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Updated: 50 min 23 sec ago

‘Voodoo Curses’ Keep Victims of Trafficking Under Bondage

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 07:19

Bamako – Gold is Mali’s top export, accounting for at least 60 per cent of the country’s total exports in 2017 and making Mali the third gold exporter in Africa, just after South Africa and Ghana. Small-scale, informal and low-tech mining also known as artisanal mining, although largely unregulated, accounts for at least one third of Mali’s total gold production.  

Every year, the sector which has seen an increase in activity since the start of the crisis in 2012, attracts thousands of men and boys from across the region, creating a demand for sex workers to satisfy the needs of those who spend months, sometimes years away from their spouses who stayed back home.  

And every year, girls and women like Loveth are trafficked from neighbouring countries primarily for prostitution and sexual slavery.  

In a corner of her shack made of black canvas, wood and corrugated iron, ogbonno soup, a traditional Nigerian dish simmers in a steel pot. When she does not work, Loveth likes to cook her mother’s recipes. A native of Edo State in Nigeria, Loveth now lives more than 2,000 kilometres away, in Koflatiè, a shantytown located in a mining area, in Southwestern Mali. She left Nigeria in 2017 in search of a better opportunity.  

“In Nigeria, I was approached by a woman who offered to take me to Mali. She told me I would get a job. But I did not know this is what I was getting into,” Loveth explains.    

“When I arrived in Mali, the madam [procuress] took my passport away and asked me to pay her one million CFA [USD 2,000] to get it back and the only way to pay her back was prostitution. I refused because of my son,” she says. John* (name changed), Loveth’s one-year-old son, had joined her on the dangerous journey to Mali. 

“After some time, I couldn’t pay my rent anymore. I could not travel back home. I did not have money. I did not have a passport. That’s why I gave in to her pressure.”  

What happened next, is what happened to an estimated 20,000 Nigerian girls and women in Mali according to Nigeria’s National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). When she exhausted her savings, Loveth had no other option than to prostitute herself to get the ransom money. 

“I managed to pay half of the money before I escaped,” she adds. Loveth did not collect her passport when she ran away from the madam.  

Today, she works as a waitress in a bar owned by a Nigerian survivor of human trafficking who established herself in the surroundings of Koflatiè. She hopes to return home to start over but wishes to stay in Mali for the moment. 

Loveth is among thousands of Nigerian girls vulnerable to human trafficking and sexual exploitation around Mali’s artisanal gold mining areas. First-hand accounts from IOM staff who met them reveal that many of them are underage and were deceived into travelling to Mali either through false promises of a regular job, or the conviction that they were heading to Europe.  

Bondage is a common method used by traffickers to coerce their victims and exercise control over them. As in Loveth’s case it can be debt bondage, but it can also be the confiscation of travel documents or voodoo cursing or in this case, victims of trafficking are coerced into signing a moral contract with the traffickers who finance their journey. 

The contract is sealed by a spiritual priest or ‘native doctor’ to whom they promise never to denounce their traffickers to the police, to obey their ‘madam’ and to fully pay their debt. The victims thus live in constant fear of reprisals, including their death or that of their family, if they fail. For those arriving in Italy, their debt can reach EUR 50,000. 

The trend of trafficking of girls from Nigeria for sexual exploitation is captured in IOM’s latest reports on human trafficking along the Central Mediterranean Route

In 2017, out of the 119,000 migrants who arrived Italy, 18,185 were Nigerian, 5,425 of whom were women. IOM Italy estimates that 80 per cent of these women were potential victims of trafficking and that 94 per cent were from Edo State. 

This year, to fill in the lack of data on the exploitation of migrants in mines, IOM is conducting a study on Migration Towards Artisanal Mining Sites in Mali and in other West African countries, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). The findings will help IOM better understand the migratory dynamics in relation to gold mining activities in the region and provide stakeholders with evidence-based research to inform their policies, strategies and responses.   

 

For more information, please contact Florence Kim at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +221 786 206 213, Email: fkim@iom.int    

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 14:34Image: Region-Country: MaliThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Loveth is one of the thousands Nigerian victims of trafficking living in Koflatiè, a shantytown located in a mining area, in Southwestern Mali. Photo: IOM/François-Xavier Ada-Affana 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNAOC Launch PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival 2019 Call for Applications

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 09:29

New York – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) announced the launch of the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival 2019 edition inviting young people around the world to submit original and creative videos focusing on the pressing social issues of migration, diversity, social inclusion, and the prevention of xenophobia. 

In a world often characterized by intolerance and cultural divisions, PLURAL+ recognizes youth as powerful agents of social change and empowers them to share their creative vision with the world and foster respect for diversity. 

PLURAL+ video entries must be between one and five minutes and can be of any genre (animation, documentary, music video, comedy, etc.) if they convey constructive messages related to the themes of migration, diversity, social inclusion, and the prevention of xenophobia. The deadline to apply is Sunday, 16 June 2019 at midnight EST. 

“In today’s world, the creative work and voices of young people are more needed than ever,” said the High Representative for UNAOC Miguel Ángel Moratinos. “With PLURAL+, we provide young people with a global dissemination platform that empowers them to share important messages of tolerance, inclusion, and respect for diversity with the global community.” 

An International Jury will select one PLURAL+ Award winner in each of the three age categories (up to 12 years old; 13 to 17 years old; and 18 to 25 years old), and IOM and UNAOC will jointly select one video to receive the Special Award for the Prevention of Xenophobia. PLURAL+ partner organizations will also award a multitude of prizes and professional opportunities to several young filmmakers.  

PLURAL+ winners will be invited to New York all expenses paid to participate in the PLURAL+ Awards Ceremony in November 2019 and a series of side events providing opportunities for professional development, co-productions, and networking. 

“At a time when so many people are exposed to negative narratives about migration, it is heartening to see such display of solidarity and empathy,” said IOM Director General António Vitorino in his remarks at the PLURAL+ 10th anniversary and awards ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in November 2018. “It is the responsibility of each of us to present migration stories in ways that represent the reality and the human face of human mobility. The voices of our youth are the future and should be amplified,” he added.  

With increasing interest and participation over the years, PLURAL+ has become a premier global platform for youth media distribution. Since the launch of the festival in 2009, PLURAL+ winning videos have been selected among thousands of video entries from more than 100 countries. The winning videos have been screened and broadcast in dozens of festivals, movie theatres and television networks around the world, as well as in schools and global conferences, and they have received more than one million views online.  

To submit a video to PLURAL+, visit: https://pluralplus.unaoc.org/   

For more information please contact Rahma Gamil Soliman (IOM), Email: rsoliman@iom.int, or Thibault Chareton (UNAOC), Email: thibaultc@unops.org 

Language English Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 15:40Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

The winners of PLURAL+2018 award for age group 13-17 with the International Jury Member Marcia Mayer at the PLURAL+ 2018 awards ceremony and 10th year anniversary. United Nations Headquarters in New York. Photo: IOM 2018/Avery white

IOM Director General Vitorino’s video message at the opening of the PLURAL+ 2018 awards ceremony. United Nations Headquarters in New York. Photo: IOM 2018/Avery white

The Mimesis Ensemble performing Kinan Azmeh’s “The Fence, The Rooftop and the Distant Sea, 4th movement” beautifully expressing in music stories of migration. United Nations Headquarters in New York. Photo: IOM 2018/Avery white

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Migration – “A Cause, Consequence and Catalyst of Development in Ukraine”

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 09:25

Kyiv – Ukraine is one of the most migration-affected countries in Europe, with a diaspora of up to 20 million people, 1.36 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), and a cadre of 1.3 million labour migrants contributing to remittances of USD 11 billion – ten per cent of the GDP*. 

This week, the country made an important step towards coherence with best international practices in migration management, as its Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) Country Profile validated at an IOM-organized meeting in the capital Kyiv.  

The MGI Country Profile – a global joint IOM/Economist Intelligence Unit/Government initiative – provides authorities with insights on policy levers that they can use to enhance and strengthen migration governance.  

“With our MGI profile we will be able to compare our migration management policy with the best international practices in real time. Around 90 indicators of the profile will allow Ukrainian government entities to assess their programming and foster their strategic planning,” said Head of the State Migration Service (SMS) of Ukraine, Maksym Sokoliuk. 

In Ukraine’s case this will mean everything from countering human trafficking to border management; from the State’s communication with citizens willing to return from abroad to the access of irregular migrants to healthcare; from nourishing partnerships with the private sector to mainstreaming the development potential of migration into national strategic policies. 

Sokoliuk pledged the readiness of the SMS to lead the revision of the report every three years to keep this policy instrument up-to-date and useful.  

“We appreciate the commitment and openness of the Ukrainian Government in drafting the MGI country profile,” said IOM Ukraine’s Chief of Mission, Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss. “The active involvement of over nine ministries and other state authorities in the development of the report made it really comprehensive and contributed to promoting migration as a cause, consequence and catalyst of development.”  

Deputy Minister of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine, Heorhii Tuka, highlighted the importance to keep internal migration and the needs of displaced populations in focus of migration governance initiatives. “The international community’s support is vital and we are ready to further develop our cooperation with IOM for better reintegration of IDPs,” he said.  

The final version of the MGI report on Ukraine will be published later this year. It will help Ukraine advance its migration governance in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, facilitating orderly, safe, and responsible mobility of people – be they Ukrainian labour migrants, returnees, foreigners coming to Ukraine or Ukrainian conflict-affected populations – through planned and well-managed policies.  

Watch video here of Dr. Thomas Weiss, IOM Chief of Mission in the Ukraine talking about Ukraine's Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) Country Profile. 

* State Statistic Service, National Bank of Ukraine 

Migration Governance Indicators is IOM’s global initiative implemented with the analytical support of The Economist Intelligence Unit and participation of the national migration-management authorities. To date, 50 countries have been included in the MGI. More details are available at https://migrationdataportal.org/ 

For more information please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, E-mail: vzhluktenko@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

(L to R) IOM’s Laura Scorretti and Dr Thomas Lothar Weiss with officials from the State Migration Service at the Migration Governance Indicators launch in Kyiv this week. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Paris Airport Staff Gather to Improve Identification, Referral of Victims of Trafficking

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 09:24

Paris – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized an awareness-raising event on the identification and referral of victims of trafficking on 15 March at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport. The event brought together frontline practitioners, including border police officers, airline staff, security agents, UK and US immigration officers, and civil society organizations working at the airport.  

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), as well as French stakeholders involved in the fight against trafficking in human beings, also actively contributed to the session, along with IOM France’s counter-trafficking team.  

“The training of frontline stakeholders, including those present in the airports, is one of the key measures featured in the upcoming second National Action Plan. Working in partnership is the only way to better identify and protect victims. We hope that today’s event will pave the way for concrete actions aiming at detecting and referring victims while they are on the move,” said Elisabeth Moiron-Braud, National Anti-trafficking Coordinator. 

Data from IOM’s Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC), the world's first global data hub on human trafficking, show that nearly 80 per cent of human trafficking journeys cross through official border points such as land border controls or airports. About 20 per cent of the crossings happened by plane.  

At the meeting, concrete tools to enhance victim identification in an airport environment were presented, included the 2019 edition of IOM’s Counter-Trafficking Directory, a user-friendly guide containing human trafficking information and contact points for 82 countries. The directory aims to facilitate quick referral of potential cases to competent authorities.  

“In the context of globalization and growth in the air sector, it is expected that the number of victims trafficked by air may increase in the future, making the training of airport staff even more needed,” stressed Sara Abbas, IOM France Head of Office.   

The event was part of a series of counter-trafficking training activities put in place by IOM France in the framework of the DETECT and CARE + projects, allowing for more than 200 professionals to receive information and tools for better identifying and helping victims of trafficking in 2018 and the first quarter of 2019. 

Download IOM’s Counter-Trafficking Directory here:    

http://iomfrance.org/sites/default/files/Repertoire_IOM_EN_2019_WEB.pdf  

For further information, please contact IOM France, Chloe Taillard Yévenes, Tel: +33 (0)1 4044 0691, Email: ctyevenes@iom.int or Fanny Ruinart, Tel: +33 (0)1 4044 0684, Email: fruinart@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: FranceThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Korean Humanitarian Stakeholders Trained in Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 09:17

Seoul – Typhoons, earthquakes and other disasters are occurring with increasing frequency around the world. Governments and humanitarian workers constantly need to strengthen their ability to respond when disaster hits. 

This week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) mission in the Republic of Korea (ROK) hosted a two-day workshop on Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR). The event took place on March 13–14 in Seoul and was led by two trainers from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Netherlands Red Cross Partners for Resilience (PfR). A total of 33 humanitarian practitioners and ROK government officials attended the event. 

“As Korean humanitarian workers’ engagement in crisis abroad has been strengthened in recent decades, many are deployed to disaster-prone regions every year including the Philippines during the typhoon and Indonesia after the tsunami,” noted Mihyung Park, Head of IOM ROK office. 

“That is why IOM ROK organized this training. It aims to provide an opportunity for the participants to apply CBDRR skill sets to mitigate the community’s susceptibility to crisis and ensure effective coordination between community members and aid organizations,” she added.  

CBDRR is a systematic approach that focuses on the community’s needs, geography, and social environment to increase local resilience and reduce vulnerability at times of disasters.  

The two trainers leading the event – Sanna Paulina Salmela-Eckstein, Regional DRR Coordinator and Climate Change Focal Point of IFRC’s Asia-Pacific Regional Office, and Sandra Romero, Country Lead of the PfR in the Philippines – provided a comprehensive overview of CBDRR and practical knowledge for community risk assessment, CBDRR plan formulation, and its implementation. 

The training was conducted in a participatory manner; the process of CBDRR programming was elaborated, in order to enhance participants’ understanding of the roles and responsibilities in response to disasters and recovery operations. Sharing experiences and lessons learned from field operations, the participants discussed how they can assess and act on expected risks through disaster preparedness, Early Warning System (EWS), and CBDRR measures. 

“There was a high degree of interest around understanding the key CBDRR processes, analysing case studies, and establishing a framework for monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Through the group exercises, I hope that the participants have learned the CBDRR approach to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from the impacts of disasters,” said IFRC’s Sanna Paulina Salmela-Eckstein.  

The workshop was organized as part of IOM ROK’s capacity-building project for Korean humanitarian actors, funded by the USAID Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). Since 2015, IOM ROK has provided a wide range of humanitarian trainings including Data Analysis and Management Training and Gender-Based Violence Workshop. 

Further information on Disaster Risk Reduction visit: https://www.iom.int/disaster-risk-reduction 

For more information please contact IOM ROK, Mihyung Park, Tel: +82 70 4820 2781, Email: mipark@iom.int or Jumi Kim, Tel: +82 (0)70 4820 0292, Email: jukim@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: Republic of KoreaThemes: Disaster Risk ReductionDefault: Multimedia: 

During the group exercise, the participants built a Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) process along with the shared natural hazard case. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Reopening of Community Market Brings Hope to Locals in North-East Nigeria

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 09:12

Gwoza – On 10 March, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reopened a rehabilitated community market in Gwoza, Nigeria. The market was closed down after non-state armed forces swept through the town in north-east Nigeria. 

Some 142 residents participated in the rehabilitation of the market as part of a cash-for-work initiative aimed at strengthening the local economy through income opportunities and providing motivation for affected individuals to invest in their community. 

“The reopening of the local market is an important part of IOM’s support to the transition and recovery process in Gwoza,” said Afra Ure, IOM Nigeria Project Officer. “Apart from reinvigorating the local economy, it is also an important step towards a return to the community’s pre-conflict way of life.”  

Though many people have returned to their homes in Gwoza since Nigerian forces regained control of the town in 2015, humanitarian assistance remains critical. After attackers laid waste to several houses, IOM has distributed 550 cash grants and repair shelter kits containing the necessary materials to rebuild them. 

“I have worked in an open space without shade in the old market for over four years,” said Modu, a local vendor. “But with the construction of stalls, I can comfortably display my wrappers and I believe even my customers will be more at ease to buy my products.” 

Alongside Modu some 350 other vendors now sell cereals, vegetables, clothing and household items such as buckets, brooms and cleaning products in the new facilities.   

As part of the efforts to improve the living conditions of people affected by the conflict, support their recovery and build their resilience, IOM has implemented livelihood projects consisting of community-level rehabilitation and vocational training. 

“I’m the leader of my household and I hope that working in the reopened market will help me get the necessary means to sustain my family… I’m optimistic,” said Fatima, who sells candy and other confectioneries at the market. 

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 815 5263 827, Email: jgalindo@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Community StabilizationDefault: Multimedia: 

The market was refurbished by members of the local community. Photo: IOM 

The market was refurbished by members of the local community. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Sierra Leone: First Network of Journalists to Combat Trafficking in Persons

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 09:10

Makeni City – Sierra Leone has been wracked by violence, civil war and Ebola in its recent history. Poverty is endemic. So is a high level of joblessness. Both feed a scourge: trafficking in forced labour. 

“More than half of the youth population is unemployed so when an exciting offer, especially to go abroad, is presented, most young people seize it, often without checking its authenticity,” explained Sanusi Savage, Head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) office in Sierra Leone.  

“Young people’s desperation in the face of hardship often blinds them to the scams that permeate the recruitment sector,” Sanusi added. 

Earlier this month, 27 journalists from community and national radio stations in Sierra Leone established a unique kind of national network against trafficking in persons (TiP) in the country. Through radio broadcasts, the network will contribute to educate Sierra Leoneans on the identification of fake job offers, and report suspected cases of trafficking to the national anti-trafficking task force.  

The establishment of the network is the result of a three-day (5-7 March) workshop on Communication for Development (C4D) during which 27 Sierra Leonean radio journalists debated on the best practices to reporting and raising awareness on trafficking in persons in Sierra Leone. 

“This is a first step towards what we hope will be a long-term strategy to help Sierra Leoneans better understand the dangers of trafficking in persons,” said Mohamed Sajuma of Radio Mojcar. 

According to the US Department of State 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report, Sierra Leone is both a source and destination country. Forced labour and sexual exploitation are the main purposes of human trafficking in and from the West African country. 

Traffickers recruit boys and girls as young as nine years old from rural provinces to urban and mining centres for exploitation in sex trafficking and forced labour in domestic service, artisanal diamond and granite mining, petty trading, rock quarrying, street crime, and begging. 

Some Sierra Leoneans, especially young women, are also coerced by sham recruitment and placement agencies, and then smuggled across international borders to be subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking primarily in Gulf countries. 

Over seven weeks, the journalists will collaborate on the development and broadcasting of a seven-episode radio series to raise awareness on the risks and dangers of both domestic and transnational trafficking in Sierra Leone, as well as the methods for identifying and reporting suspected cases of trafficking.  

“This is the first time that such a network is established in Sierra Leone. I hope that it will be a place where we can learn from each other, and that it will foster good journalistic practices with regard to trafficking in persons in Sierra Leone,” said Margaret Mansaray from Radio Bintumani, a community radio located in Kabala in Northern Sierra Leone. 

The Communication for Development Workshop was organized through the Africa Regional Migration Programme implemented in Sierra Leone with funding from the US Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.  

Watch video here

For more information, please contact Dr. James Bagonza at IOM Sierra Leone, Email: jbagonza@iom.int or Nnamdi Iwuora at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Email: niwuora@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 15:15Image: Region-Country: Sierra LeoneThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

Sierra Leonean journalists participating in a training on trafficking in persons. IOM/François-Xavier Ada-Affana

Over three days, radio journalists in Sierra Leone were trained in the Communication for Development (C4D) approach to awareness raising. This will enable them to develop a tailored radio campaign to educate Sierra Leoneans on identifying and reporting fake job opportunities. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

ACP, EU, CMC, IOM Tackle Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling in the Caribbean

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 09:06

Georgetown – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and a major Caribbean counter-trafficking network yesterday (14/03) concluded three days of exchange in Guyana on countering the scourges of trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling, which afflict a region where the number of girl victims of trafficking is among the highest globally.    

IOM, in the framework of its ACP-EU Migration Action programme, joined forces with the Caribbean Migration Consultations (CMC) Counter-Trafficking Network this week for the regional thematic meeting which brought together over 50 participants from Caribbean countries, the European Union, high representatives of international and regional organizations and NGOs, to discuss and identify effective means of countering these phenomena in the Caribbean through coordinated, regional actions.  

“Trafficking and smuggling are highly profitable businesses involving criminal networks that are very hard to trace by the authorities. The Caribbean, being a diverse region of transit migration, is hit by these serious crimes which often result in grave human rights violations, affecting men, women and children alike,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central and North America and the Caribbean.  

“Increasingly, countries across the globe and in the Caribbean region are prioritizing the fight against trafficking in human beings and the smuggling of migrants,” added Pisani. “And they recognize that in doing so, we can contribute to achieving several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”    

At the meeting, experts shared the state of the art in counter-trafficking and counter-smuggling good practices, discussed the challenges and identified solutions requiring continuing collaboration in the future. It also provided an opportunity for fruitful exchange between law enforcement and victim protection professionals, both essential to a comprehensive approach towards countering trafficking and smuggling.  

“This meeting will be very important to generate recommendations specific to the region on trafficking and smuggling,” said Minister of Public Security of Guyana Khemraj Ramjattan in his opening remarks. The recommendations will also serve to inform the Dialogue on Migration and Development between African, Caribbean and Pacific and European Union countries.  

IOM, through the Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) – European Union (EU) Migration Action, is working to build national capacities for combating trafficking and smuggling in several Caribbean countries. The Counter-Trafficking Network of the CMC is the first regional network in the Caribbean to focus on assistance and protection of victims of trafficking as well as investigation and prosecution.   

“This synergy between the Action and the CMC Counter-Trafficking Network provides an excellent opportunity to build further upon ongoing national and regional efforts to combat these crimes,” stressed Pisani.   

[Drawing][Drawing]The ACP-EU Action, launched in June 2014, provides tailored technical support on migration to ACP countries and regional organizations. To date it has received 74 technical assistance requests from 67 ACP governments and 7 regional organizations.     

The programme is financed by the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) and supported by the ACP Secretariat and the EU. For more information on the ACP-EU Migration Action, go to: www.acpeumigrationaction.iom.int and follow on Twitter: @ACP_EU_Action, Facebook: facebook.com/acpeuaction   

[Drawing] 

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) renew national and global commitments to combat all forms of human trafficking and to protect victims of trafficking. 

Decent work and safe working conditions are important for addressing the scourge of human trafficking for forced labour. Target 8.7 can help States to strengthen the protection of exploited and trafficked individuals, and to bolster efforts to prosecute and redress these crimes.  

The SDGs address trafficking in women and children through targets 5.2 and 16.2, encouraging actors to use a gender- and age-sensitive lens when addressing human trafficking.  

Trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling are also addressed under target 16.4, underlining the need to tackle the organized crime linked to these phenomena. 

For further information, please contact ACP-EU Migration Action at the IOM Regional Office in Brussels, Tel: +32 2 287 78 10, Email: ACPEUmigrationaction@iom.int, or Rosilyne Borland at the IOM Regional Office in San Jose, Tel: +506 22 12 53 18, Email: rborland@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 15:10Image: Region-Country: GuyanaThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

ACP, EU, CMC and IOM experts discuss human trafficking and migrant smuggling at a regional meeting in Guyana 2019. Photos: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Belarus Works on Improved Protection for Vulnerable Migrants

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 08:59

Minsk – The Republic of Belarus is stepping up its capacity to protect vulnerable migrants and trafficking victims through an improved national referral mechanism.    

“Recent increase in numbers of irregular migrants heading to the EU through the territory of Belarus, forthcoming international sports events like European Games 2019 and Ice Hockey World Championship 2021, present for migrants certain risks like smuggling and human-trafficking,” stated Taras Seredyuk, of the State Border Committee at a workshop in the capital Minsk yesterday (14/3).  

Representatives from the Belarusian government, NGOs and international organizations used the occasion to elaborate on recommendations to improve the National Referral Mechanism, contributing their frontline expertise working in border management, irregular migration management and counter-trafficking.   

Currently, the National Referral Mechanism is solely for victims of human trafficking while a referral mechanism for protection of vulnerable migrants is still under discussion.    

GLO.ACT – the Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants is an initiative of the European Union and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in which IOM participates. During yesterday’s Minsk workshop representatives presented practical guidelines on how to develop and implement referral mechanisms for the protection and assistance of migrants vulnerable to violence, exploitation and abuse.  

“The outstanding value of the activities undertaken within the GLO.ACT project is illustrated by in the wide number of stakeholders involved, ranging from national authorities, to civil society and international organizations,” said Chiara Togentti, from the Migrant Protection and Assistance department at IOM’s regional office in Vienna. “The guidelines presented here are intended for government officials and practitioners working on migrant protection worldwide and can be applied in countries of origin, transit and destination.”  

Heather Komenda, Migration Protection and Assistance Specialist at IOM HQ added: “IOM has been working with victims of human trafficking for over 20 years and we can help partners quickly and efficiently to identify vulnerable migrants, victims of human trafficking and others in need of assistance and, importantly, help them work together to make sure that vulnerable persons’ rights are applied.”  

Belarus is currently working on the development of legislation in the field of irregular migration management via an EU-funded project before signing and implementing a Readmission agreement which is at the final stage of negotiations and will further contribute to good migration governance.   

Watch video here of Heather Komenda, Protection and Assistance Specialist at IOM HQ, speaking about IOM’s work supporting victims of trafficking.  

For more information please contact Olga Borzenkova at IOM Belarus, Tel: +375 17 288 2742, Email: oborzenkova@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 15:05Image: Region-Country: BelarusThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants at the national workshop on the development of effective national referral mechanism for protection of vulnerable migrants and victims of human trafficking in Minsk, Belarus. Photo: IOM Belarus

Participants at the national workshop on the development of effective national referral mechanism for protection of vulnerable migrants and victims of human trafficking in Minsk, Belarus. Photo: IOM Belarus

Heather Komenda, Protection and Assistance Specialist at IOM Geneva 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 10,308 in 2019; Deaths Reach 234

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 08:26

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 10,308 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 13 March, a 16 per cent decrease from the 12,318 arriving during the same period last year. Deaths on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through just over ten weeks of the new year are at 234 individuals – or about half the 466 deaths that occurred during the same period in 2018. (see chart below)

IOM Italy 

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Thursday reported a total of 335 migrants and refugees have landed in Italy this year, according to official Ministry of Interior figures. He added that since 1 January 2019, a total of 930 migrants have been returned to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard – or three times the total arriving by sea to Italy.   

IOM Spain

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that through 13 March, 5,222 men, women and children have arrived as irregular migrants since the start of this year – an average of some 73 per day. Through this period, irregular migrant arrivals by sea to Spain are just about 51 per cent of all Mediterranean arrivals of this type. 

IOM Greece 

IOM Greece reported on Thursday (14/03) that in the week since Friday (08/03), the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) was involved in at least six incidents requiring search and rescue operation off the islands of Samos, Lesvos and Farmakonisi. The HCG rescued a total of 239 migrants and transferred them to those ports. 

Those 239 arrivals were among some 296 IOM recorded since last Friday arriving at the islands of Farmakonisi, Kos, Rhodes, Lesvos, Samos and Chios and bringing to 4,483 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year, a 26 per cent increase in arrivals compared to this same time last year (see chart below). 

IOM Greece also provided data this week on nationalities of all irregular migrants detected by the Hellenic Coast Guard through the end of February. Of some 3,614 arrivals, just over half (1,914 men, women and children) were Afghan with 411 arriving from Iraq, 399 from the Palestinian Territories and 320 from Syria. Smaller groups arrived from Congo (114), the Islamic Republic of Iran (81), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (75), Cameroon (47), Yemen (26), Eritrea (13), Angola (9) and the Dominican Republic (2).    

Missing Migrants Project 

2019 is the fifth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project (MMP). Since the beginning of 2014, the Project has recorded the deaths of 30,602 people, and yet due to the challenges of collecting information about these people and what happened to them, the true number of deaths during migration is likely much higher.   

So far in 2019, Missing Migrants Project has recorded the deaths of 458 people, at least 234 of those on one of three Mediterranean Sea routes (see chart below). 

Since the last week, MMP said that on 9 March in the Central Mediterranean, IOM Libya reported that the remains of an unidentified person were recovered in Almaya, Libya. The day before (8/03), migrants intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard off the coast of Libya reported two missing people who had fallen into the water before that rescue operation.  

In the Eastern Mediterranean, the remains of a woman and a girl were recovered on 10 March in different locations on the Greek island of Lesvos: a 9-year-old girl from Afghanistan was found dead near Vatera, on the south shore of that island, while a woman, also from Afghanistan, was found near Agios Theodoros, on the north.  

MMP this week has been compiling details on a truck accident in Mexico that killed 24 Guatemalan men and women on 7 March. It appears the driver lost control of the truck causing it to overturn near the town of Soyaló in Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas. Ten women and 13 men lost their lives during the crash, while another woman died later in a nearby hospital. During the crash, 33 others were injured and transported to hospitals in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, of which seven remain hospitalized as of 13 March, including a 22-year-old man in critical condition. 

At the time of writing, 19 of the 24 people who died had been identified. Details regarding the identity, sex and age of at least 11 of them are publicly available and summarized below. The stories, dreams and hopes of the other 13 people who died in this vehicle accident are only known to their families.  

Vilma Marisol Vail Jiménez was 16 years old. She came from Los Vaíles, in the municipality of Cajolá, where she had a flower stand. The older of three siblings, she decided to go to the US when her father took ill, as her income from selling flowers could not cover his medical costs.  

Navia Hernández Agustín was born in Caín, San Luis, in Guatemala’s northern department of Petén. She was travelling to the United States to join her mother, who moved there ten years ago.  

Keida Morales Velázquez was a 15-year-old girl from the village of San Andrés Cheró, in the department of San Marcos. She was travelling with her older brother.  

José Gregorio Francisco was 23 years old and a Q'anjob'al ethnic Mayan from the municipality of Paykonob’, near Santa Eulalia, Huehuetenango. The precarious economic conditions in his hometown forced him to attempt the journey north, where he expected to build a more prosperous future and be able to send money to his parents. 

Among the other victims were Félix Jeremías Cash López and Delfino Cash Felipe, two teenage cousins from the community of Nicá, in Malacatán, in the department of San Marcos. Félix would have turned 18 on 20 March. He had just graduated from high school, but he couldn’t find a job in his hometown, so he decided to leave with his cousin to join a brother in Atlanta, Georgia.  

The hometown of the two cousins, Nicá, a small municipality of ethnic Mam population, lost six members in total, all young people who aimed to secure a more prosperous future in the United States. The remains of Yesenia Magdalena Pérez and Reyna Venancia Ramos Nolasco, both 17 years old, and of Ezequiel Aldair Cash Fernández (18) and Oscar Mazariegos López (29) were repatriated and buried by their families in the local cemetery.   

Ronald Alberto López Estrada was 29 years old and had been born in the municipality of Candelaria Siquival, in Guatemala’s department of San Marcos. He had graduated from high school with a specialization in mechanics. He met Marta Cardona, his girlfriend for four years, and he decided he wanted a better future for them and their future children. However, he did not survive the journey north, and lost his life just three days after saying goodbye to his family for the last time.  

Migrants transiting through Central America and Mexico face many risks due to the hardships of the journey itself, which often implies taking highly unsafe means of transport. In the most tragic of cases, they do not survive the journey: MMP records show that at least 145 people have died in vehicle accidents since 2014. In 2018, MMP documented the deaths of 34 people in car crashes during transit through Central America and Mexico – in the first 11 weeks of 2019, 27 people have reportedly lost their lives in such accidents in the region.  

Deaths in the Americas stand at 128, making migration corridors in the Caribbean, South and Central America among the deadliest in the world. Since 1 February, more men, women and children have died crossing the Americas in irregular migration – 79 – than anywhere else. During these last six weeks 26 people have died in the Mediterranean, nine in North Africa, eight in Europe and five in the Middle East.  

It is important to note that the estimate of those 26 missing migrants mentioned above as lost since 1 February on the Mediterranean does not include another 45 missing from reports surfacing late Thursday (14/03) out of Spain and Morocco. MMP learned from sources in Spain that Moroccan authorities had only confirmed that remains of one migrant had been recovered, and 21 survivors were rescued, from a sinking boat north of Nador on Thursday. An NGO who reportedly has been in touch with seven women among the survivors who affirmed that 67 people had been on board their boat. IOM continues to investigate these reports.

Elsewhere in the world, MMP recorded the deaths of several people along different migration routes. In Europe, a young Ethiopian man was found dead inside a truck in the Port of Calais on 8 March. The autopsy conducted by French authorities indicates that he likely died crushed when the cargo in the back of the truck moved during transport. In Serbia, a 30-year-old Algerian man was electrocuted as he attempted to jump on the top of a train near the city of Šid, near the border with Croatia. 

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, click here.  Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project.  

See contacts here

Language English Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 15:00Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Western Mediterranean: Nearly Half of Recent Spain Migrant Arrivals Report Exploitation, Abuse

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 15:32

Madrid – According to an International Organization for Migration (IOM) flow monitoring survey of over 1,300 migrants and refugees in Spain last year, nearly half (48%) of those interviewed indicated having at least one direct experience related to human trafficking, exploitation or abuse while traveling on the Western Mediterranean Route.  Men – who outnumber women nine to one among those surveyed – reported a higher percentage (49%) of incidents than women (40%).  

The survey findings are based on 1,341 interviews with migrants and refugees from 39 countries of origin who arrived in Spain in 2018. The surveys were conducted between July and October 2018 in transit and reception centres in more than 40 Spanish municipalities across four autonomous regions to shed more light on the profile and experiences of those who arrived in the country by sea and by land via the Western Mediterranean route.  

That route, in 2018, emerged as the most frequented route to Europe in 2018 with 63,325 arrivals to Spain. 

“The results of this survey show an alarming incidence of reported exploitation and abuse of migrants and refugees along the route. It is striking how varied their motivations and experiences are, and we do not always realize the very high levels of vulnerability in play,” said Maria Jesus Herrera, IOM Chief of Mission in Spain.  

The main countries of origin of the 1,341 survey respondents were Guinea (29%), Mali (19%), Côte d’Ivoire (14%), Cameroon (6%), Senegal (6%), Morocco (5%) and Algeria (4%). These nationalities are also among the top 10 nationals registered in official 2018 statistics. French was reported as a first language spoken by 23 per cent of those interviewed.   

The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report also shows little evidence of a significant “route shift” or diversion between the Central Mediterranean Route and the Western Mediterranean Route in 2018. Among the migrants surveyed, only 1.3 per cent indicated that they had changed their route and headed towards Niger or Algeria after time spent in Libya.  All respondents had transited through either Morocco or Algeria before reaching Spain. 

The survey shows that migrants and refugees from Cameroon, the Gambia and Guinea reported the highest share of positive responses (67%, 63% and 62% respectively) to at least one of the five questions related to direct experience of human trafficking, exploitation and abuse. Migrants from Morocco (6%), Algeria (13%) and Mauritania (24%) had the lowest share.  

Longer periods of time spent in transit were associated with higher incidence of trafficking, exploitation and abuse due a more complex journey involving more transit through more countries. The lowest share of positive responses was registered among those with journeys shorter than one month, originating from Morocco and Algeria directly or reaching Morocco via direct flights from their origin countries. Furthermore, respondents who travelled alone had the highest share of positive responses (49%) to at least one of the five indicators.  

Morocco and Algeria, as the two final transit countries with the highest flows, emerged together with Libya and Mali as the countries on the route where the highest percentage of exploitative or abusive events were reported according to the migrants surveyed. Fewer events were reported in Mauritania, Niger and other countries.   

Around 38 per cent of those surveyed had spent more than one year in transit, while less than a quarter reported traveling for three months or less.  The most common route – reported by almost one third of the sample – is through Mali (Bamako) to Algeria (Algiers, Oran, Tamanrasset) and then to Morocco (Casablanca or Rabat and then Nador or Tangier).  

Almost half of those surveyed said that they had financial problems and reported being robbed at least once (46% each) during their journey. Nineteen per cent of those questioned reported health problems.   

The DTM survey also captures the general demographic profile of the interviewed migrants and refugees (of which 89% were men and 11% women, which corresponds to the available data on total arrivals in 2018, where the overall gender breakdown was 88% men, 12% women) including the motivations and expectations of those arriving by sea or land to Spain. 

Most of those interviewed reported leaving their countries of origin and habitual residence for a combination of factors including economic reasons, personal violence, war and conflict.  

Almost half of the respondents (47%) reported having been unemployed at the time of departure from the country of origin or habitual residence. Among respondents in Spain who were either employed or self-employed at the time of departure, men most frequently mentioned working in skilled manual occupations, selling activities, craft and clerical work. Interestingly, 10 per cent of the males and five per cent of the females surveyed said they had held managerial or professional occupations such as doctors, nurses and engineers etc. before departure. 

Survey results showed that the reasons migrants and refugees left their country or habitual place of residence were mixed and multiple, and that motivations can change over time and during the journey.  Overall, 41 per cent of the sample listed economic reasons as the first reason for leaving, followed by personal violence (32%) and war or conflict (15%).  

Male and female respondents differ in their main motivation to migrate. Among males, most frequently mentioned reasons for leaving are economic (44%) and personal violence (29%), while for more than a half of all females, the first reason for leaving is escaping from personal violence (58%) while only 23 per cent of them mentioned economic reasons. 

“The findings reinforce our view that much more can be done to provide specialized assistance, protection and care all along the route,” said Herrera. “Ultimately, much of the abuse and suffering could be avoided by strengthening safe channels for regular migration,” she added.   

Note to editors: 

The full survey can be downloaded here

The survey focused on personal (direct) and observed (indirect) experiences that may indicate human trafficking, exploitation and abuse. Direct experience of these included being held against one’s will, being forced to work or having worked without getting the expected payment, being approached by someone with offers of an arranged marriage and having suffered physical violence. The survey also captured indirect experiences such as having observed someone else during the journey being threatened with sexual violence, being offered cash in exchange for or being forced to give blood, organs or other body parts.   

The study was made possible with funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID)/UK AID 

The Flow Monitoring Surveys (FMS) are part of IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) activities in the Mediterranean and conducted within the framework of IOM’s research on populations on the move through the Mediterranean and Western Balkan Routes to Europe. Collected surveys are regularly analysed providing information on profiles, transit routes and vulnerabilities.  

All analyses and latest statistical information on arrivals to Europe from national authorities and IOM country offices can be accessed via DTM’s Flow Monitoring Europe Geoportal. 

For more information please contact: Ivona Zakoska-Todorovska, Regional DTM Officer at IOM’s Regional Office in Vienna, Tel: +43 1 581 22 22, Email: izakoska@iom.int; Ryan Schroeder at IOM’s Regional Office in Brussels, Email: rschroeder@iom.int, Tel:  +32 (0)2 287 71 16; or Oussama Elbaroudi at IOM Spain, Email: ouelbaroudi@iom.int, Tel: +34 665 046 539 

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 15:28Image: Region-Country: SpainThemes: OthersDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff speaking with a migrant at a humanitarian assistance reception centre in Miraflores de la Sierra, Spain. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM’s 2019 Humanitarian Appeal for Syria: USD 207 Million as Conflict Enters Ninth Year

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 07:40

Geneva – The Syrian crisis, entering its ninth year this week, has displaced more than 11 million people. Further insecurity and continued displacement, as well as large-scale humanitarian and protection needs, are expected in the year ahead.  

Since 2011, IOM has provided life-saving assistance and early-recovery and resilience programmes to many affected by the conflict inside Syria and across the region. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is appealing to the international community for USD 207 million to continue its lifesaving assistance.  

“IOM has been steadfast in its commitment to assisting a Syrian civilian population that is still struggling to overcome the impact of the conflict,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s Director of Operations and Emergencies, “Even as short-term prospects for recovery remain grim, the international community must continue to focus on saving lives and supporting the host countries that have generously offered public services, protection and safety to millions over eight years.”  

Today’s request by IOM comes as part of a more comprehensive pair of inter-agency appeals: The Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria and The Syria Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan. These funds are necessary to continue assistance in Syria and neighbouring countries in 2019. 

As of February 2019, it is estimated that 5.7 million people remain displaced within Syria. An additional 5.6 million Syrians, nearly half of whom are children, have sought refuge in countries throughout the region.  

With limited access to employment opportunities, education or healthcare, many internally displaced persons (IDPs) live in dire conditions either in camps or in informal displacement sites. Many of these sites are overcrowded, some housing four times their intended capacity.  

For most IDPs, return is not likely in 2019. Moreover, only 30 per cent of the families recently interviewed by local partners expressed their intention to return.  

Through IOM’s Whole-of-Syria approach, in place since 2014, lifesaving, resilience and recovery support have been dispensed to millions across Syria – including in hard-to-reach areas where at least 1.1 million people need assistance. IOM assisted in 2018 a further 700,000 Syrian and host country citizens in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.  

Funds received from this year’s appeal will allow IOM to offer shelter, site management and water and sanitation, protection and psychosocial support. Core relief items – such as blankets, kitchen sets, solar lamps and other materials – also are to be distributed as part of IOM’s response, as well as resources to implement critical coordination services on behalf of other humanitarian agencies. 

Resources for early recovery and resilience activities – such as community revitalization, education, entrepreneurship training and grants and livelihood assistance – are also priorities of the 2019 response plan.  

In addition, IOM strives to enhance long-term, durable solutions for displaced Syrians. In 2018, IOM supported over 30,000 Syrian refugees with resettlement and family reunification. In 2019, IOM will continue to work closely with UNHCR and partners to ensure any initiative in relation to returns is framed by the key principles of dignity, safety and voluntariness. 

The launch of the IOM Appeal coincides with the Third Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region, taking place 12–14 March.  

Download IOM’s 2019 IOM Syria Appeal here.

Download the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan summary here.

Download the Syria Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan here.

Download the IOM 2018 Syria Achievements report here.

Support IOM’s work in Syria: Donate now

For additional information, please contact IOM HQ: Joel Millman, Tel: +41 22 717 9486, Mobile: +41 79 103 87 20, Email: jmillman@iom.int; or Angela Wells, Tel: +41 7940 35365, Email: awells@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 14:33Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM assisted 700,000 Syrian and host country citizens in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq in 2018. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Western Mediterranean: Nearly Half of Recent Spain Migrant Arrivals Report Exploitation, Abuse

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 07:28

Madrid – According to an International Organization for Migration (IOM) flow monitoring survey of over 1,300 migrants and refugees in Spain last year, nearly half (48%) of those interviewed indicated having at least one direct experience related to human trafficking, exploitation or abuse while traveling on the Western Mediterranean Route.  Men – who outnumber women nine to one among those surveyed – reported a higher percentage (49%) of incidents than women (40%).

The survey findings are based on 1,341 interviews with migrants and refugees from 39 countries of origin who had arrived in Spain in the last year. The surveys were conducted between July and October 2018 in transit and reception centres in more than 40 Spanish municipalities across four autonomous regions to shed more light on the profile and experiences of those who arrived in the country by sea and by land via the Western Mediterranean route. That route, in 2018, emerged as the most frequented route to Europe in 2018 with 63,325 arrivals to Spain.

“The results of this survey show an alarming incidence of reported exploitation and abuse of migrants and refugees along the route. It is striking how varied their motivations and experiences are, and we do not always realize the very high levels of vulnerability in play,” said Maria Jesus Herrera, IOM Chief of Mission in Spain.

The main countries of origin of the 1,341 survey respondents were Guinea (29%), Mali (19%), Côte d’Ivoire (14%), Cameroon (6%), Senegal (6%), Morocco (5%) and Algeria (4%). These nationalities are also among the top 10 nationals registered in official 2018 statistics. French was reported as a first language spoken by 23 per cent of those interviewed. 

The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report also shows little evidence of a significant “route shift” or diversion between the Central Mediterranean Route and the Western Mediterranean Route in 2018. Among the migrants surveyed, only 1.3 per cent indicated that they had changed their route and headed towards Niger or Algeria after time spent in Libya. Most respondents also reported Spain (51%) and France (nearly 20%) as the destination countries they had in mind at the time of departure. All respondents had transited through either Morocco or Algeria before reaching Spain.

The survey shows that migrants and refugees from Cameroon, the Gambia and Guinea reported the highest share of positive responses (67%, 63% and 62% respectively) to at least one of the five questions related to direct experience of human trafficking, exploitation and abuse. Migrants from Morocco (6%), Algeria (13%) and Mauritania (24%) had the lowest share.

Longer periods of time spent in transit were associated with higher incidence of trafficking, exploitation and abuse due a more complex journey involving more transit through more countries. The lowest share of positive responses was registered among those with journeys shorter than one month, originating from Morocco and Algeria directly or reaching Morocco via direct flights from their origin countries. Furthermore, respondents who travelled alone had the highest share of positive responses (49%) to at least one of the five indicators.

Morocco and Algeria, as the two final transit countries with the highest flows, emerged together with Libya and Mali as the countries on the route where the highest percentage of exploitative or abusive events were reported according to the migrants surveyed. Fewer events were reported in Mauritania, Niger and other countries. 

Around 38 per cent of those surveyed had spent more than one year in transit, while less than a quarter reported traveling for three months or less.  The most common route – reported by almost one third of the sample – is through Mali (Bamako) to Algeria (Algiers, Oran, Tamanrasset) and then to Morocco (Casablanca or Rabat and then Nador or Tangier).

Almost half of those surveyed said that they had financial problems and reported being robbed at least once (46% each) during their journey. Nineteen per cent of those questioned reported health problems. 

The DTM survey also captures the general demographic profile of the interviewed migrants and refugees (of which 89% were men and 11% women, which corresponds to the available data on total arrivals in 2018, where the overall gender breakdown was 88% men, 12% women) including the motivations and expectations of those arriving by sea or land to Spain.

Most of those interviewed reported leaving their countries of origin and habitual residence for a combination of factors including economic reasons, personal violence, war and conflict.

Almost half of the respondents (47%) reported having been unemployed at the time of departure from the country of origin or habitual residence. Among respondents in Spain who were either employed or self-employed at the time of departure, men most frequently mentioned working in skilled manual occupations, selling activities, craft and clerical work. Interestingly, 10 per cent of the males and five per cent of the females surveyed said they had held managerial or professional occupations such as doctors, nurses and engineers etc. before departure.

Survey results showed that the reasons migrants and refugees left their country or habitual place of residence were mixed and multiple, and that motivations can change over time and during the journey.  Overall, 41 per cent of the sample listed economic reasons as the first reason for leaving, followed by personal violence (32%) and war or conflict (15%).

Male and female respondents differ in their main motivation to migrate. Among males, most frequently mentioned reasons for leaving are economic (44%) and personal violence (29%), while for more than a half of all females, the first reason for leaving is escaping from personal violence (58%) while only 23 per cent of them mentioned economic reasons.

“The findings reinforce our view that much more can be done to provide specialized assistance, protection and care all along the route as well as on arrival in Spain,” said Herrera. “Ultimately, much of the abuse and suffering could be avoided by strengthening safe channels for regular migration,” she added.   

Note to editors:

The full survey can be downloaded here

The survey focused on personal (direct) and observed (indirect) experiences that may indicate human trafficking, exploitation and abuse. Direct experience of these included being held against one’s will, being forced to work or having worked without getting the expected payment, being approached by someone with offers of an arranged marriage and having suffered physical violence. The survey also captured indirect experiences such as having observed someone else during the journey being threatened with sexual violence, being offered cash in exchange for or being forced to give blood, organs or other body parts. 

The study was made possible with funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID)/UK AID

The Flow Monitoring Surveys (FMS) are part of IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) activities in the Mediterranean and conducted within the framework of IOM’s research on populations on the move through the Mediterranean and Western Balkan Routes to Europe. Collected surveys are regularly analysed providing information on profiles, transit routes and vulnerabilities.

All analyses and latest statistical information on arrivals to Europe from national authorities and IOM country offices can be accessed via DTM’s Flow Monitoring Europe Geoportal

For more information please contact: Ivona Zakoska-Todorovska, Regional DTM Officer at IOM’s Regional Office in Vienna, Tel: +43 1 581 22 22, Email: izakoska@iom.int; Ryan Schroeder at IOM’s Regional Office in Brussels, Email: rschroeder@iom.int, Tel:  +32 (0)2 287 71 16; or Oussama Elbaroudi at IOM Spain, Email: ouelbaroudi@iom.int, Tel: +34 665 046 539

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 14:26Image: Region-Country: SpainThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff speaking with a migrant at a humanitarian assistance reception center in Miraflores de la Sierra, Spain. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Peace Strategy Aims to Tackle Internal Displacements in Ethiopia

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 07:25

Addis Ababa – Ethiopia’s reformist government is demonstrating that establishing sustainable peace is a long-term process. It needs constant nurturing – more so as the country has one of Africa’s largest populations of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed assumed office in April 2018, much has changed in the country. This includes restoring relations with neighbouring Eritrea, inviting exiled opposition party leaders to return, releasing jailed journalists and reaching out to the Ethiopian Diaspora to gain exiles’ trust, in the hope that they will contribute to the country’s development needs.

Last week, the newly established Ministry of Peace collaborated with United Nations (UN) agencies to launch a national process for the development of an inclusive peacebuilding strategy.

The strategy is funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UN Women, UNDP and UNSCO. It is targeted at resolving conflicts in the cluster zones of Oromia and Somali Regions, two zones most affected by conflict.

The IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix shows that from a total of 2,271,899 IDPs in 2018, conflict was reported as the primary driver (accounting for 1,773,482 IDPs), followed by displacement due to climate induced factors (498,417 IDPs). However, the report says the figures of IDPs are likely to be higher as studies have excluded sites in Benishangul Gumuz region due to the security situation.

The large numbers of IDPs also feed into emigration, as Ethiopia is the largest migration sending country in the Horn of Africa.

The Minister of Peace, Muferiat Kamil along the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Aeneas Chapinga Chuma spoke at the launch of the peace strategy entitled Inclusive Governance and Conflict Management Support to Ethiopia.

As part of the strategy, IOM is responsible for interventions contributing to the resolution of displacements driven by inter-ethnic and inter-regional conflicts in Oromia-Somali and Oromia-SNNPR clusters.

IOM will implement activities that support local initiatives, including training and capacity building for community representatives and regional leaders in order to facilitate peace dialogues. IOM will also map existing humanitarian and development actions that will further contribute to the national peacebuilding strategy. 

Both Kamil and Chuma highlighted the timelines of the planned work, noting that Ethiopia is going through major reform.

"The Prime Minister's reform agenda is anchored on sustainable peace, reconciliation, inclusion and social cohesion and, in furtherance of this vision, he created a powerful Ministry of Peace as the centre piece of the vision with an appropriately overarching and expansive mandate around prevention and peacebuilding," said Chuma.

Kamil added: "I am glad that we do not stand alone in the face of these challenges; UNDP and other UN agencies  have striven to work hand in hand with the government of Ethiopia to help it achieve its endeavours aimed at promoting sustainable peace, reconciliation and improvement of democratic institutions to ensure that it accommodates the diverse range of peoples, beliefs and views that are found in Ethiopia."

“The Ministry of Peace will also be working with IOM to foster cohesive co-existence of internationally displaced people and host communities through inter-regional and inter-communal dialogue," Kamil said.

She also recognized IOM’s role, saying the Ministry of Peace will be working with IOM “to foster the cohesive co-existence of internationally displaced people and host communities through inter-regional and inter-communal dialogue.”

For more information please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251911639082, Email: salemayehu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 14:24Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Muferiat Kamil, Minister of Peace, speaking at the launch of the Peace Building Initiative in Ethiopia.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 9,826 in 2019; Deaths Reach 230

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 07:24

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 9,826 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 10 March, a 15 per cent decrease from the 11,636 arriving during the same period last year.

Deaths on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost ten weeks of the new year are at 230 individuals – or under half the 464 deaths that occurred during the same period in 2018 (see chart below).

See contacts here.

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 14:21Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Director-General Extends Condolences after Plane Crash Claims IOM and UN Staff

Sun, 03/10/2019 - 19:28

Geneva – The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for IOM’s Director-General António Vitorino:

The Director-General is deeply saddened to learn of today's tragic Ethiopian Airlines accident which claimed the lives of all 157 aboard, including a young IOM staff member Anne-Katrin Feigl.

Ms Feigl, a German national, was en route to a training course in Nairobi as part of her role as a Junior Professional Officer.

Numerous other staff members from at least five UN and affiliated organizations  are understood to have also perished on the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 from the capital city Addis Ababa to Kenya’s capital Nairobi. There were some 32 nationalities on the doomed flight.

Early indications are that 19 staff members of UN affiliated organizations perished.

Alongside IOM, these include the World Food Program (WFP), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the UN Environment Program (UNEP), the World Bank and others also lost colleagues in the tragedy.

The Director-General extends his heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy to the bereaved families of all the victims of this tragic crash. 

The tragedy has deeply affected the entire UN family he said, extending his deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Anne Feigl, those of other UN organizations as well as other passengers and crew.

Catherine Northing, Chief of Mission of IOM Sudan where Anne Feigl worked, said: 
« She was an extremely valued colleague and popular staff member, committed and professional.

« The staff are in a state of shock. One colleague said today ´she was always bringing happiness to us’.  

Her tragic passing has left a big hole and we will all miss her greatly. »

As a mark of respect IOM will fly its flag at half-mast at its offices tomorrow, as will the UN and its agencies.

Language English Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2019 - 19:25Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: OthersDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Empowers Women to Safely Rebuild Homes in Earthquake-Affected Communities in Papua New Guinea

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 08:32

Port Moresby – A year ago, Papua New Guinea was struck by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake that damaged many homes and displaced local communities. IOM used its Displacement Tracking Matrix to map out locations hosting the displaced, identifying their needs, including shelter, to inform the humanitarian response.    

In partnership with the government at national and provincial levels and supported by the United Nations country team, between August–October 2018 IOM targeted 51 women from Southern Highlands and Hela provinces with a ‘Training of Trainers’ to ‘Build Back Safer.’ Following the training it distributed shelter construction tool kits to them and other disaster-affected families.    

The tool kits included a claw hammer, hand saw, nails and tie wire and the women gathered local bush materials to rebuild their houses. The safer building techniques that they had learnt will help the buildings to survive future storms and other disasters.  

Diane Joel, who took part in the training and received a shelter toolkit rebuilt her three-bedroom house in Humbra community. She noted that the training raised community awareness on building safer, more resilient shelters better able to withstand extreme weather conditions. "IOM taught us how to build safer homes and this is the house which I have built. It is safe for me to live in and when a natural disaster strikes, we will be safe,” she said.   

The ‘Build Back Safer’ training has also helped to address the cultural perceptions which previously limited women’s participation in constructing. “The task of building homes used to be for men, but after the training I can say we are able to direct our men to build homes,” she added.    

“Build Back Safer” graduates are sharing their new skills with their families and other community members, several of whom have also rebuilt their houses to make them safer and more resilient.    

For more information please contact IOM Port Moresby, Lance Bonneau, Tel. +675 3213655, Email: lbonneau@iom.int or Peter Murorera, Email: pmurorera@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Friday, March 8, 2019 - 15:27Image: Region-Country: Papua New GuineaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigrant AssistanceShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

Diane Joel at her new house in Humbra. Photo: IOM/Christine Conway

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Adidas, IOM Partner to Promote Responsible Recruitment, Fair Treatment of Migrant Workers in Garment and Footwear Industry

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 08:27

Ho Chi Minh City – Global sportswear company adidas and IOM have launched a new project to eliminate unethical recruitment and exploitative labour practices. The newly launched partnership project aims to ensure that the human and labour rights of migrant workers are upheld in adidas’ supply chain, especially in high risk migrant corridors.   

The exploitation of migrant workers in global supply chains often begins in their home country, where they are subject to excessive fees to secure employment. Such situations create heavy indebtedness that makes it often impossible for migrants to walk away from exploitative working conditions. Looking to tackle one of the most complex human rights challenges in the global economy, IOM and adidas have joined forces to improve recruitment management systems and address related risks of modern slavery and human trafficking.   

The collaboration will consist of specialized trainings and due diligence measures. At the core of the project stands the importance of implementing the employer-pays-principle and improving access to remedy in cases where migrant workers’ rights are breached, particularly with regard to recruitment fees. The main goal is to ensure migrant workers in adidas’ labour supply chains are aware of their rights and know how to exercise them.   

“We are looking forward to working with IOM in upholding migrant workers’ basic rights and embedding the employer-pays-principle along our supply chain. At adidas we are committed to fair labour practices, including the elimination of recruitment fees and other costs incurred by migrant workers employed in our supply chain. Our commitment is reflected in our Policy on Responsible Recruitment and in our active engagement in several leading public-private sector initiatives, including the current IOM partnership,” said William Anderson, Vice President for Social and Environmental Affairs at adidas. 

Anderson added, “Since 2011 we have supported the Dhaka Principles for Migration with Dignity and, more recently, we have pledged our support for the 2018 joint American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and FLA Commitment to Responsible Recruitment.”    

As international labour mobility continues to rise, migrants are becoming an important part of the workforce in global supply chains. The apparel and footwear sector is particularly reliant on migrant workers and factories often use unverified recruitment or employment agencies that render them vulnerable to risks of excessive recruitment fees and debt bondage. Many of these migrants active in the sector are women, often low-skilled workers from rural areas, vulnerable to coercive recruitment practices and exploitation. 

“IOM is part of a growing and multi-stakeholder alliance of like-minded actors seeking to promote the role of businesses acting as catalysts for change. The private sector has a significant and valuable role to play in realizing the positive benefits of migration and in minimizing its costs. At the heart of this collaboration is a shared commitment to improve the lives of millions of migrant workers in the garment and footwear supply chain that are moving within this region to work. Our partnership with adidas will promote human rights standards, ethical recruitment practices and fair employment conditions for these migrants,” said IOM project manager Max Pottler.   

The project is part of IOM’s direct engagement and partnership building with business towards addressing migrant worker vulnerabilities and develop sustainable solutions, notably through its flagship private sector engagement initiatives: the CREST (Corporate Responsibility for Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking) and the IRIS (International Recruitment Integrity System) projects. Recognizing that genuine progress towards these goals can only be made through collective industry efforts, IOM is committed to providing thought leadership on findings, best practices, and insights on how to implement ethical recruitment of migrant workers in extended labour supply chains, as well as strengthen and inspire action from peers.   

In 2017 and 2018, adidas and IOM cooperated in the region on a modern slavery training programme. Close to one hundred adidas Tier 2 suppliers from Viet Nam, Indonesia, Republic of Korea and China received guidance on how to identify and remedy unscrupulous employment practices, as well as reduce risks of modern slavery in operations and across the broader supply chain.   

The relevance of such partnerships between international organizations and business is indisputable in today’s context, with migration management increasingly becoming a responsibility which must be shared by private and public sector actors. By implementing gender-sensitive due diligence processes, ethical recruitment and responsible supply chain management, companies can mitigate risks for men and women migrant workers. The IOM-adidas partnership is an example of how such action can materialize.    

For more information please contact Nguyen Thi Minh Hien at IOM Ho Chi Minh City. Email: mhiennguyen@iom.int, Tel:  +84 964 753 936. 

 

Language English Posted: Friday, March 8, 2019 - 15:17Image: Region-Country: Viet NamThemes: IOMLabour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM is working with adidas to protect the rights of migrant workers. Photo: adidas

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Senegalese Mothers and Artists Use Art to Stop Their Children from Leaving

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 08:16

Dakar – “Leaving for success, for the honour of our mothers…This is only our mothers’ fault.”   

Marie Mané sings this refrain, repeated in unison by a chorus of 40 women gathered at the Monument de la Renaissance in Dakar.   

This refrain is more than a song for these mothers, daughters and sisters. It is their anthem for the fight against irregular migration.  

Marie Mané is one of the elders in this group. A widowed mother of two children, she is originally from Casamance, in Southern Senegal. She joined a dance troupe when she arrived in Dakar some years ago.  

By singing this refrain, Marie knows what lies behind these words. After her father’s death, her nephew received a small part of the inheritance to reach Europe with the complicity of his mother, who asked him to keep this travel secret.  

“You see that your fellow’s son has left, and he is sending money to his mother every month, and you say to yourself, I have to support my son to leave, so that he too will send me money at the end of each month,” says Marie. “But… there is nowhere you can be that is not where you are meant to be. You do not know what the fellow’s son is doing to be able to send money. We have to talk to our children, tell them that they can make it here, and above all that they must always preserve their dignity,” adds Marie. Once he arrived in Mauritania, driven by his instinct, her nephew returned home and chose to build a life in his country.  

As members of the traditional dance troupe of women from the Lebou community of Dakar, the collective Slam au Féminin, and the dance troupe Fatou Cissé, bonded over a shared objective: raise awareness among young people on the risks of irregular migration.   

And doing so through what they know best: writing, singing and dancing. As a result, they will deliver a performance during an itinerant parade along the streets of the Senegalese capital on International Women’s Day, today (08/03).   

“I am an artist. I can contribute to raising awareness. I can be a voice for the voiceless. I am the woman, the mother, the sister, who can support brothers, sisters and children to survive, not to sacrifice themselves for ‘success’,” says Aby Diagne, a member of the traditional dance troupe of women from the Lebou community which she has joined to encourage women to raise their voice in a society where their words are less valued than those of men.   

“I lost a brother, a friend. He was encouraged by his mother to leave. He finally took the ‘Route’ and today we have no news from him. He might have died in the sea. I feel like supporting them when I am sensitizing them, explaining them that this is our fault. We wanted the best for him but in the end, he had the worst,” says Sister Selbé, a member of Slam au féminin.  

In Senegal, mothers support their children’s migration; they even help finance their journeys. While Selbé recognizes the mothers’ responsibility for the departure of young people, she also recognizes her obligation to fight preconceived notions among many that migration is the ultimate means of survival.  

But she cannot make it alone. She must work with those who have lost sons, fathers, brothers, or those who are aware that leaving is not inevitable. “No fight can be won without them,” she says.   

“Women are involved in all issues that affect this country: social, education, politics. It is up to us to take responsibility because we are the cornerstone of the society. It’s up to us to say STOP, that’s enough, it must not continue,” said Selbé.  

It is in this context that, when the International Organization for Migration (IOM) called on to celebrate International Women’s Day, these women immediately accepted. Throughout a week of preparatory workshops, grandmothers, mothers, and young women gathered to brainstorm on messages in the form of poems, songs and choreography. As the result of these preparatory workshops, a performance will be delivered.  

“We had to join together [poetry] slammers and mothers. The brainstorming on messages was not easy as we have different backgrounds, we do not have the same style or experience to share. But we have learned from each other, listened to each other, helped each other and supported each other,” says Selbé.  

In a society where the death of the one who “left” is taboo, art is a most appropriate form to convey the very harsh messages.  

“This association of Lebou women is a legacy of our grandmothers and has been passed down through generations. It enables us to perpetuate and share the traditions of our ancestors. Through this association we make ourselves understood and heard.”  

For these women, the itinerant parade is an opportunity to reaffirm and renew their commitment to the protection of their community and to send an ultimate message to young people: Be satisfied with what God gives you. Be patient, sooner or later you will get what you deserve.  

Since 2017, IOM, in partnership with African States, has supported the voluntary return of more than 55,000 West Africans who were stranded along migration routes.  

Providing timely access to accurate information on migration, including the dangers along the migration routes by road and by sea, can save the lives of the thousands of young Africans willing to risk their lives to reach Europe.   

This activity implemented by IOM was made possible thanks to funding from the Italian Government under the Aware Migrants project. It is part of IOM’s efforts to raise awareness on irregular migration in West and Central Africa. Close to 10,000 awareness-raising events were organized across the region since the launch of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in 2017.  

For more details, watch this video

For more information, please contact Florence Kim at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +221786206213, Email: fkim@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, March 8, 2019 - 15:13Image: Region-Country: SenegalThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the performers go through their paces during rehearsals. IOM/Marilena Crosato

A Young Senegalese woman is preparing a slam on irregular migration. IOM/Aissatou Sy

Artists Work Together on a Show to Sensitize the Youth and other Women

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

The Dream Bakery that Supports Returned Women Migrants in Tajikistan

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 08:13

Gorno Badakshan – Khursheda Ilchibekova has dreamed of having her own bakery since she was ten years old.  

She grew up in the beautiful but troubled Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region in eastern Tajikistan, which was stricken by civil war and extreme poverty. 

Life was especially hard for families with many small children, as was the case of Khursheda’s family of eight. The income from the little business which Khursheda’s parents operated was too small to put enough food on the table. 

Seeing how difficult it was for her parents to make ends meet, the enterprising girl started her own business selling sunflower seed snacks after school. 

She started learning about the market and began thinking of new products and services. She was able to help her parents with the family business by selling homemade pastries and this activity supported her through university. After graduation, she continued working on her business. 

“With a growing number of happy customers, I decided to open the bakery I had always dreamed of. However, this was the point when I realized I needed to work more on my business skills, so I enrolled in management training at the University of Central Asia,” said Khursheda. 

The next step for her was when she heard of the IOM programme providing grants for small and medium enterprises. She applied right away, and her proposal was successful. She now has five employees including female migrants who returned to Tajikistan with little access to employment. Khursheda is planning to recruit and train more women to further develop her business. 

Large numbers of people migrate out of Gorno-Badakshan every year, weakening in this unique mountain community. Supporting local businesses is key to IOM’s work in the country, allowing people to stay close to their homes and families.  

“Life in Eastern Tajikistan is a daily struggle and earning an income is difficult, particularly for returning migrants,” noted Cristina Gheorghe, IOM's Chief of Mission in Tajikistan. IOM is investing in the skills and knowledge of people like Khursheda, to build a stronger economy, where anyone, including migrants – men and women – can find dignified work.” 

For more information please contact Cristina Gheorghe Tranca, IOM Tajikistan, at +992-900-44-7777 / Email: cgheorghe@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 8, 2019 - 15:11Image: Region-Country: TajikistanThemes: Capacity BuildingGender and MigrationMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Khursheda Ilchibekova (right) with her staff of returned migrants in her bakery in Gorno Badakshan, Tajikistan. Photo: IOM

Khursheda with some of her cakes. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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