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UN Migration Agency Launches Toll-Free Number for Venezuelans in Costa Rica

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 10:08

San José – A free telephone information service for Venezuelan migrants currently living in Costa Rica, 800-Venezuela, was launched this week by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, with the support of the Costa Rican General Directorate of Migration (DGME) and the National Migration Council.

According to data from the DGME, 8,892 Venezuelans live in Costa Rica under a regular migration status. However, this figure does not include migrants who are in the country irregularly – which IOM estimates to be much higher.

To support decision making with accurate information and data analysis, IOM is adapting its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) to determine the points of entry, exit and residence of Venezuelan migrants, and identify their vulnerabilities and required services.

"The 800-Venezuela toll-free service provides direct assistance to highly vulnerable Venezuelan migrants,” explained Francisco Furlani, project coordinator at IOM Costa Rica. “In collaboration with national government agencies, Venezuelan migrants are being linked with public institutions to facilitate their access to healthcare and other basic services. They also receive orientation on how to acquire microcredits and thus give them better opportunities for integration and development within the Costa Rican society."

Hernán Pico is one of the migrants who have received assistance through the hotline for Venezuelans in Costa Rica. He left his native Maracay, at the centre of Venezuela, in March 2017. In recent years, he had gone from being a prosperous businessman, producing and exporting sandals, to living solely on payments for home repair services. He was also having difficulties accessing medication (insulin) which is indispensable for him.

Pico decided to fly to Panama, and then moved by land to Costa Rica where he sought out a friend who lived in the town of Rio Frio. With information provided through the 800-Venezuela hotline, Hernán obtained a temporary work permit and is currently exploring options to regularize his residence in Costa Rica.

This toll-free number is one of the first actions in Costa Rica of the IOM Regional Action Plan to Strengthen Response to Venezuelan Outflows, which requires USD 32.3 million in funding to implement, and focuses on activities such as data collection and dissemination, capacity building and coordination, direct support and socio-economic integration.

For more Information, please contact Francisco Furlani at IOM Costa Rica, Tel: +506 2212 5300, Email ffurlani@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, May 18, 2018 - 15:58Image: Region-Country: Costa RicaDefault: Multimedia: 

Hernán, one of the migrants assisted through the toll-free number established by IOM to support Venezuelan migrants arriving in Costa Rica. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Host First Annual Diaspora Forum

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 10:08

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), are today (18/05) hosting the first Annual Diaspora Forum initiated by the Parliamentary Network on Diaspora Policies (PACE) at the UN Office in Geneva, Switzerland. The forum is dedicated to Diasporas as Partners for Development in the Globalized World.

The Forum focuses on the economic and development contributions of transnational communities in countries of origin and destination, and aims to address the importance of a global approach to migration governance. It will also shed light on ongoing discussions on diaspora within the Global Compact for Migration, which is expected to be adopted on 10 and 11 December 2018 in Morocco.

This year’s Annual Diaspora Forum brings together parliamentarians, businesses, diaspora associations, governments and international organizations to discuss the complex intersection between diaspora, migration, and development and its implications for countries of origin and destination.

The Forum will begin with opening addresses from William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General and Tomáš Boček, Special Representative on Migration and Refugees of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

“Knowing and understanding transnational communities is crucial to engaging them effectively, and developing the appropriate outreach strategies towards diaspora communities. That is why IOM regularly maps and surveys diaspora communities,” said DG Swing ahead of today’s event. “IOM has conducted some 150 surveys to assess the socioeconomic profile of diasporas and their willingness to contribute to the development of their countries of origin,” he added.

“The creation of the Parliamentary Network on Diaspora Policies represents a quantum leap in the way the Assembly approaches the question of how best to involve diasporas when seeking to improve the contribution of migrants to both countries of residence and of origin,” said Boček.

IOM implements a wide-range of diaspora engagement programmes, many of which are funded through the IOM Development Fund (IDF) at the request of Member States with large diaspora communities abroad. One example is the iDiaspora, a global engagement and knowledge exchange hub for diaspora communities and those looking to engage with them. It provides comprehensive, regularly updated data and analysis relevant to diaspora communities, policy makers, NGO actors, and showcases successful diaspora actions and partnerships.

For more information please contact:
Jorge Galindo, IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179205, Email: jgalindo@iom.int
Nathalie Bargellini, PACE, Tel: +33 6 65 40 32 82, Email : nathalie.bargellini@coe.int

Language English Posted: Friday, May 18, 2018 - 15:56Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

Amb. William Lacy Swing (third from left) gave his opening address at the first Annual Diaspora Forum. Photo: IOM/Amanda Nero

More than 100 participants are gathered at the UN Office in Geneva to discuss the role of diasporas in development. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

New Engagement Opportunities for Albanian Diaspora in Italy

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 10:08

Lazio – Albanian diaspora individuals shall have more opportunities to contribute to the socio-economic development of Albania. The programme Engagement of Diaspora to the Social and Economic Development of the Country, is funded by the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development and implemented by IOM, the Migration Agency in Albania, in cooperation with the Albanian Government. It aims, inter alia, to create mechanisms to engage with students, professionals and entrepreneurs, in particular, those from the Albanian diaspora in Italy.

Today (18/05), the programme team from IOM Albania and programme partners met the Albanian Diaspora in Lazio region to present and discuss the programme activities. Students, professionals, entrepreneurs, Italian local authorities, representatives of Italian Category Associations and others actively participated in the discussion.

Talking to the Albanian Diaspora members, Manoela Lussi, the Diaspora Programme Manager at IOM Albania, emphasized the added value of this kind of innovative programme in line with the strategic approach centred on the 3Es for action (to enable, engage and empower Diaspora) formulated by IOM.

“Through this Programme you can bring a lot of positive changes to Albania,” she said. “Your participation in our activities can really make a difference in your home country. And for this reason, the Programme aims to support your engagement in the socio-economic development of Albania through the creation of three parallel processes,” she said.

Among the many activities in five selected Italian regions (Lazio, Tuscany, Piedmont, Lombardy and Emilia Romagna), the programme plans to map diaspora individuals’ know-how and skills, then match them with the respective local needs and priorities in Albania. Furthermore, a fellowship scheme targeting diaspora will be designed and implemented during the three years of programme implementation.

The programme will also support investments from Italy to Albania through the creation of an investment-boosting platform named ConnectAlbania, which will rely on the role of diaspora as a development agent.

Business start-ups and spin-offs helmed by Albanians in Italy, especially second generation, will also be supported through the forthcoming start-up fund.

Around half a million Albanians live in Italy, with more than 11,000 young Albanians studying in Italian universities.

For more information, please contact Guri Daco at IOM Albania, Tel: +355 4 2257836 ext 206, Email: gdaco@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, May 18, 2018 - 15:55Image: Region-Country: AlbaniaDefault: Multimedia: 

Speakers at the Albanian Diaspora meeting in Lazio, Italy. Photo: IOM

Speakers at today's (18/5) Albanian Diaspora meeting in Lazio, Italy. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 26,026 in 2018; Deaths Reach 635

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 10:08
Language English

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 26,026 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 136 days of 2018, with about 41 per cent arriving in Italy and 38 per cent to Greece, with the remainder (21%) arriving in Spain.

This compares with 55,479 arrivals across the region through the same period last year and about 189,075 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 14 per cent of 2016’s volume at this point in the year.

