IOM, Swiss Confederation to Host Conference on Leveraging Digital Technology against Human Trafficking
Geneva — EU Anti-Trafficking Day takes place every year on 18 October, to unite relevant actors working to eradicate trafficking in human beings around the world. This year IOM, the UN Migration Agency, will co-host a conference with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) to mark the occasion. The conference, entitled Digital Technology: An Unprecedented Opportunity for the Prevention of Trafficking, will bring together state and non-state stakeholders to address the role of digital technology to prevent human trafficking.
Digital technology, through mobile phones, social media platforms or internet recruitment portals, can be a means of facilitating human trafficking. At the same time, digitalization can provide powerful tools to prevent trafficking in human beings and uphold the rights of victims, for instance, through the creation of hotlines and digital reporting apps to facilitate early identification.
The conference aims to narrow down the debate to one area of counter-trafficking: prevention. Today more than ever, interactions between private technology companies and counter-trafficking stakeholders are key to ensure the positive use of ICTs and the maximisation of their potential to prevent trafficking in human beings. Practical tools specifically designed to raise awareness, report actual or suspected incidents, and improve the gathering, use and sharing of data will be presented.
Representatives from IOM, FDFA, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and British Telecommunications among other counter-trafficking stakeholders, will take part in a panel discussion and presentations during this half-day conference. International experts will be invited to present their work and promising practices in trying to make use of digitalization in counter-trafficking efforts.
Since 2013, IOM’s office in the Swiss capital Bern has organized thematic and awareness-raising events around the EU Anti-Trafficking Day in cooperation with its partners. IOM Bern launched an awareness-raising bus — featuring an exhibition that explains what human trafficking is; shows facts, figures and victim case studies; highlights ways in which victims can be recognized; and gives information for support if a case of trafficking is suspected – that has been travelling around Switzerland since October 2017.
From 13-18 October, the bus will be open to visitors in Geneva at the following locations:
- 13.10.2018 (9h00 – 18h00), Plaine de Plainpalais
- 15.10.2018 (11h00 – 19h00), Esplanade UniMail
- 16.10.2018 (11h00 – 19h00), Esplanade HUG
- 17.10.2018 (11h00 – 18h00), Plaine de Plainpalais
- 18.10.2018 (8h30 – 16h00), Maison de la Paix
Beyond Switzerland, IOM works in partnership with governments, international and non-governmental organizations, the private sector and development partners around the world on all aspects of counter-trafficking responses – prevention, protection, and prosecution.
Since the mid-1990s, the organization and its partners have provided protection and assistance to close to 100,000 men, women and children, who were trafficked for sexual and labour exploitation, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, or for organ removal.
For more information please contact:
Emilie Ballestraz at IOM Bern, Tel: +41 31 350 82 22, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie Klaffenböck at IOM Vienna, Tel: +4315853322, Email: email@example.com
Chloe Taillard Yevenes at IOM Paris, Tel: +33(0)1.40.44.06.91, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Flavio di Giacomo at IOM Rome, Tel: +39 06 44 186 221/207, Email: email@example.com
Sarah Di Giglio at IOM UK, Tel: +44 2078116062, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 16:39Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: Press Release Type: Global
UN Migration Agency, Lao Immigration Department, Cooperate to Tackle Human Trafficking and Smuggling
Vientiane – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Department of Immigration (DoI) of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic have launched a first training by DoI Master Trainers for police and frontline border guards to increase the country’s capacity to tackle human trafficking and people smuggling nationwide.
A group of 20 frontline border officers from international, national and traditional border checkpoints in Vientiane took part in the three-day Canadian-funded foundation training course. They included officers from Wattay International Airport, Friendship Bridge, Thanaleng Train Station international border checkpoints.
The course, which ran from 10-12 October aimed to strengthen participants’ knowledge of trafficking in persons, people smuggling and travel document examination, and was taught by some of the 22 DoI Master Trainers who graduated from an IOM Training of Trainers programme, also funded by Canada, which was organized in Vientiane in August.
The Director General of the Department of Immigration under the Ministry of Public Security, Colonel Saisaming Sivilay, told trainees that the IOM training and the development of the Master Trainers Unit had an important role to play in strengthening the operational capacities of the DOI. He went on to confirm his ongoing commitment to work with IOM on issues dealing with human migration, as well as the fight against transnational organized crime.
IOM’s Head of Office in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Misato Yuasa, said: “This training comes at a pivotal time when the Lao People’s Democratic Republic is seeing increasing greater inter-connectedness through trade and investment with neighbouring countries that will only bring with it more human mobility. It is therefore crucial that frontline border officers are equipped with the skills and knowledge to detect and intercept irregular migrants, assist vulnerable migrants, and collect and share high-quality information on illegal operations.
Phetsamai, a frontline border officer from the Friendship Bridge International Border Checkpoint, welcomed the opportunity to learn more about human trafficking and people smuggling. “I am very grateful as this training is very helpful to me because I work at the checkpoint. I need to understand more about irregular migration and its different forms, so I can prevent it from happening,” she said.
Following this training, an additional three-day rollout training will take place in Northern, Central and Southern Laos by the DoI Master Trainers for a total of 60 frontline border officers from border checkpoints across Lao People’s Democratic Republic
These rollout trainings will provide an opportunity for the DoI to start to institutionalize the training, as well as the training tools and training curriculum, whilst providing training to those remote border posts and provinces with limited knowledge in the areas of human trafficking and people smuggling.
The capacity building programme is part of a Canadian-funded IOM project: Capacity Building through Improved Induction and Refresher Training for Immigration Officials, which is currently in its third phase.
The project aims to increase the capacity of frontline border officers to intercept and assist smuggled migrants and victims of trafficking, to collect and share high-quality information, and to ultimately ensure the safe movement of people across Lao borders.
For more information please contact Misato Yuasa at IOM Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Tel. + 856 (0)21 267 730, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 16:37Image: Region-Country: Lao People’s Democratic RepublicThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia:
Tthe Lao People’s Democratic Republic is building its capacity to combat human trafficking, with support from IOM and Canada. Photo: IOM 2018.Press Release Type: Global
Berlin – Prepared by IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), the Global Migration Indicators Report 2018 summarizes key global migration trends based on the latest statistics, showcasing 21 indicators across 17 migration topics.
The report is based on statistics from a variety of sources, which can be easily accessed through IOM’s Global Migration Data Portal.
The report compiles the most up-to-date statistics on topics including labour migration, refugees, international students, remittances, migrant smuggling, migration governance and many others, enabling policy-makers and the public alike to have an overview of the scale and dynamics of migration around the world.
Moreover, the report is the first to link the global migration governance agenda with a discussion of migration data. The topics chosen are of particular relevance to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report discusses the state of play of data for each topic and suggests ways to improve this.
“While the GCM and the SDGs provide important frameworks to improve how we govern migration, more accurate and reliable data across migration topics is needed to take advantage of this opportunity. This report provides an overview of what we know and do not know about global migration trends,” said Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC).
“The international community has taken steps to strengthen collection and management of migration data, but more needs to be done. A solid evidence base is key to inform national policies on migration and will be needed more than ever in light of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” said Antonio Vitorino, the new Director General of the International Organization for Migration.
DG Vitorino visited Berlin on Thursday (11/10), where he met with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and other government representatives.
Mr. Vitorino took office as Director General of IOM on 1 October 2018.
For more information and figures, download the Global Migration Indicators 2018 here: https://publications.iom.int/system/files/pdf/global_migration_indicators_2018.pdfGermanyDefault: Multimedia:
Global Migration Indicators 2018
Global Migration Indicators 2018Press Release Type: Global
Geneva – Ahead of International Day for Disaster Reduction on Saturday 13 October, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, releases an annual progress report on disaster risk reduction initiatives supported by a global video of DRR practitioners.
Natural hazards and disasters, exacerbated by a variety of risk factors, including accelerated urbanization and population growth, are expected to displace millions of people every year within their countries of origin and across borders. In 2018 alone, there were 18.8 million new internal displacements associated with disasters in 135 countries.
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) aims to reduce the damage caused by natural hazards such as earthquakes, floods, cyclones and droughts. IOM takes part in global DRR efforts by strengthening the capacity of communities at risk, especially for displaced and other vulnerable mobile populations.
Last year, IOM implemented 84 DRR projects in 71 countries, reaching approximately 1.4 million individuals. Initiatives included risk assessments, livelihood support, climate adaptation strategies and early warning systems, among many others. IOM also provided disaster risk reduction trainings to more than 28,000 community members and over 6,400 government officials.
“Our projects help people understand that they have their own responsibilities in the management of disaster risks in their communities,” said Jain Emmanuel Noel, IOM Haiti Programme Officer.
Noel was one of nine IOM staff members who collaborated across six countries to create the video, IOM and the Sendai Framework: Reducing Disaster Risk and Promoting Resilience. The video shares the many ways in which IOM projects build resilience and preparedness in disaster-prone countries.
“They need to enhance the capacities so that they can address, by themselves, the needs they are facing in their communities,” added Mr. Noel.
In Haiti, preparedness at the community level has been central to DRR projects. In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, which devastated the country in 2016, IOM trained carpenters to build houses more resilient to hurricanes and other hazards.
“I especially learned the ’marrage carré’”, Renaud, a carpenter trained by IOM, explains in the report, “We place two wooden crosses which are then tightened together. I did not use that technique before.”
IOM contributes to the efforts of individuals, communities and States to reduce risk, prevent disaster displacement and promote resilience. The Organization’s work on DRR and environmental degradation advances mobility-based strategies in disaster prevention and preparedness, as well as supports ‘build back better’ goals in the recovery phase.
IOM contributes to the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, a 15-year plan endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2015. The 2018 progress report, Taking Sendai Forward, measures the progress of IOM in achieving benchmarks laid out in the Framework and the UN Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience.
The report highlights how IOM increasingly works on mobility and disaster risk reduction issues as part of an integrated, system-wide effort alongside UN and other partners. The report further draws attention to significant humanitarian and development implications that disaster-related population movements will likely have for Governments and communities in the years to come – underlining the importance of including migrants and mobility issues in DRR and development planning.
“IOM will continue to work with countries to reduce vulnerability and strengthen resilience, while promoting the vital benefits and opportunities that mobility can bring, when safe and dignified, for those seeking a better life,” concludes the report.
For more information on IOM’s Disaster Risk Reduction work, please contact: Johan Olof Grundberg at IOM HQ in Geneva, Tel: +41 22 717 9938, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLanguage English Posted: Friday, October 12, 2018 - 16:55Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:
In the Federated States of Micronesia, IOM trained 1,645 workers in the local communities to ‘build back better’ in the likely event of future typhoons. Photo: Muse Mohammed/IOMPress Release Type: Global
Kyiv – Human trafficking is an acute challenge for Ukraine, with over 1,200 victims identified and assisted last year alone by IOM, the UN Migration Agency. IOM has been assisting trafficking victims in the country for 20 years, and in that time 15,000 have received medical, psychosocial and legal assistance, vocational training and equipment to help them start enterprises.
The programme is the biggest of its kind in Europe, and to mark 20 years of helping vulnerable migrants and trafficking victims, IOM gathered national and local state officials, civil society partners and international practitioners for a conference in the capital Kyiv this week. The event was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP).
“Human trafficking continues to be an issue that plagues our times,” said Anh Nguyen, Head of the Migrant Protection and Assistance Division at IOM Headquarters in Geneva. “The work of IOM staff in the field and strong partnerships with governments and local NGOs are crucial for preventing trafficking, prosecuting criminals and protecting victims.”
Of the thousands of survivors assisted by IOM in Ukraine, the youngest was only three years old, and the oldest was 83. About 60 per cent of victims identified by IOM Ukraine over the last three years are men. People from Ukraine have been trafficked to over 50 countries.
In addition to victim reintegration, IOM has been supporting the development of national counter-trafficking legislation and the establishment of the state-led National Referral Mechanism for victims of trafficking. Over 7,000 state and civil society practitioners dealing with trafficking survivors received comprehensive training from IOM. The UN Migration Agency also runs a toll-free National Counter-Trafficking and Migrant Advice Hotline which assists up to 20,000 people annually.
“Today we celebrate 20 years of dedicated work of IOM staff and NGO partners, generous support of the donor community, and the strong commitment of the Government of Ukraine. But these have also been years of unbelievable resilience and courage of the victims of trafficking – women, men and children, who managed to rebuild their lives after the extremely traumatizing experiences they went through,” said Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission.
Andrii* is one of the victims supported by IOM Ukraine. When he was five years old, his grandmother took him from his mother and transported him abroad, where for four years he was forced to beg and to steal from stores. Andrii’s grandmother was arrested, and the boy was reunited with his mother and sister. Andrii and his mother received medical and psychological assistance in the IOM Medical Rehabilitation Centre.
The boy had not attended school at all, so he was enrolled in the first grade upon his return. IOM helped him with school supplies, clothing, and footwear, and his family now lives in a house provided by their village council. As the conditions there are basic, IOM gave them furniture, a refrigerator, washing machine, and winter fuel.
Andrii is a happier boy now: “I have a pet dog and two puppies. I go to school where I now have friends. My favourite subjects are maths, physical education and crafts. Also, I help my mother take care of our cattle.”
*Name has been changed to protect privacy
For more information please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel. +38 044 568 50 15 or +38 067 447 97 92, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Friday, October 12, 2018 - 16:53Image: Region-Country: UkraineDefault: Multimedia:
Trafficking survivor gets medical assistance at IOM’s unique rehabilitation centre in Kyiv. Photo: Volodymyr Shuvayev/IOM
Trafficking survivor gets medical assistance at IOM’s unique rehabilitation centre in Kyiv. Photo: IOM/Volodymyr Shuvayev 2017Press Release Type: Global
Zagreb – Forty-four Syrian refugees landed safely in Zagreb on Wednesday and Thursday (10-11 October) after leaving Turkey as a part of Croatia’s first ever resettlement programme, which was launched last year.
The refugees who arrived over these two days (20 landed on Wednesday, 24 on Thursday) represent the fourth group resettled with the assistance of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, which is supporting the Republic of Croatia’s initiative to accept a total of 150 refugees from Turkey.
To date, 149 refugees have been resettled with IOM’s assistance under the pilot programme since November 2017. Prior to this weeks’ arrivals, three groups of 105 refugees were resettled to Croatia.
“The protection and humanitarian character of this pilot resettlement project continues to ensure the availability of a much needed safe and legal channel for the most vulnerable refugees,” said Ivan Pitesa, project coordinator at IOM Croatia.
The new arrivals included seven families: 28 adults, 15 children and one infant (17 males and 27 females). After being assisted by IOM at the airport, the new arrivals were taken to the Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers in Kutina.
IOM has supported the families and the government of the Republic of Croatia with pre-departure support in Turkey as well as with their travel arrangements.
The Organization’s staff will continue to provide a Croatian language course and orientation on topics such as living and working in Croatia, building social networks, getting familiarized with the institutions and organizations, and rights and obligations in the areas of education, social welfare, housing, health and employment.
IOM is coordinating all activities with the Ministry of the Interior and other stakeholders.CroatiaDefault: Multimedia:
Some of the Syrian refugees after arrival in Zagreb this week. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Global
Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 88,049 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 10 October, with 40,598 to Spain, the leading destination this year. The region’s total arrivals through the recent weekend compare with 142,301 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 318,791 at this point in 2016.
Spain, with 46 per cent of all arrivals through the current year, continues to receive seaborne migrants in October at a volume approaching three times that of Greece and about eight times that of Italy.
IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 now have reached 40,598 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 10 October (see charts below).
IOM notes that over this year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. In the 132 days since May 31, a total of 32,448 have arrived – or just under 256 migrants per day. Arrivals in October are running at a rate of over 300 per day.
IOM Spain’s Oussama El Baroudi notes that with this week’s arrivals Spain has now received via the Mediterranean more irregular migrants than the record number set in 2006 during the so-called “Cayucos crisis” (on a West Africa route) when there was a total of 39,180 sea arrivals, mainly to the Canary Islands.
Italy’s arrivals through early October are running at their lowest daily average recorded at this point—just past the busy summer sailing season—in almost five years. Last October migrants were crossing from North Africa to Italy at a rate of nearly 1500 per week—or about five times this year’s rate.
Two Octobers ago, the numbers were even higher: almost 4,000 per week. In 2016, through June, July, August, September and October sea-borne arrivals of migrants to Italy the average number of rescues each month surpassed the number that has arrived in all of 2018 (see chart below).
IOM Greece reported on Thursday (11 October) that over 72 hours starting from Monday (08 October), the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) undertook at least five incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Kos, Samos and Chios. The HCG rescued a total of 161 migrants and transferred them to those islands.
Additional arrivals of some 186 individuals to Lesvos, Samos and Farmakonisi during the same 72-hour period bring to 24,511 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 10 October (see chart below).
IOM is tracking media dispatches regarding a shipwreck Monday in the Aegean that reportedly resulted in nine fatalities and as many as 25 still missing. The tragedy was said to have occurred off the Turkish coast, with reports that an Iraqi woman who swam back to shore told Turkish authorities she boarded at Foca in Izmir province Monday with her spouse and five children
A statement from Turkey’s Ministry of the Interior noted that minutes before midnight Tuesday (09 October), a woman of Iraqi nationality arrived at the Karaburun District Gendarmerie Command asking for help. She was wearing wet clothes and a lifejacket. The Ministry statement reads:
"From the testimony of the beforementioned person, we learned that they (she and others) sailed on a boat on 8 October 2018 around 20:00; there were about 35 people on the boat, the boat took on water and sank soon after sailing. She said she was carried by the current to the Kuyucak beach. The other people were lost.
“In order to find the irregular migrants who are assumed to be lost…search and rescue activities have been started at sea…As a result of these jointly conducted search and rescue activities, dead bodies of four irregular migrants have been found – two irregular migrants on land and two irregular migrants in the sea.”
IOM is also following reports of three female migrants found murdered this week near Greece-Turkey border. IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou reported late Thursday (11 October) authorities continue to investigate the crime, saying the victims—all with their throats slashed and their hands bound—appeared to be between the ages of 15 and 25 and are thought “Asian,” although it remains unclear whether that refers to a Middle Eastern. South Asian or East Asian nationality.
A premilinary examination indicated the victims were killed during this past weekend. Police reportedly said a farmer found the victims on the Greek side of the Evros River (also the border between Greece and Turkey), near the town of Didymoteicho.
Researchers with IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in the Western Balkans reported Thursday some 1,322 irregular migrants were registered in Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina through the first week of October, six time more than the average of 220 monthly arrivals reported in the countries concerned in 2017 and significantly higher than the weekly average of 36 calculated for the respective countries in October 2017.
Between January and October 2018, authorities in these countries registered a total of 23,335 irregular migrants. Researchers say 72 per cent of migrants were registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where since the beginning of the year authorities have reported 16,991 new irregular migrants – 15 times more than the 1,116 registered in the whole of 2017 (almost half of the total of 38,444 land and sea arrivals to Europe registered through the Eastern Mediterranean: Bulgaria and Greece).
According to the available information on nationalities: the Syrian Arab Republic, Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Algeria and Afghanistan are the most commonly reported origin countries.
Distribution of migrants by nationality varies between the three countries on the route. One third of all registered migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina were from Pakistan, followed by those from the Islamic Republic of Iran (16%), the Syrian Arab Republic (13%), Afghanistan (10%), and Iraq (9%). In Albania and Montenegro, Syrian nationals comprised the majority (47% and 44% respectively), followed by those who arrived from Pakistan (21% and 12% respectively), Algeria and Iraq (both 8%) in Montenegro and Iraq (8%) and Algeria (4%) in Albania.
The differences in the nationality structure of registered migrants between the three countries are explained by the fact that migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina also enter from Serbia (especially migrants form Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan) and that certain groups of migrants from Montenegro continue not only toward Bosnia and Herzegovina but toward Serbia as well.
Available DTM flow monitoring data for Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia also indicate increased movement of irregular migrants to and through these countries.
Between January and 10 October 2018, there were 5,837 newly registered migrants in the reception centres across Serbia. This is a 28 per cent increase compared to the 4,554 registered in the same period last year, and slightly more than the 5,435 registered in the whole of 2017.
More than half of all registered migrants in Serbia as of 30 September declared Pakistani origin (58%), another 12 per cent were from the Islamic Republic of Iran followed by 9 per cent of migrants from Afghanistan, 6 per cent from Iraq and 6 per cent of Bangladeshi nationals. In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia authorities reported arrival of 2,707 irregular migrants as of 10 October, five times the 546 reported in the whole of 2017.
Available information on nationalities as of end of September, indicates that the Islamic Republic of Iran is the most commonly reported origin country declared by 56 per cent of the registered migrants. Afghan nationals comprise another 11 per cent, Pakistani nationals 10 per cent and Iraqi 6 per cent.
IOM’s Missing Migrants Project estimates that at least 2,806 people died or went missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018, through 07 October. (see chart below). The latest deaths in the Eastern Aegean and the Greek Mainland are not included.
Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff 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.
For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel: +40212115657, Email: MMOCANU@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: email@example.com
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: ADODEVSKA@iom.int or Oussama El Baroudiat, Oelbaroudi@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: email@example.com
Antigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 166; M. +30 69 48 92 98 09 Email: Aavgeropoulou@iom.int
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 248, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM officer, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: email@example.com
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Petré, IOM Libya. Tel. +216 29 240 448 Email: Chpetre@iom.int
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Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kinshasa – On 01 August, the tenth Ebola outbreak in 40 years was declared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). IOM, the UN Migration Agency, immediately joined the Government-led response to the outbreak in DRC and began assessing and accelerating support in neighbouring countries.
The affected provinces of North Kivu and Ituri share land and water borders with Burundi, South Sudan, Rwanda and Uganda. These borders are areas of high population mobility with people frequently crossing back and forth between each country. As of March 2018, 735,000 Congolese refugees reside in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). IOM is taking a regional approach to its Ebola prevention and containment efforts, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant governments.
During the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, IOM developed the Health, Border and Mobility Management Framework (HBMM) for use in locations where the risk of disease transmission is high between migrant and sedentary communities. The framework empowers governments and communities to prevent, detect and respond to health threats at points of origin, transit, destination and return.
Within the framework, IOM’s response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak focuses on mobility and border management (DRC, Uganda, South Sudan and Burundi); data gathering, risk mapping and sharing (DRC, Uganda, South Sudan); health surveillance at points of entry (DRC and South Sudan); elaboration of standard operating procedures, manuals, curricula and contingency plans (DRC and Burundi); and support to cross-border coordination (DRC, Uganda and Burundi).
In DRC, IOM is conducting screening, hygiene promotion and risk communication in 44 points of entry. More than 200 border health staff have also received training on disease surveillance and response from IOM, the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health.
In early October (02/10 - 04/10), IOM joined partners and delegates from the DRC and the East African Community (EAC) Partner States to develop a common regional strategy to enhance cross-border surveillance, emergency preparedness and response to epidemics. As a result, delegates prepared a new framework for monitoring and evaluating national action plans for cross-border disease surveillance.
At the meeting, Dr. Michael J. Katende, the Acting Head of Health Department at EAC Secretariat, highlighted “the need for all of us to work together to ensure information sharing, strengthening community-based surveillance and mapping of porous borders.”
In Burundi, IOM participates in the National Ebola Task Force by providing technical support to the Government of Burundi and revising national contingency plans related to the outbreak. IOM is also implementing a health and humanitarian border management project between Burundi and DRC that will involve training health officials, provision of basic health surveillance equipment and development of joint standard operating procedures.
In South Sudan, IOM has deployed teams, comprising of health, displacement tracking and water, sanitation and hygiene experts, to its borders with DRC and Uganda. They have set up four health screening points - Okaba, Kaya and two in Yei – and are planning to establish an addition four screening points as part of the prevention measures underway in the country.
Since beginning operations in South Sudan on 18 September, IOM has screened 5,063 people, of whom there are no suspected or confirmed cases. IOM has initiated the Displacement Tracking Matrix’s (DTM) flow monitoring component at screening points to inform on the general migration trends such as number of people crossing the border at these points and departure and destination locations. IOM is also supporting efforts to share messaging on Ebola prevention and detection with communities along the border. IOM’s Ebola preparedness efforts in South Sudan are funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
In Uganda, IOM trained 45 immigration, district authorities and Office of the Prime Minister officials on HBMM. IOM is conducting a 21-day-long surveillance on refugees confirmed for resettlement as well as establishing ten flow monitoring points on key border zones that will provide crucial information on cross-border mobility.
Moving forward, IOM will continue to provide support to concerned countries in responding to the outbreak and in reinforcing preparedness to prevent and mitigate public health emergencies of international concern.
For more information, please contact:
Regional Office in Nairobi: Kenneth Odiwuor, Tel: +254722560363, Email: email@example.com
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South Sudan: Olivia Headon, Tel: +211912379843, Email: email@example.com
IOM establishes health screening points on South Sudan’s borders. Photo: IOM 2018Press Release Type: Global
Georgetown – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is providing essential non-food items (NFI) such as personal hygiene products (insect repellent, soap, toothpaste), cleaning products (buckets, detergents, chlorine), along with mosquito nets, hammocks, and blankets to highly vulnerable Venezuelan migrants in Guyana.
The initiative, carried out as part of IOM Regional Action Plan (RAP), has reached over 793 Venezuelan migrants, particularly members of the indigenous Warao tribe arriving in the regions of Barima Waini and Pomerron Supanaam.
Many Venezuelans are using boats to cross into Guyana, where they are arriving without food, shelter, and other necessities. Since most of them are only fluent in the Warao dialect, communication has proved difficult.
IOM has distributed lifesaving information, including guides on how to access documentation and the regularization process in Region 4 (Demerara-Mahaica) and Region 2. Thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with the Venezuelan Support Group (VSG) and the help of the Civil Defense Commission, IOM has been able to distribute this information in borderline areas that are difficult to access.
IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has also been deployed to understand the needs and identify vulnerabilities in the migrant population, particularly in those with a higher risk of becoming victims of human trafficking, smuggling, and irregular migrants. In a first phase, DTM was implemented in Regions 1 and 4, as well as in Georgetown. This initial stage of the study concluded on September 5 and will be made available later during the year.
In parallel, IOM Guyana has organized workshops to train first-line response officers from the Ministry of the Presidency, Guyana Defence Forces, Ministry of Indigenous Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Guyana Public Force, Ministry of Communities, Department of Migration, and the Ministry of Public Health on issues such as human trafficking, smuggling and other vulnerabilities; direct assistance and referral systems.
Other UN and regional agencies participated in training sessions, including the Pan American Health Organization, the United Nations Children´s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
These humanitarian aid efforts to assist Venezuelan migrants and strengthen government capacity in Guyana have been made possible thanks to funding from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
For more information, contact Tanika Jones at IOM Guyana, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel +592 231 6533Language English Posted: Friday, October 12, 2018 - 16:18Image: Region-Country: GuyanaDefault: Multimedia:
IOM provides essential humanitarian relief to vulnerable Venezuelan migrants in Guyana. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Global
Maiduguri – IOM, the UN Migration Agency marked this year’s World Mental Health Day, by collaborating with the Government of Nigeria and humanitarian partners to facilitate community engagement and sensitization activities across nine Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Northeast Nigeria.
Observed on 10 October every year, World Mental Health Day has the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues and mobilizing efforts to support this cause around the world. It provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work and identify what needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
IOM is a key partner in the provision of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in Northeast Nigeria since the beginning of the conflict in 2014. In partnership with national institutions, the organization provides direct psychosocial support and services to the affected population through 11 MHPSS safe spaces and the deployment of 17 MHPSS mobile teams in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.
At a safe space in Gubio Camp, Maiduguri, internally displaced persons (IDPs) participated in an art mediation activity where they created various art pieces such as hand cut-outs. “Like the circle of hands, we are all connected,” said a young IDP during the activity. “We can use our hands to show our kindness, and to give and receive help from others. Creating things by hand improves our mental health.”
In addition to MHPSS outreach activities, IOM facilitates referrals of affected individuals for specialized treatment and psycho-education provided to their families, in partnership with the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Maiduguri and Mental Health facility in Yola. Six psychiatric nurses are deployed to the hard-to-reach areas in Borno and two teams facilitate referral activities.
“Prevention of mental distress and illness begins with being aware of, and understanding, the early warning signs and symptoms of mental distress,” said Amal Ataya IOM MHPSS Programme Manager. “Psychosocial support can be provided in safe spaces and other community settings and of course trainings for health workers that enable them to detect and manage mental health disorders can be put in place, improved or expanded.”
Through its MHPSS co-chairing role, IOM is coordinating this year’s activities among partners and supporting the translation of awareness messages related to the theme Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World into Hausa, Kanuri, Fulfulde and Marghi in collaboration with Translators without Borders. The messages will be disseminated to all partners and IOM MHPSS teams for their mental health awareness raising in the IDP camps and host communities. IOM’s MHPSS activities to mark this year’s event include cultural dances, sensitization exercises, artistic mediation activities, stress management and coping strategies.
Some youth, including those living in humanitarian and fragile settings, are at greater risk of mental health conditions due to their living conditions, stigma, discrimination or exclusion, or lack of access to quality support and services.
World Mental Health Day provides the much-needed opportunity to promote mental health and psychosocial support through culturally appropriate recreational activities for adults, teenagers and children, as well as informal education for adults and youths.
For more information please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 906 273 9168, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Friday, October 12, 2018 - 16:16Image: Region-Country: NigeriaDefault: Multimedia:
IDPs came together in safe spaces to participate in art mediation activities. Photo: Paulina Odame/IOM
Community representatives attending a sensitization session on mental health issues and avenues for mental health support. Photo: Paulina Odame/IOMPress Release Type: Global
Rome – The latest edition of CinemArena—the mobile cinema initiative launched in 2002 by MAECI (Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) and AICS (Italian Agency for Development Cooperation) — was launched this week (09/10) in Rome at the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The project, now in its sixteenth year, involves a caravan travelling through the most remote African routes in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Guinea, The Gambia, Nigeria and Sudan bringing outdoor cinema events to more than 200 villages. The aim is to promote an information campaign that demonstrates the risks of irregular migration.
The 2018 edition of this project, financed by the Africa Fund, will address migration by focusing on the main countries of origin of migrants arriving by sea to Europe. Events will include the screening of movies and awareness-raising videos on irregular migration, followed by workshops, theatre performances and other activities.
The 2018/2019 edition is an initiative is being implemented in partnership with Italy’s Ministry of the Interior and IOM, the UN Migration Agency.
This year, new synergies with the IOM’s Aware Migrants Information Campaign (already disseminated on social media, radios and TVs) were also made possible.
“Migrants arriving in Italy often tell us to have left their countries without being fully aware of the difficulties of the journey and of the violence they would have been subjected to,” explained Federico Soda, Director of IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean. “The Aware Migrants Information Campaign – financed by the Italian Ministry of Interior – was launched two years ago for these migrants (not refugees) with the aim of informing them by using video testimonies on the risks of the journey, and of enabling them to take free and informed decisions.”
The caravan began its tour on 1 October in Senegal, in the village of Pekin. Its itinerary in coming weeks includes Nioro du Rip, Guinguineo, Kaolack, Goudiri, Tamba, Vélingara, Medina Yero Foula and Sédhiou. The caravan moved from Kaolack to the Tambacounda region, where new events began on 10 October in Dogué.
CinemArena will then move to Nigeria and Ivory Coast in November and December; to Guinea and Sudan in January and February, and then the Gambia in March and April.
Watch a short presentation video here (Italian): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5FYweoIMCI&t=51s
For more information, please contact:
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: FDIGIACOMO@iom.int
The latest edition of the irregular migration cinema-based information campaign, CinemArena, is underway in remote villages across West Africa.Press Release Type: Global
Central, North American, Caribbean Countries Address Migration Challenges in the Context of the 2030 Agenda
Panama City – The UN Migration Agency, IOM, held this week (9-10/10) a preparatory workshop with the goal of adopting lines of action to mainstream migration into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Central and North America.
The workshop, the second of its kind, was co-organized by IOM and the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM), with the support of UN partners including UNDP, UNHCR, UNFPA, ILO and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Foreign affairs officers, migration agencies and officers responsible for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda from North and Central America and the Caribbean participated in the event.
“The 2030 Agenda offers us a unique opportunity to work together for equality and human rights,” said Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director of IOM for Central and North America and the Caribbean. “Some of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) are critical to addressing migration in a comprehensive manner. Therefore, providing support to countries efforts to align their migration governance with the SDGs is a priority for IOM.”
During the workshop, the participants also learned about the preliminary results of a diagnosis of the Adoption of the 2030 Agenda and Migration in the countries of the region, which provides valuable insight to understand the complex dynamic between migration and development. The study is in the process of being validated and will be available later.
Also, IOM presented the Migration and the 2030 Agenda: A Guide for Practitioners to participating countries.
“There is a need better understand how migration and migrants can shape the achievement of development and vice versa,” said Joanne Irvine, an officer for the IOM-UNDP Global Joint Programme on Mainstreaming Migration into National Development Strategies. “Migration is a powerful driver of development both for migrants and for their communities of origin, transit, and destination.”
The event took place in the context of the project Supporting Countries in the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals Linked to Migration Governance, implemented by IOM Panama and financed by IOM Development Fund (IDF). The project aims to strengthen governments' capacities to advance the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda related to migration governance.
The Lines of Action will be presented at the Vice-Ministerial Meeting of the RCM that will take place between November 12-15 in Panama, to be used as guidelines for member States of the Conference.
Since its creation in 1996, the Regional Conference on Migration has worked for the convergence of efforts to protect the human rights of migrants by strengthening the linkages between migration and development.
For more information, please contact Jorge Gallo at IOM Regional Office for Central and North America, and the Caribbean, Phone: +506 2212-5352, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLanguage English Posted: Friday, October 12, 2018 - 16:10Image: Region-Country: PanamaDefault: Multimedia:
Participants at the IOM preparatory workshop on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Central and North America. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Global
Erbil – The UN Migration Agency, IOM, congratulates the 2018 Nobel Peace Laureates Dr. Denis Mukwege, a Congolese doctor and advocate, and Nadia Murad, a prominent Yazidi human rights activist, for their efforts to end the scourge of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.
For Ms. Murad, the prize comes more than three years after she escaped her ISIL captors in Iraq and resettled to Germany as part of the Humanitarian Admission Programme, jointly implemented by the German State of Baden-Württemberg and IOM Iraq, in close partnership with the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq.
During the summer of 2014, thousands of Yazidi women in northern Iraq were subject to conflict-related sexual violence after being abducted while their hometowns were overtaken by ISIL. Many saw members of their families, relatives and friends brutally murdered. The abuse sexual violence survivors have suffered is impossible to measure, but the strength of survivors and advocates like Ms. Murad and Dr. Mukwege has created tremendous impact, recognized by the Nobel Committee.
“Awarding Nadia Murad with this prestigious prize is of crucial importance to keep the focus of the international community on the fight against gender-based violence in conflicts, which often go hand in hand,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Chief of Mission in Iraq.
Through the programme, more than 1,000 survivors of ISIL violence, mainly from the Yazidi community of northern Iraq, were resettled to Germany and enabled to rebuild their lives after their terrible experiences.
IOM supported this programme with comprehensive pre-departure assistance, including psychosocial counseling, cultural orientation, education, medical care, transportation and accompaniment to Germany.
“Baden-Württemberg greatly appreciated the partnership with IOM on the Humanitarian Admission Programme and is grateful for the close collaboration with the Government of Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government as well as local civil society organizations in Dohuk, in the northwestern part of the country, which continues to host many internally displaced persons,” said Michael Blume, Head of the Special Quota Project from the German State of Baden Württemberg.
After settling in Germany, Ms. Murad began her campaign to end sexual violence not only in Iraq, but around the world, by raising awareness about ISIL’s brutality, recounting her own story and demanding recognition and justice for her fellow survivors.
As an organization working on transitional justice and reparations for victims of conflict related sexual violence in Colombia, Sierra Leone, Nepal, Bosnia and Herzegovina and other locations, IOM is very appreciative of Ms. Murad’s efforts to advocate for and defend the rights of the survivors across the world.
In her role as UN Office on Drugs and Crime Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking, Ms Murad and her fellow activists, advocated on behalf of the Yazidi community, resulting in the unanimous adoption of United Nations Resolution 2379 (2017) and the establishment of a UN investigation into ISIL crimes.
IOM Iraq continues to work closely with local partners to support victims of trafficking and survivors of conflict-related sexual violence with psychosocial support, specialized mental health care and access to livelihood opportunities both in and outside of camps for the internally displaced.
However, the needs are great for the 1.89 million Iraqis still displaced, including access to employment, food and shelter. IOM provides these essential services, remedies and reparations for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, in partnership with affected communities, civil society partners, the Government of Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government and international partners.
The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded annually to laureates who promote peace and restore justice in their work. Occasionally the prize can be shared between multiple recipients who have been deemed exceptional. Dr. Mukwege, a co-recipient of the award this year established the Panzi Hospital in his native eastern Democratic Republic of Congo which provides specialized assistance to sexual violence survivors.
For more information please contact Sandra Black at IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 17:15Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Gender and MigrationDefault: Multimedia:
2018 Nobel Peace Laureates Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad. Illustration: Niklas Elmehed/Nobel MediaPress Release Type: Global
Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 86,436 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 7 October, with 39,445 to Spain, the leading destination this year. In fact, since late September’s arrivals were reported, Spain in 2018 has now received via the Mediterranean more irregular migrants than it did throughout all the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined.
The region’s total arrivals through the recent weekend compare with 140,272 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 318,207 at this point in 2016.
Spain, with 46 per cent of all arrivals through the year, continues to receive seaborne migrants in October at a volume nearly twice that of Greece and more than seven times that of Italy (see chart below).
Italy’s arrivals through late September are the lowest recorded at this point – the end of a normally busy summer sailing season – in almost five years. Last year in October migrants crossed from North Africa to Italy at a rate of nearly 1,500 per week – or about five times this year’s rate. Two Octobers ago, the numbers were even higher: almost 4,000 per week. In 2016, through June to October, the average number of rescues among sea-borne arrivals of migrants to Italy each month surpassed the number that has arrived in all of 2018 (see chart below).
IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Monday reported that Italy’s 21,313 arrivals of irregular migrants by sea this year include many who arrive from departure points other than Libya. He noted that according to data gathered by IOM staff at disembarkation points, almost 150 migrants from Tunisia arrived by sea in Lampedusa between Friday and Sunday and explained that at present, almost all the flows arriving in Italy since early September came from the Tunisian route.
“Tunisian arrivals so far this year are 4,742 and represent the first place among all nationalities,” Di Giacomo said. He said last year and in 2016 similar numbers of arrivals from Tunisia were reported, but those would have hardly entered the list of the top ten nationalities to Italy, overwhelmed by those from Eritrea, Nigeria and many of the Sub-Saharan migrants who arrived via Libya.
“The total number of Tunisian migrants arriving last year through the end of September was 2,650,” Di Giacomo continued, “while 3,500 Tunisians arrived from 1 October to 31 December. That brought the total number of arrivals in 2017 to 6,150.”
Di Giacomo noted that deaths at sea continue to occur most frequently on the Mediterranean in the waters linking North Africa and Sicily, with 1,267 recorded through 7 October.
IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has documented the deaths of 1,783 people on the Mediterranean in 2018. Most recently, a 23-year-old Tunisian man drowned in a shipwreck off the coast of Djerba on 7 October. Five people were rescued and another five remain missing, according to survivors’ testimonies. More than 1,200 people have lost their lives while trying to cross the Central Mediterranean to Europe since the beginning of the year.
In the Western Mediterranean, four more bodies were retrieved following the shipwreck of 1 October, which cost the lives of 34 people. Fifteen bodies have been brought to Hassani Hospital in Nador, while 19 people remain missing. In Dar El Kebdani, near Nador, a man died after falling down a steep slope while evading authorities on 2 October. Some 36 other migrants who were part of the same group were apprehended.
IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 39,445 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 23 September (see chart below).
Arrivals in October are running at a rate of almost 300 per day, including nearly 1,200 migrants reported rescued over this past weekend.
Dimitrios Tsagalas of IOM Cyprus reported Monday that on Friday (05 October) three men, believed to be Syrian nationals, crossed into the Republic of Cyprus through the Ledra Palace checkpoint. Monday morning (08 October) 21 people, all Syrian, were traced by the Cyprus Coast Guard at Cape Greco in the Famagusta area, on an unmanned vessel. A search and rescue operation took place and these irregular migrants and refugees–ten male, 2 female, 9 children – were brought safely to the port at Larnaca and were transferred to Pournara Temporary Accommodation Centre.
Tsagalas said with those latest arrivals the total number of irregular migrants arriving in 2018 to Cyprus now is 525.
IOM Greece’s Antigoni Avgeropoulou reported on Monday (08 October) that from Thursday through Sunday (04-07 October), the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) informed the United Nations Migration Agency it was involved in at least eight incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Samos and Chios. The HCG rescued a total of 340 migrants and transferred them to those three islands.
Additional arrivals of some 264 individuals to Kos, Symi, Rhodes and some of the previously mentioned islands over these past four days brings to 24,164 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 7 October (see chart below).
Sea arrivals to Greece this year by irregular migrants appeared to have peaked in daily volume in April, when they averaged at around 100 per day. That volume dipped through the following three months then picked up again in August and again in September – 2018’s second busiest month with 3,955 (or just over 130 per day) just below April’s total of 3,975.
Land border crossing also surged in April (to nearly 4,000 arrivals) but have since fallen back, with fewer than 2,000 crossings in each of the past four months (see charts below).
IOM’s Christine Nikolaidou also shared data on Monday on the 19,382 irregular migrants detected by the Hellenic Coast Guard entering Greece via sea in 2018, through the end of August. The biggest single group, by nationality, is Syrian, with 6,099 men, women and children, or nearly one of every three arrivals. Next were Iraqis (4,006) followed by Afghans (3,716).
Other large sender countries or areas include the Palestinian Territories (692), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (521), the Islamic Republic of Iran (334) and Pakistan (229). There are also some surprises: from Cameroon, a country where political strife has been reported lately, some 721 irregular migrants have arrived, almost 600 of those since the end of March. From Algeria, nearly 200 (199) nationals have been detected, as well as 52 from Sierra Leone, nine from the Dominican Republic and eight from Haiti.
IOM’s Missing Migrants Project estimates that at least 2,806 people died or went missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018 (see chart below).
In addition to the devastating death toll in the Mediterranean, 302 migrants are known to have died on the US-Mexico border, compared with 278 in 2017. These include 62 people who have drowned in the Río Bravo in the first nine months of 2018. Most recently, the body of a man was found by US Border Patrol officers on the banks of the Río Bravo, near El Indio, Texas on 30 September.
In Europe, a 22-year-old Pakistani man was found dead in a forest in Siva Reka, Bulgaria, near the border with Greece.
Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff 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.
For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel: +40212115657, Email: email@example.com
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: email@example.com
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: email@example.com
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 166); Mobile: +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email: email@example.com
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 248), Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM officer, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: email@example.com
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: email@example.com
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: email@example.com
Athens – From 1 July through 5 October IOM, the UN Migration Agency, provided safe accommodation to 2,272 vulnerable migrants and refugees who were transferred from the North-eastern Aegean islands to mainland facilities by the Greek government. Some 889 children, 393 girls and 496 boys were among those relocated from the islands in efforts to ease the strain on island capacity and hardship for these groups.
The Greek government started the process of decongesting the islands in July and transfers reached a peak in August 2018 according to IOM Greece press officer Christine Nikolaidou. She also explained these movements are expected to continue in the coming weeks.
The majority of these vulnerable migrants and refugees – 875 individuals – are currently housed at the Volvi open accommodation site in Northern Greece. A further 555 have been transferred to the Vagiochori open accommodation site, 229 went to Malakasa and 221 are at the Oinofyta site.
“We arrived in Volvi from Moria, 10 days ago. We were expecting to see something similar to Lesvos. Fortunately, we were surprised in a good way; we have private rooms with all facilities inside,” said Mahmoud Mouri and his wife Diana Ibrahim. They are Kurds from Afrin, in Syria. “We feel safe and comfortable.”
The migrants and refugees have been relocated mainly from the islands of Lesvos, Samos and Chios to 12 open accommodation facilities, where IOM is the official Site Management Support (SMS) agency. At all sites, IOM works with facility coordinators, interpreters, legal advisors, community support workers, psychologists, handymen and engineers to ensure safe and functional accommodation conditions and facilities.
“IOM is supporting the Greek authorities in the decongestion of the islands by enhancing accommodation capacity on the Greek mainland. Our priority is to provide to all people arriving from the islands dignified living conditions, which we have done in coordination with the Ministry of Migration Policy and with funding from the European Commission,” said Gianluca Rocco, IOM Greece Chief of Mission. “We acknowledge and respect the vulnerability of these individuals and we want to alleviate their suffering by improving their everyday life.”
Individuals from 24 different countries are currently hosted in open accommodation sites, including:
- 1,136 from the Syrian Arab Republic
- 437 from Iraq
- 276 from Afghanistan
- 50 from Congo
- 46 from Somalia
- 41 from the Islamic Republic of Iran
Pregnant women, single parents, unaccompanied minors, individuals with physical and mental traumas and families with underage children currently have priority under the islands’ decongestion programme. The vulnerability of each case must be certified by Greek authorities. In most cases beneficiaries are awaiting a formal decision on their asylum applications.
For more information please contact Christine Nikolaidou at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 248) Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 17:00Image: Region-Country: GreeceThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:
IOM staff are present in the facilities to ensure safe and functional accommodation conditions. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Global
Geneva – The International Dialogue for Migration (IDM), IOM’s forum for inclusive and global migration policy discussions, is currently underway at the Palais de Nations in Geneva. The focus of the forum is on partnerships and capacity development for effective migration governance.
This is the second IDM session of the year; the first was an opportunity for migration actors from all sectors and levels to discuss capacity development mechanisms and partnerships to advance migration governance, ahead of the Intergovernmental Conference in Marrakesh in December to adopt a Global Compact for Migration.
The meeting started yesterday (08/10) with over 300 participants including senior government representatives; civil society and international organization representatives; academics; and private sector representatives; as well migrant and diaspora organizations with genuine experiences of migration.
IOM’s new Director General Antonio Vitorino opened the session along with Louise Arbour, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for International Migration, and Juan Edoardo Eguiguren, Ambassador of Chile and Chairperson of the IOM Council.
“There is an opportunity for the global community, and this room, to invest in a more optimistic, and constructive, approach to migration. Not by avoiding hard questions, but by leaning into them,” said DG Vitorino in his opening remarks. “Sometimes this will require new and innovative solutions; more often it will require learning from our successes as well as our mistakes, building the capacity to do more, and do it better. By striving for a stronger, more positive, proactive management of migration, the international community can support the millions of individuals who – for a wide variety of reasons – take the courageous step of determining their own futures by crossing borders.”
Speaking on the newly established UN Migration Network, SRSG Louise Arbour added: “We should encourage a focus on those projects which require inputs from a range of UN system entities. The network should not, on the one hand, supplant the mandate-driven work of its members, nor, on the other, should it seek simply to be a grouping of otherwise disconnected projects. Rather, it should seek to maximize impact grounded in a spirit of collaboration and commitment to collective success.”
In his opening remarks Ambassador Eguiguren said: “It is misleading to think that only developing countries need capacity development on migration. On the contrary, many of the developed countries need support to continue developing their capacities to better manage the continuously emerging challenges of mobility and can learn from the many successful practices in place in developing countries. This has been precisely the scope of this forum (IDM), to allow States and other actors from the developed and developing countries alike learn from each other and exchange experiences.”
Other speakers yesterday included the Vice Minister for Salvadorians Abroad; the Ambassadors of Mexico and Switzerland; co-facilitators of the Global Compact for Migration; the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) co-Chair; the Secretary Generals of the Inter-Parliamentarian Union and of the Building and Wood Worker’s International; senior Directors at WHO and UNICEF; the Special Representative for Migrants and Refugees of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe; senior representatives from IATA and the Arab Parliament; and senior national experts in health, regional capacity building and research from Mexico, Tanzania and Ghana.
Today (09/10) the discussions will focus on whole of government and whole of society capacity development at the national level, including on tools and mechanisms to measure the impact of capacity development and on meeting the funding challenges of capacity development activities.
The meeting will hear from the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala; the Secretary for Strategic Initiatives of the Presidency of Brazil; senior government representatives from Moldova, Costa Rica, Sweden, Japan, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC); NGO Terre des Hommes; the African Bank for Development; the Global Fund; International Council of Voluntary Agencies; a local NGO active on migrants empowerment (SINGA); and a senior academic from Georgetown University.
The IDM’s highlight session, the “Migrants’ Voice” will feature the personal migration stories and a debate between three founders of diaspora and migrant initiatives to empower migrants and refugees.
The outcomes from this IDM, and the first one held in New York on 26 and 27 March, this year will be captured in a Red Book publication which will be made available at the Intergovernmental Conference in Marrakesh this December.
For more information on the agenda and meeting documents please check the International Dialogue on Migration webpage: https://www.iom.int/towards-effective-migration-governance-partnerships-capacity-development
For more information, please contact Azzouz Samri at IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179468, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 16:59Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: Multimedia:
The IDM, IOM’s forum for inclusive and global migration policy discussions, is currently underway at the Palais de Nations in Geneva. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Global
Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, officially launched its iDiaspora platform yesterday (08/09), during a side event as part the International Dialogue for Migration that is underway in Geneva. iDiaspora is a global engagement and knowledge exchange hub for transnational communities and those looking to engage with them. To reflect the global nature and diversity of this initiative, satellite launches are being planned in Cairo, London and Washington, DC.
IOM recognizes that there is mounting evidence regarding the important role that diaspora members and transnational communities play towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in countries of origin and destination.
Diaspora contributions vary in type and scope, and range from skills, knowledge and know-how transfer to investment, entrepreneurship and trade. Diaspora communities too are increasingly becoming more cognizant of their role, as evidenced by a multiplicity of diaspora organizations, associations, and confederations at the local, national and international levels. In launching the platform, the organization hopes to provide an all-in-one space for diaspora individuals, their organizations and partners to interact and exchange ideas as they work towards their shared development goals.
Users can register on the site – idiaspora.org – using Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn, or complete their profiles with their name, location, fields of expertise, interest and a photo. They help shape the platform and can take advantage of it to Connect, Learn and Contribute: by finding other like-minded users from their community or other communities with whom to collaborate, using and/or contributing to the growing repository of resources, identifying concrete opportunities to give back their skills and resources and actively participating in development of their home and host communities.
In July 2017, the concept of the platform was launched during consultations for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) in New York. Feedback from these sessions demonstrated significant interest in the iDiaspora platform among a wide range of diaspora associations and individuals engaged in supporting economic development in their countries of origin/heritage and advocating for better migration policies within the GCM. Following that, IOM conducted a series of consultations with stakeholders from diaspora associations and international communities in the US and the UK to help shape the platform to respond to the needs of actors working in this space.
The launch event (entitled Reaching out to Diaspora via Technology) was moderated by IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson. El Habib Nadir, Ministry in Charge of Moroccans Living Abroad and Migration Affairs and Chair of the GFMD; Colman Lydon, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Everwise and member of the iDiaspora Advisory Board; Honey Thaljieh, Corporate Communications Manager at Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA); and Gibril Faal, LSE Visiting Professor in Practice and ADEPT Special Adviser comprised the rest of the panel and spoke during the session.
"The early development phase of the iDiaspora platform serves as a great example of collaboration across multiple disciplines, effectively mining the expertise of the IOM team, as well as leaders in the global academic and business communities,” said Lydon. “Given the ubiquity of modern software platforms, capable of engaging large numbers of people, the exciting iDiaspora initiative can flourish in service to diaspora constituents, in a new and purposeful way."
Diasporas’ significant role in development and the need to provide them with conditions and tools is confirmed by objective 19 of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) where governments commit “to empower migrants and diasporas to catalyse their development contributions, and to harness the benefits of migration as a source of sustainable development.”
iDiaspora will continue to grow and respond to the needs and priorities of its online community of users. As an evolving and dynamic online space, the site hosts a survey to collect feedback that developers and the iDiaspora team can use to improve the platform progressively.
In addition, an Advisory Board consisting of recognized diaspora leaders and specialists from diverse backgrounds in academia and private and public sectors was set up to advise on conceptual, operational and content areas of the platform and ensure the sustainability of the initiative.
"It is undeniable that the diaspora is critical to the transformational journey of their country of origin. Whether it is through remittances or through repatriation, the diaspora has been a determining factor in quantum improvements in citizens’ lives,” said Eric Guichard, founder of Movement Capital (formerly Homestrings) and another member of the iDiaspora board.
"Diasporas are inherently efficient in poverty reduction at a micro-level,” said Faal. “Substantive and substantial institutional engagement and partnerships enable scalability, replication and enhanced macro-level development impact."
IOM assumes the coordination role for iDiaspora to further its development and operationalization, given its leadership in the area of diaspora engagement since the 2013 Ministerial Conference, as well as continuous engagement in capacity and partnership development on migration and development.
In the last five years, IOM has globally supported more than 150 diaspora mappings and surveys. In 2017 alone, more than 70 IOM country offices supported governments on how to effectively enable, empower and engage with their diaspora.
The organization will seek new partnerships with diaspora organizations, governments and private sector to ensure impact and sustainability of the platform. iDiaspora is being developed without institutional branding, to ensure equal treatment among stakeholders that work closely with diaspora communities.
The International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) is IOM’s principal forum for migration policy dialogue. Founded in 2001 and rooted in IOM’s Constitution and Strategy, the IDM is open to IOM Member and Observer States, as well as international and non-governmental organizations, migrants, and partners from media, academia or the private sector. The IDM provides a space to analyze current and emerging issues in migration governance and to exchange experiences, policy approaches and effective practices.
Every year, the IDM is guided by an overarching theme selected by the IOM membership though a process of informal consultations.SwitzerlandThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia:
The panel of speakers during the iDiaspora launch event in Geneva. Photo: IOM 2018/Muse MohammedPress Release Type: Global
Sana’a – Over the past three months IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has donated 22 ambulances to the Ministry of Health in Yemen to strengthen health services and enhance disease surveillance across the country.
This donation is in line with IOM’s commitment to respond to what has recently been called the worst humanitarian crisis in the world by strengthening healthcare systems and preventing disease outbreak through technical and material support in Yemen.
Following the escalation of violence in Al-Hudaydah this June, IOM donated the first five ambulances to the Ministry of Health in Sana’a in July. Last week, another seven ambulances were provided to the Ministry in Sana’a, while seven ambulances are being handed over in Aden today (09/10).
Additionally, IOM is providing three fully-equipped mobile Intensive Care Units, reaching approximately 100 people monthly.
"We hope these specialized ambulances will help reduce delays in emergency response and ensure more people in Yemen receive immediate care, particularly populations in hard-to-reach areas and difficult terrains," said Aseel Khan, IOM Yemen Health Programme Coordinator.
As the humanitarian situation deteriorates, communities in Yemen are at increasing risk of cholera and other infectious diseases. Ongoing conflict in Yemen has also led to the frequent destruction and blocking of roads, inhibiting the ability for people to access health care facilities.
A lack of ambulances and other emergency services in the country has meant populations often experience life-threatening delays in receiving appropriate urgent care. By significantly reducing such delays, IOM and the Ministry of Health are committed to bringing quality healthcare services to the people of Yemen.
"This donation will contribute to improving the lives of people in Yemen, especially the vulnerable in remote areas. We will see the results of the impact of this donation before long," said Rabih Sarieddine, IOM’s Head of Sub Office in Aden.
This donation was made possible with financial support from the governments of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
For more information, please contact Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329; Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 16:54Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia:
IOM provides 22 ambulances to the Ministry of Health in Yemen. Photo: IOM/Saba Malme
IOM provides 22 ambulances to the Ministry of Health in Yemen. Photo: IOM/Saba MalmePress Release Type: Global
Cox’s Bazar – Over 100 Rohingya women have formed a first-of-its-kind committee to ensure women and girls have a direct pathway and communication channel to UN project managers without having to go through male leaders in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar refugee camps.
The committee, supported by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, follows months of on-the-ground research and informal discussions with Rohingya women in the camps about what kind of platform would enable them to raise concerns with senior UN staff, without breaching cultural gender norms.
“We feel better now,” said committee chairwoman Muriom, after the official opening of an IOM-funded women-run community centre in Leda in the south of Cox’s Bazar, which the committee will oversee. “Before we did not get this kind of opportunity. Now we have this [committee and centre] and we know how to use them to change camp life,” she added.
Almost a million Rohingya refugees now live in Cox’s Bazar after atrocities in Myanmar in late August 2017 sent over 700,000 of the Muslim minority fleeing across the border to villages and camps in Bangladesh, where over 200,000 Rohingya were already living after escaping earlier bouts of violence.
The committee includes both recent refugees, who arrived as part of the mass flight from Myanmar in 2017, and those who arrived amid earlier waves of violence dating back to the 1990s.
Education levels and religious conservatism vary significantly between individuals, families and communities, but most Rohingya women do not read or write and many are discouraged from leaving family shelters. Few have much experience of speaking out in public, and most rely on male family members or community leaders to raise concerns on their behalf.
For organisations like IOM, a lead agency in the Rohingya response, finding a way to ensure women’s opinions, concerns and needs reach those charged with managing and developing the refugee settlements, can be a major challenge.
“There’s a lot of talk about women’s participation, but it has to be meaningful participation,” said project founder Consuelo Tangara, who is IOM’s Site Management Area Coordinator in Teknaf sub-district, where the committee is based.
According to Tangara, the idea of creating an “informal committee” outside the male-dominated official camp management system, was to provide an effective pathway that women feel comfortable with and that meets their needs, rather than trying to force them into systems established by men for men.
“Often when you ask a woman to take on a role they perceive as being for men, they don’t feel comfortable with it – and in the immediate aftermath of large-scale traumatic events, misjudged attempts to encourage participation can actually cause further distress,” she said.
“That it not true for everyone and can change over time. There’s a lot of work going on to increase women’s participation, representation and access to information in the formal camp-management systems with more women becoming involved. But in the meantime, those of us responsible for providing infrastructure and services still need to know what women’s immediate and wider concerns are, so we don’t put systems in place that ignore these needs and are then difficult to change later.”
Activities in the camps are divided into “sectors” including Health, Protection, Camp Management and Development, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). Under the new committee structure, each para (sub-section) of the camp will have a trained woman representative responsible for dealing with issues relating to each sector. She will share concerns and complaints with the women’s committee for the entire camp, who can then take them direct to IOM sector heads.
According to Tangara, the system will provide a stronger advocacy and reporting mechanism leading to faster responses from sector managers and will encourage sustainable participation. “When you are representing your own community, you want to make sure something happens. The committee members are also learning the skills of reaching out to sector heads and becoming comfortable with that,” she said.
This can make a huge difference to camp life and women’s lives in particular. “One concern we became very aware of is lack of street lighting around latrines and latrines that didn’t meet women’s needs for privacy or sense of security. Those are issues that are absolutely critical. If women are scared to go to latrines they end up adopting practices that are unsanitary and pose health risks. But it’s also the kind of issue that women might not feel comfortable going to male leaders with, or that would be given priority without women’s voices to push for it,” Tangara noted.
Following a trial period with the Leda committee, IOM hopes to roll out similar committee projects across all the camps for which it is responsible. “The more platforms there are for women to express their needs and opinions, the stronger community participation becomes overall. That then leads to stronger governance and civil society. IOM Bangladesh is completely committed to helping refugees to take their future into their own hands,” said IOM Cox’s Bazar Emergency Coordinator Manuel Pereira.
According to the women involved in Leda, their new committee is already helping them become more confident about participation. “Before [this committee was established] we were very afraid to share our thoughts and feelings, but now we’re going to share them,” Muriom explained.
She and other women on the committee already have a list of immediate priorities. “First of all, we want to earn money. Men work in Cash for Work programmes, but women don’t and now we want to work,” she said.
IOM is on track to have 50 per cent women’s participation in its Cash for Work programmes in the camps by year end, but the committee women also have their own livelihood plans to make soaps and handicrafts at the community centre to sell.
They also intend to raise the issue of gender-based violence and early (child) marriage with the wider community. “Early marriage, is very, very harmful. I’ve already talked to one family about it. At first the family said I had no right to talk to them about it. The boy was 15 and he was getting married. But then they changed their minds,” one of the committee members explained, adding that the training the group had received had helped them feel more assured about raising such issues.
As for tackling possible objections from the men in the community about their new committee, the women said they expect few problems. “No woman is going to do harmful work, and we promise that if anyone faces a problem they will be able to come to us. Maybe some of the newcomers [those who arrived post August 2017] might face some problems, so we have to choose strong women [for the committee] to support them.”
Male Rohingya leaders in the community, a number of whom turned out for the opening of the community centre, have also offered their backing. Abdul Matalob, 68, is a Rohingya leader in the camp and grandfather of committee member Nurul Jahan, 35. He said he was fully supportive of the women’s committee, though he recommended “getting more young women aged 18 to 25 involved, because at that age their minds are most open to new ideas.”
For more information please contact Fiona MacGregor at IOM Cox’s Bazar. Email: email@example.com, Tel: +88 0 1733 335221.Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 16:53Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Gender and MigrationRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia:
Members of the Rohingya women’s committee stand outside the new, women-run, IOM-funded community centre in Leda, Cox’s Bazar. Photo: Fiona MacGregor / IOM 2018.
Members of the Rohingya women’s committee attend the opening of the new, women-run, IOM-funded community centre in Leda, Cox’s Bazar. Photo: Fiona MacGregor / IOM 2018.Press Release Type: Global
Ulaan Baatar – IOM Mongolia, in cooperation with Mongolia’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has organized two Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) data collections as part of an emergency preparedness simulation exercise conducted in Bulgan and Sukhbaatar provinces (aimags).
The DTM is a data collection system developed by IOM to monitor displacement and identify the needs of displaced people. The data it generates creates maps that can help governments and aid agencies to better respond to humanitarian crises and target people most in need.
The Mongolian simulation exercise, which involved some 17,000 members of the public, local government officials, Emergency Commission staff, service providers, Mercy Corps and the Red Cross, was designed to improve the government’s provision of shelter, water, food, fodder and other necessities to rural households to minimize forced migration during the country’s bitterly cold winter.
“IOM’s use of DTM in these simulation exercises to set up camps and organize mass evacuation will enable the government to improve planning for emergencies and reduce the risk of us lacking relevant data. DTM will help NEMA to better position our resources,” said NEMA Vice Director Col. Batmunkh Uuganbayar.
IOM assumed the role of Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster Lead in Mongolia in September 2012. Since then it has been working with government and humanitarian actors on contingency planning for potential disaster scenarios. These have included evacuation plans, which have been mainstreamed into simulation exercises and emergency response trainings.
In December 2017 IOM, working with NEMA, launched an 18-month project supported by the IOM Development Fund, to build the capacity of the government to track climate change and disaster-related migration. It included the use of the DTM to monitor population movements caused by slow and rapid onset disasters and climate change.
For more information on the project go to: https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/country/docs/mongolia/iom-mongolia-idf-project-factsheet-2017-2019.pdf
For more information please contact Zuzana Jankechova at IOM Mongolia, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +976 70143100.Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 16:51Image: Region-Country: MongoliaThemes: Disaster Risk ReductionInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia:
In Sukhbaatar district (soum) 1,200 people took part in the simulation exercise. Photo: IOM/Nyamdash Munkhbayar 2018.Press Release Type: Global