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'Promote Mobility and Protect Migrants' – IOM Statement to OSCE Permanent Council

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 09:21

Vienna – IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, has renewed its call for the protection of the rights of all people on the move, through a global compact for migration which will shape the migration agenda for decades to come.

The call was made at yesterday’s (03/05) session of the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

Manfred Profazi, IOM’s Senior Regional Adviser for Europe and Central Asia, representing the Director General, said it was time for a unified effort to build cooperation and consensus around migration issues.

“The global compact for migration, expected to be adopted by the end of the year, represents an unprecedented opportunity for the international community to move away from reactive approaches to migration governance and work in a dedicated manner towards a common vision of a world in which migrants move as a matter of genuine choice and not desperate necessity,” he stressed.

He noted that the majority of the 250 million international migrants on the move today make their journeys “in a planned, safe, legal and orderly means, and as a matter of choice.”  However, people caught up in mixed migration flows often see their human rights compromised, “as is the case with migratory movements in and around the Mediterranean.”

Profazi was speaking at the invitation of the Italian Presidency of the OSCE at a special session of the Permanent Council devoted to migration, refugees and large movements of people. Earlier, Ambassador Alessandro Azzoni, chairing the council, reminded delegates – composed of representatives of the 57 member states – of the centrality of migration in today’s world, describing it as “an essential part of human development”.

This theme was echoed by Profazi, who commented that “the enormous benefits of migration can be sometimes lost in the debate, which has taken on a toxic nature in recent times.” 

The invitation for the UN Migration Agency to participate comes as a result of discussions between OSCE and IOM’s Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

OSCE’s Permanent Council is the principal decision-making body for regular political consultations and for governing the day-to-day operational work of the OSCE between the meetings of its Ministerial Council. It implements, within its area of competence, tasks defined and decisions taken by OSCE Summits and the Ministerial Council.

For more information please contact Joe Lowry, IOM Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Tel:+436603776404, Email

Language English Posted: Friday, May 4, 2018 - 15:14Image: Region-Country: AustriaThemes: Global CompactGlobal Compact on MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Manfred Profazi, IOM’s Senior Regional Adviser for Europe and Central Asia.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Exhibition Showcasing Hungarian Migration Experience Opens in Budapest

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 09:20

Budapest – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has opened an exhibition in Budapest portraying Hungary’s rich migration experience from 1956 to the present.

The 10-day show, which runs from 02/05 to 12/05, takes an intimate look at the personal stories and decision-making behind migration to and from Hungary through an array of souvenirs, memories and artwork.

Focusing on three groups of migrants with stories converging on Hungary, Faces of the Hungarian Migration Experience delves into the personal, historical and economic context of foreigners living in Hungary, of Hungarians who migrated to other European Union member states, and Hungarian refugees from the 1956 Uprising.

Balázs Lehel, Head of IOM’s Office in Hungary, said that he hoped the exhibition will provide an eye-opening space for intercultural dialogue and public participation. 

“During our everyday work we’ve seen that the stories and insights of migrants show more commonality than is often recognized. Illustrating these similarities through different personal experiences across time and circumstance can be very powerful and unifying,” said Lehel. 

“Seeing our common experience through the lens of past and present migration stories, here uniquely focused on one country, can help to reduce harmful migration-related stereotypes,” he added. 

Showcasing a wide range of items that tell a story to help visitors and participants understand the human fates connected to the experience of migration, we are reminded of the 1956 Hungarian refugees who talk about their difficult journey out of Hungary after the uprising, and their new lives in the countries that accepted and gave them refuge.

We also learn about Amir who, in 2010, was forced to flee for political reasons from Iran across several countries with his worldly possessions collected in a backpack. Today, he is a Hungarian citizen and lives in Budapest with his Hungarian wife and their daughter.   

“For me home is the place where I feel free. If you’re not free, if you’re under oppression, you don’t feel like you’re home,” he said. 

We get to know the story of a Hungarian girl who lost her job and apartment at the same time that Amir left Iran. She decided to move to Ireland to make a new start.

The event will also feature guided tours, discussions on the life of Muslims in Budapest, workshops to improve intercultural communication skills among secondary school students, and the screening of a documentary on the stories of Hungarians who recently left the country.

The exhibition is being held at the Pintér Galéria, 3 Markó street, Budapest, 1055, Hungary.

The Hungarian exhibition is part of the “Outcast Europe” project funded by the European Union’s “Europe for Citizens Programme”.  Similar exhibitions will be held over the next six months in Czechia, Serbia, Bulgaria, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Greece.

For further information please contact Balázs Lehel at IOM Budapest, Tel: +36 1 472 2500, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, May 4, 2018 - 15:08Image: Region-Country: HungaryThemes: Immigration and IntegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

A guest at the opening ceremony of the migration exhibition in Budapest. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Over 10,000 Migrants in Greece Voluntarily Returned Home in Last 20 Months

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 09:19

Athens – Today (04/05) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reported that more than 10,000 migrants returned voluntarily and safely to their home countries from Greece between June 2016 and April 2018, with nearly 2,500 eligible migrants receiving targeted reintegration support. 

IOM assisted with a total 10,576 voluntary returns to 84 countries and territories over the 20-month period, through an EU and Greece-funded Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme.  

Among the returnees, 8,375 were men, 2,125 were women, and special assistance was provided to 77 unaccompanied migrant children, helping them to reunite with their families.

Five countries’ citizens make up more than 80 per cent of the returnees: from Pakistan (3,105), Iraq (1,980), Afghanistan (1,096), Georgia (1,044) and Algeria (986).

As a first step prior to departure and during the registration procedure, specialized AVRR counsellors, together with IOM interpreters, continuously assess potential beneficiaries’ sincere will to return home, inform them of their legal options in Greece, and discuss specific issues, such as potential medical needs that may require enhanced support prior to and after return.

“The months went by and I started thinking of my family and friends in Iran through the hardships I faced in Greece,” said Nozary Sarim, who decided to return to Iran after five months in Greece. “I was missing them a lot. I was already aware of IOM’s programme and I made the decision to return to my country.”

“The thought of being back again with my family and friends and a new beginning in Iran made me really happy. But I will never forget the friends I made here,” he added. 

Additional counselling also takes place to brief migrants on the situation in their country of origin, and to determine their needs in terms of re-establishing themselves in their communities.  A tailor-made plan is then drawn up with the migrant, taking into account their needs, country specificities, and the needs of the community.

With the support of social workers, psychologists and cultural mediators, IOM conducted 4,624 counselling interviews with beneficiaries eligible for reintegration support.

Some 2,487 eligible returnees received in-kind reintegration assistance, and are implementing personalized reintegration plans in their countries of origin. The majority of the beneficiaries (2,261), managed to open small businesses which can contribute to the economic and social sustainability of their communities.

Eligible migrants are also entitled to medical assistance, education grants, temporary accommodation, vocational assistance, material assistance and job placement according to their needs.

Fadil, from Morocco, reopened his butcher shop in Marrakech through the reintegration assistance he received.

“Staff from IOM Greece recently came to evaluate my business and I am really proud to show that my shop is neat and clean,” he explained. “I also got a sanitary license from the commune. My business is running well as there are no similar shops in the area.”

An Open Centre for migrants registered for assisted voluntary return and reintegration (OCAVRR) is also established near the center of Athens to provide shelter and pre-departure care to vulnerable migrants in Greece who have registered for the AVRR programme and have no place to stay until their departure. The purpose of the Open Centre is to ensure that migrants in vulnerable situations are enabled to prepare their return in safe conditions.

The migrants staying at the Open Centre are vulnerable migrants, pregnant women, single parent families, unaccompanied migrant children, migrants with medical needs and elderly migrants. During the reporting period, the centre hosted 2,457 beneficiaries, 2,205 of whom returned voluntarily to their home country.

