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Updated: 1 hour 41 min ago

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 60,521 in 2017; Deaths: 1,530

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 10:32
Language English

Switzerland  - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 60,521 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 24 May, with over 80 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 193,333 arrivals across the region through 21 May 2016. 

IOM Rome reported that, through 24 May this year, 50,267 migrants or refugees have landed in Italy (See chart below), however that does not include all the men, women and children who are believed to have been rescued over the past 48 hours.

IOM spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported Friday (26 May) that the unofficial number of migrants rescued Thursday is around 2000, indicating that a total number of survivors rescued between Tuesday and Thursday would be close to 6,000, all believed to have sailed from Libya.

Mr. Di Giacomo further explained that the balance of some 4,129 migrants rescued on Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to land in Italian ports during the day today, Friday. He added that a week ago, on Friday 19 May, a dinghy carrying 130 migrants that had departed from Sabratha, Libya, passed another dinghy in distress and took on four people at sea, all Nigerians, who had been struggling to stay afloat. The four survivors reported that they had departed from Tripoli a few hours earlier. According to their testimony, at least 156 fellow passengers were on that craft, and died at sea---including dozens of women and children.

He also reported that on Thursday (25 May) a wooden boat carrying approximately 500 people capsized. A day later IOM is reporting the remains of 34 people have been recovered from that sinking. It is still not known how many more may have died in that incident.

These deaths being to at least 1,530 recorded on the Mediterranean in 2017, all but 82 in the waters between Libya and Sicily.  IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports last year at this time 982 migrants or refugees were reported lost in these waters, out of a total of 1,398 believed lost along three Mediterranean crossing routes.

While today’s 1,530 fatalities exceed last year’s Mediterranean totals at the same point in time, they are not the greatest reported on this route. Through the end of May 2015, MMP reported 1,828 men, women and children had perished on the Mediterranean Sea.  Although not yet added to the Missing Migrants Project data base, IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported that on 23 May, 230 migrants were rescued off Az Zawiyah, and in another rescue mission, also in Az Zawiyah, 96 migrants (86 men and 10 women) were rescued.

On the same day, 120 migrants (113 men and seven women) were rescued off Tajoura, close to the capital Tripoli.  In addition,  she reported, that same day two bodies were retrieved in Az Zawiyah and Tripoli.

On 25 May, about 110 migrants were rescued off Az Zawiyah, IOM planned a visit to the site late on Thursday to find out more about the most urgent needs.

So far in 2017, 6,453 migrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast and 228 bodies have reportedly been retrieved off shore.

These latest deaths bring the worldwide total recorded by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) to reports that there have been 2,125 fatalities through 24 May (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – about two thirds of the global total.

In addition to the nearly 200 new victims recorded in the Central Mediterranean this week, MMP recorded one death on the Pakistan-India border on May 15, and one on the Syria-Turkey border on May 18. 

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: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 10:18Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Thousands Continue to Flee West Mosul: UN Migration Agency

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 10:07
Language English

Iraq - An average of 10,000 individuals are fleeing from West Mosul and arriving daily at the transit Zone in Hamam al-Alil, according to the military and camp management there.

Last Thursday (May 18) the number of people fleeing West Mosul peaked when some 16,100 individuals passed through the Hamam al-Alil screening site, according to government figures. It was the largest official daily movement of people since the Mosul operation began on October 17, 2016.

With gruelling high temperatures during the day most opt to make the trip in the cooler hours of the night,  leaving and walking several hours before reaching the nearest military checkpoints.

From there, the men, women and large number of children are transported to the town of Hamam al-Alil town south of Mosul, on the western banks of the Euphrates, in Ninewa governorate.

The town, the largest south of Mosul city has become the transit hub for the tens of thousands of families who have fled the conflict in West Mosul.

With the camp adjacent to the site at full capacity, many families are being moved to other camps, with large numbers opting to go to areas east of Mosul where they stay with families, friends or in rental accommodation.

According to Iraq Government figures, cumulatively, more than 742,000 people have been displaced from Mosul and its surrounding areas since October 16, 2016, when the military offensive began, including 566,000 individuals displaced from western Mosul since the second phase of the military offensive to retake the city was launched in mid-February. More than 73,000 Iraqis were displaced last week alone.

An estimated 117,732 individuals have returned to their areas of origin in east Mosul, while 34,841 people returned to West Mosul.

The current number of IDPs from western Mosul who remain displaced is more than 531,000 individuals.

An estimated 200,000 individuals are still entrapped under ISIL territories in Mosul’s Old City. As of May 23, IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has tracked and located more than 377,000 individuals (nearly 63,000 families) currently being sheltered in camps and emergency sites. This includes people living in host communities, informal sites and rented homes. 

In Hamam al-Alil on Wednesday (24/05), families arriving from newly retaken areas spoke of ISIL horrors, extreme shortages of food, medicines, water and power as well as the fear of being shot while escaping.

“We ran out of food and were left with ground wheat and the skins of the wheat we had stocked earlier,” Um Omar, said.

She said that towards the end, their meals consisted of boiled hay.

Another woman surrounded by her tired and restless children said she knew of families who were now cutting grass and wild plants they can find for food. 

Nearly 85,000 children are still trapped as a result of the offensive to retake Mosul, and water supplies in the camps for the displaced are “stretched to the limits,” according to UNICEF.

But despite the hardships, the long walk to safety, the fear and hunger, for the many who arrive at Hamam al-Alil, it is as if they have been reborn again.

The new mantra or popular catch phrase amongst Iraqi IDPs who succeed in escaping ISIL has become “Thank God, we are reborn again.”

Not all, however, are as lucky.

In IOM’s field hospital, in partnership with Qatar’s Red Crescent, in Hamam al-Alil, young Abdul Rahman sobbed his heart out as he recounted the day his house came under ISIL mortar attack killing his elder brother and severely injuring his leg.

“I am afraid…” the skeletal 11-year old sobbed quietly from his bed at the field hospital.

“I lost my leg…” he cried. “I wont be able to run or play football anymore.”

“My brother was sitting next to me, then the house came down on us and he was killed,” Abdul Rahman recounted, as he lay in bed with his right leg, amputated to a stump, just above the knee.

Unable to leave the house due to the hail of mortars being fired by ISIL on their neighbourhood that day, Abdul’s brother Ahmad (22) and a father of an 8-month-old baby, bled for four hours from his injuries before he eventually died.

Abdul’s father eventually managed to carry his injured young son Abdul Rahman and move him to another location. It took five days and five different locations before the young boy was eventually brought to IOM and Qatar’s Red Crescent field hospital where he could receive treatment.

By the time he arrived at IOM’s field hospital, despite the desperate efforts by surgeons to save his leg, the limb tissues to his severed arteries were dead and young Abdul Rahman’s leg had to be amputated.

As the Iraqi military forces close in on the Old City and the last remaining neighbourhoods, reports from the injured and escapees suggest that ISIL is tightening, what remains of its grip against the civilians.

“They are calling out from the mosque minarets, warning that they will shoot the children if families attempt to escape,” Um Ahmad said.

“They are even booby trapping our front doors to prevent us from escaping,” said Hassan who lay in one of IOM’s hospital beds recovering from injuries to his legs.

Unbeknown to him, ISIL had laid explosives at the entrance of his house. As stepped out to escape the explosives went off.

In another bed Saadoun stood vigilant moving from one bed to another checking on his two young boys: Qaws, a 3-year-old injured in the leg and Yassin 7, who was injured in the head.

Back in the Hamam al-Alil camp, where the family of seven members are crammed with relatives in a tent, he left three other children who are also injured.

A bomb aimed at their neighbour’s house, which ISIL was occupying with the family as human shields, brought down his own house over their heads.

His five children were all injured, and his neighbours killed including a grandmother and two children.

“I couldn’t dig out my neighbours from under the rubble,” Saadoun lamented sadly.

Some 12,500 people have been transferred from frontline areas to hospitals for trauma injuries treatment as of 20 May according to OCHA; including 6,369 people from West Mosul alone.

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said: "The fact that huge numbers of Iraqis continue to flee West Mosul, despite the dangers involved, is a testament of both the dire situation inside, and the enormous task ahead of us to alleviate the suffering of IDPs. IOM and our humanitarian partners in cooperation with the Government of Iraq, will continue to provide comprehensive humanitarian assistance and lifesaving support to IDPs to the full extent of our resources.”

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

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq: Hala Jaber, Tel: +964 751 740 1654, Email: or Sandra Black, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email:

Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 10:04Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastIraqThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Colombo Process States Seek Better Protection for Asian Migrants Caught in Crises

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 10:04
Language English

Philipines - This week, (22-23/5), the UN Migration Agency, IOM and ten Colombo Process (CP) member States met in Manila, the Philippines, to discuss practical approaches to protecting their nationals abroad during crises.

The CP, which is also known as the Ministerial Consultation on Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin in Asia is currently chaired by Nepal. Countries represented at the meeting included Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.

The two-day meeting came at a time when governments in Asia are increasingly taking steps to better protect migrants caught in countries experiencing humanitarian crises, including natural disasters and conflict.

“People living and working outside their countries of origin are vulnerable and risk becoming stranded abroad in times of crisis,” said Marco Boasso, IOM Philippines Chief of Mission. “They often lack the necessary resources, and access to the services and information they need to address the challenges brought by unforeseen crises,” he added.

The meeting, which focused on IOM’s “Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC)” initiative was organized to enable CP States to exchange lessons learned on how to help nationals stranded abroad in countries experiencing crisis.

It also encouraged CP States to set up a ‘collective preparedness mechanism’ that would allow their consular services during crises to provide protection for the nationals of all CP States – not just their own.

The meeting, which was funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM),  followed a call made by the 2016 CP Ministerial Declaration on developing collaborative consular mechanisms, sharing information, and promoting political commitment among CP member States.

“The delegations expressed a readiness to recommend tackling migration crisis interventions in many standing CP Thematic Working Group meetings, including those which refer to pre-departure orientation and empowerment, skills training and ethical recruitment,” noted Gahendra Rajbhandari, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal. 

IOM is already helping to build the capacity of the consular services of Viet Nam, Afghanistan and the Philippines to assist migrants caught in crises. Many of their practices and lessons learned are described in the MICIC Guidelines.

CP States have already made considerable progress in protecting their nationals abroad during crises, notably in Nepal, Syria and Libya.

For further information, please contact Lorenzo Guadagno from the MICIC team at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 7179 566, Email:

Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 10:01Image: Region-Country: AsiaPhilippinesDefault: 
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Free Movement of Persons and Migration Project in West Africa Builds Capacity in Migration Data Collection and Management

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 10:01
Language English

Nigeria - This week (22-24/05), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), with support from the UN Migration Agency (IOM) through the EU-funded Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa (FMM West Africa) project, organized a three-day regional training of trainers on migration data collection and management.

The training – held in Abuja, Nigeria – focused on strengthening national capacities on migration data management as effective data collection is vital to migration management with significant benefits to migrants, host communities and governments.

Countries in the West African region have improved their migration management by establishing various standards, methodologies, concepts and definitions related to migration. However, at national level, data has not been consistently collected and the data that has been collected is not always effectively utilized. The region’s high rate of human mobility is key to its economic growth. However, a lot of this mobility is not measured due to the absence of harmonized procedures for collecting and analysing migration data.

“Collecting, analysing and understanding migration data means there is a need to collect more than just border control data,” said Ann Singleton, University of Bristol and Senior Advisor to IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC). “Using the ECOWAS Guidelines as a starting point, National Statistical Offices and Ministries will be able to better understand, and report to, their policy makers at the national and regional levels to help build an evidence base for effective policies,” said Singleton.

To address this challenge, the ECOWAS, in collaboration with IOM GMDAC, developed regional guidelines (2016) that contain standardized definitions of migration terms and concepts, as well as an action plan for improved data practices. As a result, ECOWAS and IOM GMDAC facilitated a series of trainings for government officials in the region.

This regional training of trainers brought together 30 experts from national statistics offices and officers in charge of administrative data collection from the national immigration agencies of ECOWAS Members States. They worked on the regional guidelines and the training tools to reinforce their knowledge and capacities to step-down the training at the national level.

“I’m happy to participate in this training. This is an ideal environment to discuss ideas on how to improve data collection and management,” said Dauda Aba Fane from the National Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) in Mali. “I hope to be better prepared once I complete this training. I’ll share the acquired knowledge with my colleagues in Mali to be able to improve together trustable data. Improved data are essential to inform policy makers,” she added.

The training was co-facilitated by ECOWAS, Research and Statistics directorate, and the IOM Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) global experts.

The Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa (FMM West Africa) project is implemented by IOM, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), and is being funded jointly by the European Union and ECOWAS.

The FMM West Africa project seeks to maximize the development potential of free movement of persons and migration in West Africa and has a component on intra-regional dialogue and migration policy development, specifically designed to support the Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA) process.

For further information please contact, Frantz Celestin at IOM XX, Tel: (234) 814 0671127, Email:

Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 09:59Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastNigeriaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Middle East Airlines Cabin Crew, Airport Agencies in Lebanon Join Fight Against Human Trafficking

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 09:59
Language English

Lebanon - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) last week (18-19/05), the organized a two-day training in Lebanon on "Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Victim Identification and Protection". A total of 20 Middle East Airlines cabin crew supervisors and staff from relevant security agencies, who deal with passengers at Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, took part.

The training aimed to enhance the capacity and skills of cabin crew supervisors and airport agencies in effectively identifying victims of trafficking and referring them to adequate care in Lebanon. The training was facilitated by a team of counter-trafficking experts from the Lebanese Ministry of Justice, Internal Security Forces and IOM.

“Airports are a hub, where trafficking in human beings starts and flourishes,” stated Judge Rana Akoum from the Ministry of Justice, highlighting the importance of raising awareness with the airport staff at the opening of the training. “A training that targets cabin crew supervisors and airport staff is really important. They can be a watchful eye over the indicators of trafficking and play a role in identifying victims,” said Akoum.

“The training supports existing efforts to increase the identification of human trafficking cases among at-risk populations, and referral of victims to specialized care,” stated Fawzi Al Zioud, IOM Lebanon Head of Office, at the training. “We are happy to see the private sector taking steps to combat human trafficking and hope to strengthen that by ensuring a wider awareness on this crime to the general public,” said Al Zioud. 

The Government of Lebanon has made significant efforts towards addressing human trafficking in recent years. However, a lot can still be done to actively identify cases and enact a referral mechanism in order to protect and assist victims of trafficking.

“It is very interesting to gain knowledge on how to identify trafficked cases and necessary to act to help victims,” said Rima Abu Rahal, a Middle East Airlines cabin crew supervisor, who took part in the training. “It is very useful to raise awareness with the cabin crew on this topic. I believe this training should expand to reach out to captains and more staff if possible,” she added.

For further information, please contact Dima Haddad at IOM Lebanon, Tel: +961 76823 014, Email:

Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 09:57Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastLebanonThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: 
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IOM Egypt Launches Migrant Information-Sharing Mobile Application

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 09:57
Language English

Egypt - IOM Egypt recently launched a mobile application for Bosla, a migrant information-sharing website that provides information on services available to migrants in Egypt.

Built up from the website, the mobile application is available on Android, iOS, and Windows and reflects an interactive functioning directory of services available to migrants, where they can interact and provide their respective feedback and inputs to service providers, as well as on conditions and assistance available in their communities of origin. The two-way communication also allows IOM to constantly improve Bosla, based on the feedback received.

By making Bosla platform accessible on mobile devices, IOM aims to maximize outreach to migrants residing in Egypt and ensure a fast, easy and most effective access to information.

Meaning ‘compass’ in Arabic, Bosla was developed to orient migrants towards agencies throughout Egypt providing critical, essential and basic services as well as events available to migrants in Egypt. Both the website and the mobile application include an online directory of local organizations that provide services, allow and promote activities for the benefit of migrant communities in Egypt.

Going forward, Bosla will be turned into a regional platform covering five targeted countries: Algeria, Egypt, Libya Morocco and Tunisia, including the relevant features that would make the platform accessible in different languages identified by IOM as most commonly spoken by the target migrant communities in all five countries to improve its two-way reach in migrant-dense communities.

Bosla was initially launched within the framework of the European Union (EU)-funded programme, Stabilizing at-risk communities and enhancing migration management to enable smooth transitions in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya – START and its revamp will be concluded in June this year also under START. Ongoing support has been provided by another EU-funded project: Community Resilience Initiative to Support the Regional Development and Protection Programme in North Africa – RDPP.

For further information, please contact Yasmin Abdalla at IOM Egypt. Tel: +202 27365140, Email:

Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 09:55Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastEgyptDefault: 
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IOM Signs Cooperation Agreement with Chilean Federation of Industry

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 09:55
Language English

Chile - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) yesterday (24/05) signed a cooperation agreement with the Chilean Federation of Industry (Spanish abbreviation: SOFAFA). The agreement, signed in Santiago, Chile, seeks to ensure the implementation of specific projects, establish technical committees and consulting arrangements in the business sector related to migration in Chile.

As the world faces unprecedented human mobility, more people than ever live outside their country of birth and they represent an important labour force that businesses now need to consider more than ever before.

Chile is affected by this phenomenon of migration, which represents an opportunity for development in distinct sectors in the country, given that migration brings professionals and qualified personnel in several areas.  The business sector therefore needs to be recognised as a key actor in ensuring migration contributes to sustainable development in line with Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

In this context, SOFAFA and IOM Chile’s cooperation agreement seeks to pursue a better approach to migration issues in an objective manner that builds on international experiences.

“Chile’s business sector sees migration as an opportunity. This has been demonstrated on multiple occasions. This agreement ratifies the will to incorporate those who arrive in Chile in search of opportunities, into the Chilean economy in a safe, orderly and regulated manner.  We are ready to contribute and open the necessary spaces to accompany Chilean businesses in this process,” said Norberto Girón, IOM Chile Chief of Mission.

For his part, the president of SOFOFA, Hermann von Mühlenbrock, said “We need to maintain an attitude of openness and not fall into the trap of discriminating against those who bring capital, work and ideas that can contribute to economic development.”

IOM Chile is building strong collaborative links with the private sector, in areas as diverse as fruit production and harvesting, tourism, the hotel industry, manufacturing and mining.  This agreement will facilitate new working alliances and cooperation destined to increase understanding amongst businesses and society of the value and contribution of migration to sustainable development in Chile.

SOFOFA is a not-for-profit business association that brings together business and trade unions connected to the Chilean industrial sector. It is the largest business entity in the country, made up of more than 4,000 business, 43 sectorial associations and 23 regional trade unions.

For further information, please contact Sebastián Mathews, IOM Chile Press Officer:  Tel: +56 02 9633710 Email:

Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 09:53Image: Region-Country: AmericaChileThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: 
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UN Migration Agency meets with Somalia’s Inter Ministerial Task Force for Migration Management

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 09:53
Language English

Somalia - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) this month joined the first meeting of the Inter Ministerial Task Force for Migration Management under the new Federal Government of Somalia.

Established in May 2016 by the previous Prime Minister under the lead of the Ministry of Internal security, the High Level Task Force is complemented by two technical Task forces for Human Trafficking and Smuggling and for Return and Readmission. The Task Forces were established to introduce a Migration Governance system in Somalia, to develop policies and to foster better coordination within the Ministries.

“This Task started its work when the Government was entering a transition period, now we need to continue the legacy so we can jointly find a solution to irregular and risky migration by tacking the root causes in a sustainable way,” said Mariam Yassin Hagi Yussuf, the Chair of the High Level Task Force the Federal Republic of Somalia’s Special Envoy for Migrants and Children’s Rights, during the meeting.

“Migration is a global issue and can be a challenge faced by Somalia and its neighbouring countries,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Somalia Chief of Mission. “As IOM, we will continue to support the Government through capacity building of the members of the Taskforce to enable them be in a position to address the root causes of irregular migration and also help in better management of migration flows in Somalia”.

The meeting was attended by Federal Government of Somalia officials from the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Internal Security Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Constitutional Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Women and Human Rights, Ministry of Education, Office of the Attorney General, Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and the Office of the Special Envoy for Migrants and Children’s Rights.

The Inter Ministerial Task Force for Migration Management’s work is supported by IOM and is funded by the European Union and is part of IGADs regional programme on migration governance.

For further information, please contact Julia Hartlieb at IOM Somalia, Email:, Tel: +254 741 988 846

Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 09:40Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastSomaliaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: 
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How Long Must Communities in Disaster Prone Areas Remain Hopeful?

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 09:06
Language English

Switzerland - 2015 was the year of hope for the global migration and humanitarian communities.

That year, we saw the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development call for effective measures and strengthened support to empower displaced people and migrants as part of a broader commitment “to leave no one behind”. This was important progress on the Millennium Development Goals which had nothing to say about migration, let alone the contribution it can make to resilience or sustainable development.

Also in 2015, the world came together to agree to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which set out core commitments to substantially reduce disaster risk, loss of lives and livelihoods, and improve health. Now part of the development architecture built around the 2030 Agenda, the Sendai Framework is the first global agreement on disaster risk reduction to incorporate clear references to mobility and displacement. The core commitments not only recognize displacement as a principal consequence of disaster, they also acknowledge the important contributions that migrants make – through remittances, networks, skills and investments – to risk-reduction and resilience-building.

In December of that very same year at the Paris Climate Conference (COP21), 195 countries adopted for the first time ever a universal, legally binding global climate deal. This was long-awaited progress. Importantly, the Paris Agreement recognizes the need to protect vulnerable populations, including migrants, and establishes a dedicated task force to advance strategies that avert, minimize and address displacement related to climate change.   

Three historic agreements – showing the true power of international cooperation – which together reflect the hopes of a global community aspiring towards a sustainable, safer and more prosperous future for all. 

This week, the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is once again bringing together governments and international and local groups to review progress made so far in taking forward one of our beacons of hope from 2015: the Sendai Framework. It is remarkable that the meeting is taking place in Cancún, Mexico, where the links between human mobility and climate change were first acknowledged through the Cancun Adaptation Framework in 2010. 

While significant progress was made in 2015, intentions must now be turned into concrete actions to fulfil the commitments we made as an international community.

I have no doubt that we could easily find ourselves back where we started before 2015, or even before 2010, if we do not seize the opportunity that this global forum of leaders presents to move from commitment to action. It is now essential that we act collectively to reduce risk and build resilience based on the recognition of the important role that human mobility plays for inclusive growth, sustainable development, resilience-building and, especially, for disaster risk reduction. 

Mass displacement continues to be one of the most visible consequences of disasters. The hope we felt in 2015 can be contrasted with the profound suffering of the 19.2 million people newly displaced by natural  disasters in 113 countries that year. This was more than twice the number of those displaced by conflict and violence in that same year. As numbers grow and solutions seem to be more and more elusive, it is now more urgent than ever to intensify our joint efforts to build the resilience of vulnerable communities to disasters and displacement.

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is playing its part by launching a Strategic Work Plan on Disaster Risk Reduction, which is aligned with the UN Plan of Action. Since the Sendai Framework, IOM has been working on Disaster Risk Reduction in 26 countries. Partnerships are essential to reducing risk; partnerships with local governments, local organizations, but, most importantly, with displaced people, migrants and communities at risk. We will never be fully successful unless it is the communities themselves that take the lead in crafting strategies that reduce their own risk and build resilience.

People living in disaster-prone areas are already playing their part. In Myanmar, Mozambique and the Philippines, we have built communities' disaster preparedness as the global lead agency  on Camp Coordination and Camp Management for natural disasters. In Pakistan, Vanuatu, Nepal, Rwanda and Timor Leste, we have assisted thousands of households in recovering from disasters by rebuilding stronger houses, restoring infrastructure and supporting livelihoods. We are also working with communities to prevent new risks in countries such as Indonesia, Afghanistan and Micronesia. 

We know mobility can save lives, enhance resilience and reduce risks; but mobility can also lead to vulnerabilities. As we witness widespread suffering in drought-stricken East Africa and nearby regions, we must ensure that our disaster risk reduction efforts take account of human mobility both as an acute impact on vulnerable populations and as an adaptive strategy for resilience.

I am not sure how much longer we can ask disaster-prone communities to remain hopeful that change is coming. They should not have to wait any longer.

It is time to implement the commitments made in 2015. 

William Lacy Swing
Director General
UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 14:59Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

School children in Papua New Guinea read flyers preparing them for a natural disaster occurrence.

Categories: PBN

Second Informal Thematic Consultation for the Global Compact on Migration Focused on Drivers of Migration

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 04:46

United States – The second informal thematic session entitled Addressing Drivers of Migration, including Adverse Effects of Climate Change, Natural Disasters and Human-made Crisis, through Protection and Assistance, Sustainable Development, Poverty Eradication, Conflict Prevention and Resolution took place on 22-23 May 2017 at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

It was the second in a series of six informal thematic consultations that will take place this year, feeding into the consultation phase of the Global Compact on Migration, the first intergovernmentally negotiated UN agreement to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

During the first panel on Monday, regarding sustainable development and poverty eradication, the UN Migration Agency’s (IOM) Director General William Lacy Swing emphasized the importance of Member States to “work towards policy and institutional coherence, in three concrete ways: 1) by establishing inter-ministerial coordination mechanisms; 2) empower subnational governments and partners as innovators that bring new and practical approaches to migration governance; and 3) ensure evidence-based policy making.” 

Other panels focused on human-made crises as drivers of migration and adverse effects of climate change and natural disasters as drivers of migration.

The Secretary-General of the Intergovernmental Conference, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on International Migration (SRSG), Louise Arbour, noted that “when discussing the drivers of migration, we must remember our mandate which is to facilitate safe, orderly, and regular migration and not to discourage mobility altogether. Our principal goal rather, must be to try to understand what compels people to migrate through irregular channels and to seek to better regulate those.”

IOM co-organized a side event with the Together Campaign to interview consultation participants from Member States and civil society on the importance of diversity and combating xenophobia. IOM also took part in a side event hosted by the Mission of Belgium, Resilience to Climate Change: Small Islands, Migration and Adaptation.

IOM continues to support the intergovernmental process as it evolves, particularly in extending to Member States - together with the Office of the SRSG - the required technical and policy expertise. Encouraged by the inclusive nature of this process, IOM has designated Colin Rajah as its civil society liaison focal point to help facilitate the participation of civil society leaders during consultations for the Global Compact on Migration taking place around the world this year.

The third thematic consultation will take place during 19-20 June in Geneva on international cooperation and governance of migration.

For further information, please contact Lanna Walsh at IOM’s Office to the United Nations in New York, Tel: +1.212.681.7000, Ext. 263, Email:

Language English Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 04:41Image: Region-Country: AmericaUnited States of AmericaThemes: Global Compact on MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Mariam Chazalnoel (far right), IOM Thematic Specialist on Climate Change, addresses a panel discussion at the Mission of Belgium to the United Nations. Photo: UN Migration Agency/Lanna Walsh

Categories: PBN

ECHO Provides EUR 3 Million to UN Migration Agency’s Humanitarian Response in Iraq

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 10:51
Language English

Iraq - Displacement and return movements continue across Iraq, affecting nearly five million people. Funding for humanitarian operations is urgently needed, particularly with new displacement caused by the intensification of operations to retake Mosul.

Through a grant of EUR 3 million, the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) is funding the UN Migration Agency (IOM) to implement a fourth phase of its humanitarian response, supported by ECHO in Iraq, to assist conflict-affected populations. This phase will bring ECHO’s total contribution in Iraq, since 2014, to EUR 27 million.

The nine-month project will benefit more than 180,000 of the most vulnerable Iraqis, including populations of internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and host communities. The project will be implemented in coordination with community leaders, government authorities and humanitarian clusters. It will uphold ECHO’s integrated approach to humanitarian assistance and coordination through information sharing among ECHO partners.

The ECHO project involves direct assistance, such as the provision of seasonal core relief items to conflict-affected populations; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services and shelter upgrades for critical shelter arrangements to protect displaced people in the hot summer and cold winter months; and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM).

The project will also support the production of Communication with Communities media campaigns, to provide conflict-affected families with essential information and facilitate two-way feedback mechanisms among beneficiaries, humanitarian actors and government authorities.

“This ECHO funding arrives at a critical time, when support is urgently needed to assist the newly displaced from Mosul and the millions of Iraqis who continue to be affected by the ongoing conflict,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission, Thomas Lothar Weiss.

“We thank ECHO for this generous support, which will address the need for shelter, household items, camp management support and essential information provision for thousands of vulnerable Iraqi families,” added Weiss.

Farhan fled his hometown of Ramadi when ISIL arrived in 2014. Together with his wife, four children and disabled brother Ahmad, they were displaced to Baghdad and lived in an unfinished building with four other families. The building’s condition was poor – it had no fence, the ceiling was leaking and its inhabitants were not protected from the elements.

Following an assessment, with support from the ECHO project, IOM’s CCCM team provided the families with core relief items, replaced the ceiling, provided a water filtering system, a wheelchair for Ahmad, and talked with the family about health issues, fire safety and garbage disposal.

“With these renovations, we feel and see a real difference,” Farhan said. “Despite our ordeal, we can smile again and we now know that many people in the world feel our suffering and can hear our voice, and that they can help. It is the first time I see my brother Ahmad happy.”

IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) estimates that as of 15 May 2017 there were 3,065,000 internally displaced persons across all 18 governorates of Iraq due to the current crisis. Of these, more than 1,845,000 IDPs (60 per cent of Iraq’s total IDP population) live in the five governorates targeted by the ECHO project: Anbar, Baghdad, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salah al-Din.

IOM has received only 33 per cent of the required USD 28,830,000 needed for the Mosul crisis response through June 2017, and 29 per cent of the USD 76,300,000 needed to address the funding gap for all Iraq-based response efforts through December 2017. This funding gap is impacting IOM’s ability to effectively provide for the needs created by the Mosul crisis.

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

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq: Sandra Black, Tel. +964 751 234 2550, Email: or Hala Jaber, Tel. +964 751 740 1654, Email:

Posted: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 16:17Image: Region-Country: AsiaCambodiaDefault: Multimedia: 

Displaced families in Salah al-Din receive sealing-off kits from IOM and ECHO. Photo: IOM

Categories: PBN

84 Stranded Migrants Returned from Yemen

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 10:50
Language English

Yemen - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) transported 84 stranded migrants from Al Hudaydah Port in Yemen to Djibouti on 21 May. Following a hiatus due to rough seas and security challenges, this was the first voluntary humanitarian return organized out of Yemen in two months.

Most were Ethiopian nationals. The group consisted of 29 unaccompanied migrant boys, seven women and 48 other vulnerable cases. Seven migrants had severe injuries; some were receiving medical care and temporary shelter from IOM in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital. As soon as they were well enough to travel, IOM transported the migrants by bus to Al Hudaydah earlier in the week. 

Most of these migrants had intended to transit Yemen to reach Saudi Arabia but found themselves trapped in Yemen’s conflict. Many had their basic human rights violated by migrant smugglers and other criminal gangs. IOM coordinated a trip by Yemeni immigration officials to Al Hudaydah, where they met the migrants and completed the Government's exit formalities.

After a full day's travel by boat, IOM Djibouti received the passengers, provided temporary shelter, and started arranging emergency travel documents through local embassies. The IOM Djibouti team also began coordinating the final part of the journey – starting with their flights to Ethiopia.

IOM staff in Addis Ababa are on standby to provide post-arrival assistance at the airport, particularly for the most vulnerable persons, who may need longer-term reintegration support.

“Yemen is a country that has been ravaged by conflict, has collapsed public services and is now battling a cholera outbreak,” said Laurent de Boeck, IOM Yemen Chief of Mission. “Many of the migrants being helped this weekend were stranded and suffering in Yemen for months. Some had been held in government detention due to their irregular immigration status. All of the migrants are anxious to return home safely,” de Boeck explained. 

Stranded migrants frequently reach out to IOM for immediate assistance, hoping for eventual safe passage home. Migrants who have been previously returned with IOM assistance tell their compatriots still stranded in Yemen to contact IOM for protection and assistance. 

This latest movement, brings to 515 the total number of migrants in 2017 IOM has helped leave Yemen by sea, sailing from Al Hudaydah to Djibouti, and then onwards to their countries of origin where applicable. These operations are made possible with funding from the Federal Republic of Germany Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United States Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). Cooperation from the Governments of Yemen, Djibouti and Ethiopia has helped to make the operations a success.

For further information, please contact Mahamat Nour, IOM Al Hudaydah, Tel: +967 736 900 068, Email: or Saba Malme, IOM Sana’a, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email:

Posted: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 16:18Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastYemenDefault: Multimedia: 

Ethiopian migrants board a boat in Yemen bound for Djibouti. Photo: IOM

Categories: PBN

IOM, Cambodian Businesses Work Together to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 10:50
Language English

Cambodia - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has trained representatives from over 30 Cambodian manufacturing, hospitality and service companies to combat human trafficking and slavery in their businesses and supply chains.

The training in Phnom Penh on Monday (22/05) was part of a new regional IOM initiative – the Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) programme – and was open to companies belonging to the Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business Associations (CAMFEBA).

The training covered practical information for reducing the risk of human trafficking and slavery in both daily operations and supply chains. It also provided guidance for complying with new Cambodian and international anti-slavery legislation that holds companies responsible for the practices of their suppliers, as well as their own workplaces.

“The private sector has a key role to play in combatting human trafficking and slavery by ensuring that they recruit workers in a fair and ethical way,” said IOM Programme Manager Kristin Dadey.

“Increasingly, ethical companies are adopting ‘the employer pays’ mode for recruitment, in which employers cover the cost of recruiting new workers. This will help to protect workers from unscrupulous labour brokers and recruitment agents,” she noted. “IOM strongly believes that ethical business practices serve the interests of both companies and workers alike.”

Trafficking for forced labour remains a challenge for Cambodia, and IOM Cambodia is working with the Government and private sector partners to develop a comprehensive approach to combatting the problem.

This includes providing direct assistance to victims on their return home, often after traumatic experiences abroad. Most of the victims assisted by IOM Cambodia last year were men trafficked into the fishing, factory and construction sectors in Southeast Asia.  

CAMFEBA is an autonomous and independent federation of employers and business associations recognized and registered with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Labour, Vocational Training and Youth Rehabilitation of Cambodia. It is committed to ensuring that its members put workers first by complying with international labour and human rights standards.

For further information, please contact Kristin Dadey at IOM Cambodia, Email:

Posted: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 16:16Image: Region-Country: AsiaCambodiaDefault: Multimedia: 

Cambodian companies are working with IOM to promote ethical recruitment and combat trafficking. Photo: IOM

Categories: PBN

Expansion of IOM Transit Center on Pakistan Border Increases Aid for Afghan Returnees

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 10:49
Language English

Afghanistan - Over 55,000 undocumented Afghans returned from Pakistan between 1 January and 18 May 2017. This is double the number of returns during the same period in 2016, the highest return year on record. The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is expecting nearly 600,000 undocumented Afghans to return from Pakistan and Iran by the end of 2017.

On 20 May, IOM reopened its Torkham Transit Centre for undocumented Afghan returnees from Pakistan, following major work to enlarge it. Torkham is in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province close to the summit of the Khyber Pass, the main artery linking the two countries.

Afghanistan’s fragile humanitarian situation and widening conflict in the country mean that undocumented returnees face unique challenges – both on arrival and when they try to reintegrate after as many as three decades abroad. Their priority needs include shelter, food, livelihood-sustaining activities, access to clean water and basic services including health care and education.

Laura Thompson, IOM Deputy Director General, opened the transit centre extension during a three-day mission to Afghanistan. During the visit, she also met with Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Minister of Refugees and Repatriation and Social Affairs, as well as other UN and donor partners.

Ambassador Thompson also launched the 2017–2018 edition of the Return of Qualified Afghans programme. A long-running Japanese-funded project launched in 2001, it has helped 586 skilled Afghans return from Iran to take part in 12-month job placements within government agencies.

“In the past two years, the lives of vulnerable Afghans have continued to become more and more precarious, with spiralling levels of conflict and growing pressure on local host communities as influxes of returnees and displaced people stretch their resiliency,” said Ambassador Thompson.

“IOM is committed to working in support of the Government and the people of Afghanistan across the migration spectrum, from the provision of immediate assistance for families at the point of entry, to seeking out longer term reintegration solutions at the community level,” she added.

IOM has been providing post-arrival humanitarian assistance to undocumented returnees from Pakistan at the Torkham border crossing since 2012. The Torkham Transit Centre is one of four IOM centres at border crossing points between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, where returnees can receive assistance in the form of household supplies, food, temporary accommodation, medical care and onward transport to their final destinations in Afghanistan.

IOM aims to provide 100 per cent of undocumented Afghan returnees from Pakistan with immediate humanitarian assistance linked to medium to longer-term, community-based reintegration solutions that address the entire spectrum of needs from the point of first arrival.

The expansion of the Torkham centre has doubled its accommodation capacity to accommodate 30 families or 210 individuals at any one time. Warehousing capacity has been expanded to allow IOM to stock 1,000 family assistance packages at the centre and the facility’s clinic has doubled in size.

Other improvements include the provision of more services for returnees through partners. These include the addition of child-friendly spaces organized by UNICEF, Mine Risk Awareness Education provided by UNMAS/DRC-DDG, and psychosocial and gender-specific support. 

“The scope and scale of the return is impossible for any single agency to address alone,” said Laurence Hart, IOM Chief of Mission and Special Envoy in Afghanistan.

“With hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people returning to Afghanistan, sometimes after decades away, IOM is working closely with the Government, the UN and NGO partners to ensure a comprehensive response. Transit centres where several agencies co-locate and provide specialized services are a good example of this approach,” said Hart.

Support for IOM’s post-arrival humanitarian assistance for returnees is provided by the Governments of Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland, as well as the UN Central Emergency Fund and the European Union (ECHO). Reintegration funding is provided by the European Union’s DG DEVCO.

At the beginning of May, IOM issued an updated funding requirements document outlining the need for USD 52.8 million to assist 292,000 returnees from Pakistan and Iran through March 2018.

For further information, please contact Nasir Haidarzai at IOM Afghanistan. Tel. +93 794 199 542, Email:

Posted: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: AsiaAfghanistanDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson (center) inaugurates the expanded Torkham Transit Center. Photo: IOM

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) Deputy Director General Laura Thompson (center) inaugurates the expanded Torkham Transit Center. Photo: IOM

Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 549,135 in 2017; Deaths: 1,340

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 10:48
Language English

Switzerland - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 59,135 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 21 May, with over 80 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 190,977 arrivals across the region through 21 May 2016.

Mediterranean Developments

IOM Rome reported that, through 21 May this year, 50,041 migrants or refugees have landed in Italy (See chart below).

IOM spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported Monday that over 4,000 migrants arrived in Italy since IOM’s report last Friday. On Monday, the Italian Coast Guard’s Diciotti ship brought to land the corpse of one Western African migrant. Survivors from one rescue operation reported that another migrant went missing at sea after falling from a dinghy.

Although not yet added to the Missing Migrants Project data base, IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported that on Monday, 22 May, the remains of two men were retrieved in Al Maya between Az Zawiyah and Janzour in the western part of Libya. The total number of bodies retrieved so far in 2017 is 226 and the total number of rescued migrants is 5,897.

On Saturday (20 May) 96 migrants – 82 men, 10 women and four children – were rescued at sea off Az Zawiyah. The migrants were of mixed nationalities including some from Bangladesh and several African countries. 

IOM Athens said yesterday (22 May) that Greek authorities reported new arrivals of 133 migrants and refugees between Thursday (18 May) and Sunday (21 May). Since 1 January, a total of 6,395 sea-borne arrivals of irregular migrants have reported at various Greek islands.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 1,933 fatalities through 17 May (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – about two thirds of the global total.

Since last week, MMP has recorded eight deaths in the Central Mediterranean (although six of these occurred on 16-17 May). Two others include one dead and one missing reported by IOM Rome from rescue missions last Friday (19 May). MMP also recorded the death of a migrant electrocuted on a train in Cannes.

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, May 23, 2017 - 16:14Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

IOM’s Data Analysis Centre Hosts Expert Workshop on Irregular Migration Data

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 10:47
Language English

Germany - The UN Migration Agency (IOM)’s Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) recently (19/05) hosted an expert workshop, Measuring Irregular Migration: Innovative Data Practices to discuss recent practices on collecting data on irregular migration. The workshop is part of a project aimed at strengthening data analysis in the context of irregular migration to Europe, and is funded by the UK Department of International Development (DFID).

The event represented a follow-up to a previous workshop held in Nuremberg (Germany) in 2016 focusing on the measurement of “safe migration”, also supported by DFID.

Participants included experts from academia, governments as well as international and non-governmental organizations involved in recent initiatives to improve data on undocumented migrants in various countries and on irregular migration movements, particularly in the European context.

The event also featured presentations on good practices from other regions, and a discussion of if and how these could be applied in Europe. Jeffrey Passel, Senior Demographer at the Pew Research Centre, a Washington-based “fact-tank,” delivered a keynote speech on Pew’s methodology to estimate numbers and characteristics of the unauthorized population in the US.  

The workshop represented a valuable opportunity to learn about existing tools to improve the knowledge base on irregular migration, including IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Flow Monitoring Surveys; the Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism Initiative (4Mi) of the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat; the network-based approach used by the Risk Analysis Unit of Frontex; and the social media monitoring initiative of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).

Discussions also revolved around the specific risks and vulnerabilities of migrants travelling irregularly, and the access to basic services for undocumented migrants in countries of residence.

Experts participating in the event included Franck Düvell, Associate Professor at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford; Georges Lemaître, formerly at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); Michelle Levoy, Director of the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM); Philip Martin, Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Davis; Nando Sigona, Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham; and Dita Vogel, Senior Researcher at the University of Bremen.

Such discussions are particularly timely in light of current preparations for a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration to be adopted by signatories of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants next year.

“Migration targets in the Sustainable Development Goals imply the need to monitor whether migration is safe, orderly and regular and whether migrants are ‘left behind’,” said Frank Laczko, Head of IOM’s Data Analysis Centre. “The New York Declaration recognizes the importance of improved data collection, both on regular and irregular flows as well as on the needs of refugees and migrants. Assessing the extent to which migration is indeed becoming safer and more regular will require more and better data on irregular migration,” he added.

While data collection efforts have been particularly prominent in Europe in recent years, due to the relatively large increase in the numbers of migrants and asylum-seekers crossing the Mediterranean in 2015, irregular migration remains extremely hard to quantify for most regions of the world. Knowledge of the socio-economic profiles, needs and vulnerabilities of irregular migrants is extremely limited.

However, irregular migration is a global phenomenon, concerning richer and poorer countries alike. Participants agreed that looking at migratory movements occurring between countries in the Global South will be crucial in considering the linkages between migration and development.

Finally, discussions also concerned issues of presentation of irregular migration numbers and the political sensitivity of communicating about irregular migration. “As the international community discusses what should be included in the Global Compact on Migration, including what countries should prioritize in terms of data collection, it will be important to not only address the data needs but also how data on migration could be better presented and communicated,” concluded Laczko.

A workshop summary report will be released on the IOM GMDAC website soon.

For further information, please contact: Marzia Rango, IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, Tel: +49 (0)3027877824, Email:

Posted: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 16:13Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaGermanyDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants of the expert workshop on “Measuring Irregular Migration: Innovative Data Practices” conducted by IOM’s Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC). Photo: IOM

Categories: PBN

IOM, UNICEF, Mozambique Host First Ever Forum to Fight Trafficking of People with Albinism in Southern Africa

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 10:26
Language English

Mozambique - Children living with albinism in Southern Africa face discrimination and abuse, often culminating in abduction, murder or human trafficking. The abuse is linked to the belief that body parts of persons with albinism could produce wealth and good luck when used in witchcraft potions.

A two-day regional forum on preventing and combating human trafficking and protecting people with albinism in Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania is currently underway in Pemba, northern Mozambique. The workshop, the first of its kind, was organized by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in partnership with UNICEF, the General Prosecutor of the Republic of Mozambique (PGR) and the Prosecutor of Cabo Delgado province.

Participants include representatives of Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania’s counter-trafficking coordination bodies, prosecutors, criminal investigation police, national human rights institutions, NGOs concerned with the protection of people with albinism and traditional healers. 

Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania share common borders and are either countries of origin or destination for the trafficking of people with albinism and their body parts. The forum will result in a plan of action on cross-border cooperation for the prevention and prosecution of human trafficking-related crimes and the protection of the rights of people with albinism, eventually resulting in more effective investigation and prosecution, as well as victim protection.

“UNICEF is supporting the Government to enhance civil registration by investing in the establishment and expansion of a digitalized system of birth registration to ensure the basic rights of every child to name, identity and nationality,” said Marcoluigi Corsi, UNICEF Representative in Mozambique.  

“This will in turn prevent and address disappearance of children, abandonment or assist in investigations when children with albinism are affected. Following new instances of kidnapping and killing of children and people with albinism in Mozambique, UNICEF launched in August 2015 a social media campaign called #TodosIguais to create awareness on this issue. The ongoing campaign has so far reached over five million people,” Corsi added.

“A regional approach like this that complements national efforts in Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania is the only way we will improve cross-border coordination and investigation to protect people with albinism,” said Katharina Schnoering, IOM Chief of Mission in Mozambique. “This regional approach to investigation, research and cooperation was recommended in a recent report by the UN independent expert who visited Mozambique in 2016,” added Schnoering.

IOM is working in partnership with the Governments to assist victims of trafficking and provide strengthened national counter-trafficking responses in Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania.

UNICEF supports the strengthening of child-friendly justice systems through capacity-building support to the police, judiciary and public prosecution to enhance accountability for violence and crimes against children.

UNICEF also supports the strengthening of multi-sectoral case management systems to enable adequate channeling of cases of violence, harmful practices, including ritualistic killings or trafficking, child abandonment or any other risks that children face. UNICEF’s health and education programmes help increase access to health and education services, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized children.

For further information, please contact: Chiara Frisone, IOM Regional Office for Southern Africa, Tel: +27 72664 8003, Email: Or Gabriel Pereira, UNICEF Mozambique, Tel: +258 82 316 5390, Email:

Posted: Friday, May 19, 2017 - 16:13Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastMozambiqueDefault: Multimedia: 

Children with Albinism are often abused in Southern Africa. Photo: Patricia Willocq

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Supports Thousands Displaced in Conflict-affected Eastern DR Congo

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 10:26
Language English

Democratic Republic of the Congo - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is responding to the urgent humanitarian needs of 27,193 displaced people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) eastern province of North Kivu, through funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

Through its rapid response mechanism, SIDA has provided 1.6 million SEK (USD 183,000) to IOM’s assistance programme for internally displaced persons in North Kivu, who had lacked adequate access to shelter, water and sanitation in IOM-managed displacement sites. 

“These funds have come at a time when most humanitarian actors have pulled out of many displacement sites in eastern DRC due to security and funding issues, leaving thousands of displaced people even more vulnerable,” said Boubacar Seybou, Head of IOM’s Office in Goma. “With SIDA funding, we were able to ensure that residents of displacement sites in North Kivu have better access to dignified shelter, safe and potable water as well as adequate sanitation facilities,” added Seybou.

For decades, the DRC has experienced conflict and instability, triggering mass displacements and abuses of human rights at the hands of warring factions against innocent civilian populations. By the end of April 2017, there were 3.7 million internally displaced persons in the DRC, making it the African country most affected by internal displacement. North Kivu remains the province with the most population movement. Unlike in other provinces, armed violence represents the sole cause of displacement.

Since the beginning of 2016, the deterioration of the political and security situation, the upsurge in inter-ethnic conflicts and the disengagement of several humanitarian actors has led to a significant decrease in emergency assistance to IDPs in displacement sites in North Kivu.

SIDA’s funding has been crucial to enable IOM to construct and rehabilitate basic water and sanitation infrastructure and provide 4,000 households with shelter kits. In the first three months of 2017, IOM constructed 324 latrines with hand wash stations, 120 showers and 35 rubbish pits in four targeted displacement sites.

“Before we felt like prisoners but after the arrival of IOM we have been freed,” said Sebakara Mukamusoni, one of the residents of the Muheto displacement site. “We can finally wash ourselves in the showers and, thanks to the construction of latrines, diarrhoea has diminished in our site,” Mukamusoni added.

In the Muheto site, IOM installed a new water system network, as the closest source of clean water was more than two kilometres away. IOM also provided community committees in the different sites with tools and basic training to maintain these water and sanitation infrastructures.

Over the next 12 months, IOM will continue to provide life-saving assistance and protection to vulnerable people in displacement sites in North Kivu, thanks to additional financing from SIDA of 10 million SEK (USD 1 million).

For further information, please contact: Chiara Frisone, IOM Regional Office for Southern Africa, Tel: +27 72664 8003, Email: Or Boubacar Seybou, IOM Goma, Tel: +243 812043425, Email:

Posted: Friday, May 19, 2017 - 16:14Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastDemocratic Republic of the CongoDefault: Multimedia: 

Displacement site in North Kivu, DRC

Categories: PBN

Renewed Communal Violence in Northern Mali Leads to Spike in Displacement

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 10:26
Language English

Mali - A recent resurgence of communal violence and armed conflict in northern Mali has displaced thousands more people over the past few months.

This week, Mali’s Commission on Movement of Population (CMP) reported an increase of 14,223 internally displaced persons (IDPs) since February, bringing the total number of people uprooted by violence across the country to 58,985 individuals (10,248 households).

Most of the newly displaced people are clustered in the Timbuktu region due to recent violent conflict in the nearby commune of Gourma-Rharous. 

Nationally, the Timbuktu region continues to host the highest number of IDPs (22,328), followed by Segou (10,794) and Menaka (10,381). 

Several months ago, communal violence appeared to have abated, prompting the UN Migration Agency (IOM) to step up return and reintegration assistance for IDPs wishing to go home. At the time, IOM expressed hope that all displaced people could potentially return to their communities of origin by year’s end if there was no re-occurrence of conflict and there was sufficient humanitarian assistance to do so.

IOM says more financial support is necessary to assist vulnerable communities. It also renews its call to all groups in Mali to work toward stability and peace, avoid further displacement and do everything possible to enable displaced families to return home.

The IOM mission in Mali continues to work with the Government of Mali to provide up-to-date information on movements of IDPs and returnees as well as on the needs of the populations affected by conflict, as part of the country’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) programme.

IOM also continues its community stabilization work, including the rehabilitation of damaged houses in areas affected by conflict, delivery of core relief items, psychosocial and reintegration assistance, and income-generation and skills-building activities.

For further information, please contact: Aminta Dicko, IOM Mali. Tel: +223 90 50 00 07, Email:

Posted: Friday, May 19, 2017 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastMaliDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff monitors the population movements through Flow Monitoring Points located at entry and transit points of the main cities of Bamako, Mopti, Timbuktu and Gao. File Photo: IOM / Juliana Quintero

Evolution du nombre de PDIs

Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 54,715 in 2017; Deaths: 1,332

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 10:25
Language English

Switzerland - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 54,715 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 17 May, with nearly 85 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 189,950 arrivals across the region through 17 May 2016.

IOM Rome reported that, through 17 May this year, 45,754 migrants or refugees have landed in Italy, and over 8,500 – or nearly one fifth of this year’s total – have arrived over the past two weeks. (See chart below.)

The mission added that 2,179 migrants were saved Thursday by rescue ships, including the NGO ships of MOAS, SOS Mediterranée, Sea-Eye and Proactiva Open Arms. Those rescued have not yet landed in Italy so are not included in this month’s total.
Although not yet added to the Missing Migrants Project data base, IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported Thursday that the remains of six migrants have been retrieved by Libyans since Tuesday. On 16 May, the remains of a female were retrieved in Sabratha by members of the local community. That same day, the remains of one man and one woman were retrieved in Az Zawyiah by the Libyan Red Crescent. Petré added that on Wednesday (17 May), two bodies were retrieved as well as one more victim discovered the day before (16 May). All three were found in Tripoli.
On Thursday 117 migrants were rescued (102 men, 11 women and four children) off Garaboli, east of Tripoli, and were taken to Abu Salim detention centre in Tripoli, Petré said. That brings the total number of those rescued off Libya this year to 5,445, while the count of dead migrants discovered in Libya is 224.
IOM Athens said this week Greek authorities have reported new arrivals of 167 migrants and refugees since Monday (15 May), more than half of those to the island of Chios. The IOM mission in Greece also released data received from the Hellenic Coast Guard regarding the nationalities of all sea-borne arrivals this year of irregular migrants sailing from Turkey (see chart below) through the end of April.

Of 5,137 migrant arrivals during the first four months of this year, just over half came from two countries: Syria (with 1,891 arrivals) and Iraq (706). Greek authorities reported over 345 arrivals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the third most common nationality, more than Afghanistan (316), Pakistan (267) and Iran (132), each of which sent thousands of migrants along this route in both 2015 and 2016.
One surprise: citizens from countries as far away as Algeria (with 229 arrivals), Kuwait (170) and Cameroon (129) appear to be seeking passage to Europe via a corridor that previously saw migrants passing through mainly from countries – such as Mali, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia and Eritrea – whose citizens appear now to have abandoned this route.
This suggests that although Syrians and Iraqis – especially from each country’s Kurdish population – continue to rely on nearby Turkey to escape violence in their homelands, many others are treating Turkey as a place to access a clandestine route they can reach via regular travel means. One aspect that has not changed: migrants leaving the Caribbean island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti continue to try to enter Europe from Turkey using the Eastern Mediterranean’s irregular routes. Through April, 45 citizens from the Dominican Republic arrived in Greece by sea, with another 10 coming from Haiti.
Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 1,924 fatalities through 17 May (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – about two thirds of the global total.

Besides over a dozen more victims missing in Mediterranean waters this past week, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project added one Haitian man drowned off the coast of Eleuthera Island, Bahamas, another victim drowned in the Rio Bravo and one missing person in the Gibraltar Strait, off the coast of Tangiers, Morocco.

Earlier this month (7 May), Missing Migrants Project noted that fatalities across the Americas surpassed 200 men, women and children – the earliest that total had been reached in the three years MMP has been recording such data. In 2016, the 200-deaths threshold was reached on May 30, and in 2015 not until July 31.

This year the deaths – almost entirely of US-bound migrants crossing Mexico by land or the Caribbean by sea – include citizens of the following countries: Haiti (70 dead), Honduras (16), Dominican Republic (12), El Salvador (5), Mexico (4), Guatemala (3), Brazil (2), Peru (2) and Nicaragua (1).
Missing Migrants Project researcher, Julia Black, based in Berlin, noted: “More drownings have taken place this year. For the period 1 January–17 May 2017, 124 migrants drowned in the Americas, compared to 30 drownings for the same period last year (and 54 drownings for the same period in 2015).”
She explained this is mainly due to three large incidents in the Caribbean (68 Haitians drowned off the shores of Turks and Caicos in January; 12 Dominicans drowned on their way to Puerto Rico in February and 8 more in April). She noted the number of drownings in the Rio Bravo (Rio Grande) between the US and Mexico also had doubled: 34 drownings from 1 January to 17 May 2017, compared to 17 drownings for the same period last year.
Meanwhile 2017 has witnessed fewer vehicle and train incidents. For the period 1 January–17 May 2017, 10 train incidents and 7 vehicle incidents led to the death of migrants. That compares with 18 train and 16 vehicle incidents for the same period last year.
IOM’s Black added: “Missing Migrants Project data represent only a minimum estimate of deaths during migration each year. It is very likely that the real number of migrant deaths and disappearances is higher than what is reflected by these figures. Data collection in Latin America and the Caribbean relies largely on media reports, which are often incomplete and frequently do not specify the migratory status or nationality of the deceased.”
Remains of 88 “unknown” nationals have been recorded – or 43 per cent of the America’s total thus far in 2017. That proportion compares with 33 per cent of last year’s total, when the nationalities of 249 victims – from a total of 720 fatalities – went undetermined. Thanks to forensic autopsies and DNA matches, many “unknown” victims later were identified, so this percentage tends to diminish over time.
One recent example: 28-year-old María Dolores Borja Cabrera, whose remains were discovered on a ranch in Brooks County, Texas, in late May 2013. The Ecuadorian, whose remains were only identified last October, left behind a 10-year-old daughter.
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: Friday, May 19, 2017 - 16:12Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN