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Updated: 1 hour 26 min ago

IOM Launches First Online Consular Service for Stranded Migrants in Libya Hoping to Return Home

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:45

Libya - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has launched an online consular service to make the consular process easier to access and navigate for vulnerable migrants hoping to return home. 

The first online consular session was conducted on 5 June via Skype in close cooperation with the Ghanaian Embassy in Tripoli. The remote consular service connects the migrant to his or her embassy’s representative online in order to receive the necessary information ahead of IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Repatriation and Reintegration (AVRR) service.

Thanks to the service, one Ghanaian migrant in the Shahat Detention Centre in the city of Shahat, 250 km from Benghazi, was able to receive travel documents. The session was organized by IOM’s team on the ground in Benghazi and the consular staff of the Ghanaian Embassy in Tripoli, who support IOM’s new remote consular initiative. 

“We thank the Ghanaian Embassy for their cooperation and flexibility. We hope that more Embassies will come on board this new innovative initiative,” explained Ashraf Hassan, IOM Libya Project Manager.

Recognizing the vast demand for the AVRR, IOM identified a need for a more functional approach, not only optimizing the duration of the travel documentation process, but also reaching a larger number of vulnerable migrants. 

IOM conducts field visits with the relevant embassy representatives to migrant detention centres in Libya to facilitate the procedure of issuing proper travel documentation to migrants preparing for voluntary return to their countries of origin. These consular visits require significant coordination with the detention centres, local authorities and embassies. These visits are also only possible within Tripoli and with some difficulties in Gheryan (90 kilometers south of Tripoli) and Misrata (around 200 kilometers east of Tripoli). They are not possible in other major cities such as Al Zawia, Subarata, Surman, Benghazi and Sebha, where IOM has identified a high demand among migrants to return home.

This operational constraint has notably affected IOM’s assistance to stranded migrants as up until now these visits have been crucial to the voluntary return operation. The longer they get delayed, and sometimes cancelled due to security or operational challenges facing the embassies, the longer migrants are detained in the detention centres or stranded in urban settings in Libya. This new online service will save both embassies and IOM time and resources that are required in coordinating and arranging the escorted field visits of embassy personnel to the detention centres, as well as ensure that they can reach migrants outside of Tripoli.

“Due to security issues and no means of transportation, migrants in remote areas have difficulty getting their papers processed. We hope this service will give many more stranded migrants an opportunity to return home, if they wish to do so,” Ashraf Hassan added. 

For further information, please contact IOM Libya. Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600 389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int or Ashraf Hassan, Tel +216 29 794 707, Email: ashassan@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 16, 2017 - 17:41Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationHumanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Libya launches first online consular service to increase support for stranded migrants wishing to return home. Photo: IOM 2017

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Joins Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:41

United States - ­More than 300 participants are attending the Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development (GFRID), an initiative organized by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Population Division and the Financing for Development Office of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the World Bank. This year, the Forum focuses on the role of remittances in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and opportunities in the global marketplace.

Every year migrants send over 400 billion dollars in remittances to developing countries, far exceeding the amount of overseas development assistance (ODA). These remittances contribute to basic needs such as food, health care, education and housing in migrants’ countries of origin. However, remittance transfer costs are uneven and remain high for many migrants sending money to certain parts of the world.

Representing IOM at the Forum, Ashraf El Nour, Director of IOM’s Office to the United Nations in New York, highlighted the important role remittances play in improving the lives of migrant families. He noted: “Remittances undoubtedly lift the families of many migrants out of poverty and enhance their ability and resilience to withstand risks due to unemployment, illness, or even the adverse impacts of climate change.”

He also mentioned, however, that remittances, “on their own will not necessarily result in development if governments are not fully engaged in the provision of basic services such as social security, health and education systems.”

The Forum provides an opportunity for participants to share policy recommendations that will lead to greater impact on local development. IOM’s recommendations include: 1) enhancing the financial literacy and inclusion of families receiving remittances; 2) empowering women to have control over productive assets and participate in decision making; and 3) facilitating the transfer of migrants’ social capital such as skills and knowledge.

Furthermore, IOM is currently exploring innovative ways to make money transfers easier and cheaper. A remittance survey will be launched today (16 June) in collaboration with MONITO to show evidence of the impact of remittances and the ways in which migrants send money home, from traditional means such as through banks and post offices to mobile applications and online money transfer companies.

IOM Statement on the International Day of Family Remittances

The hard-earned money that migrants send every day to their loved ones back home represents a vital economic lifeline for millions of struggling families around the world. These remittances improve standards of living in countless ways and help to make vulnerable communities more resilient to shocks, such as economic downturns and natural and man-made disasters. Remittances increase household income and pay for basic needs such as food, education, housing and medical services. The global scale of remittances is staggering. The World Bank estimates that USD 465 billion in remittances is expected to flow into developing countries in 2017.

Recognizing the many potential benefits of remittances for those who receive them, IOM is pleased to support the International Day of Family Remittances on 16 June 2017.

1) High Remittance Costs

Remittance transfer costs remain high, particularly between countries in the global South. Intra-African transfers are the most expensive, with transfer costs averaging 9.5 per cent in Sub-Saharan Africa, compared to 5 per cent or below in some remittance corridors between the Gulf and countries in South Asia. Many migrants resort to informal channels to send money, rather than banks or authorized money transfer operators, because they are cheaper or more convenient.

Migrants who send money home need more accurate information on the remittance services available to them and their respective costs, so they can choose the most cost-effective option. Investments need to be made in new technologies for transferring money. IOM seeks to combine its knowledge of migration and remittances with the different but complementary expertise of other organizations, including the private sector, to enable improved money transfer service provision, including through mobile technologies or postal services. Better partnerships are required at a global level, between financial industry representatives and regulators, to create an enabling regulatory framework that breaks the monopolies of larger money transfer operators, promotes the use of new technology, and facilitates the transfer of smaller amounts without the restrictions imposed by anti-money laundering/counter financing of terrorism regulations.

2) Financial inclusion

Financial education initiatives for migrant workers and recipient households play a valuable role offering options to senders and recipients of low-cost transfer facilities. They also enable them to use the remittances most effectively for the benefit of their families and their communities of origin. Migrants who send and receive money need to have effective access to affordable and sustainable financial services from reliable and formal providers. This involves making financial systems more inclusive and responsive to the needs of different groups. IOM advocates the improvement of access to duly regulated, reliable and efficient financial services and products, for improved financial infrastructure, and for financial literacy opportunities for remittance senders and recipients.

3) Improving the conditions under which remittances are earned

High transfer costs typically impact low-skilled migrant workers opting to live in precarious conditions to maintain remittance flows to their families back home. The well-being of these migrant workers through decent work conditions needs to be ensured for their remittances to have a positive impact on development. The remittances that they send to their loved ones are often a significant proportion of their earnings. We should not forget the commitments that we have made as an international community under the Sustainable Development Goals to improving the conditions that migrant workers face both along the migration journey and at work. Employers and governments have a role to play in reducing these social costs, to ensure that remittances are earned under fairer conditions.

IOM is at one with the international community in celebrating the International Day of Family Remittances as an opportunity to recognize the contributions of migrants globally and to strengthen current partnerships to promote the development impact of remittances worldwide.