The AVRR project is oriented toward undocumented third country nationals who no longer want to stay in Greece, asylum seekers who have withdrawn their applications for international protection, and asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected. 

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

For more information please contact Christine Nikolaidou, Tel: +30 210 9919040 ext. 248, Email: or Zoi Vanikioti at IOM Athens, Tel: +30 2109919040 ext. 154, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, May 4, 2018 - 15:07Image: Region-Country: GreeceThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Nozary returned home to Iran from Greece through IOM’s AVRR programme. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 22,439 in 2018; Deaths Reach 615

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 09:18

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 22,439 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 122 days of 2018, with about 42 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (38%) and Spain (20%). This compares with 45,540 arrivals across the region through the same period last year and 184,793 at this time in 2016.

In other words: Mediterranean arrivals at this point in 2018 are running at well under half last year’s level on this date, and about 12 per cent of 2016 arrivals at this point in the year. IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported that 9,467 migrants and refugees reported arrived in Italy in 2018 represent nearly a 75 per cent decline from the 37,250 that arrived at this point in 2017.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported that for the month of April, Libyan Coast Guard units rescued or intercepted 1,485 migrant men, women and children during the month, bringing to 4,964 the total number of irregular migrants returned to Libya after debarking from Libya (see chart below). She added Libyan authorities recorded the discovery of 11 victims of drowning or other accidents during the month.

Those deaths are among the 615 IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded across the Mediterranean in 2018. Most recently, nine migrants lost their lives when trying to cross from Libya to Italy. On 30 April, the remains of two men were found in Garaboli, Libya, while the body of a woman was retrieved in Tajoura, east of Tripoli. Six more bodies – those of five adult men and one baby – were recovered in Zuwara.

In the Western Mediterranean, the remains of a man were recovered from a beach in Aïn El Turck, Algeria on 2 May. He is believed to have died in a shipwreck that took place last Sunday (29 April) off the coast of Cap Falcon. The current death toll from Sunday’s shipwreck stands at 16 dead and 3 missing, with 19 survivors rescued by Algerian civil protection authorities.

In Spanish waters, so far, this year, IOM Madrid’s Ana Dodevska reports 4,409 men, women and children have been rescued trying to enter Europe by sea through 2 May 2018. That compares with 4,161 through all of May last year (see charts below).  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 the three days (29 April-1 May) the Hellenic Coast Guard reported at least two incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos and Chios. The Coast Guard rescued 71 migrants off the islands of Lesvos and Megisti.
Namia reported that along with other landings on Lesvos and Chios – as well as the islands of Kos, Megisti and Samos – another 378 migrants landed in the Aegean these three days, bringing to 8,516 the total number of irregular migrants entering Greece via sea since 1 January –  for an average of just over 70 persons per day (see chart below). April saw 3,083 migrant arrivals via the Eastern Mediterranean.
Ms. Namia also prepared for this report a list of the five busiest migration days her mission has reported in the Aegean since 2014. All five fell during the months of September and October 2015—so almost three years ago, during the peak of the Eastern Mediterranean emergency—when on five separate occasions at least 8,000 migrants and refugees arrived on Aegean islands after leaving Turkey. On two of those dates, over 9,000 arrived.
Here is her list below:
30/10/2015: 10,842 (Lesvos 4,285/ Samos: 1,601/ Chios: 2,200)
17/10/2015: 9,113 (Lesvos: 5,597/ Samos: 1,462/ Chios: 1,500)
31/10/2015: 8,998 (Lesvos: 4,285/ Samos: 1228/ Chios: 1,709)
16/10/2015: 8.988 (Lesvos: 5,303/ Samos: 1,590/ Chios:1,100)
19/9/2015: 8.385 (Lesvos: 5,800/ Samos: 8,065/ Leros: 2,059)
IOM believes these comparisons are important to keep in mind, especially given that our unit reported this week that for all of the month of April 2018 there were barely 7,000 arrivals across all of the Mediterranean, a number that was routinely surpassed daily during several months in 2015.
Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 1,067 people who died or went missing while migrating in 2018, including on the Mediterranean (see chart below).
Elsewhere since IOM’s last report: on the Texas-Mexico border, a young man of unconfirmed nationality died trying to cross the Rio Bravo/Rio Grande in an effort to reach the US on 29 April. It was the 22nd death by drowning on this border recorded in 2018. In Mexico, the body of a 30-year-old Salvadoran migrant was found near train tracks in Toluca, Estado de México on 2 May.
In Europe, an unidentified Algerian man drowned in the Kolpa River on the border between Slovenia and Croatia on 30 April. He was survived by seven other fellow migrants.
Additionally, the MMP team recorded the deaths of 47 people who fled their homes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after a violent attack and drowned while trying to cross the Ubangi River seeking refuge in the Congo. IOM estimates 47 would the minimum loss of life in this tragic accident, which occurred on 25 April.
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:
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:
For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email:
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail:
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email:
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya. Tel. +216 29 240 448 Email :
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 ext 109; Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, May 4, 2018 - 15:05Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Manila Hosts Inaugural Meeting of Bali Process Technical Experts Group on Returns and Reintegration

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 09:18

Manila — Australia and the Philippines last week (23-24/04) co-chaired the inaugural Technical Experts Group on Returns and Reintegration (RRG) meeting in Manila under the auspices of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (the Bali Process).

The meeting promoted greater understanding among participants of the challenges and shared interests in managing the return and reintegration of people who do not have a lawful basis to remain in another country and built upon outcomes from the December 2015 Roundtable on Returns and Reintegration, and a directive from the Sixth Bali Process Ministerial Conference in March 2016.

Delegates from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Viet Nam attended the meeting. Also represented were  IOM offices in Brussels and Jakarta, UNHCR, UNDP-UNACT and the Bali Process Regional Support Office.

Opening the meeting, Undersecretary Claro A. Arellano of the Philippine Department of Labour and Employment, said, “Members’ attendance demonstrates the growing level of commitment to practical measures we can all take to address the issues of regional returns and reintegration.”

Highlighting the challenges faced by states, Undersecretary Arellano briefed the meeting on the Philippine Government’s management of the protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare of over 10 million overseas Filipino workers.

Participants expressed a preference for the voluntary return of migrants where possible, but acknowledged the need for forced returns as part of a comprehensive and balanced approach to migration management. Delegates also shared lessons learned through the implementation of return and reintegration programmes, and provided constructive feedback on the draft Bali Process Policy Guide on Returns and Reintegration – which members agreed to take forward through future meetings of the RRG.

Cooperation on sustainable returns is a priority under the Bali Process Regional Cooperation Framework and the 2013 Jakarta Declaration. Throughout discussions, participants highlighted the importance of a whole-of-society approach toward ensuring dignified, safe and humane returns of all migrants, regardless of their status.

Delegates recommended that Australia and the Philippines remain as co-chairs for the initial phase, and that the RRG meet at least once annually.

After the meeting, Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III of the Philippine Department of Labour and Employment commended the two day proceedings. “I would like to congratulate the Bali Process Member Countries, IOM and the co-chairs – Australia and the Philippines – for the successful conduct of the Technical Experts Group Meeting,” he said.

He added, “The Philippines accepts to continue the RRG co-chairmanship with Australia. We are always ready to share our expertise with the Bali Process member countries to achieve our objectives for a safe and dignified return and reintegration of migrants.”

For more information, please contact:
Hans Leo J. Cacdac, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration,  Tel: +632 8917601, Website:
Kristin Dadey, IOM Philippines , Tel: +632 230 1999, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, May 4, 2018 - 15:02Image: Region-Country: PhilippinesThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationCounter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants of the Technical Experts Group on Returns and Reintegration (RRG) meeting in Manila. Photo: IOM

IOM Migration Assistance Officer Valon Halimi shares IOM's return and reintegration programme. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Displaced, Returnees and Host Communities Benefit from Livelihood Supports in Burundi

PBN News Germany - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 09:17

Bujumbura - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in partnership with the Belgian Development Cooperation and Burundian authorities, has provided entrepreneurship training as well as mentorship opportunities in agriculture to 120 representatives drawn from internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and the host community.

The trainees, drawn from 24 community-based associations, will in turn train other members. At least 600 people are expected to benefit from the trainings. Participants, so far, have received training on business development, value chain management and agricultural processing.

As part of the training, the participants visited different private sector groups such as Rice Seed Research Center (Centre Semencier Rizicole), specialized in rice cultivation and research, Agronomic Science Institute of Burundi (Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi) which is the country’s national seed bank and recognized agricultural research center, as well as Solidarity for Sustainable Development and Economic Growth (Solidarité pour le développement durable et le relèvement de l’économie) that works towards finding agricultural and husbandry methods that are resistant to climate change. 

Through these visits, beneficiaries witnessed first-hand innovative agricultural techniques and trends, received one-on-one mentoring on ways to enhance their own businesses and networked with the private sector.

On the final day of the training, the groups reunited for an Experience Exchange Fair to share lessons learned from the training and the exposure visits as well as discuss possibilities for future business development.

Petronie Sindayigaya, a trainee and member of an association which had been previously supported with a rice husker, explained, “We will now improve on how to prepare seed, and we will continue to consult the Burundi Institute of Agriculture Science to help us continue using selected seeds [and] very good quality seeds that yield good harvest. This is a great gain for us.”

She added, “We had earlier learned how to run small businesses. We learned how to become traders. But after the training, we are set to be entrepreneurs because when you do your business well, you grow till you become a supplier or a distributor to the other traders.”

Pirce Altinok, IOM Resilience and Reintegration Officer said, “Through the coupling of theoretical learning and practical experiences, the participants gained the networking opportunities that can generate new business partnerships, both amongst each other and with the already established private sector actors as well.”

Altinok reiterated the need to foster social cohesion among the returnees, internally displaced and host community members.

The Experience Exchange Fair organized to mark project closure was attended by Yves Nindorera, representative of the Belgian Development Cooperation in Burundi together with representatives of the Communal administrator, ISABU, SODDREC and the Centre Semencier Rizicole.

IOM supported the beneficiaries to start small income-generating activities (IGA) as well as start-up kits for small, quick impact projects to support the livelihoods of IDPs, returnees and host communities. As a result, the 24 associations were able to launch 32 successful agricultural and forestry businesses in Rutana alone. The associations were established during a previous stabilization project funded by the European Union.

Rutana province, where the four-month project was implemented from January to April 2018, hosts a large number of IDPs and returnees.

Since 2014, IOM Burundi has supported the immediate economic recovery of communities affected by crises in Burundi.
This project is part of IOM’s efforts to provide durable solutions which support peaceful coexistence among returnees, IDPs and host communities throughout the country.

For more information, please contact Pirce Altinok in IOM Burundi, Tel +257 75 40 07 75, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, May 4, 2018 - 14:59Image: Region-Country: BurundiThemes: Community StabilizationInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM and partners provided entrepreneurship training to internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and the host community in Burundi. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM’s MigApp Wins CIO 100 Award

PBN News Germany - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 05:49

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is today pleased to announce that its MigApp mobile application has won a CIO 100 Award. The 31st annual award programme recognizes organizations and companies around the world that exemplify the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology (IT).

IOM partnered with Kony, a leading provider of digital applications and low-code platform solutions, to develop a digital application which provides information and humanitarian services to migrants and government agencies.

With MigApp, migrants can: find the most cost-effective ways to send money home; use the Doctor Translate tool to overcome language barriers; find out about travel requirements; access up-to-date information on IOM programmes and services; share their experiences with the ”i am a migrant” story feature; and receive notification alerts on emergencies, healthcare information and other important local information.

“When we developed the IOM MigApp with Kony, our goal was to help address the challenges encountered by migrants and displaced people,” said Bernardo Mariano, IOM’s Chief Information Officer. “To receive recognition from the CIO 100 Awards makes us extremely proud and encourages us to continue pushing the boundaries of how technology can help improve the lives and journeys of migrants.”

Recipients of this year's CIO 100 Award were selected through a three-step process. Companies first completed an online application form detailing their innovative IT and business initiatives. Then a team of external judges (many of them former CIOs) reviewed the applications, looking for leading-edge IT practices and measurable results. Finally, CIO editors reviewed the judges' evaluations and selected the final 100 winners.

"Every year, we are honored to showcase the technology innovation and business value delivered by our CIO 100 award winners. Each of these companies has achieved notable success in accelerating businesses to the front lines of the digital revolution," said Maryfran Johnson, Executive Director of CIO Programs for CIO Events and the CIO Executive Council. "This year's winners are inspiring examples of how IT leadership, business partnerships and customer engagement can reshape the future."

CIO is the International Data Group’s (IDG) premier content and community resource for information technology executives in this fast-paced era of IT transformation in the enterprise. The award-winning CIO portfolio—, CIO executive programmes, CIO Strategic Marketing Services, CIO Forum on LinkedIn, CIO Executive Council and CIO primary research—provides technology businesses with analysis and insight on information technology trends and an in-depth understanding of IT’s role in achieving business goals.

Representatives from the winning organizations and companies will be recognized at The CIO 100 Symposium & Awards Ceremony held on Wednesday 15 August 2018 at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, United States of America.     

For more information please contact:
Alex Dougan at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 7179 352, Email:
Suraya Akbarzad, Tel: 415-856-5132, Email:


Language English Posted: Wednesday, May 2, 2018 - 11:42Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

File photo: Muse Mohammed / IOM 2015

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Rolls Out First Aid Training for Rohingya Refugees, But Lack of Funding Threatens Medical Services in Bangladesh Camps

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 08:54

Cox’s Bazar - As heavy rains again lashed Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar this week, UN Migration Agency medical staff helped others to gear up for monsoon and cyclone emergencies with the launch of a first aid training program designed to reach hundreds of safety volunteers. 

This week’s first aid training saw 35 of IOM’s site management staff trained in emergency first aid. The participants, whose regular jobs involve coordinating and helping refugees access services in the camps, will now pass on their newly-learned first aid skills to around 650 members of safety volunteer units - teams of refugees being trained in emergency response. 

Almost a million refugees are braced for extreme weather conditions which are predicted to cause life-threatening floods and landslides on the steep sandy hills of the Cox’s Bazar settlements. Most of the refugees arrived in the district after fleeing violence in Myanmar in August last year. 

IOM, partner agencies and the Bangladesh authorities are doing as much as possible to protect the refugee community ahead of the storm season, but topographical dangers and the likelihood of cyclones mean that it will not be possible to mitigate against all disasters. 

Consequently the refugees and staff working on the ground need the skills to be able to respond to emergency situations. The safety volunteer units are also being trained in fire safety and search and rescue. 

“With the monsoon season coming, the likelihood of injuries occurring due to landslides, storms and cyclones is very high,” said IOM emergency preparedness and response officer Dr Charles Halder. “When casualties occur far from health facilities, these trained individuals will be able to assist with basic first aid and help to bring these cases to a health facility.” 

The monsoon is also set to bring other medical challenges. With months of rain and widespread flooding predicted, the risks of waterborne diseases, including acute watery diarrhea (AWD), will rise dramatically. 

AWD can cause sudden and life-threatening dehydration and IOM this week opened the first two of five oral-rehydration points being established across the camps. Up to 20 people a day will be able to receive treatment via drips or oral rehydration salts at each point. 

Five mobile medical teams are also being trained to provide primary lifesaving health care services to the refugees, when ground conditions during the monsoon restrict access to medical facilities. 

Most of the refugees are living in basic shelters made of bamboo and plastic sheeting. Heavy monsoon rains and the constant threat of cyclones will create additional mental stress for a population that has already suffered immensely from ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. 