 

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo noted that the 10,659 migrants who are registered as having arrived by sea to Italy this year is 77 per cent less than that reported last year in the same period, when 45,785 irregular migrants and refugees arrived in Italy and a 67 per cent decline from the 32,292 arriving to this point in 2016 (see chart below).

IOM Rome also noted Tunisians represent the largest nationality group arriving in Italy by sea from North Africa this year, followed by Eritreans, Nigerians, Sudanese, Pakistan, Malians, Guineans and Senegalese – almost all of whose arrival numbers have fallen considerably below totals reported in the recent years (see chart below).




IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reported on Thursday (17 May) that in the Mediterranean alone, 635 migrants are estimated to have died this year. Most recently, seven people lost their lives when trying to cross from Turkey to Greece. The Turkish Coast Guard reported that seven Afghan migrants, including three children, died when the boat in which they were trying to reach the Greek island of Lesvos capsized off the coast of Babakale, in Turkey’s province of Çanakkale, on 14 May.
This incident took place a day after the remains of nine migrants washed up on the shores of Northern Cyprus. Since the beginning of 2018, 35 people have lost their lives in the Eastern Mediterranean.
To date this year the 383 drownings on the Central Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Italy has been the region’s deadliest sea crossing, while 217 have died in the waters separating North Africa from Spain.
In Spanish waters, so far this year, IOM Madrid’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday that a total of 1,392 migrants have been rescued on the Western Mediterranean route through 16 days in May – compared with 835 for the entire month of May last year. That brings to 5,792 the total number of men, women and children who have been rescued trying to enter Spain by sea this year, with an additional 1,822 seeking entry by land (see charts below). 

IOM Greece’s Kelly Namia reported Thursday that over the past three days, the Hellenic Coast Guard reported at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos and Kos. The Coast Guard rescued 169 migrants and transferred them to those islands.

Namia reported that along with other landings on Lesvos and Leros another 67 migrants landed in the Aegean these four days bringing to 9,528 the total number of irregular migrants entering Greece via sea since January 1 – for an average of around 72 persons per day.

April saw 3,083 migrant arrivals via the Eastern Mediterranean. Already 1,263 irregular migrants have landed on these shores in May – just 12 days into the month (see charts below).

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 1,118 people who died or went missing while migrating in 2018 (see chart below).

On the US-Mexico border, a man of unconfirmed nationality drowned in the Río Bravo near Matamoros, Mexico on 11 May. Two days after, on 13 May, the body of another migrant was recovered by Mexican civil protection authorities in the same area. At least 25 people have drowned in the Río Bravo this year.
In Europe, the remains of a 21-year-old Nigerian woman were found on 9 May in the Durance river, along the dangerous route from Italy to France that crosses the Alps.
Additionally, the MMP team recorded two other deaths on land routes in Europe: the IOM office in Croatia informed of the deaths of two migrants which took place at the end of April in the Kolpa and Korana rivers, on the border with Slovenia.
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:
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 Office for South Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 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

Posted: Friday, May 18, 2018 - 15:51Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Launches Community Stabilization Activities in Northern Niger

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 10:08

Agadez – IOM, the UN Migration Agency last week (09/05) launched the project Community Stabilization Initiatives in Northern Niger (COSINN) in Agadez, funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

More than 27,000 individuals entered Niger in February alone. This important migratory flow across the country increases the pressure on Niger’s already limited resources, leading to the possibility of frustrations and increased tensions for local communities.

The COSINN project aims to contribute to the stabilization and immediate recovery of these communities by revitalizing the local economy, improving access to basic socio-economic infrastructures, and strengthening the social cohesion among communities.

“The Agadez region has always been an important piece in the puzzle of migratory dynamics in West Africa,” said Seve Diomande, Programme Manager for IOM’s Community Stabilization (CS) unit in Niger. “The community stabilization activities in the region step in to support communities, authorities, and the dialogue between them.”

The activities in northern Niger are comprised of cash-for-work programmes for communities economically affected by the 36/2015 law against the smuggling of migrants. In February 2018, 500 beneficiaries participated in such activities in the Kawar region, and 200 in Arlit.

“The population of Agadez has been touched by the effects of the 36/2015 law,” said Aboubacar Ajoual, the vice-mayor of Agadez. “The COSINN project can counteract these effects through its community stabilization activities that fall in line with the communities’ ambitions and expectations.”

CS activities also consist of rehabilitating infrastructure to improve water storage and distribution systems across communities, especially in schools and health facilities in the Kawar region. In Arlit, the activities will also focus on creating a space for dialogue between communities and their leaders, as well as trainings for youth and vulnerable groups.

IOM teams regularly identify activities with potential to strengthen the cooperation between and within communities in migration-prone areas, and to provide space for public debate and citizen engagement.

In order to strengthen media structures in the region, the launch was accompanied by a training for local media actors that brought together 15 young journalists from different communes in Arlit, Agadez and Kawar.

CS initiatives are developed together with a management and monitoring committee comprised of authorities and representatives of community associations. These associations are responsible for identifying activities that are relevant to their community, selecting beneficiaries, and monitoring the progress of the activities.

The CS activities started earlier this year in five communes: Arlit, Dirkou, Djado, Bilma and Fachi. In close cooperation with local populations, the four monitoring committees in the northwest, also known as the Kawar region, have started working on identifying, constructing and rehabilitating infrastructures.

In Agadez, the activities related to reintegration, prevention of radicalization, cash for work and job creation are combined with agricultural trainings and land restoration activities, funded by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

IOM’s CS programmes aim to support governments and civil societies in reducing factors that lead to irregular and forced migration, integrating the needs of marginalized groups and host communities, and responding to the impact of migratory flows on communities.

For more information, please contact Seve Diomande at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 80 06 66 17, Email: sdiomande@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, May 18, 2018 - 15:48Image: Region-Country: NigerDefault: Multimedia: 

Local community in Agadez celebrates launch of the Community Stabilization Initiatives in Northern Niger. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, World Customs Organization to Boost Cooperation Towards Effective, Efficient and Responsible Border Management

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 10:08
Language English

Geneva/Brussels – On 8 May 2018, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the World Customs Organization (WCO), an intergovernmental organization based in Brussels, Belgium, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost cooperation on issues of mutual interest, in particular, those related to effective, efficient and responsible border management.

This MoU offers the necessary framework for intensified cooperation between the two organizations. It opens increased joint programming opportunities notably in the field of coordinated/integrated border management, as well as in the field of border management and development and trade.

The MoU brings together two agencies with different but complementary mandates: While IOM focuses in its work on the well-being of migrants and the management of border crossings by persons, WCO’s work is concerned with the management of the crossing of borders by goods and passengers.   

The Memorandum was signed by William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General and Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General.

“We see in our member states around the world great interest in the cooperation topics covered in the MoU, especially in Africa, where the relationship between border management and development and trade has become a programming focus for many states, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the African Union (AU). IOM is already active in this field, for instance by supporting African states to introduce One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs),” said Ambassador Swing.

The intensified cooperation between IOM and WCO strengthens the support the two organizations can give to Member States to further improve and modernize their border management, facilitate regular border crossings and exchange of goods and services across borders, support development, and better protect migrants.     

At the signing, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya stressed that “WCO encourages Customs administrations to adopt a coordinated approach with the various border agencies for greater efficiency over managing trade and travel flows, while maintaining a balance with compliance requirements. Coordinated border management is high on the Customs agenda and WCO has developed in this regard tools and instruments to support its implementation by Members, while involving national and international stakeholders.”

