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UN Migration Agency Supports Economic Reintegration of Ethiopian Returnees Under EU-IOM Joint Initiative

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 11:34

Addis Ababa – This week, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, provided the first economic reintegration assistance to 29 irregular Ethiopian migrant returnees under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the East and Horn of Africa. The migrants returned to their communities of origin in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' (SNNP) Region of Ethiopia, which is among the regions prone to irregular migration.

The group was trained in technical agricultural skills such as cattle and goat fattening, grain trade and diary product, as well as business development and management. Cattle fodder was also provided to the returnees to kickstart their cattle fattening businesses. By the end of May, a total of 91 returnees will have been supported under the Joint Initiative. IOM’s team in the SNNP Region is providing similar reintegration assistance to the remaining 62 returnees.

IOM provided business and project management training and conducted one-on-one consultations with the returnees to develop their business plans. Some of the group have spent months outside of Ethiopia and others, years, and now have minimal knowledge of the current context in the country. The personalized consultations and the training has helped them identify and map business opportunities in their respective communities, as well as be up-to-date with current Government business requirements.

“I used to work in agri-business before I decided to leave Ethiopia,” said Abush Girma, a returnee, who spent nearly three years as an irregular migrant in Zambia and Tanzania, trying to reach South Africa. “I paid a smuggler 85,000 (USD 3,000) for the travel. When I returned, I had nothing. I tried to start a small business but failed because I had no start-up capital… I am very happy that I got a chance to have reintegration support… I will work hard in my country and change my life for the better,” he added.

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

“What happens after migrants’ return is often more important than helping them get home,” said Sara Basha, Program Coordinator with IOM Ethiopia. “The EU-IOM Joint Initiative implements an innovative approach towards sustainable reintegration supporting solutions for migrants and their communities. It aims at enabling returnees to restart their lives in their countries of origin through an integrated reintegration approach that supports both migrants and their communities. It also has the potential to complement local development and mitigates some of the drivers of irregular migration,” Basha added.

For more information, please contact: Helina Mengistu at IOM SLO Addis Ababa, Tel: +251 11 557 1550 (Ext 109), Email: hmengistu@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, May 11, 2018 - 17:30Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationCommunity StabilizationDefault: Multimedia: 

One of the returnees Abush Girma, used his reintegration grant to start livestock rearing business. Photo: IOM

Some of the returnees after entrepreneurship training. Photo: T.Biramo/IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Extends Critical Support for Displaced Families in Ethiopia

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 11:29

Addis Ababa - While the rainy season is a welcome promise of good crop yield for farmers, for many internally displaced persons in Ethiopia it presents a myriad of challenges.  And for that reason, the African proverb “It rained on the mountain top, but it was the valley below that got flooded” could not be truer for the many displaced.

Some 806,913 people are currently displaced in Somali Regional State owing to drought and conflict. A young widow, who was living in Libahle Town, explains how she was forced to relocate with her son, sister and 19 other family members when their 150 cattle and goats died. The family was left with only two animals.

Twenty-seven-year old Gini Mehmed narrated their ordeal: “The cold and the wind create such harsh conditions to live under a shed without a roof.” Gini explained how she has managed to cope with the adverse effects of the rains: “We value the plastic sheeting that was provided to us by the IOM to roof the shed.” She is one of the beneficiaries of a recent IOM Non-Food Item (NFI) distribution in Adadle Town, Ethiopian Somali Regional State.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency has continued its support for internally displaced persons in the region, including support to the Government of Ethiopia to coordinate the Emergency Shelter (ES)/NFI Cluster; over 2,071 transitional shelters were constructed for refugees and nearly 21,535 households provided with NFI kits and cash in 2017 alone.

“We were sleeping on the floor and having a hard time to buy what we needed. Thanks to the cash support, we are now able to buy what we need and are also sleeping on the mats like we do normally,” said Gini, in a bid to explain how vital the support received through the ES/NFI distribution has been for her and her family.

Gini’s family is among the 21,535 beneficiaries which IOM, under the leadership of the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), the United Nations Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), was able to support through a wide spectrum of interventions, from prevention and preparedness, through response and mitigation to recovery.

As IOM has shifted gear in accordance with the new way of working in response to emergencies such as drought, it has joined the Ethiopian Somali Regional Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau (DPPB) and the Durable Solutions Working Group, to endorse the Durable Solutions Strategy for the Somali Region as of the end of 2017. This first of its kind strategy in Ethiopia provides a framework that seeks to solve the widespread displacement of hundreds of thousands of people in Ethiopia’s Somali Region. The organization has also continued its effort to respond to urgent needs of the displaced community.

For more information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 11 6611117 (Ext. 455), Mobile: +251 91 163 9082, Email: salemayehu@iom.int 

 

Language English Posted: Friday, May 11, 2018 - 17:27Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

A displaced family stand in front of their shelter at Adadle Woreda Somali Region of Ethiopia. Photo: A.Seifeselassie / IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Paraguay Expands Project for Migration, Border Management

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 11:26

Asunción – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the General Directorate of Migration (DGM by its Spanish acronym) of Paraguay, signed a cooperation agreement that will allow the expansion of the Personal Information and Registration System (PIRS) and the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) in the country.

The agreement was signed this week (8/05) in Montevideo, Uruguay, by the IOM Regional Director for South America, Diego Beltrand and the General Director of Migration of Paraguay, Maria de los Angeles Arriola. The document was also signed by the Minister of the Interior of Paraguay, Ariel Martínez Fernández and the IOM Paraguay Head of Office, Richard Velázquez.

Since 2016, IOM in Paraguay and the DGM have worked on the implementation of the PIRS/ MIDAS in several border posts in the country. 

With the installation of this system, IOM has contributed to the strengthening of the DGM’s migration management capacity by increasing the regular registration and control of migration movements in Paraguay through periodic reports, access to biometric information, online supervision, access to alerts and keeping travel records of the passengers.

The system allows to have more detailed and complete information on the passengers that cross the borders, thus contributing to safeguarding national security. In addition, with the inclusion of peripheral computer equipment, such as passport readers, fingerprint readers and web cameras, the system allows gathering of more data that may be useful to manage adequate migration policies, based on complete information.

The system previously used by the DGM did not allow the interconnection of databases between the different border posts. It is, however, possible with the PIRS/MIDAS, thus allowing the exchange of information in real time.

In addition, the use of passport readers has allowed the DGM to move from a manual systematization of passenger data, to a digital and automatic data systematization, which allows the minimization of errors in the process.

 "The implementation of the PIRS/MIDAS is an important and necessary step for the modernization of the migration control since it contributes to the strengthening of national security and to the optimization of the works of registry of entrance and exit of the country. This all is in benefit of Paraguayans and foreigners who travel in the national territory,” said the Director General of Migration, Maria de los Angeles Arriola.

IOM Paraguay Head of Office, Richard Velázquez, emphasized: "The progress that Paraguay has made since 2016 in terms of collecting migration information for the development of public policies has been very important.” He added, "With this agreement, we reaffirm our commitment to the Government of Paraguay to implement the system in all the border posts in the country”.

Initially the system was installed in 2016 at the International Airports, Silvio Pettirossi and Guaraní, in the cities of Asunción and Ciudad del Este respectively. Later, in a second phase of implementation, it was installed at the San Roque González de Santacruz Bridge of Encarnación and at the International Bridge of Friendship in Ciudad del Este at the end of 2017.

Currently, work is in progress to install the system at Puerto José Falcón, located in the city of Jose Falcón. The system will be extended to the cities of Alto del Guaira, Pedro Juan Caballero, Alberdi, Ita Enramada, Pilar, Teniente Infante Rivarola.

For more information, please contact Giselle Brown at IOM Paraguay, Tel. +595 21 663389, Email: gbrown@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, May 11, 2018 - 17:24Image: Region-Country: ParaguayThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Regional Director for South America, Diego Beltrand (2nd from r) and the General Director of Migration of Paraguay, Maria de los Angeles Arriola (2nd from l) at the signing of the agreement, accompanied by the IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean Marcelo Pisani (right) and the IOM Paraguay Head of Office, Richard Velázquez (left). Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 24,502 in 2018; Deaths Reach 619

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 11:22

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 24,502 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 129 days of 2018, with about 39 per cent arriving both in Italy and Greece, with the remainder arriving in Spain (20%).

This compares with 53,979 arrivals across the region through the same period last year and 187,569 at this time in 2016. 

No deaths were reported in the region since last weekend. This year’s fatalities – 619 drowned or missing men, women and children – is less than half the total on this date in 2017 (1,338) and smaller still than the total at this time two years ago, when IOM recorded 1,380 deaths across three Mediterranean Sea routes.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported that a total of 322 irregular migrants have entered Italy through the first nine days of May 2018.  That total compares with 7,863 through the dates 1-9 May in 2017 and 3,288 through the same period in 2016 (see chart below). For the entire months of May in 2017 and 2016 total arrivals were 22,993 and 19,925 respectively.

Thus, despite being the start of what traditionally has been the busiest migrant-crossing season to Italy, totals this year indicate May arrivals may barely reach the 1,000+ threshold of past years, when that figure was passed rather routinely in the month's fist days.

In Spanish waters so far this year IOM Madrid’s Ana Dodevska reports that 5,219 irregular migrants and refugees have been registered arriving since January 1. That’s a 57 per cent increase over this same period in 2017 (see charts below).

Dodevska further reports that according to information published by Salvamento Maritimo, the number of rescues in May per day was as follows:

IOM Greece’s Kelly Namia reported Thursday that over three days (6-8 May) the Hellenic Coast Guard notified IOM of at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos and Crete. The Coast Guard rescued 155 migrants and transferred them to these islands.

IOM’s Antigoni Avgeropoulou further reported that the landings in Crete – or about 50 migrants – appear to have been from a voyage that left Crete bound for Italy but was forced to return to that island. IOM staff attended to the migrants once they were ashore.

Kelly Namia reported that along with other landings on Levos, Kos and Samos another 128 migrants landed in the Aegean these same days bringing to 9,447 the total number of irregular migrants entering Greece via sea since 1 January – for an average of around 74 persons per day.

April saw 3,083 migrant arrivals via the Eastern Mediterranean. Already nearly 1,200 irregular migrants have landed on these shores in May – just eight days into the month – or about twice 2018’s average since the year began (see charts below).

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 1,076 people who died or disappeared during migration thus far in in 2018 (see chart below).

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

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic here

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

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

For more information, please contact:

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

 

Language English Posted: Friday, May 11, 2018 - 17:10Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, USAID Promote Good Practice on Reintegration of Returned Migrants in Central America’s Northern Triangle

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 11:10

San Salvador – This week (08-09/05) a regional meeting on the reintegration of returned migrants was held in El Salvador, in which experts from eight countries of the region exchanged experiences on return migration and the reintegration of people on the move.

The meeting took place within the framework of the Return and Reintegration project for the Central American Northern Triangle, implemented by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) with funds from USAID.

The Central American Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala) is one of the regions with the most significant experience in the reintegration of returned migrants. Only in the first three months of 2018, more than 45,000 migrants were returned to these three countries from Mexico (54%) and the United States (46%). Most of returned adults are men (84%), and 12 per cent of all returnees are children.

Returned migrants this year (January-March) increased by 20 per cent as compared to the same period last year, although they are less than the 54,000 returnees in the same period of 2015.

During the meeting, lectures, discussion panels, and working groups were held to analyse current migratory trends, reintegration strategies, challenges related to return migration and recommendations to strengthen laws and public policies, both on national and regional levels. They shall also serve to enhance existing programmes through the exchange of good practices and identify ideas for the generation of new response actions.

"One of the strategic approaches of IOM is to promote, facilitate and support regional and global debates and dialogues on migration. We aim to promote understanding about the opportunities and challenges that migration brings, as well as the identification and development of effective policies to address them. This also includes the fight against the stigmatization associated with returnees since, sometimes, it prevents their reintegration," said Jorge Peraza, IOM Chief of Missions for El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

"Every person in this room is dedicated to improving the lives of other people, and we are here to learn from their experience. Some of you have decades of work on issues of migration and reintegration of people. And as for the support of the United States in this area, we are one hundred per cent committed to finding solutions with you," said Jean Manes, Ambassador of the United States to the Government of El Salvador, at the meeting’s opening session.

The inauguration ceremony was headed by Jean Manes, Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of El Salvador; Bárbara Feinstein, Deputy Assistant Director of the USAID Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Jorge Peraza Breedy, IOM’s Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Representatives of other cooperation agencies and officials from Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru were also present.

Other activities implemented by this project are the National Survey on the well-being of children and young people, and the construction and suitability of public spaces that facilitate social cohesion, community development and incorporation processes of returnees to their home communities.

For more information, please contact José Miguel Gómez at IOM El Salvador, Email: miggomez@iom.int, or  Alba Miriam Amaya at IOM El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Email: aamaya@iom.int, Tel: +503 2521-0511

 

Language English Posted: Friday, May 11, 2018 - 17:05Image: Region-Country: El SalvadorThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Nelsy, Lesbya and Angela (left to right) were among the more than 45,000 migrants who returned to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala from Mexico (54%) and the United States (46%) in the first three months of 2018. Photo: M.Gómez / IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Regional Consultative Processes on Migration of the Americas Meet in Uruguay

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

Montevideo – Representatives of 21 Member States of the two Regional Consultative Processes on Migration (RCPs) of the Americas, the South American Conference on Migration (SCM) and the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM), met this week (8-9/ 05) in Montevideo, Uruguay.

The plenary meeting of both RCPs also included the participation of IOM, the UN Migration Agency as Technical Secretariat of the SCM and support agency for the Technical Secretariat of the RCM, as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as Observer Organizations.

This is the first time that all the Member States of both RCPs have met to address migration in the hemisphere. The two main issues discussed were the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the extra-regional and extra-continental migration flows.

Moreover, it allowed the exchange of experiences of the States in dealing with extra-regional and extra-continental migration flows and identifying topics of common interest about these dynamics.

During the opening ceremony, Ariel Bergamino, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uruguay and Presidency Pro Tempore of the SCM, underscored the importance of the meeting for the construction of consensus between the two regions, the exchange of experiences and international cooperation.

Luis Miguel Hincapié, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Panamá and Presidency Pro Tempore of the RCM, welcomed the progress, projects and achievements made jointly with other countries in areas of social, economic and cultural rights of migrants and their families.

Hincapié highlighted the contributions that both Regional Consultative Processes have given in the formulation of regional actions that improve how migration is addressed by the international law and the human rights.

"Achieving deeper regional coordination and cooperation allows us to improve migration governance, aimed at creating operational cooperation mechanisms by applying best practices," Hincapié added.

The SCM and the RCM are two of the 16 RCPs around the world that bring together representatives of States at the regional level, in a space of non-binding dialogue for the exchange of information and good practices on issues of common interest related to migration.

For more information, please contact Juliana Quintero at the IOM Regional Office in Buenos Aires, Tel. + (54) 11 32488134, Email: juquintero@iom.int or Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office in Costa Rica, Tel: + (506) 2212 5352, Email: jgallo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, May 11, 2018 - 16:59Image: Region-Country: UruguayThemes: Capacity BuildingInternational and Regional CooperationDefault: Multimedia: 

Representatives of Member States of the two Regional Consultative Processes on Migration (RCPs) of the Americas met in Uruguay. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM DG Marks 3rd Anniversary of EU-China Migration Dialogue Project

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 12:51

Beijing - IOM Director-General William Lacy Swing yesterday addressed European and Chinese stakeholders marking three years of the EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support Programme (MMSP), a project funded by the European Partnership Instrument and implemented jointly by IOM and ILO.

The event brought together about 100 stakeholders from European diplomatic missions, Chinese official bodies, think-tanks and other IOM and ILO partner agencies.

Ambassador Swing commended the European Union and China’s commitment to the MMSP project, which brings together European and Chinese migration policy makers and practitioners to share best practices and experiences.   

He also congratulated China on the establishment of three new government entities – the National Immigration Administration, International Development Cooperation Agency and Ministry for Emergency Management. All of them are essential for the formulation good migration policies and effective migration management, he noted.

Christopher Wood, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to China, also spoke at the event. He emphasised that migration is an important element of the EU-China relations and outlined the successes achieved through the dialogue on migration and mobility.