As part of IOM’s emergency preparedness plan for the medical mobile teams, 46 doctors, nurses and paramedics have received training in psychosocial first aid. This will help them to offer people emergency emotional and mental health support during the difficult months ahead.  

But IOM is also warning that more funding will be needed in order to continue to deliver life-saving medical services during the monsoon. IOM medical staff already treat almost 80,000 cases a month in the refugee and host communities, and the health challenges posed by the monsoon will almost certainly see those numbers increase.  

Without additional funding, deaths will occur which likely could have been prevented with appropriate care. If the lack of funds also restrict IOM’s disease monitoring services, the ability to rapidly detect and respond to communicable diseases such as diphtheria and measles will also be drastically reduced, putting refugees at increased risk of a major outbreak. 

“We cannot underestimate the devastating impact and potential loss of life that will occur if we have to reduce our medical services at this critical time,” said John McCue, IOM’s Senior Operations Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar. “The moment to act to reduce the risk of major health emergencies is now and we need financial support to be able to do that.” 

For more information please contact IOM Cox’s Bazar. Fiona MacGregor, Tel. +8801733335221, Email: or Shirin Akhter, Tel: +880 341 52195, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 08:43Image: Region-Country: BangladeshDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM site management staff receive first aid training from IOM medics, which they will share with refugee safety volunteers.

Photo: Lydia Moore / IOM.

IOM site management staff receive first aid training from IOM medics, which they will share with refugee safety volunteers.

Photo: Lydia Moore / IOM.

IOM site management staff receive first aid training from IOM medics, which they will share with refugee safety volunteers.

Photo: Lydia Moore / IOM.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Risks and Rights: New Video Aims to Empower Migrant Workers in Thai Fishing Industry

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 08:16

Bangkok – IOM X - a joint initiative between IOM and USAID - and the ILO Ship to Shore Rights Project - funded by the European Union - today premiered the video, Real Life of Fishers, which provides migrant workers in the Thai fishing sector with information on their rights and recourse. 

The 11-minute animated video, available in Khmer, Myanmar and Thai, is aimed at the approximately 60,000 migrant workers in the Thai fishing industry, encouraging informed migration. 

The video includes: information migrants need before deciding to work in the fishing sector and signing a contract; basic information for migrants on work contracts, minimum wage and payment, equipment on board, medical care and the responsibilities of fisher vessel owners; and how to connect with unions, civil society organizations and government officials for help with violations. 

According to ILO’s March 2018 Ship to Shore Rights baseline survey on working conditions in Thai fishing and seafood processing, only 26 per cent of workers who experienced labour violations sought help. Bringing worker questions and complaints to the attention of authorities for action is a key goal for the project partners. 

Real Life of Fishers will be disseminated through social media and education campaigns by ILO and IOM partners in Thailand, as well as the Royal Thai Government’s Ministry of Labour. 

For more information please contact Mia Barrett at IOM X in Bangkok. Tel. +66 84 705 2114, Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 08:12Image: Region-Country: ThailandDefault: Multimedia: 

Illustration of men working on a Thai fishing boat. Photo: IOM

Illustration of man looking out to a boat at sea. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Government of Egypt, UN Migration Agency and UNICEF Launch Song and Video Clip with Egyptian artists as part of Awareness Raising Campaign

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 07:26
Language English

Cairo — IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the National Coordinating Committee on Combatting and Preventing Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons (NCCPIM&TIP) launched song, “Fares,” and its accompanying video clip on 28 April  in cooperation with UNICEF Egypt.

The song and video are part of the second national awareness raising campaign focusing on the dangers of irregular migration, with the endorsement of popular Egyptian artists Zap Tharwat and Ahmed Shiba.

IOM and UNICEF joined forces to support the public advocacy efforts of the Egyptian Government. The “Fares” video reached almost 400,000 views in two days.

IOM Egypt Chief of Mission Laurent De Boeck, announced the release as follows: “This is an important song aimed at raising awareness among the young population of Egypt of the dangers of irregular migration and human trafficking. It is important to try to make Egyptians see Egypt as a solution instead of contemplating migration as the only opportunity to resolve challenges.”

The campaign is to be followed by a community outreach activation in the six governorates with the highest number of irregular departures across Egypt.

Under the first part of the campaign, IOM Egypt developed a video featuring Egyptian international footballer Hazem Emam, to inform the target population of the dangers involved in attempting sea migration journeys. The video was augmented by a social media campaign which incorporated messages from IOM’s ‘Aware Migrants’ campaign, launched earlier this year by IOM Italy. 

To raise awareness on the dangers of irregular migration, the Aware Migrants campaign shows a variety of narratives from trafficking survivors intended to address migrants in transit and potential migrants.

The number of Egyptian youth migrating irregularly to European countries, particularly Italy and Greece, has dramatically increased over the past decade due to multiple push and pull factors. In 2017, Egyptian

Unaccompanied Migrant Children (UMC) ranked second among all nationalities of UMCs present in the Italian territory, with a total of 2,093 cases.

In coming years, Egypt is expected to see an increase in emigration rates (including irregular migration) given its fast population growth—coupled with increased unemployment, limited livelihood opportunities and increasingly restrained regular migration opportunities.

With these flows reaching unprecedented levels since 2015, the Government of Egypt (GoE) has engaged fully in tackling the phenomenon nationally and regionally. Building on ongoing efforts, IOM supports the GoE in combating irregular migration of Egyptian youth through a comprehensive approach. While ensuring the availability of accurate information on the realities of irregular migration is essential for youth to make responsible migratory decisions, studies and experience from around the world demonstrate that awareness-raising activities are insufficient to discourage men and women from embarking on perilous migratory trajectories in the absence of regular migration alternatives.

Therefore, the proposed program will consist of two complementary interventions:  i) supporting the GoE to inform Egyptian youth and children about the risks and dangers of irregular migration and trafficking in persons as well as safe and regular alternatives; and ii) shedding light on positive life alternatives for youth and children at-risk of irregular migration.

For more information please contact Tanja Pacifico at IOM Egypt, Tel: +20227365140, Email:  

Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 07:24Image: Region-Country: EgyptDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Community Resource Centres to Consolidate Support for Returnee Reintegration in Iraq

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 07:21

Baghdad — Over 3.6 million Internally Displaced Persons—or IDPs—have returned to safe areas of the country after being displaced by conflict. It is critical that areas of origin are supported by the international humanitarian community.

The Government of Iraq’s Joint Coordination and Monitoring Centre (JCMC), in partnership with the international community, is establishing Community Resource Centres (CRCs) to provide services at the community level in areas receiving large numbers of returning internally displaced persons.

The centres, which will operate under the aegis of the JCMC, are designed to serve as coordination, information, and referral hubs where all community members (IDPs, returnees and host community members) can receive information on emergency, recovery and stabilization services – provided by government and humanitarian partners - to assist in the return and reintegration process within communities.

The CRCs aim to support the Government of Iraq, at the local and national level, in the coordination and delivery of services to facilitate safe, voluntary, and sustainable socio-economic reintegration of returnees in some of the most vulnerable communities affected by the conflict in Iraq.

The first CRCs will be established in Ninewa and Anbar, followed by other governorates which have been significantly affected by the conflict and population displacement.

“These community based centres will enable us to most effectively serve returnees and affected communities with essential information and services,” said Abdul Ameer Mohamed Ali, Head of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Center. “The CRCs will be jointly managed by the JCMC and humanitarian partners and will be handed over to the JCMC at a later stage.”

“We look forward to cooperating with international partners in our joint aim to develop standards in service delivery for the benefit of communities” he added. 

The JCMC and seven UN and non-governmental partners are involved in the CRCs, including: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), Danish Refugee Council (DRC), IOM, the UN Migration Agency, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), People in Need (PIN), Terre des hommes (TDH) Lausanne, and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Partners will work together in a Steering Committee to facilitate a unified approach, with individual CRCs facilitated by one partner. IOM is chair of the Steering Committee, and the co-chair position, currently held by NRC, rotates every six months.

The JCMC will ensure the participation of government actors by coordinating with government ministries and institutions on service provision.

“The return and recovery process for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable families have placed a heavy burden on return communities and the Government of Iraq,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Iraq Chief of Mission.

“Through the CRCs, we aim to combine and offer our knowledge, skill sets and services to improve the resilience of those conflict-affected communities,” he added. 

Due to the varying conditions in areas of return, the CRCs will offer a variety of services and activities, targeted to meet needs and address gaps in communities.

The services provided by CRC partners will include: identifying priority activities and services; provision of information to affected communities and soliciting feedback on services and information needs by the community; supporting multi‐sectoral coordination among international partners and liaison with different government agencies; and promoting an area‐based approach to reintegration support.

“CRCs will strengthen cooperation and coordination between government and humanitarian actors in the fields of information management and community engagement,” said Petr Kostohryz, NRC’s Country Director in Iraq.

“With a multi-sectoral approach, we will improve the delivery of essential public services and strengthen the capacity of government entities to eventually take over and manage the centres,” Kostohryz added.

More than 415,000 displaced people have returned to their areas of origin in the first quarter of 2018. Since the beginning of the 2014 crisis, more than 2.1 million Iraqis have been displaced, and more than 3.6 million displaced Iraqis have returned to their areas of origin.

For more information please contact:

JCMC: Sadiq Jawad al-Zubaidi,, +964 770 725 4998

IOM: Sandra Black,, +964 751 234 2550

NRC: Alexandra Saieh,, +964 751 740 7636

Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 07:18Image: Region-Country: IraqDefault: Multimedia: 

Children playing games in an internally displaced peoples camp. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 21,981 in 2018; Deaths Reach 606

PBN News Germany - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 07:17
Language English

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 21,981 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 17 weeks of 2018, or the first third of the year. About 43 percent of all arrivals are to Italy, with the remainder divided between Greece (37%) and Spain (20%). This compares with 44,625 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and around 200,000 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 10% of 2016’s volume at this point in the year.  During all of the month of April on three Mediterranean routes—Western, Eastern and Central—no more than 7,087 migrants and refugees have been registered as arrivals. That volume was nearly matched on a daily basis when 2015 emergency was cresting and over 5,000 migrants were landing every 24 hours across the Aegean, with hundreds more headed each day to Italy and Spain. 

Data on deaths of migrants compiled by IOM's Global Migration Data Analysis Centre.

All numbers are minimum estimates.
Arrivals based on data from respective governments and IOM field offices.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported no new arrivals to Italy in the days since IOM’s last report. The 3,171 arriving from North Africa during the current month are less than one fourth their volume from a year ago, and just over one-third the arrival rate of 2016 (see chart below).

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported Monday that on 27 April, 84 migrants were rescued by local fishermen close to Zuwara. All migrants were transferred to Zuwara detention centre, where IOM provided medical screenings and primary health care—including pregnancy care to one woman from Mali: Four emergency cases were also referred to local hospitals and one pregnant woman was transferred for care in Tripoli, in close coordination with MSF. 

So far this year, 4,964 migrants have been returned to Libyan shore by the coast guard, Petré said.

IOM Greece’s Kelly Namia reported Monday that over the four days (25-28 April) the Hellenic Coast Guard reported at least two incidents requiring search and rescue operation off the island of Lesvos and Megisti. Another 40 landed at Farmakonisi.

Namia reported that the 249 seaborne migrants detected over those four days through Saturday bringing to 8,067 since January 1, for an average of just over 67 persons per day. (see chart below)

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that through 29 April, 4,400 men, women and children have been detected entering Spain irregularly by sea. For each of the first four months, Spain’s arrivals have exceeded last year’s similar amounts, however not by an alarming degree (see chart below)

Nonetheless, what is alarming is the increased number of drownings on this route: 217 through 29 April, which is nearly the total for all of last year: 224.

IOM’s Missing Migrant Project (MMP) reported that 606 migrants are estimated to have died this year in the Mediterranean alone, the largest number after leaving Libya. However, most recently, 19 people lost their lives when trying to cross to Spain. On Sunday, Algerian civil protection authorities retrieved 15 bodies from a sinking boat near Cap Falcon, west of Oran, and rescued 19 survivors. According to survivors’ testimonies, an estimated four people remain missing. Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras confirmed that 38 people had been on board the boat when it left from Nador, Morocco last Friday (27 April). Unfortunately, the identities of those who died are currently unknown.


Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 1,008 people who died or went missing while migrating in 2018. (see chart below)

On the US-Mexico border, a young man of unconfirmed nationality died trying to cross the Rio Grande in an effort to reach Texas on 26 April. In Mexico’s southern state of Veracruz, a Honduran migrant died on 27 April after he fell off a freight train near the city of Córdoba, Veracruz.

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

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic here


For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: 

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: 


For more information, please contact:

Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:

Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email:

Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail:

Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:

Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email:

Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:

Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:

Christine Petré, IOM Libya. Tel. +216 29 240 448 Email :

Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:

Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 28 78 78 05 (mobile) office: +216 71 860 312 EXT. 109 Email:

Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 07:04Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Labour Migration a Key Contributor to GDP

PBN News Germany - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 07:49

Kathmandu - Nepal received remittances of NPR 699 billion (USD 6.56 billion) in FY 2016/17 and ranks fourth in the world in terms of the contribution of remittances to GDP, according to a report launched today by Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, with support from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and The Asia Foundation.

“Labour Migration for Employment – A Status Report for Nepal: 2015/16 – 2016/17” also notes that during the past three years Nepali labour migrants have registered nearly 7,500 complaints, citing numerous instances of fraud and malpractice during their recruitment and employment abroad.

“Sound data and accurate analysis are essential to formulate evidence-based policies and implement them effectively in Nepal - a country where over half of all households have at least one family member currently living abroad or living at home as a returnee” said IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Paul Norton. “This report is an important step for the government agencies and other stakeholders to work towards effective regulatory mechanisms to protect and promote migrants’ rights and wellbeing,” he added.

The report, on its third issue since it was first published in 2014/15, presents a specific thematic issue on skills and occupations of Nepali migrant workers. Based on the occupation of outgoing Nepali migrant workers recorded at the Department of Foreign Employment, the data serves as an indicator of the nature of jobs Nepali migrant workers are engaged in.

The report highlights the lack of reliable data on labour migration to India – a major destination; limited coordination and collaboration between different government agencies addressing issues affecting migrant workers; centralized government and private recruitment agencies raising the cost of migration; a lack of skills recognition and skills matching mechanisms; and a lack of procedural guidelines on supporting the reintegration of returnees.

“Unpacking the skills and occupation trends of outgoing migrant workers is important piece to inform and evaluate skills development policies and programmes while simultaneously developing a better understanding of how labour migration affects our own labour market,” Director of the ILO Country Office for Nepal Richard Howard commented. He added “Data and analysis on skills and occupation also helps to understand the skills and experiences brought back by returnee migrant workers thus informing strategies to be used to address economic and labour market reintegration of returnee migrant workers.”

The report, which calls for continuous monitoring and regulation of recruitment agencies, as well as better pre-departure orientation and health assessments, flags the need for urgent measures to improve access to justice for migrant workers and their families, and the protection of migrant workers’ rights in destination countries. It notes that existing laws and better foreign employment policies can make the labour migration process simpler, fairer, more transparent and more cost-effective. 

Speaking at the report launch event Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista said “The Ministry will be working to make the foreign employment sector more transparent and result oriented so the migrant workers feel the positive change in the sector immediately.”

