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UN Migration Agency Presents “Granma” at 70th Locarno Film Festival

PBN News Germany - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:00

Rome – The first screening of the film “Granma”, produced in the framework of the ‘Aware Migrants’ information campaign – developed by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and financed by the Italian Ministry of the Interior – was held yesterday (7 August) as part of the 70th Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland.

The 35-minute-long film describes the story of Jonathan, a young boy from Lagos, who receives news of the death of his cousin. Jonathan undertakes a long journey to inform the grandmother about the tragedy of his cousin drowning at sea. The film reflects the complexity of migration in relation to young dreams and hopes, needs, realities, social pressure and search for freedom. It also highlights how very often the risks, which could be faced during the journey, are forgotten.

Developed from the original idea of director Gianni Amelio and directed by the Italian Daniele Gaglianone and the Nigerian Alfie Nze, “Granma” was filmed entirely in Nigeria, between Lagos and the village of Badagry. It was filmed with a Nigerian troupe and cast and its soundtrack, which includes the song "Challenging death", is also featured in a music video promoted on social media, especially in Nigeria.

"When we launched Aware Migrants last year with the Ministry of the Interior, we explained that the objective is to inform potential migrants about the risks and dangers linked to irregular migration across the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea," said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean. "Thousands of people challenge death each year to reach safety and many become victims of violence and abuses along the way. The campaign has grown remarkably and, this year, it will expand and consolidate its outreach to the main countries of origin of the migrant population in Italy.”

"The campaign features many types of media products and we realized that the testimonies and videos we have produced so far are so effective that they can also become a tool to raise public awareness in Europe and spread empathy on the violence and abuses faced by migrants. With Aware Migrants, we are actually trying to show the real face and real stories of migrants, who too often are dehumanized and reduced to mere numbers and statistics," continued Soda.

This objective is reflected in "Granma", a film that aims to enhance the cultural debate on the issue of migration in Europe and in Africa through its participation in film festivals and screenings in Europe and Africa.

For more information, please contact Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:21Image: Region-Country: ItalyThemes: IOMOthersDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Young Libyan Media Professionals Trained by UN Migration Agency to Encourage Informed Reporting

PBN News Germany - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:00
Language English

Tunis – IOM, the UN Migration Agency is, holding a three-day (7–9 August) media training for 19 young Libyan media professionals.

The training, which is being held in Tunisia’s capital, Tunis, is part of the IOM Regional Development and Protection Project (RDPP) for North Africa, Development Pillar, funded by the European Union. It covers sessions on Media and Migration Public Opinion, the Power of an Image, Recommendations and Good Practices, as well as Migration Terminology and the Global and Local Context of Migration. Facilitators include Christos Christodoulides, Project Manager, IOM Nouakchott, and Paola Pace, RDPP Senior Project Manager, IOM Tunisia.

Joel Millman, IOM Spokesperson and Senior Press Officer, welcomed the participants. He congratulated them for having been successfully selected amongst over 150 young media professionals who had applied.

"We know why we are attracted to migration coverage," Millman explained. "It's exciting and it's dramatic. It's about stories of some of the world's most interesting people: pioneers striving to change their lives to make a better future for their families."

During a busy question-and-answer session following the welcome speech, Ali Jibreel Salih, a veteran Libyan journalist, made an emotional appeal to a new generation of migration reporters.

"They must go out and meet the migrants and tell their stories," Salih explained. "Thirty years ago, I shot a video of African migrants crossing the desert, some of them were dying. Today the tragedy continues but it's more organized, more systematic."

Salih, now a Media Advisor to Libya's Government of National Accord, served on the IOM panel which selected the training participants. The panel also included Khaled Gulam, Director of the Media lab of Tripoli University, as well as a representative from IOM. 

Media reporting of migration is often complicated by stereotypes and misinformation, which fosters prejudices and misconceptions of migrants. The aim of the training is to contribute to a more informed migration discourse in Libya.

The agenda also includes sessions on Libyan media coverage of migration, as well as sessions on human smuggling by Zakariya El Zaidy, migration expert on Libya, and investigative journalist and researcher, Mark Micallef.

“I am already in the human rights field but would like to receive more information on how to cover migration from a humanitarian perspective,” explained 26-year-old Fatma Al Omrani, one of the participants from the Libyan coastal city of Zuwara. “I would also like to receive more information on international terminology of migration and statistics in order to be able to better analyse migration trends in Libya.”  

For more information, please contact IOM Libya:
Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600 389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int
Karolina Edsbacker, Tel: +216 29 202 896, Email: kedsbacker@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Capacity BuildingIOMDefault: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Search and Rescue Missions in Sahara Desert Help 1,000 Migrants

PBN News Germany - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:00

Dirkou – A total of 1,000 migrants have been rescued since April of this year in northern Niger by the search and rescue operations of IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

From 19-25 July, IOM conducted an assessment mission of migratory routes in the Ténéré desert and the area surrounding Niger's border with Libya. The aim of the mission was to improve migrant rescues, by understanding better how to assist migrants in distress on that route and to strengthen the Government of Niger’s management migration capacity. A full report on the mission can be read here.

IOM together with Niger’s Department of Civil Protection (DCP) covered more than 1,400 km at the end of July in the northern part of the country to identify the challenges and changes in flows and migratory routes, whilst also rescuing more than 150 migrants in distress.

The search and rescue operations are an integral part of the Migrants Rescue and Assistance in Agadez Region (MIRAA) project, funded by the Government of the Netherlands, and which is complementary to the larger initiative, Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM), developed by IOM Niger and financed by the European Union.

Since January, more than 60,000 individuals have been observed entering Niger, of which only half this number were counted leaving the country through the two flow monitoring points in Séguedine and Arlit. Compared to the previous year, there are much fewer migrants reported as both incoming and outgoing.  

Following this latest assessment mission and seeing that more dangerous routes are being used by smugglers, IOM is looking at implementing new flow monitoring points in the country.

"I was shocked when, not far from the border between Niger and Libya in Toummo, we came across a large group of women mainly from Nigeria and Ghana sleeping in a dark hangar quite close to the border post, waiting for their next passage north," said Alberto Preato, MRRM Programme Manager at IOM Niger.

“We need to better understand how trafficking and smuggling networks intersect, and to further increase our presence in these remote areas in order to provide information, assistance and alternatives to migrants in need," Preato added.

During one of the latest search and rescue missions, conducted in cooperation with the Nigerien Civil Protection, IOM staff rescued 23 Gambian and Senegalese migrants who had been abandoned by their drivers, including one 7-year-old girl.

While on the mission, the staff encountered some migrants they had previously met in the ghettos around Agadez. Despite being informed about the dangers and risks of irregular migration by the community mobilizers, these migrants had nevertheless decided to try their luck and headed for Libya.

“I feel that I have failed them in some way, but I am happy to see they are alive,” said one IOM community mobilizer.

“It’s a miracle what happened today, but I have never felt so ashamed,” said one of the survivors. “I should have listened to them; I should have never embarked on this route,” he added.

The rescued migrants are now recovering at IOM’s transit centre for migrants in Agadez as they wait for assistance to voluntarily return to their countries of origin. The initiative includes a wide range of services such as direct assistance, assisted voluntary return and reintegration. 

IOM aims not only continue to provide vital assistance to migrants in distress, but also to enhance community stabilization by supporting community initiatives along the migratory routes in northern Niger.

