among others.

This activity was the second crisis simulation exercise held this year as part of the project Engaging Communities on Border Management in Niger, funded by the United States Department of State.

The exercise was developed in close partnership with the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and Natural Disaster Management, and the Ministry of Health, in Niger.

Similar to the first simulation exercise, held in March of this year, this activity tested the ability of the authorities to respond to a sudden crisis triggering a mass population movement across the border into Niger. Moreover, it tested the implementation of the national contingency plan which was drafted based upon the results of the first exercise.

“IOM believes in an inclusive border management approach, gathering both national authorities and communities to respond to the most urgent situations and help the populations in need while ensuring security,” explained Baptiste Amieux, Head of IOM Niger’s Integrated Border Management Head of Unit.

In addition to building capacity of authorities in responding to cross-border crises, simulation exercises helped strengthen the involvement of local populations in crisis response, and build on their roles as host communities for affected populations.

Community engagement is crucial as it fosters better cooperation with authorities acting at Niger’s borders. Communication between communities and authorities can not only assist in the management of a crisis situation, but also in the prevention of future crises.

Added Amieux: “That’s why we decided to organize these events on a regular basis for different regions across Niger.”

Due to the development of contingency plans following the first exercise in March, significant improvement has been observed, notably with regards to border crossing management and general coordination between security forces and state rescue services, the IOM official explained.

Upon conclusion of the exercise, one 40m² tent was handed over to the Zinder Governorate, and 300 hygiene kits were distributed to participating community members.

IOM Niger will continue to conduct capacity-building activities through the second phase of the Flintlock project, which has just commenced in September 2017. Through this project, two more crisis simulation exercises will be organized in 2018.

For further information, please contact Baptiste Amieux at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8874 0282, Email: bamieux@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, October 20, 2017 - 16:03Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Agencies Vow to Tackle Migration Challenge through Improved Food Security and Rural Development

PBN News Germany - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 10:13

New York – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the Permanent Missions of Mexico, Italy and the Philippines, this year marked World Food Day at an event themed Change the Future of Migration: Invest in Food Security and Rural Development.

The Director of the FAO Liaison Office to the United Nations, Carla Mucavi, emphasized the need to create opportunities for rural people in their home communities.

“By responding to the root causes such as poverty, lack of jobs, food insecurity, natural resources degradation, and political instability and conflict, we can create conditions for people to choose. And migration should always be a choice and not a last resort,” said Mucavi.

Ashraf El Nour, Director of the IOM Office to the United Nations, noted the importance of bringing a migration perspective into the discussion on food security and rural development. “It is extremely important to recognize the positive elements of migration. Migration is a human reality of great relevance, as acknowledged in the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development,” noted El Nour.

This year, World Food Day took place in the midst of general alarm at the rise in global hunger. In 2016, an estimated 815 million people or 11 per cent of the global population was chronically undernourished, 38 million more than 2015. The increase is largely due to conflict, often exacerbated by climate-related shocks, which are also major drivers of migration. 

Speaking at the event, the President of the 72nd General Assembly, Miroslav Lajčák, highlighted that rural underdevelopment and food insecurity force people to urban areas and, sometimes, across borders.

“Migration from rural agricultural communities, especially by young people, may also threaten the sustainability of food production,” Lajčák said. “Our efforts to create decent jobs, especially for youth, would be bolstered by investing in agriculture as an employment generation industry.”

Lajčák added that regular migration presents opportunities for both communities of origin and destination.

African Union Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Victor Harrison, recalled the complex root causes of migration and food insecurity while also noting the potential of migration to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which aims to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and modernize agriculture for increased productivity in Africa.

The Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Amina J. Mohammed urged all governments and partners to take collective action for zero hunger and safe orderly and regular migration.

“No one should feel compelled to leave their home for lack of food or opportunity. […] Let us commit to act together to achieve these goals by 2030 so the people can feel secure in their own homes and homelands and look forward to life peace and prosperity, dignity and opportunity on a really healthy planet,” Mohammed said in a World Food Day video message.