Labour Ministry Secretary Mahesh Dahal said, “The Ministry has been working towards decentralized service delivery, demand letter certification through the Nepalese Missions in destination countries and making the minimum skill training mandatory among others. He further said, “Nepal is the Chair of the Colombo Process, Member of Abu Dhabi Dialogue, and Deputy Member of ILO’s governing body. Those forums are important for the Member States to put forward their priority issues more collectively and strongly and Nepal plays leadership role in such forums. We believe the Global Compact on Migration plays significant role in ensuring Nepali migrants’ rights and Nepal is actively engaged on this process.”  

The report includes data on Nepali migrant flows to specific destination countries; the nature of their jobs; skill levels; the average cost of migration to each country; average monthly wages; average remittances received at the household and national level and other official government data from various sources. It also discusses the socio-demographic implications of the outflows based on a range of factors, including age, gender, education, skills, family and economic status, before and after migration.

Paul I. Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel. +97714426250, Email:  
Or Niyama Rai, ILO Nepal, Tel +97715555777, Email:
Or Nischala Arjal TAF, Tel +97714418345 Email:
Or Govt. of Nepal Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security Tel +977 1 4211963, Email: 


Language English Posted: Monday, April 30, 2018 - 13:40Image: Region-Country: NepalThemes: Labour MigrationMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Nepal's Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, with support from IOM, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and The Asia Foundation launch the "Labour Migration for Employment – A Status Report for Nepal: 2015/16 – 2016/17”, a report on Nepali labour migrants. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Steps in to Aid New Rohingya Boat Arrivals in Indonesia

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/27/2018 - 11:03

Jakarta – The UN Migration Agency has stepped in to provide humanitarian assistance to 84 ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar who have arrived by boat in Aceh, Indonesia’s westernmost province, this month. IOM’s Migration Emergency Funding Mechanism (MEFM) has donated USD 100,000 to help the migrants, who include over 40 children.

There are fears that continuing ethnic tensions in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, where the Rohingya are not recognized as Myanmar citizens, and the hardships experienced by over 700,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled to Bangladesh since August 2017, could result in others paying smugglers to transport them to Malaysia. Tens of thousands of undocumented Rohingya are currently living in Malaysia.

“Our in-depth interviews with the migrants have revealed a high level of vulnerability particularly among the many unaccompanied minors on the boats, who could be at risk of being exploited by human traffickers,” said IOM Indonesia deputy chief of mission George Gigauri. “We’ve assessed more than two thirds of the people on those vessels as extremely vulnerable.”

Since 2009, IOM has assisted more than 1,740 Rohingya whose vessels have arrived in Indonesia on nine previous occasions. In May 2015, close to 1,000 Rohingya and 820 Bangladeshi nationals were admitted to Indonesia on humanitarian grounds after spending many weeks on the Andaman sea.

The latest response began when five critically ill men aboard a fishing boat were rescued by Acehnese fishermen on April 1. Their vessel departed Myanmar with 15 passengers. Tragically, two died during the six weeks that the boat was adrift. The fate of seven men and a young boy who attempted to swim to shore clinging to empty water bottles is not yet known.

On April 20, a second vessel carrying 79 people arrived in Aceh.

In both cases IOM has provided translators to assist the government of Indonesia and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with their interviews, facilitated access to emergency medical assistance and provided food and water, and hygiene trainings.

Tomorrow, IOM will begin trainings for local government and NGO partners in Aceh on how best to meet the needs of the migrants.

The new funding will allow IOM Indonesia to deliver psycho-social assistance, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities and other initiatives to support the physical and
mental wellbeing of the migrants, many of whom are exhibiting symptoms of stress and anxiety.

The MEFM was established to allow for rapid emergency response in the critical period between the occurrence of an emergency and the point when donor countries provide funding.

For further information, please contact Paul Dillon at IOM Indonesia, Tel: +62 811 155 2776, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 - 16:03Image: Region-Country: IndonesiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff and interpreters interview Rohingyas whose boat arrived in Aceh on April 20. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Bangladesh’s Rohingya Refugee Camps Face ‘Life Threatening’ Funding Crisis: Aid Agencies

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/27/2018 - 10:15

Cox’s Bazar – Work by aid agencies in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps to create life-saving access routes and prepare people for floods, landslides and other disasters ahead of the upcoming monsoon and cyclone season is under imminent threat unless urgent funding is secured in the next six weeks, according to IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

Without new funding, the lives of tens of thousands of people who flooded into the camps in southern Bangladesh to flee violence in Myanmar triggered in August last year will be put at risk, the agency says.

Almost a million Rohingya refugees are currently living under tarpaulins in Cox’s Bazar district, on steep, sandy slopes denuded of vegetation. At least 120,000 have been identified as being at the high risk from floods and landslides triggered by heavy rain. Of these 25,000 have been have been identified as at the highest risk from landslides. But without aid, many will have to remain in their current hazardous locations. Hundreds of thousands of others will also be at risk if roads become impassible and vital aid supplies and medical services cannot get through.

Tarpaulin stocks are also rapidly running out and IOM, which oversees shelter distribution, reports that by mid-May supplies will fall below critical levels. Without funding for more stock, at-risk families will not receive new shelters and no replacements will be available for those whose homes are damaged or destroyed during storms.

Other IOM vital services at serious risk unless more financial support is forthcoming include water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities. Without ongoing WASH projects, safe water supply systems could collapse and overflowing latrines could put hundreds of thousands of refugees at risk from waterborne diseases.

IOM, which has appealed for USD 182 million to provide aid in Cox’s Bazar through December 2018, is currently facing a funding shortfall of almost USD 151 million. The overall joint response plan of all agencies, which called for USD 951 million, has currently secured just nine per of that amount.

“Aid staff on the ground are working flat out to improve shelters, stabilize ground, secure key access roads and have emergency response services readied to save lives if the worst happens. But the harsh truth is that we cannot keep doing that if we do not have the funds,” said John McCue, IOM’s Senior Operations Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.

“We cannot wait for funding to come in after the emergency is over and possibly preventable tragedies have occurred. We need to be able to act now if lives are to be saved.”

The scale of the response in Cox’s Bazar – the world’s biggest refugee settlement – and the prospect of an emergency within an emergency when the monsoon and cyclone seasons hit, means that aid agencies are working together in close coordination to avert the threat of a large scale of loss of life.

IOM, WFP and UNHCR are working alongside other agencies and the government of Bangladesh on a range of measures to prepare for the severe weather challenges ahead. Shared projects include machinery hubs to keep vital access ways open, disaster response mechanisms, and preparing safer land for the relocation of those most at threat from landslides.

For IOM, critical activities now at risk of being halted because of the lack of funding include shelter, WASH, camp development and management, and vital health services.

The nature of the response means agencies and the government are reliant on each other to ensure effective delivery of life-saving services through common pipelines and shared activities. Lack of funding for any key agency or sector could have a catastrophic impact across the entire response.

“With so many critical sectors already on the brink of being suspended because of lack of funds, we have no time to lose,” warned McCue. “If significant funding is not secured in the next few weeks to keep operations running, there is a high likelihood that many children, women and men may die, when they could have otherwise been saved.”

Life-saving IOM activities ahead of the monsoon about to run out of funding include:

Camp Management and Development: Analysis shows floods and landslides will put hundreds of thousands of lives at risk and cause severe access challenges to a population entirely reliant on aid. Ongoing work to improve grounds conditions and build community resilience to prepare for emergencies is vital. Without funding to support their relocation, tens of thousands of people identified at grave risk of being directly hit by landslides will have no option but to remain where they are.

Shelter: As lead agency on shelter, IOM is now rolling out 120,000 upgrade kits through a common pipeline and training refugees to strengthen their shelters ahead of monsoon. Without immediate funding, stocks of tarpaulins will fall below the minimum levels of 40,000 pieces by mid-May. That will mean no new shelters for at risk families relocated from landslide areas, or for those whose homes are damaged or destroyed by storms.