During his visit to China, Ambassador Swing, who will step down as Director General of IOM later this year, also officially launched the IOM “WeChat APP”, which provides Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) to Chinese workers migrating to Europe. IOM is committed to ensuring that migrants are equipped with essential information to prepare for their journey before they leave China, and their integration once they arrive in their country of destination in Europe.

For further information please contact Etienne Micallef at IOM China. Email: emicallef@iom.int, Tel:+861059799695

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 18:47Image: Region-Country: ChinaThemes: IOMUNDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM DG Swing formally launches the WeChat App in Beijing. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Calls for Greater Protection of Migrants, Yemenis Following Visit to Yemen

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 10:41

Sana'a – Following a visit to Yemen this week (02-06/05) Mohammed Abdiker, Director of Operations and Emergencies at IOM, the UN Migration Agency, said that he is "extremely concerned about the appalling and inhumane situation migrants are facing in Yemen" and called for "greater support and protection both from the international community and authorities in-country." 

“Last August, it shocked the world when scores of Ethiopian and Somali teenagers dreaming of a better life were forced into the sea by smugglers off the coast of Yemen and drowned,” Abdiker said as he left Yemen on Sunday (06/05). “This shock never translated into greater protection for other youth, who also have nothing but the hope of opportunity far from their rural homes and can only afford and access a deadly migration route through a conflict-zone.”

It is estimated that some 7,000 migrants enter Yemen each month with the total number of migrant arrivals in 2017 reaching near 100,000. The vast majority intends to reach the Gulf countries, in particular the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Migrants often leave their homes on foot and walk through Djibouti. From there, they take boats across the Gulf of Aden to the Aden, Lahj, Shabwah, and Hadramout Governorates in Yemen and then attempt to head north to the KSA border. Some work irregularly, for example on qat farms in Yemen, to make money to fund the rest of their journey. At various stages on the route, they enlist the aid of smugglers, especially to make the sea journey or to cross the KSA border. The total number of migrants currently in Yemen is unknown.   

Both en route and once in Yemen, many migrants suffer at the hands of cruel smugglers and other criminals, including physical and sexual abuse, torture for ransom, arbitrary detention for long periods of time, forced labour for no pay and even death. 

“I met teenagers in utter distress from what they had experienced already in their young lives,” Abdiker explained. “They are just a commodity to smugglers – something to make quick and easy money from and, if they die, the smugglers do not care as there are thousands of other people willing to pay for their services and risk their lives to simply build their parents a house, put their brother through school, or for any opportunity at all.”

Some migrants also get caught up in the conflict, sustaining injuries or dying from shelling, and some are taken to detention centres.  “Without prosecuting those preying on these vulnerable young people, any humanitarian assistance we provide will forever be a band aid – of course, it will save lives, but we owe those who have suffered more than that,” Abdiker said.

"The recent Human Rights Watch and Vice News Reports showed how horrendously many migrants being held in Yemen's detention centres are treated. We welcome the closure of the Centre highlighted in that report and the prosecution of those who committed crimes against migrants. However, we know that this was not an isolated incident and so we call on all those with migrants in their custody in Yemen to treat them with dignity and compassion,” Abdiker continued.

“Although no migrant should be held in detention, especially children, but while they do exist, IOM advocates for their closure and also offers its support to the authorities to improve the condition in these detention centres for migrants. We currently have access to three detention centres, where we provide humanitarian aid and offer safe passage home in a dignified manner from this conflict zone for those who want to go back. For children, we provide family tracing assistance to eventually reunite them with their loved ones, provided it is safe to do so.” 

In 2017, IOM helped around 2,900 migrants and refugees return home from Yemen: 73 per cent of them were Somalis, 25 per cent Ethiopians, and 2 per cent other nationalities. IOM has also helped 197 Ethiopian and 939 Somali migrants and refugees return home voluntarily to date (08/05) in 2018. Assisted spontaneous returns of Somali refugees are carried out in collaboration with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. 

While in Yemen, Abdiker visited a migrant holding facility in Sana’a run by the Immigration, Passport, and Naturalization Authority (IPNA) – where IOM is providing life-saving assistance to hundreds of migrants.

That assistance, carried out in cooperation with the authorities, focuses on food distribution, health care, water, sanitation and hygiene, and psychosocial support. Some 97 per cent of the detainees are Ethiopian and the total group includes ten girls, 12 boys, 20 women and 227 men. IOM is working to help the majority of them return home.

Since Abdiker's visit, some 200 migrants were brought to the IPNA facility, bringing the total number of people held there close to 470. These 200 people were part of a group of approximately 1,200 migrants, who were taken into the authorities' custody a few days ago. Abdiker also expressed his concern for the other one thousand migrants, specifically in relation to where they will be held and how they will be treated.

During his visit, Abdiker met with various concerned authorities and thanked them for their agreement to support IOM to improve the situation of migrants in Yemen. 

"Yemen is experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world; it is obviously not a safe route for migrants, nor is it safe for Yemenis themselves in many areas. IOM provides humanitarian aid to displaced and conflict-affected Yemenis throughout the country,” said Abdiker.

“Our teams are seeing more and more Yemenis returning from KSA and they are in need of our support. They tell us that changes in their circumstances in KSA due to tightening regulations make them feel forced to return. Both migrants in Yemen and returning Yemenis are in desperate need of greater support from the international community, and neither group should feel forced to transit through or return to a conflict zone,” he added.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon in Nairobi, Tel: +41794035365, Email: oheadon@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 16:37Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

When asked if they wanted to go back to Ethiopia immediately, all the migrants raised their hands. Photo: Saba Malme/IOM

Mohammed Abdiker (r) and next to him, Sarat Dash (l) IOM Yemen Chief of Mission (both wearing ties) listen to migrants in Sana’a, Yemen. Photo: IOM

New Ethiopian Arrivals in Obock Djibouti. Photo: Olivia Headon/IOM

Ethiopian migrants wait under trees Obock, Djibouti. Photo: Olivia Headon/IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

First New Land Ready: Will Allow Rohingya Refugees to Move to Safer Ground Before Monsoon

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 10:37

Cox’s Bazar – Humanitarian agencies working in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps today marked the completion of the first new plot of land prepared to relocate families most at risk of landslides during the upcoming monsoon season.

The work is part of a major joint initiative involving IOM, UNHCR and WFP. It has involved dozens of earthmoving machines and a workforce of over 3,500 labourers, including both Rohingya refugees and members of the host community, to prepare the land so that families can move to safer ground.

The newly prepared 12-acre plot is now ready to receive shelters and other key services, including water, hygiene and education facilities. It will provide new homes for nearly 500 families currently living on steep, sandy hillsides in some of the most high-risk parts of the refugee site.

“Seeing this first plot now ready for the next stage of relocation shows the practical and life-saving achievements that can be created from this kind of interagency collaboration to keep the refugees safe,” said Manuel Marques Pereira, IOM’s Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.

“With the monsoon season almost upon us, we will continue to work urgently to prepare more land, coordinate services, secure vital access and ensure we are ready to respond to emergency situations when they arise,” he added.

Almost 700,000 refugees have fled violence in Myanmar since August 2017, bringing to around 900,000 the total number of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar district. The vast majority of the refugees are living under tarpaulins and bamboo shelters in desperately over-crowded conditions.

Across all the settlements, around 200,000 people have been identified as being at high risk of floods and landslides when Bangladesh’s notorious cyclone season and heavy monsoons hit in the coming weeks.  The immediate priority is to try to relocate around 24,000 people at highest risk from landslides.  

The Government of Bangladesh recently allocated around 500 acres for potential relocations. But due to the hilly topography, only a fraction of that area can be made safe and used before the monsoon, which will begin in earnest next month. The area was prone to landslides even before the refugees settled on the steep slopes, creating de-forestation and erosion.

Kevin J. Allen, head of UNHCR’s operations in Cox’s Bazar, said:  “We’re very happy to be able to move to the next stage in this ambitious project, which has been a great example inter-agency collaboration, in support of the Government of Bangladesh.”

“It will be a race against time to get everything ready, so that the most vulnerable families at high risk of landslides and flooding can be moved to safety before the worst of the monsoon season gets underway,” he added.

The joint Site Maintenance Engineering Project (SMEP) between the three agencies is a practical and innovative response to support the Government of Bangladesh in emergency preparedness and response.  It was  specifically designed to save lives, reduce landslide and flood risks, and maintain access to the refugee settlements.

As well as preparing land for relocation, SMEP agencies are working to improve roads and drainage, and to build bridges that will ensure continued life-saving access when the worst weather hits.

Peter Guest, WFP’s Emergency Coordinator, added: ‘’WFP engineers are building bridges, roads, preparing land for safer relocation, fortifying embankments and clearing drainage channels. We are working to ensure that we can reach all refugees with food and non-food items, if and when an area become inaccessible during the monsoon’’ 

Crucial SMEP activities include the creation of ten operational centres across the Cox’s Bazar area where pre-positioned machinery will be available to clear vital access routes in the event of landslides and keep key waterways open to prevent blockages leading to floods.

In addition to excavating machinery, tools and equipment, the centres will also stock prefabricated bamboo bridges and piped culverts to help reopen damaged access ways as quickly as possible.

But agencies have also warned that SMEP and other critical services to help safeguard the refugees is under imminent threat due to a major funding shortfall.

The Joint Response Appeal from all key agencies working on the Rohingya response in Cox Bazar has secured just 16 percent of the total USD 950 million needed for the response until the end of the year – leaving a current shortfall of $794 million.

The heads of all three agencies in Cox’s Bazar have underscored the urgent need for more funding to allow critical life saving work to go ahead before the monsoon hits.

For more information, please contact Cox’s Bazar:
Fiona MacGregor at IOM. Email: fmacgregor@iom.int, Tel. +88 017 3333 5221
Caroline Gluck at UNHCR. Email: gluck@unhcr.org, Tel. +88 18 7269 9849
Shelley Thakral at WFP. Email: shelley.thakral@wfp.org, Tel. +88 17 5564 2150

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 16:32Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Over 3,500 labourers, backed with heavy machinery, are working to prepare safe land in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps.

Over 3,500 labourers, backed with heavy machinery, are working to prepare safe land in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps.

Over 3,500 labourers, backed with heavy machinery, are working to prepare safe land in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM X Video Series Targets Myanmar Migrants

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 10:24

Nay Pyi Taw – “Information is power”; that was the central message at the premiere of IOM X’s Make Migration Work video series yesterday (07/05). The short dramas illustrate why it pays to seek information and guidance before migrating, and provide different ways that people can do this, including through IOM Myanmar’s “Miss Migration” Facebook page.

IOM X is a campaign to prevent human trafficking and exploitation led by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Make Migration Work video series was produced in partnership with the Myanmar Government’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, and aligns with national efforts to increase Myanmar migrants’ access to information through Labour Exchange Offices and Migrant Resource Centres, which also feature in the videos.

“Migrants who seek information before they migrate usually have more successful experiences,” said Tara Dermott, IOM X Programme Leader. “But finding trustworthy information is not always easy. Recognizing that more and more people in Myanmar are accessing the internet every day, through IOM X’s Make Migration Work series, we are showing potential migrants how a visit to a Migrant Resource Centre or how a query posted to Miss Migration on Facebook may make the difference between a good or bad experience for themselves and their families.”

The eight-video Make Migration Work series comprises four stories, each told from two different perspectives. The videos are in Burmese, with running time of under four minutes each.

IOM Myanmar's Miss Migration Facebook page points visitors to reliable safe migration information online. The page includes an easy-to-use chat function that guides users through a series of topics related to migration and directs them to the specific information they are looking for. You can view the Make Migration Work video series at IOMX.org/mm.

FACTS ABOUT MIGRATION IN MYANMAR

  • Most Myanmar nationals migrate for better economic opportunities. The Myanmar National Census estimates that 4.25 million Myanmar nationals migrated abroad in 2014. [1]
  • There is also vast internal migration, with around 9.4 million Myanmar nationals migrating within the country, accounting for around 17 per cent of the population. [2]
  • The majority of remittances received from Myanmar come from Thailand, with a total of USD 1.85 billion sent home from Thailand in 2015. On average, Myanmar migrants in Thailand remit between USD 150-3,100 a year. [3]
  • Based on a study of two regions in Myanmar, internal migrants remit an average about USD 300 per year. [4]
  • A recent survey of over 1,000 Myanmar nationals in Yangon in September 2017 showed that only 53 per cent of respondents were aware that they needed a passport, work visa and a contract to migrate to another country for work. [5]
  • Costs of arranging irregular migration (including transportation) range between USD 275-585, although some migrants pay as little as USD 3 to cross into Thailand irregularly. [6]
  • Many migrants cannot pay migration fees up front and as a result go into debt. On average, Myanmar migrants end up with a debt of around USD 300-500. Often, migrants are not aware of the full extent of their debt or how long they need to repay it. [7]

ENDNOTES

[1] IOM Myanmar, General Information – Overview. Available from www.iom.int/countries/myanmar.
[2] IOM Myanmar, General Information – Overview. Available from www.iom.int/countries/myanmar.
[3] Trafficking in Persons from Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar to Thailand (2017), pp. 103-105.
[4] UNODC, Trafficking in Persons from Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar to Thailand (2017), pp. 108.
[5] IOM X, Baseline Study: IOM X Roadshow Myanmar (October 2017 – forthcoming).
[6] UNODC, Trafficking in Persons from Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar to Thailand (2017), pp. 137.
[7] UNODC, Trafficking in Persons from Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar to Thailand (2017), pp. 138

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 16:19Image: Region-Country: MyanmarThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

Government officials at IOM X’s “Make Migration Work” video series launch in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: Minzayar Oo/IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Renovates Community Infrastructure in Ukraine’s Conflict-affected East

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 10:15

Kramatorsk – Over 40,000 residents of Ukraine’s conflict-affected Donbas region soon will benefit from nine community centres – libraries and cultural gathering spots – renovated by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, with funding from the Government of Japan.  

According to the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, approximately 800,000 out of the country’s 1.5 million officially registered internally displaced persons (IDPs) reside in the Government-controlled area of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

“The significant increase in the number of residents brings additional burden to social infrastructure and may lead to tensions among community members,” explained Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission. In order to support the integration of IDPs, and promote communication and dialogue between groups within host communities, IOM, with funding from the Government of Japan, has been supporting local-driven initiatives in 29 Donbas communities and renovating public spaces where displaced persons and locals, including people with disabilities, can interact.

One of the locations IOM works in is Toretsk, a mining community in Donetsk Region, with over 70,000 inhabitants, about 10 per cent of whom are IDPs. The town is less than 10 kilometres from the contact line and the non-government controlled area.

In 2014, during the first months of the conflict, Toretsk suffered heavy shelling. The IDPs, mainly from nearby Horlivka, began arriving after July 2014, when the Ukrainian Government regained control over the town. The local library has been serving as an information centre with free Internet and as a place where IDPs seek guidance and support. Now, after the refurbishment done by IOM, the old library was transformed completely, into an accessible open space for social cohesion activities organized by the local initiative group. Fifteen initiative group members, half of them locals and the other half IDPs, have already organized over 50 master classes, concerts, and open-air festivals over the last six months.

“Our ground floor lobby, the hall, the conference room, the sanitary unit, the second-floor hall and the reading room have been renovated,” Tetiana Scherbakova, director of the library, said proudly. “Winters with heavy frosts used to be a difficult time for us, and now the shabby old windows and entrance doors have been replaced. IOM has installed a 300-litre water tank to ensure there is water in the library even during frequent water supply cuts. Also, now we have an outside ramp allowing access for persons with disabilities.”

The renovated library in Toretsk, as well as the one in Popasna, Luhansk Region, were recently been opened by the Ambassador of Japan in Ukraine, Shigeki Sumi, and Weiss. A sakura tree-planting ceremony held in the main square of the Bakhmut city was the highlight of the Ambassador’s visit to Ukraine’s east.

“In solidarity with Ukraine, Japan has been providing humanitarian and economic support to the Donbas communities since the beginning of the conflict,” Ambassador Sumi said. “I hope, that every spring, when sakura trees will be blooming, the residents of Bakhmut will enjoy the beautiful flowering and remember the people of Japan.”

“IOM has been working in the Donbas, because we care,” added Weiss. “The UN Migration Agency has been able to support communities in eastern Ukraine due to generous donor funding, such as the support received from Japan, and active involvement of all the community members. Despite the proximity to the conflict zone, with their resilience and brilliant ideas, people in Ukraine’s East are multiplying the benefits from the support they receive in order to turn their home towns and cities into a better place for living.”

For more information please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine. Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, +38 067 447 97 92, Email: vzhluktenko@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 16:14Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Community StabilizationInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission (2nd left), and Shigeki Sumi, Ambassador of Japan in Ukraine (right), officially opened the refurbished library in Toretsk, Donetsk Region. Photo: IOM

Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission and Shigeki Sumi, Ambassador of Japan in Ukraine joined by schoolchildren in Toretsk, Donetsk Region. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Startup Bootcamp Begins ‘Entrepreneurship for All’ Programme in Northern Iraq

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 10:00

Erbil – Startup Bootcamp, an entrepreneurship training to promote development of innovative business ideas among young innovators, entrepreneurs and software developers from displaced, refugee and host communities, took place on 4-5 May in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The event was supported by IOM Iraq, and organized by Five One Labs, a start-up incubator based in Iraq that assists displaced and conflict affected entrepreneurs develop their businesses.

More than 30 entrepreneurs from across Iraq and Syria received training in business plan development and coaching from mentors; they also had the opportunity to pitch ideas to panels of judges.

The training included: entrepreneurial mindset development, customer interview techniques, ideation, business model canvassing, prototyping and pitch development. Mentors and judges included local business leaders, innovation experts, development agency staff, academics, staff from the United States Consulate in Erbil and IOM staff.

In the weeks leading up to the training, participants were chosen through a rigorous selection process based on a proposed business idea, understanding of entrepreneurship and English proficiency.

Ideas included: e-commerce platforms for groceries, books, and other products; virtual reality rehabilitation games for people with disabilities; an education platform to teach soft skills and another to teach the Kurdish language; a dental marketplace; HR management systems; and a Syrian shipping business using an Uber-like business model to send documents with travellers. 

The winner was determined in a lightning round face-off between the first-place winner from the individual competition – the creator of a weight loss game – against the first-place winners from the team competition. The winning team, Darwan Soap production, is developing and marketing a soap made of natural ingredients using traditional soap-making techniques. Team members include two junior physicians, a medical student and a business manager.

“During the Startup Bootcamp we studied our customer segment and built our business model. We are excited to develop this natural soap made from the seeds of a tree that grows in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq,” said Shehin Jihad, who initiated the idea. “We are using our medical knowledge to analyse potential ingredients that are helpful for people with sensitive skin and skin conditions,” she added.

First-place winners receive: membership in the TechHub co-working space in Erbil for one month, continued business mentoring from international business experts and entrepreneurs, modest funding to cover business expenses (USD 150), and an opportunity to apply for a USD 1,000 business grant to launch their ventures.

This Startup Bootcamp is part of the ‘Entrepreneurship for All’ project, which is managed by Five One Labs in cooperation with various community partners and sponsored by IOM, with funding from the US Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).

Entrepreneurship for All is a two-month long series of on-line and in-person business and leadership trainings across northern Iraq. Training sessions include: identifying market gaps and customer needs; creative business idea development; market and customer research; and marketing. Participants include Syrian refugees, displaced Iraqis and host community members; more than 200 people will participate. Training is provided in Arabic, Kurdish and English.

The project aims to build cohesion between entrepreneurs who have been internally displaced and the local community through entrepreneurial ventures that contribute to the local economy. In addition to the series of trainings for aspiring entrepreneurs, ten existing start-up companies launched by displaced and conflict-affected entrepreneurs will be offered advisory, legal and financial support to scale-up.

Entrepreneurship for All is implemented in the framework of the IOM 3RP programme supported by PRM. The overall aim of this programme is to provide Syrian refugees, IDPs and vulnerable host communities with access to education and employment opportunities.

For more information please contact: Sandra Black in IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int Alice Bosley at Five One Labs: Email: alice@fiveonelabs.org

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 15:57Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Community StabilizationDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the Startup Bootcamp participants in Erbil. Photo: IOM

Some of the Startup Bootcamp participants in Erbil. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 23,715 in 2018; Deaths Reach 619

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 09:54

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 23,715 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 125 days of 2018, with about 39 per cent arriving both in Italy and Greece, with the remainder arriving in Spain (20%).

This compares with 49,807 arrivals across the region through the same period last year and about 185,000 at this time in 2016. In other words: Mediterranean arrivals at this point in 2018 are running at under half last year’s level on this date, and about 13 per cent of 2016 arrivals at this point in the year.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported that 9,567 migrants and refugees reported arrived in Italy in 2018 represent  nearly a 76 per cent decline from the 41,165 arriving to this point in 2017.

Di Giacomo reported that over 160 migrants had been rescued at sea over the weekend in the waters between Italy and Libya. The most important rescue operation was carried out by the NGO Open Arms vessel “Astral,” which rescued a dinghy carrying 105 people coming from several West and North African countries.

Di Giacomo noted that in these months rescue operations also have been carried out by the Libyan Coast Guard, calculating that one out of three migrants departing from Libya this year is met by the Libyan Coast Guard and turned back. As already stated in the past, IOM has welcomed the strengthening of Tripoli’s Coast Guard with the expectation that this will further the emergence of an efficient rescue system capable of rescuing boats in difficulty even close to the African coastline, where European vessels often cannot arrive in time to mitigate shipwrecks.

At the same time, IOM has emphasized there must also be an adequate reception system on shore that complements the efforts of authorities’ rescue capacity at sea. The current reception system, despite recent improvements, remains unacceptable as migrants remain in detention after being returned. IOM advocates the establishment of open centres, where women and children can be separated from men and where migrants’ conditions of vulnerability can be thoroughly assessed.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported that on Sunday (6 May) more than 400 migrants were returned to Libyan shore by the Coast Guard in four different search and rescue operations. IOM provided migrants with emergency humanitarian assistance including basic health and protection screenings with phone calls to loved ones, as well as food, water and juice. Four migrants were transferred immediately to hospital for further medical treatment; in addition, among the women were several pregnancy cases. Among the migrants was also one dead body.

All migrants were transferred to Tajoura, Sabratha and Souq al Khamis detention centres where IOM assistance continues.

On Monday (7 May), 488 migrants (including more than 20 children) were returned to Libyan shore by the coast guard in two different search and rescue operations. IOM provided migrants with emergency humanitarian assistance including basic health and protection screenings, as well as food, water and juice.

So far this year, more than 5,947 migrants have been returned to Libyan shore by the Libyan Coast Guard (see chart below).  

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reported on Monday (7 May) that in the Mediterranean alone, 619 migrants are estimated to have died this year, 383 on the Central Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Italy. Most recently, the Libyan Coast Guard reported that four migrants died during a rescue operation on Sunday. The body of a man from Africa was recovered, but three other migrants remain lost at sea.

In Spanish waters so far, this year IOM Madrid’s Ana Dodevska reports that according to information published this week by Salvamento Maritimo, in the first seven days of May, a total of 527 migrants have been rescued on the Western Mediterranean route bringing to 4,927 the total number of men, women and children have been rescued trying to enter Spain by sea through 6 May this year. That compares with 4,161 through all of May last year and 2,091 through the first five months of 2016 (see charts below).

Of the total rescued in May so far, nine were transferred to Ceuta and the rest (518) were transferred to the ports of Andalusia (Tarifa: 55, Barbate: 96, Almeria: 129, Malaga: 111, Motril: 127).

MMP reports that 217 sea fatalities have been reported this year on the Western Mediterranean route, compared with 224 fatalities recorded on this same route through 12 months of 2017.

IOM Greece’s Kelly Namia reported Monday that over four days (2-5 May), the Hellenic Coast Guard reported at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos and Chios. The Coast Guard rescued 105 migrants and transferred them to these two islands.

Namia reported that along with other landings on Lesvos and Chios – as well as the islands of Kos, Farmakonisi and Samos – another 553 migrants landed in the Aegean these four days bringing to 9,174 the total number of irregular migrants entering Greece via sea since January 1– for an average of just over 70 persons per day.