The agreement will enhance the collaboration between IOM and WCO through coordinated activities and elimination of unnecessary duplication, increased consultations, exchanges of information and documents for an effective cooperation and liaison between both Organizations’ Secretariats or Regional Offices and Country missions.

The MoU encourages both organizations, within their respective complementary mandates, to support their Member States to strengthen international,  and intra-state cooperation between their national border agencies, and exchange of information in thematic areas such as: i) border management; ii) sharing of best practices in coordinated border management policies, regulatory frameworks and administrative and institutional structures; iii) capacity building efforts; iv) responsible data collection and information exchange with a focus on risk analysis and risk management; and v) joint research. 

 

About the WCO

The WCO, established in 1952 as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC), is an independent intergovernmental body with a mission to enhance the effectiveness of Customs administrations. It represents 182 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98 per cent of world trade.

About IOM

Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. With 169 member states, a further 8 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants. IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.

 

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo, IOM HQ, Tel: +41 788 84 33 96, Email: jgalindo@iom.int or Ludovic Thanay, WCO, Tel: +32 22 09 94 20, Email: communication@wcoomd.org

Posted: Friday, May 18, 2018 - 15:42Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency to Support Belize Develop New Migration Policy

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 10:07

Belize City – The Government of Belize and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, jointly held the launch of a National Migration and Development Policy for Belize this week (16/05).

The development of the national policy will be led by the Government of Belize through a Steering Committee chaired by the Department of Immigration and Nationality Services. In developing the policy, the Government of Belize requested technical assistance from IOM in 2016; a steering committee was formulated in 2017 to work on drafting the policy framework and to ensure that the policy is aligned with the Government’s development strategy and national vision.

The latest data indicate that emigrants as a percentage of the Belizean population stand at 15 per cent, with the United States as the primary destination; while immigrants represent 15.3 per cent of the total population in the country, coming mainly from Central America.

IOM will be responsible for the overall coordination and facilitation of the project. In its first year, IOM will support the development of critical documents that will serve as a basis for the development of the policy. IOM is building the capacity of key stakeholders to develop and enact policies and programmes on migration and development.

This last goal is achieved in partnership with Galen University utilizing both on-site and virtual courses.

“Migration policy is not a matter for only the Immigration Department.  It is a matter for everyone, the State and society at large,” explained Edmund Zuniga, Chief Executive Officer at the Belizean Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration. “If you really think about it, migration touches the very lives of each and every one of us in some way or the other.”

At Wednesday’s launch, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Godwin Hulse, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development and Immigration and Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean.

Pisani noted that “this project is part of IOM’s larger objective of responding to the needs of governments regarding migration and development. We've had similar exercises in the region, such as in the Dominican Republic and Panama, where IOM supported both countries in 2017 with the process of developing their national policies on migration.”

This project is part of IOM’s mission to promote safe, regular and orderly migration in the region.

For more information please contact Rene Chuc at IOM Belize, Tel: +501 223 9500, Email: rchuc@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, May 18, 2018 - 15:44Image: Region-Country: BelizeDefault: Multimedia: 

15 per cent of Belizeans live abroad and 15,3 per cent of Belize’s population are immigrants, mostly Central Americans. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Over 700 Ghanaian Migrants Return Home with IOM Assistance

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 10:07

Accra – Earlier this week (15/05), IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in partnership with the Government of Ghana and the Airport Authorities, facilitated the return home of 148 Ghanaians via charter from Libya. The group, which included four women and two children, arrived at Kotoka International Airport in Accra in what was the fourth charter flight organized by IOM through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.

So far since June 2017, a total of 706 (661 men, 45 women) Ghanaians stranded in Libya have been assisted to return home voluntarily. The majority (70 per cent) of the returnees are being returned from various detention centres in Libya, while the rest are from the cities.

“The number of Ghanaians returning from detention situations in Libya still remains high, highlighting the need for continued interventions to ensure their protection,” said Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, IOM Chief of Mission in Ghana. “Our priority is to ensure the safe and dignified voluntary humanitarian return home for all Ghanaians in need in Libya. At the same time, we need to mobilize all possible resources, financial and in-kind, to make those returns sustainable for migrants and their communities," she added.

As of March 2018, according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, 62,422 Ghanaians have been identified in Libya, with Ghanaians ranking fifth – after Egyptians, Nigeriens, Chadians and Sudanese – out of 38 different nationalities present in Libya.

Given the continued insecurity and maltreatment of migrants particularly in detention centres, IOM will continue to provide the option of voluntary humanitarian return to Ghanaians and other migrants in Libya and other transit countries, and continue to coordinate with the Government of Ghana to ensure smooth processing and registration upon arrival and subsequent reintegration into their communities of origin.

As part of its Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme, from Libya and other transit areas, IOM conducts pre-departure interviews and medical examinations for all those who decide to return home, and facilitates the acquisition of travel documents.

Upon their arrival, all returnees are screened by Port Health officials, registered by the Ghana Immigration Service and inspected by the Ghana Police Service’s Bureau of National Investigations and Criminal Investigations Division. They are subsequently registered by IOM, and given food and water as well as pocket money for immediate needs. IOM also provides migrants with buses to local transport hubs.

Traditionally, the Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo and Greater Accra regions were the main areas of origin for Ghanaian returnees; however, the Western Region has become the second most popular region in terms of the number of returnees in recent months (18 per cent).

Returnees will have the opportunity to benefit from reintegration assistance which can consist of counselling, referrals to services (including psychosocial and medical), and other support — as needed and depending on the services available in the country.

The innovative integrated approach to reintegration assistance rolled out by IOM in the West and Central African Region under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative combines support for returning migrants and their home communities. It aims to mitigate possible tensions by involving local communities in the reintegration projects and raising awareness to address the potential stigma of returning. As such, projects can be community-based, collective, or individual for vulnerable migrants.

IOM Ghana’s return and reintegration support from transit countries such as Libya, Niger, Mali is part of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Ghana, which began in June 2017. It is funded through the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) and is implemented by IOM in collaboration with the Government of Ghana.          

For more information please contact Anita J. Wadud at IOM Ghana: Tel. +233 302 742 930 ext. 2400, Email: ajwadud@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Friday, May 18, 2018 - 15:46Image: Region-Country: GhanaDefault: Multimedia: 

Ghanaian returnees shortly after arrival from Libya, at Accra's Kotoka International Airport. Photo: IOM

Ghanaian returnees shortly after arrival from Libya, at Accra's Kotoka International Airport. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Statement on International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT)

PBN News Germany - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 06:22

Geneva - In a world where more than a third of countries criminalize consensual same-sex relationships, disclosing your gender identity and sexual orientation can be extremely dangerous. For internally displaced members of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) community, it can also cripple livelihoods and even be life-threatening.

The injustice that the LGBTI community faces in non-emergency settings does not simply disappear in times of crisis or when people become displaced, in fact, it is usually amplified. 

LGBTI internally displaced persons face complex challenges and threats during all stages of displacement. These include discrimination, prejudice, violence, difficulty accessing humanitarian services and barriers to articulating their protection needs.

2018 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. On this International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) (17/05), IOM would like to call on the international community to commit to doing more to assist, protect and address the specific needs of internally displaced individuals, who are part of the LGBTI community.

In working towards a world where internally displaced persons are better supported, we cannot forget about groups with particular vulnerabilities. When you are displaced within the borders of your own country and a member of the LGBTI community, you face challenges associated with both groups. Humanitarian assistance must be designed in such way that LGBTI community members get the specific support that they need. This is especially relevant for health care and psychosocial support, among others. In addition, LGBTI persons displaced to urban settings may, for example, have difficulty in accessing certain essential services or employment.

IOM ensures that all its programming is non-discriminatory and that its staff build humanitarian responses that take into account the specific needs of the LGBTI community. IOM, along with UNHCR, has developed a training course for humanitarian workers to better assist and protect displaced LGBTI individuals. In the past few years, more than 900 staff member have been trained in over 30 countries. We will continue this effort. During the training, they learn about sexual diversity in order to be better equipped to deal with LGBTI issues.

In the last five years, IOM has made important progress in adapting and creating internal policies to foster inclusivity. We will continue striving to create an IOM workplace that best serves LGBTI staff members and is in line with the Standards of Conduct set forth by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. IOM is a supporter of Free and Equal, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ global campaign against homophobia and transphobia.

Today, let us commit to better serving those who are facing double discrimination, for being internally displaced, and for being LGBTI. We should also commit to treating all those in need of support, as well as our staff members, with respect, regardless of their sex, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Language English Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 12:21Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Supports Ebola Response in DR Congo, Border-Crossings

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 09:26

Kinshasa – Over the past few days, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has raced to support the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Congolese Ministry of Health in addressing the needs of communities affected by the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). IOM is focusing on population mobility mapping at border-crossings and in the affected province, as well as risk communication and sanitary control.

DRC’s Ministry of Health declared an Ebola outbreak a week ago (08/05), reporting 21 suspected cases including 17 deaths in the Ikoko Impenge Health Area of Bikoro Health Zone, located in the Equateur Province. Since then, the number of suspected cases and deaths has grown.

Equateur Province has a population of approximately 2.5 million people spread across an area of over 100,000 square kilometres. The remote Bikoro Health Zone is extremely difficult for the humanitarian community to access, with limited communication and transport infrastructure. The region shares borders with the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. People are continuously moving across these borders both by land and through the Congo River, which puts a great importance on the prevention and control of Ebola.

“Communicable diseases like Ebola know no borders,” said Jean-Philippe Chauzy, IOM DRC Chief of Mission. “As with last year’s outbreak, IOM is committed to supporting DRC’s Ministry of Health and its National Programme of Hygiene at Borders to complete population mobility mapping, improve sanitary controls and carry out risk communications at border-crossings and in affected areas.” Chauzy added, “Considering the risk of cross-border transmission, it is also imperative that neighbouring countries enhance surveillance measures and prepare to detect, investigate and respond to potential Ebola cases.” 

Population mobility mapping of the Bikoro Health Zone, neighbouring Health Zones and the whole Equateur Province carried out by IOM will help the humanitarian community know which locations are the busiest points that people travel through and should have health measures strengthened, including risk communication, active case finding or health screenings and setting up of infection prevention and control measures, among others.

IOM will also monitor flows at major border crossing points and congregation points to quantify cross-border and internal movements, and obtain the demographic and movement profiles of travellers. In addition, IOM will assist the facilitation of cross-border coordination and information sharing with neighbouring countries to ensure surveillance and operational readiness for early detection, investigation and response to potential cases of Ebola.

IOM will communicate with international travellers, internal travellers and host communities about Ebola prevention, detection and response. These risk communications will be carried out at priority locations with heavy population movements, as identified through IOM’s population mobility mapping, which will also map the various languages used in each location.

IOM will also set up infection prevention and control measures at priority border crossings, travel routes and congregation points, in similar areas to those in which IOM will be communicating about health risks. A referral mechanism is being developed and will be used to help sick travellers.

With a proven record in responding to Ebola crises, IOM is appealing to donors for USD 500,000 to carry out these surveillance, health screening, risk communications and infection prevention and control activities, as well as population mobility mapping and cross-border coordination.

During the previous outbreak in the DRC’s Bas-Uele Province in 2017, IOM trained and equipped 25 Congolese border health officials on integrated disease surveillance, risk communication and outbreak management. They were then deployed to the epi-centre of the outbreak and to nearby border posts to strengthen surveillance, health screening and disinfection and risk communication. IOM also conducted flow monitoring at 13 key intervention sites.

During the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, IOM supported the health response at border areas and crossings and set up Ebola Treatment Units.

For more information, please contact IOM DRC:

Jean-Philippe Chauzy, Tel: +243 827339827 , Email: jpchauzy@iom.int

Mamadou Ngom, Tel: + 243 815087980, Email: mngom@iom.int

Aki Yoshino, Tel: +243 810325533, Email: ayoshino@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 15:00Image: Region-Country: Democratic Republic of the CongoDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM and partners have deployed an investigation mission to Bikoro Health Zone. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Moves Thousands of Rohingya Refugees to Safer Ground

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 09:24

Cox’s Bazar Almost 12,000 Rohingya refugees have now been moved to safer ground by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, as storms continue to lash southern Bangladesh, damaging tarpaulin shelters and raising the risk of landslides on the steep sandy slopes of the refugee settlements. IOM is racing to support the ongoing relocation of 24,000 people recognized as being highest risk.

The inter-agency Site Maintenance Engineering Project (SMEP) – a joint effort between IOM, WFP and UNHCR – is also working at full speed to prepare new land made available by the government to the southwest of the existing camps to allow more people to move to safer ground.

Almost 700,000 refugees have fled violence in Myanmar and arrived in Cox’s Bazar since August 2017. The initial influx saw hundreds of thousands of people desperate to find a place to shelter. As a result, many ended up living in drastically over-crowded conditions, on dangerous, unstable slopes stripped of vegetation and at risk of collapse in the rain.

As of this week, IOM, with support from partners, has helped 11,791 people to relocate – either because they were at serious risk of landslides and floods – or to allow for emergency access and other crucial infrastructure to be installed ahead of monsoon. Around 3,000 more people have been relocated by other agencies for similar reasons.

The latest relocation numbers came as early incident reports revealed that lightning storms and strong winds, which have hit the refugee camps over the past few days, damaged scores of shelters and caused several small landslides, creating even more precarious living conditions for some refugees.

“The impact of the recent storms is a worrying indication of what people will face during the cyclone season and at the height of monsoon,” said Manuel Pereira, IOM’s Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar. “There is no time to lose in supporting those at risk to move to safer ground. The work being done under the SMEP will help save lives.”

IOM engineers working under the SMEP say that the first section of a new site to the southwest of the current camps is now ready to receive shelters and other key services, including water, hygiene and education facilities. The newly prepared land is part of around 40 acres that will be prepared in the coming weeks to accommodate hundreds of families most at risk from floods and landslides.

The government of Bangladesh has made 500 acres of new land available to relocate refugees at risk, but due to the topography of the Cox’s Bazar area, where much of the land is hilly, major earthworks are needed to prepare the ground. Only a fraction of the newly available land can be made safe for relocation before the monsoon, which will begin in earnest next month. 

Pereira added that relocation is one of a range of measures being taken by IOM and its partners to support the refugees in the months to come. Others include pre-positioning of key road clearing equipment and emergency provisions, mobile medical services, training refugees in search and rescue and first aid, and raising people’s awareness of the risks.

“We recognize the dangers that everyone in the camps will face when the worst weather arrives. That’s why we are also preparing emergency response measures and supporting the refugees so they can work to strengthen their shelters and have the skills needed to respond to disaster situations,” he added.

Monsoon Preparedness in Numbers

As Bangladesh’s annual wet season approaches, IOM is also working to secure infrastructure and strengthen preparedness measures.

  • 34,123 families have received Upgrade Shelter Kits.
  • 40,000 households have received community training on shelter upgrade and disaster risk reduction.
  • 9,600 refugees have provided feedback that is being analyzed to prepare PSA messages for the monsoon season.
  • 30 field staff have been trained on cyclone season message delivery.
  • 650 refugees and local community members are being trained in first aid, search & rescue and fire safety via partnerships with the Bangladeshi Fire Service & Civil Defence, American Red Cross and Cyclone Preparedness Programme.
  • 5 mobile medical teams are being trained to provide primary lifesaving health care services to displaced people.
  • 20,000 acute watery diarrhea kits, 73 million aquatabs and 360,000 hygiene top up kits are prepositioned and being distributed through water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH) agencies.

 

For more information contact Fiona MacGregor at IOM Cox’s Bazar, Email: fmacgregor@iom.int Tel. +88 017 3333 5221

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 14:57Image: Region-Country: BangladeshDefault: Multimedia: 

Aid agencies race to relocate Rohingya refugees to safer ground ahead of monsoon. Photo: IOM/Saikat Mojumder 2018

Aid agencies race to relocate Rohingya refugees to safer ground ahead of monsoon. Photo: IOM/Saikat Mojumder 2018

Aid agencies race to relocate Rohingya refugees to safer ground ahead of monsoon. Photo: IOM/Saikat Mojumder 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 25,338 in 2018; Deaths Reach 628

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 09:23

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 25,338 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 19 weeks of 2018, with about 41 per cent arriving in Italy and 38 per cent to Greece, with the remainder (21%) arriving in Spain.

This compares with 54,324 arrivals across the region through the same period last year and about 188,000 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 13 per cent of 2016’s arrivals at this point in the year.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo noted that the 10,300 migrants who are registered as having arrived by sea to Italy this year is an amount 77 per cent less than that reported last year in the same period, when 45,124 irregular migrants and refugees arrived in Italy and a 67 per cent decline from the 31,246 arriving to this point in 2016 (see chart below).

Di Giacomo added that almost 500 migrants were rescued at sea last Saturday (12 May) during six operations carried out by Italian and international ships. Some migrants arrived from Libya, others from Tunisia.

He noted that in one case, rescuers provided support to a two-deck wooden boat carrying 180 people.  The boat had left from Kekhenna (Tunisia) on Friday night, and was rescued by a ship of the Italian Coast Guard and one of Carabinieri a few miles off Lampedusa. Migrants reported to IOM staff to have paid EUR 1,200 for the sea crossing, and that they had been ferried out by smugglers to the larger “mother ship” waiting for them in open water.

According to these witnesses, some migrants saw that the boat was overloaded and subsequently changed their minds about embarking – but the smugglers then used violence to force them on board.

“We haven’t seen the arrival of such a big boat from Tunisia for some time,” said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean. “The use of larger boats that are loaded with hundreds of people was more common in past years, up to about mid-2015. More recently, mostly rubber dinghies, departing from Libya or small wooden boats departing from Tunisia, have been used by smugglers to move migrants into international waters. It is difficult to know whether the type of boat used for this group represents a return to past practices.”

During another operation, the SOS Mediterranée’s Aquarius rescued 74 migrants, who were travelling on a rubber dinghy and who shared with the rescuers the horrific stories and the extreme danger and violence they experienced in Libya.

IOM Rome also noted Tunisians represent the largest nationality group arriving in Italy by sea from North Africa this year, followed by Eritreans, Nigerians, Sudanese, Pakistan, Malians, Guineans and Senegalese—almost all of whose arrival numbers have fallen considerably below totals reported in the recent months. (see chart below).

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported that on Sunday, 257 migrants (including 18 children) were returned to Libyan shore by the Coast Guard in two different search and rescue operations. IOM provided migrants with emergency humanitarian assistance including basic health and protection screenings, as well as food and beverages. Migrants were transferred to Tajoura and Shuhada al Nasr detention centres, where IOM assistance continues.

So far this year, 6,642 migrants have been returned to Libyan shore by the Libyan Coast Guard, Petré reported.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reported on Monday (14 May) that in the Mediterranean alone, 628 migrants are estimated to have died this year. The latest fatalities this year are being reported as nine individuals discovered near the Karpasia peninsula in Northern Cyprus on Sunday. Authorities believe those casualty numbers may increase and so far some remains have been confirmed as Syrians.

The Turkish Coast Guard on Monday was undertaking a search operation. It is believed that the migrants’ departure was from Mersin, Turkey, and that their boat likely sank last week.

To date this year the 383 drownings on the Central Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Italy has been the region’s deadliest sea crossing. Twenty-eight drowning victims have been discovered this year in the Turkish-Greek waters of the Eastern Mediterranean and 217 in the waters separating North Africa from Spain.

In Spanish waters, so far this year, IOM Madrid’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that a total of 1,063 migrants have been rescued on the Western Mediterranean route through 13 days in May – compared with 835 for the entire month of May last year. That brings to 5,463 the total number of men, women and children who have been rescued trying to enter Spain by sea this year (see charts below).


IOM Greece’s Kelly Namia reported Monday that over the four days (9-12 May) the Hellenic Coast Guard reported at least two incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos and Kos. The Coast Guard rescued 24 migrants and transferred them to those two islands.

Namia reported that along with other landings on Lesvos and Leros another 67 migrants landed in the Aegean these four days bringing to 9,528 the total number of irregular migrants entering Greece via sea since 1 January—for an average of around 72 persons per day.

April saw 3,083 migrant arrivals via the Eastern Mediterranean. Already 1,263 irregular migrants have landed on these shores in May—just 12 days into the month. (see charts below)


Ivona Zakoska, an IOM regional officer for Southeastern Europe and Central Asia, reported on Monday that available data show that irregular arrivals through the Eastern Mediterranean route doubled this year, when compared with arrivals during the same period in 2017.

Between January and April, Greek authorities registered more than 10,400 new arrivals compared to 5,771 reported in 2017. New arrivals – and the prolonged presence of a significant number of stranded migrants in the transit countries (estimated at more than 62,000 at the end of April 2018) – result  in increased further movement of migrants through the Western Balkan countries: Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Authorities in those respective countries registered the arrival of 4,648 irregular migrants since the start of the year through the end of April, a figure that represents an almost ten-fold increase compared to the same period last year. A majority of these irregular migrants has been detected in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina—over 2700 individuals. Almost one quarter of the migrants and asylum seekers registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina were Syrian nationals (641) followed by nationals of Pakistan, Libya, Afghanistan and Iran. The nationality breakdown of the migrants and asylum seekers registered in Albania and Montenegro are similar, with a slightly higher share of migrants from Algeria who were also registered among the top five nationality groups.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 1,106 people who died or went missing while migrating in 2018 (see chart below).

On the US-Mexico border, a young man of unconfirmed nationality drowned in a canal in Brackettville, Texas, after crossing the US-Mexico border on 11 May. Additionally, the US Border Patrol reported that the remains of an unidentified migrant were found near Armstrong, Texas, on 10 May. On 7 May, another body was recovered from a ranch near Falfurrias, Brooks County. Located over 70 miles from the border with Mexico, Falfurrias hosts one of the border region's busiest immigration checkpoints; Brooks County is regularly crossed by migrants trying to avoid detection. This year, at least 20 bodies have been found in ranch lands across Brooks County, according to the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office. That's a rate of more than one victim per week.

Additionally, the MMP team recorded the deaths of 13 migrants from Comoros who lost their lives when crossing the Mozambique Channel to reach the French island of Mayotte on 5 May. One survivor was rescued by local fishermen, who also recovered the body of a young woman. According to the testimony of the sole survivor, a 70-year-old woman, at least 12 people are missing and presumed dead in this tragic accident.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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:
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 Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 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, May 15, 2018 - 14:54Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency: 48,000 Somalis to Benefit from Health Services

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 09:23

Nairobi — IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in close partnership with the Ministries of Health in Somaliland and Puntland, will provide emergency life-saving health services to some 48,000 drought-affected people in the Sool, Sanaag and Mudug regions over the next five months, with funding from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

“There is a continuous need for health services due to the critical health gaps across Somalia,” said Abdikadir Abdow, IOM Somalia’s Health Programme Officer.

The massive migration from rural to urban and peri-urban centres in Somalia has placed a strain on the capacity of municipal authorities to provide basic services, further exacerbating existing vulnerabilities, particularly among women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities and marginalized communities. Aid agencies estimate that over 2 million people remain internally displaced in Somalia.

Some of the worst affected districts continue to grapple with limited access to life-saving assistance.  Crisis-affected communities in these areas are disproportionally affected by food insecurity, malnutrition, and disease outbreaks.

In response to the effects of the drought and current flooding, the project will provide access to emergency primary healthcare for IDPs and host populations in the targeted regions. IOM has deployed four Integrated Emergency Rapid Response Teams (IERTs) in each of the targeted states.

“In close partnership with regional and federal ministries of health and local communities, IERTs are [deployed to] underserved regions with limited access in order to prevent deterioration of the health status of vulnerable communities, especially women and children,” Abdow said.

He added: “The eight teams will provide life-saving primary health services to 48,000 Somalis including consultations, nutrition screenings, referral services and health education.”

In 2017, IOM set up 22 static clinics and 33 IERTs, up from 10 and 4 static clinics and IERTs, respectively, in 2016. This was a more than a threefold expansion in operations which extended IOM’s health coverage to underserved areas.

The massive increase in service provision in the second quarter of 2017 was enabled by CERF. IOM provided over 550,000 individuals with health consultations in 2017.

For more information please contact the Programme Support Unit at IOM Somalia, Tel: +254715990600, Email: iomsomaliapsu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 14:51Image: Region-Country: SomaliaDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM has deployed 8 teams to provide emergency primary healthcare for IDPs and host populations in the targeted regions in Somalia.

IOM has deployed 8 teams to provide emergency primary healthcare for IDPs and host populations in the targeted regions in Somalia.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Experts Meet to Scale up Efforts to Tackle Climate Change Displacement

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 09:23

Bogis-Bossey – Stakeholders from all over the world are gathered in Switzerland this week (14-15/05) to contribute to the work of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Task Force on Displacement and to assist in drafting recommendations to avert, minimize and address displacement in the context of climate change.

The conclusions will be presented by the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM) at the Katowice Climate Change Conference (COP 24) in December 2018.

“Displacement of people in vulnerable communities is happening and we have given the role to identify and strengthen practical measures to address the challenges of climate change displacement. I therefore urge the community of practitioners to deliver on this mandate by COP24,” said Pepetua Latasi, from Tuvalu, and Co-Facilitator of the Task Force on Displacement.

An average of 25.3 million people per year were forced to leave their homes due to floods, tropical storms, droughts, glacier melting and other natural hazards between 2008 and 2016. The impacts of such hazards are magnified by climate and environmental change, fast-paced urbanization and population growth.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) are jointly hosting the stakeholder meeting on behalf of the UNFCCC Task Force on Displacement in Bogis Bossey, Switzerland. More than 60 experts from governments, regional organizations, civil society and international organizations in the field of migration and climate change are in attendance.

“We need to act, and to act together. Cooperation in this area is not only a necessity, but also a duty of humanity, to the women, men and children who are most often already living in vulnerable situations. It is clear that States and others need to strengthen efforts to avert, minimize and address displacement related to the adverse effects of climate change,” said Marie-Pierre Meganck from the Permanent Mission of France, speaking on behalf of the PDD Chairmanship.

The Task Force on Displacement was created by States to develop recommendations for integrated approaches to avert, minimize and address displacement related to the adverse impacts of climate change following a decision adopted at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) in 2015. The Task Force operates under the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM Excom). IOM and PDD are Members of the Task Force on Displacement.

Since its creation in 2017, the Task Force undertook nine mapping exercises and analyses, covering policy, practice and data related to human mobility in the context of climate change. Task Force members identified and suggested solutions for several gaps related to international law, operational implementation, funding, and data collection and analysis. One of the objectives of the stakeholder meeting is to present and discuss these findings, and gather additional inputs from international experts.

This meeting will be the first time that such a diverse group of stakeholders come together to review the relevant research and practices regarding displacement in the context of loss and damage under the work of the Task Force.

“There are many effective practices to prevent and reduce displacement and to help those who are displaced, but they must be harmonized, made more predictable and scaled up. This not only requires more resources but also stronger efforts of climate change, disaster management, development, humanitarian and migration actors to work hand in hand,” highlighted Prof. Walter Kaelin, Envoy of the Chair of the PDD.

“If we invest in climate action today, we reduce the risks of displacement due to climate change for future generations. It will mean reducing losses and damages that occur when migration is a tragedy and a last resort. But we also have to think migration policy and practice with innovative eyes, so as to see how safe and orderly migration can provide solutions and opportunities for people who are affected by climate change to move in a dignified manner,” said Dina Ionesco, IOM Head of Migration, Environment and Climate Change division.

The event ends this afternoon (15/05) with a meeting for Task Force members only, chaired by the two Task Force co-facilitators, Australia and Tuvalu, to discuss the next steps.

IOM is a leading partner in mitigating climate displacement. The Organization continues to lead climate migration programmes in more than 40 countries, including in the Pacific Islands, Latin America and on the Asian and African continents, while also working with governments and other stakeholders to drive policy coherence and development.

The State-led Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) works towards better protection for people displaced across borders in the context of disasters and the adverse effects of climate change. Following up on the work of the Nansen Initiative, PDD, now under the leaderships of Bangladesh and France, works in partnership with IOM and UNHCR to find policy solutions for those forced to move and to cover data gaps.

For more information, please contact: Jorge Galindo, IOM HQ, Tel: +(41) 22 717 205 Email: jgalindo@iom.int or Chirine El Labbane, Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD), Tel: +41 79 542 18 09, Email: chirinee@unops.org

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 14:48Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM's Mariam Traore Chazalnoël joins group work at the task force meeting. Photo: IOM/Jorge Galindo 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Ecuador Hosts Regional Workshop on Labour Mobility, Youth Employment

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 09:19
Language English

Quito – IOM, the UN Migration Agency is supporting the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador in organising a two-day Regional Workshop on Labour Mobility and Youth Employment that starts today (15/05) in the capital, Quito.

The event is also supported by the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB by its Spanish Acronym) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). The workshop seeks to initiate a dialogue and exchange of experiences among countries of the Ibero-American region on the challenges and opportunities of modern policies on labour mobility and youth employment.

The workshop, which brings together both high-level authorities from the Ministries of Labour in the region and technical experts of employment, will contribute to the various regional and sub-regional integration processes, including the Ibero-American Community as a process of inter-regional integration.

IOM Regional Director for South America Diego Beltrand, highlighted the importance of the workshop to promote a permanent dialogue between the Ministries of Labour and institutions linked to migration, both nationally and regionally, as a solid basis for the formulation of public policies on human and labour mobility, that promote the human and labour rights of migrant workers.

"Labour mobility is an important driver of the world economy, with a positive impact on development; but if it is not well managed, it can be a source of exploitation of workers, inequality and poverty,” said Beltrand.

During the workshop, IOM and ILO will lead some of the sessions, which will explore trends, the current situation, challenges and opportunities for labour mobility and youth employment in Latin America, in addition to thematic presentations on human mobility management and its link to development, as well as the ethical and fair recruitment of migrant workers.

The expected results of this meeting include a regional inventory and conclusions on public policies, good practices and other measures adopted by the countries in the region on labour mobility and youth employment. They will also include the systematization of proposals discussed among the participating countries to strengthen regional integration through mechanisms of information exchange and facilitation of labour mobility.

According to the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), in 2016 more than 20 million Latin Americans worked outside their countries of origin, of which 4.35 million were intra-regional. The ILO estimates that in 2017 there were more than 56.1 million young people who were part of the Economically Active Population (PEA in Spanish) in Latin America and the Caribbean, of which 7.8 million were unemployed and 26.9 million had informal jobs.

For more information, please contact Juliana Quintero at the IOM Regional Office in Buenos Aires, Tel: + (54) 11 4813 3330, Email: juquintero@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 14:46Image: Region-Country: ArgentinaDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Asia-Pacific Emergency Shelter Experts Meet in Bangkok

PBN News Germany - Mon, 05/14/2018 - 09:49
Language English

Bangkok - IOM will this week host back-to-back meetings for over 70 emergency shelter experts in the Thai capital Bangkok. The events, which will take place on 17th and 18th of May at the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre (BACC) will bring together practitioners and partners to discuss challenges and best practices of implementing emergency and transitional shelter projects in the region. 

The Shelter Projects Workshop Asia-Pacific on 17 May (http://bit.ly/2FlZExf) will focus on learning from past experiences by actively engaging participants using case studies from the bi-annual Shelter Projects publication. It will bring together practitioners, academics and other stakeholders to collectively review case studies, focusing on what worked well and what didn’t in the past. It will also provide an opportunity to share experiences from recent shelter and settlement responses in the region, and identify cases for inclusion in the next edition of Shelter Projects.

The Asia Shelter and Settlements Forum on 18 of May (http://bit.ly/2oMK1bM) will provide an informal forum for an exchange of ideas and lessons learned. Building on the findings and outcomes emerging from the Shelter Projects Workshop, it will review some of the best practices in the region, looking at how these can be transferred between countries. It will concentrate on a number of themes including preparedness activities, linking relief to recovery, and identifying the localized approaches that work best in the Asia-Pacific context.

For more information please contact Maria Moita at the IOM Regional Office in Bangkok. Email: mmoita@iom.int. Tel. +66.62.602.8768.

Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 12:23Image: Region-Country: ThailandDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, World Bank Strengthen Cooperation to Better Address Development and Humanitarian Challenges

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 11:44

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the World Bank Friday (11/05) prepared to sign two new framework agreements that will facilitate easy access of IOM’s expertise to Governments implementing projects with World Bank funding.

The World Bank and IOM play key complementary roles in addressing globally relevant development and humanitarian challenges, including understanding and addressing forced displacement, promoting early and sustainable recovery during and after crises, identifying innovative solutions to protracted crises, exploring the link between migration and development, addressing the impact of climate change on mobility, strengthening the response to pandemic and ensuring social protection.

IOM welcomed to Geneva Manuela Ferro, Vice President of Operational Policy and Country Services at the World Bank who signed the memorandum of understanding covering two standard framework agreements during an afternoon session.

“Given the interest of the World Bank in addressing protracted displacement crisis, population mobility and its development impacts, the issue is particularly relevant and important for IOM,” said Luca Dall’Oglio, IOM Chief of Mission in Washington DC. “The conclusion of these agreements will establish the required financial modalities for the World Bank and IOM to effectively support the concerned national authorities at the country level in the implementation of important projects,” he added.

These frameworks will streamline procedures for cooperation and see an immediate impact, as they will expedite IOM’s engagement with the Government of Iraq under the World Bank-financed Emergency Social Stabilization and Resilience Project. That effort aims to increase the livelihoods of over one million Iraqis through the provision of cash, short-term employment and other services.

IOM and the World Bank have already a long-standing partnership on data collection and analysis, knowledge management and joint programmes. The new agreements will strengthen and simplify the cooperation between the two institutions for the benefit of the client countries.

For more information, please contact Liz Lizama at the IOM DC Tel: + 1202-862-1826 extension 243.  Email: LLizama@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, May 11, 2018 - 17:42Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Agreements facilitate easier access of IOM’s expertise to Governments implementing projects with World Bank funding.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Displacement Survey Shows 3.5 Million Internally Displaced, Returnees from Abroad in 15 Afghan Provinces

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 11:42

Kabul – One in six people is either a returnee or an internally displaced person (IDP) in the 15 Afghan provinces of Baghlan, Balkh, Farah, Herat, Kabul, Kandahar, Khost, Kunar, Kunduz, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Paktya, and Takhar, according to the third round of IOM’s Afghanistan’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Baseline Mobility Assessment.

In the 15 provinces assessed, which are believed to host the nation’s highest levels of returnee and displaced populations, a total of 3,549,168 individuals either returned from abroad or were internally displaced during the six years between January 2012 and December 2017. This represents roughly 18 per cent of the total base population of 16,699,381 in these provinces.

The DTM tracks mobility, determines the numbers and locations of forcibly displaced people and provides basic demographic information. It aims to explain the reasons behind their displacement and their migration history, as well as their vulnerabilities and priority needs.

The main objective of the DTM in Afghanistan is to supply the Government of Afghanistan and humanitarian partners with comprehensive data, enabling them to provide timely, targeted, and cost-effective assistance to conflict and displacement affected populations.

According to the survey, the returnees from abroad included 1,355,488 people from Pakistan and 398,521 from Iran. Another 67,002 Afghans returned from non-neighbouring countries. This includes 38,620 people who returned from Europe and Turkey.

With 499,194 individuals returning between 2012 and 2017, Nangarhar, a province bordering Pakistan, hosts the highest number of returnees, receiving over 25 per cent of all returnees recorded in the 15 assessed provinces.

The survey also identified a total of 1,728,157 IDPs currently living in host communities throughout the assessed provinces. The majority of IDPs – 86 per cent (1,481,923) – had been displaced by conflict, while the remaining 14 per cent (246,234) had been forced to leave their homes due to natural disasters, such as floods, avalanches and earthquakes.

Another 1,635,194 people had been displaced in the past and have now returned to their homes. Just over half of IDPs – 57 per cent (989,484) – had fled to a safe location within their own home province and 43 per cent (738,673) had fled to other provinces.

Many returnees and IDPs are living in extreme poverty and some 101,606 returnees and IDPs are now living in tents or in the open air. Some 1,192,191 returnees and IDPs are living with host families, while 892,380 live in rented rooms, often in semi-ruined, abandoned houses.

There is also a strong trend toward urbanization among Afghan returnees and IDPs in search of better security, essential services and job opportunities. Some 48 per cent (1,718,202) of returnees and IDPs in the 15 assessed provinces are living in urban districts. IDPs are more likely to flee to urban areas – 55 per cent of IDPs (953,146) relocated to urban districts, whereas 42 per cent of returnees (765,056) chose urban environments.

“Often, particularly in urban environments, IDPs and returnees settle in so-called ‘informal settlements’ near economic centres where the income earners of the family try to find daily labour. The conditions in these settlements are dire, with extremely low standards of hygiene and limited access to water,” said IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission Laurence Hart.

“Given that the past winter brought very little snow and rain, we may well face a drought this summer. In this event, it isn’t hard to imagine that those who will be most adversely affected are those who are already the most vulnerable: the returnees and IDPs. They often can’t afford to settle in places that have access to basic necessities, such as water, but rather settle in marginal areas, because they have nowhere else to go,” he added.

The 15 provinces also experienced outward migration abroad between 2012–2017. Some 772,109 individuals or five per cent of the population left Afghanistan and have not returned. Of these, 460,365 moved to Iran and 159,166 to Pakistan. Another 110,534 (14% of emigrants) migrated to Europe, including Turkey. Most emigrants (106,558) left Herat, followed by Baghlan, Takhar, Farah and Balkh. These five provinces accounted for 58 per cent (448,698) of all emigrants.

Following a first round of data collection conducted January – March 2017 in the three eastern provinces of Nangarhar, Laghman, and Kunar, and a second round covering nine provinces with the addition of Kabul, Balkh, Kunduz, Takhar, Baghlan and Paktya provinces, this current DTM survey has expanded to include Farah, Herat, Kandahar, Khost, Logar and Nimroz.

IOM’s DTM will continue to survey additional provinces where necessary to reflect and respond to the evolving needs of the displaced Afghan population. The DTM was launched in response to dramatic rises in returns from neighbouring countries, as well as increasing internal displacement. Between January 2016 and December 2017 at least 1,215,211 Afghans returned to Afghanistan from Iran and Pakistan, and over 1,286,608 were internally displaced by conflict.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Minister of Refugees and Repatriation Seyed Hussein Alemi Balkhi said: “This research shows that over the past six years, one in six people is either a returnee or an internally displaced person (IDP) in these 15 provinces. It is therefore necessary that migration and displacement should be considered as a top priority by the National Unity Government of Afghanistan.”

Please visit the DTM Afghanistan web page http://displacement.iom.int/afghanistan to download maps, datasets and additional reports, as well as access DTM’s interactive maps and dashboards.

For further information, please contact IOM Afghanistan: Michael Speir, Tel.+93 72 922 8859, Email: mspeir@iom.int. Or Eva Schwoerer, Tel. +93 72 922 9129, Email: eschwoerer@iom.int.

 

Language English Posted: Friday, May 11, 2018 - 17:39Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Homeless Afghans newly returned from Pakistan camp in harsh conditions in Nangarhar province. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM DG Launches Chinese Edition of World Migration Report 2018

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 11:39

Beijing – IOM Director General William Lacy Swing this week launched the Chinese language edition of IOM’s flagship publication: The World Migration Report 2018.

The report aims to make sense of migration in an increasingly interconnected world.  It presents key data and evidence on migration, both at regional and national levels, as well as providing evidence-based analysis of complex emerging issues.

These include migration and global governance; migration and transnational connectivity; the relationship between migration, violent extremism and social exclusion; media reporting on migrants, and migration journeys seen from the perspective of migrants.

Since 2000, IOM has published nine World Migration Reports. The series provide an important reference to improve understanding of migration phenomena worldwide.

Launching the 2018 Chinese language edition in Beijing, Ambassador Swing told a Chinese audience: “Migration is not a problem to be solved, but a human reality to be managed through effective partnerships.”

“As the UN Migration Agency, IOM has an obligation to demystify the world of migration for policymakers, practitioners, researchers, students and the general public. Our intention is to promote a balanced understanding of migration’s complexities, present relevant data and information in an accessible way, explain salient, complex and emerging issues and share over 65 years of our diverse experience across the world,” he noted.

The 2018 report comes against a backdrop of growing interconnectivity, but also public suspicion and misconceptions about migration trends. It aims to cut through political opinions with data and evidence-based analysis. It also provides policy recommendations on some of the most pressing global issues relating to international migration.  

The World Migration Report 2018 in Chinese can be downloaded here: https://publications.iom.int/system/files/pdf/wmr_2018_ch.pdf  or https://publications.iom.int/books/world-migration-report-2018-chinese

For more information, please contact Pär Liljert at the IOM China. Tel: + 86 134 6638 5492; Email: pliljert@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, May 11, 2018 - 17:37Image: Region-Country: ChinaDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM DG Swing launches the Chinese edition of The World Migration Report 2018 in Beijing. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Niger, UN Migration Agency Assist 2,500 Women and Children at Transit Centres

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 11:36

Niamey — Between January 2017 and March 2018, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, assisted 1,310 women, mainly from Nigeria and Liberia, as well as 714 accompanied and 445 unaccompanied children, most notably from Guinea-Conakry and Nigeria at its six transit centres for migrants in Agadez, Dirkou, Arlit and Niamey.

As a major migratory hub in West Africa, Niger is transited by both migrants on their way up north to Algeria, Libya, and migrants on their way back to their countries of origin. Among them, there are many vulnerable women and children who find themselves in need of urgent assistance. Many of them are no longer able to return to their places of origin, having been victims of trafficking during their migratory journey.

Specific areas are reserved for women and minors in the three transit centres in Agadez, Dirkou and Arlit, while one of the centres in Niamey is exclusively dedicated to women. All the women assisted benefit from an individualized monitoring process based on the specific needs assessment.

IOM, together with the Ministry for the Promotion of Women and Child Protection, juvenile judges and UNICEF provides a comprehensive assistance to minors including placement at the centre, family tracing, return and reintegration assistance in their region or country of origin.

On 8 May, IOM signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry for the Promotion of Women and Child Protection. A communications strategy for women traveling to and from Algeria will be developed jointly, as well as a prevention and protection centre for children in Kantché, Zinder region. Starting this month, IOM’s transit centre for minors in Niamey will be co-managed by the two.

Leading up to Nigerien Women’s day on May 13, Elback Zeinabou Tari Bako, the Minister for the Promotion of Women and Child Protection visited the two centres to see first-hand the results of this cooperation. "I commend this exemplary collaboration with IOM," said the minister during her official visit on 9 May. “The future of Niger depends on the way we treat and protect our children, especially the most vulnerable ones,” she added.

During the visit, the migrants at the centres together with the officials, attended a short play written by the women which portrayed their migratory journeys and IOM’s assistance.

IOM’s six transit centres in Niger are supported by the Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, and co-financed by the German Cooperation, the Governments of the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, DFID and DANIDA.

For more information, please contact Marine Buckenham at IOM Niger, Tel : +227 80 06 66 17, Email : mbuckenham@iom.int.

 

Language English Posted: Friday, May 11, 2018 - 17:34Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Giuseppe Loprete, IOM Chief of Mission in Niger and Elback Zeinabou Tari Bako, Niger's Minister for the Promotion of Women and Child Protection at IOM’s transit centre for women in Niamey. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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