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Updated: 2 hours 58 min ago

IOM Releases Migration Recommendations to EU Council Presidency, Romania

Tue, 01/22/2019 - 09:38

Brussels – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) presented today (22/01) four recommendations on migration to the Romanian government, which took the helm of Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) on 1 January 2019 for a six-month tenure.  The recommendations focus on the migration dimension of EU’s next long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).

“Romania will be leading the rotating EU Presidency through a critical period of substantial institutional changes for the European Union, and so ensuring the adoption of the EU’s next long-term budget will be a key priority,” said Ola Henrikson, IOM Regional Director for the European Union, Norway and Switzerland.

“Our recommendations are grounded in IOM’s view that the MFF should respond to the needs and commitments of the EU and its partners to ensure better migration governance in all of its dimensions,” he continued. 

The Organization’s recommendations paper aims to promote EU migration funding that is more simplified, coherent and holistic, people-centred and rights-based, and increasingly directed towards legal migration and integration.   

Given that migration is not a new or short-term phenomenon, IOM also recommends that policy and action on migration needs be implemented in a coherent and holistic way and should follow a long-term, strategic vision. Doing so would help to maximize the added value of EU financing, particularly considering the growing level of international engagement in this area.

EU migration funds are particularly instrumental in promoting the well-being of migrants and local communities in countries of origin, transit and destination. IOM believes EU funding should therefore be guided by international and European human rights law; ensure that EU actions are also gender-responsive and child-sensitive; and focus on integrating tailored responses, including for vulnerable migrants.

Legal migration and integration are closely interlinked priorities which should be considered on equal footing as policy objectives for EU funding. Considering the EU’s commitments made at the Valletta Summit on Migration and within the Partnership Frameworks, together with forecasted labour shortages in the EU at all skill levels, IOM recommends that more EU funds should be directed towards legal migration and integration.

Finally, funding rules and processes must become genuinely simpler for implementers of EU funds to facilitate increased access and partnerships.

IOM's twice-yearly recommendations to the rotating EU Presidencies are guided by its Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF) which is the first, and so far, only detailed articulation of planned and well-managed migration policies. 

IOM continues to encourage the EU and its Member States to promote a comprehensive approach to migration that puts the rights, needs, capacities and contributions of migrants at its core, with a view to ensuring their safety, dignity and human rights.

IOM's recommendations can be downloaded here in PDF.

For more information please contact Melissa Julian at IOM Brussels, Tel: +32 287 7133, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 16:40Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Romania took the helm of the 6-month rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) on 1 Jan 2019. Photo: Creative Commons 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 4,883; Deaths Reach 203

Tue, 01/22/2019 - 09:38

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 4,883 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 20 days of 2019, a slight increase over the 4,466 arriving during the same period last year. Deaths on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost three weeks of the new year are at 203 individuals, compared with 201 deaths during the same period in 2018. 
At this point in 2017 a total of 3,156 irregular migrants or refugees had landed in either Greece, Spain or Italy after crossing the Mediterranean, and IOM had recorded a total of 228 deaths.
See Table 1

Nonetheless, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that January 2019 marks the fourth straight year in which January has seen at least 200 irregular migrants and refugees drowning trying to reach Europe via one of three Mediterranean Sea routes. The worst was in 2016, when 370 people died in January crossings. Those fatality numbers had been dropping – to 254 and 243, respectively, in 2017 and 2018 – and could drop again this month depending on what occurs over the next 10 days.

The last time fewer than 200 migrants drowned in January in these waters was in 2015, when 82 died in January. In 2014, IOM recorded just 12 deaths of seaborne Mediterranean migrants in January.

The tragedy continued this past weekend, when scores of people lost their lives in several shipwrecks on the Mediterranean.

On 17 January, a boat with 54 people on board (including three women) capsized in the Alborán Sea, in waters between Morocco and Spain. The boat had departed from Nador, Morocco, five days earlier, and many of its occupants came from a single district in southeastern Mauritania. Two Spanish NGOs received distress calls to two of their emergency hotlines shortly after departure. Search and rescue operations conducted by Spanish and Moroccan rescue services could not locate the boat, however.

A single survivor was rescued by a Moroccan fisherman on 17 January, and he was hospitalized in Morocco. Staff from Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras spoke to him in the hospital, and he confirmed the tragic news that his 53 fellow travellers drowned at sea. No remains have been recovered.

The following day (18 January), three men were rescued 50 miles off Libya from a sinking boat by an Italian Navy helicopter and brought to Lampedusa, Italy. IOM staff spoke to the three survivors, who said the boat carried 120 people on board. Based on their testimony, IOM estimates that 117 people went missing and presumably drowned at sea before rescue services could reach them. According to the survivors, 10 women, one of them pregnant, and two children were on board.

IOM Libya reported on 20 January that the Libyan Coast Guard recovered two bodies and apprehended 141 people from a boat off the coast of Tripoli. Survivors reported that they had spent two days at sea before being intercepted, and many of them required emergency medical care.

In the Eastern Mediterranean, the Hellenic Coast Guard retrieved the body of a 23-year-old man off the Greek island of Farmakonisi on 18 January. According to the NGO Alarm Phone, he was travelling with a group of 53 people, among them seven women and ten children, who reported to the NGO that he had fallen overboard shortly before arriving to the island.

IOM Italy
IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Monday that through Sunday 155 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy, according to the country’s Ministry of the Interior. January 2019 is on track to record the lowest monthly arrivals total in more than three years. Di Giacomo added that the NGO ship “Sea-Watch 3” rescued 47 migrants on Saturday. It remains unknown where the craft will receive authorization to land.

IOM Rome on Monday offered further information on what survivors of the Friday shipwreck off Libya told IOM staffers who took their testimony in Lampedusa.

Migrants told IOM staff they had been brought to two separate buildings described as “hangars” before their departure: in one of them, traffickers had put some 100 people of mixed nationalities, age and gender; in the other, only 28 Sudanese male adults. Just hours before departure the latter group was brought over to join the others, although only 120 or so were allowed to board. The survivors speculated that the eight left behind – all from Côte d'Ivoire – lacked sufficient funds for the crossing.

From the hangar, the 120 migrants walked to the beach, led by six Libyan males. The three survivors also reported to IOM that their 12-meter dinghy, which left directly from the beach and not from a dock, started taking on water after about 10-11 hours of navigation, due to high waves.

At one point, when a migrant navigating the boat took a phone to call for help, the survivors reported that agitation and a wave of unrest spread rapidly among the people on board, who feared return to Libya. They said they would have preferred dying instead.

IOM noted late Monday that the commercial cargo vessel Lady Sham had returned 144 rescued migrants to Libya, while it remains unclear from where these individuals departed from, and when. IOM staff counted among the rescued 26 women—some of whom are pregnant—and four children. IOM understands most of these individuals have been taken into custody, but it cannot confirm that all have been. IOM staff today will continue to monitor their condition.

IOM believes the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration represented a landmark moment in the pursuit of international cooperation on migration for the benefit of all.  The Global Compact on Migration, as it is based on the principles safe, orderly and legal migration and can and should be the basis sharing the responsibility to address issues of irregular migration, especially the Mediterranean emergency, now in its seventh year.

Said Federico Soda, director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean in Rome: "Until Libya can be considered a safe port where protection is guaranteed, governments must establish a safe and orderly disembarking mechanism in the central Mediterranean.”

IOM Spain
IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that through Sunday (20 January) 3,429 men, women and children have arrived as irregular migrants this month, or more than the 1,400 arriving through all of January last year. Through this period, irregular migrant arrivals by sea to Spain are 70 per cent of all Mediterranean arrivals of this type; moreover, that total surpasses that of all arrivals of this type to Spain through the first three months of 2018, a period during which IOM reported 3,369 irregular migrant arrivals to Spain by sea (see chart 2).

IOM Greece
IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou said on Monday (21 January) that from Friday (18 January) to Monday, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Farmakonisi and of the port of Alexandroupolis. The HCG rescued a total of 78 migrants and transferred them to those spots.

