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Government of Zimbabwe Develops National Migration Policy

PBN News Germany - Fri, 03/29/2019 - 11:10

Mutare – The Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ), through the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, is developing its National Migration Policy with support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).  

Zimbabwe has a long history with cross border mobility and has also witnessed a significant brain drain in the past two decades. Highly-skilled and semi-skilled Zimbabweans emigrated to countries such as the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, South Africa and Botswana in search of greener pastures. The country has also witnessed increased internal and border migration resulting in an upsurge in irregular migration, human smuggling and mixed migration flows. This calls for a comprehensive migration policy to enable the GoZ to harness the development potential of migration, as it explores ways mitigate any negative impacts.  

The complex migration issues in Zimbabwe are handled by several ministries; limited coordination hampers migration and development issues. Two of the migration policies already in place, the National Diaspora Policy and the National Labour Policy, are not adequate for covering other critical migration issues such as security and climate-driven movements. 

A policy drafting workshop was held in Mutare from 25 to 28 March 2019 to come up with a comprehensive policy framework that deals with migration and development. 

“The national migration policy will be the overarching policy document which will address all the issues pertaining to migrants, be they Zimbabweans or nationals of other countries,” said Minister Cain Mathema, the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, in his key note remarks.  

Minister Mathema also highlighted the importance of the policy in unpacking the principles and guidelines set forth in the African Union Migration Policy Framework and Plan of Action. 

“This Migration Policy should assist us as government to address the challenges of irregular migration, border governance, human trafficking, migrant smuggling, data collection and internal displacement in line with AU policy framework,” he continued. 

The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Mr Melusi Matshiya, pointed to the importance of evidence-based policies, adding that they are critical for government decisions. 

“Better migration governance can be realized through the development of evidence-based policies that consider the whole of government approach that all stakeholders have since embraced,” Matshiya said.  

Minister Mathema told the stakeholders present at the workshop that the GoZ is grateful for IOM’s support, “which has enabled the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Migration to coordinate and identify key thematic areas for inclusion in the Migration context in Zimbabwe Situation Analysis which will guide us as we develop the National Migration Policy.” He explained that the IOM support would enable government and stakeholders to share information, experiences, knowledge, and best practices for migration management.  

The GoZ migration initiatives are being supported by IOM Development Fund and the “Promoting Migration Governance in Zimbabwe” project, under the 11th European Development Fund. 

For more information please contact Varaidzo Mudombi at IOM Zimbabwe, Tel: +263242704285, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, March 29, 2019 - 12:10Image: Region-Country: ZimbabweThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: Multimedia: 

Minister Mathema  speaking during the policy drafting workshop in Mutare, Zimbabwe. IOM 2019

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches Funding Appeal to Address Most Urgent Humanitarian Needs in Areas of Displacement and Return in Iraq

PBN News Germany - Fri, 03/29/2019 - 05:12

Erbil – Five years after the onset of the ISIL crisis and the subsequent massive internal displacement, IOM Iraq is launching its funding appeal for emergency assistance in the amount of USD 41.4 million. 

Although the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has gradually declined since 2015, there are still around 1,750,000 Iraqis living in displacement as of February 2019, due to significant obstacles to return such as damage to houses; lack of livelihoods and basic services; perceptions of insecurity in areas of origin; and mental and psychosocial distress. Around a third of the current population of IDPs, over 530,000 persons, is still living in camps, which require critical support. 

IOM’s funding appeal is aligned with the 2019 United Nations’ Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Iraq, which estimates that approximately 6.7 million people are in critical need of support. Nearly 65 per cent of those are concentrated in Ninewa, Anbar, and Salah al-Din, the governorates most severely affected by the recent conflict. 

IOM will focus its humanitarian support in Iraq on three groups of concern: IDPs who remain in displacement both within and outside camps, vulnerable host communities in areas of displacement and return – where services are overstretched – and IDPs who have returned to their areas of origin but whose basic humanitarian needs are not being met. 

In 2019, IOM plans to maintain its life-saving assistance to IDPs in camp settings through the provision of Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI) support, providing primary health services, monitoring and addressing protection and psychosocial needs, supporting Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services, and supporting camp co-ordination and camp management (CCCM) of IDP camps and informal settlements. 

The appeal also includes a request for the continuation of IOM Iraq’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) which provides real-time reliable quantitative and qualitative data on displacement and returns. 

“We highly appreciate IOM’s efforts to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to displaced families in and out of camps as well as support them upon return their communities of origin. We look forward to our continued cooperation in 2019,” said Naseer Abdel-Sattar, Executive Director of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Centre (JCMC) of the Government of Iraq. 

“The protracted displacement crisis is one of the critical challenges that needs our focused attention, as many displaced people still depend entirely on the provision of humanitarian assistance. The local resources and capacities are already overstretched and pushed to the limit. IOM has been one of the key partners to provide life-saving assistance to the displaced people inside and outside the camps. We value the continued support and cooperation with IOM to support the most vulnerable people,” said Hoshang Mohamed, the Director General of Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC) in Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government. 

“Funding for humanitarian assistance is crucial to uphold the basic needs and dignity of vulnerable Iraqis in displacement and areas of return. It will prevent a reversal of the gains made to stabilize areas that have been most severely affected by the conflict,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Iraq’s Chief of Mission. 

“Through partnership and collaboration with other humanitarian partners, the Government of Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government and local NGOs, we hope to address the most critical humanitarian needs while seeking durable solutions for those in protracted displacement,” he added. 

The appeal document is available here (Arabic version here

Click here to watch our video on the Crisis funding appeal. 

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

Language English Posted: Friday, March 29, 2019 - 12:11Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mali: Strengthening Psychosocial Support for Sustainable Reintegration of Returned Migrants

PBN News Germany - Fri, 03/29/2019 - 05:11

Bamako – Since 2017, over 11,000 Malians have been assisted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Government of Mali to voluntarily return home. Many of these migrants were exposed to difficult travel or detention conditions, as well as other risks, along the Central Mediterranean Route. Upon return, they often need psychosocial support to ensure sustainable reintegration within their communities. 

“The protection of migrants, wherever they are, has always been a priority for IOM. This protection involves immediate humanitarian assistance for returning migrants along migration routes, but also post-arrival psychosocial support,” said IOM Chief of Mission in Mali Pascal Reyntjens. “But we must provide ‘psychological support’ to these individuals before we talk about their economic reintegration.” 

Meet Aissata, a social worker working in a transit centre for migrant women and girls in Bamako, Mali. 

On Wednesday (27/3), IOM, the Government of Mali, and the Swiss Confederation State Secretariat for Migration launched the project Support to the Sustainable Reintegration of Returnees in Mali Through Psychosocial Assistance, which is expected to reach more than 5,000 beneficiaries in the main regions of return including Bamako, Kita, and Kayes. 

The USD 280,000 project aims to support the sustainable reintegration of returned migrants in their families and communities of origin through the provision of care; training of social actors and medical workers in the country; the development of information and awareness-raising campaigns; as well as workshops on theatre, artistic creation and sport for psychosocial support.  

“In light of the significant returns of migrants in distress and vulnerable situations, this project comes at the very right time. It strengthens the Government’s actions for the Malian returnees’ protection and reintegration, the capacity building of civil society organizations, and a better understanding of migration dynamics and immigration trends in Mali in line with the National Migration Policy (PONAM),” said Tangara Nema Guindo, Secretary General of the Ministry of Malians Abroad and African Integration. 

Since May 2017, IOM and the Malian Government have implemented the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration which has supported 11,505 Malians stranded along the migratory routes to Algeria or Libya to voluntarily return home in decent conditions, and with respect for their fundamental rights.  

This one-year project will be implemented by IOM in partnership with the Government of Mali, the Italian NGO COOPI (Cooperazione Internazionale), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  

For more information please contact: Seydou Tangara at IOM Mali, Tel: +223 76 42 63 59, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, March 29, 2019 - 12:09Image: Region-Country: MaliThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

An IOM staff member leads a psychosocial support session with a woman in West Africa. IOM/Muse Mohammed.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 11,901 in 2019; Deaths Reach 311

PBN News Germany - Fri, 03/29/2019 - 05:08

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 11,901 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 27 March. Deaths on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes have reached 311 individuals (see table below)

IOM Italy 

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Thursday (28/3) reported that a total of 506 migrants have reached Italy by sea in 2019, according to the Ministry of Interior. Since the start of the year, 1,073 migrants have been returned to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard. (see table below

IOM Spain 

IOM Spain reported that 5,537 men, women and children have arrived as irregular migrants since the start of this year (through to 24 March). 

IOM Greece 

IOM Greece reported on Thursday (28/03) that 5,482 migrants have reached Greece by sea this year. Most migrants accounted for in the data set come from Turkey, and the main landing points are the islands of Lesvos, Kos, Samos, Rhodes, Kalymnos, Megisti, Leros and Chios.   

Missing Migrants Project 

2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through the Missing Migrants Project (MMP). Since the beginning of 2014, the Project has recorded the deaths of 31,557 people, including 598 in 2019.  Due to the challenges of collecting information about these people and the contexts of their deaths, the true number of fatalities during migration is likely much higher. Therefore, MMP records should only be viewed as indicative, rather than representative across time or geography.  

At least 16 women, men and children drowned in the Mediterranean in the past week. In the Eastern Mediterranean, a boat carrying 15 people, reported to be from Afghanistan, capsized off the coast of Ayvacık, in Turkey’s province of Çanakkale, on 26 March. Three young women and a one-year-old child tragically drowned at sea. Their remains were recovered by the Turkish Coast Guard, who also rescued 11 survivors. On Thursday (28/03) another tragic incident was recorded in the Aegean Sea, when a boat sank off the coast of Chios, Greece. The Hellenic Coast Guard rescued 36 survivors who originated from Yemen, Syria and Iraq, including three women and three children. According to their testimonies, two men are thought to be missing at sea. During the first three months of 2019, the deaths of six children and seven women have been recorded in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

In the Central Mediterranean, a shipwreck was reported north of Sfax, Tunisia on Saturday (23 March). At least eight young people are known to have lost their lives during this tragic incident. The three women and five men who boarded the boat with the hopes of reaching Italy came from the coastal city of Mahdia, north of Sfax. The remains of four of these individuals were recovered in the days following the shipwreck, while four remain missing. 

In the Western Mediterranean, the remains of two people washed up on two different beaches south of Ceuta on Tuesday (26/3). One body was recovered by Spanish authorities in El Tarajal beach, while Moroccan authorities reportedly recovered the other body on a beach north of Tétouan. No information on the identities, sex, age, or country of origin of the deceased is available. At least 132 people have died or gone missing in the waters between North Africa and Spain since the beginning of the year, including five children and 12 women. 

Elsewhere in the world, MMP recorded the death of a Honduran man, who was hit by a train near Teacalco, in the state of Tlaxcala, Mexico, this past Monday, 25 March. In Thailand, ten migrant workers were killed when the van in which they were travelling overturned on a highway in Kanchanaburi province, 150km west of Bangkok near the border with Myanmar. The van was hit by a truck at an intersection and plunged into a roadside canal after the crash. The remains of eight people, five of them Vietnamese nationals, had been recovered at the time of writing (see chart below). 

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

See contacts here.

Language English Posted: Friday, March 29, 2019 - 11:25Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Relocation, Integration Support for Venezuelans in Brazil

PBN News Germany - Fri, 03/29/2019 - 04:24

Dourados – Last Saturday (23/3) the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized the second voluntary relocation charter flight to Dourados, a city in central Brazil, for 130 Venezuelan migrants and asylum-seekers. The group of Venezuelans left the state of Roraima, which shares a border with Venezuela, as part of the Relocation Strategy under the Brazilian government’s Operação Acolhida (Operation Welcome), supported by UN agencies and partner civil society organizations. 

This was the second time that IOM chartered a flight to Dourados, to relocate migrants and asylum-seekers who benefit from a progamme that matches labour profiles with job opportunities in the industrial sector and is managed the Brazilian Armed Forces. The first group of 100 migrants travelled to Dourados last month (2/2). 

For the Venezuelan beneficiaries, the relocation represents an opportunity for integration and entry into the labour market, and the chance at a new life. They can contribute to the development of their new host communities by filling a workforce gap in Dourados; the arrival of new Venezuelan workers also stimulates the local economy. 

Sixto (31), a mechanical engineer, travelled to Dourados on the first charter flight in February and although he arrived less than two months ago, he already feels settled in his new work. Despite the cultural differences, he gets along with his new colleagues. For the first time in months, he is once again able to afford personal expenses such as meals and rent. He found it difficult at first to search for job opportunities in Roraima due to a high number of Venezuelans already residing there and the current economic crisis. But he is optimistic, as is his colleague Octavio, who said: “We have been treated only with kindness… [We] want to make sure that the Brazilians have a positive view of us.” 

The Relocation Strategy has been implemented since April 2018 to address work relocation, family reunion, temporary shelters, and the support of civil society members who provide accommodation across Brazil. By the end of March, over 5,400 people had already been relocated from Roraima to 17 Brazilian states through this strategy; IOM supports all aspects of the project. 

“The IOM charter and commercial flights are an alternative that speeds up the process as well as allows for more people to benefit in a flexible manner from the relocation strategy. It helps reduce the migratory pressure in the state of Roraima and facilitates the socio-economic integration of the Venezuelans in Brazil,” said IOM Brazil Chief of Mission Stéphane Rostiaux. 

As part of this comprehensive approach to integration, IOM also organized the last of a series of six nationwide workshops for private sector companies this month in Rio de Janeiro (27/3). The workshops were designed to help private sector companies implement policies focusing on the recruitment and employment of migrants; address their concerns regarding hiring, legal procedures, and required documentation; and to highlight the cultural and economic benefits of having a multinational team. 

Both the preparation of private sector actors to employ Venezuelans and the relocation process can benefit the host communities and transform the life of Venezuelans in Brazil, providing them with a new vision of a future where they once again feel at home. 

For more information please contact Vitoria Souza at IOM Brasilia, Tel: +55 61 96943850, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, March 29, 2019 - 11:22Image: Region-Country: BrazilThemes: Migrant AssistanceResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

Passengers prepare to board an IOM charter flight relocating 130 Venezuelans in Brazil. Photo: IOM/Fábio Fonseca

The group of Venezuelans left the state of Roraima, as part of the Relocation strategy under Brazilian government’s ‘Operação Acolhida’ Photo: IOM/Fábio Fonseca

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM and the Fair Labor Association Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Promote Ethical Recruitment, Protect Migrant Workers

PBN News Germany - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 15:57

Geneva — Today (26 March 2019) the International Organization for Migration and the Fair Labor Association signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote cooperation and mutual assistance in relation to ethical recruitment and protection of migrant workers in global supply chains. 

The MOU was signed by IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson and the Fair Labor Association (FLA) President and CEO Sharon Waxman. IOM combats all forms of exploitation and abuse of migrant workers, including human trafficking, while the FLA is a non-profit multi-stakeholder organization that combines the efforts of industry, non-governmental organizations, colleges and universities to promote adherence to international standards and improve working conditions worldwide. 

There has never been a more urgent time to act on instances of recruitment malpractice; too many migrant workers around the world continue to face abuse at the hands of unscrupulous recruitment agencies, and to face significant risks of debt bondage related to the fees and costs they are charged for accessing employment. This MOU will foster an exchange of knowledge and expertise between IOM, the FLA and their partners to better protect migrant workers in supply chains.  

IOM Deputy Director Laura Thompson said: “The FLA has played a vital role in advancing ethical recruitment in recent years. These steps led to the adoption in October 2018 of a global industry commitment signed by more than 120 companies in the apparel and footwear sector. IOM welcomes these efforts and looks forward to continuing our strong collaboration with the FLA. Our organizations have a responsibility to work together to address the risks that migrants face every day in their search for employment and livelihoods.” 

FLA President and CEO Sharon Waxman said: “The IOM has been a valued partner in our effort to trace rubber supply chains in Vietnam, and we were delighted that IOM staff observed the pilot of our recently developed supplier training in Malaysia. Responsible recruitment and mitigating forced labour are integral to the FLA’s work. The FLA and our affiliates believe no worker should be unable to leave a job at will because of the burden of a heavy recruitment debt to an employer. No migrant worker should have to worry about being able to return home freely because an employer is withholding a passport, other important legal documents, or workers’ wages. And no worker should have to risk termination because they are unable to work involuntary overtime or choose not to.” 

IOM’s Labour Mobility and Human Development Division focuses on the protection of migrant workers and seeks to enhance the benefits of labour migration for all parties involved. The division operates the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) — a global initiative designed to promote ethical recruitment with the support of governments, civil society, the labour movement, private sector and ethical recruiters. 

The FLA’s mission is to protect workers’ rights and improve working conditions worldwide for the more than five million workers in the factories and farms of its affiliates. The FLA has three overarching objectives: to strengthen the voice of workers; to improve working conditions through transparency and effective remediation; and to demonstrate a positive impact on workers’ lives. 

For more information please contact Philip Hunter, Tel: +41 22 717 92 15, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 15:55Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Appeals for USD 36.4 Million as Cyclone Idai Response Expands

PBN News Germany - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 12:04

Maputo — The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is appealing for USD 36.4 million for the next six months, to respond to the humanitarian needs of an estimated 1.85 million people affected by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique.  

“For IOM and the broader international community, this is a massive humanitarian emergency,” said IOM Director General António Vitorino. “The cyclone’s impact caused loss of life and left extensive destruction in its path.” 

The full impact on Mozambique — where the death toll stands at 446, with over 109,000 displaced — is expected to increase, because of widespread destruction to farmland and fisheries. This is expected to create food insecurity for the affected population over the coming months. 

“Given its devastating impact, Cyclone Idai could rank as the worst disaster to hit the region in decades,” Vitorino added. 

The Category four tropical cyclone made landfall on 14 March and caused widespread destruction in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique. 

Last Friday (22 March) an IOM Level 3 Emergency was declared for Mozambique and USD 500,000 in emergency relief funds were released by the Organization. IOM’s current appeal is part of a broader Humanitarian Response Plan for Mozambique from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which was revised to include a USD 282 million appeal for flood response following Cyclone Idai.    

Surge teams have been deployed to the affected areas from around the world. There are 13 rapid response officers on the ground in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, and 27 more incoming for the three affected countries. These rapid responders will focus on emergency and cluster coordination; assessments; IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM); and more strengthening of government led efforts; among other key technical areas. 

IOM has raised the alert about emerging health issues amongst the affected population, two weeks after the Category four tropical cyclone made landfall. 

“During crises like Cyclone Idai, many people flee their homes, exacerbating the health risks,” said Katharina Schnoering, Chief of Mission for IOM Mozambique, the worst-affected country.  

“It is very important to ensure that people receiving treatment can continue to receive support, particularly those displaced and unable to access their homes and normal health services.” 

IOM will target 100,000 people in need of health support during this emergency phase. Health referrals, transfer and assisted hospital discharge for cyclone affected populations is essential. The aim of the assisted emergency health referrals is to reduce morbidity and mortality among cyclone affected population by increasing access to medical care for the most vulnerable including the critically injured, children, elderly, women (pregnant and lactating), people with disabilities, HIV and TB patients and other vulnerable persons. 

As the response grows, aid continued to arrive in Beira, with 20 tonnes unloaded by the United Kingdom Air Force this morning and more arriving tomorrow. This included solar lanterns, water purifiers and shelter kits, forklift trucks and other equipment to help quickly unload aid from planes and cut the time it takes to get relief items to those in need. In addition to a flight containing more than 7,500 shelter kits and 100 family tents which arrived in the country last week. IOM is assisting in the secure warehousing of all such aid materials as well as its distribution to the areas of top concern. 

The European Commission is also responding to the through the Union’s Civil Protection Mechanism. Offers of aid from Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, France, Luxembourg and Portugal have been accepted by Mozambique. 

The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocated $20 million on Wednesday (20 March) to ensure aid reaches those most affected. 

IOM’s Appeal is available here.  

For more information please contact: 

Katharina Schnoering at IOM Mozambique, Tel: +258 86 351 1806, Email:  

Leonard Doyle, IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 285 7123, Email:  

Joel Millman (currently in Beira, Mozambique), Tel: +41 79 103 8720. Email: 


Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 16:53Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Humanitarian partners respond to the shelter needs of Mozambican communities affected by Cyclone Idai. Photo: BBC

Humanitarian partners respond to the shelter needs of Mozambican communities affected by Cyclone Idai. Photo: IOM

Humanitarian partners respond to the shelter needs of Mozambican communities affected by Cyclone Idai.  Photo: IOM

Humanitarian partners respond to the shelter needs of Mozambican communities affected by Cyclone Idai.  Photo:  IOM

Humanitarian partners respond to the shelter needs of Mozambican communities affected by Cyclone Idai.  PHoto:  IOM

Humanitarian partners respond to the shelter needs of Mozambican communities affected by Cyclone Idai.  Photo:  IOM

Humanitarian partners respond to the shelter needs of Mozambican communities affected by Cyclone Idai.  Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Oil Search Foundation, Papua New Guinea Government Partner to Aid Remote Earthquake-Affected Communities

PBN News Germany - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 09:17

Port Moresby – IOM, in partnership with the Oil Search Foundation, and supported by the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Emergency Controller’s Office, has delivered 360 shelter tool kits to families displaced by the major earthquake that hit the country’s Highlands in February 2018.   

A group of 36 villagers, including seven women, from Yalanda, Endela, Kekero and Isup/Uzup also received Build Back Safer training to help their communities use the kits to build more resilient shelters using traditional and locally sourced building materials. Staff from the Oil Search Foundation and the Community Development Initiatives also took part in the training.  

The kits, which include hand saws, claw hammers, tire wire, pad bolts, axes and nails will ensure that at least 1,800 vulnerable people in four remote communities (Yalanda, Endela, Isup/Uzup and Kekero) only accessible on foot or by helicopter have the necessary tools and skills to rebuild their homes. 

The distribution was implemented with support from the Government of New Zealand and in close cooperation with the Southern Highlands Provincial Administration. 

The M7.5 earthquake destroyed hundreds of homes and displaced thousands in provinces across Papua New Guinea’s Highlands in February 2018.  

When the disaster struck, the Oil Search Foundation provided warehouses and used its transport assets, including helicopters, to ferry in UN and other aid workers, together with emergency relief, to affected communities. 

IOM, which co-leads the shelter and non-food items cluster of aid agencies in Papua New Guinea, is working with government, UN and private sector partners to promote shelter recovery in communities across the earthquake-affected region.  

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: Papua New GuineaThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

A PNG Emergency Controller’s helicopter lowers shelter tool kits into a Highland community. Photo: IOM/Peter Murorera

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Joint Initiative: More Support for Stranded Migrants in The Horn of Africa

PBN News Germany - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 09:14

Addis Ababa — The EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration is celebrating its second anniversary in the Horn of Africa (HoA). 

Two years might not seem a long time, but look at what was accomplished in just one year: 

In 2018 alone, more than 2,500 Ethiopian migrants were assisted to return home from various countries. Reintegration assistance was provided for more than 2,300 returnees, while 1,672 returnees received psychosocial support at the migrants’ transit centre in Addis Ababa.  

More than 2,000 returning migrants were provided with post arrival medical assistance and others received educational support. But the programme is not just about numbers. There are also the personal stories, told by those whose lives have been touched by the initiative, commonly known as the “Joint Initiative”. 

Take Tigist, for example. Financial reasons forced this young Ethiopian woman to heed her friends’ advice and migrate to Sudan, where she was promptly hired as a house maid. Unfortunately, things started to change. Her employer would not pay her the promised wage. Eventually, Tigist – now mother to a baby boy in need of medical attention – decided to return home, becoming one of a large number of migrants who needed assistance to head back to their countries of origin. 

The Joint Initiative covers and has been set up in close cooperation with 26 African countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad, the Horn of Africa, and North Africa regions. Its inauguration followed the launch of the EU Emergency Fund for Africa at the Valletta Summit on Migration in November 2015.  

In the HoA, the Joint Initiative assists migrants in four priority countries: Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia; Ethiopia is the country with the largest movements in the HoA. 

The programme offers tailor-made reintegration assistance for returning migrants seeking to restart their lives in their home countries. This includes medical assistance, psychosocial support, links to employment opportunities, and training in entrepreneurship. Another service offered is family tracing and reunification for migrant children, in close collaboration with the Ministry for Women, Children and Youth Affairs.  

In Ethiopia last year, entrepreneurship training was conducted for close to 700 returnees, of whom many established small businesses, such as cafeterias, retail shops, carpentry workshops, even cattle fattening and dairy enterprises. So far this year, more than 140 returnees received economic reintegration assistance to open small businesses in Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional (SNNPR) States – two regions prone to irregular migration. 

Among them is Tigist, who opened a retail shop to support her family after returning to Ethiopia. In addition, her son is receiving medical treatment through the programme, as he had to undergo heart surgery. “Of all the support I have received, the medical support for my son made the most impact in my life,” Tigist says. 

Working through state and non-state actors, the Joint Initiative complements the efforts of the Government of Ethiopia in the reception and reintegration of thousands of vulnerable migrants stranded in different countries. 

According to IOM’s Senior Regional Programme Coordinator Julia Hartlieb: “The programme advocates for safe migration while offering return assistance to those who might need it. It does not seek to influence migrants on their decision on whether or not to emigrate.” 

For more information please contact Helina Mengistu at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 910 22 04 14, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 16:09Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Celebration cake in Nairobi

Celebrating with migrants at the IOM-run migration response centre in Obock, Djibouti

Celebrating at IOM regional office, Nairobi

Celebrating at IOM regional office, Nairobi

Celebrating with migrants at the IOM-run migration response centre in Obock, Djibouti

Celebrating with migrants at the IOM-run migration response centre in Obock, Djibouti

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Director General Participates in High-level Conference on South-South Cooperation

PBN News Germany - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 09:09

Buenos Aires – IOM Director General António Vitorino participated in the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40), held 40 years after the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (BAPA). 

The conference, which took place last week (20-22/03) was framed in an international context determined by the agreements embodied in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes migration as an integral part of actions to reduce inequalities and eradicate poverty. It also aimed to examine trends in multilateral cooperation, with a view to promoting these modalities and identifying new opportunities, based on the exchange of experiences and knowledge of South-South cooperation mechanisms. 

During the conference – attended by more than 1,500 participants – 193 United Nations Member States and international organizations were present, among them the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, who emphasized that “the BAPA transformed the dynamics of international cooperation and highlighted the value of a different form of cooperation, based on the exchange of knowledge and appropriate technologies among nations that face similar development challenges.” Moreover, he added that this cooperation can allow developing countries to “learn from each other and grow rapidly.” 

IOM participated in two parallel events and the main plenary of the conference, during which Director General Vitorino mentioned the importance of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, which recognizes that it is fundamental to intensify regional cooperation as proposed at the BAPA+40 Conference. 

DG Vitorino opened the side event South-South cooperation as a tool for migration governance in Latin America and the Caribbean, during which cooperation on migration in regional consultation and integration processes was discussed. Emphasis was placed on how existing mechanisms facilitate cooperation at the regional level in relation to a wide range of migration topics, such as regulatory harmonization, institutional modernization and the implementation of measures and programs aimed at diverse groups of migrant population. 

DG Vitorino also used his platform to mention that “international migration represents a phenomenon with significant implications for all countries, given its relevance in many areas of public policy, which is why governments must cooperate in a significant way on different aspects of migration, both bilaterally and at the regional level, and this should be expanded in the context of South-South Cooperation.” 

On Thursday (21/03) DG Vitorino attended discussions at a BAPA+40 side event, hosted by the Government of Ecuador and supported by both IOM and UNCHR, on South-South Cooperation in Response to the Human Mobility of Venezuelan citizens in the South American region. The side event focused on priorities established by governments in building a regional response to address the needs of Venezuelan refugees and migrants while highlighting the importance of South-South cooperation, considering most Venezuelan migrants who leave the country are hosted elsewhere in the region. The Quito Process and the operationalization of the Quito Plan of Action are considered good examples for articulating effective coordination and action at the regional level. 

During the side events in which IOM participated, other panellists included Santiago Chávez Pareja, Vice-Minister of Human Mobility of the Government of Ecuador; Luis María Sobrón, Director General of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Government of Argentina; Eduardo Stein, UNHCR and IOM Joint Special Representative for Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants in the Region; Juan Carlos Murillo, UNHCR Regional Representative for the South of Latin America; and Lelio Mármora, Director of the Institute of Migration and Asylum Policies, University of Tres de Febrero. 

DG Vitorino commended the countries for their response and reiterated IOM’s commitment to continue supporting their efforts. He also noted the importance of receiving financial assistance from the international community, especially from the donor community, through the Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RRMRP), whose objective is to address the protection, assistance and integration needs of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the affected states of Latin America and the Caribbean, by complementing and strengthening national and regional responses from governments, in accordance with the principles described in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. 

For several decades, the Argentine Republic has upheld a strong South-South Cooperation policy through the Argentine Fund for South-South and Triangular Cooperation (FO.AR). There are numerous actions that the Government of Argentina has carried out in this regard, with a special emphasis on areas such as human rights and justice, agro-industry, and health. Within this framework, IOM has supported the transportation of Argentine experts to Latin American, Caribbean, European, Asian and African countries; the reception of foreign professionals in Argentina; and the assistance for the organization of international seminars. 

BAPA+40 concluded with the adoption of a formal declaration by the member states, reaffirming their commitment to better and more solid South-South Cooperation. 

The latest figures on the situation in Venezuela can be found here

Visit the Official website of the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation: 

For more information, please contact IOM Argentina: 

Carolina Celi, Email:, Tel: +54 11 15 3232 1384 

Débora Taicz, Email:, Tel: + 54 11 4815 1035 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 16:05Image: Region-Country: ArgentinaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Director General, António Vitorino, is interviewed by UNIC at the UN stand during the Conference. IOM/Stefania Felino

IOM Director General, António Vitorino during last day plenary speech. IOM/Stefania Felino

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Perfect Storm of Vulnerability Risks Leads People into Human Trafficking, New Study Finds

PBN News Germany - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 09:04

London – Vulnerability to human trafficking and modern slavery is influenced by overlapping and interconnected risk factors which cut across individual, household, family, community and structural dynamics, according to a new study.   

The two-year study by the University of Bedfordshire and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) examined the dynamics and vulnerabilities to human trafficking as experienced by citizens of Albania, Viet Nam and Nigeria, and the support needs of people who survived trafficking and are now in the United Kingdom. 

Twenty-five per cent of the 6,993 people who were identified by the UK’s National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in 2018 as potential victims of human trafficking were from Albania (947 people), Viet Nam (702 people) and Nigeria (208 people).  

“Limited financial, educational, employment and healthcare services within communities create a mismatch between aspirations and realistic opportunities to improve standards of living in their countries,” said Patrick Burland, an IOM Senior Project Officer in London.  “This leads people to make desperate decisions, often driving them into the hands of human traffickers.” 

The study, Between Two Fires – which is being presented in UK Parliament today (26 March) – highlights the personal testimonies of trafficked persons to understand vulnerability to trafficking, and the routes and journeys from Albania, Viet Nam and Nigeria. The report also captures their reflections on the kind of support that is needed for a trafficked person’s effective recovery.  

One Vietnamese male told a researcher about his journey: “I’ve been beaten up so many times, I'm so scared, plus they don’t feed me properly. They gave me scarcest food and drink, [only enough] for me to survive.” 

According to the study, vulnerability can be gender-specific when harmful social norms and practices exist and intersect with human trafficking. One trafficked woman from Albania described her vulnerabilities before she was trafficked: “My family abandoned me because I was pregnant. For six months I lived with my boyfriend, the father of my child… He left without telling me and I did not know where he was. After I gave birth to my son, I did not have anywhere to stay and to live. I did not have any income.”  

Journeys often begin with rational decision-making based on limited or unreliable information about costs, length, dangers, legal requirements, alternatives, or situation en route and at destination. Once journeys begin, they can become progressively precarious with individuals finding themselves in new, rapidly changing vulnerable situations. 

Dr. Patricia Hynes from the University of Bedfordshire, Principal Investigator for the study, explained that the title of the report, Between Two Fires, came from a direct quote from a young Albanian woman describing how she had actively resisted the situation of vulnerability she found herself in but then ended up in a much more difficult and exploitative situation. 

“In the accounts we heard this was consistently the case, with people trying to resolve their own circumstances but then encountering structural and exploitative circumstances either en-route or in destination countries,” said Dr. Hynes. “It is important we understand these complex back stories and use this understanding to provide longer-term support to those requiring protection in the UK.” 

To address these wide-ranging vulnerabilities and prevent human trafficking, the report recommends enhancing protection activities associated with the home, family and intra-familial environments, along with interventions that challenge traditional attitudes about gender and violence against women and girls. It also recommends developing interventions to address stigmas in household and community settings, and the provision of support at key stages along journeys to the UK, especially on the route from Viet Nam.  

For survivors supported in the UK, the report recommends enhanced mental health and legal support; strengthening of detection and screening processes in the UK’s criminal justice system; and reviewing policy issues impacting the long-term provision of support affecting recovery and protection. 

For further information, or to receive University of Bedfordshire press releases on a regular basis, please contact:, Tel: +44 1582 489399 

For more information, please contact Abby Dwommoh at IOM UK, Tel: +44 (0)7873301193, Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 16:03Image: Region-Country: United KingdomThemes: Human SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

Two-year IOM, University of Bedfordshire study examined the vulnerabilities to human trafficking for Albanians, Vietnamese and Nigerians. Photo: IOM/Malavolta

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Climate Change and Migration Project Launched to Protect, Empower Pacific Communities

PBN News Germany - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 09:03

Suva – IOM and key partners launched a three-year regional project in Suva, Fiji today (26/03) to help Pacific Island governments to address multi-faceted challenges associated with climate change and disaster-related migration, displacement and planned relocation in the region. 

The project – Enhancing Protection and Empowerment of Migrants and Communities Affected by Climate Change and Disasters in the Pacific Region – has received seed funding from the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) and will target Fiji, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Vanuatu. 

Fiji Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Civil Service and Communications Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, speaking at the launch, welcomed the project.  “We have a global phenomenon called climate change that is affecting people in a very tangible, direct and practical manner, and we have to be able to deal with this issue head on,” he said. 

The main objectives of the project are to support a regional human security-based response to climate change and disaster-related migration, displacement and planned relocation, ensure that migrants and communities benefit from safe labour migration where appropriate, and contribute to the evidence-base of good practices in these areas. 

UN Resident Coordinator a.i. Donglin Li, also spoke at the launch. “This project will apply a human security framework to address the associated challenges of climate change and migration, looking at strengthening protection and empowerment of vulnerable communities by placing them at the center,” he noted. 

Other speakers from Pacific Island governments shared insights into key trends and issues relating to migration, displacement and planned relocations resulting from climate change and climate changerelated disasters. Participants also discussed how regional cooperation and coordination can address gaps in current policy and operational responses to climate change and associated human migration. 

IOM’s project partners include the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), along with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD). 

The project launch event was attended by Pacific Island governments, regional organizations, civil society, UN agencies, donors and media. 

For more information please contact Lee Yacoumis at IOM Fiji, Tel: +679 331 0730, Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 15:59Image: Region-Country: FijiThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeDefault: Multimedia: 

Delegates at the launch of the UNTFHS-funded migration and climate change project at the Holiday Inn, Suva, Fiji. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Europe Migration Data Portal Will Challenge Fake News With Facts

PBN News Germany - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 12:03

Geneva – A focus on improved data will enable IOM to combat fake news and hate speech with solid facts and evidence, a UN meeting in Geneva heard today (22/3).

A dedicated Europe section on the IOM Global Migration Data Analysis Centre website has just been launched, and it was presented today at a side event at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regional Forum on Sustainable Development.

Regional Director Argentina Szabados stressed the importance of the portal, noting that “in times of fake news, a rise of populism, spread of negative stereotypes and violent hate crime, there is greater need than ever for genuine facts and reliable figures to give a true picture of what migration is and how it shapes our world.”

An audience of politicians, diplomats and UN officials attending the UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development heard that the portal highlights past and recent trends on migration in Europe, existing data sources, and strengths and weaknesses of those data.

GMDAC Director Frank Laczko underscored the importance of the Portal, saying “at a time when migration is high on the European agenda, it is essential that everyone has access to the reliable facts and information about migration, and that we better understand the strengths and weaknesses of data on migration in Europe”

Part of IOM’s Global Migration Data Portal, launched in 2017, the new Europe section is designed to help policy makers, national statistics officers, journalists and the general public understand migration data. By making the evidence about migration issues accessible in one place and easy to understand, it contributes to a more informed public debate.

There are 78 million international migrants in Europe, more than one third of the global total. “Who are they? What age are they? What gender? What routes are they taking? Why are they on the move?” asked Ms Szabados. “The more we know about migration the more we can assist our member states, and help make migration voluntary, safe and rewarding for all implicated.”

The new Europe section was authored by the Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography, a European Commission initiative to provide scientific evidence for EU policymaking in migration and demography related fields. 

“Migration is a cross-cutting issue, relevant to all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” concluded Ms Szabados. “In fact, eleven of the Goals contain targets and indicators that are relevant to migration or mobility. Our principle to ‘leave no one behind’ most definitely includes migrants, and we need impeccable data to be able to serve their needs and the needs of our member states.”

The Europe Migration Page on IOM’s Global Migration Portal can be found here

For more information please contact Stylia Kampani at +49 160 1791536. Email 

Language English Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 11:55Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: OthersDefault: Multimedia: 

New European migration section on IOM’s Global Migration Portal Data under the microscope at the UN Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva. Image: IOM’s Global Migration Portal Data

New European migration section on IOM’s Global Migration Portal Data under the microscope at the UN Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Responds to Devastating Cyclone Idai with Shelter Materials and More

PBN News Germany - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 11:14

Geneva — The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has responded to the deadly Cyclone Idai, which has taken over 500 lives across Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi. 

“A week after the cyclone we’re starting to grasp the scope and complexity of the challenges facing the governments and peoples of these three nations,” said Mohammed Abdiker, Director of IOM’s Department of Operations and Emergencies.

He added: “Moving forward we will continue to work with our UN and governmental partners to address the immediate and life-saving needs of the most affected communities, particularly relating to the provision of badly needed shelter assistance and Non-Food Items.”

IOM and its international partners are working on the details of a broad appeal that will be issued in coming days to assist those affected by the emergency across the three nations.

Conditions are challenging everywhere, after the cyclone made landfall on March 15; thousands are stranded in tropical zones without bridges or accessible roads.

Mozambique’s official death toll from Cyclone Idai’s landfall has reportedly risen to at least 242 persons, but that number is expected to increase in the days ahead. The government expects the toll of fatalities to surpass one thousand, with 142 confirmed injured, and an untold number still missing.

Mozambique’s government estimates that some 400,000 are internally displaced at this time and has declared a state of emergency. Shelter materials from the U.K.’s Department for International Development (DFID), including 7,550 shelter kits and 100 family tents sufficient for 38,000 people, arrived in Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, Tuesday. More emergency aid is due to arrive from Switzerland and Italy. 

“The situation is very bad. The damage is quite serious,” said IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission Katharina Schnoering. “There are many communications issues.” Difficulty restoring power to the large city of Beira and problems with road access, where the rising Buzi River has washed out sections of highway, also complicate aid delivery. 

In Zimbabwe, the cyclone reached the districts of Chimanimani, Chipinge, Masvingo and Mashonaland East, affecting over 50,000 people. More than 120 bodies had been washed into neighbouring Mozambique, where residents buried them. At least four bridges have been washed away.

Total fatalities known to IOM are 259, with hundreds more injured. Some 217 are missing. Authorities confirmed that 16 000 households have been displaced (Chimanimani 8000, Chipinge 3000, Buhera 1000 and Mutare 4000).

Among national and international partners responding to the crisis, the Government of Zimbabwe through the Department of Civil Protection (CPD) requested IOM be the lead agency on shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI) cluster.

“We are swiftly responding to areas of Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Masvingo which are in desperate need of relief. Our UN migration partner IOM is coordinating the shelter and NFI emergence assistance response and they are already in Manicaland for rapid emergence needs assessment,” said Nathan Nkomo the Director for the Department of Civil Protection.

The District Administrator for Chipinge, Wilson Mashava, appealed for more humanitarian support to reach out to more displaced households in desperate need of assistance.

IOM Zimbabwe has dispatched 1,000 tarpaulins and 200 Non-Food Item kits as part of its initial response. Joint rapid needs’ assessments with partnering UN and government agencies began on Monday (18 March), covering the Chimanimani, Chipinge, Mutare, Nyanga and Buhera districts. 

“I could see my loved ones dying, there are children here who are now orphans and have nowhere to stay. The house where I lived was destroyed, I am devastated,” said Jane, a resident of Chimanimani, who is expecting a child in April. “These tarpaulins will protect me and my family from the rains, thank you! I hope you have enough for everyone around here, our challenges are the same.”

In Malawi, IOM is aware of 56 confirmed deaths, 577 injuries. Countrywide, the Government of Malawi estimates some 920,000 displaced persons.

“The greatest need we have seen on the ground is for shelter for 23,000 people, we’ve also noted an urgent need for food, for 5,905 households in one district of the Phalombe region,” said Mpilo Nkomo, Head of Office for IOM Malawi. “The challenge here is the persistent rainfall, since the beginning of March. A number of families have been displaced. Many are seeking shelters in schools.” 

Mr. Nkomo thanked IOM Geneva for the release of USD 75,000 in emergency funds. The three IOM units in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe with the support of Regional Office Pretoria Emergency Unit and DOE Geneva HQ jointly working on a sub-regional appeal for more aid from the international humanitarian community.

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

Language English Posted: Friday, March 22, 2019 - 18:08Image: Region-Country: MalawiMozambiqueZimbabweThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM distributing tarpaulins and NFI kits in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

It’s Time to Think Universal!

PBN News Germany - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 06:00

Geneva IOM´s Tuberculosis (TB) control successes surpass target and benefits communities in origin and destination. The sustained high treatment success rate is largely attributed to early detection, active case finding, directly-observed treatment (DOT) and targeted patient-centered, migration-sensitive care.

In today’s increasingly mobile and interconnected world, with about 258 million international and 760 million internal migrants[1], migration must be recognized as a social determinant of health, impacting upon every individual’s vulnerability and well-being. Migration also profoundly affects the lives of families back home, as well as people in communities of origin, transit and destination world-wide.

Despite well-established diagnosis and treatment regimens, TB remains a public health burden in many parts of the world and a leading infectious killer, with an estimated 10 million new cases and approximately 1.3 million deaths in 2017[2], disproportionately affecting poor and marginalized populations, such as migrants. TB prevention and control efforts often do not address the specific vulnerabilities of migrants, which leads to delayed diagnosis and/or discontinued treatment.

The way in which many migrants travel, live and work, can carry risks for their physical and mental well-being.   Many work in dangerous, difficult and demeaning jobs, and live in isolation and sub-standard housing. Others may be detained in over-crowded detention facilities or live in camps as refugees or internally displaced persons. Migrants are thus among the vulnerable groups that face a particularly high level of TB risk factors.

In addition, migrants face barriers to accessing health services due to language and cultural difference, and administrative hurdles. Migrants are often excluded from social protection in health and are invisible to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programmes. As a result, many migrants pay out-of-pocket to get the health services they need, which may result in catastrophic health expenditure, delayed and substandard care.

It’s time for inclusion of migrants!  Worldwide, in 2018, IOM conducted more than 376,800 pre-departure health assessments for migrants and refugees and detected 584 active cases of TB, which translates to a TB detection rate of 155 per 100,000 health assessments. Active TB cases were either confirmed by sputum culture or diagnosed based on clinical and radiological findings. IOM works in collaboration with National TB Programs and is committed to accelerate the end of TB through the strengthening of migrant-sensitive health systems, able to assess and focus on the specific vulnerabilities and conditions of the migrant population. (see video with story from Jordan)   

It's Time to set ambitious goals for treatment success, which is possible based on the success story from IOM’s Migration Health Assessment Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, where DOT clinics surpassed targets with comprehensive care, by including active reach-out to patients and nutritional support, ensuring that neither patients nor their households suffer catastrophic costs due to TB, a key element in achieving the target 3.8 of the Sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Successful treatment of TB hinges on DOT and patient-centered, migration-sensitive care, where an individual’s specific health needs, migration related vulnerabilities and desired health outcomes are taken into consideration. Treatment of persons testing positive is a core part of IOM’s health assessments for migrants, including refugees prior to resettlement. From 2010 to 2016, IOM’s Migration Health Assessment Centre in Kenya diagnosed 426 cases of active TB, treating 363 of them at IOM Kenya’s TB DOT clinics, while the others were referred for treatment. IOM Kenya’s TB DOT clinics sustained high treatment success rates over this period, ranging from 90% to 100%.

It’s time to be accountable to the TB commitments. IOM’s experience has shown that failing to address the health of migrants has severe consequences for the well-being of millions of migrants and communities of origin, transit and destination. Migrants urgently need to be included at global, national and local prevention and control strategies to end the TB epidemic, in line with the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Resolution 70.15 of the World Health Assembly on Promoting the health of refugees and migrants (2017).

Moreover, the End TB Strategy, the Moscow Declaration and the UN High Level Meeting Declaration “United to End Tuberculosis” afford a tremendous opportunity to ensure and commit at the highest level to not leave migrants behind and promote cross-border collaboration amongst countries towards reducing TB and HIV burden. Jacqueline Weekers, Director of IOM’s Migration Health Division said: “Ending TB means addressing the intrinsic linkages between population mobility and tuberculosis as well as acknowledging that UHC is only real if high risks groups are accounted for”.

For more information please contact IOM HQ

Carlos Van der Laat, Tel +14227179459, Email:

[1] Global Migration Indicators 2018, IOM 2018

[2] WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2018

Language English Posted: Friday, March 22, 2019 - 12:57Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

24 March is World TB Day. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Earthworm Foundation to Study Journeys of Migrant Workers in Malaysia’s Palm Oil Industry

PBN News Germany - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 05:57

Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia produces 39 per cent of the world’s palm oil and 44 per cent of world exports, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, an industry body.  The sector now occupies over 70 per cent of the country’s agricultural land and employs almost half a million workers, of whom around 80 per cent are migrants, mainly from Indonesia, Nepal and Bangladesh.

But despite their contribution to one of Malaysia’s most important sectors, migrant workers in the country may be at risk of human rights abuses and exploitation due to poor international recruitment practices. Debt bondage, retention of passports and a lack of grievance mechanisms are some of the ways that unscrupulous recruiters, agents and middlemen can seek to profit from vulnerable migrant workers.

Companies that buy palm oil from Malaysian suppliers are often unaware of hiring practices throughout the supply chain. But recognizing that most Malaysian companies depend largely on intermediaries to engage foreign workers, the Malaysian Government has now initiated a review of current legislation to move towards more safe, orderly and regular migration into the country.

In line with these efforts and to better understand the risks, raise awareness and design solutions for the industry, recruiters and workers, IOM and the Earthworm Foundation will launch a one-year joint labour supply chain mapping project in April 2019. This will include consultations with various stakeholders, assessments with employers and recruiters, and interviews with migrant workers.

The project will involve collaboration with selected Earthworm Foundation member companies and related suppliers. It will examine deception in recruitment, recruitment fees and related costs to map out the recruitment process from the target countries of origin to Malaysia.

The findings will help companies to implement ethical recruitment practices and due diligence among business partners in operations and supply chains. The results are expected to add value to all stakeholders in the palm oil industry, support constructive policy dialogue, and feed into the development of practical tools and resources that can be used by businesses.

IOM is partnering with Earthworm Foundation through its Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) initiative, working directly with the private sector and the recruitment industry on addressing the vulnerabilities of migrant workers and eliminate slavery and trafficking from business operations and supply chains. CREST is supported by the Regional Development Cooperation Section of the Embassy of Sweden in Thailand and the IOM Development Fund.


For more information please contact:
Nguyen Thi Minh Hien at IOM Ho Chi Minh City, Email:, Tel: +84 964 753 936 or go to the CREST website at

Mark Sanderson, Earthworm Foundation, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 11 1220

Language English Posted: Friday, March 22, 2019 - 12:57Image: Region-Country: MalaysiaThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Some 80 percent of Malaysia’s nearly half a million oil palm workers are migrants, mainly from Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nepal. Photo: Earthworm Foundation

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Disaster Preparedness in Nepal: A Walk in the Park?

PBN News Germany - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 05:56

Kathmandu – In mountainous Nepal, where a fast-expanding population is making towns in the valleys ever more crowded, finding a flat open space to provide a refuge for the population in the event of a disaster like the 2015 earthquake is not always easy.

Nepal’s disaster risk reduction planners recognized the need to identify and protect accessible open spaces to save lives in the country’s 2018 National Policy for Disaster Risk Reduction. Their solution? To create and protect more urban parks that double as open spaces and that Nepalis and visitors can enjoy the year round.

“Open spaces are essential for saving lives through coordinated humanitarian response in an event of a disaster. But they are also essential for leisure activities and cultural events. By protecting and beautifying the Shahid Smriti Park, we are raising awareness about the use of open spaces, but also contributing to people’s mental and physical health in Baglung municipality,” says the municipality’s Senior Planning and Administrative Officer, Yukta Syubedi.

Baglung, situated in mountainous Western Nepal, 275 km west of Kathmandu, has a population of about 58,000 and is highly vulnerable to hazards like earthquakes and landslides. Since 2016 the municipality has been working with IOM to identify, map and protect five open spaces that could be used for humanitarian purposes in an event of a disaster.

The spaces include Dhaulagiri Multiple Campus, Bal Uddhan, Bal Mandir Bangechaur and Shahid Smriti Park and Birendra Aishwarya Park. They cover an area of 90,000 square meters and can accommodate up to nearly 15,000 people in nearly 52,000 useable square meters. The municipality has banned all construction on the sites without special approval. It is also collaborating with a private sector partner – Prabhu Bank – to develop a master plan to preserve and protect picturesque Shahid Smriti Park.

But protecting open spaces in Nepal remains a challenge. Some of 83 spaces identified inside the Kathmandu Valley by IOM after the 2015 earthquake under the supervision of the Ministry of Home Affairs and protected through a gazette notification by the government, are already seeing encroachment.

The key to protecting them is close collaboration between local government, communities, the private sector and humanitarian actors, according to IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Paul Norton. “We all need to work hand in hand to be fully prepared for future disasters,” he said.

IOM Nepal has been working with the Government of Nepal on disaster preparedness since 2011. With financial support from USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), it has helped five local governments in Baglung, Pokhara Metropolitan City, Resunga, Putali Bazar and Tansen to identify 40 open spaces to be used for humanitarian purposes.  In total, 123 open spaces have been identified in Kathmandu Valley and Western Region municipalities, which can accommodate some 1.21 million people in the event of a disaster.

For more information please contact Paul Norton at IOM Nepal, Email:, Tel: +977 1 4426250 (Ext. 194).

Language English Posted: Friday, March 22, 2019 - 12:55Image: Region-Country: NepalThemes: Disaster Risk ReductionDefault: Multimedia: 

Shahid Smitri Park will provide enjoyment for Baglung residents year-round, while serving as an essential open space following natural disasters. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, LaLiga Partnership Highlights International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

PBN News Germany - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 05:54

Cairo – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) signed a partnership with LaLiga, the Spanish top tier football league, under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Youth and Sports Thursday, on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

“Racial discrimination is an unfortunate existing situation – still vivid, even increasing – in several continents. Xenophobia affects societies and human beings all over the world,” explained Laurent De Boeck, IOM Egypt’s Chief of Mission. “Migrants are the primary victims of such abuse, and IOM strongly believes that discrimination is a direct attack against basic integrity and fair treatment of human beings.”

The signing ceremony in Cairo, was attended by the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr. Amr El Hadad, De Boeck and LaLiga’s Official Delegate in Egypt, Juan Fuentes Fernandez.

The unprecedented partnership will pave the way for future collaborations between the two institutions joining efforts to combat racial discrimination and other issues related to migration where football can help raise awareness.

"There is no doubt that football is a tool that can help us to achieve our goals, since it is a leading sport to which everyone pays attention," said De Boeck.

Fuentes Fernandez said: "Professional football is a sport which involves a significant number of players moving between countries, and all players who come from outside Spain are migrants. That is why partnering with IOM is important and necessary to raise awareness on migration, discrimination in societies." 

While football and sports in general are an excellent vector to gather people in an atmosphere of games, it is vulnerable to abuse, especially for the exploitation of young players. Traffickers and smugglers pose as fictitious or illegitimate agents from European teams, offering dreams to hopeful youth wishing for a career in football.  

Worldwide, IOM works daily on combating trafficking in persons, along with governmental officials, launching awareness-raising campaigns to the migrants and their host communities.  

IOM also provides direct support to abused youth. Such was the case, De Boeck said, of ‘Gerard’, a young man who was trafficked from Guinea to France. With his parents ill and unable to work, ‘Gerard’ planned to become the next breadwinner in the family. He paid an agent almost USD 5,000 as advance for the plane tickets and the expenses to migrate to France. The agent disappeared and left him in the suburbs of Paris, without documents and money, facing humiliation and failure.

IOM later helped ‘Gerard’ return home, where he found a job which allowed him to support his family.  

Through this agreement LaLiga and IOM will contribute to Egypt’s Sustainable Development Strategy: Vision 2030, by supporting the social justice pillar. The partnership will also be in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, namely Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals.

For more information, please contact Omar Awwad at IOM Egypt, Tel: +2 02 2736 5140/1 and Mobile +20 103 2049144, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, March 22, 2019 - 12:52Image: Region-Country: EgyptThemes: Counter-TraffickingDiversity and IntegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Laurent De Boeck, IOM Chief of Mission in Egypt speaks at the launch of partnership with LaLiga. Photo: IOM

Laurent De Boeck, IOM Chief of Mission in Egypt (r) and Juan Fuentes Fernandez, LaLiga’s Official Delegate in Egypt. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Private Sector Joins IOM to Enhance Skills of Gambian Returnees

PBN News Germany - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 05:48

Banjul – Abba Wollow left The Gambia in 2016 with hopes of reaching Europe. “I left The Gambia because the small garage I was working on was not enough to support my family,” he explained. “I left to find something better for them.”

Instead his journey ended in Libya, where he stayed for two years, in and out of prison. “When I came back, I was still finding ways to support my family,” he said of the struggles he faced after voluntarily returning home in February 2018.

In June 2018, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) signed an agreement with the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS), under the Ministry of Youth and Sports, to provide Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET) to 200 Gambian returned migrants. Through this agreement, NYSS taps into the expertise of four private sector enterprises and two government training centres to deliver training in various skill areas to returnees like Abba.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to undergo a three-month training in mechanics,” said Abba, who is now one of 101 young Gambians to complete the programme. On Tuesday 19 March 2019, the trainees formally graduated from their three-month training in construction, carpentry, electronics, mechanics, plumbing, tailoring, welding and many other sectors. Each of them will receive a start-up kit consisting of the basic materials and tools necessary to set-up and operate a workshop in their chosen sector.

The graduation, the second one in four months, marks IOM’s commitment to the sustainable reintegration of more than 3,600 Gambians who voluntarily returned from Libya and Niger since 2017.

“We recognized the massive potential and willingness of returnees to ‘make it in The Gambia’, needing just a final push to gain meaningful, employable skills,” said Fumiko Nagano, IOM Chief of Mission in the Gambia. “This would not be possible without our partners in the private sector, who have lent their expertise to equipping returnees with the tools they need to succeed.”

“We, as the private sector, are able to provide returnees with skills or facilitate their job placement. This will give them a livelihood they can depend on,” said Jean Abel Thomas of the Fajara Skills Development Centre. “We teach our trainees that, if you have the skills, you can turn them into something profitable,” she added, highlighting the growing role of the private sector in assisting vulnerable migrants.

Last November, 13 Gambians formed the first cohort of trainees to graduate from a poultry farming and business start-up programme. “I have been able to sell nearly all my chickens. My customer base has increased significantly,” said Lamin, one of the graduates, three months into his poultry business. Like Lamin, others in the cohort hope to see their farms grow bigger to create employment opportunities in their communities.

“The start-up kits you receive will go a long way towards facilitating your reintegration, with the hope that you will be self-employed or even job creators in The Gambia,” echoed Stephane Meert, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation, in his remarks to the TVET graduates.

The Technical and Vocational Education and Training programme is implemented in the framework of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. Since January 2017, IOM has assisted in the voluntary return of over 3,600 Gambians stranded in Libya and Niger. As of March 2019, almost two-thirds of them have received reintegration support. Ensuring the sustainability of reintegration of returned migrants requires a strong collaborative approach with partners from the government, civil society and the private sector.

For more information please contact Miko Alazas at IOM The Gambia; Tel: +220 330 3168, Email: or visit

Language English Posted: Friday, March 22, 2019 - 12:48Image: Region-Country: GambiaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationCapacity BuildingPrivate Sector PartnershipsDefault: Multimedia: 

A Gambian welding graduate with his start-up kit. Photo: IOM/2019 Mariam Njai

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

“It’s Time” to Protect Migrants from TB – New IOM Study Shows Migrants Left Behind

PBN News Germany - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 05:47

Tbilisi – A pioneering study into tuberculosis and migration shows an urgent need for migrant-focused healthcare to protect extremely vulnerable groups from contracting the killer disease.

The study was carried out by IOM in the South Caucasus countries of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, and reinforced what the Organization has seen on the global stage.

“Migrants often have limited access to health services due to mobility, inadequate information on health-related issues and discrimination,” said Dr. Jaime Calderon, Senior Migration Health Adviser in IOM’s Vienna Regional office, in a statement for World TB Day.

“The South Caucasus is an excellent place to study TB among migrants as people are on the move within the three countries, to and from Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Turkey, Kazakhstan and farther afield,” he added. “This is the first study of its kind and it has given us solid evidence that migrants are being left behind when it comes to protecting them – and the communities they live in – from deadly diseases.”

Although there have been substantial decreases in case notifications over the past decade, TB remains a significant public health issue in the South Caucasus. In 2017, Armenia had 812 cases (27.1 per 100,000 people), Azerbaijan had 7,129 (67 per 100,000) and Georgia had 2,927 notified cases (69 per 100,000). The rates in most EU countries is under 10 per 100,000.

IOM’s study, which was carried out with full participation of the three national governments, consisted of surveys, qualitative and quantitative research, rapid assessment, sampling, data collection, screening, interviews, laboratory testing, and data analysis.

It also looked at migration and HIV, as the two diseases are often found together, and take a high toll on migrants.

“We found that among migrants in the three countries there was a lack of knowledge about specific risks, signs and symptoms of HIV and TB,” said Dr Calderon. “In addition, there was wide agreement that migrants would not seek HIV or TB testing unless required for the purposes of travel, work, on the recommendation of a health-care provider or if they get very sick. This is a loud warning bell for all concerned – Governments, UN agencies, health-related NGOs and the general public.”

The migration process can expose migrants, particularly those in situations of vulnerability, to health risks associated with perilous journeys, including exposure to infectious and communicable diseases, severe psycho-social stressors, violence and abuses.

Ending tuberculosis (TB), HIV and viral hepatitis by 2030 is part of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on health and well-being. A number of socioeconomic and environmental determinants affect ongoing epidemics in European and central Asian countries.

Within the UN Issue-based Coalition on Health and Well-being in Europe and Central Asia, WHO/Europe, together with sister UN agencies, has developed a UN common position paper on ending TB, HIV and viral hepatitis in Europe and central Asia through intersectoral collaboration.

Despite the substantial health improvements that have been reached in the WHO European Region, not all are benefiting, in particular, the marginalized and vulnerable parts of society including victims of human trafficking, migrants and refugees.

Despite the fastest decline in TB incidence in the world, by an average of 5.3 per cent a year since 2006, this region bears the highest proportion of multi drug-resistant TB globally, with only about half of these patients successfully treated.

The full report can be downloaded here.

For more information please contact Sanja Celebic-Lukovac at IOM Georgia, Tel: +96262003227, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, March 22, 2019 - 12:47Image: Region-Country: GeorgiaThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

A pioneering study into tuberculosis and migration was carried out by IOM in the South Caucasus countries of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN