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Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 170,249 in 2017; Deaths Reach 3,116

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/22/2017 - 09:41

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 170,249 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 20 December, with just over 70 percent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 359,160 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

 

On Thursday (21 December) IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported on three incidents off the island of Lesvos and Rhodes that required search and rescue operation. The Hellenic Coast Guard managed to rescue the 120 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands.

Through 19 December, the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory is 28,490 (see chart below).

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals at sea in 2017 have reached 21,468 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 21 December. That figure is 13,076 greater than through the same date in 2016.

 

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported Thursday one new death on the Mediterranean as the remains of a migrant were found in a boat, four miles off the coast of San Roque, Cádiz (Spain) on 15 December. IOM has recorded the deaths of 223 migrants this year on the Western Mediterranean route to Spain in 2017—a number that surpasses the total number of deaths recorded in the Western Mediterranean for all of 2016, which totalled 128.
Since the start of December, the Western Mediterranean has been the deadliest of all Mediterranean routes, with 15 deaths of sea borne migrants reported, compared to eight deaths this month on the Central Mediterranean and none this month in the Eastern Mediterranean. Twenty-three deaths this month on the Mediterranean is a significant decline from recent years. In 2015 over 200 drownings of migrants occurred on the Mediterranean in December; in 2016 almost 400 took place.
Total deaths in the Mediterranean now stand at 3116 through 21 December, compared to 4,967 at this time last year.
Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrant Project (MMP) has recorded the deaths of 5,362 people during migration in 2017. Besides the recent Mediterranean deaths, MMP recorded five Afghan migrants dying in a vehicle accident near Isfahan, Iran, on 16 December. On 19 December, an 18-year-old Pakistani boy died of hypothermia in the Evros River, on the border between Greece and Turkey.
Also on 19 December, six migrants lost their lives in a vehicle accident in Tamaulipas, Mexico: five Honduran men and one Mexican woman travelling to the US border died on the Zaragoza-González highway.
MMP 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.
 
Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170714_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 Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: ADODEVSKA@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 28 78 78 05 (mobile) office: +216 71 860 312 EXT. 109 Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, December 22, 2017 - 15:55Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Supports Voluntary Humanitarian Return of 89 Comorian Migrants from Libya

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/22/2017 - 09:27

Moroni – A flight chartered by IOM, the UN Migration Agency in Libya, arrived yesterday (21/12) at the Moroni Hahaya International airport, Comoros, carrying 89 Comorian migrants, including 30 women and one unaccompanied child. Among the returnees were two medical cases that received immediate attention for medical follow up.

The returnees were welcomed by representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Health, Social Affairs, and by a delegation of IOM headed by Daniel Silva y Poveda, IOM Chief of Mission to Madagascar, Comoros and the Seychelles.

Upon their arrival, returnees were provided with immediate assistance by government stakeholders, and each returnee received pocket money (EUR 50) from IOM, to cover their immediate needs. Buses were arranged by the Government of Comoros to transport the returnees to their villages of origin. Within the next two months, IOM will assess the returnees’ situation on a case by case basis to help them find alternatives to ensure their sustainable reintegration in the Comoros.

Most of the stranded migrants were held in detention centres in the Tripoli region, Libya. Once they agreed to return, IOM conducted pre-departure interviews, medical examinations, and the Comorian Embassy in Tripoli facilitated the acquisition of travel documents and issuance of exit visas for all passengers.

As of 19 December, IOM had assisted 17,744 voluntary humanitarian returns from Libya in 2017.  With the agreement reached at last month’s EU-AU Summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, IOM has assisted 4,258 individuals through its expanded humanitarian returns programme, addressing acute vulnerabilities and working closely with consular officials from countries of origin. This is the first flight to the Western Indian Ocean region.

The returns and reintegration assistance are funded by the EUTF-IOM joint initiative for migrant protection and reintegration. As part of this project, IOM Comoros will support returnees, depending on their profiles and needs, to establish small businesses, as an individual or within a group, or to enroll them in vocational trainings.

For more information, please contact Daniel Silva y Poveda, IOM Madagascar, Tel: +261 325654954, Email: dsilva@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, December 22, 2017 - 15:54Image: Region-Country: MadagascarThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Italy Broaden Stabilization Efforts for Conflict-Affected Communities in Iraq

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/22/2017 - 09:25

Iraq – After the end of the successful first phase of the IOM Iraq - Italian Government partnership to strengthen community stabilization initiatives in Diyala Governorate (between August 2016 to November 2017), a new project has been launched to support the psychosocial well-being of vulnerable displaced women in Dohuk and Ninewa governorates.

Funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), the one-year project, with a budget of half a million euros, will enable IOM Iraq to empower vulnerable women who have been affected by conflict, including through the provision of livelihood support. 

The project will aim to involve 1,000 women, including from ethno-religious minorities; especially Yazidis –considered one of the most vulnerable communities of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq. 

The Yazidi community is mostly concentrated in northern Iraq. Its members, especially women, went through ordeals when ISIL swept into their areas, beginning in 2014 and seized large swathes of territory, killing and enslaving thousands of Yazidis.

“The active participation of women is essential to reach sustainable peace and community stabilization. This livelihood training will assist vulnerable women to strengthen their skills and allow them to support themselves and their families. We are pleased to provide support, especially during this time of transition, as families continue to recover from devastating conflict,” said Bruno Antonio Pasquino, Italian Ambassador to Iraq. 

“Gender and minorities are the two traditional focal points of the Italian activities in the field of development cooperation,” Ambassador Pasquino added. 

In addition to individual livelihood support for women, the project will provide a dozen grassroots local civil society organizations (CSOs) with training and follow-up coaching to address the essential psychosocial needs of community members, in partnership with Government of Iraq and Kurdistan Regional Government authorities including the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Health.

The training courses will cover a broad range of topics such as psychosocial support and social cohesion, enhancing CSOs management and networking skills, as well as providing beneficiaries with entrepreneurial livelihood support by creating self-help groups to improve interactions, social cohesion, and confidence among them. 

“Engaging local CSOs will enable us to transfer the experience we gained over the last three years in providing psychosocial support in emergency contexts, and prepare the community-based partners to take the lead in providing psychosocial services,” said Renato Libanora of IOM Iraq’s psychosocial support team. 
The project in Dohuk and Ninewa builds on the similar recently completed project that IOM implemented in Diyala, in partnership with AICS.

Khalida Nouri of Khanaqin, one of Diyala project’s participants, says that the project economically empowered dozens of women by teaching them sewing skills. 

“About 44 women participated in the course I taught; they were mostly displaced from their homes, and included Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen,” she said. 

“The course’s contents and the interaction among us made me more confident. I learned many things; since taking this course I have become more self-sufficient. I also had an opportunity to learn about other people’s traditions and lifestyles,” Nouri said. 

Nouri added that she is still in contact with a number of participants who opened small sewing businesses, either at home or in shops, thanks to the skills they learned in the course. Nouri said that there are now nearly 500 applicants who want to enroll in this course to be able to help themselves and their families.

According to the latest Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) figures, since January 2014, more than 2.9 million Iraqis are still displaced This includes 941,000 in Ninewa 360,000 in Dohuk and nearly 83,000 in Diyala governorate. More than 2.7 million of formerly displaced Iraqis have returned to their place of origin.

For more information on displacement across Iraq, visit the IOM Iraq DTM Portal: http://iraqdtm.iom.int
For more information please contact: Sandra Black in IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, December 22, 2017 - 15:53Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Community StabilizationHumanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the project from project activities at the center in Diyala, which offered various activities to promote social cohesion such as community volunteer tree planting and vocational training – haircutting/ barber class. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2017

Some of the project from project activities at the center in Diyala, which offered various activities to promote social cohesion such as community volunteer tree planting and vocational training – haircutting/ barber class. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Over 350 Nepali Migrant Workers Assisted by Qatar Development Fund in Past Two Years: IOM

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/22/2017 - 09:24

Kathmandu Over 350 vulnerable Nepalis, including victims of human trafficking, stranded and irregular migrant workers have been helped to return home from abroad over the past two years through a project implemented by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and funded by the Qatar Development Fund (QDF).

The project: ‘Return Assistance to Stranded Nepali Migrants,’ which ends in January 2018, has provided voluntary return and reintegration assistance to destitute, undocumented Nepali migrants in situations of abuse and exploitation in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, UAE, Oman, Syria, Iraq and Malaysia.

It ensured that almost 90 percent of the returnees got direct assistance on arrival in Nepal, in coordination with a local partner NGOs. Aid included reception, temporary shelter support, psychosocial counselling, medical support, and tracing/reunification with family members.

Over 200 returnees also received a USD 500-equivalent reintegration package. Most used the money for income generation and livelihood support, spending it on their farms, buying livestock, or setting up a small business, like a grocery store, tea shop or tailor. The payment was designed to help them to sustainably reintegrate back into their local community. 

National stakeholders met in Kathmandu on 21 December at a consultation organized by IOM to discuss the outcomes of the project, best practices, challenges, and the way forward on return reintegration assistance for vulnerable Nepali migrants.

Over half of all Nepali households now have at least one migrant family member currently abroad or living in Nepal as a returnee, according to data from Nepal’s Department of Foreign Employment.

Many suffer abuse and over 6,800 complaints were registered between FY 2014/15 and FY 2016/17 by labour migrants against institutions or individuals regarding fraud and malpractice during their employment process. Over 400 rescue requests were received in FY 2016/17 by the Department of Consular Services.

“While the goal of IOM and its partners is to promote the benefits of migration and the dignity and rights of migrants, there is still a need to assist those who may have been exploited or otherwise stranded through circumstances beyond their own control,” IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Paul Norton told consultation participants. 

Noting that Qatar hosted an international conference on combatting human trafficking earlier this month (6-7/12), Qatari Ambassador to Nepal Yousuf Bin Mohammad Al-Hail said: “The State of Qatar spares no effort to support international efforts to combat human trafficking and related phenomena such as forced labour, modern day slavery and child labour. Qatar has established a National Committee for Combating Human Trafficking to unify efforts of government institutions and civil society and is satisfied with the formal adoption of the Political Declaration on implementation of the UN global plan to combat trafficking in persons.” 

“Qatar has also taken a number of measures, including issuing Law No. (15)/2011 on combatting human trafficking, which bans human trafficking in all its forms, Law No. (15)/2015 that abolishes the Kafala (sponsorship) system, and Law No. (15)/2017 regarding domestic workers,” he noted.  

“The Government of Nepal has always been concerned with the protection of rights and welfare of the Nepalese workers away from home,” said the Joint Secretary of Nepal’s Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) Bhuwan Acharya. “Our aim at global, regional and national levels is to make labour migration safe, managed, orderly, regular and dignified.” 

The QDF-backed project also organized an orientation programme for newly appointed Nepali Labour Attachés/Labour Counselors, including officials from the MoLE, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Women Children & Social Welfare, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Police Department.

The training aimed to strengthen their role in the identification of trafficking victims, referral, return, and reintegration mechanisms. Other trainings have included victim protection, referral mechanisms and shelter management for local NGOs and government officials.

The project, which was launched in September 2015, was implemented by the IOM, in close coordination with the MoLE, the MFA, diplomatic missions of host countries, Nepali embassies in destination countries, and consulates in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and elsewhere in the Middle East.

For further information please contact Paul I. Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel. +977 1 4426250, Email: iomnepal@iom.int. Or Nepal’s Ministry of Labour and Employment, Tel +977 1 4211963, Email: info@mole.gov.np

Language English Posted: Friday, December 22, 2017 - 15:52Image: Region-Country: NepalThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Paul Norton (right), Qatari Ambassador Yousuf Bin Mohammad Ahmed Al-Hail (centre) and MoLE Joint Secretary Bhuwan Prasad Acharya chair the consultation. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Launches Mobile Clinic for Stranded Migrants in Djibouti

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/22/2017 - 09:17

Djibouti – The Ministry of Health of Djibouti in collaboration with IOM, the UN Migration Agency’s office in Djibouti have launched a mobile patrol programme on 12 December 2017 to assist migrants in all five regions of the country.

This activity will help to provide medical screenings and treatment for stranded migrants along the migratory route. The mobile patrol programme is part of the Better Migration Management programme (BMM), which is funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the Addressing Mixed Migration flows in Eastern Africa (AMMi) project funded by the European Union and Expertise France.

Djibouti’s Minister of the Interior, Hassan Omar Mohamed gave the opening address, “Djibouti is a land of asylum and destination for many vulnerable migrants but also a country of bi-directional movements for thousands of migrants from neighbouring countries to other countries, including the Arabian Peninsula.”

Referring to the UN World Human Rights Day, he stressed that Djibouti is destined to preserve the dignity of everyone and to guarantee the same value to all, as human rights are inalienable and universal.

More than 300 migrants transit Djibouti every day. Mainly from the Horn of Africa, these migrants continue to cross Djibouti to Yemen and other countries in the Gulf due to limited economic opportunities, instability and environmental degradation in their homeland.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Djama Elmi Okieh highlighted that the programme aims to provide primary and emergency health care to vulnerable populations to reduce mortality on migratory routes and to prevent the associated health risks that may affect host populations.

The mobile patrol will operate twice a week from December 2017. Doctors and nurses from the Ministry of Health and IOM medical team will provide medical treatment and water to migrants on the road who are mostly suffering from dehydration. Those who present serious conditions or have critical medical conditions will be referred to a local hospital in the region where they will receive medical care.

IOM Djibouti provides assistance to vulnerable migrants who come from Yemen or travel to Yemen via Djibouti in various regions in Djibouti. In Obock, migrants seeking assistance come to the Migration Response Centre (MRC) and are provided with food, water and medical treatment.

More information about BMM:
https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/trust-fund-projects/better-migration-management-support-khartoum-process_en

For more information, please contact Lalini Veerassamy, IOM Djibouti at Tel: +25321352459, Email: lveerassamy@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, December 22, 2017 - 15:51Image: Region-Country: DjiboutiThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Local population from the region of Arta, Djibouti wait to welcome the Ministers of Health and the Interior. Photo: Hyewon Yi / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The Minister of Health in Djibouti and Doctors visit the mobile clinic. Photo: Hyewon Yi / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Invitees during the ceremony. Photo: Hyewon Yi / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches MigApp on International Migrants Day

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 10:21

Geneva/Manila – The MigApp is IOM’s institutional tool that leverages current technology and the widespread use of mobile telecommunications to bring a secure, objective and user-friendly downloadable app which serves as a one-stop-shop platform where migrants can access current, reliable and practical information and IOM services.

Irregular and unsafe migration often is a result of lack of awareness about the risks involved in the process, ill-informed knowledge of visa, health risks, and travel regulations, limited or non-existent interaction with legitimate service providers, and the absence of a balanced and unified platform for reliable and updated migration information and services.

MigApp responds to the need to help migrants make informed decisions throughout their migration process by providing a one-stop-shop platform of relevant and up-to-date information. In its launch version, the MigApp incorporates migration-related information such as travel requirements and regulations, reports of global incidents, and contacts of counter-trafficking hotlines located globally.
Access more information about the MigApp here.
Download the MigApp from GooglePlay or the AppStore today

MigApp aims to make IOM services directly available to a wider group of migrants. Migrants who are already benefitting from existing IOM projects will be able to participate in the project via the MigApp. In its launch version, the MigApp will provide guidance on AVRR processes in the following pilot countries: Belgium, Ireland, Turkey, Greece, the Netherlands. The MigApp will also capture registration to migration health assessments from four pilot countries:
Philippines, Jordan, Nigeria and Ukraine and interface with MiMOSA.

MigApp is a living tool so we are committed to keeping the information in it regularly up-to-date and will continue to actively seek additional relevant content and features to incorporate into it.
We invite all IOMers to download the MigApp and to provide us with your feedback on your MigApp experience.

Should you wish to read more about the MigApp, please access the MigApp pages on the IOM website using this link. You may also access the 1-minute MigApp video from this link.
Should you have any questions, please send us an email at migapp@iom.int or post it in the MigApp Yammer group.

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 15:22Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Germany Assists UN Migration Agency’s Humanitarian Operations in Iraq as Winter Advances

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 09:06

Iraq – As the winter temperatures continue to drop in Iraq and nearly 2.9 million people are still living in displacement across the country, the Government of Germany has extended its partnership with IOM Iraq by injecting another 7 million euros to address the urgent humanitarian needs of those who remain internally displaced.

With these additional 7 million euros, the total contribution of Germany to IOM Iraq’s emergency operations reaches 18 million euros from 2015 through 2019. Since 2015, Germany’s support has enabled IOM to respond to critical humanitarian needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs), especially in areas such as Mosul, Fallujah, and Ramadi, which had recently been retaken from ISIL.

The funding also supports the rehabilitation of residential areas ravaged by conflict and help returnees upon their arrival to settle in their areas of origin.  Many of these beneficiaries still face urgent needs for shelter and health care, including mental health and psychosocial support.

“The German Government is very happy to support returnees in areas of return and strengthen government authorities in their efforts to restore essential services in the most affected areas of return,” said the German Ambassador in Iraq, Cyrill Nunn. “Our scaled-up support includes restoring the electricity grid and water supply in retaken areas, as these services have been heavily damaged and are prioritized for immediate rehabilitation by host communities and returnees,” the German Ambassador added.  

The German funding will enable IOM Iraq to include 1,200 vulnerable displaced families in its essential winter assistance programme, supporting them with emergency kits to cope with winter conditions. Each emergency kit includes a carpet, plastic mat, thick blankets, rechargeable light, and a hygiene kit.

“With the winter setting in, we really need this heater, blankets and winter clothes,” said Abu Mashari, a displaced man from Hatra district, around 170 kilometres south of Mosul, pointing to the winter kit he received from IOM.

“We left all our belongings behind in the middle of the night, as we were in hurry to leave our home. We didn’t bring anything other than what we were wearing in the beginning of summer,” he added. “We don’t have enough money to buy clothes and other items to warm ourselves and our tent during the cold nights.”

The additional financial support also allows the population of the two emergency sites constructed by IOM, in Haj Ali and Qayara, southeast of Mosul which, combined, currently shelter more than 73,000 IDPs, to access medical services and receive quick support and referral in case of medical emergencies.

IOM has mental health and psychosocial centres in selected IDP camps to reach out to the IDP community through mental health and psychosocial assistance, raising awareness on mental health issues and specialized care when needed.

For more information, please contact Sandra Black in IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 15:21Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Internally displaced Iraqis receive relief kits from Germany through IOM's emergency operations. Photo: Moafaq / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

With Winter Coming, UN Migration Agency Helps Families in Eastern Ukraine Survive

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 09:05

Kyiv – Temperatures in the non-government-controlled areas (NGCA) of the Donetsk Region, Eastern Ukraine, are set to drop as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius this winter. Security challenges in the region and the harsh socio-economic situation close to the contact line and in remote impoverished districts of NGCA, mean many vulnerable families cannot maintain a safe temperature in their residences. IOM, the UN Migration Agency this week (18/12) started distributing coal to people in need in the region.

IOM will deliver coal to 3,800 vulnerable low-income families in Donetsk NGCA, including the elderly, persons with disabilities or chronic diseases, single-headed households and families with three or more children. Each beneficiary household will receive three tons of high quality anthracite coal, which should be sufficient to cover their heating needs for the entire winter.

“I lost my only son many years ago and now I live with my husband, who is bedridden… there is just the two of us,” said Valentyna, the first of several thousand beneficiaries, who will receive IOM’s support in the next weeks. The 82-year-old former teacher lives in the outskirts of Vuhlehirsk, a small village located between Horlivka and Debaltseve, close to the contact line. “We are originally from Luhansk, spent many years in Yenakieve, and upon retiring decided to move to this small village, since the cost of living was cheaper here. And then the war started right in front of our house,” said Valentyna.

Though heavily affected by the hostilities, Vuhlehirsk and its inhabitants received less humanitarian aid than the two big neighbouring cities. “Grandpa and I have never received any support since the beginning of the conflict,” added Valentyna.

Coal distribution is part of IOM’s support to help crisis-affected families prepare for and survive through winter, supported by the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The planned assistance in the NGCA also includes the rehabilitation of the heating systems in up to 20 social and medical institutions, as well as the distribution of 200 cast-iron stoves to families located in least accessible parts of Donetsk NGCA, where wood is the only available heating fuel. In parallel, in a few weeks IOM will transfer a first round of multipurpose cash to 4,000 vulnerable individuals in the government-controlled area (GCA), living close to the contact line in both Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

According to data collected during previous distributions, preparing for winter was the second main cash assistance expenditure. Families told IOM that they used 31 per cent of the funds they received to cover their medical expenses, and spent 23 per cent of the funds on fuel, winter clothing, as well as paying their bills for heating.

“Some 3.4 million men, women and children are locked in a dire humanitarian situation right on Europe’s doorstep,” said Thomas Weiss, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission, during his recent visit to the field. “Over 30 per cent of those affected are elderly and 60 per cent are women and children. This type of assistance, which prepares vulnerable families for winter, is critical to reducing human suffering and preventing loss of lives during the harsh weather in the Eastern Conflict Area of Ukraine. We will continue to help the most vulnerable conflict-affected people both sides of the contact line,” added Weiss.

For more information, please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, Email: vzhluktenko@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Elderly resident of the Donetsk Region non-government-controlled area receiving coal from IOM. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Elderly resident of the Donetsk Region non-government-controlled area receiving coal from IOM. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Second Annual Global Migration Film Festival Concludes as ‘The Journey’ Wins First Prize

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 09:04

Geneva – The second annual Global Migration Film Festival drew to a close in Geneva last night (18/12) on International Migrants Day. Of the 300 films submitted to the Film Festival, The Journey, directed by the filmmaker Matthew Cassel in collaboration with Field of Vision, was awarded first prize in the professional filmmaker category. The six-part documentary explores the dangerous paths Syrian asylum seekers take to get to Europe. 

From Guyana in South America to South Sudan in East Africa (and many other places in between) filmmakers from around the globe showcased their skills as cinematographers during the Film Festival. Organized by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the Festival spanned over 13 days with 30 specially selected films being screened in over 100 different countries across a range of different venues from displacement camps and migrant centres to university campuses and arthouse cinemas. 

“Films have the power to aluminate the different facets of life. They can inform, inspire, transform and promote inclusion,” said Laura Thompson, UN Migration Agency Deputy Director General. "For example, in The Deportation of Innocence we see how deportation affects the lives of the children left behind, in In Search of the Riyal we explore the world of Nepali migrants in the Gulf and in When I’m There we get a real sense of the positive contributions of the Moroccan community living in the Netherlands,” said Ambassador Thompson.

The Cambridge Squatter, directed by Eliane Caffé, which follows the trials, tribulations and triumphs of homeless people and refugees living in an abandoned Sao Paolo hotel, took second prize. Sans le Kosovo, directed by Dea Gjinovci, which is a short documentary about the life of a man who fled Kosovo in the late 1960's, was third. Dem Dem, directed by Marc Recchia, Christophe Rolin and Pape Bouname Lopy was awarded the Le Prix Spécial du Jury. 

An important category in the Film Festival was that of emerging filmmakers. In that category, prizes were awarded to It Has Killed My Mother, directed by Amina Rwimo; The Deportation of Innocence, directed by Francisco Alarcón; and La Jerusalem Argentina by Ivan Cherjovsky and Melina Serber.  

“Films truly build deeper empathy for migrants and a better understanding of their realities, needs, perspectives and capacities. Our Film Festival uses film as educational tools to influence attitudes towards migrants in a positive way, highlighting their overall contributions to society and the struggles that many face in today’s world on the move,” said Ambassador Thompson.

Special mentions were also given to: Misafir a Guest, directed by Mariam el Marakeshy; The Lucky Specials, directed by Rea Rangaka; and Amerika Square directed by Yannis Sakaridis. 

The Festival was made possible through the support of global partners such as DHL, Aware Migrants Campaign funded by the German Government, the IOM Development Fund and PLURAL+.

For more information, please contact, Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iomi.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 15:19Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 168,314 in 2017; Deaths Reach 3,115

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 09:04

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 168,314 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 17 December, with just over 70 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 358,527 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

 
IOM Libya’s Christine Petré Monday reported IOM assisted 210 migrants’ returns home via chartered aircraft to Nigeria plus three commercial flights to Bangladesh, Pakistan and Kenya. Monday’s departures bring to 17,744 the total number of voluntary humanitarian returns from Libya in 2017.  With the agreement reached at last month’s EU-AU Summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, IOM has been able to assist 4,258 individuals through its expanded humanitarian returns programme, addressing acute vulnerabilities and working closely with consular officials from countries of origin.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals at sea in 2017 are now at 20,693 men, women and children being rescued in Western Mediterranean waters. IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported Monday confirmation of several deaths in the Western Mediterranean: according to the testimonies of 20 survivors the Moroccan Navy rescued on 16 December, three people have gone missing off the coast of Morocco, as reported by local NGO Caminando Fronteras.

The MMP team also recorded the disappearance of three more migrants off the coast of Tangiers on 3 December, as has been reported by Watch the Med’s Alarm Phone. Additionally, IOM learned of an incident that took place off the coast of Algeria, where the remains of four young Algerians were recovered between 17 and 24 November near Mostaganem. These individuals reportedly drowned trying to reach Spain.

In the Central Mediterranean, three migrants died and an estimated five are missing after a boat they were using sank off Messida beach in El Kala, Algeria, on 8 December. Their destination is thought to have been Sardinia. Two bodies and four survivors were rescued by local civil protection teams on that day, while another body was found in a nearby beach on 10 December. These deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 3,115. That is about 60 per cent of 2016’s total at this point last year when Mediterranean Sea deaths of irregular migrants stood at 4,962.

On Monday (17 December) IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported on incidents off the islands of Lesvos and Samos that required search and rescue operations. The Hellenic Coast Guard managed to rescue some 112 migrants and transferred them to those respective islands.

Through 17 December, the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory is 28,490 (see chart below).

Missing Migrants Project reported worldwide deaths have reached 5,347 people during migration in in 2017.

In addition to twenty new fatalities on the Mediterranean, MMP reported that on the US-Mexico border on 14 December, one migrant died of hypothermia in a ranch near Falfurrias, Texas. Since 1 December, at least fifteen migrants have died of hypothermia in Texas due to extremely low temperatures.

Also, the MMP team recorded the death of three Cambodian migrants in a vehicle accident in Chanthaburi, Thailand, on 25 November.
MMP 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.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/171219_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 Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Berlin, 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, Tel: +216 71 860 312 ext. 109, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 15:18Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM’s Non-profit in the United States Relaunches as ‘USA for IOM’

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 09:01

Washington, DC – Almost 30 years after its creation, The US Association for International Migration, USAIM, announced on International Migrants Day (12/18) that it has officially changed its name to USA for IOM.

Since 1988, USA for IOM, established in Washington, DC, has aimed to serve as a relay between the American public and populations affected by wars, conflicts and natural disasters around the world.

Over the past six months, USA for IOM has undertaken an extensive rebranding effort to increase its outreach to the American public and focus re-centre its fundraising and awareness-raising efforts on three main areas: response to humanitarian crises, natural disaster induced displacement, and human trafficking and response to emergency crises.

“With more than 65 million forcibly displaced individuals around the world, we are looking to partner with civil society and the private sector in the US to respond to today’s humanitarian challenges,” said Luca Dall’Oglio, CEO of USA for IOM.

USA for IOM’s main mission is to provide an opportunity to the American public to support the UN Migration Agency’s relief efforts in the world. In the coming weeks, USA for IOM will primarily raise awareness and fundraise for two ongoing crises: the exploitation of African migrants in Libya and the Rohingya refugee crisis.

“The United States and the American people have demonstrated great generosity in responding to humanitarian crises and helping the most vulnerable. USA for IOM aims to provide an opportunity to the American public to support the UN Migration Agency’s relief efforts around the world.” Dall’Oglio said.

Please visit www.usaforiom.org to explore the new website and learn more about USA for IOM’s work. For daily updates, you can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For further information, please contact Hajer Naili at IOM Washington, Email: hnaili@iom.int, Tel: +1 202 568 3757

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 15:17Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, USAID Improve Access to Clean Water, Safe Sanitation in South Sudan, while Enhancing Prevention of Gender-Based Violence

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 08:59

Juba – The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have launched a large-scale project to provide equitable access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services for people affected by the crisis in South Sudan while strengthening prevention of gender-based violence (GBV).

South Sudan has one of the world’s lowest rates of access to safe sanitation, with only 90 per cent of the population having access, according to the 2018 Humanitarian Needs Overview. WASH-related diseases, such as cholera, are widespread and often linked to limited infrastructure and access to health care, population displacement, food insecurity, and poor hygiene practices.

GBV is endemic in South Sudan, where years of conflict have increased the vulnerability of women and girls. Many of these abuses occur when women and girls undertake survival activities, such as fetching water. Especially in displacement settings, they also face increased risks of GBV linked to overcrowding, lack of lighting and poorly designed facilities, such as latrines.

This new USAID programme aims to address these lifesaving issues by working directly with communities to improve access, change behavior, and increase the well-being, not only of women and girls, but all members of the community.

“USAID serves vulnerable communities with improved water, sanitation and hygiene services to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with poor access to these essential services,” said USAID Mission Director Jeff Bakken. “USAID is also committed to mitigate gender-based violence linked to access to safe water and sanitation facilities,” added Bakken.

Women and girls in South Sudan are typically responsible for collecting water for their families. When forced to walk long distances to access functioning boreholes, they are often put at great risk of GBV. Improving the quality and management of boreholes and drilling new ones to increase proximity to communities can greatly enhance the safety of women and children.

“This collaboration with USAID can also address harmful social norms such as gender inequality by encouraging women's meaningful participation in managing resources, such as water,” explained Antonio Torres, IOM South Sudan WASH Programme Coordinator.

Similarly, by incorporating more women in leadership structures, such as water management committees, WASH programming will encourage processes that take into consideration the concerns of women and vulnerable individuals while also empowering the voices of women in their communities.

IOM teams have already deployed to Mayom and Kapoeta to assess needs and opportunities for integrated WASH and GBV prevention responses. In North, South, and East Kapoeta counties – which saw more than 3,000 cases of cholera in 2017 – IOM identified more than 40 locations for WASH programmes that can mitigate future outbreaks of diseases and provide opportunities to partner with local non-governmental organizations to promote continuity of WASH services and prevention of GBV.

For more information, please contact Ashley McLaughlin at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 922 405 716, Email: amclaughlin@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 15:16Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Community StabilizationGender and MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

USAID and IOM partner to provide safe drinking water to vulnerable populations in South Sudan. Photo: Amanda Nero/UN Migration Agency (IOM)

USAID and IOM partner to provide safe drinking water to vulnerable populations in South Sudan. Photo: Amanda Nero/UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Supports Organization of American States’ Media Campaign, Migrants Count

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 08:58

Washington, DC – Last week (12/11), the Organization of American States (OAS) and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, launched the media campaign Migrants Count in the Americas, which will focus on recognizing the contributions of migrants to sustainable development in countries of origin as well as destination and highlight the importance of their inclusion in the communities where they live.

The launch event, held at the Hall of the Americas at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, was opened by the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, the Deputy Director General of the IOM, Laura Thompson, and the Chair of the Committee on Migration Issues of the OAS, Wendy Acevedo.

In her opening remarks, Ambassador Thompson stated that migration has helped improve people’s lives in both origin and destination countries and has offered opportunities for millions of people worldwide to forge safe and meaningful lives abroad.

She also highlighted that migration is inevitable, and that “human mobility is expected to increase and nearly double in the near future.”

However, she expressed concern over “the worrying rise in discrimination, xenophobia, exclusion, and human rights violations of migrants throughout the world.”

Ambassador Thompson applauded the efforts of the OAS to counter the toxic narrative and instead promote the multiple benefits of migration through a media campaign.

Through the Migrants Count media campaign, the OAS seeks to promote a positive image of migrants in and from the Americas, identifying them as agents of development in countries of origin and destination.

Over the next months, the OAS will disseminate available official data on the contributions of migrants to sustainable development in their countries of origin and destination. The campaign also aims to support the United Nations’ Together campaign to promote respect for migrants and their safety and dignity, counteracting xenophobia and discrimination.

In Washington DC, the IOM office will also take part in the Migrants Count media campaign by collecting success stories of migrants in the Americas and hosting regular Facebook live interviews with the aim to change negative perceptions of, and attitudes toward, migrants and to strengthen the social contract among receiving countries and communities.

Stories, data and other content from the Migrants Count campaign will be widely disseminated on social media using the hashtag #MigrantsCount (#migrantescuentan in Spanish).

For more information, please contact Hajer Naili at IOM Washington, Tel: +1 202-568-3757, Email: hnaili@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 15:14Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, OSCE Discuss Perceptions and Realities of Migration on International Migrants Day

PBN News Germany - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 08:58

Vienna – More than ever, there is a strong need to overcome myths and misconceptions about migration and migrants and to engage in more balanced and fact-based dialogue about a phenomenon that has shaped humanity, said participants at an OSCE- and IOM-hosted discussion, Perception is not reality – Towards a new narrative of migration, yesterday (18/12) at the headquarters of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna, Austria.

The gap between reality and perception had widened, with reinforced stereotypes, misconceptions and prejudices about migrants, they noted.

The event, to mark the 2017 International Migrants Day, gathered experts and practitioners in the area of migration governance as well as representatives of think-tanks, academia and research entities, civil society, international organizations and OSCE executive structures.

IOM’s Special Policy Advisor Gervais Appave said that there is a great deal of existing common ground and it hinges on the understanding that migration is not so much a problem to be solved as a human reality to be managed.

“We need to offer hope to those facing economic despair, to provide legal pathways for more migrants or circular migration options for those who wish to work and return home,” he said. “If we do not come up with solutions the smugglers will do it for us, at great cost to human life and to the fabric of our societies.”

 “The benefits of migration go well beyond the positive contribution of migrants to the global economy,” noted OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger. “Circulation of competencies, skills and knowledge benefit the societies of origin, destination and the migrants themselves.”

“Frequently presented in terms of ‘crisis’, migration is often discussed in ways that are one-sided and prone to induce misperception,” said Greminger, underlying how facts about migration are often overlooked.

Ambassador Florian Raunig, Head of the Task Force for the 2017 OSCE Austrian Chairmanship, said: “As a global phenomenon, current migration patterns and refugee movements are a shared responsibility of the international community. It is important not to lose sight of the fact that, if managed and regulated properly, migration can be beneficial to all parties involved. We must work together to unlock the full potential that migrants can have for economic development and prosperity at the national, sub-national and municipal level.”

For more information please contact Joe Lowry at IOM Vienna, Tel: +43 660 3776404, Email: jlowry@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 15:15Image: Region-Country: AustriaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants of the discussions on perceptions and realities of migration hosted by OSCE and IOM at the headquarters of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna, Austria. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Participants of the discussions on perceptions and realities of migration hosted by OSCE and IOM at the headquarters of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna, Austria. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 167,724 in 2017; Deaths Reach 3,095

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:16

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 167,724 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 13 December, with just over 70 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 358,018 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

IOM Rome reported Thursday (14 December) that according to Ministry of Interior figures, 118,010 men, women and children have arrived in Italy this year. With just over two weeks remaining in 2017, these totals indicate total arrivals this year are expected to be well short of the 181,436 who arrived in 2016, by an estimated 35 per cent, given current December arrival rates.  This month new arrivals are averaging fewer than 80 migrants per day; that compares with 260 per day in December 2016 and 310 per day in December 2015 (see chart below).

IOM Spain reported that total arrivals at sea in 2017 are now at 20,473 men, women and children being rescued in Western Mediterranean waters. IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported this week confirmation of four more deaths in the Western Mediterranean: the Spanish Coastguard reported two missing and one dead in the Alboran Sea on 13 December, plus MMP added one case from 27 November, of a migrant who died in a ferry bound for mainland Spain in Port of Melilla.

There were no new reports of deaths in the Central Mediterranean Sea route.

On Thursday (14 December) IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported at least five incidents off the island of Lesvos, Samos and Leros that required search and rescue operations. The Hellenic Coast Guard managed to rescue some 200 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands.

Since 1 August, Namia reports 16,769 men, women and children have entered Greece by sea via the Eastern Mediterranean or almost 50 per cent more migrants than entered (11,405) during all of 2017’s first seven months. Namia further reported that 576 migrants or refugees entered Greece by sea during the dates 11-13 December, or nearly 200 per day.

Through 13 December, the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory is 27,598. If that average holds through the month’s 18 remaining days, 2017 is likely to see the lowest total of sea migrants arriving irregularly to Greece in the last four years (see chart below).

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported worldwide deaths have reached 5,323 men, women and children during migration in 2017.

In the Western Mediterranean, MMP reported the Spanish Salvamento Marítimo has recorded testimonies of 32 migrants rescued from a sinking boat on 13 December, reporting that two people went missing in the Alboran Sea between Spain and Morocco during their voyage. In another rescue operation on the same day (13 December), the body of a migrant was found in a boat, five nautical miles west of Alboran Island. The Spanish Coastguard rescued 68 survivors from this boat.

Additionally, reports emerged of the death of a young man inside a container in a ship bound for mainland Spain in Port of Melilla on 27 November. Since 1 January 2017, IOM has recorded the deaths of 210 people in the Western Mediterranean route to Spain – a number that surpasses the total number of deaths recorded in the Western Mediterranean for all of 2016, which totalled 128.

In the Middle East, three migrants died in a vehicle accident on 4 December 15 km from Murchehkhort, in Isfahan (Iran). Additionally, the MMP team recorded cumulative data of deaths confirmed between 1 January and 4 December 2017 on the Iran-Afghanistan border: 97 Afghan migrants reportedly died in vehicle accidents at various locations this year.

On the US/Mexico border, 14 migrants died of hypothermia due to extremely low temperatures in the past two weeks. On 7 December, a Mexican man was found dead in a ranch near Eagle Pass, Texas, while remains of another man of unknown nationality were discovered on a ranch near Norias, in Kenedy County (Texas).

On 8 December, a Guatemalan national suffering from hypothermia passed away in the Big Bend area, near Marfa, Texas. On 9 December, the remains of one migrant were found on the Mexican side of the border, in Nogales, Sonora (Mexico).
The Webb County Medical Examiner reported that an additional 10 migrants have died from hypothermia in various locations in Texas between 1 and 13 December. During this period, Missing Migrants Project also recorded the death of a migrant due to unknown causes in a ranch near Falfurrias, Texas, on 7 December.

MMP 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.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/171215_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
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Berlin, 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, December 15, 2017 - 17:33Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency DG Makes Urgent Call for ‘Safe Migration in a World on the Move’ for International Migrants Day

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:09

Geneva – Ambassador William Lacy Swing, Director General of IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, is making an urgent call for “Safe Migration for a World on the Move” as International Migrants Day approaches on Monday, 18 December 2017. 

The Organization will mark International Migrants Day (IMD) with a series of worldwide events including a Geneva award ceremony for the Global Migration Film Festival. The festival, in its second year, includes many public and private sector partners participating with IOM missions in over 100 countries.

In addition to film screenings in Geneva and New York, IOM will participate in a UN leadership debate featuring United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at Manhattan’s UNICEF House, touching on the global compact on migration. The compact is expected to be adopted by the end of 2018, once negotiations by UN member states are concluded. 

The UN leadership debate will explore the common ground on migration, rather than the divisions, DG Swing said. Despite often sharp rhetoric, migration is less a problem to be solved than a human reality to be managed, he explained. 

UNICEF House events also will include the New York opening of the critically acclaimed art installation UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage (for details see www.Together-in-NY.org).

This powerful exhibition brings to life stories of refugees who have settled in the US by exploring past traumas through three-dimensional models of their homes mounted on suitcases they carried on their journeys. In a particularly gripping installation, visitors can explore the bombed home of one refugee family through a virtual reality visualization.

IOM also will be launching a podcast series, TOGETHER: Personal Stories of Migrants and Refugees, hosted by 19-year-old Iraqi-American refugee Ahmed Badr, who, along with his family, was resettled in the US by IOM at a young age. The podcast, along with a new mobile app, shares compelling human stories of migration through thoughtful, revealing interviews with young migrants and refugees in the US.

The podcast’s first four shows will be available on iTunes and other leading platforms.

Ahmed, who was 7 years old when a bomb smashed into his family's house in Baghdad, speaks in the series’ first two instalments with his parents and sister, Maryam, who tell his family’s extraordinary story. In subsequent episodes, Ahmed interviews other young refugees and migrants.

The podcasts are part of the UN TOGETHER initiative to encourage better understanding of migrant and refugee issues through the power of social media.

In an OpEd column penned for International Migrants Day (see Our Right of Passage Should be Safe Migration, Not Leaky Boats), DG Swing said, “While we live at a time when a privileged elite considers global mobility virtually its birth-right, it is denied to countless others trapped in hopelessly bad economic or conflict circumstances.”

DG Swing warned that denial leads to “smuggling networks, human traffickers and modern-day enslavers who ply their trade these days with complete impunity.”

DG Swing will be in New York throughout Monday’s busy schedule and will be available for media interviews.

 

For more information, please contact:

Leonard Doyle in New York, Tel: +41 79 285 7123, Email: ldoyle@iom.int

Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, December 15, 2017 - 17:36Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: International Migrants DayDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Germany, UN Migration Agency Launch First Global Migration Data Portal

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:09

Berlin — Germany’s Federal Foreign Office and IOM, the UN Migration Agency’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) will launch today (15/12) the Migration Data Portal in Berlin. The Migration Data Portal brings together the key facts and figures about global migration trends in one place for the first time. 

“Especially in critical times, such as those we are facing today, it is our task to ensure that responses to migration are based on sound facts and accurate analysis,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

The idea to develop such a portal was first discussed and agreed upon on 12 July 2016, at the 2nd Berlin Roundtable on Refugees and Migration, where the former German Foreign Minister met with heads of international organizations working on migration, including IOM, UNHCR, the IFRC, the EC and the World Bank. The Portal was developed by IOM and with the support of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The Migration Data Portal was developed with financial support from the US Department of State and Germany’s Federal Foreign Office.

The portal communicates global data on migration through visualizations, infographics and videos. It simplifies the navigation through complex international migration data for policy makers, journalists, statisticians and anyone interested in migration.

The portal also covers a wide range of topics including data on immigration and emigration trends; the linkages between migration and development; data on irregular migration; students and children; and data on migration policies as defined by the United Nations development goals and background on a global compact on migration expected to be adopted by the UN in 2018.

At its initial stage, the portal features 70 indicators from 15 international data providers (UNDESA, UNHCR and World Bank among others) and aggregates data at the national, regional and global levels. This range offers ample opportunities to explore and compare data while, understanding the context behind it. 

“At a time when migration is high on the global agenda, it is essential that everyone has access to the key facts and figures about migration, and that we better understand the strengths and weaknesses of data on migration,” said Frank Laczko, Director of IOM´s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre.

German foreign policy employs a coherent strategy to manage migratory movements more efficiently and to address the root causes of forced migration. For fact-based policies and responses, reliable data are vital to ensure efficient, needs-based humanitarian aid, to counter harmful assumptions and to fight populism.

The development of the Migration Data Portal is a big step forward towards making the multitude of data on migration better and more available to policy makers.

The Migration Data Portal will scale up in coming months, making more data available at the regional and national levels. Visit the Migration Data Portal at: www.migrationdataportal.org

For more information contact Stylia Kampani at IOM GMDAC: Tel: +49 (0)30 278 778 16; Email: skampani@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, December 15, 2017 - 17:35Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

2017 Sees Highest Number of Syrian Refugees Resettled in Argentina Ever as Five Families Arrive

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:04

Buenos Aires – On 12 December, five Syrian families arrived in San Luis, Argentina, where these 18 persons – adults and children – will have the opportunity to rebuild their lives. This refugee resettlement was part of the Argentinian Government’s “Syria Programme”, which is implemented with assistance from IOM, the UN Migration Agency and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

So far, a total of 318 persons arrived in Argentina between 2014 and November 2017, nearly half of whom – 155 people – did so in 2017. This makes 2017, the year with the highest number of Syrian refugee resettlements in Argentina. The programme, developed in 2014, has recently gathered momentum. Last year at the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants in New York, President Mauricio Macri announced that the country would receive 3,000 Syrians. 

IOM and UNHCR have been a part of the programme implementation since mid-2017, particularly in identification, transportation and integration of the new arrivals in Argentina, as well as capacity building for Government institutions. These activities are framed in the Emerging Resettlement Countries Joint Support Mechanism (ERCM). This mechanism, led by both agencies, has been designed to offer technical and financial support to countries with an interest in setting up or strengthening resettlement programmes. IOM and UNHCR will continue to support the Syria Programme through the ERCM.

In the programme, the person or organization sponsoring Syrian refugees plays a fundamental role in the resettlement process. They commit to providing accommodation for the families coming from Syria and covering their living expenses for an initial 12 months. The aim is to support their integration into the local community and start to become self-sufficient within their first year in the country. The sponsors can either be private individuals, families, civil society organizations or even State agencies or entities, such as the Province of San Luis.

Thanks to solidarity shown by Argentine society, it is expected that in the coming months more Syrian families will be arriving in San Luis, as well as other parts of the country, such as Buenos Aires, Córdoba, La Rioja, Mendoza and Santiago del Estero.

For more information, please contact Débora Taicz, IOM Argentina, Tel: + 5411 4815 1035, Email: dtaicz@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, December 15, 2017 - 17:31Image: Region-Country: ArgentinaDefault: Multimedia: 

The new arrivals were coordinated as part of the Emerging Resettlement Countries Joint Support Mechanism (ERCM) together with UNHCR. Photo: Diego Delpino / UNHCR 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Responds to Displacement Caused by Fighting in Yemen’s Capital

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:02

Sana’a – Renewed clashes between rival forces at the end of last month have affected several parts of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. In addition to the 234 casualties it caused, the brutal fighting triggered large-scale displacement to neighboring governorates.

In response to this sudden displacement, IOM, the UN Migration Agency immediately began providing humanitarian assistance to displaced people and people affected by the conflict using prepositioned stocks of relief including shelter building materials, mattresses, blankets, winter clothes and personal hygiene items.

So far, nearly 25,480 people have been reached with this support in Taizz, Ibb, Hajja and Amran Governorates – all areas where people have fled to from Sana’a. IOM is in the process of bringing more humanitarian relief to the Sa’ada and Sana’a Governorates to improve living conditions of approximately 28,000 vulnerable displaced people sheltering in those locations.

“It is very sad that due to clashes, we have to limit our assistance,” said Hazim Torlic, IOM Yemen Officer in Charge. “Even though this is when it is needed most.”

Since the start of the conflict in March 2015, IOM has reached 219,804 displaced people in 14 of Yemen’s 21 Governorates with similar humanitarian relief.

In addition, IOM provides direct health assistance to approximately 12,000 vulnerable displaced people each month. This is achieved through the deployment of nine mobile health clinics and the provision of direct health support to 19 health facilities serving displaced communities across nine governorates.

This emergency response was made possible through the contributions from the Humanitarian Pooled Fund (HPF) and the Government of Germany. IOM is seeking additional funding to expand its operations to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable affected populations in Yemen.

For more information, please contact IOM Yemen:
Hazim Torlic, Tel: +967 735 322 204, Email: htorlic@iom.int

Saba Malme, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email: smalme@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, December 15, 2017 - 17:34Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Quaid Mohammed shares a small makeshift shelter with several of his children in an IDP camp in the Lahij govenorate of Yemen. Photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Labour Rights, Skills Development Needed to Improve Migration Outcomes in Southeast Asia, Say IOM, ILO

PBN News Germany - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 10:59

Bangkok – Labour migration can lead to long-term improvements in the lives of migrant workers if their labour rights are protected and if they are given opportunities for skills development, say the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), in a new study.

 Released for International Migrants Day on 18 December, Risks and Rewards: Outcomes of Labour Migration in South-East Asia provides a timely assessment of labour migrants’ experiences within ASEAN.

According to the most recent UN statistics, the number of migrants headed to other countries in the region has increased more than fivefold since 1990, reaching nearly 6.9 million. Millions more are employed without legal status and are not captured in official data.

“Despite rapid growth in the numbers of women and men migrating in South-East Asia, the outcomes for migrant workers are not well understood,” said Ben Harkins, ILO Technical Officer and one of the report’s authors.

To inform their work, the ILO TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme and the IOM PROMISE programme collaborated on a large-scale regional survey of over 1,800 migrants from Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam, who had been employed in Thailand or Malaysia.

The study developed a Migration Outcomes Index (MOI) to measure changes in the lives of migrant workers from before to after their migration. The Index broadens the way migration outcomes are measured by incorporating both social and economic elements.

To obtain a better understanding of the factors that shape migration outcomes, the study analyzed the migration experiences of survey participants and re-evaluated commonly held beliefs about the practices and conditions that contribute to better outcomes for migrants.

It found that labour migration has a significant impact on poverty reduction within ASEAN. Survey data suggest that the number of migrants living below the poverty line was reduced by 11 per cent after migration.

But the research also found that despite efforts to promote safe migration through behavior change campaigns, migrants in South-East Asia remain vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, regardless of their own decisions. 

The findings indicate that the most significant changes to strengthen the positive development impact of migration are shifts in the policy and practice of governments, employers and recruitment agencies, rather than changing the behaviors of migrant workers.

Priority areas for action include shifting the costs paid for recruitment from workers to employers. The survey found that 73 percent of surveyed workers going to Malaysia from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam took out a loan to pay for their migration, and had to work on average for a whole year to pay the loan back. Ensuring that employers, rather than workers cover recruitment fees is one crucial way for governments and businesses to eradicate debt bondage and forced labour.

 Subsequently, another key factor for improving migration outcomes, is ensuring effective protection of the labour rights of female and male migrant workers, and their access to legal remedies.

The study also identified the need to enhance access of migrant workers to skills validation and skills training that meets employer needs. The current migration context in South-East Asia does not properly link employers, training providers and migrant workers, and thus fails to provide sufficient market incentives for skills development.

“Skills development and validation in partnership with employers can help migrant workers move into jobs with better wages and working conditions, and bolster their economic contribution,” said PROMISE programme manager Anna Platonova.

Although the benefits of labour migration have not been maximized within South-East Asia, the study results show that positive outcomes can be achieved if migrant workers are treated fairly and provided with opportunities to develop their capabilities.

The report calls for shifting the focus of ASEAN governments from remittance flows to migrant-centred policies that improve the migration experience of migrant workers in a holistic manner.

To download the report please go to: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---asia/---ro-bangkok/documents/...

For more information, please contact Anna Platonova at IOM Thailand, Tel: +66 2 3439335, Email: aplatonova@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, December 15, 2017 - 17:32Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Capacity BuildingLabour MigrationDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
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