The two-day GFRID coincides with the third annual International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR), which celebrates the significant financial contribution migrant workers make not only to their families but also to the sustainable development of their countries of origin. On this occasion, IOM emphasizes the importance of readily available, accessible and accurate information for migrants on remittance services available to them so they can choose the most cost-effective option.

The GFRID also presents an opportunity for the international community to link issues of remittances and development with the upcoming fourth thematic session of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, “Contributions of migrants and diasporas to all dimensions of sustainable development, including remittances and portability of earned benefits”, to take place in New York on 24 and 25 July.

For further information, please contact:

Jorge Galindo, Labour Mobility and Human Development Division, IOM HQ, Geneva. Email: jgalindo@iom.int

Lanna Walsh, IOM Office to the United Nations in New York, Tel: +1 212 681 7000, Ext. 263, Email: lwalsh@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 16, 2017 - 17:39Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Japan Supports IOM Emergency Response in Food-Insecure South Sudan

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:39

South Sudan - An estimated 5.5 million people in South Sudan are facing severe food insecurity and malnutrition due to conflict and a collapsing economy. Families’ coping mechanisms are declining as many communities face multiple displacements and reduced access to crops, markets and basic services.

The Government of Japan is providing USD 1 million to support IOM’s efforts to mitigate the impact of severe food insecurity on families across South Sudan through lifesaving health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance.

The crisis is particularly severe in Unity, where an estimated 100,000 people are facing famine conditions. However, people are affected in parts of every state and many are extremely vulnerable. More regions in the country are at risk of conditions deteriorating into emergency or famine conditions.

Widespread lack of safe drinking water, limited access to sanitation and health care facilities and poor hygiene practices have left these already vulnerable, food-insecure populations at greater risk of preventable diseases.  

“Lack of access to safe drinking water is one of the causes of malnutrition,” explains IOM WASH Coordinator Antonio Torres. “Individuals living in areas facing acute food insecurity often endure weakened immune systems due to poor nutrition. IOM undertakes efforts to both increase access to safe water and ensure the promotion of good hygiene and sanitation practices to safeguard these communities against further health risks, including the spread of waterborne diseases.”

Through Japanese support, IOM is procuring critical basic household items to ensure that relief agencies have access to humanitarian WASH supplies. In food-insecure and famine-affected areas, IOM aims to help partners reach an estimated 50,000 people with water storage and treatment supplies, 21,000 women and girls with menstrual hygiene management kits, and 20,000 people through improved sanitation facilities.

The project also supports IOM’s emergency response and preparedness teams, which are currently in Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria, where thousands are vulnerable to a cholera outbreak that began in late April. As populations in Kapoeta are facing severe food insecurity, a cholera outbreak can be catastrophic in areas where individuals already experience malnutrition, poor WASH conditions and limited access to health facilities.

IOM’s team on the ground is working to increase communities’ access to safe drinking water through borehole repairs and distribution of water treatment supplies, as well as improving hygiene and sanitation through hygiene promotion activities.

The Government of Japan funding has also provided a boost to IOM’s rapid response health teams, which are able to react quickly to health emergencies and disease outbreaks across the country. The team most recently responded to a cholera outbreak and acute primary health-care needs in Jonglei’s Ayod County, where families face crisis-level food insecurity. Over three weeks, the team conducted over 3,300 consultations and reached over 8,400 people with health and hygiene promotion messages.

IOM’s emergency health and WASH responses are also generously supported by USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the EC European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund, as well as additional funding from the Government of Japan. 

For further information, please contact: Ashley McLaughlin at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 912 379 793, Email: amclaughlin@iom.int.

 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 16, 2017 - 17:36Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM conducts hygiene promotion session in Kapoeta, South Sudan. Photo: IOM 2017

Categories: PBN

IOM, EU Launch First Comparative Report on Environmental Change Migration

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:36

Belgium - The  International Organization for Migration (IOM) Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) and the European Union launched in Brussels today (16 June) the report, “Making Mobility Work for Adaptation to Environmental Changes: Results from the MECLEP Project’s Global Research”.

The ground-breaking research was conducted in six pilot countries: Dominican Republic, Haiti, Kenya, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea and Viet Nam. A major finding of the study is that migration often has a positive impact on adaptation as it allows households affected by environmental and climate change to diversify income, to improve their employment, health and education opportunities and to increase their preparedness for future hazards. Moreover, the study suggests that at least 40 per cent of the migrant households surveyed learnt new skills through migration. On the other hand, displacement due to natural hazards poses more challenges to adaptation, often linked to increasing vulnerability of those displaced.

The report is the final publication of the European Union-funded “Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy” (MECLEP) project, a three-year research project which aimed at contributing to the global knowledge base on the relationship between migration and environmental and climate change. MECLEP was implemented by IOM in a consortium of six universities.

The final comparative report builds on desk reviews, household surveys and qualitative interviews conducted in the six project countries to assess the extent to which migration, including displacement and planned relocation, can benefit or undermine adaptation to environmental and climate change.

“Data analysis allows for a proactive, coherent and informed approach to policy development,” stated Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s Data Analysis Centre. “By assessing in which ways migration can represent an adaptation strategy to environmental and climate change, the MECLEP data facilitates the development of informed policy responses,” he stressed.

Many policy implications emerge from this unique comparative study. Among others, the importance of integrating migration into urban planning to reduce challenges for both migrant households and the communities of destination and the need of paying particular attention to gender issues and to the needs of vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and trapped populations that cannot move.

The report is launched jointly with the European Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) at the IOM Regional Office in Brussels. The conceptual approach that guided the study and the research methodology were also presented during the launch event.

In addition to this final comparative report, the MECLEP project produced other publications focusing on the migration and environment nexus: six national assessments, six country survey reports, 20 policy briefs, a training manual in five languages, a methodology paper and a glossary in three languages. All the publications are available on the Environmental Migration Portal, the knowledge platform developed in the context of the MECLEP project.

For further information, please contact Susanne Melde at IOM GMDAC in Berlin, Tel. +49 171 5474 165, Email: smelde@iom.int 

 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 16, 2017 - 17:32Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

IOM, Foreign Trade Association Sign Agreement on Protecting Migrant Workers

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:32

Belgium - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Foreign Trade Association (FTA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to boost cooperation in promoting ethical recruitment, protecting migrant workers and combating human trafficking in global labour supply chains.

“IOM recognizes the critical role that private sector employers and brands play in migration management and safeguarding the rights of migrant workers,” said Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM Regional Director for the EU, Norway and Switzerland, at an MOU signing event in Brussels today.

“We believe this new partnership between IOM and FTA will bolster joint efforts to improve conditions for migrant workers and provide strong public-private leadership in promoting sustainable supply chains,” he added.

FTA represents nearly 2,000 retailers, importers and brands and works to advance their international trade in conjunction with corporate responsibility. In doing so, FTA helps member companies develop systems and supply chains that respect workers, the environment, human rights and core labour standards.

IOM began working with FTA last year, in support of its work to reduce forced labour and human trafficking in South East Asian food and fisheries supply chains. Cooperation continued in the form of joint training sessions for FTA member companies on issues including labour rights, supply chain monitoring and responsible recruitment practices.

The new MOU provides a framework for further collaboration to protect migrant workers. This includes the enhanced use of IOM’s International Recruitment Integrity System, IRIS, which helps job seekers find ethical recruiters, certifies recruiters committed to ethical standards and helps employers assess the recruiters they use and improve transparency in the hiring process. It also includes support for FTA’s Business Social Compliance Initiative, training for employers and employees on trafficking and modern slavery issues, pre- and/or post-orientation training for labour migrants and support to companies to improve recruitment and map supply chains.

For further information, please contact Melissa Winkler at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 766 8230, Email: mwinkler@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 16, 2017 - 17:21Image: Region-Country: BelgiumSwitzerlandThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingMigrants RightsDefault: Multimedia: 

FTA Director General Christian Ewert and IOM Regional Director Eugenio Ambrosi at the MOU signing event in Brussel. Photo: FTA/2017

FTA Director General Christian Ewert and IOM Regional Director Eugenio Ambrosi at the MOU signing event in Brussel. Photo: FTA/2017

Categories: PBN

Thousands of Georgian Youngsters at Risk of Substance Abuse Reached with IOM’s “Life is Better” Campaign

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:18

Georgia - In response to high rates of substance abuse among Georgian youth, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) has implemented a pioneering information campaign on prevention of substance abuse among internally displaced and ethnic minority youth.

The Campaign, “Life is Better”, was implemented in public schools selected by the Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) of Georgia. Almost 500 children aged 13–14 years old created artistic projects, including essays, poems, video and songs on the theme, “Life is Better”. The initiative reached over 4,000 school children and 377 staff.

“How you deal with substance abuse, and how your school deals with substance abuse, and how your government deals with substance abuse will determine whether your country succeeds or fails,” said Mike McMahon of the United States Embassy, while addressing school children, their teachers and parents during the concluding event of the campaign in the city of Gori.

“’Life is Better’, it is indeed yours, the choice is in your hands and it is up to you to achieve all your goals,” added Ilyana Derilova, IOM Georgia Chief of Mission.

IOM’s campaign was designed not solely to prevent substance abuse but also to reduce its intensification and to deal with child and adolescent development.

For further information, please contact Ilyana Derilova at IOM Georgia. Tel. +995 32 225 2216, Email: iderilova@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 16, 2017 - 17:03Image: Region-Country: GeorgiaThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Mr. Mike McMahon taking part in the chemical experiment prior to the Award Ceremony. Photo: IOM 2017

Sport competition at the school yard in Gori. Photo: IOM

From left: Mr. Mike McMahon, parent of awardees, Ms. Ilyana Derilova, Gvantsa Shubitidze and Giga Shubitidze Awardees of "Life is Better" School Competition for the production of an art video "The Way Towards Bright Future", Director of the Gori Public School no.12 Ms. Rusudan Lomidze. Photo: IOM 2017

Ms. Rusudan Lomidze hands over to Mr. Mike McMahon the Certificate of Appreciation for the implementation of "Life is Better" Campaign project. Photo: IOM 2017

Ms. Ilyana Derilova and Mr. Mike McMahon are planting tree saplings in the school yard in Gori. Photo: IOM 2017

Categories: PBN

IOM, Guests Discuss Challenges to Protection of LGBTI Migrants

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:03
Language English

Guatemala - More than 50 LGBTI activists, government officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations from the seven countries in Mesoamerica met this week in Guatemala to strengthen their capacities and discuss joint strategies for the defense and promotion of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender migrants.

The Regional Workshop on Migration and the LGBTI Population included trainings on the normative framework and the actions for the protection of LGBTI migrants. It also served to jointly analyze the advances and challenges in the region to promote cooperation to improve the protection of this part of the population.

The increase in cases of violence against persons from this community during the past years is noticeable. According to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (CIDH), during the first month of 2017 at least 41 crimes against LGBTI persons have been reported in the Americas; 19 of these only in El Salvador.

The risks and discrimination LGBTI persons face increasingly drives their migration in search of protection and opportunities. In addition, gender identity and sexual orientation usually have a negative impact over migratory experiences.

The attention to the specific needs of LGBTI persons during their migratory cycle remains a challenge, since diverse factors hinder the upholding of their rights as migrants in Mesoamerica. One of these factors is the lack of information and capacity-building efforts on the subject.

“This topic is of special importance for IOM since we are conscious of the homophobia and transphobia climate present in our countries, which sometimes translates into family, community and even institutional violence. We also know that within this group, transgender women are exposed to the most risk. All violence patterns, which extend from threats to insults – and up to death – incentivizes thousands of LGBTI persons to seek protection in other countries through irregular migration. That increases their vulnerability in relation to Trafficking in Persons networks and other types of criminal organizations,” explained IOM Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, Jorge Peraza Breedy.

This is the second regional workshop of its kind that IOM implemented under its Mesoamerica Programme. Its first edition (2016) led to the formation of the Mesoamerican Network for the Protection and Assistance of LGBTI Migrants, a project that seeks to link the efforts of organizations that defend human rights to develop an articulated regional response to the attention of the multiple needs of this part of the population.

The Mesoamerica Programme “Strengthening the Capacities to Protect and Assist Vulnerable Migrants in Mesoamerica” is financed by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the Department of State of the United States of America. 

For further information, please contact Melissa Vega at IOM Guatemala, Tel: +502 2414-7405, Email: mvega@iom.int

 

Posted: Friday, June 16, 2017 - 17:01Image: Region-Country: GuatemalaThemes: Capacity BuildingGender and MigrationDefault: 
Categories: PBN

IOM, Panama Government Strengthen Cooperation for Protection of Migrants

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:01

Panama - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and Panama’s Ministry of Public Security have signed an agreement which will enable closer cooperation against smuggling and trafficking in persons, as well as on border management, emergency preparedness and crisis response resulting from migration flows.

The agreement seeks to provide training for government officials, establish work sessions with institutions involved in migration matters, and the exchange of information on the development and implementation of migration policies between IOM and the Ministry of Interior technicians and specialists.

This is a highly important issue for Panama, because over the last few years the economic growth and employment expectations caused by major infrastructure projects have increased migration flows and the consolidation of Panama as a destination country, in particular for South American countries such as Colombia, and more recently, Venezuela.

In addition, there has been a substantial increase of irregular migrants not only from Asia and Africa, but also from Cuba and Haiti, who are trying to reach North America. In 2015, according to the State Border Service (SENAFRONT), 31,749 migrants, mostly Cubans on their way to North America, entered Panama through Darien Province. However, of the 25,438 irregular migrants who entered the country in 2016, most were Haitians and the rest from Asia, Africa and Cuba.

Santiago Paz, Chief of Mission of IOM Panama signed the agreement with Alexis Bethancourt Yau, Panama’s Minister of Public Security. During the ceremony, the head of the Ministry pointed out that IOM has always provided technical assistance to the Government of Panama and this deal will formalize the cooperation on migration issues.

Paz said that the UN Migration Agency “can provide its capabilities to the Government of Panama to actively support the implementation of strategies and initiatives that will contribute to a safe, orderly and regular migration management and ensure the human rights of migrants.”

For further information, please contact Gonzalo Medina at IOM Panama. Tel: +507 3053350 Email: gmedina@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, June 16, 2017 - 16:57Image: Region-Country: PanamaThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

Panamanian authorities host a group of extra-regional migrants at a temporary humanitarian assistance station on the border with Colombia last January. Photo: IOM / Gonzalo Medina

Categories: PBN

IOM, Foreign Trade Association Sign Agreement on Protecting Migrant Workers

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 14:36
Language English

Belgium — The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Foreign Trade Association (FTA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to boost cooperation in promoting ethical recruitment, protecting migrant workers and combatting human trafficking in global labour supply chains.

“IOM recognizes the critical role that private sector employers and brands play in migration management and safeguarding the rights of migrant workers,” said Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM Regional Director for the EU, Norway and Switzerland, at an MOU signing event in Brussels today.

“We believe this new partnership between IOM and FTA will bolster joint efforts to improve conditions for migrant workers and provide strong public-private leadership in promoting sustainable supply chains,” he added.

FTA represents nearly 2,000 retailers, importers and brands and works to advance their international trade in conjunction with corporate responsibility. In doing so, FTA helps member companies develop systems and supply chains that respect workers, the environment, human rights and core labour standards.

IOM began working with FTA last year, in support of its work to reduce forced labour and human trafficking in South East Asian food and fisheries supply chains. Cooperation continued in the form of joint training sessions for FTA member companies on issues including labour rights, supply chain monitoring and responsible recruitment practices.

The new MOU provides a framework for further collaboration to protect migrant workers. This includes the enhanced use of IOM’s International Recruitment Integrity System, IRIS, which helps job seekers find ethical recruiters, certifies recruiters committed to ethical standards and helps employers assess the recruiters they use and improve transparency in the hiring process. It also includes support for FTA’s Business Social Compliance Initiative, training for employers and employees on trafficking and modern slavery issues, pre- and/or post-orientation training for labour migrants and support to companies to improve recruitment and map supply chains.

For further information, please contact Melissa Winkler at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 766 8230, Email: mwinkler@iom.int 

Posted: Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 20:32Image: Region-Country: BelgiumDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Belgian Government, City of Mechelen Host Global Conference on “Cities and Migration”

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 11:14

Belgium - The Belgian government and the city of Mechelen will host a “Global Conference on Cities and Migrants” on the 16th and 17th of November 2017, together with IOM, UN Habitat and UCLG as institutional partners.

The Belgian Development Cooperation, one of the Conference’s co-sponsors, puts great emphasis on the importance of orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals. Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation (Belgium) says: “This conference comes at a time when there is an all-time high of more than 250 million migrants worldwide. This number of migrants is expected to continue to grow. If we want this evolution to contribute to human development, we need coherent and inclusive approaches.”

Bart Somers, mayor of Mechelen, is enthusiastic about hosting this conference: “Migration is often a story of urban challenges but also urban opportunities. I feel it’s important the voices of mayors become a part of the UN Global Compact on Migration.”

In October 2016, UN Member States adopted the New Urban Agenda (NUA), at the Habitat III Conference, establishing that migration is one of the key governance areas that requires policy coherence and coordination mechanisms at central, local and regional levels, in order to ensure the proper management of diversity necessary for social cohesion and indispensable for sustainable urban development.

In 2018, UN member states will gather at a conference to endorse the first Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). The GCM is intended to present a framework for comprehensive international cooperation on migrants and human mobility and set out a range of actionable commitments, means of implementation and a framework for follow-up and review among Member States regarding international migration in all its dimensions.

This is an opportunity for states to commit to a unifying framework on all aspects of international migration, integrating humanitarian and development work, and based on human rights. Local authorities can make important contributions towards the preparation of this agreement, particularly through innovative and more effective approaches to urban governance that accounts for greater diversity, including migration policies for inclusive growth.

The Conference will aim to facilitate key decision makers’ views on actionable recommendations on cooperation for migration governance and local and national levels in follow-up to Habitat III and as input to the stocktaking meeting for the GCM, hosted by the Government of Mexico (December 2017).

For more details about the conference, please contact the focal points at decorte@un.org or ipopp@iom.int

Language English Posted: Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 17:01Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: IOMMigration and DevelopmentOthersDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Facebook Video Circulates Showing 260 Somali and Ethiopian Migrants and Refugees Abused, Held Against Their Will by Gangs in Libya

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 19:34
Language English

Switzerland - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is deeply concerned by the situation of approximately 260 Somali and Ethiopian migrants and refugees, including many children, held captive by smugglers and/or criminal gangs in Libya. In a video posted on Facebook on 9 June, hundreds of emaciated and abused Somalis and Ethiopians are seen huddled fearfully in a concrete room. Other nationalities may also be present.

Speaking on video to a Somali journalist based in Turkey (who recorded the call he received from the criminal gang), the migrants and refugees, who are sitting on the floor in a crowded space, say they have been beaten and tortured. Some report that their teeth have been removed, their arms broken and that none of them have been given any food. They explain that women have been put in different cells, where they are afraid that they are being further abused both sexually and physically. Parents and other relatives of the captive migrants and refugees are also receiving short video clips via social media, where they are being asked to pay between USD 8,000–10,000 or their child or relative will be killed. Some of the individuals in the videos have been missing for up to six years according to their families in Somalia. The exact location where they are being held is not yet known.

“I have being here one year. I am beaten every day. I swear I do not eat food. My body is bruised from beating,” said one of the captives in the video. “If you have seen the life here you wouldn’t stay this world any more. I didn't eat the last four days but the biggest problem is beating here. They don’t want to release me.”

Throughout the video there are exchanges between the journalist and the person moderating on site in Libya. In one instance, he introduces the journalist to a young visibly starving man with a large concrete block weighing down on his back, as punishment for his family not paying his ransom.

“I was asked for 8000 US Dollars,” said the young man, when asked by journalist why the criminal gang were punishing him. “They broke my teeth. They broke my hand. I have being here 11 months… This stone has been put on me for the last three days. It’s really painful.”

“I was here one year,” said one captive on the video from Ethiopia pleading with the journalist for help. “We want help. My brother, my brother, we are dead! We are beaten 24 hours a day, brother I am begging you! Brother I beg you, do whatever you can do. I can’t sleep, my chest hurts so much because they beat me with big pieces of steel every hour. They put us out in the sun. They do not give us food for days. Brother, we want you can take us back to our country!”

“Seeing a Facebook video of innocent migrants and refugees who have been abused and tortured is deeply concerning. IOM condemns the way that criminal gangs use social media in their shocking abuse of people held against their will and to extort money from their families back home,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Director of Operations and Emergencies, when learning of the situation. “This is a global problem where a smuggler or a criminal gang can easily use digital platforms to advertise their services, entice vulnerable people on the move and then exploit them and their families. It is high time that social media and tech companies recognize the extreme harm that is occurring because of their failure to monitor and react to situations of grave human rights abuses – leading ultimately to murder – that are being shared through their channels.”

“The cruelty of the human traffickers preying on vulnerable refugees and migrants in Libya does not seem to have a limit,” said Amin Awad, UNHCR Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “UNHCR is concerned about the plight of these asylum seekers and calls for their immediate release in collaboration with the Libyan authorities. We abhor the graphic images circulated widely and the heinous abuses perpetrated by these groups.”

Migrants and refugees travelling to Libya from the Horn Africa are frequently abducted in the Raybana area on the country’s southern border after crossing from Sudan. The area is very insecure with smuggling gangs from across the region preying on vulnerable people.

The relevant authorities are aware of this inhumane situation and are working to locate and assist the individuals in the video. IOM and partners will work with the government authorities to urgently secure the release of these migrants and refugees and provide critical support, including medical and psychosocial, as well as transport if they want to return home.

*Please note that IOM has not shared the Facebook video to protect the migrants and refugees from retaliation by their captors

For further information, please contact Leonard Doyle, IOM, Tel: +41 79 285 7123, Email: ldoyle@iom.int  

Posted: Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 01:28Image: Region-Country: LibyaDefault: 
Categories: PBN

IOM Provides Psychosocial Support for Children from Mosul

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 10:29
Language English

Iraq - According to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Emergency Tracking over 25,000 individuals have been displaced from west Mosul in the last five days alone as fighting between ISIL and Iraqi forces draw closer to the old city where an estimated 118,000 people are believed to be entrapped.

A large percentage of those escaping are children.

In IOM’s constructed emergency site in Qayara’s airstrip, of the 49,564 internally displaced persons (IDPs), 28,387 are children (14,336 boys and 14,051 girls).

In IOM’s second constructed emergency site, Haj Ali, of the 34,561 IDPs, 20,390 are children (10,368 boys and 10,022 girls).

Humanitarian organizations estimate that nearly 55 per cent of Mosul’s IDPs are children.

Most children have gone through a perilous journey when escaping from ISIL reign under which they witnessed horrific acts, from beatings, to executions and displays of violence by the group, against those they deemed sinners.

A mother in East Mosul spoke of how ISIL flogged her 11-year-old boy every time she refused to return to her husband, who had joined ISIL.

Though she was granted permission to separate from her husband by a sharia court as long as she forfeited all rights to financial support or help from him, he continuously tried to force her back to him.

Each time she refused to go back, she said, ISIL would take her son and flog him as punishment.

As battles intensified between the Iraqi military and ISIL, many children have seen their parents, or members of families killed by the militant group while escaping or from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) set to prevent civilians from leaving their homes.

Two children from Mosul recently saw their mother and brother killed when ISIL fired mortar at their house.

The children were trapped alone for hours in the house before neighbors came to their rescue and were able to remove the rubble that blocked the doorway.

With the children now safely reunited with their extended family members, the process of applying for and getting new identification documents to allow them back to school and life in general needs to be sorted, as most of their documents were destroyed in the house.

Infants born under ISIL reign also have to have new documents re-issued by the Iraqi government to replace those issued by ISIL and which bear the group’s registration branding.

Thousands of children have also missed school for the best part of the last four years while living under ISIL.

Many schools had been closed by ISIL, some transformed into and used as training grounds for children, with girls largely banned from getting an education.

Most families stopped their children from attending ISIL-led schools, where the group imposed a rigid and extremist curriculum.

IOM is providing psychosocial services at seven centres in five sites which serve displaced people from Mosul: Qayarah Airstrip and Haj Ali emergency sites, and Hasansham, Nergizilya 1 and Chamakor camps.

Activities especially designed for children to help them process and move on from the past include: expressive and creative poetry and singing, collaborative game playing expressive drawing, group support sessions, awareness sessions, relaxation sessions, running and jumping competitions (with psychosocial adjustments), hand crafting, storytelling, tree planting, football, volleyball and teambuilding games.

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said: “Children affected by the Mosul conflict have suffered greatly – they have lost family members, had their education interrupted, and been exposed to horrific violence. Despite the traumas they have endured, children from Mosul have shown admirable resilience coupled with an urgency to embrace life and move on. IOM and our humanitarian partners in cooperation with the Government of Iraq, are determined to continue to provide comprehensive assistance and support to help children recover and move on to the next brighter chapter of their lives.”

Last week the United Nations children’s agency warned that Mosul’s children are bearing the brunt of the intensified fighting between the US-backed government forces and ISIL in the city’s western sector.

According to the Government of Iraq’s Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD), a total of 630,039 people have fled west Mosul since the start of the operation on February 19th and cumulatively, 806,189 people have been displaced since the start of the military operations to retake Mosul city began.

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

Cumulatively, from 18 October 2016 to 8 June 2017, IOM Iraq’s DTM has tracked and confirmed the location of more than 548,000 displaced individuals (91,336 families) from Mosul. Of these, more than 411,000 are currently displaced and more than 145,000 have returned.

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

 

Posted: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 16:16Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsMigration HealthMigration and YouthDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 73,189 in 2017; 1,808 Deaths.

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 10:29
Language English

Switzerland - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) reports that 73,189 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 11 June, with almost 85 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 211,433 arrivals across the region through 11 June 2016.


IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported that since Friday, when IOM last released figures, over 3,000 migrants and refugees have been rescued between Europe and the North African coast, numbers that are not reflected in the official numbers shared by Italian authorities as not all those men, women and children have arrived in port.

Di Giacomo said on Monday that over the weekend, 2,942 migrants were rescued by the joint efforts of NGOs and Italian and international military ships. He added that on Monday a Swedish ship operating under Operation Triton rescued 356 migrants at sea from three dinghies and brought them to Catania. The 79 survivors on one of them had partially sunk and at least 61 migrants who had been on board remain missing at sea. Eight bodies (two men and six women) were also recovered from that same dinghy. At least one other victim was reported in a separate incident, whose remains were brought to Palermo.

IOM Rome also reported the breakdown of main arrivals to Italy by nationality through the end of May (see chart below). Nigerians (9,286 men, women and children) comprised the number one nationality – as they had a year ago – with Bangladeshis (7,106) in second place. The next eight countries were: Guinea (5,960), Cote d’Ivoire (5,657), the Gambia (4,011), Senegal (3,935), Morocco (3,327), Mali (3,150), Eritrea (2,344) and Sudan (2,327).

The arrivals from Eritrea, Sudan, and the Gambia are down from 2016 – even though overall arrivals to Italy by sea have risen – while those from Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Morocco, Mali and Guinea are all up. In the case of Bangladesh, the increase is from 20 recorded arrivals at this point in 2016 to over 7,000 this year. Through all of 2016, just over 8,000 Bangladeshis made this same journey to Italy from Africa – a level nearly reached this year after only five months.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported that a Bangladeshi man was among the individuals rescued off Libya last Friday (9 June) when 380 migrants (347 men, 30 women, three children) in three rubber boats were discovered at sea off Azzawya, Libya. During the rescue mission, an armed conflict between the smugglers and the Libyan Coast Guard led to the death of the Bangladeshi migrant and the injury of two other migrants as well as one member of the Libyan Coast Guard.

IOM’s Petré further reported that on Saturday (10 June), 438 migrants (66 women, 368 men and four children) were rescued at sea from four boats off Sabratha by the Libyan Coast Guard. She said four Libyan men were among the migrants. Also in the afternoon of 10 June, eight bodies (all men) were recovered in a boat drifting to shore near Garaboli, east of Tripoli, by the Libyan Red Crescent. IOM is investigating whether other passengers on that boat – possibly as many as 120 – may have drowned. 

This morning IOM Libya reported that on Monday the remains of two African men were retrieved from the fishing nets of local fishermen in Garaboli, east of Tripoli.
IOM Libya reports the total number of rescued migrants off the Libya coast so far in 2017 is 9,111, with the remains of 246 migrants recovered. 

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 2,524 fatalities through 11 June (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – over 70 per cent of the global total.

In recent days MMP researchers have recorded the following incidents: 70 deaths in the Central Mediterranean since Friday (among them, 61 missing, nine bodies taken to Italy); two bodies recovered off the coast of Almeria, Spain (Western Mediterranean), and one death due to a train accident near Tattenhausen, Germany. MMP also added the death of one man found alongside train tracks near the city of Tres Valles in Mexico’s coastal state of Veracruz.

Tres Valles was also the site of the discovery last October of more than 60 migrants found abandoned in the cargo container of a truck. Six men – from Guatemala and Ecuador – were reported to have died in that incident. The latest victim, identified as Juan Carlos González of Guatemala, suffered massive head wounds.

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/090613_Mediterranean_Update.pdf
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int
For further information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int

 

Posted: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 16:17Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Raises Awareness of Forced Migration at Seoul Event

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 06:46

Republic of Korea - IOM in the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Korea Telecom (KT) have hosted a promotional event: “Moving Stories: Migrants” at the KT Olleh Square auditorium in Seoul.

The (9/6) event, which was open to the public, was attended by over 250 mainly young people. It aimed to raise Korean public awareness of forced migration and to present IOM’s global efforts to address complex migration issues.

IOM ROK Head of Office Miah Park said: “Moving Stories is an opportunity to narrate the lives of often neglected populations, unpacking the realities behind the reported statistics. We hope this occasion will be a turning point for Koreans and migrants in Korea to realize that we all have a part to play in addressing this issue, especially as we try to build open, inclusive and just societies for everyone.”

Conducted in a talk show format, the evening event featured IOM media and communications experts who shared their experiences from Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and other scenes of forced displacement triggered by conflict or natural disasters.  

IOM Spokesperson for Asia and the Pacific Chris Lom provided an overview of forced migration, which affects over 65 million people worldwide. IOM Indonesia Media Officer Paul Dillon described an operation to free over 2,000 victims of human trafficking from fishing boats operating in Indonesian waters. Photographer Muse Mohammed presented a dazzling selection of his work from displacement hotspots around the world.

IOM ROK and KT also showcased their “Digital Island” project – an initiative that is using information technology to bring development and population stabilization to Bangladesh’s remote and impoverished Maheshkhali Island.

“By sharing stories from people on the move, we hope that our audience can put faces and stories to the numbers we hear on the news and start to care and act,” Park added.

IOM has been raising public awareness of migration in Korea since December 2015, when it collaborated with renowned Korean sculptor Yi Hwan-Kwon to mark International Migrants Day.

For further information please contact IOM ROK. Miah Park, Tel: +82 70 4820 2781, Email: mipark@iom.int. Or Jumi Kim, Tel: +82 70 4820 2324, Email: jukim@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: Republic of KoreaThemes: Counter-TraffickingInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Moving Stories official poster. Photo: IOM

IOM ROK Head of Office Miah Park and panelists answer questions at the Moving Stories event. Photo: IOM / Jumi Kim.

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Joins Civil Society and UN Initiative Calling for Global Compacts to Protect Migrant Children

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 20:44
Language English

Germany - With intergovernmental discussions leading up to the Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees currently taking place, all parties must work together to address the needs of migrant children consistent with their human rights.

Today (12/06), at the Global Conference on Children on the Move, in Berlin, Germany, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) joined more than 20 UN and civil society organizations to unite around the rights of children, especially children on the move. The conference with more than 250 participants from States, civil society, academia, UN agencies, private sector and individual experts aims to ensure that both Global Compacts – on migrants and on refugees - take into account children’s priorities and concerns.

“Every day at the UN Migration Agency, we work with migrant children. Some have been compelled to move accompanied by relatives or guardians or on their own due to conflict, disasters, fear and despair. Other children migrate in search of better socio-educational opportunities and ultimately to pursue their own development and that of the society they live in,” said William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, when discussing the preparations for the Conference.

“We want to ensure that child migration is always in the best interests of the child and that when it is not, sustainable solutions are found for children and their families both at home or in a new home elsewhere. These solutions should ensure that children are not left behind and that they are not exploited or even worse: trafficked. All migrant children are entitled to care and protection regardless of their migratory status,” concluded Ambassador Swing.

Different factors contribute to migrant children’s situations of vulnerability, including their age, risk factors at individual, household, community and structural levels, the reasons why they have migrated, and the conditions they face during travel, transit, and at destination.

IOM will continue to strive for migrant children’s wellbeing and best interests across the wide spectrum of activities the Organization is pursuing in support to all Governments, who are ultimately responsible for their protection. IOM values this inclusive partnership and its goals especially as the consultations progress for the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration - a major global process, to which IOM is extending technical and policy expertise as requested by UN Member States.

For further information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 94 35, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 02:40Image: Region-Country: GermanyDefault: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Appeals for USD 60 Million to Aid Victims of East Africa’s Worst Drought in Decades

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 10:59

Kenya - The East and Horn of Africa is experiencing the worst drought the region has seen in decades. Since 2016, repeated failed rains have led to severe food insecurity and to increasing numbers of internal and cross border displacement.

The number of people in dire need of humanitarian intervention in the region continues to grow, estimated at 16 million people in May 2017. The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is appealing to the international community for USD 60,655,000 to help displaced people and the communities hosting them in four of the worst affected countries; Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Somalia. The full appeal can be found here.

Impacts of this severe drought include food and water shortage, health and nutrition deterioration, significant livestock deaths and crop production losses. The drought is affecting the region’s main source of water – the river basins. Over the past six months, severe drought conditions have contributed to the displacement of more than 700,000 people within Somalia. While in Ethiopia, 316,128 have been newly displaced since the beginning of 2017 and over 41,000 in Kenya due to the impact of the drought.

In addition to this, the drought has also triggered cross border movements, particularly between Somalia–Ethiopia and Somalia–Kenya. Due to increased access to beneficiaries and an early response, the numbers of cross border displacements, so far, have been less than in 2011, when the last severe drought occurred. However, cross border movements may increase if humanitarian support is not sustained, especially considering expected below-average rainfall.

Through this appeal, IOM intends to target six million drought-affected individuals from April to December 2017 across Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti with a combination of lifesaving and early recovery interventions. IOM’s response will provide immediate humanitarian aid, as well as solutions and long-term recovery options to people in each of these four countries, building their capacity to recover.

"Although the impressive efforts from communities, Governments and international actors have so far managed to prevent the current drought escalating to famine, we are still in the midst of a major life-saving intervention and there is need for sustained funding and international support to mitigate what could still deteriorate," said Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa. 

"In the coming months, we are likely to see many more needing humanitarian aid and being displaced, due to the poor rains. In the long run, the need to address root causes and scale up prevention mechanisms will be imperative to support affected communities to fully recover," added Labovitz.

Preventing and addressing the root causes of forced migration is as pressing as immediate humanitarian support. IOM will aim to ensure that the affected communities are able to participate in crafting interventions that mitigate the mid- and longer-term consequences of this drought, with the security that their current pressing needs are being met.

This appeal aims to provide services within the sectors of Shelter/Non-food Items (NFI), Protection, Food Security and Livelihoods, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health, Early Recovery, Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), and Flow Monitoring and Displacement Tracking. Interventions will include direct service provision, as well as capacity building of local and national responders.

For further information, please contact Salvatore Sortino at IOM’s Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa in Nairobi, Tel: +254700638444, Email: ssortino@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 9, 2017 - 16:54Image: Region-Country: KenyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Nasibo, 6, sits in an abandoned safe space for children in Doolow, Somalia. Photo: IOM / Muse Mohammed

Categories: PBN

IOM, Sheffield Hallam University Launch Global Security App

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 10:47

United Kingdom - Sheffield Hallam University and the UN Migration Agency (IOM) have launched a mobile phone app designed to enhance the safety and security of IOM staff, while deployed in the world’s most challenging and dangerous environments.

The team at the University's Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience and Organised Crime Research (CENTRIC) have worked with IOM to develop the security-focused situational awareness dashboard and app.

The project, called SCAAN (Security Communications and Analysis Network), is designed to enhance the safety and security of IOM's field staff, while keeping them up to date during crises and emergencies. The dashboard also allows staff members to report problems to IOM’s 24/7 security team in Manila and get an instant response. The SCAAN app and dashboard uses GPS, direct messaging, calls and reporting features to provide urgent assistance to IOM field staff working in inhospitable and dangerous parts of the world.

“The security of our 10,000+ staff in over 150 countries is of paramount importance and remains a priority for me and the Organization,” said William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General.

“With security challenges increasing worldwide, the safety of staff working in hostile conditions is essential,” said William Wairoa-Harrison, IOM Global Head of Security. “Working with CENTRIC in developing this state of the art tool means that any staff member facing danger can instantly alert us with detailed information enabling a rapid response.”

"The SCAAN dashboard and app is advancing from development, testing and piloting and is currently being rolled out as a pre-release globally to relevant IOM field staff,” said Tony Day, CENTRIC’s lead developer on SCAAN.

"It is vital for IOM staff to have timely and accurate information on emerging situations locally and globally, as well as to ensure that they are accounted for wherever they may be. With SCAAN, they will be able to instantly share details with IOM on their location, their safety and relevant updates from the ground,” he continued. "The aim is to eventually roll this out to other areas of the United Nations and their partners."

SCAAN was launched at the event at the University by William Wairoa-Harrison, IOM's Global Head of Staff Security, Amy Rhoades, IOM Community Engagement Programme Manager, and Professor Babak Akhgar, Director of CENTRIC.

About Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield Hallam University is one of the largest universities in the UK, with more than 31,500 students. As one of the UK's most progressive universities, providing opportunity through widening participation is at the heart of the University. Ninety-six per cent of its young full-time undergraduate UK students are from state schools/colleges and 41 per cent are from low income backgrounds. Sheffield Hallam’s research is characterised by a focus on real world impact – addressing the cultural, economic and social challenges facing society today. Sixty-five per cent of its research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework.

For further information, please contact:

Tim Ward in the Sheffield Hallam University press office, Tel: 0114 225 2811, Email tim.ward@shu.ac.uk

Amy Rhoades at IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179948, Email: arhoades@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 9, 2017 - 16:40Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

IOM Provides Emergency Transport to Somali Refugees in Ethiopia

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 10:38

Ethiopia - This week, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) assisted 80 newly arrived Somali refugees with emergency transportation from the Ethiopia-Somalia border entry point to Kobe refugee camp in Dolo Ado, in the Somali region of Ethiopia. This latest assistance brings the total number of Somali refugees helped in the border region to 5,397 thus far in 2017. Over 50 per cent of the new arrivals are female while over 90 per cent are under the age of 18.

The latest movement is part of IOM’s emergency transportation assistance provided to newly arriving refugees across Ethiopia, including Somali, South Sudanese and Eritrean nationals. Since September 2016, over 95,000 refugees have been assisted with safe and dignified emergency transport in the Somali, Gambella and Tigray Regions of Ethiopia.

In addition to the severe drought impacting Somalia, the continuing conflict in the country contributed to a surge in new refugee arrivals to Ethiopia in 2017.

Some 2,855 individuals arrived in January alone, with arrivals surpassing the 2017 planning figure of 3,000 individuals by mid-February.

While new arrivals have declined since March, humanitarian agencies anticipate a likely increase in new arrivals during the coming months, given the forecast of significantly below-average April to June rains and the ongoing conflict in Somalia.

Sixty-year-old Kula Ali arrived on the Ethiopian border with his wife and seven children. “We left Somalia and crossed the border because of the drought,” he explained. “It took us two days by minibus to get to the border. We had to pay a big amount and the vehicle was full of people and we only brought a small amount of food and water with us,” Kula Ali said of the exhausting journey.

IOM’s transportation and relocation assistance ensures refugees can access life-saving services in the camps including food, WASH, health, and protection assistance. IOM, in coordination with ARRA, UNHCR and humanitarian partners, is engaged in logistical planning on routing, safety, security, and ensuring the protection needs of refugees are considered during transport. Prior to travel, IOM conducts pre-departure medical screening (PDMS) to ensure refugees are fit for the journey to the camps.

Medical escort assistance is provided to pregnant/lactating women, unaccompanied children, people with disabilities, the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions.

Joséph Nyangaga, IOM Dolo Ado Sub-Office Head, stated that “IOM is scaling up its efforts alongside the drought-stricken Ethiopia-Somalia border to continue transporting Somali refugees in a safe and humane way to refugee camps, where they are provided with lifesaving services.” 

“Little Sun” Solar Lamps Bring Light and Smiles to Women and Girls in Ethiopia

“It looks like a flower, I like it!” smiled Kaira, 16, a student and one of the vulnerable displaced girls who benefitted from IOM Ethiopia’s distribution of dignity kits. The kits include the solar powered Little Sun lamp.

In coordination with the Government of Ethiopia’s Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau (DPPB) and with funding from ECHO, IOM provided a dignity kit and Little Sun solar lamp to 1,265 internally displaced women and girls, aged 15 to 49 years old in the Somali Region of Ethiopia.

The dignity kits complemented 1,000 Emergency Shelter/Non-Food Item (ES/NFI) kits, provided to the families of the women and girls in drought-induced displacement sites in Dolo Ado.

According to data from IOM’s April Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Report, over 60,000 households are displaced across Ethiopia due to the drought currently impacting Ethiopia and countries across the region. The Somali Region of Ethiopia is experiencing the largest impact of the drought and hosts 75 per cent of all households internally displaced due to drought.

On the border with Somalia, Dolo Ado faces not only the humanitarian challenge of internal drought displacement, but also the strain that its five refugee camps put on resources in the area.

Halima, 20 years old, a mother of three and recipient of a dignity kit, explained that her family left their home following the death of all their goats.

Women often carry only items which are deemed essential to the family during displacement, leaving behind personal articles such as clothing and sanitary items. “We walked for three hours and I left all my belongings,” she recalled.

Lack of personal and hygienic items impact the dignity and respect women receive within the community. Dignity kits are provided alongside ES/NFI and include underwear, reusable sanitary pads, body soap, head scarves, and clothing in addition to the new Little Sun solar lamp. The kits are culturally appropriate and hygienic for use by girls and women of reproductive age.

Internally displaced person (IDP) sites in Ethiopia are often informal settlements characterized by makeshift shelters with inadequate lighting.

Halima explained: “There is no light at night, and I use a torch to carry out my household chores such as washing clothes and cooking food.”

Internally displaced women and girls can be highly vulnerable, and protection issues are a primary concern in displacement sites. Through the partnership with Little Sun GmBH, IOM’s provision of solar lamps will equip displaced women and girls with safe, sustainable and clean lighting solutions to improve their day to day activities and have a positive impact on their lives. The lamps also limit the exposure to hazardous forms of lighting such as candles, firewood and kerosene lamps, thereby reducing fire risks and negative health consequences.

The donation of solar lamps was made possible through IOM Ethiopia’s partnership with Little Sun GmBH – a social business enterprise which designed and produced the lamps and supported the project with corporate social funding.

“This will help me study at night and will replace firewood, which is what I normally use to light the books I use for school,” Kaira enthused. “I will read my biology book tonight – I want to be a doctor when I grow up.”

IOM’s transportation service for refugees in Ethiopia is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

For further information, please contact Joséph Nyangaga, IOM Dollo Ado, Tel: +251 92 7 167 626, Email: jnyangaga@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 9, 2017 - 16:28Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

IOM, Latin American Parliament Discuss Global Compact on Migration

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 10:28

Panama - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino) are holding a High Level Parliamentary Dialogue on Migration in Latin America and the Caribbean today (09/06). The topic of the discussion is Realities and Commitments towards Global Compact.

This discussion is the main event of the Palatino XXXIII General Assembly in Panama City with the main purpose of the meeting being to promote a discussion about the status and the development of a Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, as well as to encourage parliamentary action on this topic. Additionally, a regional document will be formulated as input to establish the global compact.

Some 200 delegates are expected to attend, including Clarissa Azkoul, IOM Deputy Chief of Staff, and Kailash Satyarthi, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 2014.

The regional dialogue on migration will bring together six panels, plenary sessions, and interactive round-tables, discussing topics such as the human rights of migrants, the impact of regular and irregular migration, international cooperation, global governance of migration and smuggling of migrants, and human trafficking. Other concerns to be addressed include the contributions of migrants and the diaspora to sustainable development, and migration due to climate change or armed conflict. 

Azkoul congratulated the members of Parlatino, in particular Blanca Alcalá, Mexican Senator and President of Parlatino, for leading the proposal to dedicate the General Assembly to migration and its global compact.

“The importance of involving Parliaments to the discussions and to the formulation of concrete proposals for the global compact is indisputable,” said Azkoul. “IOM extend their congratulations for this initiative and I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our will to build a long-term shared agenda with Parlatino.”

The Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which was approved on 19 September 2016 in New York within the framework of the 70th first session of the United Nations, set in motion a process of intergovernmental consultations and negotiations, culminating in the planned adoption of the global compact for migration on the occasion of an intergovernmental conference on international migration that will take place in 2018.

For further information, please contact Jorge Gallo at IOM San José Regional Office. Tel: +506 2212-53-52, Email: jgallo@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 9, 2017 - 16:21Image: Region-Country: PanamaThemes: Capacity BuildingGlobal Compact on MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

IOM-DTM Workshop Strengthens Humanitarian Response to Gender-based Violence for IDPs in Iraq

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 10:20
Language English

Iraq - In response to the need to address and mitigate the risk of gender-based violence (GBV) for displaced Iraqis, IOM and humanitarian partners will be more efficiently collecting and analyzing data on population movements as well as on the safety conditions of displacement sites across the country.

A workshop held this week (6-8 June) in Erbil, Iraq, brought together IOM, GBV experts and other partners to find synergies within their respective databases and identify GBV mitigation strategies for field operations.

Throughout the workshop, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), partners reflected on data collection for GBV mainstreaming and developed a list of recommendations to improve and facilitate means of data sharing in support of activities on the ground.

Workshop participants included: experts from Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM-IOM’s body for data collection); Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM); Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); Protection and Shelter staff; and representatives of local and international NGOs working in the field of gender-based violence response.

GBV Area of Responsibility Coordinator Jennifer Chase said: “Preventing, mitigating, and responding to gender-based violence is the responsibility of the humanitarian community as a whole. Only in this way will we improve the lives of women and girls, in Iraq and globally.”

IOM’s GBV Specialist Monica Noriega said: “Regardless of the sector in which we work, promoting the safety, health, dignity and privacy of the persons we seek to assist is our core responsibility. To prevent and mitigate GBV we act in partnership, and information is key.”

Of the more than three million people internally displaced by the ongoing conflict in Iraq, over 734,000 are currently living in camps and an additional 457,000 are based in critical shelter arrangements. Protection concerns arise in these environments, especially for women and girls, who can be at greater risk of gender-based violence due to lack of gender-segregated showers and latrines, adequate lighting, door locks, privacy for families and access to health and legal services.

“Iraqi women, men, boys and girls who have been forced to flee their homes continue to face further challenges in displacement, including serious protection concerns. IOM Iraq and humanitarian partners strive to identify these vulnerabilities to enhance risk mitigation and operational response. Information sharing facilitates our joint action to protect these populations,” said Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM’s Chief of Mission for Iraq.

Since 2014, IOM-DTM has worked to improve information gathering and response in Iraq, and in coordination with GBV Specialists, incorporated protection concerns and standard operating procedures (SOPs) that include the Protection Cluster and the Child Protection and GBV Sub-Clusters. 

The SOPs outline: type of data collected, data sharing frequency, levels of data sensitivity and data protection policies; they also facilitate continuous collaboration to ensure capacity for improved data collection on protection-and usage.

These tools are being reviewed and enhanced, to refine and improve indicators, trainings and data collection mechanisms. Data is essential to anticipate and identify concerns and risks that displaced populations may face.

The DTM Integrated Location Assessment analyses displacement and return movements of conflict-affected people, including vulnerabilities and protection issues. The report and data are available at: http://iraqdtm.iom.int/AllLocationAssessment.aspx

With an estimated 90,000 displaced Iraqis living in informal settlements, IOM Iraq DTM ran a second round of the Safety Audit (February-March 2017), focused on identifying GBV risk levels in informal sites in Baghdad, Diyala, Najaf and Salah al-Din governorates. This information is presented in a geo-portal to visualize and facilitate understanding of the most critical protection concerns identified at the informal site level. The Safety Audit and Geo-portal were conducted and developed with support from SIDA and the US State Department, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).

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

Cumulatively, from 18 October 2016 to 8 June 2017, IOM Iraq’s DTM has tracked and confirmed the location of more than 530,000 individuals (88,486 families). Of these, more than 386,000 are currently displaced and more than 144,000 have returned. This cumulative displacement figure represents an increase of 13,000 individuals over the past week.

Click to download the latest DTM documents:

DTM Mosul Operations Factsheet – 8 June: https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/dtm/IOM_Iraq-DTM_Mosul_Operation...

DTM Mosul Operations Snapshot – 8 June: https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/dtm/IOM_Iraq-DTM-Mosul_Operation...

West Mosul Displacement Overview – 8 June: https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/dtm/WestMosul_Displacement_Overv...

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq:

For media inquiries:
Sandra Black, Tel. +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int
Hala Jaber, Tel. +964 751 740 1654, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int

For DTM and GBV research inquiries:
Laura Nistri, Email: lnistri@iom.int
Aliyah Sarkar, Email: asarkar@iom.int

Posted: Friday, June 9, 2017 - 16:18Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: 
Categories: PBN

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