Those 78 arrivals were among some 465 IOM recorded in the four days between 17 and 20 January arriving at the islands of Farmakonisi, Samos, Lesvos and Chios and bringing to 1,166 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year (see chart 8.b).

*Unofficial data collected by IOM Greece and the Greek authorities of arrivals by sea.

IOM Greece also provided new data breaking down the top nationalities of irregular migrants apprehended by Greek authorities as they attempted to enter Greek waters from Turkey and elsewhere (see charts below). Among the findings from the past year: although seizures at sea grew in number by almost 3,000 men, women and children (to 32,742 from 29,884), many traditional sender countries showed a sharp decline.
For example, the number of Syrian arrivals dropped to 7,697 individuals in 2018 from 12,311 in 2017. At the same time Afghanistan, which replaced Syria as the top the sender on this route in 2018, nearly tripled the number of its arrivals – to 9,601 from 3,491 – while the numbers from Iraq, the #3 sender nationality in both 2017 and 2018, remained remarkably equal: 5,818 in 2017 and 5,893 in 2018.

Nationalities that showed sharp increases in their arrival numbers include Cameroon, Somalia, Turkey and Palestine, all of whose arrivals more than doubled year-on-year, and Yemen, whose arrival numbers rose by about 70 per cent. Those nationalities whose arrival numbers dropped included the Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan and Algeria.
See chart 13.

As in years past, outliers continue to use the Aegean as a bridge to Europe, even if in many cases their numbers are quite small.  In 2018 nine Haitians were apprehended attempting this crossing, as were 16 nationals of the Dominican Republic. There were also 16 nationals of Myanmar, 15 from Nepal, six from Colombia and three from Zimbabwe.

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, MMP documented the deaths of two men on the US-Mexico border. On 16 January, a 28-year-old Mexican man was swept away by the currents of the Río Bravo while he tried to cross from the Mexican town of Díaz Ordaz, Tamaulipas, to La Joya, Texas. On the same day, but further north, the body of a 37-year-old Mexican man was retrieved from the Río Bravo by Mexican civil protection authorities near Jiménez, Coahuila. A resident of Ciudad Acuña, he had been reported missing by his family in December 2018.

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.
See chart 3.b.

See Recorded migrant death by region

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Kathmandu Valley Gets New Multipurpose Evacuation Centre

Tue, 01/22/2019 - 09:38

Lalitpur Metropolitan City – Bungamati, in Lalitpur Metropolitan City (historically known as Patan) is to get a multipurpose evacuation centre as part of a Thai-funded International Organization for Migration (IOM) programme to build eight evacuation centres in earthquake-affected districts of Nepal.

Speaking at a ground-breaking ceremony yesterday (21/1), UN Resident Coordinator for Nepal Valerie Julliand said that Nepal is among the 20 most disaster-prone countries in the world. “With recent disasters – the flooding of 2017 and the earthquake of 2015 – it is crucial for us to be prepared to provide humanitarian assistance to displaced populations and to build resilience for future disasters,” she noted. 

The 2015 earthquakes displaced approximately 2.8 million people. Some 117,700 people in the 14 worst-affected districts were forced to find shelter in makeshift camps. 2017 saw heavy rains resulting in flooding across 35 of Nepal’s 77 districts. Over 190,000 houses were destroyed or partially damaged, displacing tens of thousands of people and leaving many homeless.

“With the onset of any disaster or emergency, this earthquake-resistant centre will be used to provide shelter for displaced people, with priority given to the most vulnerable, including pregnant women, children, people with special needs and the elderly,” said IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Paul Norton.

“As a co-lead for camp coordination and camp management in humanitarian emergencies, IOM Nepal aims to contribute to the government’s efforts in disaster risk reduction and management. We are confident with this initiative at the local level that we will be able to help build the resilience of the community in Lalitpur Metropolitan City,” he added.

The centre will also serve as a venue for community activities, including women and youth groups, community-based training, recreational pursuits, adult literacy classes, information dissemination and income generating activities.

