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Meeting in Senegal Addresses Local, Regional Protection of Vulnerable Migrants, Victims of Trafficking

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/11/2017 - 10:46

Senegal – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, organized a three-day workshop on protecting vulnerable migrants in Senegal on 4-6 July. The main objective of the meeting was to build the capacity of regional and national civil society actors in identifying and assisting vulnerable migrants, especially victims of human trafficking.

Human trafficking persists in Senegal, despite government and civil society actors working to combat it. Trafficking is particularly problematic in the gold mining region of Kedougou, where this workshop took place — specifically in the villages of Kharakeyna, Sambrambougou, Bantako and Tenkoto. The most common forms of exploitation involve forcing individuals into begging, unpaid labour and sexual exploitation. Many Nigerian women are deceived by traffickers, leave their home country and are then forced into prostitution near gold mines in Senegal.

Based on assessments from actors present in the region, it appears that the concept of trafficking is still largely unknown by the public. This makes the identification of vulnerable migrants very difficult. IOM works in partnership with several national and local actors on the ground to better assist various categories of vulnerable migrants, including victims of trafficking.

"The presence of mines in Kedougou and its proximity to the borders shared with Guinea and Mali make it a very attractive city for migrants, as well as traffickers,” said Nnamdi Iwuora, IOM Regional Programme Officer. “Our goal is to build the capacity of local actors on migrant protection as they are best placed to identify and assist vulnerable migrants."

Thirty participants attended the workshop, where they discussed best practices for identifying and protecting vulnerable migrants, including victims of trafficking; conducted case studies; visited a rehabilitation centre in Kedougou, and a gold mining site in Tenkato. At the latter, the participants took part in an interactive session with the head of the village, the Nigerian migrant community, regional officials, and other civil society actors. They discussed how they could improve migrant protection and relations between the migrants and the host community.

"We are over thirty women here and all originally from Nigeria. We left our home because there was nothing there for us,” said Becky*, a representative of the Nigerian migrant community. “Living on the mining site is a risk that we are willing to take if we can make some money. Many of us have children at home and all we want is to provide them with a good education so they won’t have to do what I am doing now. But to be able to work, we need to be sure we are protected. We are forced to sleep with men but they don’t care about our situation. Let’s hope that local authorities will help us," she concluded.

The participants all agreed that more regional coordination is needed. Border officials in Mali should also be trained to identify vulnerable migrants passing through and to assist them if necessary. There is also a need to better equip state actors in the area. Officials need adequate transport to be able to reach vulnerable migrants who find themselves in rural areas where access to assistance is inadequate.

This workshop is part of the regional project, Protecting Vulnerable Migrants in West and Central Africa, funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the State Department of the United States of America. One of the aims of the project is to build the capacity of government and civil society to protect vulnerable migrants in four countries in the region: Ghana, Burkina Faso, Gambia, and Senegal. The PRM project is being implemented by IOM for a period of one year, from October 2016 to October 2017.

*Name changed to protect identity

For further information, please contact, Tijs Magagi Hoornaert at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa in Senegal. Tel: +221 784 600 619; Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 16:27Image: Region-Country: SenegalThemes: Counter-TraffickingMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

A woman stands in a gold mine in Senegal's Kedougou Region. Photo: Tijs Magagi Hoornaert / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

A photo of Becky (name changed to protect identity), a representative of the Nigerian migrant community. Photo: Tijs Magagi Hoornaert / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

China Donates USD 1 Million for Humanitarian Assistance in Somalia

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/11/2017 - 07:58
Language English

Somalia – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) held a project launch ceremony on Wednesday, 5 July 2017 to mark the start of operations of a project focusing on meeting emergency needs for shelter and non-food items (NFIs) in Somalia. The project will be implemented through a USD 1 million donation from the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

The function, attended by China’s Ambassador to Somalia, Qin Jian, and top Somali government officials including representatives from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, the Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was held in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Gerard Waite, IOM Somalia’s Chief of Mission, hailed China for its continued support for humanitarian work on the African continent. Waite reaffirmed IOM’s commitment to work closely with other humanitarian agencies and the Federal Government of Somalia in support of efforts to find a long-term solution to the recurrent challenges posed by natural and man-made disasters in Somalia.

“Through this programme, supported by China, IOM, in partnership with the Federal Government of Somalia, other UN partners and regional states, will cover critical gaps in shelter for those who are newly displaced by drought and by conflict,” Waite stated. He noted that the support will complement other IOM programmes, including camp coordination and camp management, displacement data tracking, as well as programming in support of long term recovery and stabilization in Somalia, currently being executed at the national level.

The Chinese Ambassador to Somalia, Qin Jian, emphasized that the purpose of the donation is to assist internally displaced persons (IDPs), vulnerable communities and returnees in Somalia, as per the recent agreement signed between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and IOM in Beijing on 15 May 2017.

“Not long ago the Chinese government provided Somalia with 10 million dollars in emergency humanitarian food aid, which included more than 2,800 metric tons of high quality rice, shipped along the Maritime Silk Road from Shanghai to Mogadishu to support the people of Somalia who are in dire need of food aid after being hit by severe drought,” Ambassador Jian stated, adding that the two countries have a long history of good bilateral relations.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Mohamed Moalim, commended China for the donation, noting that more support is needed from the international community given the magnitude of the humanitarian needs in Somalia. The Permanent Secretary observed that though the rains have returned, the situation continues to be dire.

The Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development, Abdi Dirshe, called for a multi-pronged approach which addresses emergency response as well as the underlying drivers of man-made and humanitarian disasters in Somalia, including conflict and limited capacity to withstand cyclical weather events such as droughts and floods, if Somalia is to avert humanitarian crises in the future.

“We want to connect development efforts to emergency response. These funds and resources must be used concurrently so that we can prevent all these problems from occurring over and over again,” Dirshe observed. Thanking the Chinese Government for its generous donation, the Director of Asia/Australia Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Shirwa Abdullahi, also emphasized the simultaneous need to tackle the drivers of human displacement and conflict to minimize frequent humanitarian crises in Somalia.

More photos are available here. Watch the video here.

For further information please contact the IOM Somalia Programme Support Unit at .

Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 13:42Image: Region-Country: SomaliaDefault: Multimedia: 

Abdi Dirshe, Permanent Secretary at the Federal Government of Somalia’s Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development, speaks at the launch of a multi-sector project that targets IDPs, vulnerable communities and returnees in Somalia. The project, funded by the People’s Republic of China, was launched in Mogadishu, Somalia on July 5, 2017.  UN Photo / Omar Abdisalan

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Temporary Suspension of UN Migration Agency Activities in Qayara, Mosul

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:27

Iraq - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has temporarily suspended certain Iraq activities in both Qayara’s air strip emergency site and the Haj Ali camp, due to security concerns.

Yesterday’s (06/07) decision to halt activities and distributions in the sites, situated outside Mosul, comes following a temporary decline in the security environment in Qayara District, due to sporadic violence, including exchanges of gunfire. “The situation in Qayara is not currently conducive to humanitarian operations,” said Vincent Houver, Deputy Director of IOM’s Operations and Emergencies. 

Both emergency sites, hosting over 79,000 displaced Iraqis, were constructed by IOM in cooperation with Iraq’s Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MoMD).

IOM’s decision to temporarily suspend its emergency activities and to relocate all non-local emergency response staff to Erbil was made together with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) – which manages Qayara’s emergency site. The situation will be reviewed on Sunday (09/07). DRC, which also relocated its non-local staff, has kept a skeletal presence in the camp. Other organizations working in the camps and surrounding areas have taken similar action.

Only eight out of IOM’s 18 Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) staff currently remain in Haj Ali camp, but all those whose work entails travelling from Qayara to Erbil, have been instructed to leave the camp early to avoid delays at checkpoints and in order to respect a curfew imposed in Qayara as a result of the security situation. Qayara city itself is reportedly under curfew and the local population has been told to stay in their homes until security improves. IOM’s Qayara mobile team working in informal settlements has also temporarily suspended operations as the curfew has been put into effect in the area.

Although the suspension and relocation are temporary and a necessary disruption, they will have an impact on service delivery to displaced people living in the camps and those continuing to flee Mosul. The camps have also been closed by security to minimize the risks with no movement currently allowed in and out of the sites. There is a concern in Haj Ali, where 13 buses of newly displaced people were expected to arrive.

Due to the situation, six MoMD water trucks, which provide water to the camp, did not clear the checkpoints yesterday (06/07). That means less water availability for the residents of the sites. Temperatures in Iraq have been in the high 40s and low 50s (degrees Celsius) these past few days.

Currently, only camp-based staff are operating in the camps. IOM’s health team is continuing to operate at both sites. IOM’s psychosocial services report no imminent emergencies or events within the camps themselves; however, the camps are reportedly inaccessible for staff living outside, as security forces have stopped significant civilian movement in the area. IOM staff remaining in the Qayara emergency site have also reported increased stress among the displaced population. IOM is continuing to provide as much support as possible, under the current limitations.

Iraqi government forces, backed by a US-led coalition, launched a military offensive to retake Mosul on 17 October 2016. The eastern side of Mosul was recaptured in January after just three months of battles.

The second phase of the offensive to retake the western sector, including Mosul’s old city itself, was launched in February 2017. Last week, Iraqi troops took over the Old City’s Nuri al-Kabir Mosque, where ISIL first declared its de-facto state  “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014. The military had been predicting final victory within days after a grinding eight-month assault to oust ISIL from the once two-million-strong city. Iraqi forces are now fighting ISIL for control of the last 250 square meters, a senior official in the international coalition supporting Iraqi forces told Reuters.

IOM DTM Emergency Tracking (ET) has been monitoring displacement movements from Mosul district since the beginning of the military operations to retake Mosul started in October last year. Some 821,838 individuals (136,973 families) are currently displaced.

Military operations in west Mosul led to the displacement of thousands of individuals to camps and out-of-camp locations, the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) is now weekly releasing the figures of IDPs who transit through Hammam al-Aliel screening site – from the beginning of west Mosul operations. The cumulative figure from West Mosul, who transited in Hammam  al-Aleel, stands at 695,677 individuals.

IOM’s DTM actively monitors displacement across Iraq. The latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures on displacement across Iraq are available at:

All DTM products and information about the DTM methodology can be found on the DTM portal:

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq:

Hala Jaber, Tel: +964 751 740 1654, Email:

Raber Aziz, Tel: +964 750 465 9204 Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 17:06Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

A scene from Qayara’s air strip emergency site. Photo: Raber Aziz / IOM 2017

A scene from Qayara’s air strip emergency site. Photo: Raber Aziz / IOM 2017

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Releases Recommendations to EU Council President Estonia

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:24

Estonia - Human rights, social cohesion and international cooperation are the focus of recommendations that IOM, the UN Migration Agency, made to the Estonian Government. Estonia has now taken the helm of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) from July to December 2017. 

IOM Regional Director for the EU, Eugenio Ambrosi, said the Organization’s recommendations – released on Thursday (6 July) – are centered on the increasing need for international cooperation to protect migrants and promote social cohesion. He called on the Estonian Government to put human rights at the forefront of EU action on migration issues.

"IOM welcomes the Estonian Presidency's commitment to prioritizing migration because the challenges that both Europe and migrants face have reached a critical point where they can only be addressed by collective action and shared values," said Ambrosi. "IOM is ready to support the Presidency and EU member states through its global expertise and operational tools to advance our joint commitment to improving global migration governance and making sure that each and every migrant is assisted and their rights upheld," he added.

IOM’s paper specifically recommends three key action points for the Estonian Presidency: ensure that migrants’ human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled; promote social cohesion and integration as a positive mutual process between host societies and migrants; and enhance collaboration and conduct dialogue on an equal footing between countries of origin, transit and destination.

Last September’s UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants recognized the need for a comprehensive approach to human mobility and enhanced cooperation at the global level. At the Summit, UN Member States committed to “protecting the safety, dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, regardless of their migratory status, at all times” through the adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.

The New York Declaration set in motion a process of intergovernmental consultations and negotiations culminating in the planned adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in 2018. To deliver on the commitments made in the Declaration, the Global Compact should address all aspects of international migration, including human rights. A rights-based approach to migration in legislative, policy and programmatic discussions is the optimal way for states to successfully meet this commitment and there are hopes that this will be advanced during the tenure of the Estonian Presidency.

IOM's twice-yearly recommendations to the rotating EU Presidencies are guided by its Migration Governance Framework which is the first, and so far only, detailed articulation of planned and well-managed migration policies.

The six-month incumbent Presidents of the Council of the EU work together in groups of three in the interest of continuity and coherency. The current Presidential trio comprises Estonia (July/December 2017), Bulgaria (January/June 2018) and Austria (July/December 2018). The presidential representatives chair meetings at every level and propose the guidelines needed for the Council to take decisions.

Ambrosi will address diplomats and media on EU and global migration issues in Tallinn on Monday (10 July) at the IOM “I am a Migrant” campaign exhibition currently on display at the Museum of Occupations, in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden in Estonia.

IOM's recommendations paper can be downloaded here.

For further information: please contact Liis Paloots at IOM Tallinn, Tel: +372 6116 088 or +372 534 15497, Email: or Sofiane Ouaret at the IOM EU Regional Office in Brussels, Tel: +32 2287 7120, Email:


Language English Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 17:05Image: Region-Country: EstoniaThemes: Migrants RightsDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 101,266 in 2017; 2,297 Deaths

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:22

Switzerland - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) reports that 101,266 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 5 July, with almost 85 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 234,646 arrivals across the region through 3 July 2016.

IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported that just 1,129 migrants or refugees landed in Italy during the first five days of July, with no new rescues reported in Italian waters since last weekend. Arrivals to Greece through 5 July totalled 9,379, including 329 arrivals by sea, so far in July.

With the year half over, it is likely that arrivals to Greece this year will be the lowest in four years – well under the 34,442 IOM recorded in 2014, the 853,650 arrivals in 2015 and 173,561 last year (see chart below). The IOM Missing Migrants Project also notes that the Eastern Mediterranean route has been fatality-free since 24 April, when 23 drowned (16 dead, seven missing) while two were rescued off the coast of Molyvos, Lesbos. Deaths on this route at this time last year totalled 376 and 37 in 2015.

IOM Spain reported 6,464 migrant arrivals through 25 June along the Western Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Spain. That figure does not include the following rescues: on 5 July, 31 people were discovered at sea near Alboran island and taken to shore at Motril. A second boat, also near Alboran, brought in 32 survivors and taken to Motril, while a third boat brought in 33 survivors (also near Alboran, also taken to Motril). Two more boats brought 42 from Cabo de Trafalgar (survivors were taken to Tarifa); 40 more survivors were taken to Barbate. These data came from Salvamento Maritime, a Spanish rescue agency.

On 6 July, IOM Spain reported 26 men, women and children were rescued near Cabo de Trafalgar. IOM Spain said those survivors included 12 men, seven children and seven adult women, three of them pregnant. All survivors are believed to be from sub-Saharan Africa.

Additionally, on 6 July, the Spanish media stated that 14 more migrants were rescued near Los Caños de Meca: nine women (three pregnant) and five children.

IOM also is following reports of 49 missing after a boat capsized 28 miles southwest of Alboran Island, Spain. The three survivors said 52 people left Morocco last weekend. Remains of the missing individuals have not yet been recovered.

With these latest reports, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) notes total deaths on the Mediterranean this year are approaching 2,300 (2,297). Although that figure trails the number of deaths (2,963) that were recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,000.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,125 fatalities through 5 July this year (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – almost three quarters of the global total.

In the past three days, MMP researchers have added 75 new fatalities to the regional totals: 49 missing after a boat capsized 28 miles southwest of Alboran Island, Spain; 22 cases along the US/Mexico border (18 in Pima County, Arizona, and four in Brooks County, Texas); one death in a vehicle accident in Oaxaca, Mexico, and two other vehicle fatalities in the nearby state of Veracruz. MMP also added one migrant casualty in Higüey, Dominican Republic, believed to be a drowning during a failed attempt by migrants to reach Puerto Rico.

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:

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

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:

For further information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Kelly Namia at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:
María Jesús Herrera at IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 4457116; Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 17:04Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Internally Displaced, Returnees from Abroad Soar to Over 2.4 Million in Nine Afghan Provinces: IOM Survey

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:20

Afghanistan - One in six people is either a returnee or an internally displaced person (IDP) in the nine Afghan provinces of Baghlan, Balkh, Kabul, Kunar, Kunduz, Laghman, Nangarhar, Paktia, and Takhar, according to the second round of IOM’s Afghan Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) published today (7/7).

In the nine provinces, which are believed to have the highest levels of displacement and return in the country, a total of 2,416,570 individuals either returned from abroad or were internally displaced during the five years between 2012 and June 2017. This represents roughly 20 per cent of the provinces’ total base population of 11,851,822.

The DTM tracks mobility, determines numbers and locations of forcibly displaced people and provides basic demographic information. It aims to explain the reasons behind their displacement and their migration history, as well as their vulnerabilities and priority needs. Its main objective is to provide the government and humanitarian partners with comprehensive data, enabling them to deliver timely, targeted, and cost-effective assistance to conflict and displacement affected populations.

According to the survey, the returnees from abroad included 1,200,721 people from Pakistan and over 222,000 from Iran. Another 41,803 people returned from Europe, including Turkey.

Many returned to extreme poverty and some 73,850 returnees are now living in tents or open air holes dug into the ground and covered by tarpaulins. Many others rent or live in semi-ruined, abandoned houses. With 518,066 individuals returning between 2012 and 2017, Nangarhar has the highest number of returnees.

The survey also identified a total of 945,182 IDPs in the nine provinces assessed. Nearly all of them – 97.38 per cent – had been displaced by conflict. Another 1,141,334 people had returned to their homes.  Some 658,743 individuals had been forced to leave their settlements and had fled to another district or province.

The provinces also experienced outward migration during the period. Some 454,054 individuals or four per cent of the population left Afghanistan and have not returned. Of these, 105,218 or 23 per cent migrated to Europe, including Turkey. Another 82,984 moved to Pakistan and 52,497 to Iran.

“Displacement management is a major challenge for any country with a large number of displaced people. The DTM helps the government and humanitarian actors to identify areas of high return and migration movements in each province. But it can also deliver specific information on protection risks at the community level,” said IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission Laurence Hart.

The new survey follows a first round of data collection conducted January–March 2017 in the three eastern provinces of Nangarhar, Laghman, and Kunar. The DTM project was launched in response to dramatic rises in returns from neighbouring countries, as well as increasing internal displacement. Between January 2016 and June 2017 over 915,000 undocumented Afghans returned to Afghanistan from Iran and Pakistan, and over 807,400 were internally displaced by conflict.

Download the report here.

For more information please contact Eva Schwoerer at IOM Kabul, Tel. +93729229129, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 17:03Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationHumanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

A returnee family from Pakistan shelters in a cave in Balkh province, Afghanistan. Photo: IOM 2017

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Rehabilitates Water Wells in Southern Libya

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:18
Language English

Libya - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has completed the rehabilitation of 18 water wells in 12 out of 14 neighbourhoods of the Libyan city of Sabha. Those neighborhoods are: Manshiya, Mashroo’, Hajara, Aljadeed, Almahdiya, Abdelkafi, Althanawiya, Sukara, Gurda, Tyori, Nasriya, and Junga.

The project, part of the IOM Community Stabilization programme “Together We Rebuild”, included the provision of new electrical pumps for wells to allow the restoration of a domestic water supply.

The rehabilitation was accomplished with funding from the European Union. The UN Migration Agency contracted two local enterprises from Sabha. Activity was closely coordinated and supported by local authorities, in particular the Water and Waste Company in Sabha, the owner of the water wells.

The implementation of this project comes at a critical time when the city of Sabha has been suffering from an ongoing water crisis, which is particularly critical during the summer season when water consumption increases.

“We highly appreciate the support of the EU and the efforts made by IOM in rehabilitating 18 water wells in Sabha city which has been suffering from serious water shortages. This support comes at a critical time when the Water and Waste Water Company is in need of such support to help us maintain this essential service to the people of the city,” explained engineer Mohammad Aboul-Qassem Yaqa, the Head of Works and Maintenance Department at the Water and Waste Water Company.

Libya’s Minister of Local Government, Badad Ganaso Abdul Jaleel, added: "The Ministry of Local Government of the Government of National Accord supports IOM initiatives to promote community stabilization in the south of Libya. We are confident that the people of Sabha and the south in general urgently need these important projects, especially in these difficult times."

The identification of the necessity for the rehabilitation of water wells came as the result of a series of community meetings conducted by the Community Management Committee (CMC), which was formed by IOM and includes influential representatives from various tribes and social figures of the city. The CMC met with the community members in the various neighbourhoods, all of whom identified the rehabilitation of the water wells as their communities’ top priority.

The EU Ambassador for Libya, Bettina Muscheidt, explained that the EU supports Libyan efforts to end the current crisis through a political solution. “In the meantime,” she said, “Libya’s people cannot wait. Families across the country are in dire need of services. They want a return to normality. This is where this partnership between the Water and Waste Company in Sabha, the IOM and the EU can make a difference to improve lives and alleviate the suffering in an area where many different communities have been affected by the conflict.”

“The EU will continue supporting, through similar local initiatives, the economic and political stabilization of the south of the country,” added Ambassador Muscheidt.

“IOM thanks the Ministry of Local Government, the EU, the local municipality and the CMC for their continuous support as this project will facilitate access to water for thousands of people. We will continue to address the most urgent needs identified by the communities,” concluded IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi.

For further information, please contact IOM Libya. Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: or Patrick Charignon, Tel: +216 29 257 585, Email:

Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 17:02Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Zimbabwe Develops National Diaspora Policy with UN Migration Agency Support

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:16

Zimbabwe - On 5 and 6 July, the Government of Zimbabwe, with support from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the European Union, convened a high level discussion to develop the country’s 2017–2022 National Diaspora Policy Implementation Action Plan. The Plan will serve as a framework for engaging with the Zimbabwean diaspora worldwide.

Eighty participants took part from government ministries, the UN and the private sector, as well as diaspora representatives and other non-state actors.

The operationalization of the 2016 adopted National Diaspora Policy through a well-defined action plan comes against a background of increasing government acknowledgement of the potential of the Zimbabwean diaspora in contributing towards national development.

The action plan comprises of eight priority areas that relate to policies and legislation, the intra-governmental-diaspora relationship, institutional engagement, diaspora investment, remittances, national socio-economic development, knowing the diaspora and diaspora's rights.

“The Government recognizes that beyond the remittances from abroad, our diaspora presents social, economic, intellectual and political capital, a pool of knowledge and expertise which must be harnessed for the benefit of the country,” said Judith Kateera, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Macro Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, in a speech read on her behalf at the meeting.

The Government of Zimbabwe has demonstrated commitment to creating institutional structures that promote diaspora engagement in the national development agenda. The adoption of the National Diaspora Policy in July 2016 and the establishment and launch of the Diaspora Directorate in September 2016 are testimony of such commitment. In addition, with support from IOM and the EU, the Government of Zimbabwe conducted in October 2016  initial Zimbabwean Diaspora Engagement meetings in the United Kingdom, Canada and South Africa to move towards building mutual trust between the Government and members of the Zimbabwean diaspora.

“As a partner in migration management, IOM congratulates the Government of Zimbabwe for this important milestone,” said Lily Sanya, IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission. “IOM takes this opportunity to also thank the European Union for its generous support to the process. The Organization encourages the Government to establish sound mechanisms to ensure smooth implementation of the action plan and remains committed to providing needed technical support towards operationalization of the action plan.”

IOM’s support is being provided within the framework of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) project, “Promoting Migration Governance in Zimbabwe”. The project seeks to contribute to the establishment of a migration governance framework in Zimbabwe that supports state and non-state actors to manage migration in a migrant- and development-oriented manner. One of the four key results of the project is improved neutral platforms for dialogues and schemes through which Zimbabweans in the diaspora contribute to decision-making and national development.

For further information, please contact IOM Zimbabwe. Gideon Madera, Tel: +263 4 704285, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 17:01Image: Region-Country: ZimbabweThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants following proceedings during the high level discussion to develop Zimbabwe's National Diaspora Policy Implementation Action Plan. Photo: IOM 2017

IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Lily Sanya (right) making a contribution at the high level discussion to develop Zimbabwe's National Diaspora Policy Implementation Action Plan. Photo: IOM 2017

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Aids Undocumented Myanmar, Cambodian Migrants Leaving Thailand

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:15

Thailand - Irregular migrants in Thailand face an uncertain future after a Royal Decree imposed stiffer penalties on undocumented workers and the businesses that employ them. The decree – Royal Ordinance on the Management of Foreign Workers B.E. 2560 (2017) – was published by the Thai government on 23 June.

The announcement prompted a surge in the number of undocumented migrants returning to Cambodia and Myanmar.

The Thai Government has now postponed implementation of the Decree until 1 January 2018. Nonetheless, at least 34,800 Myanmar and 7,360 Cambodian migrants are known to have left Thailand over the past two weeks.

In response to the exodus, the United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) has been providing humanitarian assistance to returning Myanmar migrants at the Mae Sot-Myawaddy border crossing since 23 June and the Ranong-Kawthaung border crossing since 2 July.

As of 6 July, IOM had provided food, water, milk and medical kits to 18,277 often exhausted migrants arriving at the Mae Sot Immigration Detention Centre (IDC). IOM has also set up tents at the IDC to protect the migrants from the elements while they wait to cross the border.

In Ranong, IOM and NGO partners have helped local authorities transport the belongings of 520 migrants from the Ranong Immigration Detention Centre to boats crossing to Kawthaung in Myanmar.

“The rise in numbers has been prompted by fear of arrest and an uncertain future,” said Janet Ondieki, IOM Thailand Programme Coordinator for Counter-trafficking and Vulnerable Populations. “We are monitoring the situation closely and are working closely with the Thai authorities to provide humanitarian assistance to the migrants where needed.”

On the Cambodian border, where IOM has a Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) in the Cambodian town of Poi Pet, many migrants said they left Thailand fearing arrest, but plan to return when they have obtained the necessary travel documents and visas.

Returns to Cambodia have surged to over 5,000 in the past week, including women and children. Some women said that when they next return to work in Thailand, they plan to leave their children in Cambodia with relatives.

MRC staff members have been providing returnees with medical assistance and advice on how to obtain passports and migrate safely. They also arranged onward travel home for 15 particularly vulnerable migrants.

Thailand has an estimated migrant population of at least four million, of whom over one million are believed to be undocumented.

For further information, please contact IOM Thailand. Janet Ondieki, Tel: +66 2 343 9337, Email: or Reuben Lim, Tel: +66 2 343 9370, Email: Or IOM Cambodia. Troy Dooley, Tel: +855 1236 7498, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 17:00Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Myanmar migrants wait to cross the border at the Mae Sot Immigration Detention Centre. Photo: Chaovalit Inchan / IOM 2017

Categories: PBN

Findings on Colombia-Venezuela Border Migration Highlighted in UN Migration Agency Study

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:12

Colombia - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs this week published results of a study carried out in official and unofficial border crossing points between Colombia and Venezuela in the municipalities of Cucuta, Villa del Rosario and Arauca.

The study, carried out in late 2016 through the IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), is a pilot which sought to analyze who crosses the border and why, in order to provide a better understanding of the characteristics of current migration flows between Venezuela and Colombia.

The information for the study was gathered from local authorities and institutions as well as the affected population and the results include the profile, motivations and intentions of those entering Colombia.

Some key findings include:

·         67 per cent of people who crossed the border and are currently staying in the three municipalities (Cucuta, Villa del Rosario and Arauca) are Colombians (including people of dual nationality), while 33 per cent are Venezuelans.

·         Of those interviewed while crossing the border (majority Venezuelan), 69 per cent indicated that they intend to return to Venezuela the same day. Another 23 per cent indicated an intention to return within the following months, and only 5 per cent expressed their intention to stay in Colombia. Another 3 per cent indicated that they were passing through Colombia to reach a third country.

·         Reasons for traveling to Colombia include the purchase of goods such as food, household items, hygiene products and medicine (52 per cent), family visits (17 per cent), work (14 per cent), tourism (5 per cent), schooling (2 percent) and others (10 per cent).

·         Of the 14 per cent indicating that they were entering the country to work, intended areas of employment included services (41 per cent), commerce (24 cent), industry (11 per cent), transport (8 per cent), construction (6 per cent) , financial services (3 per cent) and communications (2 per cent).

The study also assessed the situation of Colombian returnees and incoming Venezuelan population in 47 spontaneous sites, finding a high presence of minors (49 per cent), which highlights the importance of implementing public policies to safeguard their rights especially with regards to health, education and protection.

According to information gathered by Migración Colombia from 1 May 2017 to date, the vast majority of 455,094 registered Venezuelan nationals stated that they only intended to enter Colombia temporarily, and that over 50 per cent of them entered the country’s border zone to buy supplies.

The Director of Migración Colombia, Christian Krüger emphasized that people cross the border including up to several times a day without intending to stay, while having a reason or need to come to Colombia periodically.

IOM Colombia Programs Director Fernando Calado underlined that the border is over 2,000 kilometers long and therefore it is very difficult to know how many irregular border crossing points exist. Calado also stressed the need to work on public policies that prevent xenophobia and help to integrate people who return, when they are co-nationals, as well as a solidary integration of the migrant population.

Following the implementation of the DTM pilot project, IOM is currently setting up a second phase of the exercise, to be implemented between July and September 2017 with increased coverage extending to Colombia’s northeastern border and Caribbean coast. The aim is to provide a more in-depth view of the situation and needs of recent arrivals to the country, in order to inform public policies as well as strategic decision-making that ensures adequate and timely responses that meet the rights and needs of the affected population.

Download the presentation with the main results of the study:

Watch press conference:

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

Language English Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 16:59Image: Region-Country: ColombiaThemes: Integrated Border ManagementMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs present the study carried out in official and unofficial border crossing points between Colombia and Venezuela. Photo: IOM 2017

Categories: PBN

How Training Diplomatic and Consular Personnel in Morocco Will Help the Fight Against Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/07/2017 - 05:10

Morroco - In coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Morocco, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), one of GLO.ACT three implementing organizations facilitated, on 3 July 2017, a first information session on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) for diplomatic and consular personnel eligible for job transfers.

The aim of the session was to address international and national legal frameworks related to TIP and SOM as well as the protection and assistance to victims of trafficking and smuggling.

The session proved to be an excellent awareness-raising forum for over more than 100 participants. It allowed eligible diplomatic and consular personnel to gain insights into the crucial role they can play in the fight against TIP and SOM. Moreover, the session equipped participants with the operational means and best practices to better address and fight these crimes.

This information session took place in the context of the Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and reaches thirteen countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. GLO.ACT works with the 13 countries to plan and implement strategic national counter-trafficking and counter smuggling efforts through a prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships approach.

For more information please contact:

Mme. Zara Atbi, OIM Maroc, Tél: +212 (0) 537652881 email: 
Or follow us on Twitter: @glo_act

Language English Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 11:00Image: Region-Country: MoroccoThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Director General Accepts Jacques Diouf Award for Global Food Security

PBN News Germany - Thu, 07/06/2017 - 06:14

Italy – Yesterday, Wednesday, 5 July, William Lacy Swing, the Director General of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, accepted the Jacques Diouf Award on behalf of the Organization. The Award was jointly granted to IOM and the Rabobank Foundation. 

The Jacques Diouf award is presented every two years to individuals or national/regional institutions that have made a significant contribution to the improvement of global food security. Established in 2011, the award pays tribute to former FAO Director-General, Jacques Diouf, recognizing his outstanding leadership, personal engagement, and untiring advocacy in the fight against poverty, hunger and malnutrition. The award consists of an inscribed medal, a scroll describing achievements and a cash prize of USD 25,000.  

On receiving the award from José Graziano da Silva, the FAO Director-General, at a special ceremony held at their headquarters, Director General Swing thanked FAO for selecting IOM as joint winner of the Jacques Diouf Award. 

“It is a great honour to be recognized with this award. While IOM’s name is the International Organization for Migration, we also see our work as devoted to ensuring that people migrate as a matter of choice rather than by necessity. Much of our work, both under normal circumstances as well as during crises, is spent in trying to enable people not to have to move,” said Director General Swing in his acceptance speech.  

He highlighted some examples of the ways in which IOM works to address food insecurity, such as: 

  • support to livelihoods, small businesses and animal husbandry, including through micro finance schemes, 
  • provision of water, sanitation and irrigation,  
  • support to communities whose access to food is impacted by environmental and climate change factors, including through mitigation and adaptation,  
  • displacement tracking and assessment work, to ensure FAO and other relevant agencies know where people are facing food insecurities, poor access to water and other forms of vulnerabilities, 
  • disaster risk reduction work, including planning, prevention and response, and building resilience.   

“We are grateful that the award also recognizes the work IOM does in advocacy for the rights and protection of migrants at global, regional, national and local levels; and in drawing attention in global debates to the links between migration and development, and circumstances that create or exacerbate vulnerabilities. 

“We are privileged already to have an excellent working relationship with FAO. We will have an opportunity to become even closer and even more effective together in the coming year as joint co-chairs of the Global Migration Group in 2018 the year in which states negotiate a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. We hope we can help ensure the outcome will be positive for migrants and communities the world over,” concluded Director General Swing. 

IOM’s joint recipient, the Rabobank Foundation, is recognized for their unfaltering technical and financial support to rural producer cooperatives and agribusinesses that have outgrown eligibility for donations and microcredit, but are not yet entitled to standard bank loans. By bridging this critical gap, the Foundation has helped boost the self-sufficiency of smallholder farmers and strengthened global food security. The Foundation has also promoted adherence to the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance on Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGTs), demonstrating its sustainable approach to food security. 

For further information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 403 53 65, Email:  


Language English Posted: Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 12:11Image: Region-Country: ItalyThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Training Governmental and Non-Governmental Actors for Better Identification and Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking

PBN News Germany - Wed, 07/05/2017 - 06:05

Mali - In coordination with the Ministry of Justice and the National Committee against Trafficking in Persons (NCTIP), IOM, one of GLO.ACT three implementing partner, facilitated from 19-20 June, the first awareness raising and capacity building training on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM).

Mali's first law to combat TIP was adopted in 2012. Unfortunately, due to the security and political crisis that the country was going through at the time, this law is unknown to many governmental and non-governmental actors working in the fight against TIP. Consequently, the goal of the workshop was to address this and to provide governmental and non-governmental actors with formal training, focusing on increasing awareness and capacity for better identification and assistance to victims of human trafficking throughout Mali.

Furthermore, this training is due to be replicated in the regions of Segou, Sikasso, Kayes, Mopti, Gao. It is expected that a total of 210 people will attend these training sessions.

These trainings are dispensed by IOM and are funded by the IOM Development Fund and GLO.ACT. GLO.ACT is a joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

For more information please contact: Aminta Dicko, IOM Mali, tel: +223 9050007, email:

Language English Posted: Monday, July 3, 2017 - 12:02Image: Region-Country: MaliThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 101,210 in 2017; 2,247 Deaths

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/04/2017 - 11:00
Language English

Switzerland - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) reports that 101,210 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 3 July, with almost 85 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 231,503 arrivals across the region through 3 July 2016.

IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported that on Friday, 30 June, 80 survivors brought to the Italian port of Brindisi told IOM staff that their dinghy with approximately 140 people on board capsized; an estimated 60 migrants went missing. Di Giacomo noted that, through the first six months of 2017, only in January did fewer migrants arrive on Italian shores than did in each of the first six months of 2016. Except for the month of April, this year’s flows have also exceeded all the arrivals reported in 2015. (See chart below.)

IOM Libya's Christine Petré reported that on 3 July the remains of four men of African origin were retrieved by the Libyan Red Crescent in Tajura, east of Tripoli. So far this year, the remains of 340 men, women and children have been found along the coast of Libya while this year over 10,000 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters.

With these latest reports, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) noted total deaths on the Mediterranean this year are approaching 2,250. Although that figure trails the number of deaths (2,963) that were recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,000.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,047 fatalities through 2 July this year (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – almost three quarters of the global total.

In the past few days, MMP regional figures have added: 60 missing in the Central Mediterranean as reported by survivors disembarked in Brindisi, Italy; nine bodies recovered during last week’s rescue operations and taken to Catania, Italy, by a Swedish Coast Guard ship; two drownings in Rio Bravo and four bodies retrieved in Tajura, Libya.

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit:
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:

For further information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Kelly Namia at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:

Posted: Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - 16:37Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

IOM Border Health Management Continues as Ebola Outbreak Declared Over in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/04/2017 - 11:00
Language English

Democratic Republic of the Congo - After 42 days without recording a new case of Ebola, Congolese health authorities over the weekend officially declared an end to the latest outbreak of the disease, which killed four people out of eight infected in Congo's remote north-eastern forests.

Although this latest outbreak – the eighth for the country since Ebola was discovered in 1976 – is now officially over, the IOM Mission in the DRC intends to continue its on-going activities to train and equip border health officials and carry out surveillance and mapping activities along key migration corridors.

“It is essential to continue this work to build the capacity of our Congolese health partners to comprehensively address the migration dimension of any future epidemic threats, including most recently the Ebola and Yellow fever outbreaks,” said IOM’s Public Health specialist Aki Yoshino.

To date, IOM’s Migration and Health programme in the DR Congo has carried out a range of Japanese-funded activities in partnership with the Programme National d’Hygiène aux Frontières (PNHF) and key international health partners such as the WHO.          

Those include the deployment of PNHF Ebola response teams in the Bas Uele province, where the first cases of Ebola were identified and along four main Point of Entries on the border with the neighbouring Central African Republic. Additional Congolese border health officials were also deployed in Kisangani, Congo’s third largest city and at Kinshasa international airport.

Prior to their deployment, all border health officials were trained and equipped with mobile data collection tools. As part of this on-going programme, teams of enumerators working in twelve data collection sites were also trained as part of mapping exercises that were then validated by local health authorities and partners.     

“Mapping of main migration routes and corridors is key to containing epidemic outbreaks,” said IOM’s Aki Yoshino. “The maps which have so far been produced will allow a prompt and targeted response at borders should Ebola reoccur in Congo’s Bas Uele Province.” 

The surveys carried out have identified priority entry sites along the borders with the Central African Republic and eastern provinces that border with Uganda.

It also identified artisanal mining sites that attract large numbers of migrant workers from various parts of the country and the region and from countries further afield, such as China and India. It also revealed that motorbikes and bicycles are the most common means of transportation, suggesting the need to raise awareness among populations on ways to contain future outbreaks.

For further information please contact IOM Kinshasa. Aki Yoshino, Tel: +243 829715652, Email: or Emery Kianga, Tel: +243 816 867 613 Email:

Posted: Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - 16:34Image: Region-Country: Democratic Republic of the CongoDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM briefing in Kisangani, DRC. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Health screening and flow monitoring in Butta Bas Uele in DRC. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

IOM Egypt Launches New AVRR Map

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/04/2017 - 10:59
Language English

Egypt - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Egypt launched its revamped Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) Map ( on 4 July 2017 to provide policymakers, development partners, civil society, private sector, academia and the donor community with updated information on stranded Egyptian migrants who opted to return home voluntarily and non-Egyptian migrants wishing to voluntarily return to their home countries.

The AVRR Map allows users to gain a better understanding of this specific element of migration trends by visualizing AVRR data by nationality and socioeconomic background, and assistance provided by IOM. It also allows users to filter data and analyse trends. In addition, the map includes blog features to showcase migrant success stories and raise awareness of their diverse journeys and reintegration once back home.

The AVRR Map enables the identification of good practices in the sustainable return of migrants, evidence-based programming, as well as improve understanding of AVRR in support of migrants who express the desire to return to their countries of origin in a dignified manner.

AVRR is a central part of a comprehensive approach to migration management, as it presents a more humane and dignified approach to return while enhancing reintegration perspectives at home. The IOM AVRR programme is often the only viable solution for migrants who want to return home, but lack the means to do so. This includes migrants in irregular situations, asylum seekers who have withdrawn their application or whose claim has been rejected, stranded migrants, victims of trafficking and other vulnerable groups, such as unaccompanied migrant children or migrants with health-related needs.

IOM AVRR programmes have assisted over 40,000 migrants globally in the past five years. Since 2012, IOM Egypt assisted over 1,600 migrants returning home, including over 1,000 individuals who were provided with sustainable livelihood opportunities in their countries of origin. Around 25 per cent of those were Egyptians returning to Egypt, while the remaining 75 per cent returned to 20 different countries (mainly Ethiopia, Sudan and Nigeria).

To access the map, please click on this link

For further information, please contact Salma AlHosseiny, at IOM Egypt, Tel: +202 27365140, Email:

Posted: Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - 16:36Image: Region-Country: EgyptDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM assisted Ali to return to Egypt and open a bookshop in Cairo in 2014. Photo: Albert Gonzalez

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Calls for Stronger Rescue Cooperation and Solidarity with Italy

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/04/2017 - 10:56
Language English

Switzerland - Ahead of this week’s informal meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs ministers, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) urges European Union (EU) Member States to reinvigorate cooperation in the shared interest of saving more lives in the Mediterranean, and to help Member States on the EU’s southern border to receive, assist and accommodate people rescued at sea.

“Starting with Mare Nostrum, Italy has consistently shown its will and determination to deploy the means and capacities to save lives and handle the hundreds of thousands of people arriving at its shores over the past several years across the Mediterranean, and in the process, have saved several hundred thousands of lives,” said IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing.

“The reception of rescued migrants cannot be seen as an issue only for Italy, but a matter for Europe as a whole,” he added.

Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM Regional Director for the EU in Brussels, said that the absolute priority in the event of interception at sea is the swift disembarkation of those rescued to a “place of safety” according to applicable international law, to save and preserve lives.

“States must organize this solidarity before, during and after disembarkation – this is the overriding concern in respecting the rule of law – and to save lives, while preserving the interests of host communities as well,” he said.

IOM also recognizes and commends the tireless lifesaving work of the NGOs performing rescue at sea which accounted for up to 40 per cent of the rescues in the Central Mediterranean last year. IOM therefore stresses that they should be able to continue work unimpeded, in accordance with international and maritime law. Any changes should be well coordinated so as not to affect their ability to carry out rescue work in the absence of more robust EU-coordinated rescue at sea operations and mandates.

IOM reiterates that the EU cannot continue to deal with the situation in a ‘crisis’ mode, and sees no alternative to tackling the larger structural issues with greater priority, longer-term measures and intensified cooperation from Europe as a whole.

Nearly 12,000 migrants have been rescued and brought to Italy since 24 June alone; however, the IOM office in Rome reports that this is not the first time this number of arrivals has been registered in a short period of time.

IOM also reports that arrivals in June 2017 (23,411) are similar to arrivals in June 2016 (22,371) and June 2015 (22,877), which indicates that there is no dramatic increase in arrivals at this time.

As of 3 July, 85,183 migrants had been rescued in 2017. Arrivals to Italy are up around 19 per cent over last year, but in line with a generally stable trend over the last few years.

Migrant fatalities in the Mediterranean are estimated to be at least 2,247 so far this year, well on the way to match last year’s record number of deaths, which exceeded 5,000 men, women and children.

To date, 7,354 people have been relocated to other EU Member States from Italy under the EU Relocation Programme.

For further information, please contact Leonard Doyle at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 285 7123, Email:; Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:; or Ryan Schroeder at IOM’s EU Regional Office in Brussels, Tel: +32 2287 7116, Email:

Posted: Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - 16:38Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

Italian Coast Guard rescues migrants and refugees bound for Italy. File photo: IOM/Francesco Malavolta 2014

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Helps 37 Stranded Ethiopians Return Home from Kenya

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/04/2017 - 10:40

Ethiopia - On 29 June 2017, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, assisted the voluntary return of 37 stranded Ethiopian migrants, who were held by Kenyan authorities for unlawful entry and presence in the country.

Organized in collaboration with the Government of Kenya and the Ethiopian Embassy in Nairobi, the voluntary return was jointly funded by the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF), Better Migration Management (BMM) and the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).

The 37 Ethiopian migrants entered Kenya through the Moyale border and intended to reach South Africa via the “Southern Route,” transiting Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi. IOM was approached by the Embassy of Ethiopia in Kenya to extend its assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) services to the group.

In close coordination with the Ethiopian Embassy and Kenyan immigration and police officials, IOM staff assessed all 37 migrants in order to determine their specific needs and profiles, such as special medical requirements. All migrants passed the assessment, declared medically fit to travel, and were provided with food and core relief items in preparation for their voluntary return to Ethiopia.

The Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat estimates that between 14,750 and 16,850 individuals leave the Horn of Africa annually via the “Southern Route.” Of those, an estimated 13,400 to 14,050 Somalis and Ethiopians entered South Africa irregularly in both 2015 and 2016.

Their hazardous and protracted journeys involve the irregular crossing of land and water borders of more than five countries (often with the aid of smugglers), prior to arrival at the intended final destination:  South Africa. Some migrants are abused along the way, while others face obstacles like illness en route, dehydration, starvation and suffocation as a result of using means of transport with little or no ventilation.

The journey usually involves traversing semi-arid and wilderness areas, often at night, in order to avoid detection by authorities.

This voluntary return operation was made possible through the PRM-funded programme Regional Mixed Migration Program for the Horn of Africa and Yemen, and the EUTF/BMM programme. The Regional Mixed Migration Program provides assistance to vulnerable migrants and works to build the capacity of authorities addressing migration issues in the region. The BMM programme arises from the Khartoum Process that aims at facilitating safe, orderly and humane migration. IOM is implementing the BMM programme in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.

For further information, please contact Etsuko Inoue Teranishi, Tel: +254 708 988 903, Email: or Paul Gitonga, Tel: +254 715 446 132, Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - 16:33Image: Region-Country: KenyaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff member provides post arrival briefing to returnees at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Joint United Nations Statement on Ending Discrimination in Health Care Settings

PBN News Germany - Mon, 07/03/2017 - 10:52

Switzerland - United Nations entities recall that a central principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to “ensure that no one is left behind” and to “reach the furthest behind first”. Recognizing that discrimination in health care settings is a major barrier to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nations entities commit to working together to support Member States in taking coordinated multisectoral action to eliminate discrimination in health care settings.

Discrimination in health care settings is widespread across the world and takes many forms. It violates the most fundamental human rights protected in international treaties and in national laws and constitutions.

Discrimination in health care settings is directed towards some of the most marginalized and stigmatized populations – the very populations that States promised to prioritize through the 2030 Agenda, and who are all too often excluded or left behind. Many individuals and groups face discrimination on the basis of their age, sex, race or ethnicity, health status, disability or vulnerability to ill health, sexual orientation or gender identity, nationality, asylum or migration
status, or criminal record, often experiencing intersecting or compounding forms of discrimination.

Discrimination affects both users of health care services and health care workers. It serves as a barrier to accessing health services, affects the quality of health services provided, and reinforces exclusion from society for both individuals and groups.

Discrimination in health care settings takes many forms and is often manifested when an individual or group is denied access to health care services that are otherwise available to others. It can also occur through denial of services that are only needed by certain groups, such as women. Examples include specific individuals or groups being subjected to physical and verbal abuse or violence; involuntary treatment; breaches of confidentiality and/or denial of autonomous decision-making, such as the requirement of consent to treatment by parents, spouses or guardians; and lack of free and informed consent.

It is also present in the entrenched gender-based discrimination within the largely female health workforce, as evidenced by physical and sexual violence, wage gaps, irregular salaries, lack of formal employment, and inability to participate in leadership and decision-making.

National laws, policies and practices can also foster and perpetuate discrimination in health care settings, prohibiting or discouraging people from seeking the broad range of health care services they may need. Some laws run counter to established public health evidence and human rights standards. Evidence demonstrates the harmful health and human rights impacts of such laws.

Addressing discrimination in health care settings will contribute to the achievement of many of the SDGs, ensuring that no one is left behind. It is fundamental to securing progress towards SDG 3, Good health and well being, including achieving universal health coverage and ending the AIDS and tuberculosis epidemics; SDG 4, Quality education; SDG 5, Gender equality and women’s empowerment; SDG 8, Decent work and inclusive economic growth; SDG 10, Reduced inequalities; and SDG 16, Peace, justice and strong institutions.
States have an immediate legal obligation to address discrimination. While States bear this primary duty, a multistakeholder and multisectoral response, including a coordinated effort from the United Nations system, is urgently required. Together we must end discrimination in health care settings.

We, the signatory United Nations entities, call upon all stakeholders to join us in committing to taking targeted, coordinated, time-bound, multisectoral actions in the following areas:

Supporting States to put in place guarantees against discrimination in law, policies, and regulations by:

  • Reviewing and strengthening laws to prohibit discrimination in the provision and distribution of health care services, as well as in relation to education and employment in the health sector. Laws and policies must respect the principles of autonomy in health care decision-making; guarantee free and informed consent, privacy and confidentiality; prohibit mandatory HIV testing; prohibit screening procedures that are not of benefit to the individual or the public; and ban involuntary treatment and mandatory third-party authorization and notification requirements. All stakeholders should support the clear dissemination, implementation, and monitoring of adherence to such laws and regulations and their translation into policies and practice.
  • Reviewing and repealing punitive laws that have been proven to have negative health outcomes and that counter established public health evidence. These include laws that criminalize or otherwise prohibit gender expression, same sex conduct, adultery and other sexual behaviours between consenting adults; adult consensual sex work; drug use or possession
  • of drugs for personal use; sexual and reproductive health care services, including information; and overly broad criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, exposure or transmission.
  • Reviewing, strengthening, implementing and monitoring health professional policies, regulations, standards, working conditions and ethics, for the prohibition of discrimination on all grounds in connection to health care settings.

Supporting measures to empower health workers and users of health services through attention to and realization of their rights, roles and responsibilities by:

  • Ensuring that the labour rights and standards of health workers, including in the area of occupational safety and health, are fully respected, protected, and fulfilled, and that health workers are free from discrimination and violence in the workplace. Particular attention should be paid to the gendered nature of the health workforce, including through ensuring gender-sensitive sectoral and facility-level policies and health professional regulations operationalizing decent work, gender equality, and formal employment of the health workforce. Health workers should be supported in upholding their legal and ethical responsibilities, including with respect to advancing human rights, and their role as human rights defenders should be protected.
  • Providing pre-service and in-service education to the health workforce on their rights, roles, and responsibilities related to addressing discrimination in health care settings. Policies, programmes and budgets need to provide for a diverse workforce, including through strengthening educational admission criteria and promoting health workforce educational and career development opportunities for women, youth and persons from rural and marginalized communities.
  • Empowering users of health care services so that they are aware of and able to demand their rights. This will enable them to hold those responsible accountable for discrimination-free health care settings through rights literacy, patient charters, social accountability monitoring, community support, and other tools.

Supporting accountability and compliance with the principle of non-discrimination in health care settings by:

  • Guaranteeing access to effective mechanisms of redress and accountability. This involves development and implementation of individual, tailor-made remedies and redress procedures for victims of violations, and constructive systems of accountability in health and other sectors to prevent future violations.
  • Strengthening mechanisms for reporting, monitoring and evaluation of discrimination. This can be achieved through support for the building and sharing of the evidence base and ensuring the participation of affected communities and health workers in the development of health policies.

Implementing the United Nations Shared Framework for Action on Combating Inequalities and Discrimination by:

  • Providing sector-specific and joint guidance and practical tools to raise awareness of human rights standards for non-discrimination as they apply to health care settings.
Language English Posted: Monday, July 3, 2017 - 09:34Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration HealthRelated Documents:  Joint United Nations Statement on Ending Discrimination in Health Care SettingsDefault: 
Categories: PBN

2017 Global Migration Film Festival: Call for Entries

PBN News Germany - Mon, 07/03/2017 - 07:42

Switzerland — The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is inviting professional and emerging filmmakers to submit perception-changing films about the migrant experience for the second annual Global Migration Film Festival (5–18 December).

The Global Migration Film Festival showcases films that capture the promise and challenges of migration for those who leave their homes in search of a better life and the unique contributions migrants make to their new communities.

In 2016, the inaugural festival took place in 89 countries. Nearly 10,000 people attended 220 screenings at cinemas, universities, cultural institutions and other venues. The festival hosted 13 films and documentaries, as well as 200 short films about and by migrants.

“The journeys migrants take, sometimes full of peril, often full of hope, have been the subject of films throughout the history of cinema,” says IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “We hope the films at our next festival will instill understanding, empathy with characters, awe at their journeys and admiration for those who welcome their new neighbors.”

Categories, awards and submission information

  • The film submission period is from 03 July to 17 September, 2017.
  • Festival themes: the promise and challenge of migration and the positive contributions migrants make to their new communities.
  • Professional filmmakers working in all genres are invited to submit films of at least 25 minutes in length for consideration.
  • Emerging filmmakers from 92 select countries are invited to submit films of at least 25 minutes in length for both the festival and a competition.  A committee of international film professionals will select three standout productions, and each winner will receive $1,500.
  • Filmmakers from 92 select countries who have migrated in their lifetime are invited to submit a short video about their own experience, or a profile of other migrants, to become part of IOM’s global i am a migrant campaign. These videos will also be considered for screening at the 2017 film festival.
  • Festival locations, dates and selected films will be announced in October 2017.
  • Visit IOM’s website for more details about categories, awards and submission guidelines.

The Global Migration Film Festival is a partner of Plural+ and the UN campaign, TOGETHER, which aim to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants.


For more details about IOM’s Global Migration Film Festival and the i am a migrant campaign, email:
Media queries, email:
For information on how to become a partner, sponsor or festival co-host, contact:

Language English Posted: Monday, July 3, 2017 - 13:32Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMOthersDefault: Multimedia: 
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