For more information, please contact Alberto Preato at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8053 5933, Email: apreato@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM and Nigerien Civil Protection rescue 23 Gambian and Senegalese migrants who had been abandoned by their drivers. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM together with the Nigerien Civil Protection rescue 23 Gambian and Senegalese migrants who had been abandoned by their drivers. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Libya Remains Top Priority for UN Migration Agency: DG Swing in Tripoli

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 10:53

Tripoli – IOM, the UN Migration Agency’s Director General William Lacy Swing returned to Tripoli earlier this week (1-3/08), where he reiterated that Libya remains IOM’s top priority. In what was his second visit to Libya this year, Director General Swing along with Vincent Houver, IOM Deputy Director of the Department of Operations and Emergencies, Othman Belbeisi, IOM Chief of Mission in Libya and other IOM Libya staff met with the Prime Minister Fayez al Serraj. 

The IOM delegation also met with several Government ministers, as well as representatives of the Libyan Coast Guard and the Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM).

“Libya remains IOM’s top priority and it is therefore important for me to be back in Tripoli so soon after my last visit at the end of March,” said Director General Swing in Tripoli. “The response from the Libyan authorities has been more than positive and IOM is fully committed to further support and collaborate closely with our Libyan counterparts.”

“This visit contributed to strengthening the way IOM plans and works together with governmental counterparts to ensure the delivery of tangible results in support of the Government’s strategic priorities,” Belbeisi said following the visit.

Whilst IOM’s delocalized structure is built on a strong field presence with IOM staff all across east, south and west of Libya, an increasing number of international staff is anticipated to be back in Libya as soon as possible.

Throughout the Tripoli mission, IOM advocated for the improvement of living conditions in the detention centres and alternatives to detention including open centres and safe spaces for women, children and other vulnerable migrants, registration of migrants following rescue-at-sea operations and the continuous technical cooperation to support local partners and Libyan officials.

During the visit, Director General Swing also met with, and wished 132 stranded migrants a safe flight home to Guinea Conakry. “I appreciate the help provided by IOM and I am so happy to go home, back to my family,” one of the children who received IOM’s family tracing assistance told Director General Swing.

In order to reach IOM’s goal to assist up to 12,000 stranded migrants with voluntary humanitarian return assistance in 2017, close cooperation with representatives of the migrants’ countries of origin is key. IOM Libya invited all diplomatic representatives for an open discussion on how to further facilitate consular procedures.

Director General Swing also met with the Deputy Special Representative and Deputy Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Maria Do Valle Ribeiro, during which they discussed IOM’s scaling up and the continuous close collaboration with the UNSMIL. IOM Libya’s donor countries also received a briefing in Tunis, during which the outcomes of the Libya visit, programme developments and the way forward were presented.

For more information, please contact at IOM Libya, Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600 389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int or Christine Petré, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017 - 16:33Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

On his second visit to Tripoli this year, UN Migration Agency (IOM) Director General William Lacy Swing meets one of 132 Guinean migrants IOM was assisting to return home after being stranded in Libya. Photo: Christine Petre/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency’s Emergency Unit Assists Newly Displaced from Tal Afar, Iraq

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 10:51
Language English

Erbil – This past week IOM, the UN Migration Agency, sent emergency teams from its Erbil, Iraq, mission to provide front-line non-food item (NFI) assistance to an informal settlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs). The settlers are principally nomadic herders fleeing ISIL’s last remaining major stronghold in Iraq: Tal Afar.

Following the fall of Mosul, 255 families – mostly shepherds with their livestock – fled from villages on the outskirts of Tal Afar to establish an informal camp in Badoush, about 40 kilometres from Tal Afar city, in Iraq’s Ninewa governorate. 

They escaped about six weeks ago.

Iraqi forces are preparing to launch a military offensive on Tal Afar – a city originally of 200,000 people in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, before ISIL took control of it in mid-2014. Although the militant group has lost nearly two-thirds of the territory it once controlled, it remains active in some of the country’s northern and western areas.

Tal Afar city, with the largest Turkmen population in the country (a mix of Sunni Turkmen and Shia Arabs), is located about 60 kilometres west of Mosul.

According to reports from Tal Afar, where an estimated 10,000 to 40,000 people remain in the city, ISIL is preventing people from escaping, as it did in West Mosul, by shooting at families attempting to flee.

Those managing to flee the city, mostly women, children and the elderly, must take a meandering route to avoid being spotted by ISIL, mostly arriving in the late hours of the night. 

In the early months of the east Mosul operations, IOM was the largest out-of-camp NFI responder, delivering rapid assistance to newly retaken villages, both independently and as part of inter-agency first-line response. 

Five trucks and a group of 12 IOM staffers, from the Rapid Assessment Response Team (RART), visited the Badoush settlement to distribute much-needed NFI assistance to the displaced population, which IOM estimates is about 1,530 individuals. IOM is the first NFI partner to assist here. 

The five items in the mobile kits included mattresses, cool boxes, mats, jerry cans and summer sheets for the pastoralists who opted not to go into camps.

“Their situation is dire,” said one member of the IOM team who visited the area. “They have very little and have only received small amounts of assistance.”

“Most are stuck there because they want to remain with their livestock and cannot go back to their farms. But if their situation does not improve, many say they will have to sell their herds and go to the camps and emergency sites.”

The Mosul response demonstrated that even though a high proportion of IDPs opt for out-of-camp shelter, IOM’s response can be delayed unless the areas are easily accessible. 

Although displacements are ongoing from Tal Afar district, a mass exodus akin to that in West Mosul is not expected. Currently, IDPs are being picked up by the military and moved directly to camp locations. 

Instead, IOM hopes to give priority to these informal sites south of Tel Afar, where limited assistance is available due to the hard-to-reach nature of the location. 

IOM is also looking to prioritize out-of-camp response in hard-to-reach areas for the upcoming Tal Afar operations.

Given the prevalence of pastoralism in the Tal Afar area, there is an increasing trend of families refusing to enter campsites, simply because they want to stay with their livestock. Taking this into consideration, IOM’s Emergency Unit has coordinated with humanitarian partners and requested to be called upon for first line response for out-of-camp populations whose movements are generally more restricted, with no markets available in their locations.  

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss added: “Out-of-camp populations in Iraq are amongst the most vulnerable. It is imperative that civilians fleeing from the conflict are able to receive humanitarian assistance and that agencies are provided with access to hard-to-reach areas such as the outskirts of Tal Afar.”

Since the start of the operations to retake Mosul in October 2016, IOM’s emergency units and rapid assessment teams have distributed 51,237 NFI kits in Ninewa, 23,808 fuel vouchers, 3,220 sealing-off kits to improve shelter conditions and 6,362 clothing vouchers.

IOM also provided 1,765 emergency shelter kits and 500 bread ovens.

Since June 2016, the organization’s Emergency Unit, responding to the Mosul Corridor in Iraq, has also distributed 62,678 NFI kits, 38,438 kerosene vouchers and fuel assistance kits, 14,415 sealing off-kits and 5,988 emergency shelter kits.

According to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), an estimated 837,900 individuals (139,650 families) remain displaced while 239,544 IDPs have now returned, with an estimated 80 per cent going back to their districts of origin in East Mosul.

Of all the IDPs currently displaced by the Mosul operations, over 351,978 (or 42 per cent) live in camps and emergency sites around Mosul. IOM’s emergency sites host nearly 22 per cent of these individuals.

IOM’s DTM actively monitors displacement across Iraq. 

DTM products and information about DTM methodology can be found on the DTM portal at: http://iraqdtm.iom.int/EmergencyTracking.aspx

The latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures on displacement from Mosul are available at:
http://iraqdtm.iom.int/default.aspx

Video taken by RART, compiled by Raber Aziz: https://youtu.be/Uw5NRy1XLWs

Still photos by RART's Elham Mohamad Taher: http://medialib.iom.int/galleries/177/iom-distributes-nonfood-items-in-b...
 

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq:
Hala Jaber, Tel: +964 751 740 1654, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int
Sandra Black, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int

Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017 - 16:32Image: Region-Country: IraqDefault: Multimedia: 

A child recently displaced from Tal Afar waits for humanitarian assistance. Photo: Elham Mohamad Taher / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

You can find more images here

IOM staff distributes non-food items. Photo: Elham Mohamad Taher / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

You can find more images here

Video taken by Rapid Assessment Response Team (RART) and compiled by Raber Aziz / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Migrants Crossing US-Mexico Border Dying at Faster Rate in 2017: UN Migration Agency

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 10:50

Berlin – A new briefing from the Berlin-based Missing Migrants Project (MMP) at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre shows that migrants crossing the United States-Mexico border are dying at a faster rate in 2017 than in past years.

Reported MMP’s Julia Black this week: “Some 232 migrant fatalities have been recorded in the first seven months of 2017, an increase of 17 per cent compared with the 204 deaths recorded between January and July 2016.”

Black added: “Fifty bodies were recorded as discovered in July, the most recorded in any month so far this year,” explaining that these remains were located across the border region. “Nine were recorded in various locations along the Río Grande; ten in a truck in San Antonio, Texas; and 16 in other locations in Texas.”

Fifteen more were recovered in Arizona’s Pima County, a notoriously dangerous crossing, where seasonal temperatures regularly soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) between the months of May and September. So far in 2017, 96 bodies have been recovered in Pima County.

Said Black, “These numbers are especially concerning considering that, according to US Border Patrol figures, fewer migrants seem to be crossing into the US in 2017. The US Border Patrol has apprehended 140,024 migrants between January and June 2017, about half the number recorded in the first six months of 2016.”

The briefing reports that IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded more than 1,250 migrant fatalities on the US-Mexico border since 2014.  

MMP staffers note each one of these deaths are individual tragedies that serve as reminders of the many migrants who continue to risk their lives pursuing their “Sueño Americano” – or American Dream.

Though the story of the ten migrants who lost their lives trapped in the back of a tractor-trailer in Texas on Sunday was widely covered in English- and Spanish-language media, most of the deaths recorded in the border region occur in ones and twos. Those deaths, recorded almost daily during summer months, rarely make headlines.

The most recent incident recorded on the border region was the death of a five-year-old child migrant drowned in the Río Grande near Tamaulipas, Mexico, on Wednesday. Reports indicate that the child’s father also went missing during the river crossing.

Many of those pursuing el Sueño Americano travel from Mexico to Texas, meaning that they must cross the swift-flowing Río Grande to reach the US. The briefing reports that in 2017, 57 people have drowned in the border river, a 54 per cent increase over the 37 deaths recorded in the Río Grande between January and July 2016. IOM’s office in Mexico reports that is likely due to the heavy rainfall in recent months, which has made the river faster and deeper. However, the increase in migrant deaths in other areas on the border, such as the Arizona desert, remains unexplained.

Though migrant fatalities on the US-Mexico border represent 65 per cent of the total number recorded in the Americas, it is likely that many migrant deaths occur in Central and Southern America that go unrecorded. Notably, several bodies, presumed to be migrants, were seen floating off the coast of Nicaragua on Tuesday; another migrant was killed near Oaxaca, Mexico on Sunday after being struck by a train; another, from El Salvador, was the victim of a stabbing.

The briefing reports that the true number of migrant fatalities in 2017 is likely to be higher than the data from Missing Migrants Project indicate. “It’s something that is true for all regions of the world, unfortunately,” concluded Black.

For more information, please contact:
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017 - 16:31Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 115,109 in 2017; 2,397 Deaths

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 10:49

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 115,109 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 2 August, with almost 83 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 261,228 arrivals across the region through 2 August 2016.

IOM Rome reports that according to official figures of the Italian MOI, 95,215 migrants arrived in Italy by sea this year, which is slightly (2.73 per cent) fewer than last year during the same period, when 97,892 arrived, highlighting a trend that IOM has observed of slower traffic to Italy during mid-summer, and fewer deaths (approximately half of those recorded in July 2015 and 2016).

Italian authorities this week released the latest roster of top-ten nationalities to arrive as migrants traveling by sea from Africa through the end of July. (See chart below.) Nigeria continues to be the year’s top sender nation with 15,317 arrivals, followed by Bangladesh (8,687), Guinea (8,631), Cote d’Ivoire (7,905) and Mali (5,526). Bangladesh, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco continue to show sharp increases over levels of arrivals at this time last year. Those countries that now are sending fewer migrants include Eritrea – down more than 50 per cent from 2016 – with slighter decreases as well for Nigeria, Sudan and the Gambia.

IOM’s Flavio Di Giacomo further noted total arrivals by sea to Italy during the month of July came to 11,461, a decrease of more than 50 per cent compared with the total registered in July 2016: 23,552. (See chart below.)

   

IOM Athens reported Thursday that 73 migrants and refugees arrived at various Greek locations (Lesvos, Rhodes, Megisti) between 31 July and 2 August. The total number of arrivals by sea to Greece as of 2 August is 11,353. This compares with 160,515 at this time last year.

The latest fatalities in the region were reported on Tuesday (1 August) when eight corpses were recovered on a dinghy off the Libyan coast – it is likely the migrants died from asphyxiation on board. They are expected to be brought to land in Italy on Friday.

These deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,397. Although this figure trails the number of deaths (3,193) recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,350.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,408 fatalities in 2017 through 2 August (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – over two-thirds of the global total.


Among the newly confirmed fatalities from MMP are: 8 deaths at the US/Mexico border (1 drowning in Rio Bravo and 7 bodies found in Pima County, Arizona), 9 deaths in the Mediterranean (8 bodies found in a dinghy off the coast of Libya and one body recovered south of Tarifa, Spain), and 6 deaths in Central America (one train accident in Oaxaca, one violent incident in Chiapas, and a shipwreck off the coast of Diriamba, Nicaragua: one body has been found and at least 3 other migrants are missing).

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170804_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
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Burundi’s Diaspora Week Underway with Partnership, Development Focus

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 10:48

Bujumbura – Burundi’s second national Diaspora week is taking place from 1-4 August in the country’s capital organized by the Ministry of External Relations and International Cooperation. Diaspora and officials will also visit selected rural villages throughout Burundi. All events focus on the theme of “Burundi and its Diaspora: Partnership for Integrated Development”.

The aim of Diaspora Week is to have dialogue on diaspora and development, in order to build opportunities for diaspora to play a role in promoting trade and foreign direct investment, creating businesses and encouraging entrepreneurship.

This is in addition to being senders of remittances and transferring knowledge and skills.

Over the course of the week more than 200 participants will have been brought together from Burundian Diaspora Associations in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Italy, Netherlands, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Zambia. Non-governmental Organizations and government partners, public and private sector partners will also take part in the events.

This week of events builds on Burundi’s strategic framework set out in the National Diaspora Policy and the Policy on Migration, the creation of which IOM, the UN Migration Agency, supported. 

The tripartite project (Régie National des Postes du Burundi, Universal Postal Union and IOM), "Migration and Development" integrated postal project on remittances, will also be presented to inform the Burundian diaspora of a money transfer channel to send money and promote exchange through post offices throughout the country. 

This week will contribute to raising of awareness on migration and development, which benefits the diaspora, communities, countries of origin and host countries, paving a way forward to sustainable development.

Diaspora week is open to media and the public.

For more information, please contact Jiraporn Supha in IOM Burundi, Tel: +257 75 40 04 45, Email: jsupha@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017 - 16:29Image: Region-Country: BurundiThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Burundian government officials, diaspora members, the IOM Chief of Mission and diplomatic representatives discuss Diaspora Week. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Burundian Diaspora members and distinguished guests from diplomatic mission attend the opening ceremony of Diaspora Week 2017. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Sudanese Criminal Justice System Works with UN Migration Agency to Fight Human Trafficking

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 10:46

Khartoum – Over the past two weeks a 10-day training for 20 senior-level judges, lawyers and police officers, on investigating and prosecuting human trafficking cases, took place at the Sudan Judicial and Legal Science Institute.

The workshop, a joint venture between IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Institute was held as part of the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth’s Office (UKFCO) funded project: Strengthening the Capacity of the Criminal Justice System in Sudan to Address Human Trafficking. It follows on from the Curriculum Development Workshop held in May 2017.

The training curriculum was developed by 20 participants representing the Sudan Judiciary, the Criminal Prosecution Officer, the Office of the Attorney General, Law Enforcement Branches, and the Ministry of Justice, as well as social workers. Over the next few months, the new curriculum will be used to train judges, lawyers and police officers throughout Sudan on effective investigation and prosecution of human trafficking.

“There were also a lot of practical exercises in the workshop, which has solidified the complex information being discussed,” said Amal Taha Husein, an independent lawyer and participant.

At the closing ceremony held to formally launch and endorse the new training curriculum, Waleed Husein Eltayeb, from the Police Training Authority expressed his appreciation to the workshop stating that it had a “multitude of benefits such as the collaboration of such a diverse group of government counterparts.”

“Seeing such Government involvement through the level of participation in this workshop is evidence of the Government of Sudan’s commitment to the 2014 Combatting Human Trafficking Act and its seriousness in making the Act a reality with emphasis on the importance of human rights in Sudan,” said Howayda Awad Elkarim from the Ministry of Justice.

The workshop was designed and facilitated by Phil Marshall, IOM Sudan’s international expert on anti-trafficking, Rifaat Makkawi, national legal expert and defense lawyer, and Omer Saad, national psychosocial expert. The curriculum for the training program will be complemented by the continued development of training materials targeting legal practitioners.

For more information, please contact Andrew Gray in IOM Sudan, Tel: +249-156554, Email: ajgray@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017 - 16:20Image: Region-Country: SudanThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants of the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Sudan Judicial and Legal Science Institute training on investigating and prosecuting human trafficking cases. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Somalia Drought Response Enhanced through UN Migration Agency, UNDP, Government Partnership

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 10:45

Mogadishu – In the wake of a severe drought in Somalia that has displaced more than 800,000 people, the Government of Somalia has joined forces with IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to enhance its drought response capacity.

The three partners organized four-day training from 1–4 August to build displacement management capacity, focusing on Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), improved humanitarian coordination and information management, and early recovery. Over 30 participants took part from a cross-section of Government ministries, international non-governmental organizations and the UN. It aimed to help streamline approaches to emergency response, as well as support the government’s efforts to better manage disasters and plan for early recovery.

“This training came at the right moment; we were in need,” said Dahir Mohamed Noor, Director General of Durable Solutions at the Federal Government of Somalia’s Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, at the beginning of the training. “The objective is to train our counterparts to strengthen their capacity to manage camps with dignity and according to international standards.”

This was the first ever CCCM training in Somalia, run by the CCCM Cluster. The Cluster was activated in May 2017 to respond to growing displacement in Somalia, under the co-leadership of IOM and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

“CCCM Cluster is new in Somalia and I am excited to work with the Government, and other partners working in displacement sites, so that we can improve living conditions and ensure access to services for displaced individuals,” said Kathryn Ziga, IOM Somalia’s CCCM Cluster Coordinator. “CCCM activities help ensure that communities have the space to voice their opinions, participate in service delivery and give feedback to humanitarian organizations.”

UNDP is engaged in building a resilient society in Somalia by minimizing human, economic and environmental losses from disasters and humanitarian crises, and by helping the sustainable recovery of people affected by crisis, including those displaced. This requires mitigating hazards wherever possible (both natural and human-induced), reducing the exposure and vulnerability of at-risk communities, and building the capacity of government and other stakeholders including those from civil society, media, academia, private sector and communities.

The training started with the introduction of key CCCM concepts, the roles and responsibilities of various actors, and community participation and engagement. Participants were trained on engagement with informal settlement managers, communication with communities, plus early recovery and disaster management approaches.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also gave a presentation on humanitarian coordination and information management. The final session of the training ensured that the skills and knowledge gained will be passed down through training for future facilitators.

For more information please contact Yuko Tomita in IOM Somalia, Tel: + 254 715 990 600, Email: iomsomaliapsu@iom.int or Abdul Qadir in UNDP Somalia, Tel: +254714056483, Email: abdul.qadir@undp.org

Language English Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017 - 16:28Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) enhance the drought response capacity in Somalia. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 

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UN Migration Agency Co-hosts Free Movement of Persons Workshops in Gambia, Nigeria

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 10:44

Abuja – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is co-hosting workshops and training sessions for member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) consortium. The events are being held this week in Nigeria and the Gambia.

The ECOWAS Annual Heads of Immigration meeting is an institutionalised meeting of member state representatives meant to support and facilitate regional coordination among national immigration agencies dedicated to Border and Migration Management. The meeting is essential for facilitating and monitoring effective implementation of the 1979 Protocol on Free Movement, and to removing all obstacles that suppress free movement of ECOWAS citizens within the sub-region.

“The primary objective of the Heads of Immigration meeting is to provide a forum for those in charge of immigration in their respective countries to speak with one voice on the region’s pressing migration issues,” explained IOM regional spokesperson Tijs Magagi Hoornaert.

During the 2017 annual meeting, Heads of Immigration under the leadership of ECOWAS built further on achievements from previous meetings such as improving relations between relevant national officials; creating effective migration management networks within member states; building support for joint border patrols; strengthening capacities of national immigration officers and equipping them expertise.

Of special concern are topics such as the evolution of migration in Niger and Nigeria; the situation of migrants in Libya; innovative systems to improve border management and the modalities and requirements for putting in place a regional platform for information sharing.

One key meeting, taking place in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, will be attended by representatives from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and ECOWAS Heads of Immigration. That meeting continues through today (4 August) and is supported by the Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa (FMM West Africa) project.

The 2017 Heads of Immigration Meeting was preceded by the Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA) thematic working group on Border Management. Fifteen migration experts from the different member states convened for that event, which was crucial for preparing of the Heads of Immigration meeting.

The FMM West Africa project is funded by the European Union (EU), and has a EUR 26 million budget and a five-year timeline. The project is driven by the ECOWAS Commission and implemented jointly by IOM, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). More information is available on the project website: www.fmmwestafrica.org

A three-day event, which started on 2 August in the Gambia, was designed to strengthen national actors’ capacity to follow the ECOWAS Regional Guidelines on migration data collection and management.

The Gambia training brought together 40 delegates and experts from Gambia’s Bureau of Statistics, National Population Commission Secretariat, Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Justice, Foreign Affairs, Local Government, Health, Youth, Gambia Refugee Commission and the National Youth Council.

These participants support the gathering of regionally comparable migration data to be analysed for policy at both local and regional levels. Through the ECOWAS Guidelines, experts from the Gambia and the surrounding region will eventually contribute to the production of migration policies based on good and reliable data.

“Good data is the premise for good policy,” said Professor Aderantie Adepoju, a coordinator of the Network of Migration Research in Africa (NOMRA). “This cascade training is an excellent opportunity to coordinate national level migration data collection and management efforts to complement the broad regional framework of ECOWAS.”

The ECOWAS Regional Guidelines were developed following the recommendation of experts at the Regional Workshop on Migration Data Collection and Management organized by FMM West Africa in March 2016 in Lomé, Togo.

Cascade training is part of a major push to strengthen national capacities using the tools presented in the guidelines to address migration data challenges at the national level. During the training, regionally appropriate definitions of migration terms and concepts will be discussed in order to ensure common understanding at the national level. The training will be a good opportunity to strengthen networks both nationally and among ECOWAS members to ensure effective exchanges towards improved migration data.

 “Collecting, analysing and understanding migration data means there is a need to collect more than just border control data,” noted Ann Singleton, Senior Advisor to Global Migration and Dada Analysis Centre (GMDAC). “Using the ECOWAS Guidelines as a starting point, National Statistical Offices and Ministries will be able to better understand, and report to their policy makers at the national and regional levels, to help build an evidence base for effective migration policies.”

Future cascade trainings will be held in all remaining ECOWAS member states. The activity is implemented by the EU-funded FMM West Africa programme, Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa and the Population, Refugee and Migration Programme of the United States of America Protecting Vulnerable Migrants in West and Central Africa.

The FMM West Africa project is funded by the European Union (EU), and has a EUR 26 million budget and a five-year timeline. The project is driven by the ECOWAS Commission and implemented jointly by IOM, ICMPD and ILO. More information is available on the project website: www.fmmwestafrica.org

For more information, please contact Tijs Magagi Hoornaert, IOM Dakar, Tel: + 00221785891456 Email: tmhoornaert@iom.int  Or  Franz Celestin, IOM Nigeria: Tel: +234 8141375873; Email: fcelestin@iom.int or Nnamdi Iwuora, IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +234 9 8766856-7; Email: niwuora@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017 - 16:27Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Annual Heads of Immigration meeting. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Annual Heads of Immigration meeting. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

IOM East Africa Specialist: Global Compact for Migration Can Promote More Holistic Understanding of Migration

PBN News Germany - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 07:56

Nairobi - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, emphasized the great potential of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) at the East African Consultative Meeting held on 24-25 July in Kenya’s capital. The event was organized by the African Union Commission (AUC), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as part of the continent-wide consultations that will result in the Common African Perspectives on the GCM.

In his opening statement, Jo Rispoli, Senior Regional Specialist on Labour Mobility and Human Development called for a more holistic approach to migration and highlighted its multifaceted nature.

“We should not focus efforts on trying to ‘stop’ migration, but rather on creating conditions in which migration is a choice and not a necessity, it takes place through regular channels, and it acts as a catalyst for development,” stressed Rispoli.

He presented three concrete suggestions for turning the GCM into an instrument for the implementation of all migration-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The first suggestion is to focus on a whole of government approach and between different ministries. Second, the GCM should develop a strong follow-up and review mechanism that does not duplicate, but rather complements the SDGs systems already in place. And the third suggestion is to strengthen cooperation between all stakeholders and foster greater partnerships on the progressive implementation of the SDGs.

Rispoli also highlighted some of the contributions by IOM to the GCM process including the series of thematic papers on topics such as labour mobility, integration and social cohesion, and diaspora engagement. He drew attention to the recently-launched iDiaspora forum, a worldwide online platform whereby diaspora members can provide recommendations that will feed into the content of the GCM negotiations next year. 

Regional consultations such as the one held in Nairobi are part of the GCM process. They are hosted by the regional economic communities (RECs) and their sub-regional bodies, in collaboration with relevant UN entities and with IOM in particular. In parallel, global thematic consultations have been held on four main themes, the last of which focused on contributions of migrants and diasporas. The next regional consultation will be held in August in Santiago, Chile for the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

The global compact is a major intergovernmental process, to which IOM is extending technical and policy expertise as requested by Member States until its culmination in September 2018. It presents an historical opportunity for achieving a world in which migrants move as a matter of choice rather than necessity, through safe, orderly and regular channels, and in which migration is well governed and able to act as a positive force for individuals, societies and States.

For further information, please contact:

Jo Rispoli at IOM’s Regional Office for East and the Horn of Africa, Tel: +254204444167, Email: jrispoli@iom.int or Jorge Galindo at IOM HQ, Tel: +417179205, Email: jgalindo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Thursday, August 3, 2017 - 13:46Image: Region-Country: KenyaThemes: Global CompactGlobal Compact on MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Panel members deliver opening remarks at the East Africa Consultative Meeting in Nairobi. Photo: Zachary Mbugua 2017

Categories: PBN

“We’ve seen the suffering of the people”: IOM DG Swing Visits Northeast Nigeria, Devastated by Boko Haram

PBN News Germany - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 09:27

Borno – Nearly two million people fled their homes to escape Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria; more than half of the displaced are children and 133,000 are infants. IOM Director General William Lacy Swing spent three days meeting with some of the internally displaced at camps and in communities in the hardest hit areas of Borno state, the epicentre of the conflict, now in its eighth year.

Ambassador Swing travelled to Nigeria’s northeast on 28 July, following meetings with the Nigerian government in the capital city, Abuja. He joined some of IOM Nigeria’s staff in the conflict zone, where IOM, the UN Migration Agency has a team of about 530 people working across the six states most affected by the conflict.

IOM’s emergency response is based in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno and the birthplace of Boko Haram.

“We’ve seen the suffering of the people. We’ve seen their resilience. We’ve seen their courage. We’ve seen their patience,” said DG Swing, who was able to visit, outside of Maiduguri, some of the main cities that have been devastated by the whole Boko Haram conflict, and the first camp for the internally displaced in the region.

“I’m very grateful to have had this opportunity to see first-hand one of the biggest humanitarian emergencies of our time,” he added.

Although Nigeria hosts most of the conflict’s internally displaced people, and has been the centre of Boko Haram’s violence with countless abductions, rapes and forced recruitment, the conflict has also spilled into the neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon, pushing more than 440,000 others out of their homes, IOM reported in December 2016.

“This crisis is competing with about eight others, including that of Syria, Yemen and South Sudan, for the world’s attention,” DG Swing lamented.

And it’s far from solved.

It’s been three years since Yagana Hamed, her husband and their five children, including three-year-old twin boys, left late one night from their home in Monguno, 140km north of Maiduguri, to escape Boko Haram.

“Boko Haram was nearby so we had to run,” she explained from the small plot of land where she and other displaced people are squatting in straw shelters in Maiduguri. “Our twins were newborns. We couldn’t carry anything, not even clothing, when we left.”

It’s the rainy season in northeast Nigeria. Torrential rain, strong wind and sandstorms descend on the region regularly. Hand-woven shelters made of sticks or straw are no match. Yagana and her family lost their shelter – about six square feet – two days ago. They’ve been sleeping outside under an awning built by humanitarian workers.

“My daughter’s eyes have turned pink. I’m not sure what is wrong with her,” the mother said of the sick nine-year-old. Her children attend Koranic school in the afternoon, but have not studied anywhere else since they fled their home in 2014.

Many makeshift shelters that aren’t flattened by storms are flooded. Bamala Mustafa, whose family of five lives in a stick shelter nearby, holds a bowl of water to show what fell during the last rain, forcing his neighbours out of their spaces.

IOM has built tarpaulin shelters for nearly 11,000 families, about 102,000 people in Borno state. A few hundred other households were given shelter kits to expand or repair their spaces in Adamawa, the other state devastated by the conflict.

Still, 8.5 million people need life-saving assistance in northeast Nigeria this year, according to the United Nations.

In Bama, eastern Borno, Ambassador Swing met some of the people in desperate need of shelter. The militarized displacement camp in Borno’s second largest city, reduced to a ghost town because of continuous insecurity, hosts about 13,000 people; roughly one-third of them received shelters from IOM, the others from various humanitarian partners.

About 1,500 Nigerian refugees who had sought safety in Cameroon returned to Bama recently. Most of them are children and nearly all are still waiting for shelter from humanitarian actors in an under-funded crisis; USD 672 million (more than two-thirds of the required support) is not secured for the humanitarian response this year, according to UN OCHA.

For now, they sleep outside, unprotected from heavy rain, floods and malaria.

Nigerians remain resilient and entrepreneurial, DG Swing observed. “There’s a long way to go, but I’m mostly impressed by the courage and the resilience, and the patience of these hardworking people. They want to go back to work.”

Ambassador Swing saw many displaced adults sewing and making pasta as part of IOM’s mental health and psychosocial support programme, which brings people together to work, talk and heal. The programme gathers displaced people who have had similar experiences, such as young women who escaped Boko Haram’s captivity, widows or men who witnessed killings. Many women lost their husbands to the armed group and do not have time for counselling so IOM staff bring support to them while they work.

Falamata, 24, is one of many displaced people who have joined IOM as a way of supporting their communities. She has been trained to provide counselling and group support as part of the programme that has helped more than 300,000 people since starting in Chibok, Nigeria, in 2014. She uses her salary to buy beads for other displaced women so they can start small businesses, selling jewelry in the camp.

Teaching basic English and life skills is another way IOM helps promote positive self-esteem among the displaced.

“I didn’t even know any English before,” said Musa Mohammed at one of IOM’s camp community centres in Maiduguri, where the Director General visited on 30 July. “Now I can read all these sentences. I’ve really learned a lot,” he shared, smiling towards the whiteboard riddled with grammar lessons. His family of seven has lived in an IOM tarpaulin shelter for the last three years. Musa hopes his new skills will help him get better work, maybe even in teaching, if he is able to return home to Kukawa, near Lake Chad in northern Nigeria, once security improves.

“They want to go back home and I think with our support, we will realize that objective,” Ambassador Swing said. The director general met with the deputy governor of Borno state to discuss IOM’s plans to continue the emergency response by providing more critical shelter and household items, like mattresses, blankets, kitchen utensils and water purification tablets to displaced families. IOM also helps manage camps and tracks displacement with the organization’s flagship Displacement Tracking Matrix, to guide the wider humanitarian community.

They also discussed IOM’s increasing focus on livelihood interventions for displaced Nigerians, such as sewing, knitting and barbershop work.

The lack of work opportunities has been devastating to Nigerians in the south, too, as the West African country suffers an economic recession.

Nigerians are the most common nationality arriving in Italy by the Mediterranean Sea. Although trafficking and smuggling is rampant in the region, most travel to find work in Europe. About 37,000 Nigerians arrived in Italy by sea last year and more than 9,000 so far this year, IOM reports. More than 2,000 migrants have died on the precarious Central Mediterranean route they follow from Libya to Italy, in 2017.

DG Swing met with Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja on 28 July to discuss ways to prevent such risky irregular migration.

“Irregular migration is a global challenge, but it’s also a national challenge,” the minister noted. “I want to thank IOM for helping repatriate so many of our migrants from Libya.”

“The idea is not to stop migrants. It’s about trying to save lives by counselling them about the risks of putting their lives in the hands of a smuggler,” DG Swing said, explaining that IOM opened a migrant information office in Agadez, Niger, last year to try to engage migrants heading north from Nigeria, and around the region, to Libya and the Mediterranean Sea on the dangers many face.

IOM has helped more than 1,800 Nigerians return home safely from Libya this year through the organization’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programme. DG Swing will be in Libya in early August to continue advocacy around the issues migrants, particularly Nigerians, face in the North African country.

For more information please contact Julia Burpee, IOM Nigeria, Tel. +234 (0) 907 373 1170, Email: jburpee@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 15:15Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing listens to a focus group discussion at a displacement camp in Gwoza town in Borno state in Nigeria. Photo: Julia Burpee / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

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IOM Director General William Lacy Swing talks with IOM Head of Sub Office in Maiduguri Emma Khakula. Photo: Julia Burpee / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

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IOM market rehabilitation project in Nigeria. Photo: Julia Burpee / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

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Internally displaced at camps in Gwoza town in Borno State, Nigeria say their goodbyes to visiting IOM staff. Photo: Julia Burpee / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

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IOM Deputy Director General Meets with Senior Egyptian Officials in Cairo

PBN News Germany - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 09:26

Cairo – IOM’s Deputy Director General Laura Thompson held several bilateral meetings with senior officials of the Government of Egypt during her visit to Cairo (24-27 July) where she opened the Extraordinary Meeting for the Arab Regional Consultative Process on Migration (ARCP).

Ambassador Thompson met bilaterally with Mohamed Saafan, Minister of Manpower; Nabila Abdel Shahid, Minister of State for Emigration and Egyptian Expatriates’ Affairs; Hisham Badr, Assistant Foreign Minister for Multilateral and International Security Affairs and Naela Gabr, Chairperson of the National Coordinating Committee on Preventing Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons. In these meetings, Ambassador Thompson reiterated IOM’s support to the Government of Egypt to enhance migration governance, address irregular migration and promote mobility of Egyptian citizens.

During the meeting with Nadia Abdu, the Governor of Behaira, Ambassador Thompson stressed the need to strengthen the cooperation with government authorities at the local level in order to address irregular migration while protecting and assisting vulnerable migrants.

Initiatives to create tailored response mechanisms for vulnerable migrants and to establish vocational training centres to build the capacity of job seekers through internationally accredited curricula were discussed during the meeting.

To this end, Ambassador Thompson also referred to the Action Plan on Institutional Strengthening in the Area of Labour Migration endorsed by the Ministry of Manpower. In line with this action plan, IOM developed a regional project that will contribute to the development and implementation of labour migration policies focusing on ethical recruitment in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Yemen.

The importance of migration governance for Egypt and the region was also highlighted during Ambassador Thompson’s opening speech at the Extraordinary Meeting for the ARCP. With more than 26 million Arab migrants living outside their country of origin, including within the Arab region, “migration is not only a livelihood strategy for many, but also a potentially powerful driver of development and economic growth through remittance flows and skills transfer,” she said.

For more information, please contact Amr Taha, at IOM Egypt, Tel: +202 27365140, Email: iomegypt@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 15:14Image: Region-Country: EgyptThemes: Capacity BuildingInternational and Regional CooperationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM’s Deputy Director General Laura Thompson (second from right) met with with senior officials of the Government of Egypt during her visit to Cairo last 24-27 July. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 114,287 in 2017; 2,385 Deaths

PBN News Germany - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 09:26

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 114,287 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 30 July, with almost 85 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 256,828 arrivals across the region through 30 July 2016.

IOM Rome reports 10,781 sea arrivals to Italy this month through 30 July. That figure trails the full July totals for each of the past two summers by nearly 13,000 (see chart below), highlighting a trend that IOM has observed of slower traffic to Italy during mid-summer, and fewer deaths (approximately half of those recorded in July 2015 and 2016). Nonetheless, for the year to date, 94,802 arrivals to Italy remain slightly ahead of either 2015 or 2016 totals.


IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday (31 July) that 13 people were rescued off the Spanish coast; 39 on 30 July and 158 on 29 July. She said among those rescued on 29 July suffered burns and were dehydrated. These latest arrivals bring the total number of men, women and children coming by sea to Spain in 2017 to 8,157.

IOM Libya reports that on 30 July, 48 migrants were rescued off Azzawya by the Libyan Coast Guard. So far in 2017, 11,451 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters.

IOM Athens reported Thursday that 497 migrants and refugees arrived at various Greek locations (Samos, Lesvos, Chios, Rhodes, Megisti) between 27 and 30 July. The total number of arrivals by sea to Greece as of 30 July is 11,280. This compares with 160,233 at this time last year.

The latest fatality in the region was reported on Thursday (27 July), after a boat capsized off the coast of Izmir, Turkey, killing seven (two women and five children), the first fatalities recorded in the Eastern Mediterranean since 24 April.

These deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,385. Although this figure trails the number of deaths (3,047) recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,350.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,382 fatalities in 2017 through 30 July with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – almost three quarters of the global total. (See chart below.)

Among the newly confirmed fatalities from MMP are: the drowings off Izmir, one drowning along the US-Mexico border and eight deaths at the Syrian-Turkish border.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/press_release/file/170801_Medite...
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 Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus; Tel: + 22 77 22 70, Email: dtsagalas@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 15:13Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Thai Immigration Bureau Receives Advanced Equipment from UN Migration Agency to Enhance Passport Inspection Capabilities

PBN News Germany - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 09:25

Bangkok – The Thai Immigration Bureau (TIB) on Monday (31/7) received five new Verifier Travel Document and Bearer (TD&B) workstations from IOM to strengthen Thailand’s border control and detect passport and identity fraud.

The donation is part of the efforts by IOM, the UN Migration Agency and TIB to curb irregular migration and combat transnational organized crime as part of a project: Strengthening Border Management and Intelligence Capacity of Thai Government Officials, funded by the Government of Canada.

Developed by IOM, the Verifier TD&B is an automated, standalone system designed to help border control officers to conduct secondary inspections quickly and efficiently. A suspect traveller’s passport can be verified within 10 seconds.

Since the system was first installed in 2014 at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Don Mueang International Airport and TIB headquarters, 114 cases of fraudulent passports and 41 cases of imposters have been identified. Thailand is one of 15 countries in the Asia Pacific region where the system operates.

The five new Verifier TD&B workstations extend the system’s coverage to four additional key Thai airports and land checkpoints nationwide – Chiang Mai International Airport, Phuket International Airport, Sadao Checkpoint and Aranyaprathet Checkpoint.

Speaking at the handover ceremony in Bangkok, TIB Deputy Commissioner Police Major General Pornchai Kuntee reaffirmed the Bureau’s commitment to tackle passport fraud. “Forgers are developing increasingly sophisticated methods to circumvent enhanced security elements embedded within passports.  The Verifier TD&B will enable us to manage our operations in accordance with international standards,” he said.

Ambassador of Canada to Thailand Donica Pottie highlighted Canada’s commitment to tackle irregular migration globally. “Fraudulent identity and travel documents represent a threat to the integrity of our border control systems and potentially to our national interests and security. To respond to this challenge, Canada has been working closely with IOM and the Government of Thailand on a wide range of security initiatives, including those related to anti-migrant smuggling and counter-terrorism,” she said. 

IOM Thailand Chief of Mission Dana Graber Ladek added: “States need to address the challenge of ensuring the right balance between open, but at the same time secured and controlled borders. The monitoring and identification of passport fraud plays a crucial role in the suppression of transnational crime.”

Effective border management remains a priority issue for Thailand, which welcomed a record 32.59 million visitors in 2016. Several passport forgery rings linked to the global trade in illicit drug trafficking, trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling have been smashed by the Thai authorities in recent years.

For more information, please contact IOM Thailand. Joshua Hart, Tel: +66 2 343 9341, Email: jhart@iom.int or Reuben Lim, Tel: +66 2 343 9370, Email: rlim@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 15:12Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

TIB Deputy Commissioner Pornchai Kuntee (right), Canadian Ambassador Donica Pottie (middle) and IOM Thailand Chief of Mission Dana Graber Ladek (left) cut a ribbon to mark the handover. Photo: Reuben Lim / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017 

 

Categories: PBN

IOM Chile Holds Training of Trainers on Migrants in Countries in Crisis

PBN News Germany - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 09:25

Santiago – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in its role as secretariat of the Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative (MICIC), carried out a training of trainers on the integration of migrants in the emergency preparedness, response and recovery systems in host countries.

The workshop, held last week (26-28/7) in Santiago, Chile provided training to representatives from the governments of Chile and Ecuador and different national institutions including humanitarian partners and civil society.

The training, divided into three theoretical and practical sessions, was designed to strengthen the national capacities for the implementation of the guidelines developed by MICIC related to the integration of migrants in the preparation, response and recovery of crisis/emergency management plans and programmes in the countries.

The course included aspects of how to develop national capacities that sensitize national authorities and interlocutors for the implementation of the guidelines developed by MICIC.

IOM Chile’s Humanitarian Emergency Officer Jorge Sagastume, IOM’s Regional Advisor for Emergencies and Post Crisis in the Americas Luz Tantaruna and IOM Guatemala’s Capacity Building Officer Alejandro Martínez facilitated the training.

Participants included representatives from the Municipalities of Maipú, Valparaiso, Peñalolén, Santiago, Antofagasta in Chile as well as from the North Metropolitan Health Service, UNICEF Humanitarian Team, Caritas Chile, World Vision, Migrant Networks, Haitian Migrants Platform and an Ecuadorian delegation composed of experts on human mobility and risk management.

Jessica Rosas, a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador’s Vice Ministry of Human Mobility, stated: “This training of trainers will contribute to the Ecuadorian policy of mainstreaming human mobility in public policies and will strengthen personal and institutional capacities in relation to caring for migrants in crisis situations.”

“This workshop will not only benefit our municipality and migrants but it will also strengthen the whole network,” said Liliana Castaño, Manager of the Migrant’s Office of the Municipality of Santiago and a participant at the event. She added: “We face many challenges, and the training will allow us to be much better prepared as a community, municipality, region and country.”

Norberto Girón, IOM Chile Chief of Mission said that IOM will continue to support these types of activities that promote the integration of migrants and the efforts of South–South cooperation that are being developed in Chile and Ecuador, especially to sensitize the national authorities and partners for the implementation of MICIC.

The MICIC Initiative is a government-led effort co-chaired by the United States and the Philippines, which aims to improve the protection of migrants when the countries in which they live, work, study, transit, or travel experience a conflict or natural disaster.

For more information, please contact Carolina Pérez at IOM Chile, Tel. + 56 2 296 33 726, Email: caperez@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 15:12Image: Region-Country: ChileThemes: Capacity BuildingHumanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the participants at training of trainers workshop on the integration of migrants in the emergency preparedness, response and recovery systems in host countries. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Colombia, UN Migration Agency in Joint Effort to Fight against Human Trafficking

PBN News Germany - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 09:25

Bogota – As part of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, IOM, the UN Migration Agency and Colombia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday (31/7) presented the results of Ante la trata no se haga (In the Face of Trafficking, Don’t Pretend), the fifth phase of a prevention campaign against the crime of human trafficking.

The initiative was made up of a series of play-based, educational activities that target people ages 15 to 35 from four municipalities on the Colombian border (San Miguel in Putumayo state, Maicao in La Guajira state, Leticia in Amazonas state, and Tumaco in Nariño state). These municipalities run the risk of trafficking because of their geographic location.

Ante la trata no se haga seeks to increase awareness and provide collective support and prevention tools to communities. The activities carried out explained to communities how trafficking works, how it affects people’s lives, and how it can be avoided. At the end of the sessions, participants wrote their personal commitment to not be indifferent to human trafficking on a piece of tape. Then, all of the pieces of tape were put together to make a huge red banner against human trafficking.

According to statistics from the Government of Colombia, between 2014 and 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended to 258 cases of human trafficking at its consulates abroad. Of the total number of people attended, 81 per cent of victims were women (208 cases) and 19 percent were men (50 cases). It is important to note that the most frequent type of exploitation in the last five years was sexual exploitation with 160 cases (63 per cent), followed by labor exploitation with 73 cases (29 per cent), and servile marriage with 20 cases (8 per cent).

Additionally, it was found that in the last several years, the main destination countries of Colombian trafficking victims abroad have been: China, with 19.4 per cent of cases; Argentina, 15.9 per cent; Mexico, 9.7 per cent; Ecuador, 7.0 per cent; Peru, 5.8 per cent and the Dominican Republic, 4.6 per cent. In recent years, the main Colombian departments of origin for trafficking victims attended have been: Valle del Cauca, Antioquia, Risaralda, Cundinamarca, and Caldas.

María Ángela Holguín, Colombia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that the Ministry is directly confronting the scourge that is human trafficking. She said: “We want to work in the souls and the hearts of the people…Every one of us can act to stop the third most lucrative crime in the world after drug trafficking and arms trafficking.”

Alejandro Guidi, IOM Colombia Chief of Mission, said: “We have all come together to show that in Colombia it is possible to continue weaving a network against human trafficking, gathering the messages from these pieces of tape and actions by hundreds of Colombians who have added their own commitment against this crime.” He added: “This crime does not differentiate by race, gender, age, or socioeconomic level.”

Since 2014, IOM and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have carried out an annual campaign inside and outside of the country to fight against human trafficking and ensure that every day fewer Colombians are victims of this crime. This is how, through the initiative’s five phases, Colombia has been able to raise citizens’ awareness of this crime and ability to recognize risk factors.

If you know about a case of human trafficking, you can report it at any Colombian consulate, by video call or chat at the website www.cancilleria.gov.co, by writing to the email address asistencias@cancilleria.gov.co, or at free national attention hotlines 18000979899 and 01800093800.

For further information, please contact Karen Mora at IOM Colombia, Tel. + (57) 1 639 7777, Email: kmora@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 15:11Image: Region-Country: ColombiaThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants of the Ante la trata no se haga activities wrote their personal commitment to not be indifferent to human trafficking on a piece of tape. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

138 Ghanaians Return Home from Libya with UN Migration Agency Support

PBN News Germany - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 11:40
Language English

Accra – A charter flight from Libya carrying 138 Ghanaians (135 men and 3 women) who wished to return home voluntarily landed at 4pm on Thursday, 27 July 2017.  These migrants, who opted for a humanitarian voluntary return to Ghana, are among the many Ghanaians living in irregular situations in Libya, often in very difficult conditions. Many of them had spent months and even years in detention centers there.

In what is now quite a regular procedure, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, conducted pre-departure interviews and medical examinations and facilitated the acquisition of travel documents and issuance of exit visas for all passengers in Libya. Upon arrival in Kotoka International Airport, the migrants were received by IOM, the Government of Ghana and airport authorities. IOM provided all returnees with food and water, support for onward transportation and immediate needs, and information regarding the processing of their reintegration. Most returnees, while happy to have been assisted to return home safely, were concerned about returning to their families empty handed and were appreciative of the fact that they will receive in-kind reintegration support.

An important registration process took place at the airport. The data collected will enable IOM to start the reintegration process for these migrants. Within the next months, and as part of the IOM-EU initiative on  Strengthening Governance of Migration and Supporting the Sustainable Reintegration of Migrants in the Republic of Ghana, IOM will be assessing the returnees’ situations on a case by case basis in order to support their sustainable reintegration in Ghana. IOM will also strive to provide continuous psychosocial support to vulnerable migrants and, where necessary any additional support to address their special needs.

This year, IOM Libya has assisted more than 5,000 stranded migrants including women return to their countries of origin.

The project, Strengthening the Governance of Migration and Supporting the Reintegration of Migrants in the Republic of Ghana, is a joint initiative between IOM and the European Union Trust Fund. Launched in May 2017, it will be implemented over a period of three years.

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

Posted: Friday, July 28, 2017 - 15:00Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationMigrant AssistanceDefault: 
Categories: PBN

It’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. What do we need to do now?

PBN News Germany - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 05:04
Language English

Switzerland - It is believed that millions are currently victims of trafficking in persons around the world. It is almost impossible to think about each one of those numbers as individual human beings and it can feel like an insurmountable problem. But it isn’t. And on this World Day Against Trafficking in Persons we must believe that not only can we make a dent but that we can make significant inroads into eliminating it.

At the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN’s Migration Agency I head, we deal with trafficking in persons on a daily basis. We know that trafficking involves more than kidnapping and selling of persons, people forced into jobs against their will, and victims forced to give away a kidney or other vital organs. Trafficking in persons can occur ever so subtly as in cases of employment pathways, where workers are charged for recruitment and placement fees, have their wages withheld, or cannot leave their employers and thus are put into vulnerable situations where they are further exploited and become trafficked. Migrants travelling on regular or irregular migration routes around the globe are highly vulnerable to these kinds of abuses. Many who start their journeys by willingly placing themselves in the hands of smugglers can also become victims of trafficking along the way.

In addition to our and our partners’ hands-on work in providing protection and assistance to already some 90,000 victims of trafficking over the years, we are working tirelessly to collect and analyze global data on trafficking so that we can collectively improve and implement the best practices and inform policies and programmes to better address trafficking in persons.

For instance, since 2015, IOM has surveyed over 22,000 migrants on the journey on the Eastern and Central Mediterranean routes. This is the largest-scale survey yet to explore migrants’ vulnerability to trafficking and exploitation on the Mediterranean routes to Europe. Around 39% of individuals interviewed had a personal experience that indicates the presence of trafficking in persons or other exploitative practices along the route with many reporting direct experiences of abuse, exploitation and practices which can amount to trafficking in persons. Looking at just the Central route, a shocking 73% of those interviewed indicated this. With this research IOM is currently exploring which factors predict migrants’ vulnerability to human trafficking and exploitation on their journey.

It is also our goal to facilitate cross-border, trans-agency analysis and provide the counter-trafficking community with the information we need to develop a more comprehensive understanding of this complex issue. To this end, we will soon be launching the Counter-Trafficking Data Collaborative. Drawing on IOM’s and partners’ victim case data, this will be the first ever open access data platform for human trafficking data.

As we develop new knowledge and tools, it is critical that we share our findings and communicate with other global leaders. This September, in an effort to develop the “Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration,” governments will come together to discuss smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons and contemporary forms of slavery, including appropriate identification, protection and assistance to migrants and trafficking victims. This will be our chance to share our expertise learned from decades of research and practice in this field and to learn from others.

We are learning more, and understanding how to better respond to trafficking in persons, yet there are still many unanswered questions. What makes migrants susceptible to trafficking? What do we know about those being trafficked now? And how do we best stop it from occurring in the future?

We may not have all the answers yet, but we do know that we must now accumulate the data and knowledge we have and make it transferrable so that we can all benefit from it. We do not know everyone who could be at risk but we do know we need to make migration safer, more orderly, and more regular to make migrants less vulnerable. We do not know the exact number of victims of trafficking, but we do know it’s far too many.

The fight against trafficking in persons requires us to strive for answers to our many questions. It requires us to better respond, with shared data, knowledge, and tools, and it requires us to respond together.

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William Lacy Swing is the Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Migration Agency

 

Posted: Monday, July 31, 2017 - 11:02Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

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