The Permanent Representative of Mexico to the UN and co-facilitator of the process on the Global Compact on Migration, Ambassador Juan Jose Gomez Camacho, pointed out that agriculture absorbs 22 per cent of the losses and damages caused by natural disasters. He added that thematic sessions being held in the context of the preparatory process of the Global Compact on Migration, hunger was recognized as one of the key factors driving people from their homes. He called on a 360 degree approach to tackle migration, so as to make migration a choice and harness the contribution of migrants to development, addressing needs of migrants and countries of origin, transit and destination.

The Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the UN, Ambassador Teodoro Locsin, recalled that the Philippines was a well-known migrant country but noted that movement from rural to urban areas within the country was higher than that of international migration. He expressed concern with impacts on food security, in particular regarding higher vulnerability to international food prices.

“The government continues efforts towards poverty alleviation, job creation, nurturing entrepreneurship and attracting investments to produce higher-paying, more skilled jobs so that Filipinos will no longer feel the need to leave the country,” he explained.

The Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN, Ambassador Inigo Lambertini, urged that we could not be indifferent to distress migration.

“We cannot afford to watch people migrate because of food insecurity, two years into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” he said. Lambertini added that, for Italy, changing the future of migration means strengthening cooperation with Africa, forging new partnerships to manage migration, protecting the rights of the vulnerable, and creating more prosperous societies in all countries.

Lee Sorensen, an expert in linkages between diaspora investments and agriculture, highlighted the potential of remittances to promote rural development in countries of origin. He pointed out that 5 per cent of migrant diaspora remittances go to agriculture, a total of approximately USD 21 billion, or four times the global Official Development Assistance (ODA). He also suggested that Member States could consider developing Formal Investment Mechanisms that facilitate diaspora and migrant investment in agriculture and supporting programmes that encourage migrants to share knowledge acquired in host countries.

Celebrated annually on 16 October to commemorate the establishment of FAO and to promote the importance of food security, World Food Day was marked this year as global hunger rises for the first time in over a decade, affecting 815 million people or 11 per cent of the global population. The increase is largely due to the proliferation of violent conflicts and climate-related shocks which are also major drivers of distress migration.

In 2018, FAO and IOM will co-chair the Global Migration Group (GMG), which brings together heads of international organizations to promote the wider application of all relevant international and regional instruments and norms relating to migration, as well as to encourage the adoption of more coherent, comprehensive and better coordinated approaches to international migration.

For more information, please contact Abdirahman Olow at IOM’s Office to the UN in New York, Tel: +1 212 681 7000, Ext. 239, Email: aolow@iom.int, or Bryce Seockhwan Hwang at FAO Liaison Office with the United Nations, Email: seockhwan.hwang@un.org

Language English Posted: Friday, October 20, 2017 - 16:02Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: UNDefault: Multimedia: 

The UN Migration Agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the Permanent Missions of Mexico, Italy and the Philippines marked World Food Day at an event themed Change the Future of Migration: Invest in Food Security and Rural Development. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Nigerian Government, UN Migration Agency Address the Country’s Migration Priorities for the Global Compact for Migration

PBN News Germany - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 10:13

Lagos – Nigeria’s economic capital is hosting the national consultation on the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) from 19-20 October. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the Government of Nigeria, as well as civil society, the private sector and academia are attending the event. The two-day discussions will lead to the draft document on Nigeria’s contribution to the GCM, which is intended to convey the country’s migration priorities. The event is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

The protection needs of the nearly 2 million people displaced by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria are among the topics that were discussed and proposed as a central component of the document to be finalized at the end of the consultation.

“More than 37,500 Nigerians arrived in Italy by sea in 2016 and approximately 17,000 more this year,” said Enira Krdzalic, IOM Nigeria Chief of Mission, in her opening remarks. “Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the centre of cross-border movement for migrants, including towards others countries, where Nigerians head in search of better opportunities. The migration is often irregular, as opportunities through legal channels are limited and can be time-consuming,” she said.

“Concrete ideas to better manage this and provide meaningful opportunities for Nigerians at home will undoubtedly be an outcome of this consultation.”

Krdzalic commended the government’s efforts to improve overall migration management in Nigeria with the adoption of two national migration policies – the National Labour Migration Policy in 2014 and the National Migration Policy in 2015. She also emphasized that the challenges are vast, including to support Nigerians fleeing conflict in the country’s northeast, where IOM started providing emergency humanitarian assistance in 2014.

“People die for lack of knowledge,” said Aderantie Adepoju, a member of the Network of Migration Research in Africa, who led the revision of the National Migration Policy in 2015. “They die in the Mediterranean Sea and in the desert, not knowing all the risks,” he lamented. “We, as a government and country, have to educate our own people so they don’t die from a lack of knowledge. We are the actors,” he emphasized.

Attendees also commented on the predominant migration trends in Nigeria. “More than 80 per cent of migration in the region is intra-regional, usually for labour migration,” said Fabrice Fretz, SDC regional advisor on migration and development. “Let’s not forget this or assume that all migration to and from Nigeria is linked to human tragedies,” added Fretz, referring to the countless Nigerians who perish in the desert and on the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.

The GCM will be the first inter-governmentally negotiated agreement prepared under the auspices of the United Nations to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner. The GCM will be adopted in 2018 following national consultations this year.

For more information, please contact Julia Burpee at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 906 228 2406, Email: jburpee@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, October 20, 2017 - 16:01Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Capacity BuildingGlobal CompactGlobal Compact on MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

The UN Migration Agency, the Government of Nigeria, as well as civil society, the private sector and academia attend the national consultation on the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) in Nigeria. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Director General Commits to Strengthen Relief Efforts for Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh Visit

PBN News Germany - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:15

Cox’s Bazar – “The world has rarely witnessed a refugee crisis of such speed, with more than half a million crossing into Bangladesh in just over a month. The arc of misery that exists between Northern Rakhine State and Cox’s Bazar is deeply upsetting - too many people suffering desperately with too little support,” said the UN Migration Director General William Lacy Swing today (18/10), as he completed a three-day visit to Bangladesh. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is coordinating the humanitarian response to the crisis in Bangladesh in support of the Government's efforts. 

By 15 October, 582,000 Rohingya refugees had sought safety in Bangladesh following an outbreak of violence in Northern Rakhine State, Myanmar, on 25 August. Yesterday (17/10), at least 1,500 more refugees crossed into the country – men, women and children waded through a river as monsoon rains poured down.  An estimated 15,000 more people have been stranded for the past 72 hours in “no man’s land” near the Anjuman Para border crossing point in Cox’s Bazar’s Ukhia District. 

Director General Swing began his visit with a day-long tour of the makeshift settlements in Ukhia and Teknaf sub-districts, where an estimated 800,000 refugees are now living, to observe the scale of the crisis and the sheer enormity of needs.

“I saw women carrying small babies, only a few days old, sometimes born while their young mothers were fleeing deadly violence in torrential rains. I saw young children, who had lost not just their parents, but any remnants of hope. We must make a commitment to these women and children, who are among the most vulnerable in the world, that we will do everything in our ability to ensure that their suffering stops here. If adequate resources are not mobilized by the international community, we cannot make that commitment. Thousands will suffer without food, shelter, health care and protection,” said Swing. 

During his visit, Director General Swing also met with Bangladeshi officials to discuss further support to the country and the life-saving assistance that it is providing to Rohingya refugees. Bangladesh Government representatives reconfirmed their commitment to allow Rohingya seeking protection from violence in Myanmar to continue entering the country. They also confirmed their willingness to consider additional options for the settlement of new arrivals, including the creation of more manageable smaller camps to alleviate public health and security concerns.

“The needs on the ground are enormous, in quantity and complexity. I am impressed by the Government of Bangladesh’s mobilization of their own resources, as well as the local community’s support, from identifying land to be converted into settlements to providing food, water and healthcare to Rohingya refugees. We cannot forget, who the first responders to this emergency were and who remains on the frontline of the response – Bangladeshis,” said Swing.

“However as the crisis has unraveled at an unprecedented speed and scope, there are still gaps in the response capacity on the ground and additional services are required to ensure adequate and lifesaving assistance to the Rohingya refugees,” he noted.

Director General Swing highlighted the critical importance of a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Myanmar, based on the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State established by Myanmar’s Office of the State Counsellor and the Kofi Annan Foundation. “Humanitarian aid alone is not a solution. The root causes of this crisis are in Myanmar and there can be no lasting peace in Rakhine without inclusive development. We see the recommendations as a roadmap to peaceful co-existence and welcome the Myanmar Government’s commitment to implementing the Commission’s findings. “The first step in that implementation process will be to urgently allow UN agencies to resume their work in Rakhine State,” he said.

Lifesaving services delivered by IOM and its partner agencies include clean water and sanitation, shelter, food security, healthcare, education and psychosocial support for the most vulnerable individuals, many whom are suffering from acute mental trauma or are survivors of sexual violence. 

Since late August, IOM has scaled up quickly – shelter has been provided to 379,000 individuals, while 47,000 health consultations have been provided. IOM has contributed 200 staff to assist in a Ministry of Health-led Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) campaign that has reached 679,000 people. Some 678,000 litres of water have been distributed, along with over 11,000 dignity kits. IOM staffing has also been boosted with 443 staff and community volunteers in country.

Earlier this month, the UN launched a Joint Response Plan, in order to sustain and enhance the large humanitarian effort already under way. The plan requires USD 434 million to meet the life-saving needs of all Rohingya refugees and their host communities – together an estimated 1.2 million people – for the difficult months to come. 

IOM’s funding requirements within this plan amount to USD 120 million. A critical pledging conference for the crisis organized by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and IOM, and co-hosted by the European Union and Kuwait will take place in Geneva on 23 October 2017. The conference will provide governments from around the world an opportunity to show their solidarity and share the burden and responsibility.

“IOM, the Government of Bangladesh and our partners have made a commitment to strengthen support to Rohingya refugees. Now it is time for the international community to echo that support,” Swing noted.

For more information, please contact:

Cox’s Bazar: Hala Jaber, Tel : +8801733335221, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int

Dhaka: Shirin Akhter, Tel: +8801711187499, Email: sakhter@iom.int

Language English Posted: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 19:07Image: Region-Country: BangladeshDefault: Multimedia: 

UN Migration Director General William Lacy Swing interviewed by the BBC’s Clive Myrie at Balukhali makeshift settlement, on Monday 16 October 2017. Photo: Muse Mohammed/UN Migration Agency 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Marks 11th EU Anti-Trafficking Day with New Data, Analysis on Human Trafficking

PBN News Germany - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 05:44

Brussels – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, today joins the European Union (EU), other European countries and partners throughout the region and beyond in marking the 11th EU Anti-Trafficking Day. It is observing the day through a series of events and is releasing two publications on victims of trafficking.

Trafficking in Human Beings is one of the world's most serious transnational crimes and one of the most complex human rights challenges of our time. To contribute to a better understanding of this complex phenomenon and support evidence-based policies and responses, IOM has developed and maintained a central counter-trafficking case management tool, the IOM Global Human Trafficking Database, which is the largest global database with primary data on victims of trafficking. 

IOM today published its first Global Trafficking Trends in Focus summary, which analyses IOM’s victim of trafficking data from 2006 to 2016. The analysis is based on data from 50,000 victims of trafficking have been assisted by IOM during this period. On average, victims assisted by IOM are trafficked for a duration of 2.5 years.

“We have to do more to identify, assist and protect victims of trafficking in Europe, but we also have to do more to ensure that vulnerable migrants reaching our shores are protected from exploitation,” said Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM Regional Director for the EU, Norway and Switzerland. “We have to continue to be outraged and not allow for the normalization of exploitation of migrants in Europe,” he added.  

In Europe, IOM provided assistance last year to 768 victims of trafficking (VoTs) across 20 EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland. Children made up almost 35 per cent of those assisted. Trafficking of children is a growing trend and of concern for the EU, as well as  an important part of IOM’s work.

Last month, IOM released Harrowing Journeys, a joint report with UNICEF based on the testimonies of some 22,000 migrants and refugees, including some 11,000 children and youth, interviewed by IOM on the Eastern and Central Mediterranean migration routes. The report revealed the appalling levels of human rights abuses faced by migrant and refugee children and youth trying to reach Europe, finding that 77 per cent of those traveling along the Central Mediterranean route report direct experiences of abuse, exploitation, and practices which may amount to human trafficking.

IOM is also publishing the official English version of the Report: “Human Trafficking through the Central Mediterranean Route”, produced this year by IOM Italy in the framework of the activities carried out by Anti-Trafficking teams deployed at lading points in Sicily, Apulia and Calabria. The report highlights how women and unaccompanied children of Nigerian nationality are among those most at risk of being trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The number of Nigerian women and girls that arrived by sea has increased by 600 per cent between 2014 and 2016.

In addition, IOM is joining forces with national partners today around Europe to raise awareness on trafficking in human beings and to shed light on the pressing issues around this phenomenon.

In Austria, IOM will support an event hosted by the Austrian Task Force on Combating Human Trafficking.  Othman Belbeisi, IOM’s Chief of Mission for Libya, will present on the subject of human trafficking in conflict and crisis situations. IOM will also host an interactive workshop at the event that will explore the line between human trafficking and exploitation. The event is organized in cooperation with the OSCE Special Representative and Coordinator to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings and the Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC).

In Switzerland, IOM is launching together with its partners the third edition of the “Swiss Counter-Trafficking Weeks”, organizing 20 awareness-raising events taking place across Switzerland. Starting next week, a human trafficking information bus will travel around Switzerland for one year to raise awareness about human trafficking in Switzerland under the motto “Don’t be blinded, Switzerland is also affected.”

IOM, as one of the leading anti-trafficking organizations in the world, has worked globally with partners since 1994 to prevent and fight trafficking in human beings. IOM, together with its partners, has assisted tens of thousands of trafficked persons since that date. In 2016 alone, IOM provided direct assistance to 8,500 victims of trafficking around the world.

For more information, please contact Irina Todorova at IOM’s Regional Office in Brussels, Tel: +32 2 287 7113, Email: itodorova@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 11:22Image: Region-Country: BelgiumDefault: Multimedia: 

The branded bus that will tour around Switzerland to raise awareness on human trafficking. Photo: IOM Bern 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 145,355 in 2017; Deaths Reach 2,776

PBN News Germany - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 10:47

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 145,355 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 15 October, with over 75 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 319,594 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

IOM Rome reported Thursday (12/10) that official figures from the Italian Ministry of the Interior show 109,685 migrants and refugees have arrived in Italy by sea this year, not including 284 migrants rescued and brought to shore since Sunday. Just around 4,300 arrivals were recorded by Italy this past August, and 6,288 in September – both totals considerably lower than those recorded during

those same months in 2015 and 2016.
Last October 27,384 men, women and children arrived in Italy by sea, the most of any month in 2016. (See chart below.)

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Monday on three events occurring since last Wednesday (11 October) off the islands of Lesvos, Samos, and Kos that required search and rescue operations. The Hellenic Coast Guard managed to rescue 171 migrants and transfer them to the respective islands.

Namia further reported that migrant sea arrivals to Greek territory totalled 2,133 for the first 14 days of October, and 21,675 for the year so far. (See chart below.)

 

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reports that so far this year, 18,477 migrants have been rescued/intercepted in Libyan waters.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded the deaths of 4,668 people migrating in 2017.  Since last week, there was one death near Beitbridge, Zimbabwe, where a man died trying to cross the border into South Africa and was fatally attacked by a hippopotamus.

Several boat accidents involving migrants have also been recorded. In the Caribbean, 40 Haitians went missing at sea north of the island La Tortue on Sunday (October 15).  They were thought to be en route to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Seven are reported to have survived the incident. 

In Southeast Asia, 10 women (four women and six children) were reported to have drowned in the Naf River on Monday, 16 October, as they tried to cross from Rakhine State, in Myanmar to Bangladesh.  The number of missing from this incident is still unconfirmed. Since 31 August of this year, 182 Rohingya have died trying to cross into Bangladesh.

Off the coast of Tunisia, 20 more bodies have been recovered from the incident that occurred on 8 October.  The number recovered is now 28, with 20 still missing.  All of the dead from this incident were reported to be Tunisian. In another incident, this past Sunday (15 October), 23 people were rescued and one body was recovered off the coast of Sfax, Tunisia.

This latest case brings the total number of fatalities recorded in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,776, almost 1,000 fewer than the 3,709 recorded during this time last year. 

*When deaths occur at sea, Missing Migrants Project often relies on the estimates of survivors once they are rescued, with the lowest estimate of missing persons always used in the dataset.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/171017_Mediterranean_Update.pdf
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 16:05Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Providing Emergency Support to Thousands of Migrants Affected by Sabratha Conflict

PBN News Germany - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 10:46

Sabratha – In the aftermath of weeks of conflict in the Libyan coastal city of Sabratah, IOM, the UN Migration Agency is providing support to more than 14,000 migrants, previously held in numerous informal detention centres and camps and now transferred to Zuwara and an assembly point in Sabratha.

Since the outbreak of the crisis in recent weeks, 6,700 migrants have received core relief packages, which include mattresses, blankets, pillows and hygiene kits at six separate locations and more than 100,000 meals (including water and juice) have been provided in Zuwara and Sabratha. IOM has also responded to the vast health needs and conducted 1,631 medical interventions and treated 23 injury cases. In addition, 21 women have received pregnancy care including deliveries, while 476 migrants (250 men, 161 women and 65 children) have received psychosocial support.

Out of 1,631 migrants interviewed so far, 44 per cent expressed a wish to return back to their countries of origin through IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return Programme. Acknowledging the need for a quick response, IOM has provided online consular sessions for 332 migrants to speed up the travel document issuance procedures.

Sabratha is approximately 80 kilometres west of Tripoli and is one of the main departure points for migrant boats attempting to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

On 7 October, a day after the first transfer of migrants, IOM sent a field team to the assembly point in Sabratha to assess the situation. By the end of the day, the team reported that 2,600 migrants (1,819 men, 704 women and 77 children) were being kept at the site by the Libyan Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM).

By 16 October, IOM emergency teams estimated that in total more than 14,000 migrants have been affected, with currently less than 1,000 migrants in Zuwara and around 500 migrants in Sabratha. However, as more migrants are transferred on a regular basis to the two sites, it is too early to confirm whether the wave of migrants is about to stop.

Whilst the conditions at the two sites have been strained with primary needs including drinking water, tents, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), medical and psychosocial support, parallel conditions in the detention centres have deteriorated as more migrants continue to arrive. 

The migrants are primarily at five detention centres in Tripoli including in Ghariyan (some 90 kilometres south of Tripoli), which is primarily used as a transit point and currently houses 5,000 migrants.

IOM strongly advocates for alternatives to detention. “We are concerned about the large number of migrants transferred to detention,” said Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission. “The centres are overcrowded and the conditions do not meet the minimum international human rights standards. We stand ready to provide any necessary support to the Libyan authorities in providing alternatives to detention, especially for the most vulnerable groups, including pregnant women and children.”

The migrants are from almost a dozen countries and among them are pregnant women, newborn babies and unaccompanied children.

For more information, please contact at IOM Libya:

Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600 389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int

Christine Petré, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 16:10Image: Region-Country: LibyaDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the migrants stand in a queue in Zuwara, waiting for their turn to receive emergency relief from IOM Libya staff. Photo: IOMLibya/Eshaebi2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Global Displacement Tracking Training at UN Migration Agency’s Regional Office in Vienna

PBN News Germany - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 10:30
Language English

Vienna – “If we want to understand the important questions of ‘why’, ‘where’ and ‘who’, we need information from people on the move,” said Daunia Pavone, a UN Migration Agency staffer currently stationed in Greece.

She was speaking at a global training event, which ended on Friday, at IOM’s Regional Office in Vienna, where dozens of staff from all over the world were being trained in the use of the Organization’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).

DTM is a system developed by IOM, which tracks and monitors displacement and population mobility so that governments and organizations can better understand the movements and needs of displaced people. It provides reliable data and information for crisis response planning.

DTM works by compiling data collected by professionals at key points of origin, transit and destination via interviews, surveys and official government statistics right where the displacement is happening, in real time. Raw data can then be further interpreted, utilized and shared by experts at regional and inter-regional levels at the DTM hubs in Dakar, Nairobi, Cairo, Vienna and Bangkok.

“This is our sixth global training session but it is the first time we’ve done one in Europe,” explained Stephanie Daviot, from IOM’s global DTM team, who headed up the introductory session. “We are expanding IOM’s capacity to synthesize and analyse data, allowing staff to learn from experts and each other as well as reinforcing DTM as the foremost system for tracking and monitoring displaced persons.”

To date, DTM has been used to track 15 million people on the move, employs 4,000 data officers and 200 experts and is active in 48 countries. This all works through on-site data collection and close work with local, regional and national authorities.

DTM cooperation with all levels of government is very well organized in current migration hotspots, notably Turkey. “The national authorities are very much in favour of this work, especially because no one else has this data at the moment,” said Gokan Yasar, DTM Project Assistant for IOM Turkey.

Data on the roughly 3.5 million migrants and refugees in Turkey is collected at a neighbourhood level and is shared with the Turkish Directorate for Migration Management. This agreement has allowed IOM to expand data collection from 15 to 25 of the 81 provinces in the country.

The DTM system has also played a key role along the Balkan route, used by people migrating deeper into Europe. It uses Geoportal, an interactive mapping feature that utilizes up-to-date on-site data to physically map the locations of migrants.

Geoportal allowed the locations of those on the move to be kept current even when their movement was stopped by the reintroduction of border controls. “Once the migration flows through the Western Balkans route dropped as an aftermath of the EU-Turkey Statement, with the established network we were able to assess and monitor the number of migrants who got stranded in the countries along the route,” explained
Kristina Uzelac, a DTM Officer based in the IOM Regional Office in Vienna.

Visit the Displacement Tracking Matrix websites here:
http://www.globaldtm.info/
http://migration.iom.int/europe/

For more information, please contact Ivona Zakoska-Todorovska at the IOM Regional Office in Vienna, Tel: +4315812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 16:04Image: Region-Country: AustriaDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, USAID Launch Disease Infection Prevention, Control Course in Sierra Leone

PBN News Germany - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 10:29
Language English

Freetown – IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) earlier this month (05/10) established Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) courses for healthcare professionals at the University of Sierra Leone, College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (CoMAHS) and Njala University.

During the 2014-2016, Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak, Sierra Leone recorded 14,124 infections and 3,956 EVD fatalities. Throughout the duration of the crisis, 436 healthcare workers died as a result of exposure to the virus – a significant loss to the healthcare workforce. Moreover, malaria, cholera, typhoid, STIs/HIV/AIDS, respiratory tract infections, Lassa fever, maternal and child mortality and multi-drug resistant TB remain ongoing battles.

The one- to two-week courses aim to ensure that all future healthcare professionals will receive context-relevant and government-approved training in IPC before they embark on their practical experience. The initial beneficiaries will include clinical and non-medical cadres.

Clinicians will be represented by 2,520 final-year students; doctors, nurses, midwives and laboratory technicians. Non-medical beneficiaries will be 3,960 paramedical units; pharmacists, public health, environment health, social scientists and teachers. Other trainees will include students in environmental sciences and animal sciences, as well as non-clinical cadres such as teachers and others working in the communication sectors. 

“These 27 graduates will be torch-bearers of infection prevention and control as we introduce these new courses in the two universities,” said Sanusi Savage, IOM Head of Office.

This project contributes to the overall aims of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) and the President’s Health System Strengthening plan – improve maternal and child survival rates, maintain zero EVD and prevent, detect and respond to epidemics. This contribution has been made possible through the combined effort of IOM, MOHS, USAID, Infection Control Africa Network (ICAN) CoMAHS, Njala University and other partners. 

In 2015-16, IOM delivered emergency IPC training across the country with the support of USAID. Sierra Leone is now in the recovery phase following the EVD outbreak. This is an opportune time to establish a system to strengthen the healthcare system. The establishment of these courses will equip every healthcare professional with standard and evidence-based tools to protect themselves, their patients and the community.

For more information, please contact IOM Sierra Leone:
Sanusi Savage, Tel: +232 99606000, Email: ssavage@iom.int
Dr. Aurelien Pekezou, Tel: +232 99606001, Email: apekezou@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 16:03Image: Region-Country: Sierra LeoneDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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