April saw 3,083 migrant arrivals via the Eastern Mediterranean. Already over 900 irregular migrants have landed on these shores in May – just five days into the month (see charts below).

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 1,076 people who died or disappeared during migration thus far in in 2018 (see chart below).

On Friday, a man drowned trying to cross the Río Bravo/Rio Grande in an effort to reach the US; it was the 23rd death in the border river recorded this year and the third in the last week. MMP recorded 22 drownings along the Texas-Mexico border through this date in 2017.

Another migrant was killed on Friday after he fell from a freight train in Queretaro, Mexico. The dangers of travelling north on such trains are so notorious that migrants have nicknamed them ‘La Bestia’ – the Beast. Friday’s accident was the 11th train-related death recorded in Mexico this year – a rate of almost one fatality every ten days.

In addition, the Missing Migrants Project recorded the deaths of three refugee children in Uganda after their bus travelling from the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo crashed. Two children, aged 4 and 8, died at the site of the crash, while another passed away in a nearby hospital the next morning. At least 56 Congolese nationals have died while attempting to flee violence in their home country in 2018 alone.

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

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

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 15:52Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency in Mali Assists Over 1,100 Sub-Saharan Migrants at Algerian Border

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 09:40

Gao – Since 10 April, 1,135 West African migrants – including 9 women and 30 children – have been assisted by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in Gao, northern Mali. These migrants were apprehended by the Algerian authorities when they were attempting to reach Europe via Algeria.

The migrants entered Mali via Inkhalid, a small town along Algeria’s southern border with Mali, after they were deported by the Algerian authorities. Located in Mali’s desert region of Kidal and declared an area of insecurity since the country’s 2012 political crisis (as a result of a military coup and rebellion in the north) Inkhalid has no infrastructure to house the hundreds of returning migrants and no public transportation to Gao, the closest city under the Malian government’s control – and a 36-hour drive away, through the desert. Given the security situation in the area, assistance operations are also difficult.

In Gao, IOM and its partners, local civil society organizations, the Malian Red Cross, UNICEF and shelter centres (Regional Directorate of Civil Protection, Migrant Reception Centre, Direy Ben and La Maison des Migrants) work together to house the hundreds of migrants in need of immediate assistance (reception, profiling, food, accommodation, non-food item provision and health care) until they are transferred to the Civil Protection Transit Centre of Sokoniko, Bamako.

The rescued migrants mainly come from Mali but also from Guinea, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niger, the Gambia, Benin, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Liberia, and Nigeria and are all in alarming health conditions.

“Some 488 migrants arrived in one day (23/4), but the IOM office in Gao can house a maximum of 300 people,” said Oscar Safari, head of the IOM sub-office in Gao. “To better assist these migrants and continue our work in good conditions, IOM in Bamako immediately deployed additional staff in Gao. However, even more staff and equipment are urgently needed to deal with daily arrivals to Gao.”

In Bamako, Malian authorities and IOM are facing the same difficulties. The Sokoniko Civil Protection Centre and other such reception centres have also reached their capacity even though the rescued migrants still need to receive immediate assistance. Private centres were contacted by IOM to respond to the housing needs of the next wave of returning migrants, before the opening of the Migrant Centre built by the Government of Mali.

“Since April 2018, large migration flows were observed at the border between Algeria and Mali,” said Bakary Doumbia, IOM Chief of Mission in Mali. “IOM works hard to provide immediate assistance to returning migrants. Given the conditions in which these migrants arrive and the immediate need to facilitate their return to their countries of origin, emergency response with adequate actions should be conducted. We should increase our response capacity to deal with these emergencies.”

To date, 509 people were transported by IOM to Bamako, and 242 have returned to their countries of origin. The consular services in Bamako are facilitating the safe return of the remaining migrants in their countries of origin across the region. Until their departure, migrants will be assisted by IOM and its partners.

Notably, since September 2017, IOM witnessed large migration flows at the border between Algeria and Niger. Since 1 January, over 3,000 migrants were rescued in the desert and 1,500 last week only. Most of the migrants assisted by IOM Niger were found in bad health conditions after they were brought to the Algerian border and left in the desert.

Nigerien authorities and IOM rescued and transported the 1,500 migrants to Arlit and then to the Transit centre in Agadez. IOM, through its Resource and Response Mechanism for Migrants (MRRM) programme and in collaboration with Niger authorities, UNICEF and NGOs, provides basic humanitarian assistance for these people upon their arrival in Niger and before they return to their place of origin. Voluntary return operations to their countries of origin are now underway under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.

Since September 2017, IOM witnessed large migration flows at the border between Algeria and Niger. Since January 1, over 3,000 migrants were rescued in the desert and 1,500 last week only. Most of the migrants assisted by IOM Niger were found in alarming health conditions after they were brought to the Algerian border and left in the desert. Nigerien authorities and IOM rescued and transported the 1,500 migrants to Arlit and then to the Transit center in Agadez. IOM, through its Resource and Response Mechanism for Migrants (MRRM) programme and in collaboration with Niger authorities, UNICEF and NGOs, provides basic humanitarian assistance for these people upon their arrival in Niger and before they return to their place of origin. Voluntary return operations to their countries of origin are now underway under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.

For more information please contact Seydou Tangara at IOM Mali, Tel: +223 76 42 63 59, Email: stangara@iom.int or Hamed Diallo, Tel: + 223 75 63 53 24, Email: hdiallo2@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 15:36Image: Region-Country: MaliThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff assist a migrant at a transit centre in Mali. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Assists 56 Chadians at Libyan Border

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 09:35

N’Djamena – On 28 April, 56 Chadian men – including 17 unaccompanied children – were assisted by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, after an operation conducted two days earlier by police forces at the Libyan border.

The operation targeted a network of traffickers transporting individuals to Libya, and led to the arrest of several criminals suspected of migrant trafficking. The 56 persons on board the two vehicles which were transporting them were found in bad physical condition, and were immediately transferred to the IOM sub-office in Faya, 300 kilometres from the Libyan border.

The 17 children were taken care of by the Chadian Red Cross, and the 39 adults received assistance (food and emergency shelter) from IOM. Individuals with serious health conditions (dehydration) were immediately referred to the nearest health centre. In coordination with the local authorities, IOM is now seeking to provide safe travel conditions to all those who wish to return home.

“When we were stopped by the police, we didn’t understand what was happening,” said Mahamet, a Chadian man rescued during the operation. “We didn’t know where we were. When we arrived at the IOM office, the situation was explained to us. We didn’t even know that our own security could be in danger when continuing this journey. When I left home, I didn’t know how difficult this would be. We were so thirsty and hungry, having sat in the blazing sun for hours. I cannot wait to return home. This has been a horrible experience.”

IOM Chad provided the emergency assistance with the financial support of US Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) but additional funds should be mobilized to respond to the increasing migratory pressure in the country.

“In recent weeks, more and more vulnerable migrants like this group are being referred to IOM Chad as movements through Chad are continuously increasing, and migrants often find themselves in life-threatening situations when crossing the desert unprepared,” said Anne Kathrin Schaefer, Chief of Mission of IOM Chad. “While IOM Chad is ready to support, our means and resources are extremely limited and we cannot cope with the increasing demands for humanitarian assistance.”

Recent migration trends in Chad and the security situation in the Lake Chad basin region have increased the pressure on local actors and international agencies such as IOM who do not have the required means to efficiently manage migration flows towards North Africa. In 2018, two Flow Monitoring Points (FMP) were put in place by the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) teams in Zouarke and Faya, two areas considered as the key transit points for migration flows towards Niger and Libya. Data collected in these two new FMPs as well as the existing one in Kalait will provide more accurate information on movements towards and from Chad.

In addition, the Tibesti Region in northern Chad, at the border with Libya, continues to attract sub-Saharan workers particularly due to the presence of gold mines considered by some people as an opportunity to make some money before continuing their journey up to Libya. Victims of trafficking were reported by the local authorities who indicated that some of the people transported by traffickers paid by “recruiters” were forced to work in the mines without payment to fully reimburse transportation and “placement” fees.

Financial support to Chad is therefore urgently needed to ensure a global approach to migration management, as well as the dignity and protection of returning migrants and migrants in transit countries.

For more information please contact IOM Chad: Anne Kathrin Schaefer, Tel: +235 60281778, Email: aschaefer@iom.int; or Idriss Achour, Tel: +235 62960472, Email: lachour@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 15:34Image: Region-Country: ChadThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

An IOM-supported lorry carrying African migrants from southern Libya reaches Chad. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Over 8,000 Nigerian Migrants Return Home with IOM Assistance in Past 12 Months

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 09:29

Lagos – Since April 2017, IOM, the UN Migration Agency in collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria has assisted over 8,000 stranded Nigerian migrants to return home from transit and destination countries along the Mediterranean irregular migratory route. Of the total number, over 7,000 returned from Libyan detention centres and urban areas while 750 were from neighbouring countries, mainly Niger and Mali.

One charter flight carrying 218 returnees landed at the Murtala International Airport in Lagos on May 8, bringing to 8,140 the total number of Nigerians who were assisted by IOM thanks to the EUTF-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. Since the launch of the Joint Initiative in Nigeria in April 2017, IOM has facilitated 39 charter flights from Libya.

Upon their arrival, the returnees receive immediate assistance such as food, medical screening, overnight accommodation and 100 Euros pocket money to cover their immediate basic needs including in-county onward transportation cost. The Initiative works with governmental and CSO partners to provide assistance, including referral of severe medical and mental health cases to hospitals for further treatment.

“I am glad to return back home and start my life again in Nigeria after all the troubles I went through in Libya in search of greener pastures. The pain and experience I went through in trying to cross over to Italy was unbearable. I lost my friends to the desert and some at sea. I’d rather stay and invest in my country than risk my life in the hands of smugglers,” said Rescue Esosa, a returnee from Libya.

Nigeria was for two years in a row the main nationality of those who arrived in Italy by sea with 36, 352 arrivals in 2016 and 18,158 in 2017.

In the following months, the returnees will receive in-kind reintegration assistance as well as business management skills training. The training aims to provide a platform where returnees can meet each other and consider pooling their in-kind assistance, skills, and resources to open businesses together.

To date, over 726 returnees have been trained by IOM in coordination with various governmental and CSO partners, including, among others, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Ministry of Labour and Employment, Patriotic Citizen Initiative (PCI), and Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO).

“The business skills training empowered me. I learnt how to manage my business and attend to my customers. Since IOM facilitated my reintegration in February 2018, I have made profits in selling my groceries and soft drinks to my customers,” says Deborah Ehis a returnee from Libya. “With patience and determination, one can make it in Nigeria without risking their lives in search for greener pastures in Europe,” she added. Watch her testimony here.

“With over 8,000 returnees back home and more to come, issues such as unemployment especially in high areas of return pose a challenge to all of us. However, not all is lost. IOM is committed to providing support to the Federal Government of Nigeria in ensuring that Nigerian returnees under the programme are fully reintegrated” says Enira Krdzalic, IOM Chief of Mission in Nigeria.

While the initial target under the EUTF-IOM Joint Initiative was to provide reintegration assistance for 3,800 returnees, IOM is now working with more partners on providing reintegration support to a target of 8,500 returnees.

For further information, please contact, Abrham Tamrat, Tel: +234 906 228 4580, Email: tabrahm@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 15:12Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Nigeria Chief of Mission, Enira Krdzalic (3rd from right) addresses media at Murtala Mohammed airport after arrival of returnees from Libya. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Sri Lanka Asks UN Migration Agency to Establish Health Assessment Programme for Resident Visa Applicants

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 10:29

Colombo – IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine today signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of a health assessment program for foreign nationals applying for Sri Lankan residence visas. The program will be set up by IOM on a ‘build-operate-transfer’ basis, which will allow the ministry to take it over once it is up and running.

Since the end of Sri Lanka’s long running civil conflict in 2009, the country has seen a significant increase in foreign investment and tourist arrivals. Mega investment projects such as the Colombo Port City, Hambantota Port and the signing of several free trade agreements with neighboring countries have resulted in a spike in arrivals of foreign nationals, including migrant workers. Applications for both residence and work visas are increasing rapidly.

Many of the migrant workers arrive from countries with a higher disease burden than Sri Lanka, which has made progress in combating communicable diseases and has some of the best health indicators in the region. The Sri Lankan health authorities recognize that in order to maintain these health standards, they need to minimize possible public health risks posed by increased population mobility. 

The health assessment program will screen for four health conditions: active TB, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and filariasis. Anyone testing positive for any of the diseases will be referred to the government health system for treatment paid for through a health insurance scheme to be set up as part of the program.

While they undergo the prescribed treatment, they will be issued with an interim visa to stay in the country and will be monitored by the Health Ministry for treatment compliance. The interim visa will grant the same rights to work or study as the residence visa. 

This inclusive approach drew on research (click here) conducted by IOM in support of Sri Lanka’s National Migrant Health Policy adopted in 2013. The policy reflects Sri Lanka’s commitment to the achievement of global public health goals and the realization of universal health coverage.

“This cooperation framework is a first of its kind for IOM globally. It is a major achievement and reflects the long running partnership between IOM and Sri Lanka in advancing the migrant health agenda,” said IOM Sri Lanka Chief of Mission Giuseppe Crocetti.

“Sri Lanka is globally appreciated for its public health achievement of having eliminated malaria and filariasis, and keeping HIV and tuberculosis at low prevalence. This inbound health assessment will further consolidate the public health achievements of the country,” said Secretary of the Ministry of Health Janaka Sugathadasa.

For more information please contact Giuseppe Crocetti at IOM Sri Lanka. Email: gcrocetti@iom.int, Tel. +94115325354.

Language English Posted: Friday, May 4, 2018 - 15:10Image: Region-Country: Sri LankaThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Sri Lanka Chief of Mission Giuseppe Crocetti (left) after signing agreement with Secretary of the Ministry of Health Janaka Sugathadasa. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Global Migration Group Supports States in Crafting Global Compact on Migration

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 09:25

London/Rome Speaking at the opening of the Global Migration Group (GMG) meeting in London on Wednesday (02/05), the two co-chairs of the Group, IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing and FAO Director General, José Graziano de Silva, highlighted the importance of the current negotiations of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and of the Global Compact on Refugees, due to be completed later this year. 

DG Swing said: “This is a period of great promise, but also uncertainty. The UN family, working in close partnership with each other, must be ready to support governments and relevant stakeholders at all levels in implementing the outcome of the Global Compact negotiations itself in the coming years.”

“Migration can contribute to development, and that should be kept front and centre of public attention,” said FAO DG José Graziano da Silva.  “The GMG brings together the diverse expertise and operational capacity of its members. This is fundamental to harnessing the many opportunities migration brings for development, and managing the challenges that can arise. In addition, the members of the GMG can help states achieve the sustainable development goals which are influenced by human mobility,” he added.

The GMG is an inter-agency group comprising 22 UN agencies working on migration issues. It is co-chaired by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in 2018, and is providing technical support to the intergovernmental negotiations taking place in New York expected to lead to the adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration by December 2018. 

The Group discussed ways in which they can help ensure that communication on migration increases understanding, counters xenophobia and ensures a more balanced picture of migration, to give space to governments to develop fact-based migration policies.

A number of events highlighting case studies and examples of good practice are planned for coming months. The GMG’s members include the following organizations, in addition to FAO and IOM: IFAD, ILO, OHCHR, UNCTAD, UNDESA, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNODC, UN Women, UNU, World Bank, WFP, WHO, and the UN regional commissions.

For more information please contact: Tamara Keating at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 9533, Email: tkeating@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, May 4, 2018 - 15:04Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Global CompactGlobal Compact on MigrationDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

‘Shocking’ 97 Per Cent Shortfall in Humanitarian Funding for Ukraine’s Conflict-Affected – IOM

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 09:24

Kyiv – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has highlighted a disturbing lack of funds for the millions affected by conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

“Today, 3.4 million conflict-affected people in Ukraine urgently require humanitarian assistance and protection, but the international humanitarian appeal to help address their needs is a shocking 97 per cent unfunded,” said IOM Chief of Mission in Ukraine, Thomas Lothar Weiss.

Ambassador Hugues Mingarelli, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine said, "The conflict in Eastern Ukraine continues to trigger new humanitarian needs, to damage local infrastructure and negatively affect incomes of many families. Unfortunately, displacement and lack of opportunities forces many internally displaced to return to insecure areas and risk their lives.

“The EU, as the largest donor, will continue doing everything in its power to  improve the conditions of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and increase their access to employment and basic services. Thousands of IDPs have already benefitted from the EU's assistance for housing; many more are receiving much needed trainings and small grants for starting their own business. Apart from grants and humanitarian aid, European Investment Bank, the EU’s bank, is providing Ukraine loans for reconstruction projects in the five Eastern regions," Ambassador Mingarelli added.

With the conflict in eastern Ukraine entering its fifth year, 1.5 million people are registered as IDPs. Those building their lives from scratch in new communities face growing economic challenges, IOM warns.

New data collected by IOM shows that over half (54 per cent) of IDPs have barely enough money to buy food on a day-to-day basis. The United Nations and its humanitarian partners estimate that the number of food-insecure people in Ukraine has doubled over the last year, to 400,000 people in the government-controlled area, and to 800,000 in the non-government controlled territories. 

According to the latest IOM survey, the National Monitoring System (conducted with funding from the European Union), the current average monthly income per IDP is UAH 2,239 (USD 85), a little less than the UAH 2,446 (USD 93) recorded in December 2017. These values are lower than the current subsistence levels calculated by the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine of UAH 3,215 (USD 122) per month. One-fourth of IDP households surveyed have a monthly income of up to UAH 3,000 (USD 114), while almost half of IDP families live on UAH 3,000 to UAH 7,000 (USD 114 to USD 266) per month.

IOM data shows healthcare is unaffordable for many IDPs due to the cost of medicine and services. The share of IDPs satisfied with the accessibility of health care services declined from 85 per cent in December 2017 to 62 per cent in March 2018.

At the same time, the situation with employment has remained relatively stable since June last year, with 48 per cent of displaced persons having a job. Twelve per cent of IDPs are currently actively seeking employment. The overwhelming majority of IDPs (78 per cent) are women; up to 40 per cent are concerned about the lack of vacancies.

IOM has been conducting surveys on the situation of IDPs in Ukraine on a regular basis since March 2016. In the latest round, conducted in March 2018, 2,420 IDPs were interviewed face-to-face, and 3,611 IDPs were interviewed by phone.

For more information, please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine. Tel. +38 044 568 50 15, +38 067 447 97 92, Email: vzhluktenko@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, May 4, 2018 - 15:13Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

A displaced woman living 5 km from the contact line separating the two sides in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Supports Latest Relocation of Venezuelans in Brazil

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 09:23

Boa Vista - IOM, the UN Migration Agency is today (04/05) supporting the relocation of 236 Venezuelans from the city of Boa Vista in the State of Roraima on the border with Venezuela, to the cities of Manaus and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

This is the second group to be relocated under the Relocation Strategy led by the Government of Brazil and supported by IOM and other UN Agencies including UNHCR and UNFPA. The initiative seeks to help Venezuelans find opportunities in other Brazil cities.

The first group of 265 Venezuelans was relocated to the cities of Sao Paulo and Cuiaba on 4 and 6 April respectively.

Today’s group is comprised of 34 families (152 individuals including 74 children) who will relocate to Manaus, and 84 individuals to Sao Paulo. The Venezuelans will be in six temporary sites (three in Manaus and three in Sao Paulo) where the local governments will provide them with accommodation, food, healthcare and labour market orientation. They will also receive support from the civil society and UN Agencies.

IOM’s logistical support to the Government includes the identification of the people who voluntarily want to relocate to other cities and coordination of transport and movement to the temporary shelter where the government health authorities perform their medical check-up. IOM also supports the preparation of their travel documents and provides orientation and information sharing on their destinations throughout Brazil. Watch Video

The State of Roraima has registered the highest number of Venezuelans who have entered Brazil recently. Up to April, according to the Government, approximately 43,000 Venezuelans have applied for the regularization of their migration status in Brazil.

According to the latest IOM DTM report, of 3,500 Venezuelans interviewed in the cities of Boa Vista, Roriama’s capital and Pacaraima, border city with Venezuela, 65 per cent are willing to move to other cities in Brazil.

Viviane Esse, Government Representative (Casa Civil), said that the collaboration between the Government and the UN agencies involved in the relocation strategy, including IOM, has been crucial to implement the relocation strategy.

Anderson Martínez, a Venezuelan who will be relocated to Sao Paulo, said that his expectations are focused on finding a job to send money to his children in Venezuela and also learn the language. “If, in the future, the situation in my country improves, I will go back; otherwise I will bring my children to live in Brazil with me,” said Martínez. 

Stephane Rostiaux, IOM Chief of Mission in Brazil, explained that IOM has been monitoring the situation of Venezuelans in the State of Roraima together with the Brazilian authorities since 2016. “Through our office in Boa Vista, we have been providing support to the local government in the registration and documentation of Venezuelan citizens as well as in the reception of the flows and in the implementation of projects to allow their integration,” Rostiaux said.

According to a recent IOM report, Brazil is one several new destinations for Venezuelans along with Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay.

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

Current Venezuelan Migration Context

Venezuelan migration has significantly increased in the last two years. Globally, the number of Venezuelans abroad rose from 700,000 to more than 1,500,000 between 2015 and 2017, which represents an increase of nearly 110 per cent. In South America, the number of Venezuelans rose from 89,000 in 2015 to 900,000 in 2017, an increase of approximately 900 per cent.

There has also been a diversification of countries of destination, with Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru and Uruguay being some of the new destinations for Venezuelans.

The diversity of routes used by Venezuelans shows a dynamic and changing mobility. Apart from the air route, the land and maritime routes have recently become more significant. In the case of neighbouring Caribbean islands, such as Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the short distances facilitate the maritime mobility. In the case of Colombia and Brazil, the main part of the movements is by land across the border. In Brazil, the highest number of entries by Venezuelans is registered in the state of Roraima. In Colombia, the largest number is registered in the city of Cucuta. Numerous entries by Venezuelan nationals into Ecuador are also registered through Rumichaca; into Peru through Tumbes – border with Ecuador; and into Chile through Tacna – border with Peru, to give some examples.

Venezuelans are leaving their country for different reasons, and when asked, they mention multiple causes related to political factors, socioeconomic needs, the search for job opportunities and the situation of insecurity and violence. The Governments of host countries determine their status (refuge, temporary/permanent residence, temporary protection, etc.).

Host countries in South America regularise a large part of Venezuelans through the application of general or specific migration instruments. By means of these regularisation mechanisms, 400,000 temporary and permanent residences have been granted.

IOM commends the ongoing efforts of the Governments in the South American region and encourages the countries to continue looking for channels to regularise Venezuelan migrants, thus enabling their protection and access to their rights, as well as preventing traffickers from acting.

Indigenous populations, women, unaccompanied children and adolescents have been identified as highly vulnerable groups among the migrant population. Migrants face vulnerabilities particularly related to health and are at risk of human trafficking or smuggling. They also face difficulties related to labour market insertion. In addition, a significant part of Venezuelan migrants have a good level of education and intend to continue their studies in the host countries (Argentina), get well remunerated jobs or set up their own businesses (Argentina, Uruguay, Chile). However, some of them are exploited, in part, due to the lack of skills recognition, their legal status, among other reasons.

IOM is implementing different initiatives, including: monitoring and profiling of migration flows at the regional and national levels through the implementation of tools such as of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM); training in Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM); establishment of transit centres and temporary shelters; direct assistance to migrants, including transportation and food, as well as provision of information related to regularisation. IOM works closely with the South American governments, other UN Agencies (UNHCR, UNFPA, WFP) and other civil society organisations.

 

Language English Posted: Friday, May 4, 2018 - 15:16Image: Region-Country: BrazilThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM is supporting the relocation of Venezuelans from Boa Vista to Sao Paulo and Manaus, Brazil. Photo: IOM

Some of the Venezuelans being relocated in Brazil, today (04/05). Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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