Health: IOM health teams currently directly serve almost 80,000 people a month and support partner organisations to reach many more. If funding shortages forces the end of services, it will result in an immediate increase in preventable deaths, and put vast numbers of people at risk of deadly outbreaks, particularly of waterborne diseases.

Needs and Population Monitoring: IOM’s programme is the only actor with systems in place to rapidly respond to emergency events, analyze immediate needs, and swiftly share data with relevant organisations. NPM provides technical support to tackle small scale incidents in the camps on a 24-hour basis and assess a large-scale disaster scenario within 72 hours. Without this service, the ability to help those hit by landslides and floods will be drastically reduced.

For more information please contact IOM Cox’s Bazar. Fiona MacGregor, Tel. +8801733335221, Email: or Shirin Akhter, Tel: +880 341 52195, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 - 16:04Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Hafez Zubaed is a Rohingya refugee who, after receiving training on shelter upgrading tries to improve his home. Photo: Mashrif Abdullah / IOM

Families identified as being most at risk of direct landslide are being directed to pack up their shelters and relocate to safer ground ahead. Photo: Fiona MacGregor / IOM

Workers, mainly refugees, are preparing ;and for new shelters ahead of monsoon.  Photo: Fiona MacGregor / IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Releases First Displacement Tracking Matrix Results on Venezuelan Flows in Brazil

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/27/2018 - 10:15

Brazil – Most Venezuelans interviewed (over two thirds) crossing Brazil’s northern border are between the prime working ages of 25 and 40 years old and nearly two thirds are men. More than half say they are hoping to travel even further south – towards the Argentina (mainly) and Chile.  About two-thirds report economic or labour reasons at home motivated them to leave; about one fifth say their chief motivator was lack of food and medical services.

These are some the findings IOM, the UN Migration Agency, released its first results of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) today (27/04), providing information on Venezuelan flows in the State of Roraima, Brazil.

The first DTM round was implemented in close coordination with the Brazilian Government through its Ministry of Human Rights, to gather, analyse and produce evidence-based data to provide a better understanding of the Venezuelan flows in Roraima.

The DTM results include information on demographics, mobility, the labour situation, access to services and protection. The IOM team collected the information between 25 January and 8 March 2018 through more than 3,500 interviews in two municipalities: Boa Vista, the capital of Roraima, and Pacaraima, on the border with Venezuela.

The data collected shows that most of the Venezuelans surveyed (71%) are between 25 and 49 years old, 40 per cent migrated together with their family and 40 per cent migrated alone. Regarding gender, the DTM data shows that 58 per cent of the migrants are men and 41 per cent are women. Seventty-five per cent come from the States of Anzoategui, Monagas and Bolívar in Venezuela and 52 per cent are willing to go to other countries (mainly Argentina and Chile), while 48 per cent wish to stay in Brazil (mainly in the States of Amazonas and Roraima).

According to the information gathered, 67 per cent of the Venezuelans interviewed left their country because of economic or labour reasons and 22 per cent due to the limitations to access food and medical services.

The DTM results indicate that 57 per cent of the Venezuelans surveyed are unemployed in Brazil. Among those employed, 82 per cent are working in the informal market and 76 per cent send remittances to their families in Venezuela.

Most of the Venezuelans interviewed reported having access to basic services, except education. Among those who expressed difficulties accessing education, the main reason reported was the lack of documentation.

The DTM also shows that 28 per cent of the Venezuelans interviewed have suffered either verbal, physical, or sexual violence in Brazil.

“These DTM results provide decision-makers with reliable data on the Venezuelan nationals and their evolving needs in the State of Roraima,” explained IOM Brazil Chief of Mission Stéphane Rostiaux. “The DTM is also a key instrument for evidence-based migration policymaking on Venezuelan migrant flows in Brazil,” Rostiaux added. “With regular implementation of the DTM, we will be able to have accurate and timely information”.

The DTM data also shows that of those Venezuelans interviewed, 65 per cent are interested in taking part in the Relocation Strategy currently implemented by the Brazilian Government. They expressed their interest in moving to other cities in Brazil, especially in the State of Amazonas. As part of the Relocation Strategy, IOM recently supported the relocation of 265 Venezuelans from Roraima to Sao Paulo and Cuiaba in coordination with other UN Agencies. A second relocation will take place in the coming weeks.

The DTM report can be downloaded here:

For more information please contact Fabiana Paranhos at IOM Brazil, Tel: +55 61 3038 9014, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 - 16:02Image: Region-Country: BrazilThemes: OthersDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Germany, IOM Strengthen Cooperation on Sustainable Reintegration of Returned Iraqi Migrants

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/27/2018 - 10:14

Baghdad – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Government of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) this week agreed to intensify collaboration to support sustainable reintegration of Iraqi migrants in their home communities in Iraq, after returning from Germany and other European countries.

“Our goal is to cooperate with the Government of Iraq as well as other stakeholders, such as IOM, to set up training courses and create jobs for hundreds of thousands of young and unemployed people inside Iraq,” said Gerd Müller, the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), at a ceremony to sign the agreement with IOM Iraq in Baghdad on Sunday.

In the first quarter of 2018, more than 450 Iraqis voluntarily returned home from Germany with IOM’s support in collaboration with the German Government.

In recent years Germany was a top destination for Iraqi migrants. Nonetheless, during the past three years over 9,000 Iraqis in Germany have decided to return through IOM’s voluntary return programme, which is funded by the German Government.


According to the agreement, IOM Iraq and the Government of Germany will further synchronize resources and services focused on returnees from abroad, returning internally displaced persons (IDPs), and host communities.

“This agreement underlines our shared commitment to support the continued development and reconstruction of a prosperous and stable Iraq,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Iraq Chief of Mission. “This framework acknowledges the vital importance of the successful reintegration of migrants in rebuilding their country,” added Waite.

“Cooperation between governments and international organizations to support voluntary return and job creation for young people and those returning from the diaspora is important,” said Abdulkareem Abdullah, the Government of Iraq’s Undersecretary for Labour Affairs. “Their reintegration into Iraqi society is timely as the security situation has improved. The Ministry will provide full support to reach our shared goals; resolving the current situation in Iraq requires high levels of cooperation.”

One migrant who recently returned home is Muneer, a young Iraqi citizen who stayed in Germany in 2016, before returning to his home in Baghdad to take care of his ailing mother and younger brother.

“About a month ago, IOM informed me of a new project that could support returnees from Germany,” he explained. “I visited their office in Baghdad and after receiving counselling and going through some procedures, I got a job as a taxi driver with someone who has a car and needed a driver.”

Support includes organizational assistance (travel arrangements, assistance with documents, medical care and counselling), financial start-up assistance and in-kind support for housing. The programme has assisted migrants to return and reintegrate in their countries of origin.

For eligibility inquiries regarding assistance for Iraqi returnees from Germany, please contact Tel: +964 751 741 6030.

For more information, please contact Sandra Black in IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 - 16:00Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM and the Government of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) agree to intensify collaboration to support sustainable reintegration of Iraqi migrants in their home communities in Iraq. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Joins Joint Fund for 2030 Agenda

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/27/2018 - 10:13

New York –  IOM, the UN Migration Agency, yesterday (26/04) formally joined the Joint Fund for the 2030 Agenda at a signing ceremony between IOM Director-General William Lacy Swing and Jennifer Topping, the Executive Director of the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office.

The Joint Fund, which was launched by United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, during the April 2018 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development, will support global efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

 “The Joint Fund will open the door to a range of new programmes and activities to meet the commitments of the 2030 Agenda,” said Director General Swing. “IOM hopes that it will promote collaboration between UN agencies and stakeholders, including to foster integrated approaches to migration management.”

It will allow IOM and its UN Country Team (UNCT) partners to submit funding proposals – through UN Resident Coordinators – for projects that are identified as having high potential to accelerate SDG progress.

IOM’s entry to the Fund comes at a time when UN Member States are discussing the challenges and obstacles to financing the ambitious commitments outlined in the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to some estimates, achieving the SDGs will require trillions of dollars of additional investment. These are resources that, while available, are not necessarily flowing to the areas of biggest development impact.

The Joint Fund however, is intended to focus attention on the areas in which the UN System can create the most positive change, bringing together participating UN agencies and other partners to support national development objectives.

By prioritizing partnerships, the Joint Fund will also support the UN Secretary-General’s ongoing reforms to the UN Development System, which are intended to reposition the organization to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.

“We are delighted that IOM has joined the family of agencies that have signed on to the Joint Fund for Agenda 2030. We believe that this fund will become a critical and catalytic instrument, helping governments accelerate progress towards SDG achievement, through addressing policy bottlenecks and unlocking SDG financing,” said Topping. “To reach its full potential the Joint Fund will need all entities of the UN to work and coordinate effectively together,” she added.

The Secretary-General’s proposed reforms emphasize the value of pooled funds as more effective and transparent funding mechanisms that also promote better coordination amongst UN agencies.

As the latest UN body to join the Fund, IOM hopes to galvanize action on the many parts of the 2030 Agenda relevant to migrants and to migration. These include areas such as health, education, gender equality, migration governance, human trafficking and forced labour, remittances, climate change, disaster risk reduction and cities.

More information on the Joint Fund for the 2030 Agenda can be found here

For further information please contact Christopher Richter at IOM New York, Tel: +1 917 7670863, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 - 15:58Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: IOMUNDefault: Multimedia: 

William Lacy Swing, IOM DG and Jennifer Topping, Executive Coordinator of UN Multi-Partner Fund Office. Photo: IOM 2018

William Lacy Swing, IOM DG and Jennifer Topping, Executive Coordinator of UN Multi-Partner Fund Office. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNICEF, UNHCR Step Up Protection for Children on the Move in Libya

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/27/2018 - 10:13

Libya – IOM, UNICEF and UNHCR are enhancing migrant and refugee child protection measures in Libya. In March 2018, IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix identified some 29,370 unaccompanied migrant children in Libya – although the real figure could be much higher.

“Unaccompanied and separated children are at heightened risk of human trafficking, arbitrary detention, forced labour and sexual exploitation,” explained Othman Belbeisi, IOM Chief of Mission. “Enhancing our assistance and protection of children on the move is paramount to us as humanitarians. We welcome and encourage further cooperation between all relevant actors to ensure that we are able to better protect more children in Libya.”

IOM, UNICEF and UNHCR established procedural safeguards for the implementation of a consistent set of actions for the protection of unaccompanied and separated migrant and refugee boys and girls under the age of 18 in Libya. A Best Interest Determination (BID) panel is convened for complex cases where child protection experts discuss and identify protection solutions for individual cases.

In the first BID Panel, which took place in the Libyan capital Tripoli on 29 March, experts from IOM, UNICEF and UNHCR addressed the case of Sofiya* (name changed to protect identity), a seven-year-old girl from West Africa. The final recommendation was to reunite Sofiya with her father in her country of origin.

“Regardless of the legal status, circumstances and reasons behind a child being on the move, a child is a child and the deprivations and harm that children experience during the dangerous journeys shake the foundation of their physical and emotional development,” said Abdel-Rahman Ghandour, UNICEF Special Representative for Libya.

“Cooperation with IOM and UNHCR is essential to enable us to find a durable solution for every child,” he added

“One of the key priorities of UNHCR is to protect within its capacity the rights of all children falling under its mandate, particularly refugees and asylum seekers. To achieve this, UNHCR is committed support the establishment of comprehensive child protection systems in Libya that include mechanisms to identify the best interests of the child,” said Roberto Mignone, UNHCR Chief of Mission in Libya.

“Inter-agency collaboration is key in this regard to ensure that children in need of international protection, who cannot return to their countries of origin, are identified and referred for protection and solutions to UNHCR,” he added. 

In 2017, Sofiya left her home in the West Africa with her mother. Hoping for a better life, they embarked on the dangerous Mediterranean Sea crossing in an attempt to reach Europe. But they never made it to Italy. Instead, Sofiya lost her mother at sea and was brought back to Libya by the Coast Guard.

The child was transferred to a detention centre, where she was identified by IOM as an unaccompanied child. IOM visited Sofiya on regular basis to conduct a child protection assessment and started efforts to trace her family back home.

After a few weeks, IOM found Sofiya’s father and initiated the family verification. Sofiya’s father expressed immense relief and happiness of hearing news about his daughter.

“When working with unaccompanied and separated children it is of key importance to ensure that their best interest becomes the guiding principle for all actions, for both temporary and sustainable solutions,” said Barbara Pellegrini, IOM’s Child Protection Expert, conducting capacity building with relevant counterparts. To this end, a two-day training for Libyan counterparts, as well as Consular authorities representing the nationalities of the unaccompanied migrant children, has been planned to further ensure that the best interest of the child is the guiding principle for all actors.

In the beginning of April, Sofiya was reunited with her father in Abidjan, where a dozen friends welcomed her home at the airport. 

 For more information, please contact Christine Petre, IOM Libya, Tel: +21629240448, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 - 15:56Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Migration and YouthUNDefault: Multimedia: 

One of the children at a Tripoli detention centre. Photo: C.Petre / IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Voluntary Health Assessments Promote Safe Migration in Central Asia

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/27/2018 - 10:10

Dushanbe – Many thousands of Tajiks leave their country every year for jobs in Russia and Kazakhstan, but the Central Asian nation is also a transit zone for refugees and migrants from China, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. Like nationals, transiting migrants also have access to medical checks, and the health status of migrant workers is a priority for the Tajik National Health Strategy.

It is within this context that from 24 to 26 April, the Tajik Ministry of Health and Social Protection provided a training for health professionals from primary health care facilities and the Republican Clinical Centre on Occupational Diseases in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

“Receiving countries are interested in healthy migrants,” said Maira Shoinbekova, Senior Medical Officer of IOM, the UN Migration Agency. “When they are healthy, migrants can find better jobs and earn more money, thus contributing to the wellbeing of the host country, family at home and country of origin.”

In line with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations on migrants’ health, the Tajik Ministry of Health and Social Protection has also been promoting voluntary pre-departure health assessments for Tajik labour migrants since 2011.

“Pre-departure health assessments help migrants to be confident about their health, and if a disease is detected, they can get treated in their home country,” said Holbibi Hasanova, Deputy Director of the State Recruitment Agency for Work Abroad. “This is important, since poor health could be the reason for an undocumented status in the country of destination, or even deportation.”

However, to make pre-departure health checks more attractive to prospective migrants, the health centres’ capacities to provide quality services have to be strengthened. This is particularly true for rural districts, where many migrant workers originate.

“The training was tailored exactly to our needs,” commented Suhrob Zokirov, a Tajik doctor. “Now I have knowledge of international practice of conducting pre-departure health assessment among migrants. The training gave me a better understanding of migration and health policies and practices of the countries where many Tajik migrants go, such as Russia and Kazakhstan. During the training, we could also share with colleagues our experience and problems working with migrants, and discuss possible solutions.”

Rukhshona Kurbonova from IOM Tajikistan further explained: “With this training, we not only scale up individual expertise, but we guarantee a sustainable improvement of the services offered and better use thereof by migrants. By sharing the knowledge widely with Tajik health authorities, this will result in updated guidelines for the conduct of medical examination and improved monitoring of health facilities.”

The training was conducted in collaboration with IOM Tajikistan and with the participation of experts from the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation and from IOM Kazakhstan.

For more information please contact Rukhshona Kurbonova at IOM Tajikistan, Tel: + 992 90 505 43 00, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 - 15:54Image: Region-Country: TajikistanThemes: Capacity BuildingLabour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM and the Tajik Ministry of Health and Social Protection organized a workshop on pre-departure health screening this week in Dushanbe. Photo: IOM


Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN