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Private Sector Supports Counter-Trafficking Initiatives in Madagascar

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/30/2019 - 10:15

Antananarivo – “Now that I am back home, I will be able to start my life again,” states a Malagasy woman upon her repatriation to the capital of the island nation of Madagascar, which lies off southeastern Africa. She is one of the many victims of trafficking assisted by IOM in the recent months’ upsurge in repatriation cases.

Thousands of Malagasy women are employed as domestic workers in Lebanon, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia and face exploitation. Hundreds of Malagasy women are sent on false pretense of legitimate work to China and end up exploited in forced labour and sold as brides.

In the first six months of the year, a record number of more than 200 women victims of trafficking have been assisted to return to Madagascar. They all share a feeling of hope for what their life will be from now on.

Unfortunately, there are many whose future looks dark still. Trafficking in persons remains a significant challenge for the country. According to IOM and its partners’ research, women are particularly vulnerable and subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour in the domestic sector within the country, as well as beyond its borders.

Today (30 July, World Day Against Trafficking), the National Coordination Office for the Fight against Trafficking in Persons (Bureau National de Lutte contre la Traite des Etres Humains – BNLTEH) held an awareness-raising event on the risks of unsafe migration and Trafficking in Persons.

With support from IOM, the event was held in the main hall of the Antananarivo International Airport, managed by Ravinala Airports S.A. – a consortium made up of Meridiam, Aéroports de Paris (ADP), Bouygues Bâtiment International (BBI) and Colas – which develops and manages the airports of Antananarivo and Nosy Be under concession.

Travellers and passers-by were given the opportunity to exchange views with IOM and BNLTEH staffers on Trafficking in Persons in Madagascar, and to view a short, animated video clip on the risks associated with unsafe international migration for the purpose of labour. The development of the awareness-raising campaign materials and the event at the airport were funded by Ravinala Airports S.A.

In comments to the press on the margin of the awareness-raising event, IOM Madagascar Chief of Mission Daniel Silva y Poveda noted that “Today’s initiative is an excellent illustration of the commitment of private sector stakeholders in the fight against Trafficking in Persons. Counter-trafficking is not a sole responsibility of Governments. Counter-trafficking is a responsibility of the whole society. We thank Ravinala Airports S.A. for breaking ground on this type of engagement in Madagascar and to lead by example.”

For his part, Nicolas Deviller, Deputy CEO from Ravinala Airports S.A., emphasized that “Airports are the main gateway for people who want to go to/or leave Madagascar. Fighting against trafficking in persons cannot be done alone by Ravinala Airports. We have to work with IOM, Government and the BNLTEH to save lives.” Felana Ratsimbazafy, Quality, Health, Safety, Social and Environment Director at Ravinala Airports added that “Financing this campaign can prevent unsafe migration and help victims of this crime to seek assistance. They are not alone.”

IOM works in partnership with governments, other United Nations agencies, international and non-governmental organizations, the private sector and development partners on all aspects of counter-trafficking responses – prevention, protection, and prosecution. Since the mid-1990s, IOM and its partners have provided protection and assistance to close to 100,000 men, women and children, who were trafficked for sexual and labour exploitation, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, or for organ removal.

For more information please contact Daniel Silva y Poveda, IOM Madagascar. Tel: +261 32 56 54 954, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2019 - 16:07Image: Region-Country: MadagascarThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Safe Migration Pathways Key to Tackling Human Trafficking, Modern Slavery, Forced Labour 

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/26/2019 - 11:09

Geneva – A new report out today (26/07) examines the connection between migration and modern slavery and focuses on which migrants are most vulnerable to being forced into modern slavery, and under what circumstances. 

Prepared by Minderoo Foundation’s Walk Free initiative and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for the Alliance 8.7 Action Group on Migration, the report provides recommendations on key steps governments can take to address this risk.  

The report confirms certain sub-groups of migrants are at particular risk. These include migrants who are fleeing violence and conflict, migrants who have been dislocated from community and family support structures without access to legitimate forms of employment, legal status or social protection, and migrants who are moving or working through irregular channels. Other vulnerable types include migrants who are working in sectors that are out of sight (such as work at sea or in private homes) or in sectors of the economy that are not covered by labour laws. 

Child and adolescent migrants are particularly vulnerable, creating the need for governments to offer better protections, such as family reunification schemes. Female and male migrants are vulnerable to abuse but in different ways – with women experiencing higher rates of modern slavery in domestic work, the sex industry and through forced marriage – while male migrants are more likely to be exploited through forced labour in the construction and manufacturing sectors. 

The report notes that some government policies could have the effect of increasing vulnerability of certain groups of migrants. Restrictive migration policies that seek to ban or limit certain forms of migration can have unintended consequences, such as driving risky practices underground or trapping vulnerable people in dangerous situations.

Key findings 

  • Migrants fleeing conflict and violence, child migrants travelling without family and undocumented migrants are highly vulnerable to human trafficking, modern slavery, and forced labour.   
  • Political support for safe and legal migration pathways is needed because migrants continue to be trafficked or otherwise exploited and abused during transit and upon arrival.   
  • While there are national laws and policies intended to protect migrants from abuse, significant gaps in coverage and implementation leave large groups of people more vulnerable to abuse than others. These gaps are exploited by unscrupulous criminals for personal gain. 
  • There is an urgent need for national governments to recognize the close connection between the aims of achieving safe, orderly and responsible migration and preventing human trafficking, modern slavery, and forced labour. Governments need to close gaps in criminal and labour laws and provide protections for migrants, to ensure vulnerable migrants are protected. 

Migrant workers face risk through policies in both sending and receiving countries. In many countries, recruiters are subject to little or no regulation, so they continue to charge migrants high fees, sometimes repayable at high interest rates, simply to connect them with available jobs.  

Tied visas that give employers undue control over their workers’ living conditions, or that prevent migrants from switching jobs without permission, can create an environment of dependence that can be readily exploited by unscrupulous employers. 

“It is vital governments provide meaningful protection for people fleeing repressive regimes, violence and conflict. Research indicates these situations increase migrants’ vulnerability to modern slavery. We call on all governments to create safer migration pathways, provide protection for vulnerable people and bolster the capacity of first responders in crisis situations,” said Jenn Morris, chief executive of Minderoo Foundation’s Walk Free initiative. 

“In today’s global economy, the movement of people is inevitable, and we have to find ways to achieve migration safely and humanely. This report points to a number of practical steps that governments can take to increase protection of vulnerable migrants, such as ensuring national child protection laws apply to all children, including child migrants, closing gaps in labour laws in high risk sectors like domestic work, and prohibiting charging of recruitment fees,” said Fiona David, lead author of the report and Research Chair, Minderoo Foundation. 

“Without action to address the drivers of unsafe migration and to step up protection and assistance to migrants, many migrants will be trafficked and otherwise abused. We need to do the hard work to create safe migration pathways that better reflect the realities of migration and labour markets, as well as balance the needs of national interests and migrant rights. The recently agreed Global Compact for Safe Orderly and Regular Migration provides a roadmap for how to move forward,” said Mathieu Luciano, Head of IOM’s Assistance to Vulnerable Migrants Unit in Geneva. 

Funding for the Alliance 8.7 Action Group on Migration was made possible through support provided by the UK government to accelerate Alliance 8.7’s work to eradicate forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour.   

The report is available here:

For more information, please contact: 
Mathieu Luciano at Tel: +41797011523, Email: or Leonard Doyle (media, located in Geneva) at Tel: +41792857123 , Email: 

Minderoo Foundation: 
Tess Ingram (media, located in Australia) at Tel: +61 448 922 364, Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, July 26, 2019 - 17:07Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Counter-TraffickingLabour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

"I was sold, exploited. My former recruiter contacted me to help her recruit new girls. I refused! I have been through hell and I do not wish it to anyone," says Tate, a trafficking victim in Mauritania. Photo: IOM/Desjardins Sibylle 2018 

Report cover.  

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Poribortok! Community Advocates Bring Positive Change in Rohingya Camps, Cox’s Bazar Villages

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/26/2019 - 11:06

Cox’s Bazar – Samuda Begum wants to ensure her community’s women are aware about their human rights and concerns especially about the issues surrounding early marriage, household violence, and physical and sexual assault, so that they can lead life as human beings with dignity and respect.  

Standing on the podium, the middle-aged Samuda, a Rohingya woman living in one of the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, expressed her wish before hundreds of people from her community on Tuesday. With such courage, she has included her name in the list of Community Advocates, a group initiated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and its local partner PULSE Bangladesh.  

A total of 400 Community Advocates from the refugee community have decided to join this group initiative and started their work on July 24, 2019 through a programme launch in camp 9.  

Community advocacy is part of the broader community mobilization work being carried out to prevent gender-based violence (GBV) and promote access to GBV services in refugee camps and in host communities. It is led by a team of Community Advocates who over time will become the heart of strengthening the community mobilization process. At the centre of this approach are women and men, girls and boys who have a desire and a commitment to create change in their lives and in their communities, known as Poribortok! (Change Maker!)  

With the slogan Coming Together is a Beginning, Keeping Together is Progress and Working Together is Success, the white T-shirt wearing Community Advocates are inspired to work with Rohingya and host community members to sensitize and raise awareness on GBV, particularly against women and girls.  

Speaking at the launch of the programme, IOM Deputy Chief of Mission in Bangladesh Manuel Pereira said that through this initiative, IOM is working hard to prevent gender-based violence in Bangladesh. “IOM always comes with creative ideas to engage with communities and the Poribortok are just another example. This initiative aims to build a drive for peaceful and safe relationships, and for a community in which every person in camp or local area can feel equally valued. Our Community Advocates will make this happen as we provide skills building and learning to increase their recognition in respective communities.”  

Additional Commissioner Kazi Mohammad Mozammel Hoque from the office of Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner welcomed IOM and PULSE Bangladesh to initiate such measures in the Rohingya camp and the crisis-affected local areas. “Community Advocates are chosen from the community level so they can gain trust of the community members quickly. I hope they will work to create positive social change by taking action in their personal lives and relationships and in their community.” 

The Community Advocates will support core community mobilization teams in 100 sub-blocks in several Rohingya camps. In every block, four community advocates – a woman, a girl, a boy and a man – are enlisted and have committed to at least one hour a week to facilitate prevention activities and one day a month for training.  

At least 2,000 people will be reached regularly while the advocates will also interact with five Community Action Groups and Community Leaders allowing the community to lead, inspire and influence positive change in their own lives and the life of others by challenging the social norms that perpetuate violence and power imbalances in communities.  

Along with the refugee community, IOM and PULSE Bangladesh are also working to enlist 320 Community Advocates at the local host community areas with the same objective. Key to highlight is that advocates give support voluntarily and they feel the urge to develop the mindset and attitudes of the community regarding gender issues and violence in the community.  

“IOM and PULSE’s community advocacy initiative will bring together community advocates, collaborating community groups and structures, community leaders, local authorities, community actors, NGO partners UN agencies and government to showcase the various services interlinked and needed for successful community mobilization,” said IOM Protection Programme Manager Chissey Mueller.  

The 19-year-old Rohingya advocate Anas Hossain said that he will make positive change in his community and he believes that this change is possible when the person believes in his or herself.  “Everyone can be treated with respect and it has to be started from me,” he said. 

For more information, please contact Tarek Mahmud at IOM Bangladesh, Mobile: +8801752380240 Tel: +88034152194-95, Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, July 26, 2019 - 17:05Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Rohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Community advocates are presenting a role play at the launch of the community advocates initiative "Poribortok!"

IOM Bangladesh and local partner, PULSE launch the community advocates initiative "Poribortok!" 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Sudanese Migrant Returnees to Access Health Insurance

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/26/2019 - 11:04

Khartoum – Abuse, stress and lack of medical care are constant bedfellows for migrants in Libya’s detention camps – and those who are rescued unwittingly transfer the health burden to their countries of origin where assistance is often limited.   

Luckily for Sudanese returnees, a solution is underway. Returning migrants in the country will soon access healthcare under the country’s National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).  

This follows an agreement signed at the end of July with the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. 

A pilot targeting 2,000 Sudanese returnee families will run for a year, beginning in July 2019, and could pave the way for access by all migrant returnees.  

Aside from unemployment and access to housing, lack of access to healthcare is among the main issues faced by migrants who voluntarily return to Sudan, as in other places.  

Sudan has a complex and diverse migration profile as a source, transit and destination country at the centre of multiple migration routes and is host to several migrant populations from neighbouring countries, including seasonal workers.  

According to the IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM)’s most recent report, covering March to May 2019, Libya is currently hosting at least 641,398 migrants from more than 39 countries. Sudanese migrants account for 11 per cent of the migrant population, after Nigeriens (21%), Egyptians (15%), and Chadians (15%). 

Since its launch in the Horn of Africa in March 2017, the EU-IOM Joint Initiative has assisted almost 900 migrants to return to Sudan from Libya. 

However, Libya is not the only country from which migrants have returned to Sudan under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative. IOM has also supported returns from Niger, Algeria and Ethiopia.  

Returnees will now be able to access medical care, thanks to the agreement between the NHIF and the EU-IOM Joint Initiative.  

Until now the EU-IOM Joint Initiative has been funding medical screenings and referring targeted returnees to medical service providers and covering their medical fees. But a systematic access to primary healthcare has been missing. 

The pilot is meant to rectify this by improving access to primary healthcare for the programme’s beneficiaries. The EU-IOM Joint Initiative will pay the participating families’ annual premiums to the NHIF, with the fund being responsible for providing them with health services.  

In particular, the agreement aims to support efforts to reduce morbidity and mortality through enhancing access to medical assistance and preventing unnecessary or long-term complications.  

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused procedures and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. Backed by the EU Trust Fund, it covers and has been set up in close cooperation with 26 African countries. 

Said El Moghira Al Amin, the head of the NHIF’s Directorate of Population Coverage, welcomed the collaboration with IOM, saying: “NHIF considers this as a giant leap towards covering all migrants under its umbrella as well as achieving universal health coverage (UHC) in Sudan.”  

IOM’s Chief of Mission in Sudan, Catherine Northing said: “Providing health care is a crucial issue for returnees. The programme provides comprehensive needs-based assistance to facilitate their reintegration and this new agreement with the National Health Insurance contributes significantly to this.  It will not only provide coverage for the returnees but also their families.” 

For more information please contact Julia Hartlieb at the IOM Regional Office in Nairobi, Tel: +254 734 988 846, Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, July 26, 2019 - 17:03Image: Region-Country: SudanThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff in Sudan assisting Sa migrant returnee. Photo: IOM

IOM staff assisting Sudanese migrants returnees. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Promotes Migrant Labour Inclusion in the Private Sector in Southern Brazil

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/26/2019 - 11:03

Florianópolis – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) yesterday (25/07) held a workshop in Florianópolis, southern Brazil, which focused on the implementation of labour inclusion of vulnerable migrants of different nationalities within the private sector.  

The workshop addressed myths, answered practical doubts about the documentation and hiring process as well as highlighted benefits and the importance of diversity and inclusion in the development of corporate strategies. 

The event is part of a new round of workshops organized by IOM, launched in Curitiba earlier in July, and will be held in other states across the country. The first event took place as part of the Business Forum on Socio-Economic Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees, which was attended by over 80 people. 

In Brazil, there are about 1.4 million international migrants recognized by the government, and Santa Catarina is the fifth state where most of this population live. Relevant figures show the importance of raising awareness within the labour market in the state to the inclusion of migrants and in the retention of these talents. In order to illustrate this, Brazilian company JBS shared best practices on hiring. 

JBS’s Human Resources Coordinator in Itapiranga (SC), Teresinha Blasczak, shared the experience of hiring Venezuelans. “It has been a very positive experience not only in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility but also in the opportunity of knowledge sharing. These people helped us a lot in the company, responding to our needs. They come with a good education background and they are restarting their lives. Many of them are engineers, lawyers, accountants, who are now on the production line but are looking forward to growing. We learn a lot from them, and they are also very grateful for the opportunity they have,” explained Blasczak. 

This is the second edition of a series of workshops launched last December by IOM Brazil, with support from the IOM Development Fund (IDF). The workshops were designed based on the results of an IOM survey, in partnership with the UN Global Compact for Business and Human Rights.  

In the first series of workshops, over 60 companies were trained in the cities of Boa Vista, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The IOM project foresees the organization of at least five more workshops in the coming months. 

This activity was possible with the financial support of the Government of the Netherlands. 

For more information, please contact Juliana Hack, IOM Brasilia, Tel: + 55 61 3771 3772 Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, July 26, 2019 - 16:59Image: Region-Country: BrazilThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff in Brazil promoting migrant labour inclusion in Santa Catarina. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Assesses Plight of Papua New Guinea Villagers Displaced by New Britain Volcanic Eruption

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/26/2019 - 10:58

Port Moresby – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in close cooperation with Papua New Guinea’s National Disaster Centre (NDC) and West New Britain Provincial Administration, has completed a second round of Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) assessment in sites hosting people displaced by the eruption of Mt. Ulawan on 26 June. The eruption affected some 13,000 people.  

IOM, which is the co-lead of the Shelter, Non-Food Items and Camp Coordination Camp Management emergency response clusters in PNG, deployed DTM enumerator teams to both West New Britain and East New Britain provinces at the request of the NDC.  

In West New Britain, the DTM was rolled out within a week of the eruption. Between 28-29 June enumerators identified 6,694 displaced people in six sites. Two government-managed centres – Bakada and Kabaya – accounted for about 86 per cent of the total.  

In East New Britain, DTM teams working with the East New Britain Provincial Disaster Centre, identified and profiled another 2,528 people at the Pandi Bageti displacement site.  

Following feedback from the first round of assessments, NDC asked for a second round focused on West New Britain, where communities were most affected by falling ash and scoria. 

The assessment, which took place from 16-19 July, identified 8,041 displaced people in eight sites, including the six sites previously identified. IOM also worked with the Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society and Bialla Local Level Government to register displaced families living in the Bakada and Kabaya care centres. 

NDC’s Captain Kelvin Laki thanked all the agencies taking part in the data collection and registration. “NDC is grateful of this partnership and inter-agency approach,” he said.  

The DTM provides information to government, local authorities and humanitarian partners on gaps and needs, displacement patterns and monitoring to inform the coordinated and targeted delivery of aid to those most in need in care centres. It also supports return planning.  

For more information, please contact at IOM Port Moresby, Lance Bonneau, Tel: +675 3213655, Email: or Peter Murorera, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 26, 2019 - 16:56Image: Region-Country: Papua New GuineaThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM collects assessment data from displaced women at the Bakada care centre in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Photo: IOM/Peter Murorera

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

‘Teach Children to See Lies’ Warns Belarus Campaign

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/26/2019 - 10:56

Minsk – ‘Teach Children to See Lies’ is the slogan of a new campaign being launched next week in Belarus by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNICEF, aimed at the prevention of child sexual exploitation and sexual abuse at its root cause.  

According to the Ministry of the Interior, up to 15 per cent of victims of human trafficking are children who suffer from sexual exploitation or abuse each year.  

Victims can fall prey to trafficking into pornography, prostitution or other forms of abuse, and the Ministry warns that number of victims may grow if preventive action is not undertaken. 

The campaign appeals to parents and encourages them to be attentive to their children, talk with them and build trust to prevent them from being tricked by traffickers and abusers.  

Parents ought to look out for any changes in their children’s behaviour that may signal potential abuse and exploitation. Sexual abuse or exploitation traumatize children and lead to severe psychological consequences that can appear immediately or in the future. 

The campaign is rooted in the fact that there’s no universal or typical portrait of an abuser: they can be anyone regardless of age, sex, social status or profession, especially online where it is so easy for abusers to disguise themselves and “click” with their potential victim. It’s crucial to teach children to see lies and not trust everyone, especially if people are unfamiliar to them, say the campaign’s promoters. 

“Unfortunately, traffickers and abusers adapt technologies, use darknet portals or other special channels or networks to stay unnoticed and unpunished. Thus, it’s crucial that we raise this problem and be very vocal,” says Tatiana Verigo, Head of the Counter Trafficking Unit in IOM Belarus. 

“We are proud to run this campaign together with the Ministry of the Interior of Belarus and UNICEF, and we hope that our efforts will strengthen preventive measures, raising awareness of this dimension of human trafficking among parents. We are confident that our campaign will contribute to decrease the number of sexual exploitation and abuse cases.” 

The campaign kicks off with a launch in the capital Minsk on 30 July, which is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.  Parents attending will be offered a number of activities to participate with their children and check their knowledge on the problem, learn about their children’s behaviour, get tips through a thematic escape room, interactive tests and more. Throughout the campaign posters and leaflets with useful information and tips for parents will be disseminated throughout the country.  

The campaign is carried out with the financial support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, USAID, and Polish Aid. 

For more information please contact Olga Borzenkova at IOM Belarus, Tel: +375 17 2882742. Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 26, 2019 - 16:55Image: Region-Country: BelarusThemes: Migration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

A selection of posters declaring “Teach Children To See Lies” from the new Belarus anti-trafficking campaign. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Elderly Migrant Returnees Find Shelter and Care in Addis Ababa

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/26/2019 - 10:54

Addis Ababa – Sixty-one-year-old Mebratu Teshome spent 10 years in Somalia. He is the first elderly migrant returnee to find a permanent home at a shelter in the Ethiopian capital.  

When he arrived back in the country, he was psychologically unstable and received tailored counselling and psychiatric assistance at the IOM-run migrant transit centre situated near Bole International Airport.  

Mebratu did not have a recollection of his family and could not comprehend conversations well. Unable to make simple movements, his severe condition called for specialized assistance at a mental health hospital in Addis Ababa. He stayed at the IOM facility prior to his referral to Mekedonia, a home for the elderly and mentally disabled, run by a local NGO.  

Ethiopia accounts for the largest migrant movements in the Horn of Africa, with the Arabian Peninsula, Europe and South Africa being among the target destinations. Elderly migrants like Mebratu are few and far between. Yet they are often among the most vulnerable, along with minors and women.  

According to IOM data on returnees from Saudi Arabia, since May 2017 a total of 253 Ethiopian returnees from the Kingdom were above the age of 60. This is a small number compared to the overall caseload of 246,000. 

The commonly used definition of ‘older person’ is associated with the age at which one begins to receive pension benefits. So, the definition of ‘older person’ varies from country to country and between organizations, with many high-income countries using 65+ years to define ‘older persons’. 

To address the needs of older migrants IOM in Ethiopia has partnered with the Mekedonia Home for the Elderly and Mentally Disabled. The agreement has been reached through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. 

The home has begun taking in older migrant returnees who are unable to return to their communities of origin or who have lost their memories and cannot recall their families’ whereabouts. Mentally disabled migrant returnees with similar cases are also referred to the centre.  

Such returnees can stay at Mekedonia for an unlimited time, occupying themselves making handicrafts, traditional scarves, carpets, brooms, wax candles, among other items. There is also a library on the premises.  

Residents with skills and practical work experience are able to work in any of the centre’s different units in line with their skills such as in administration, at the reception or in the kitchen. The centre has organized a space for elders with teaching experience to teach basic literacy skills to other fellow residents.  

Since 2018, 10 Ethiopians between the ages of 60 and 80 have been assisted to return from Somalia and Sudan. But not all of them need to be accommodated at the shelter. 

Sara Basha, the head the EU-IOM Joint Initiative in Ethiopia said: “In addition to the partnership with Mekedonia, IOM is partnering with 10 other NGOs to provide needs-based reintegration support to returnees including elders in Amhara, Tigray, Oromia, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional states and the capital city, Addis Ababa. Over 2,000 vulnerable returnees are expected to be assisted through this partnership.”  

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused procedures and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. Backed by the EU Trust Fund, it covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries.  

Raji Dinsa, a project coordinator at Mekedonia, said that shelter is due to begin work on a hospital and a nursing home. “There is a huge demand for similar facilities in the city and in the country in general,” he said. 

Dinsa added: “It is very humbling to be able to support the elders at our centre. They come from different backgrounds and many have seen better days in their lives.”  

For more information, please contact Helina Mengistu at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 11 557 1550 (Ext 1109), Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, July 26, 2019 - 16:53Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: ShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM visits the Mekedonia Home for the Elderly and Mentally Disabled. 

EU-IOM Joint Initiative Programme Coordinator Sara Basha during a visit to Mekedonia center. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 36,670 in 2019; Deaths Reach 686

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/26/2019 - 10:52

Geneva – IOM reports that 36,670 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 24 July, roughly a 35 per cent decrease from the 54,978 arriving during the same period last year.  

Arrivals this year to Greece and Spain are at 17,991 and 12,443, respectively (30,434 combined), accounting for almost 83 per cent of the regional total, with the balance arriving in much smaller numbers to Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Arrivals to Greece are running approximately 16 per cent ahead of 2018’s totals from this time. Arrivals to Spain are almost 41 per cent lower.  

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost seven months of 2019 are at 686 individuals – or about 45 per cent of the 1,508 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018.  

Open chart here 

These fatality figures, however, do not include casualties from a shipwreck reported off Libya late Thursday. Survivors initially reported at least 100 people had drowned. Nationalities named among some 50 survivors included Eritrean, Sudanese, Palestinian and Bangladeshi. Several children were reportedly drowned. All were traveling with between 250 and 300 people who left Libya this week in a single wooden boat. Approximately 150 survivors were rescued by fishermen and returned to the shore by the Libyan Coast Guard.  

IOM Italy 

According to IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo, who was citing official Ministry of Interior figures, 3,552 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy in 2019.  

IOM Spain 

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported on Thursday sea arrivals to Spain, through 10 July have reached 12,443 men, women and children. 

While monthly arrivals to Spain are lower this year over all (see chart below), fatalities on the Western Mediterranean route remain high – with 206 deaths reported through 25 July, compared to 309 at this time in 2018.  Several tragedies in the Mediterranean were documented since last week’s update.  

On 23 July in the Western Mediterranean, the remains of a 30-year-old North African man were recovered off the coast of El Tarajal, in Ceuta, the small Spanish exclave in North Africa. He lost his life while trying to swim around the heavily guarded border fence. A day later, on 24 July, the remains of a young man were found floating at sea off the coast of Al-Hoceima, Morocco.  

Since the beginning of 2019, 686 people have been recorded dead or missing in the Mediterranean. If reports of a shipwreck in the Central Mediterranean on 25 July are confirmed, the number of people who have tragically lost their lives during this sea crossing this year would exceed 800.  

IOM Marks 20 Years Since First Migrant Shipwreck En Route to the Canary Islands 

Twenty years ago, today, the first documented wreck of a boat carrying migrants to the Spanish Canary Islands occurred. On 26 July 1999 a boat carrying more than a dozen migrants sunk just 300 meters from the coast of Las Palmas, taking at least nine people. 

Since that first tragedy, more than 2,000 people have died or gone missing en route to the Canary Islands, according to estimates by the Missing Migrants Project, based at IOM’s Berlin Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, and an investigation conducted by Spain’s radio network Cadena Ser. Due to the length of the overseas journey, it is likely that many more disappear without a trace. 

In 2019, at least 54 people have lost their lives during this sea crossing. Most recently, six Moroccans died on 27 June after attempting to reach the Canary Islands from Sidi Ifni, including two women and one young infant. Days before, on 23 June, another shipwreck occurred off the coast of Dakhla. The bodies of only four victims of the estimated 25 deceased were recovered from the sea. 

Tragically, it is likely that hundreds of families still are searching for news of those lost en route to the Canary Islands. The thousands of people who have lost their lives on this route are too often buried without a name, when they are buried at all: the bodies of more than 200 people remain missing at sea since 2014 alone.  

Sephora Sahé is one exception: the 13-month-old, who lost her life off the coast of Gran Canaria this May, was buried by her mother, Ruth, in a cemetery on the island. Ruth’s cousin, Justine, was also lost while searching for her daughter after disembarking a patera (small boat). While the daughter, aged 8, survived, Justine’s body was found days later.  

The West African migration route to the Canary Islands has been in use since at least 1994, with just over 100,000 irregular arrivals recorded by the Spanish authorities in these 25 years. Though crossings to the Canary Islands have not made up a major portion of migrants arriving irregularly in Spain for the past decade, the number of arrivals has increased since 2015, leading to fears that more people are disappearing on this dangerous overseas journey. 

On this sobering anniversary, IOM emphasizes that even one death is too many. The 2,000 lives lost on this route over the past 20 years are just one example of a global crisis of migrant deaths.  

“Solutions are urgently needed to prevent further deaths, and to aid the families left behind by the tens of thousands who have disappeared in search of a better life,” said Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre. “IOM’s new project assessing the needs of families searching for missing migrants is an important first step, but more action must be taken to swiftly address these issues.” 

For the latest data on migrant deaths and disappearances, visit the Missing Migrants Project website here.  

Raw data can be downloaded from

For more information please contact Marta Sanchez Dionis at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre. Tel.: +49 30 278 778 43; Email:


IOM Greece 

IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou reported on Thursday (25/07) that from Friday (19/07) to date, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least 13 incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Karpathos, Leros, Kos, Samothraki, Symi and the port of Alexandroupolis. The HCG rescued a total of 376 migrants and transferred them to the respective ports. 

Those arrivals, plus others over the dates 17-23 July, brings to 17,991 the total number of irregular migrants and refugee IOM has recorded by sea to Greece this year (see chart below).   

ARRIVALS BY SEA - GREECE 01 Jan - 31 Dec 01 Jan - 31 Dec 01 Jan - 31 Dec 01 Jan - 31 Dec 01 Jan - 31 Dec 01 Jan - 23 July 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 34,442 853,650 173,614 29,501 32,742 17,991

* Unofficial data collected by IOM Greece and the Greek authorities of arrivals by sea. 

IOM Greece reports that 3,792 irregular migrants arrived across the Aegean in June, an average of about 126 per day. That rate has picked up to about 156 per day through 23 July – for 3,584 migrants so far this month – with just over a week to go.  

IOM Greece also shared data this week on the nationalities arriving by sea through the first half of 2019. According to data provided by the Hellenic Coast Guard, the ten largest nationalities arriving irregularly by sea were:  

Afghanistan 5,675 Syria 2.005 Iraq 1,210 Palestine 1,177 Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,155 Iran 604 Somalia 462 Congo 407 Cameroon 366 Ghana 145

Through June, arrivals from Afghanistan comprised over a third of all arrivals in this manner. Just in the month of June, moreover, there were 1,968 arrivals from Afghanistan, or nearly half that month’s total. The next largest national group in June was Syria with 489 arrivals, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with 368. 

Missing Migrants Project 

2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project.  

Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 32,399 individuals, including 1,442 in 2019 (see chart below), although due to the challenges of collecting information about these people and the contexts of their deaths, the true number of lives lost during migration is likely much higher. Missing Migrants Project records should only be viewed as indicative of the risks associated with migration, rather than representative of the true number of deaths across time or geography.   

This week, the Missing Migrants Project team learned that in the Eastern Mediterranean, an 8-year-old Iraqi girl went missing off the coast of Bodrum on 23 July, when the boat in which she was travelling with eight others capsized while attempting to reach the Greek island of Kos. The survivors included one Palestinian man and seven Iraqi nationals, including three men, one woman and three children. 

On the border between Turkey and Iran, 16 people died in a vehicle accident on 18 July, including six women and five children. A further 50 people survived the crash, which took place in Turkey’s eastern province of Van.  

Whether attempting the perilous sea crossing to Caribbean islands or travelling by foot across Colombia and Brazil, at least 88 Venezuelans have lost their lives since the start of 2019, a death toll now more than double the 42 deaths documented in all of 2018. In total, at least 468 people have lost their lives in the Americas in 2019, compared with 304 recorded through this point in 2018.  

In South America, on 18 July, a 19-year-old Venezuelan woman was hit by a truck in Colombia’s province of Santander. She was walking by the side of the road, joining the many Venezuelans who have fled their country on foot in recent years.  

On the US-Mexico border, at least 20 people have died during the month of July. Most recently, an 11-year-old Honduran girl died in the attempt to cross the Río Bravo near Piedras Negras, in Mexico’s northern state of Coahuila on 20 July. Since 1 January 2019, the MMP team has documented 62 drownings in the Río Bravo, compared to 53 recorded in the same period of 2018. 

Also on the Río Bravo, MMP learned of the death of a 20-year-old Cuban man, reported on 18 July near Reynosa, Tamaulipas. On 19 and 20 July, two migrants died in Ciudad Juárez, in Mexico’s state of Chihuahua: one was stabbed, while the other suffered multiple medical complications due to the lack of water and food during his journey to the border.  

On 21 July, the remains of a man were found in a canal located in a ranch in Maverick County, Texas. After crossing the US-Mexico border, migrants often attempt to circumvent Border Patrol interior checkpoints in their efforts to continue northwards. It is during these treks through heavy brush that many migrant deaths occur. The remains of four people were recovered from private ranches located around a United States Border Patrol checkpoint in Falfurrias at the beginning of July. IOM estimates that at least 213 people have died on the US-Mexico border in 2019.  

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre 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

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, click here. Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project.  

See contacts here


Language English Posted: Friday, July 26, 2019 - 16:39Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Return of Persons Associated with Boko Haram in Chad: Harmonizing the Process Between the Government and Partners

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/26/2019 - 10:37

N’Djamena – The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Chad organized a national workshop on the harmonization of the reception, screening and profiling process for persons associated with Boko Haram from 10 to 12 July in N’Djamena, with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Counter Terrorism-Committee Executive Directorate (CTED).

During these three days, the participants focused on the implementation and improvement of methods for screening and prosecution of persons associated with Boko Haram in Chad.

The workshop also enabled the Chadian Government, through the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, to launch the Disengagement, Disassociation, Reintegration and Reconciliation (DDRR) programme, which aims to support the Government of Chad in creating a safe, viable and reliable pathway out of the armed group for all individuals who wish to leave it. Moreover, the DDRR programme seeks to support the Government to support their successful reintegration into society and strengthens the institutional capacity of local and national authorities.

At the end of the workshop, a series of recommendations were proposed by the participants, including the establishment of a counter-terrorism unit, the setting-up of reception and referral centres for disengaged associates of the group, and strategies for relevant authorities to provide socio-economic, educational and cultural support to local communities in view of fostering reconciliation and reintegration.

“DDRR is crucial for Chad” said the Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, His Excellency Mr. Djimet ARABI in his opening address. “We are committed to ensuring that the recommendations of the workshop are transmitted to the highest authorities of the State,” he reassures.

The programme inscribes itself in the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery & Resilience of the Boko Haram-affected Areas of the Lake Chad Basin Region proposed by the African Union and the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) in 2018. It is of paramount importance for Chad which has been continuously affected by the Boko Haram crisis around Lake Chad since 2015.

IOM and other partners are supporting the Government of Chad in the development and implementation of a national DDRR strategy which will also contribute to community stabilization.

After the first Boko Haram attacks in 2015 in Chad, the country, and most notably the Lake Chad Basin, has been repeatedly targeted by this group, despite the authorities’ continuous efforts to ensure security in the area. The Government’s proposal of an armistice for those who would surrender was accepted by about 2,200 persons associated with the armed group. The DDRR programme supports the Government in developing strategies for those who surrendered.

During the workshop, the Chief of the Canton of Bol reminded the participants that Boko Haram’s presence in the Lake Chad region is attributable to factors such as isolation, poor development, poverty and the precariousness of the communities’ conditions.

The workshop brought together representatives of different Ministries, Governor of the Lake, Chief of the Canton of Bol, Multi National Joint Task Force, African Union, Lake Chad Basin Commission and diplomatic representations of the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin countries.

For more information, please contact Anne Kathrin Schaefer at IOM Chad, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 26, 2019 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: ChadThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Ulrich Garms, Executive Director of the United Nations Security Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) giving a presentation on screening, profiling and reintegration process. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Director General António Vitorino Thanks the State of Kuwait for USD 3 Million Contribution to Assist Organization in Humanitarian Work in Syria

PBN News Germany - Wed, 07/24/2019 - 12:59

Geneva—International Organization for Migration Director General António Vitorino today (24 July) received the Permanent Representative of Kuwait in Geneva at his request. The Ambassador conveyed the best wishes of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs to Director General Vitorino and the appreciation of his recent visit to Kuwait.

Director General Vitorino responded by expressing his appreciation for his visit and his meetings with His Highness and the Deputy Prime Minister and other officials. The Ambassador offered a contribution from Kuwait to IOM in the amount of USD 3 million for its efforts in Syria. Further, the Ambassador promised another contribution from his government to IOM for humanitarian work in Yemen, which is expected soon.

DG Vitorino thanked the Ambassador for his continuous support to IOM and to the Emir, people and government of Kuwait for their humanitarian leadership.

For more information please contact  Joel Millman; IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 22 717 9486 | Mobile: +41 79 103 87 20, Email:


Language English Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2019 - 12:32Image: Region-Country: KuwaitThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Credit: Tamer Aboalenin/2019

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

First Reception Centre for Victims of Trafficking Opens in Niger

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/23/2019 - 10:26

Zinder – Niger, a major migratory hub in West and Central Africa, sees numerous vulnerable migrants transiting the country, including victims of trafficking (VoTs) and potential VoTs. Between 2016 and 2019, IOM assisted 326 VOTs, most of them minors (34%) coming from Nigeria (49%), Niger (24%), and Benin (14%). In addition, many Nigerien nationals fall prey to trafficking and exploitation, in Niger and abroad.

Ahead of World Day against Trafficking in Persons on July 30, IOM and the National Agency for the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons (ANLTP) in Niger, opened last week (19/07), the first reception centre for victims of trafficking in the country, situated in the region of Zinder.

In order to respond to the growing need for tailored assistance for vulnerable cases , the reception centre was built as part of the project Enhancing Capacities to Fight Trafficking in Persons in Niger, implemented between February 2017 and January 2020, in alignment with the National Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons (NAP) and its priorities, and with support from the US Department of State's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP).

When deciding to embark on this migration route, many migrants are deceived by smugglers about their final destination and the financial opportunities waiting for them. Hadiza, for example, was promised by “a friend of a friend” a free trip to Europe and a job in a restaurant upon arrival. “That’s what she promised me,” recalled Hadiza.

“Once in the country of transit or destination, these migrants often end up victims of forced labour and/or sexual exploitation,” said Eva Pons, IOM’s Protection Officer in Niger. “Migrants using irregular channels are more vulnerable to abuse during their journey and become easy prey for traffickers.”

To reinforce authorities’ capacity to combat trafficking in persons in Niger, the project has proposed using shelters for VoTs, as well as a media campaign among host communities impacted by migration flows to raise awareness about human trafficking and its risk factors.

At the centres, potential victims can be properly identified and adequately assisted with medical and psychosocial support, as well as with socio-economic, administrative and legal assistance. To further support their recovery, VoTs will also benefit from individual reintegration support in their countries or communities of origin as part of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.

The National Action Plan (NAP) sets out to build three different reception centres for victims of trafficking in the regions of Zinder, Agadez and Niamey. After having equipped the shelter, IOM has now handed it over to the Government, but will continue to support the centre until January 2020.

“The reception centre for victims of trafficking in Zinder is not only the first support centre for victims in Niger, but also the first in Francophone Africa,” said the director general of the ANLTP, Gogé Maïmouna Gazibo, during the launch. “This centre can exist today thanks to the will of state authorities and IOM, who supported our commitment to fight trafficking in persons from the very beginning.”

IOM has been working on counter-trafficking in Niger since 2010 and along with the Government of Niger, has made considerable efforts to combat human trafficking within the country, particularly in the field of prevention and victim protection.

“We are very proud to be able to stand on this historic day alongside the ANLTP and national authorities for this crucial event in the fight of trafficking in persons in Niger,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. “On this occasion, IOM renews its commitment to support the Government of Niger in fighting human trafficking and protecting its victims.”

For more information, please contact Monica Chiriac at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8931 8764, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

On July 19, IOM and local authorities opened the first reception center for victims of trafficking in Niger. Photo: IOM/Margaux Follenfant

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

30 Chadian Journalists Trained This Month, Topping 600 Trainees in West and Central Africa Since 2018

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/23/2019 - 10:26

N’Djamena – This month (10-11/07), 30 Chadian journalists gathered for a workshop on migration organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in N’Djamena, Chad’s capital.

In a country where migration dynamics are complex and where various categories of migrants – internally displaced persons, refugees, Chadian returnees and third-country migrants – coexist, local journalists sometimes require guidance navigating migration coverage.

Through the Maison des Médias du Tchad (House of Chadian Media), an IOM partner, these reporters and their staff requested training to provide participants with the necessary terminological and legal tools to cover migration in an informed way. Many also requested training in learning how to distinguish between types of migrants, especially those with vulnerabilities.

Since 2018, nearly 600 journalists participated in the workshops, across West and Central Africa – including 51 journalists and 44 student-journalists in the Gambia alone.

These workshops were funded by the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.

“The idea is to raise awareness and ask simple questions: asking participants who of their parents were born in Chad or who studied abroad. Thus, the journalists realize that reporting on migration is not just about deaths in the Mediterranean,” explained Anne Kathrin Schaefer, IOM Chief of Mission in Chad.

In the West and Central Africa region, in July alone, IOM also organized training workshops for journalists in Banjul, Gambia (4-5 July), which brought together 25 journalists from the country, including two former beneficiaries of the Assisted Voluntary Return Programme. In Yaoundé, Cameroon, IOM arranged a session for 20 journalists from 3-4 July.

“The word ‘migrant’ has been so abused in the media that I felt embarrassed any time I heard it. For me, it referred to the African with frizzy hair, hungry and thirsty, sold into slavery,” said Chadian blogger Moukhtar Ben Ali, one of the participants in the training. “But even in Chad, since its independence, our government is yet made up of migrants.

“Why do we insist on talking about irregular migration, when it represents only 10 per cent of the world’s movements? And why do we only describe ‘migration’ as being an African issue, when the African continent is the fourth ‘supplier’ of international migrants? This is not fair,” he concluded.

Chadian photographer Abdoulaye Barry also participated in the training to stress the significance of media images and the importance of enhancing photojournalism in the country: “We should go beyond the simple fact of producing images of migration. We should give this phenomenon a soul, and that’s what makes photography splendid,” he said.

IOM in Chad is also preparing to launch the Beyond the Headlines campaign, which aims to train young graduates on photography and journalism so that they can cover the migration phenomenon in Chad in a different way.

As migration continues to be frequently covered in the media, particularly through the prism of deaths in the Mediterranean or in the desert, the diversity of migration is rarely reflected in news articles. Beyond the Headlines is an initiative that gives all migrants in Chad the opportunity to share their stories and put a human face on the complexity of the phenomenon.

By offering a broader vision of migration, the project will provide a multidimensional vision of migration in Chad.

“A thorough review of Gambian current issues revealed many gaps in media coverage of migration and related issues; these gaps pertain to the use of terminology and ethical issues. Training was the first step forward to close the gaps, and equipped journalists with skills to better report on migration in a wider regional context,” said Lamin Jahateh, Programme Manager at Gambian Press Union.

“Far from being a marketing campaign, this training will enable journalists in Cameroon to produce news angles,” said Emmanuel Jules Ntap of Voice of America, also participating in the training.

Participants also interviewed Sudanese and Central African refugees awaiting resettlement in countries such as France and were trained on interview techniques for vulnerable persons such as victims of trafficking.

For more information, please contact Florence Kim at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +221 78 620 62 13, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 16:25Image: Region-Country: ChadThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

30 journalists participated in the first media training on migration in N’Djamena. Photo: IOM/Kimani DeShields-Williams

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches Quality Control Centre in Nairobi

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/23/2019 - 10:26

Nairobi – One of the ways to respond quickly and effectively to emergencies is being able to provide humanitarian supplies in a timely manner to those affected by a humanitarian crisis. Having humanitarian supplies ready is one thing but making sure they are of the highest quality is another.

Therefore, quality control centres like the one recently launched in Nairobi, Kenya, by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are critical for humanitarian operations. IOM strives to ensure that a “culture of quality” gets embedded in its humanitarian operations to effectively provide services to affected populations.

The Quality Control Centre will support and strengthen IOM’s humanitarian operations in the East and Horn of Africa region. This is the fourth IOM Quality Control Centre opened in the past year, besides Manila, Gaziantep and Juba.

At the same time, IOM with support of ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) held a quality control training for 10 staff including procurement, warehouse, finance, operation and pipeline staff. The training is part of a continuous capacity building of IOM field missions on Quality Control and Quality Assurance processes, which include providing the right tools and practical skills on Quality Control, learning from challenges and good practices, and creating opportunities for continuous improvement.

The procurement and delivery of emergency supplies through the IOM-managed Core Pipelines allows humanitarian agencies and partners to reach crisis-affected populations with life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and shelter/non-food items (S/NFIs).

“IOM is committed to deliver goods and services that are relevant, timely and of quality to address the needs of all migrants. The organization is increasing its capacity, both systems and human resource, to ensure that mechanisms are in place towards functional Quality Control and Quality Assurance processes,” Joy Navarra-Valdez, IOM’s Global Quality Control Officer said.

She added: “Mainstreaming quality is one pathway of fulfilling our accountability to our beneficiaries as we address their needs, ensuring their safety and well-being, and that our partners and donors will know that we are putting great emphasis on these.”

The IOM Quality Control mechanism has been developed as part of the Global Stocks project of prepositioning which has identified warehouses in strategic locations from which missions can request support. The Nairobi warehouse was identified in 2015 as a pilot warehouse and has proven its strategic importance with 41 shipments to date. Thereafter, IOM established global hubs and stockpiles in Manila and Panama in 2016 and 2017, respectively supported by Innovation Norway and DIFD (Department for International Development, UK).

IOM stockpiles in its warehouses core items such as plastic sheets, blankets, buckets, kitchen sets, mosquito nets, bladder tanks and onion tanks. Others include latrine slabs, jerry cans, ropes, non-food item bags, sleeping mats, multipurpose tents and rub halls. Eighteen missions have been supported by the project since 2015.

For more information, please contact:

For Nairobi Quality Control Centre/Global Stock, Eric Khamala, Email:, Tel: +254 204 221 187

For Quality Control, Global Procurement Support Unit, Vladimir Maslarov, Email:, Tel: +63 2230 1999

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 16:20Image: Region-Country: KenyaThemes: ShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff inspect a newly established sample room meant to store samples of humanitarian supplies as part of operations at the Quality Control Centre.

IOM teamed up with the International Committee of the Red Cross to hold a quality control training for 10 procurement, warehouse, finance, operation and pipeline staff drawn from IOM.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Tackling Human Trafficking in Tajikistan

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/23/2019 - 10:26

Dushanbe – So far this year the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Tajikistan has provided direct assistance to 17 victims of trafficking and prevented eight other cases of potential trafficking, most of whom were male. This is a big increase from 2018, when over the course of an entire year IOM Tajikistan assisted 20 adult Tajik nationals, 19 of them women, to return home and access reintegration assistance.

Many of these victims were rescued from sexual and labour exploitation in the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

With these cases as context in this landlocked Central Asian state, high-profile initiatives are being organized by IOM Tajikistan to mark World Anti-Trafficking Day, which takes place annually on 30 July.

One day before the commemoration, the top youth debate teams from across Tajikistan will convene in the capital, Dushanbe, to compete in a two-day national debate tournament. The topic: trafficking in human beings, which is intended to increase awareness in Tajik society of human trafficking and the need to protect the rights of victims.

The final round of the tournament brings together 36 high school and university students from Dushanbe and the districts of Sughd, Badakhshon and Khatlon. The finalists have won qualifying rounds at district level through debates on child labour and children rights, benefits and risks of migration, and migrants’ rights.

Fighting human trafficking in Tajikistan and the consolidation of the country’s victim-centred support system also will be at the heart of an academic conference to be held on July 30 at the Tajikistan National University (TNU), organized by IOM partnering with the TNU National Training Centre on Fighting Human Trafficking and Tajikistan’s Inter-Ministerial Anti-Trafficking Committee.

Local think tanks, academia, civil society and government agencies will explain their victim-centred efforts and experience while discussing new uses of technology to fight these crimes in Tajikistan. Other topics on the agenda include legal representation of victims during investigation and prosecution; full support packages for victims; prevention of re-victimization and stigma; the use of the internet in preventing human trafficking and irregular migration; regional and global best practices, and Tajikistan’s international commitments.

“Most of the victims assisted by IOM are referred to us by the Tajik authorities, thanks to our close cooperation in detecting and protecting victims. We are equally proud and honoured by our partnership with the Tajik civil society. Our cooperation with over 20 non-governmental organizations around the country has grown stronger over years of working together in securing legal, medical, education and psychological assistance to victims,” explained Cristina Gheorghe Tranca, Chief of Mission, IOM Tajikistan.

For more information please contact Abdulfattoh Shafiev at IOM Tajikistan, Tel: +992 48 7010222, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: TajikistanThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

Young participants in the IOM-organized national anti-trafficking debating competition in the city of Khujand.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Joint Statement: IOM Director General António Vitorino and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi welcome consensus on need for action on Libya, Mediterranean

PBN News Germany - Mon, 07/22/2019 - 19:23

Today’s discussions in Paris with European States on addressing the situation on the Mediterranean Sea, and preventing loss of life in Libya, are welcome and much-needed. The violence in Tripoli in recent weeks has made the situation more desperate than ever, and the need for action critical. 

We welcome the consensus at today’s meeting on a need to end the arbitrary detention of refugees and migrants in Libya. There needs to be a process of orderly release of people in detention centres either to urban areas, or to open centres that allow reasonable freedom of movement, shelter, assistance and protection from harm, plus independent monitoring and regular unhindered access for humanitarian agencies. In light of the risks of abuse, maltreatment or death, no one should be returned to detention centres in Libya after being intercepted or rescued at sea. 

The renewed commitment today from States to preventing loss of life on the Mediterranean Sea is also encouraging. The status quo, where search and rescue operations are often left to NGO or commercial vessels, cannot continue. An EU State search and rescue operation, similar to programmes we have seen in recent years, is needed. 

The crucial role played by NGOs must be acknowledged. They should not be criminalised nor stigmatised for saving lives at sea. Commercial vessels, who are increasingly being relied upon to conduct rescue operations, must not be requested to transfer rescued people to the Libyan Coast Guard, nor directed to disembark them in Libya, which is not a port of safety. 

Discussions on establishing a temporary, predictable arrangement for disembarking people after they have been rescued at sea, and sharing responsibility amongst States for hosting them afterwards, were promising. We encourage these talks to progress further. A joined-up approach to this situation is in everyone’s interests.  

In the meantime, evacuations and resettlement out of Libya continue to be a vital lifeline for people facing an immediate threat to their lives. We continue to urge States to work with us to get the most vulnerable refugees in Libya out of danger, and we welcome the expressions of support in this regard that have been heard today.  

Lastly, greater efforts are needed to address why people leave their homes in the first place. While multiple conflicts in North and Sub-Saharan Africa continue unresolved, and development challenges persist, some will continue to seek alternatives for themselves and their families. 

Brokering a lasting peace in Libya must be the overriding priority. The international community should use any leverage it has to bring the warring parties together in dialogue, and establish a political solution that restores stability and security.  




In Geneva, Joel Millman, +41 79 103 8720,  


In Geneva, Charlie Yaxley, +41 795 808 702, 

In Paris, Céline Schmitt, +33 6 23 16 11 78,,  


Language English Posted: Monday, July 22, 2019 - 19:22Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Migrants RightsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, European Asylum Support Office Sign Working Arrangement

PBN News Germany - Mon, 07/22/2019 - 12:01

Paris—The  European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have established a formal cooperation framework to guide the relevant areas of common work in the fields of international protection and migration management.

The Working Arrangement was signed today by the Executive Director of EASO, Nina Gregori, and the Director General of the IOM, António Vitorino, in Paris.

The Working Arrangement covers cooperation in several areas where EASO and the IOM’s mandates converge in ensuring that the rights of migrants and applicants for international protection are safeguarded, while supporting national governments in meeting their obligations and needs. These areas include early warning, preparedness and contingency, the reception conditions of applicants, returns to countries of origin, resettlement, voluntary relocation and supporting migrants with vulnerabilities and specific protection needs.

Cross-cutting areas of cooperation are also included in the Working Arrangement, such as training initiatives, exchange of expertise and joint work on capacity-building activities for national authorities. 

Commenting on the signing of the Working Arrangement, Nina Gregori stated: “EASO and the IOM have worked together for several years in helping authorities safeguard the rights of migrants and applicants for international protection. I welcome today’s formalization of this cooperation, which strengthens the important work both parties carry out and is another example of the EU’s emphasis on strong international synergies in migration and asylum management.”

António Vitorino said: “Partnership between IOM and EASO has seen significant expansion in the last few years, reflecting the growth and complexity of needs in the field of asylum and migration in the EU and neighbouring countries. Establishing cooperation for complementarity is a pre-cursor for ensuring highest-quality support to migrants, asylum-seekers and our shared Member States”

EASO and the IOM also work together to support countries in the European neighbourhood in managing migration and asylum procedures in line with international and, where applicable, EU law. This includes joint training to national authorities, the coordination of resettlement from non-EU  countries to the EU as well as the exchange of data, information and documentation.

For more information please contact Joel Millman, IOM Geneva, Tel.: +41 79 103 8720; Email:


Language English Posted: Monday, July 22, 2019 - 17:58Image: Region-Country: FranceThemes: IOMInternational and Regional CooperationDefault: Multimedia: 

Nina Gregori, Executive Director of EASO (left) and António Vitorino, IOM Director General after signing agreement in Paris on 22 July 2019. 

Nina Gregori, Executive Director of EASO (left) and António Vitorino, IOM Director General sign agreement in Paris on 22 July 2019. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Return and Reintegration: IOM Releases 2018 Highlights

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 11:30

Geneva – Today (19 July), the International Organization for Migration is releasing the 2018 Return and Reintegration Key Highlights, which provides trends and figures – as well as key initiatives – on the number of migrants assisted to return, voluntarily, to their countries of origin, as well as efforts IOM has made to assist and reintegrate these returnees into their communities during the past year. 

In 2018, IOM assisted a total of 63,316 migrants in returning home through its Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programmes, representing a 12 per cent decrease as compared to 2017. 

As in the previous year, this trend continues to indicate a return to a normal situation after an exceptionally high number of beneficiaries were assisted from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland in 2016.  

2018 confirmed other key trends, such as an increase in assisted voluntary returns from regions outside the EEA and Switzerland, particularly in West and Central Africa, as well as an increase in the caseload of migrants in vulnerable situations assisted worldwide. 

Now in its 41st year, IOM’s AVRR programme is part of the Organization’s core mission. IOM started implementing AVRR programmes in 1979 and has since then provided support to over 1.7 million people.  

In 2018, 65 IOM country offices in host or transit countries provided reintegration-related counselling services to 18,274 beneficiaries before their departure. At the same time, IOM offices in 64 countries of origin provided reintegration-related counselling to 41,461 beneficiaries upon their return.  

“2018 was a particularly eventful year in the field of migration, including on return and reintegration,” said Anh Nguyen, Head of IOM’s Migrant Protection and Assistance Division. “This publication is key in highlighting global trends and initiatives undertaken by IOM and its partners all over the world to ensure that return takes place in a safe and dignified manner and that reintegration is sustainable,” he added.  

Of the 63,316 migrants assisted last year, almost half – 30,919 individuals, or 49 per cent of all AVRR beneficiaries – were reached by IOM in just two countries, Germany and Niger, each with about 15,000 migrants IOM engaged. The other countries sending large numbers of AVRR beneficiaries home included Greece (4,968 migrants), Austria (3,469), Djibouti (3,392), Belgium (2,795), Netherlands (2,149), Morocco (1,508), Turkey (1,494) and Italy (958). 

Among those opting to go home, Iraqi citizens comprised the largest contingent in 2018, with 5,661 returnees, followed by Guinea (5,088), Ethiopia (4,792), Mali (4,041), Georgia (2,681), Afghanistan (2,232), Albania (2,167), Russian Federation (1,952), Ukraine (1,901) and Côte d'Ivoire (1,834). 

Download chart – Countries Origin  2018 

Download chart – Countries Host 2018

IOM’s AVRR programmes are guided by one vision, seven principles and six objectives embedded in IOM’s AVRR framework, published in December 2018 with the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).  

These programmes help migrants who are unwilling or unable to stay in their host countries to return to their countries of origin. In parallel, IOM country offices worldwide promote the sustainable reintegration of migrants through reintegration counselling (either pre-departure or upon arrival), referral, individual as well as collective and community-based reintegration assistance. 

The 2018 Return and Reintegration Key Highlights is available in full here.  

For more information please contact IOM HQ: Noëlle Darbellay, Tel: +41 22 717 9562, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 17:23Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Building Shelters for Vulnerable Displaced Persons in Burkina Faso

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 11:22

Dori  – The upsurge in violence in the country and insecurity in Burkina Faso’s Sahel, Centre-Nord, Nord, Boucle du Mouhoun, and Est regions have triggered an unprecedented humanitarian emergency. 

As of June 2019, nearly 220,000 persons were displaced, a number that has tripled since December 2018. By the end of the year, this number could reach 335,000 displaced persons. These internally displaced persons (IDPs) have fled armed attacks and conflicts to seek refuge among host communities, often the poorest, who are now struggling to meet their basic protection and assistance needs. 

As living conditions have seriously been undermined for both IDPs and their host communities, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is working with other humanitarian actors and the Government of Burkina Faso to immediately address the shelter needs of these communities. Using its own funds, IOM has launched a pilot project to build emergency shelters for vulnerable IDPs in Dori City.  

Among the 2,060 IDPs currently in Dori, 25 vulnerable families  –  a total of 175 persons  –  were selected by IOM and the Regional Directorate for Women, National Solidarity, Family and Humanitarian Action in the Sahel region, to receive these emergency shelters in the pilot phase.  

These shelters, approved by the Burkinabe authorities, conform to the “Sahel Shelter” prototype developed by the Luxembourg Red Cross and can be built almost exclusively with local materials. The Sahel Shelters are termite-resistant and adapted to the Sahelian climate. They will be built with the support of a local team of nine people and under the supervision of IOM. 

Hamidou is one of the beneficiaries of this pilot project. He is the head of the village of Pissi Ntaaga, located in the Arbinda commune, a community that has been a victim of several armed attacks. Hamidou has found refuge in the Dori commune, with about a hundred persons from his community. When he arrived in Dori, about 100 km from Arbinda, exhausted by the journey, this 70-year-old was away from the violence-prone area but had no shelter.   

“Today, I have a shelter for my family and me. This is very useful for us, especially in this rainy season. But I am not alone. I came here with several members of my community,” Hamidou said.  

Rama, six months pregnant, also fled violence in Arbinda with her four children. They, too, found refuge in Dori. “I left my village of Boukouma (Arbinda) after the attacks to seek refuge in Dori. I don’t know anyone here. I live in this school yard with my children. We sleep in the open,” Rama explained.  

This pilot project is part of the humanitarian response to the massive displacement of persons, but this response still falls far short of host and displaced communities’ needs.  

For more information, please contact Mubelo Norra Makaka at IOM Burkina Faso, Tel: +226 54 49 52 19, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 17:21Image: Region-Country: Burkina FasoThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Construction of shelters by IDPs in Dori. Photo: IOM/Judicael Lompo

Construction of shelters by IDPs in Dori. Photo: IOM/Judicael Lompo

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Lao Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare Promote Ethical Recruitment of Migrant Workers

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 11:15

Vientiane – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Lao Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW) have organized an International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) training for Lao People’s Democratic Republic recruitment agencies to promote ethical recruitment and better protect the rights of Lao migrant workers.   

The two-day workshop, which attracted 37 participants from 24 recruitment agencies, aimed to increase awareness of ethical recruitment practices; provide practical information on the IRIS standard; and explain how to become IRIS certified. IRIS was established by IOM and a coalition of public and private sector partners committed to ethical recruitment and the protection of migrant workers.   

Popular destinations for Lao migrant workers include Thailand, Japan and the Republic of Korea. In 2018 over 90,000 Lao migrants went to work in neighbouring Thailand under a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries. There has also been increasing transnational cooperation between the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the rest of Asia in recent years. 

Misato Yuasa, Head of Office of IOM in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, noted that migrants who migrate with the help of recruitment agencies or informal brokers often do not have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of their future employment and often risk exploitation and abuse. “They may need to spend many months working to repay those costs, and employers may deduct inflated service fees directly from their salary,” she said.   

MoLSW Director General of Skills Development and Employment Anousone Khamsingsavath told workshop participants that it was important for them to gain more knowledge about ethical recruitment and IRIS. “I would like all of you to be active and involved.  Eventually it will improve your companies’ services,” she said. 

The training was part of a regional IOM programme funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) – “Poverty Reduction through Safe Migration, Skills Development and Enhanced Job Placement in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Thailand (PROMISE)”.  

PROMISE, which is in its second year of implementation, aims to strengthen the linkages between labour migration to Thailand and poverty reduction in the region. It focuses on engaging employers and training institutions in skills development, facilitating ethical recruitment and protection, and improving migrant workers’ access to safe migration and decent employment opportunities.  

For more information about IRIS please visit:  

For more information please contact Misato Yuasa at IOM Vientiane, Tel: + 856 (0) 21 267 734, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 17:14Image: Region-Country: Lao People’s Democratic RepublicThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Over 90,000 Lao migrants work in neighbouring Thailand under an agreement between the two governments. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN