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Updated: 2 hours 4 min ago

IOM Launches Manual on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 12:04

Geneva— Mental health and psychosocial support are increasingly considered an essential element of humanitarian responses for populations displaced due to wars and conflicts, natural disasters, famine and poverty, and those torn by emergencies.  

Mass disruptions and displacement can bring to several sources of stress for individuals, families and communities involved. Providing psychosocial support in educational, cultural, community, religious and health settings reduces vulnerabilities, and prevents their stagnation.  

As Guglielmo Schinina, Head of Mental health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) at IOM stated, “A  community-based approach needs to inform mental health and psychosocial support in emergency and displacement situations, since it helps in addressing the collective and individual psychosocial reactions to the  adversity, building  on the existing or pre-existing strengths of affected communities, re-establishing a sense of agency and avoiding a feeling of disempowerment.”  

In line with that philosophy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) yesterday (16/09) launched  its Manual on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement. The Manual is presented in an interactive online version, which includes hyperlinks to complementary resources accessible at this link: https://www.iom.int/mhpsed 

“The new manual is a step forward in IOM’s efforts to build the capacity of humanitarian actors and member states in addressing the psychosocial challenges of emergencies and displacement,” affirmed Jacqueline Weekers, Head of IOM’s Migration Health Division.  

The Manual is the fruit of two years’ labor as research, review and field testing, involving more than 100 professionals, practitioners, academics and humanitarian actors from IOM, other international organizations, NGOs, local initiatives and communities of practices.  

The main aim of the manual is to provide those responsible for MHPSS in emergencies with a reference document that can help them in the practical implementation of their activities with a community-based approach.  

Some of the activities aimed at strengthening the social fabric and helping people overcome their distress described in the manual include sociocultural, artistic, and educational programs and workshops, sport and play, rituals and celebrations, counselling and clinical and social support for those with severe mental disorders.  

The manual describes ways to integrate mental health and psychosocial support in other activities, like livelihood support, protection of vulnerable cases, and conflict transformation.       

About IOM MHPSS 

The IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. IOM has been active in psychosocial support for decades, by developing interventions, trainings and research projects in more than 70 countries worldwide. IOM MHPSS activities are supervised by a dedicated Mental Health, Psychosocial Response and Intercultural Communication Section. 

For more information please contact: Mental Health, Psychosocial Response and Intercultural Communication - Global, contactpss@iom.int 

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 11:53Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Self-portrait elaborated by a Nigerian IDP and psychosocial worker, during a five-day workshop on autobiographical models through art, organized by IOM in Maiduguri, Nigeria @IOM 2018/Rola Soulheil.

Art workshop. Psychosocial Mobile Teams. Gubio IDP camp, Maiduguri, Nigeria @IOM 2018.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches Manual on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 11:55

Geneva— Mental health and psychosocial support are increasingly considered an essential element of humanitarian responses for populations displaced due to wars and conflicts, natural disasters, famine and poverty, and those torn by emergencies.  

Mass disruptions and displacement can bring to several sources of stress for individuals, families and communities involved. Providing psychosocial support in educational, cultural, community, religious and health settings reduces vulnerabilities, and prevents their stagnation.  

As Guglielmo Schinina, Head of Mental health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) at IOM stated, “A  community-based approach needs to inform mental health and psychosocial support in emergency and displacement situations, since it helps in addressing the collective and individual psychosocial reactions to the  adversity, building  on the existing or pre-existing strengths of affected communities, re-establishing a sense of agency and avoiding a feeling of disempowerment.”  

In line with that philosophy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) yesterday (16/09) launched  its Manual on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement. The Manual is presented in an interactive online version, which includes hyperlinks to complementary resources accessible at this link: https://www.iom.int/mhpsed 

“The new manual is a step forward in IOM’s efforts to build the capacity of humanitarian actors and member states in addressing the psychosocial challenges of emergencies and displacement,” affirmed Jacqueline Weekers, Head of IOM’s Migration Health Division.  

The Manual is the fruit of two years’ labor as research, review and field testing, involving more than 100 professionals, practitioners, academics and humanitarian actors from IOM, other international organizations, NGOs, local initiatives and communities of practices.  

The main aim of the manual is to provide those responsible for MHPSS in emergencies with a reference document that can help them in the practical implementation of their activities with a community-based approach.  

Some of the activities aimed at strengthening the social fabric and helping people overcome their distress described in the manual include sociocultural, artistic, and educational programs and workshops, sport and play, rituals and celebrations, counselling and clinical and social support for those with severe mental disorders.  

The manual describes ways to integrate mental health and psychosocial support in other activities, like livelihood support, protection of vulnerable cases, and conflict transformation.       

About IOM MHPSS 

The IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. IOM has been active in psychosocial support for decades, by developing interventions, trainings and research projects in more than 70 countries worldwide. IOM MHPSS activities are supervised by a dedicated Mental Health, Psychosocial Response and Intercultural Communication Section. 

For more information please contact: Mental Health, Psychosocial Response and Intercultural Communication - Global, contactpss@iom.int 

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 17:47Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Self-portrait elaborated by a Nigerian IDP and psychosocial worker, during a five-day workshop on autobiographical models through art, organized by IOM in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Photo: IOM/Rola Soulheil. 

 Art workshop with Psychosocial Mobile Teams at Gubio IDP camp, Maiduguri, Nigeria. Photo: IOM 2018. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Survivors of Shipwreck off Cameroon Return to Burkina Faso

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 09:01

Ouagadougou – Fifty-nine Burkinabe migrants who survived a shipwreck off Kribi, Cameroon in late July, finally returned home last week (12/09). The migrants who flew out of Douala, Cameroon, were welcomed at the international airport in Ouagadougou by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Government of Burkina Faso with support from the European Union. 

The 59 Burkinabe were among 117 people, along with 32 Ghanaians and 26 Togolese, stranded in high seas after their boat ran out of fuel on 29-30 July, after departing from Cotonou, Benin. 

After their rescue, Cameroonian local and administrative authorities together with local communities provided support to the destitute migrants stranded and enabled their access to basic services. 

Following a request from the Honorary Consulate of Burkina Faso to IOM Cameroon, the stranded survivors who had no means to cover their return-related costs received voluntary return assistance. The shipwreck survivors from Togo and Burkina Faso also returned home on 12 September on a flight chartered by IOM under the Regional Direct Assistance Fund (RDAF) of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.  

The RDAF established in 2019 by IOM is a flexible and timely facility to address urgent and unforeseen protection and assistance needs of migrants stranded along migration routes in West and Central Africa and who originate from within the region.  

“While the media tend to cover exclusively African migration to Europe, our data reveal that more than 70 per cent of migrants move within the West African region,” said Andreas De Boer, Programme Officer at IOM Burkina Faso. “These migrants face great vulnerability in the region. Return and reintegration assistance is essential to give them the possibility of starting over, and we commend the Government of Burkina Faso for its great commitment to addressing this issue,” he added.  

In this instance, RDAF support included the transportation of the Kribi shipwreck survivors and provision of their temporary accommodation in Cameroon, medical and food assistance, and assisted voluntary return to their countries of origin. Reintegration assistance as well as medical, social and psychosocial support will be provided to Burkinabe returnees, including the most vulnerable returnees such as minors who will be assisted by UNICEF and Action Sociale. 

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and implemented by IOM was launched in 2017 in 13 countries in West and Central Africa to assist migrants stranded along migration routes, including the Mediterranean routes. 

For more information, please contact Andreas De Boer at IOM Burkina Faso, Tel: +226 74 93 81 28, Email: adeboer@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 14:15Image: Region-Country: Burkina FasoThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationEUTFMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

59 survivors of a shipwreck were assisted to return to Burkina Faso. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM’s African Capacity Building Centre Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 09:01

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration’s African Capacity Building Centre for Migration Management (ACBC) celebrated its 10th Anniversary in Geneva last week (13/09). 

Attended by representatives from IOM’s African Member States, donors, partners and IOM colleagues, the occasion also served as a launch of one the ACBC’s latest initiatives, the Passport Examination Procedure Mobile Application (PEPM 2.0 App). The app will assist state immigration authorities in better managing travel document security particularly in remote border postings, thus contributing to increased cross-border and traveller facilitation, protection and security. 

Since autumn 2009, the ACBC is hosted by the United Republic of Tanzania within the premises of the Tanzanian Regional Immigration Training Academy (TRITA) in the city of Moshi, located at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. In his opening remarks, Maurice Ketenusa, Commander of TRITA, reiterated Tanzania’s continued strong support for the ACBC and his appreciation for the professional and tireless work of the Centre’s staff.  

The Centre contributes positively and practically to key policy and programming directions as set out by its Member States, the African Union (AU) (including the AU’s Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons), the various African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) such as ECOWAS, SADEC or the EAC, the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2018 Global Compact of Migration (GCM) or the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Traveller Identification Programme (TRIP). 

Since 2009, the initial thematic focus of the ACBC has been put on tailored, often quite technical trainings in the thematic field of immigration and border management. Over the last years this thematic focus has been broadened to include other key migration management areas such as migration and health (notably health at borders), migration and development (notably border management and development/trade), as well as labour migration, climate change and migration, or migrant protection and assistance.   

Nelson Goncalves, manager of the ACBC, presented the Centre’s achievements over the last 10 years: 241 trainings were carried out across Africa and 6,500 immigration officers from around the entire continent trained. The trainees include 40 certified ACBC trainers (following the concept of ‘training of trainers’). Trainings by the ACBC were and continue being regularly conducted in the major languages spoken of the continent, i.e., Arabic, English, French and Portuguese, as well as in Kiswahili, a major language spoken widely especially in Eastern Africa. 

Since its creation, the ACBC has further consistently focused in its work on supporting immigration officials with the responsible use of new technology. This includes a strong effort on supporting member states to fulfil their obligations as regards human rights and privacy/personal data protection. The new PEPM 2.0 App was developed with financial support from the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Italian Development Cooperation. It complements the well-established ACBC training manual and course Passport Examination Procedures Manual (PEPM) 2.0.    

In her contribution, Marietta Muwanga-Ssevume, IOM’s Chief Information Officer and Director of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) underlined the steadily increasing importance of advanced IT technology and systems to better meet the needs and growing demands in the field of migration and border management: “There is a great potential that the responsible use of new technology offers to better support migrants in a globalized world – IOM is strongly committed to further strengthen its efforts in this field,” she said.  

Dr. Qasim Sufi, Chief of Mission of IOM Tanzania underlined the Centre’s value, saying, “The ACBC is there to assist IOM’s African Member States through practical and technical trainings and support. Global developments especially in the technical field are gaining in speed and most countries around the world do need support to harness the benefits of such rapid development while eliminating or mitigating associated risks.” He added, “The ACBC should serve as a good example for other regions in the world.”  

Florian G. Forster, IOM’s Head of Immigration and Border Management highlighted the importance of practical, technical trainings provided by the Centre. “Such hands-on trainings for immigration officials from members states are really key for being able to effectively operationalize and rollout wider policy frameworks and achieve their objectives,” he said. 

For more information, please contact IOM ACBC, Nelson Goncalves, Tel: +255 688 700 090, Email: ngoncalves@iom.int, or Melissa Tui, Tel: +255 745 919 355, Email: mtui@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 14:10Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM’s African Capacity Building Centre celebrates its 10th anniversary. Photo: IOM   

Dr. Qasim Sufi, IOM Chief of Mission in Tanzania, where the ACBC is located. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Job Fair in Côte d’Ivoire Promotes Reintegration of 350 Returned Migrants

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 09:00

Abidjan – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has assisted over 5,250 stranded Ivorians to voluntarily return to Côte d’Ivoire over the past three years, from countries such as Libya, Niger and Morocco. Despite the logistical difficulties, the journey home turned out to be the easy part. 

The returned migrants face the challenge of reintegrating themselves into their former communities.  They can face rejection, the stigma of unemployment and the shame of returning empty handed. 

To mitigate these challenges, more than 2,000 returning migrants have received reintegration assistance through trainings and income-generating activities through initiatives supported by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF). 

It is in this regard that last week, IOM hosted a job and training fair organized for returned migrants in Côte d’Ivoire. About 350 young men and women attended. 

The event targeted Ivorians who returned home between 2017 and 2019 under IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) programme as part of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.  

“Thanks to this fair, I realized that I had not been abandoned. I have chosen three reintegration projects that will facilitate my reintegration into society. I will do my best to have a better future in Côte d’Ivoire, instead of risking my life in the Mediterranean or in the desert. If ever I must go to Europe, I will use the legal channels, and I will go to visit and return to my country,” said Moussa, one of the young returned migrants who visited the fair. 

During the three-day job fair, 22 IOM partners presented participants with a wide range of available job opportunities covering various fields including construction, poultry and transport. The posts are being offered across Côte d’Ivoire, in the capital, Abidjan, as well as in Bouaké, Daloa, Man, Gagnoa, San-Pédro and Korhogo. 

Former beneficiaries of the assistance shared their experiences and advice. IOM also assisted some of the participants in designing a sustainable professional project tailored to their profile and aspirations. 

“We are happy to participate in this fair which gives these returned migrants a second chance for reintegration in their country of origin. It was an opportunity for us to showcase all our activities so that they can define their own future,” said Hyppolite Kakou, from the National Agency for Vocational Training (AGEFOP), an IOM partner. 

Based on the beneficiaries’ needs and skills, reintegration projects can be individual, collective (provided to several returned migrants as a group) or community-based, i.e., involving returned migrants together with community members.  

At the fair’s conclusion, all participants were encouraged to submit their professional goals for review and register with IOM’s partners. They were also able to participate in several side activities such as dialogues on female entrepreneurship and the challenges of reintegration. Participants also attended therapeutic/ creative workshops in theatre, slam and art therapy.  

“The participants expressed themselves freely in a judgement-free space. They need intensive follow-up, and some need to be listened to. Since their arrival, they wanted to discuss, express themselves, share their experiences and their journey. In art therapy, we stimulate a lot creativity and speaking,” said Souhad, an art therapist.  

This event was funded by the European Union under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. 

IOM’s efforts were supported by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, represented at the job fair by several State structures, including the Directorate General for Ivorians Abroad (DGIE), Child Protection Directorate (DPE), Youth Employment Agency (AEJ), National Agency for Vocational Training (AGEFOP), and National Agency for Support to Rural Development (ANADER). These reintegration programmes are implemented jointly by IOM Côte d’Ivoire and its various partners, state structures, civil society organizations and private sector actors. 

For more information, please contact Lavinia Prati, IOM Côte d’Ivoire, Tel: +225 80 07 01 27, Email: lprati@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 14:05Image: Region-Country: Côte d'IvoireThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationEUTFDefault: Multimedia: 

Over 350 participants attended the first job fair for returned migrants in Côte d’Ivoire. Photo: IOM/Mohamed Diabate 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Strengthens Engagement of Diaspora Organizations in Disaster Response, Preparedness and Recovery

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 09:00

Washington, DC – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) last week (13-14/09) held training sessions for Bangladeshi, Haitian and Filipino diaspora organizations during which participants focused on safer shelter in disaster response, preparedness and recovery. 

The frequency and intensity of natural disasters force more people to flee their homes every day. Recent events like Hurricane Dorian earlier this month serve as a stark reminder of the need to rebuild more disaster-resilient shelters to help prevent or reduce displacement associated with natural hazards. 

In the wake of a crisis, only 15 to 20 per cent of shelter needs are typically met by the international community. Those affected are ultimately left to rebuild their homes, often relying on aid, money and volunteers from the diaspora. 

“The diaspora has proven in many countries to be some of the largest players in responses,” said Joseph Ashmore, IOM Shelters and Settlements Specialist. “Contributions through diaspora groups can be larger than the entire inter-agency response in some places.” 

The training is part of a larger project funded by the US Agency for International Development’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). Recognizing the critical role of the diaspora, the project also aims to inform the diaspora about existing coordination mechanisms in the field of disaster response and shelters and explore linkages with these systems. 

The Haitian Diaspora Emergency Response Unit (HDREU) is already an example of a more coordinated and effective disaster response, within the diaspora and between diaspora and other stakeholders. The coalition of more than 30 diaspora organizations is currently mobilizing resources to better support the needs of communities impacted by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.  

“[With] each disaster we should be getting better, not worse,” said Magalie Emile-Backer, co-founder of the Haiti Renewal Alliance, one of the lead organizations of the HDREU. “These trainings will empower us with more knowledge on how to build back safer to be able to train our communities and ensure that we mitigate the next one because we know it is coming.” 

Presenters for this workshop included representatives from IOM, OFDA, InterAction, World Bank, University of the Philippines Alumni Association of San Francisco, Haiti Renewal Alliance and UDION Foundation. 

Last year, trainings were held in Washington, San Francisco and Miami. Additional workshops will be held in New York, Boston and Houston in the coming months. 

For more information, please contact Liz Lizama at IOM Washington, Tel: +1 202 716 8820, Email: elizama@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 14:03Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Disaster Risk ReductionDefault: Multimedia: 

Luca Dall’Oglio, IOM Chief of Mission in Washington DC, welcomes attendees to the Build Back Safer training last week (13/09) in Washington. Photo: IOM/Liz Lizama 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Child Immigration Detention is Not Only Wrong, It Is Ineffective

Mon, 09/16/2019 - 11:56

United Nations Network on Migration, 16th September 2019

➢ Today, the United Nations Network on Migration strongly reiterates its position that child immigration detention must be ended in every region of the world. Detention of children for immigration purposes - whether they are traveling alone or with their families – has been recognized as a child rights violation and can be highly damaging to their physical and psychological health and wellbeing. Detention of children based on their migratory status is thus never in their best interests. Community-based programmes, case management and other human rights-based alternatives have proven highly effective and all governments should work to replace immigration detention for children and families with appropriate reception and care arrangements.

➢ Studies consistently show that detention and family separation are traumatic experiences that have a profound negative impact on children’s health and long-term cognitive and physical development. This harm can occur even when the detention is of short duration, regardless of the conditions in which children are held, and even when children are detained with their families. Children in detention are at risk of suffering depression, anxiety, and psychosomatic problems such as insomnia and nightmares. Recent reports from around the world consistently and repeatedly illustrate how damaging detention is for children. The Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on Migrant Workers also issued authoritative guidance in 2017 affirming that “children should never be detained for reasons related to their or their parents’ migration status and States should expeditiously and completely cease or eradicate the immigration detention of children”.

➢ Many governments that are implementing appropriate reception and care arrangements as alternatives to detention for children and families have found them to be more cost-effective and to result in low rates of absconding and high rates of compliance with status determination processes, including removal orders. Keeping families together over the course of immigration proceedings does not necessitate detention. This is a false choice. Detention is expensive and burdensome to administer, and there is no evidence that it deters individuals from migrating or claiming asylum.

➢ This is an important moment to recall the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, where Member States committed to “protect and respect the rights and best interests of the child at all times, regardless of migration status, by ensuring availability and accessibility of a viable range of alternatives to detention in non-custodial contexts, favouring community-based care arrangements that ensure access to education and healthcare and respect their right to family life and family unity, and by working to end the practice of child detention in the context of international migration.” In the context of asylum, the same commitment is made in the Global Compact on Refugees.
➢ The United Nations organizations that make up the Network are supporting governments in all regions to tackle these issues in a humane way, in accordance with international human rights and labour standards, to put in place viable non-custodial and community-based alternatives to immigration detention that are in line with international law, to keep families together, and to ensure that the best interests of every child always take precedence in immigration and asylum proceedings.

For media enquiries, please contact:
UNICEF
Christopher Tidey, Communications Specialist for Emergencies, UNICEF New York
+1 917 340 3017
ctidey@unicef.org

IOM
Leonard Doyle
Director, Media and Communication Division Spokesperson of the Director General
+41 22 717 95 89 ldoyle@iom.int or media@iom.int

OHCHR
Ravina Shamdasani
OHCHR Deputy Spokesperson
+41 22 917 9169 rshamdasani@ohchr.org

 

Language English Posted: Monday, September 16, 2019 - 11:52Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: UNDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Appeal Launched for Humanitarian Response to Cyclone Devastation in Mozambique

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:38

Maputo – With Mozambique devastated by drought, flooding and Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in the past several months, humanitarian partners yesterday (12/09) launched the revised Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) requesting over USD 397 million to support affected populations.  

The HRP – which comes six months after Cyclone Idai made landfall and was shortly followed by Cyclone Kenneth – targets 2 million of the 2.5 million people who need life-saving assistance, to deal with challenges including food insecurity, inadequate shelter, lack of health services, poor infrastructure, and recovery from drought. If funded the appeal will cover identified priority needs through May 2020. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) portion of the HRP request is for USD 33.7 million to assist over 877,000 cyclone-affected individuals and expand IOM programming in Shelter, Health, Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), Protection, and Coordination, all areas essential to the post-cyclone recovery process.  

More than 500,000 people are still living in houses that were severely damaged by the cyclones (over 280,000 homes were damaged or destroyed). This is especially concerning, as the onset of the rainy season is expected next month. 

As recorded by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), the total number of displaced people in resettlement sites following the two cyclones is nearly 94,000 individuals – Idai an estimated 83,457 individuals and Kenneth, 10,536 individuals.  

“Following Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, critical humanitarian needs continue across the country – especially for health, shelter, and infrastructure repair. Many families remain living in tents and damaged homes that may not stand up to the rainy season, let alone the next cyclone season,” said IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission Katharina Schnoering.  

“Families who recently moved to resettlement sites need support to build stable shelters, access health and education services, and establish their livelihoods. Without funding, families will suffer ongoing exposure to a number of risks to their health and safety.”  

Edwina, a resident of a resettlement site in Sofala Province, lost her home and entire neighbourhood due to flooding in Nhamatanda district and cannot return. “As a widow and mother of four, I feel very vulnerable. I need a better house because I’m scared that my tent may fall in the coming days due to heavy rains.”  

She continued, “I also need materials to make and sell doughnuts at the market as I did before the cyclone. I need cake flour, cooking oil, sugar, yeast. This would really make me independent again.

Over 500,000 individuals have received various shelter and essential household items from IOM in Sofala, Manica and Cabo Delgado provinces and humanitarian partners. Additional shelter material is needed to repair houses and reinforce tents before the raining season; according to the HRP, 620,000 individuals need shelter and NFI support.  

For more information please contact:  

IOM: Sandra Black, Tel: +258 852 162 278, Email: sblack@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 - 15:40Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueThemes: Disaster Risk ReductionDefault: Multimedia: 

Tratara resettlement site in Cabo Delgado, hosting nearly 150 families who were displaced following Cyclone Kenneth. Site improvements are required to mitigate risks ahead of the next rainy and cyclone season.  

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

In Bahamas Recovery, IOM Takes Lead on Shelter Coordination

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:38

Nassau – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has taken the lead, alongside the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), to assist the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Renewal with shelter coordination and management.   

Through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Government has taken the responsibility of coordinating the emergency response from its Nassau-based National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC).  

Last week, an emergency support function (ESF) humanitarian coordination structure was developed and is made up of 13 ESFs.  Each of these have their own lead Government ministries and departments and are paired with UN agencies to implement activities.  

“IOM has been partnered directly with ESF-6, which deals with mass care and shelter and is led by officials of the Ministry of Social Services,” explained Vynliz Dailey, the IOM Communications Officer.  

Thousands of Bahamian residents displaced after Hurricane Dorian are being housed in gymnasiums, schools, churches and other emergency shelters while the Government and humanitarian partners move quickly to identify more durable, longer term housing solutions.  

Through almost daily meetings with government officials and other humanitarian agencies and partners, solutions to the gaps identified regarding non-food item (NFI) distribution, communication, shelter capacity and protection issues, among others, are being identified. By the end of this week, IOM expects to submit a list of recommendations to ESF-6 to address the matters at hand. 

“It’s going to take a lot of effort and coordination with many stakeholders to get the people into more suitable accommodations,” said IOM Team Leader, Jan-Willem Wegdam. “IOM has been given the responsibility to support those efforts and we are more than happy to assist. On the ground all the agencies are willing to collaborate with us and are dedicated to doing the work we have been tasked to do.”  

As of 10 September 2019, NEMA reported 2,043 people registered in shelters in New Providence alone, which includes many Haitian migrants. At that time a total of six shelters were in use. That number is expected to change as people continue to be evacuated from the affected islands to Nassau. An IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) expert based in Haiti has been deployed and will begin DTM assessments with multi-agency teams in the coming days.   

Meantime, with support from a local partner, IOM has distributed most of the 1,000 tarpaulins delivered to Marsh Harbour Port, Marsh Harbour – Abaco, on 10 September 2019.  Distributions were supervised by IOM’s Head of Community Stabilization Unit from Washington DC, Brian Kelly, stationed in Abaco, who is also leading the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination team in that area.  

For more information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 7203 6536, Email: jgallo@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: BahamasThemes: ShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

On Tuesday (09/10) IOM, along with other agencies sat to tailor the DTM survey to the Bahamas emergency. Photo: IOM/Vynliz Dailey

IOM Team Leader, Jan-Willem Wegdam contributing to the daily partners meeting hosted by NEWA and the Government of Bahamas. Photo: IOM/Vynliz Dailey

IOM Team Leader, Jan-Willem Wegdam contributing to the daily partners meeting hosted by NEWA and the Government of Bahamas. Photo: IOM/Vynliz Dailey

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Returns 127 Stranded Migrants Safely to 15 Countries Across Africa, Asia  

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:38

Misrata, Libya – This week (10/09), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) assisted 127 stranded migrants – 103 men, 14 women and 10 children – to return to their homelands via a charter flight under IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme, or VHR. Many of them had already spent months, even years enduring difficult conditions in Libya.  

This flight, as well as others this year, were made possible thanks to the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration implemented by IOM. 

The migrants departed from Misrata and Tripoli making their way to 15 different countries of origin in either Africa or Asia. Due to the current conflict in Tripoli and the closure of Mitiga airport after being targeted by multiple airstrikes over the past few months, IOM coordinated with Libya’s Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM), ensuring the migrants safely departed the Misrata Airport, east of Tripoli. Passengers flew to Istanbul, where they boarded continuing flights to their final destinations.  

“Providing stranded migrants wishing to return home with a safe and dignified way to do so is one of our main priorities, especially amid the escalation of the conflict in the capital, Tripoli,” said Ashraf Hassan, IOM Libya Operations Officer, who added: “This complex operation took real coordination between 15 IOM missions.” 

Indeed, these men, women and children set out for an array of destinations stretching in a chain reaching over 10,000 kms from Africa to South Asia. For that, IOM also coordinated with consular officials and other national authorities.  

Within Libya, amid an increasingly challenging security situation, IOM continues to provide safe passage for migrants stranded in the country and who wish to return home. So far in 2019, over 7,200 stranded migrants have left with IOM’s assistance. Returnees reached Tuesday’s charter from Misrata after three other movements by both land and air. Some arrived on a charter flight from Zwara. Others came by bus from Tripoli and surrounding areas.  

A young mother, Amina, said: “Today we get to see our family again. I plan to go back to school, finish my studies, and take care of my boy.” 

Prior to the migrants’ departure, IOM teams screened for vulnerability screenings and completed medical assessments to assure all passengers were fit for travel. 

For medical cases and unaccompanied minors, IOM provides operational escorts. Migrants received hot meals and refreshments prior to boarding, also clothing and hygiene kits. 

On Wednesday (11/09), IOM Libya continued to assist other migrants returning home by organizing an additional charter for 158 Nigerian migrants bound from the Misrata airport for Lagos. Migrants on that flight travelled from Tripoli to the airport, for which they received security escorted land transportation. 

For more information on IOM’s VHR programme, please access this link

For more information, please contact:  

In Geneva: Joel Millman, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int  or Safa Msehli, Tel: +410766133175, Email: smsehli@iom.int  

In Libya: Ashraf Hassan, Tel: +216 29 794707, Email: ashassan@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Returning migrants boarding the plane from Misrata, Libya. Photo: IOM/Moayad Zaghdani

IOM staff assisting migrants at the airport in Misrata, Libya. Photo: IOM/Juma Ben Hassan

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Humanitarian Assistance Provided to Vulnerable Communities Affected by Floods in Niger 

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:38

Niamey – Every summer the West African nation of Niger endures torrential rains which can destroy hundreds of households and trigger cholera outbreaks, often leading to major human and material losses across the country.  

This year, in fact, more than 200,000 people are at risk of being displaced during the rainy season due to overflowing rivers and landslides. Close to 50,000 of these potential victims reside in Dosso, 45,000 in Niger’s capital city, Niamey, and 38,000 more in Maradi. 

These past two months alone, floods killed 45 people, injured 55 and left more than 66,000 displaced, most notably in the regions of Maradi, Agadez and Zinder. Authorities asked Niamey residents to take the necessary precautions to prepare for further damage after the Niger River overflowed and urged residents to leave the flood-prone areas. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and its partners are able to assist populations affected by natural disasters threatening Niger through their humanitarian emergency assistance.  

Together with UNICEF and Niger’s General Directorate of Civil Protection (DGPC), IOM this week has distributed over 500 non-food item (NFI) kits, including 250 tarpaulins, to households affected by floods in Dosso (285), Tillabéri (77) and Maradi (150).  

This assistance followed requests from the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and Disaster Management (MAHGC) in Niger, the Shelter and NFI Working Group urgently convened and assessed the risk levels, needs and costs, and responded quickly and appropriately.  

“It was about three in the morning when a neighbor woke us, telling us to get up and leave. People were being swept away by the floods,” recalled Issaka Amadou, one of the residents of the Kirkisoye neighborhood in Niamey. “The authorities eventually managed to contain the floods, but we had to temporarily move to the school nearby.” 

Along with houses, the heavy rains have affected various crops and hydro-agricultural developments along the banks of the Niger River where most of Niamey’s inhabitants reside. However, despite the warnings, many residents are reluctant to leave their homes. 

IOM has been active in emergency responses in Niger since 2013, providing shelter and NFI kits to vulnerable displaced communities. IOM Niger also facilitates, as co-lead together with the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and Disaster Management (MAHGC), the coordination of the Shelter and NFI Working Group.   

“No one should be forced to leave their home or live in constant fear of their home being destroyed,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. “Along with national authorities, we are committed to responding to this crisis in the most efficient manner and providing relief to vulnerable communities in need,” she added. 

For more information, please contact Monica Chiriac at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8931 8764, Email: mchiriac@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

The floods in Niger have left more than 66,000 people displaced this rainy season. Photo: IOM/Daniel Kisito Kouawo

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

More than 240 Refugees Resettled from Egypt to Germany  

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:38

Berlin – Two hundred forty-six refugees arrived safely in Hannover, Germany on Wednesday (11/09) on a charter flight from Egypt with International Organization for Migration (IOM) support throughout the resettlement process.    

The resettled group comprised refugees from Syria, South Sudan, Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia who fled war, persecution and severe human rights violations. Among the group were 64 children and nine infants.  

“The people on board have already braved the worst and deserve a chance at a new and safe beginning,” said Monica Goracci, Chief of Mission of IOM Germany. 

“This resettlement movement has allowed them to travel safely and in the most organized and humane way possible,” she added. 

“We thank the Governments of Egypt and Germany for their solidarity. Resettlement assistance remains an underutilized yet powerful instrument for IOM to support refugees who do not have the option to stay in their country of asylum,” said Laurent De Boeck, Chief of Mission of IOM Egypt. 

During the resettlement procedure, IOM supports the receiving country, assists with visa document processing, conducts health assessments, provides pre-departure orientation courses, organizes their flights and escorts the refugees until their arrival in Germany.  

The complex process of resettlement involves the cooperation between various actors. In this case, IOM worked closely with the Federal German Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Caritas Germany.  

After their arrival in Germany on Wednesday, the refugees traveled onwards to Friedland in Lower-Saxony, where accommodation and integration courses are provided before they settle elsewhere in the country.  

So far in 2019, IOM has assisted more than 600 refugees to be resettled to Germany on behalf of the German government.  

For further information, please contact Sabine Lehmann at IOM Germany, Tel: +49 3027877817, Email: slehmann@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: ResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

Relatives of resettled Syrian refugees and IOM Germany staff wait outside Hannover airport for the arrival of the charter flight. Photo: IOM/2019

Relatives of resettled Syrian refugees and IOM Germany staff wait outside Hannover airport for the arrival of the charter flight. Photo: IOM/2019

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Belgian-Backed Labour Migration Initiative Boosts Employability of Tunisian Youth

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:38

Brussels – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) supported 31 Tunisian students and university graduates with concrete opportunities to build up their skills and increase their chances of finding an adequate job, or to create their own opportunities through a 20-month project linking Belgium and Tunisia. 

Launched in March 2018 and running through October 2019, the project Enhancing Tunisian Youth Employability through Vocational Apprenticeships and Professional Internships in Belgian Companies, backed with the financial support of the Government of Belgium through the Immigration Office, has sought to address the dual challenge of the high rate of unemployment among young Tunisians and the persistent risk of youth resorting to dangerous, irregular migration.  

“IOM in Belgium has developed several initiatives exploring new legal migration channels to Belgium, including the present project,” said Laura Palatini, Chief of Mission for IOM Belgium and Luxembourg. “The creation of alternative pathways for third country nationals to Belgium, and to the EU in general, is critical not only as a way to decrease the flows of risky, irregular migration, but also as a solution to labour and skills' shortages across the labour markets of EU Member States,” she added. 

Through IOM support and the creation of a solid network of public and private enterprises in both Belgium and Tunisia, the young people landed six-month internships at 12 different companies in Belgium. All project participants have completed their six-month internship in Belgium and are now back in Tunisia, where more than 80 per cent of them have already found a job in a local enterprise.  

The remaining participants will receive five months of support to find employment in an enterprise matching offers currently available in the Tunisian labour market as well as through additional trainings to further enhance their professional skills. 

“It is very appreciated in Tunisia when one has an experience abroad. This is already a positive point. This experience also taught me the sense of responsibility and to be more independent and have more confidence in my choice,” said Sarah Ben Saïd, an intern at ‘myGO’ Belgium

On Thursday (12/09), some 40 stakeholders gathered in Brussels at the closing session of the project where the key results and lessons learned were highlighted, in the presence of H.E. Ridha Ben Mosbah, Ambassador of Tunisia to the Kingdom of Belgium; Katelijne Bergans, Deputy Director General of the Belgian Immigration Office; and IOM Tunisia. Other participants represented the Belgian Government, the European Commission, the Tunisian Consulate in Brussels, Fedasil, partner companies, civil society organizations, research centres and universities, public employment agencies, and chambers of commerce. 

According to the National Institute of Statistics (INS) Survey on Population and Employment for the second quarter of 2016, the high rate of unemployment in Tunisia has been among the main problems addressed by all the governments in charge since the revolution of 2010 and 2011, with an overall rate of 15.6 per cent for the second quarter of 2016 and an even more problematic 30.5 per cent rate among higher education graduates only.  

This situation remains a big challenge and contributes to internal instability, as well as representing a strong driving factor towards regular and irregular migration towards Europe.  

The National Development Plan for 2016-2020 addresses the issue through specific provisions to improve the education system and better link it to possibilities of employment. It also includes support to investment and micro enterprises as well as strengthening relations with Tunisians residing abroad. 

For more information on this project, please click here and watch this video.  

For more information, please contact Géraldine d’Hoop at IOM Belgium and Luxembourg, Tel: +32 473 281 846, Email: gdhoop@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 - 15:15Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: Migration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

L – R: Katelijne Bergans, Deputy Director General Belgian Immigration Office; Laura Palatini, Chief of Mission IOM Belgium & Luxembourg; Ridha Ben Mosbah, Ambassador of Tunisia to the Kingdom of Belgium; Amel Ben Salah, Consul of Tunisia to the Kingdom of Belgium; Paola Pace, Deputy Chief of Mission, IOM Tunis. Photo: IOM

Participants at the launch event of the project on 14 November 2018. Photo: IOM

Tunisian intern receiving her certificate, together with IOM Tunis Chief of Mission and project assistant and a Counsellor to the Belgian Embassy in Tunis. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 53,844 in 2019; Deaths Reach 929

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:38

Geneva – IOM reports that 55,918 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 11 September, roughly a 30 per cent decrease from the 77,528 arriving during the same period last year.

Arrivals this year to Greece and Spain are at 30,755 and 15,798, respectively, (46,553 combined) accounting for almost 83 per cent of the regional total, with the balance arriving in much smaller numbers to Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Arrivals to Greece are running approximately 47 per cent ahead of 2018’s totals from this time. Arrivals to Spain are more than 50 per cent lower.

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost seven months of 2019 are at 929 individuals – or about 51 per cent of the 1,828 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018. (see chart below).

The 929 deaths at sea do not include several in the past two weeks of several dozen people that were documented on sea routes to Spain. On 29 August, a boat carrying 32 people from the coast of Dakhla to the Canary Islands capsized. Nine survivors were rescued by the Moroccan Navy, but tragically 23 people lost their lives. The remains of only one person were recovered from the sea, which means that 22 people remain missing.

A few days later, on 3 September, two young Algerian men were rescued from waters 40 miles south-east of Cabo de Gata, Almería. They reported that they had left Algeria five days before along with 15 others, but their boat capsized. Spanish authorities activated a search and rescue operation but have not found any further survivors. These 15 people remain missing at sea.

On 1 September, a 16-year-old Moroccan teen died of cardiac arrest at a hospital in Ceuta. He was found unconscious at the port of this Spanish enclave in North Africa. He died shortly after arriving at a local hospital. Authorities surmised the victim was trying to hide inside a ferry bound for the Spanish mainland. In the Eastern Mediterranean, a 65-year-old Syrian woman died in a hospital in Samos shortly after being found unconscious inside a boat intercepted by the Greek coastguard near Kokkari, Samos on 6 September.
 
Missing Migrants Project
2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project. Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 33,437 people, including 2,275 in 2019 as of 11 September (see chart further below).

Due to the challenges of collecting information about these people and the contexts of their deaths, the true number of lives lost during migration is likely much higher. Missing Migrants Project records should only be viewed as indicative of the risks associated with migration, rather than representative of the true number of deaths across time or geography.

Besides the sea deaths on routes to Europe mentioned above, there were also deaths in Europe itself. On 7 September, the remains of a man were recovered from the Dora river, near Bardonecchia, in Italy’s Piamonte region on the French-Italian border.

In North Africa, 11 Sub-Saharan African migrants lost their lives in a traffic accident on the border between Algeria and Mali on 1 September. Three people were injured but survived. The crash took place in the Algerian province of Adrar, on the road between Bordj Badji Mokhtar and Reggane. On the Myanmar-Bangladesh border, a Rohingya man died in a landmine blast near the border town of Gundrum on 3 September.

On the US-Mexico border, records from the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner show that the remains of 32 people were found in different locations on the Arizona-Sonora border in July and August. In total, 310 people have lost their lives in 2019 attempting to cross this border. Most recently, on 11 September, a 30-year-old woman from Haiti and her 4-year-old son drowned while crossing the Río Bravo. This is the third drowning incident recorded in the Río Bravo this month (see below).

In total, at least 578 people have lost their lives in the Americas in 2019, compared with 428 recorded through this point in 2018 and 422 in 2017 – an increase over both years of over 35 per cent.
 
Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre  but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial.

To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

The report Fatal Journey Volume 4, published 28 June, includes an overview of five years of Missing Migrants Project data (2014-2018) and an update on what is known about deaths during migration in 2019. For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, click here.

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project.

See contacts here.

Language English Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 - 15:10Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Humanitarian Agencies Assist Thousands as Monsoon Rains Hit Rohingya Camps and Host Community

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 08:16

Cox’s Bazar – The Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) partners – UN agencies such as IOM, UNHCR, and WFP, as well as NGOs, working in support of the Government of Bangladesh, are assisting thousands in the host community and Rohingya refugee camps who have been impacted by severe rain and winds that have continued to batter Cox’s Bazar since Saturday (07/09). While no injuries have been reported in the camps, the past 48 hours have seen 15 landslides, 25 wind/rainstorms, and five flooding incidents, causing temporary displacement of 14,801 individuals from 4,543 households, partial damage to 427 shelters and complete destruction of 66 shelters. An estimated 16,190 individuals from 4,842 households have been affected by the flooding.

In the Teknaf area, two Bangladeshi children have reportedly been killed and 10 people injured following a landslide. Cox’s Bazar district experiences some of the highest annual rainfall in Bangladesh, where landslides, floods, winds and waterlogging commonly occur.

“The rain and wind are endangering lives and causing hardship on the ground and our teams are working around the clock to provide emergency services, repairs and relocations. While we are responding to the immediate effects of the rains, we remain focused on long-term disaster management and risk mitigation," said IOM Bangladesh Deputy Chief of Mission Manuel Pereira.

On Tuesday, approximately 4,000 households were displaced due to the rainfall in Camp 26 alone in the Teknaf area, which was worst affected. Some were relocated on an emergency basis to 15 designated safe havens/communal facilities to ensure their immediate safety, while others moved with extended family. UNHCR protection staff and partners are working to ensure that all refugees are safely accounted for and are reuniting separated family members. Shelter, food and access to clean drinking water is being provided.

“We are working closely with partners and the Government authorities to assist affected families. We also acknowledge the efforts of refugees themselves as well as the host community, who are at the centre of the response,” said Marin Din Kajdomcaj UNHCR Head of Office in Cox’s Bazar. “We have trained some 3,000 refugees so they can respond to emergencies and reduce the risks faced by the community in disasters”.

In the past couple of days, humanitarian agencies have distributed shelter kits, hot meals, and high-energy biscuits to families impacted by the storms.

“WFP is well prepared for emergency situations such as this and we have assisted 12,500 people with extra food distributions including 6,000 hot meals and 6,500 boxes of high-energy biscuits. Additionally, our engineering and disaster risk reduction teams are assessing the impact of the rains and are on standby to ensure access to food and vital services are restored if needed,” said Peter Guest, WFP Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.

“Funding is still urgently needed to sustain preparedness and response for the remainder of the monsoon season, replenish stocks, improve communications infrastructure, repair monsoon-related damage, and increase the capacity of mobile response teams. Only 38 percent of the response is funded, compromising essential services and the health and wellbeing of both the Rohingya and host community population,” said Nicole Epting, ISCG Senior Coordinator.

ISCG partners – the UN and NGOs – are continuing to monitor weather and assist affected communities as needed. With rains expected to continue, engineers are concerned about worsening damage to paths, bridges and drainage systems if conditions do not improve.

For further information please contact:

George McLeod - IOM Cox’s Bazar, gmcleod@iom.int 

Louise Donovan - UNHCR Cox’s Bazar, donovan@unhcr.org

Gemma Snowdon - WFP Cox’s Bazar ISCG, gemma.snowdon@wfp.org

Bahia Egeh - ISCG, partnership4@iscgcxb.org

 

Language English Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 08:14Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNHCR and UNICEF Urge European States to Boost Education for Refugee and Migrant Children

Wed, 09/11/2019 - 04:04

Brussels/Geneva – Three UN agencies are calling on European States to increase resources and practical support for their school systems to ensure all refugee, asylum-seeking and migrant children can access and stay in quality education.

In a briefing paper published today (11/09), IOM, the International Organization for Migration, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund detail the obstacles children and adolescents born outside Europe face when trying to access education in Europe.  

Currently the number of children and adolescents born outside Europe (including recently arrived refugee and migrant children) who leave school early is nearly twice as high compared to native-born children. Migrant children also have lower learning outcomes when they are not given adequate support. For example, around 3 in 4 native-born students attain proficiency in science, reading and math but only 3 in 5 students with a migrant background do.

Among the key challenges highlighted in the report are:

  • Insufficient financial resources
  • Not enough school spaces or teachers trained to work with refugee and migrant children
  • Language barriers
  • A lack of psychosocial support and limited catch-up classes. The latter are vital for children who have missed extended periods of schooling or have come from different education systems.

Children of pre-primary age (3 to 5 years old) and upper secondary age (15 years and older) are particularly vulnerable to being out of school, as they are often beyond the scope of national legislation on compulsory education.

To help States tackle these challenges and address key data gaps, the paper gives examples of good and promising practices in education across Europe and makes a series of recommendations.   

“For refugee children, education is not only vital for their own futures but for the communities in which they live. Quality education boosts life chances, facilitates integration, and is a win-win for the student and society. Investing in education for all is one of the best investments a government can make,” said Pascale Moreau, UNHCR Director of the Bureau for Europe. 

The brief urges States to strengthen the links between schools and other critical public services, such as health and child protection to ensure that barriers to enrolment and factors contributing to early leaving are addressed. The paper also recommends increasing access to early childhood education services and promoting the integration of young people into upper secondary education and training programmes.

“With political will and additional investments, Governments across Europe can build inclusive public-school systems, ensuring all children, regardless of their migration status have their right to an education protected, while building inclusive and successful communities,” said Ms. Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia and Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Response in Europe.

The three agencies also call on States to increase efforts and make further investments at both national and regional level to collect quality standardized and harmonized data on refugee, asylum-seeking and migrant children in education, to inform policy development and allocation of resources.  

“Eliminating gaps in refugee and migrant children’s education is critical to their development and well-being and this can have a positive knock-on effect for society in general. Education also has the cohesive power to help refugee and migrant children and their families build links to the local communities and to contribute. Investing in inclusive and quality education will help us to meet our responsibility to ensure that no generation is left behind,” said Manfred Profazi, IOM Senior Regional Adviser for Europe and Central Asia.

Read the advocacy brief here.

 

About IOM

As the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration, IOM works closely with our partners to promote orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration that benefits individuals and communities in countries of origin, transit and destination.

For more information about IOM, visit www.iom.int

About UNHCR

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. We deliver life-saving assistance such as shelter, food and water, help safeguard fundamental human rights, and develop solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. We also work to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality.

For more information about UNHCR, visit https://www.unhcr.org/about-us.html

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/eca

 

For more information on this topic, please contact:

IOM: Joel Millman, jmillman@iom.int, +41 79 103 8720

UNHCR: Shabia Mantoo, mantoo@unhcr.org, +41 79 337 7650

UNICEF: Chulho Hyun, chyun@unicef.org +41 22 909 52 86

Language English Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 09:51Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: migrants in vulnerable situationsDefault: Multimedia: 

Children living at the Pyli Reception and Identification Centre learn Greek at the KEDU non-formal education centre on the island of Kos, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/Socrates Baltagiannis

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Find A Way: IOM Commits to Climate Migration

Tue, 09/10/2019 - 09:39

Geneva – When Cyclone Komen hit Myanmar in 2015, Daw Lawng Hngel and her family had barely a moment’s notice to pack up their lives and escape the devastating landslides.

In the same year, tropical storm Mayak uprooted 6,500 islanders of the Federated States of Micronesia, including Detora and her family, who have lived on the island of Chuuk state for generations.

For several years now, the threat of drought and famine in southern Madagascar has forced farmers like Amadou Botokeky to burn their fields and look for livelihoods in other parts of the country.

Meanwhile, in the vast expanse of the Mongolian grasslands, T S Munkhsukh worries about the harsh winters and summer droughts, and the future of nomadic herders and their livestock.

The stories of Daw Lawng Hngel, Detora, Amadou Botokeky and T S Munkhsukh are part of a growing group of migrants on the move because of climate change. They may live thousands of miles apart from each other, but they share a common reality: accelerated climate change is threatening their homes and drastically altering their way of life.

Hazards such as floods, storm surges, droughts, cyclones and heavy precipitation, accentuated by climate change, take a huge toll on communities and force millions of people out of their homes every year.

Climate migration is one of the biggest challenges of our time. Unless action is taken, by 2050, there will be over 143 million people forced to migrate due to climate change across these three regions alone. Migration due to environmental changes is not a new phenomenon – what is new is the intensity and severity of these drivers due to our changing climate.

Find A Way is IOM’s global initiative focusing on the resilience and strength of those migrating due to climate change and embodies IOM’s commitment to finding solutions in the face of adversity. Through dedicated operational, research, policy and advocacy efforts, IOM brings climate and environmental migration to the heart of international, regional and national efforts. Whether it is preparing communities to be more resilient in the face of climate change or working with governments to manage internal migration and prepare for when climate migration occurs, IOM will always Find A Way to support vulnerable communities and leave no one behind.

IOM is at the forefront, helping people who have already suffered the impacts of climate change, to rebuild their lives with dignity, and be resilient to future shocks. But more needs to be done to preserve, protect, and often rebuild communities affected by climate change and migration. IOM calls on greater participation by the general public to take action and invites all concerned citizens to join its on-going efforts in supporting climate migrants.

Join IOM: #FindAWay to address climate migration

Find more details here: www.iom.int/findaway

For more information, please contact Deepika Nath at the IOM Geneva Office, Tel: +41 22 717 9897, Email dnath@iom.int

link redirects to https://www.iom.int/en (page not found). Is it under embargo? 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 15:04Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

In the face of adversity and nature’s fury, IOM will #FindAWay to help climate migrants around the world.

In the face of adversity and nature’s fury, IOM will #FindAWay to help climate migrants around the world.

In the face of adversity and nature’s fury, IOM will #FindAWay to help climate migrants around the world.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Family-based Care Supports, Protects Unaccompanied Migrant Children in Europe

Tue, 09/10/2019 - 09:39

London, Brussels – During the height of arrivals of refugees and migrants to Europe in 2015, more than 90,000 unaccompanied migrant children sought asylum on the continent. Last year, nearly 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children sought asylum in Europe.

To strengthen the standard of care and protection for these children, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) oversaw the Fostering Across Borders (FAB) project raising awareness and training over 170 professionals caring for unaccompanied migrant children in six European countries (Austria, Belgium, Greece, Luxembourg, Poland and the United Kingdom).

Today (10/09), a final event taking place in Brussels marks the close of the 18-month project.

“As a society, we have an obligation to provide protection and care to vulnerable people, and today I am thinking of the migrant children who reached Europe after a perilous journey,” said Dipti Pardeshi, IOM UK Chief of Mission.

“The FAB project’s bespoke training to professionals working with unaccompanied migrant children, especially for those in family-based care like foster care, may support better and brighter futures for these children,” Pardeshi continued.

According to the 2019 Fatal Journeys report, children who travel alone without family or friends are more vulnerable to threats such as exploitation, violence and abuse. Unaccompanied migrant children may have additional considerations including emotional and practical needs that must be addressed to help them recover, settle in a new country and realise their individual potential, in addition to varying cultural or religious backgrounds.

“When you first meet a young person from abroad, you have no real understanding of what they experienced or have gone through,” says Fiona, a foster care professional in the United Kingdom. 

“You also have to realize that they are a young person just like any other young person.  They are going to have their own worries, their own personal dreams,” Fiona continued.

Foster care, or family-based care, is widely regarded as the best form of care for unaccompanied migrant children, as fewer children go missing from foster care compared to reception centres or institutions.  However, many foster carers have not received specific training on looking after migrant children or may be uncertain of the unique challenges these children face. 

Since January 2018, IOM’s Fostering Across Borders project developed a foster care training programme adapted to each implementing country’s national context and providing information materials on the specific needs of unaccompanied migrant children.  The project also engaged migrant children in focus group discussions and brought together stakeholders to promote the wider use of the family-based care model to support better outcomes for the children.  

Please click here for more information on IOM’s Fostering Across Borders project, including all mapping and training materials, or watch a short video (English) about migrant children’s experience in foster care. This video is also available in Dutch, French, German, Greek, Polish and Welsh here.

For further information, please contact Abby Dwommoh at IOM UK, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7811 6060, Email: adwommoh@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 15:10Image: Region-Country: United KingdomThemes: Migrant AssistanceMigration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

In Austria, unaccompanied migrant children benefit from a foster care training under IOM’s “Fostering Across Borders” project. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Strengthens Government Capacities for Comprehensive Care of Migrant Children in México, Whose Numbers Have More Than Doubled

Tue, 09/10/2019 - 09:39

México City México’s National Migration Institute (INM) reports a 131 per cent increase in the first half of 2019 in the number of migrant children and adolescents in the country, compared with the same period last year.

During the first six months of 2019, Mexican migration authorities recorded 33,000 minors among all new arrivals, with 26 per cent of that population (8,500 boys and girls) arriving unaccompanied by an adult. These numbers do not include 21,900 adolescents returned to their country of origin with the assistance of the Mexican government during this same period.

In response, IOM has embarked on a series of regional meetings with professionals working in the child and adolescent protection systems of México’s border states. These workshops allow local governments to increase their capacity for a comprehensive and timely response to the concerns of migrant children.

IOM held meetings with officials from southern border states (Cancun and Quintana Roo) on 29-30 August. An event with the northern border representatives (Tijuana and Baja California) took place on 3-4 August.

During each of these encounters, analysis was shared on the conditions, characteristics and dynamics of the migratory flows crossing México. The meetings also fostered discussions on implementing the Comprehensive Care Route for the Rights of Migrant Children and Adolescents. That instrument – designed by México’s federal government, with support from IOM, UNICEF and UNHCR – defines specific institutional responsibilities, as well as weaknesses detected in existing government instruments.

“The migration of children and adolescents is a priority issue in migration governance worldwide and in the Americas,” said Alexandra Bonnie, coordinator of the IOM Mesoamerica – Caribbean programme. “This is due to the relevance of the phenomenon, the complexity of its causes and consequences, the differentiated needs for assistance and protection, and the need for a comprehensive approach to effectively protect the human rights of the people who make up this population.”

These activities are part of the Regional Migration Program: Mesoamerica – Caribbean, which is funded by the United States Department of State. At the regional level, within the framework of the Regional Conference on Migration, the said programme has allowed the design and implementation of the Regional Guidelines for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents in the Context of Migration.

"What I have learned most is sensibility... It’s not the same to feel an ache when you left everything behind, more than to feel it when you are at home," said Gloria Elena Garza, Undersecretary of Legality and Government Services of Tamaulipas, about the situation of unaccompanied migrant children in México.

For more information, please contact Tatiana Chacón at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: 506 22125328, Email tchacon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 15:15Image: Region-Country: MexicoThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

Children in pedagogical activities about migration in Tapachula, Mexico.  

IOM stock photo for illustrative purposes by Tatiana Chacón.    

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, EU Help Improve Ukraine-Moldova Border

Tue, 09/10/2019 - 09:39

Palanca – Over three million people crossing the Ukraine–Moldova border yearly will benefit from improvements to the Ukraine–Moldova border crossing point in Palanca (Moldova), which came on stream on 6 September.

Jointly operated by the border authorities of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, the new Contact Point ensures real time exchange of data on persons and vehicles crossing the border, alert lists, emergency situations, and other issues. The Contact Point was equipped and refurbished by IOM with EUR 60,000 funding from the European Union.

Ukrainian and Moldovan border guard officers confirm that the exchange of information between them has already become more efficient. “If questions arise at the border and officers need information from databases, they can address the Contact Point and get rapid answers, which is better for the public also,” said Iryna Klimenko, chief representative of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine at the Palanca Contact Point.

Her opposite number, Viorel Dira, coordinator of the Palanca Contact Point with the General Inspectorate of the Border Police of the Republic of Moldova agreed. “This is a good embodiment of the enhanced Moldovan–Ukrainian collaboration for implementation of the integrated border management concept.”

IOM and the EU are also assisting both governments in modernizing Kuchurhan–Pervomaisk and Reni–Giurgiulesti border crossing points, where automated systems for exchange of information on travellers and vehicles are being developed.

“IOM is proud to assist Ukrainian and Moldovan border authorities in further improving their capacity and enhancing integrated border management at this busy Eastern European frontier,” said Anh Nguyen, Acting Chief of Mission at IOM Ukraine. “Our common goal is secure and more efficient border control which at the same time will help decrease queues and waiting time for travellers and transport,” he added.

Expanding the network and improving the work of joint contact points is part of Ukraine’s new National Integrated Border Management Strategy up to 2025, developed with the European Union’s assistance.
 
“The Palanca Contact Point is an additional piece that adds to national and international efforts to facilitate cross-border mobility of people. With the generous financial support of the EU, now we can respond to the needs of the border agencies of both countries and, in particular, to establish necessary conditions to improve performance of border management authorities and secure border management processes,” stated Lars Johan Lönnback, Chief of Mission at IOM Moldova.

For more information, please contact  Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, +38 067 447 97 92, Email: vzhluktenko@iom.int

Diana Bojenco at IOM Moldova, Tel: +373 22 23 29 40/41, +373 68 151 169, Email: dbojenco@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Valentin Fiodorov, Head of the General Inspectorate of the Border Police of the Republic of Moldova (L), and Viktor Babiuk, Acting Head of the Southern Regional Directorate of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (R), opening the common Contact Point. Photo: The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine 

Palanca border crossing point. Photo: The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine 

Iryna Klimenko, chief representative of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine at the Palanca Contact Point (L) with her colleague are ready to ensure fast and secure border control. Photo: The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine   

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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