“This project is a symbol of friendship and cooperation between Thailand and Nepal. As we now celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Nepal, I would like to emphasize that Thailand will always stand by Nepal (to promote) closer bonds between the two countries and peoples,” said Royal Thai Embassy to Nepal Charge d’ Affaires Tanaphum Leelaporn.

The ground-breaking ceremony was also attended by senior officials from Nepal’s Home Ministry, Ministry of Urban Development, the District Office, UN, media, civil society organizations, students, youth and women’s groups, as well as the local community.

IOM plans to build similar multipurpose structures in seven other municipalities in earthquake-affected districts – Shankarapur, Kathmandu; Changunarayan, Bhaktapur; Gorkha Municipality, Gorkha; Neelkantha, Dhading; Gosainkunda Gaunpalika, Rasuwa; Chautara, Sindhupalchowk; and Bhimeswor, Dolakha. The project complements an ongoing UNDP project in the same areas.

For more information please contact Paul I. Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel: +977 1 4426250, Email: Or the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC), Tel: +977 1 4211673, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: NepalThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Thai, IOM and UN officials join Lalitpur Metropolitan Mayor Chiribabu Maharjan at a ground-breaking ceremony for the evacuation centre. Photo: IOM.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

International Organization for Migration reports some 170 missing migrants from two major shipwrecks of vessels leaving Africa for Europe over the last 48 hours

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 22:30

Geneva - Over 117 vulnerable migrants are believed to have perished in the winter waters of the Mediterranean Sea on Friday marking the second tragedy in just two days and bringing the total number of migrant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea to 200 through nearly three weeks of the new year.

News of this second dramatic shipwreck arrived with the rescue of three survivors who were interviewed by IOM staff Saturday on the island of Lampedusa.

IOM Rome's Flavio Di GIacomo explained that on Friday the Italian navy brought to Lampedusa two  Sudanese nationals who said they survived the sinking of an overloaded rubber boat that left Libya the previous day. A third survivor, from The Gambia, confirmed those details.

On Saturday IOM Staff working on the island spoke to the three men, who said that they were on a dinghy carrying 120 migrants, the majority coming from western African countries, 

The three survivors reported about 40 Sudanese nationals also were  on board, having left the Libyan

Port of Garabuli on Thursday night. The survivors said after about 10 hours at sea the dinghy started to take on water and many of its passengers drowned.

The three men managed to stay afloat for several  hours before being spotted by an Italian Navy patrol plane some 50 miles off the Libyan coast. Subsequently, they were rescued by an Italian Navy helicopter and brought to Lampedusa.

The survivors explained that among the people drowned were ten women, one known to be pregnant, and two children, incuding a 2 month-old toddler.

This information comes less than 24 hours after news was confirmed of a shipwreck off the coast of Spain in which 53 African migrants are believed to have drowned. There was one surviving witness of that tragedy, which occurred the night of 17 January

These were not the only rescue operations carried out in these last few days in the Mediterranean Sea, IOM Rome reported today. 

The NGO ship Sea Watch rescued another 47 migrants while two days ago 68 migrants were rescued by the Italian Coast Guard and brought to Lampedusa. All of these migrants had left from Libya bound for Europe.

IOM Libya Saturday also reported at least two search and rescue missions carried out by Lybian units which returned dozens of men, women and children to shore. IOM is also seeking information on those survivors.

With these latest shipwreck events the death toll registered by IOM in January on the Mediterranean has now reached a total of 200.

For more information please contact:

 Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Rome, Tel:  +3934 7089 8996 Email:

Joel Millman, IOM Geneva, Tel:+ 41 79 193 8720. Email:

Language English Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2019 - 22:23Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Migrant Voluntary Return and Reintegration Assistance Suspended in Mali

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 13:31

Bamako – IOM Mali has temporarily suspended assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) services for roughly 1,500 migrants to better assess their eligibility after evidence surfaced suggesting that attempts were being made to take advantage of this service.

“We identified that there was the potential for our humanitarian efforts to be exploited by people who were not entitled to assistance which undermines IOM’s ability to help truly vulnerable migrants who meet eligibility criteria,” said Michele Bombassei, IOM’s migrant protection and assistance specialist for West and Central Africa.

“We are reviewing hundreds of pending AVRR cases at our ad-hoc transit centres in Bamako and will resume our efforts once we are satisfied that the assistance is being provided to the people who are most in need.”

Since its launch in December 2016, the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration (Joint Initiative) has provided return and reintegration assistance to over 51,000 people stranded along the migratory routes from West and Central Africa to North Africa and Europe. Vulnerable migrants like these can request IOM’s assistance to return home in a voluntary, dignified and humane manner, and once there, access reintegration support.

In mid-November 2018, the IOM mission in Mali noticed an unprecedented peak in the number of returnees requesting help that did not match the typical flows of people across the Malian borders with Algeria and Mauritania.

In early January the Organization advised migrants sheltered at Bamako transit centres that their applications were being thoroughly reviewed to ensure they meet the Joint Initiative’s eligibility requirements.

IOM is working closely with the Malian Government, Civil Society and representatives from the relevant countries of origin to address the situation and ensure available resources are allocated to protect the most vulnerable.

IOM has four decades of experience managing AVRR programmes. Since the launch of the Joint Initiative in Mali in 2017, IOM has assisted 9,768 West African migrants mainly from Mali, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, the Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

For more information, please contact Florence KIM at IOM Regional office for West and Central Africa: email:; Tel. +221786206213.

Language English Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 - 13:28Image: Region-Country: MaliThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Since its launch in December 2016, the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration (Joint Initiative) has provided return and reintegration assistance to over 51,000 people stranded along the migratory routes from West and Central Africa to North Africa and Europe.  Photo: IOM

Since its launch in December 2016, the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration (Joint Initiative) has provided return and reintegration assistance to over 51,000 people stranded along the migratory routes from West and Central Africa to North Africa and Europe.  Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 4,216 in 2019; Deaths Reach 83

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 11:31

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 4,216 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 16 days of 2019, an increase that nearly doubles the total (2,365) arriving during the same period last year. Over the past three days (13-16 January) IOM reports arrivals to Spain more than doubled from 1,609 to 3,367 individuals.

Through mid-month, irregular migrant arrivals by sea to Spain are nearly 80% of all Mediterranean arrivals of this type; moreover that total nearly matches all arrivals of this type to Spain through the first three months of 2018, a period during which IOM reported 3,369 irregular migrant arrivals to Spain by sea.

Deaths on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through these first 16 days of January are at 83 individuals, compared with 199 deaths during the same period in 2018.

Language English Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 - 11:27Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Kuwait Renews Support for IOM’s Lifesaving Humanitarian Operations

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 10:15

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Director General António Vitorino welcomed the contribution made this week by the State of Kuwait during a meeting with Ambassador Jamal Al-Ghunaim, Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait, at the Organization's headquarters in Geneva. 

The Government of Kuwait contributed USD three million to fund IOM’s ongoing humanitarian response to the emergency in Syria in 2019. This marks the sixteenth straight year of donations to IOM from Kuwait, exemplifying the country’s continued commitment to IOM's global humanitarian interventions. 

"This contribution reflects Kuwait’s leading humanitarian and policy role in the Middle East and North Africa region, and in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Kuwait has become one of IOM’s biggest partners, contributing significantly to advancing migration governance,” said DG Vitorino. 

The funds will help save lives and improve the conditions of conflict-affected populations, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and returnees. 

Domestically, the Government of Kuwait has increased efforts in combating human trafficking, and in managing labour mobility. IOM continues to expand its technical support to the Government on programmatic areas, such as community cohesion and victim protection, through capacity building programmes.  

For more information, please contact Iman Ereiqat at IOM Kuwait, Tel: +965 9940 7996, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 - 17:04Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM’s Director General António Vitorino and Ambassador Jamal Al-Ghunaim met this week to mark the State of Kuwait’s sixteenth annual contribution to IOM’s humanitarian response. Photo: IOM/Tuna Dalkilic

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Appalled by Attack in Northeast Nigeria That Claimed Four Lives

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 21:05

Abuja - The International Organization for Migration is appalled by Monday’s attack in Rann town, Borno State, in northeast Nigeria, that claimed the lives of four internally displaced persons (IDPs) and badly damaged an IOM Humanitarian Hub.

The attack which began at around 16:00, is the third in Rann by non-state armed groups since March 2018 and serves as a reminder of the dire security situation faced by millions of people in northeast Nigeria.

“We are devastated to learn of this attack and the senseless loss of life,” said IOM Regional Director Richard Danziger.

Rann hosts 76,389 IDPs, who fled a continuing conflict which has displaced over two million people in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States in the past decade. For more details see 

All IOM staff have been reported safe however the attackers overran and severely damaged the Organization’s Humanitarian Hub, which was under construction. Hubs are instrumental in enabling the delivery of lifesaving humanitarian assistance to IDPs in the northeast of the country.

“We stand ready to provide humanitarian assistance and assess the situation as we obtain further details of the attack including the impact on the IDP and host communities, humanitarian personnel and facilities, and the level of risk,” said IOM Nigeria Emergency Coordinator Dave Bercasio.

For more information please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 906 273 9168, Email: or Florence Kim at IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +221 78 620 62 13, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 21:00Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Swept Up in Migration Surge, Children Struggle in Streets of Djibouti: IOM Report

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 10:37

Djibouti City – Imagine if your top work prospects included begging, scrubbing cars or shining shoes, selling yourself on the street for sex.  

Imagine too that one way of improving those prospects involved leaving your country and traveling hundreds of miles to work the streets of a teeming African city. Now imagine you’re 11 years old. 

Except that there is no need to imagine any of this. These are the realities of the 1,137 children the International Organization for Migration helped survey to complete a study on street children in Djibouti. 

The purpose of the study was to provide a diagnosis of the living conditions of these children in Djibouti city, the capital, and to provide recommendations. The study, Report On Street Children Living in Djibouti—”Etude Sur les Enfants en Situation de La Rue dans la Ville de Djibouti”-contributes to recent reporting by IOM concerning the robust movement of irregular migrants through the Red Sea region bound for Persian Gulf states including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. 

Last month IOM reported seaborne irregular migration to Yemen in 2018 would surpass the volume of similar migration to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. Those findings were featured in the report Mixed Migration in the Horn of Africa and the Arab Peninsula.  

In 2018, IOM recorded 150,000 migrant arrivals into Yemen, twenty per cent were minors. The long journey is often made by foot and exposes people on the move to dehydration, illness and human rights abuses, including trafficking. 

Djibouti might appear to be an unlikely place to sustain a population of foreign street children. But not when you consider that it is a major transit location for migrants, especially from Ethiopia, who seek to cross over to Yemen, and ultimately to the Arab Peninsula. 

The journey through Djibouti is grueling. Those with some money hitchhike. The rest might simply find themselves trapped, unable to get to the coast – for the cross-over into Yemen – through one of the driest and hottest places on earth. IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix recent report documents trends on this mixed migration route from the first half of last year.  

The population covered by the study was children aged 0 to 17 identified as living on the street. A total of 1,137 children were surveyed, including 633 children aged 0 to 9, including 195 girls (30.8%) and 504 children aged 10 to 17, of whom 64 (12.7%) were girls. One respondent reported working long hours in a restaurant—earning about USD 56 per month in the local currency—money he was able to remit back to family members in Ethiopia. 

The survey was conducted by the Ministry of Women and Family Affairs and the Directorate of Statistics and Demographic Studies (DISED), with assistance from IOM, the International Organization for Migration. 

A national consultant, Amina Saïd Chiré provided the literature review and the qualitative analysis, while DISED took charge of the quantitative survey and analysis. Providing technical support was an international consultant, Michel Poulain. 

The purpose of the quantitative survey was to enumerate the street children, to understand how and why they end up on the streets and to identify their priority problems. It was conducted in the urban agglomeration of Djibouti which has the majority of street children in the country.  

During the opening ceremony of the study’s validation workshop recently, the Minister of the Interior, Hassan Omar Mohamed Bourhan, thanked the European Union for supporting the study, and insisted on the need to identify all street children in Djibouti to better protect them. 

Minister of Women and Family Affairs, Moumina Houmed Hassan, reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to tackling the issue head on through the implementation of five measures, namely: the creation a coordination platform; the reinforcement and development of reception facilities; the establishment of an identification system; the definition of basic minimum service; and the development of a national protection strategy.

“When I was twelve, I walked for one month and two days from Ethiopia to Djibouti. I survived on the food that was given to me by strangers. I thought there would be more work in Djibouti. I am willing to do anything here – wash cars, clean windows – but I rarely find any jobs.” – 16-year-old boy 

“I came here four years ago when I was twelve. I was living with my grandmother in Ethiopia who had nothing and could not afford to send me to school. I heard from my friends that life is better here so I took the train the border. Then I walked for five days through open land. There were a lot of difficulties. I was beaten, hungry and thirsty. When I arrived, I found a family who I worked for four years, cleaning and cooking for them. When they stopped paying, I left to live on the street. I sleep on the beach and have not been able to find any work. I want out of this life. But I have nowhere to go” -17-year old girl 

“I came here with my mother, but when she moved on to work in Saudi Arabia, I stayed here. I have not seen her in eight years. She wanted to bring me with her but I was too scared to go. I wash cars to make money, but I dream of being a pilot one day and meeting my mom in Ethiopia. I don’t remember Ethiopia but I would like to go back one day.“ – 17-year-old girl

Funding for the study was provided by the European Union through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for the Protection and Reintegration of Migrants in the Horn of Africa. 

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused procedures and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. The project, backed by the EU Trust Fund, covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries.  

Head of Delegation of the European Union in Djibouti Ambassador Adam Kulach said the situation of street children was a tragedy that affected everyone. He said the problem would be the focus of the EU’s attention through the implementation of a EUR 2 million project for children in street situations in Djibouti. 

For more information, please contact: 
Hyewon Yi, Programme officer, IOM Djibouti, Tel: 253 2132 0450 Email: 
Julia Hartlieb, Senior Programme Officer, IOM Nairobi, Tel: +254 734 988 846, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 17:30Image: Region-Country: DjiboutiThemes: Migration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

Ethiopian migrant youth wake up on the beach in Djibouti City, where thousands live as street children. Photo credit: Muse Mohammed/IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Continued Winter Assistance Needed for Displaced and Vulnerable Iraqis: IOM

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 10:29

Erbil – As winter temperatures set in, accompanied by winds and rain, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Iraq has completed the three-month distribution of 25,000 winter non-food item kits. Consisting of heaters, blankets and jerry cans, the kits meet the most urgent needs of 150,000 vulnerable individuals across the country. 

IOM’s winterization assistance reached 13,000 displaced households in camps, thousands of displaced families in informal settlements, and thousands of others who have returned to their home communities. 

“Although displaced households are continuing to return to their home communities, those remaining in camps or informal settlements are often the most vulnerable and have little to protect themselves against the cold winter conditions,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Iraq Chief of Mission. 

In partnership with local governmental authorities, IOM prioritized distributions in hard-to-reach or insecure areas where other humanitarian partners are not present, such as in communities bordering Syria and in Qayrawan and Hatra, in Ninewa governorate.  

Of the 1.8 million persons who remain displaced as a result of the conflict with ISIL, over 500,000 are in camps and 140,000 live in critical shelter arrangements (informal settlements, schools or religious or abandoned buildings). More than four million people previously displaced have returned to their homes since mid-2015, but many continue to live in precarious conditions. 

As people return home, many have found their personal belongings stolen and their houses damaged. With massive destruction in areas of return and limited economic opportunities, returnee households are exposed to the harsh effects of winter and are unable to afford items to cope with the cold. 

The provision of humanitarian assistance in areas of return is therefore critical to support the reintegration of returning displaced families and other vulnerable households in conflict-affected communities. 

“After being displaced for a year and a half in the city of Kirkuk, we returned to our village, which was destroyed by ISIL. Everything was damaged, including our house and shop, which was our only source of income. We had to start our life from scratch, while our deteriorating financial condition and cold weather forced us to use firewood as a heating source during the chilly winter nights. We are very happy to receive these items, now we will have a heater to stay warm," said Nora, a mother of four children, at a distribution in Al Abassi district, Kirkuk governorate. 

“Despite the success of this winter response operation, we are extremely concerned for the many Iraqis who remain in displacement who will have to endure another harsh winter in camps and in sub-standard shelters,” said Alberto Preato, Head of IOM Iraq’s Preparedness and Response Unit. 

“This year we are piloting innovative approaches to housing reconstruction and cash-based humanitarian assistance to enable displaced families return to their home communities,” he continued. 

IOM’s winter non-food item kits are funded by the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). 

As more displaced families attempt to return home, IOM remains committed to supporting the Government of Iraq to seek durable solutions for vulnerable displaced persons and address needs of conflict-affected communities throughout the country.  

For more information please contact: Sandra Black in IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 17:25Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Vulnerable displaced and returnee families in Iraq received winter non-food item kits to provide warmth in cold weather. Photo: IOM/Anjam Rasool

Razvan Sultan | IOM Senior Emergency Programme Assistant 
Continued Winter Assistance Needed for Displaced and Vulnerable Iraqis 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 2,200 in 2019; Deaths Reach 16

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 10:25

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 2,200 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 13 days of 2019, a slight increase over the 1,915 arriving during the same period last year. Deaths on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost two weeks of the new year are at 16 individuals, compared with 194 deaths during the same period in 2018.  At this point in 2017 a total of 1,159 irregular migrants or refugees had landed in either Greece, Spain or Italy after crossing the Mediterranean, and IOM had recorded a total of 12 deaths. 

The sharp spike in deaths at this time last year was due to a spate of shipwrecks off Libya. A year ago, IOM reported that Libyan Navy sources on 9 January confirmed at least 100 migrants remained missing in the third deadly shipwreck on the Mediterranean Sea since 6 January. IOM had already reported that day a total of 81 Mediterranean Sea deaths of migrants or refugees were recorded in the first eight days of the year.  

Five of those deaths were in Western Mediterranean waters off Spain and Morocco. The rest – 76 with a possibility of many more – were recorded in the waters between Italy and Libya. In that last incident on the Central Mediterranean route, three rubber boats with 279 migrants (19 women, 243 men, 13 boys and four girls) were rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard, whose rescue operation lasted at least 12 hours. 

Most recently, the remains of five people were recovered by the Libyan Red Crescent on the shores of Sirte, Libya on 13 January 2019. IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) team is verifying additional reports of bodies washing up on Libyan shores since 2 January.  

On the Western Mediterranean route, the remains of a man thought to be a migrant were discovered near Cabo de Sabinar, in Spain’s southern province of Almería, on 5 January. This is the third body recovered on Spanish shores this year which is not connected to any known shipwreck. In Nador, Morocco, the remains of a woman were recovered from waters near Beni Ensar on 11 January, along with six survivors suffering from severe fuel burns.  


IOM Italy 

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Monday noted that according to official Ministry of Interior figures, 53 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy as irregular arrivals through the first 13 days of 2019. That’s a decrease of 93.7% over the same period last year (see chart 1). 


IOM Spain 

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that through Sunday (13 January) 1,609 men, women and children have arrived as irregular migrants this month, or more than the 1,400 arriving through all of January last year (see chart 2). 


IOM Greece 

IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou reported on Monday that since 11 January the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) disclosed one incident requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Kos. The HCG rescued a total of 13 migrants and transferred them to that island.  

Those 13 arrivals were among 139 IOM recorded in the four days between 10 and 13 January and bring to 489 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year (see chart 8.b). 


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. 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 21 people (see chart below).  

In addition to the deaths recorded on the Mediterranean, on 11 January a 26-year-old man of unidentified nationality was hit by a car when he was walking on the side of the 515 Highway connecting Caen and Ouistreham, France. Ouistreham is a port city in France’s province of Normandie with a cross-Channel ferry service to Portsmouth, UK.  In 2018 IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reported there were 43 migrant deaths caused by vehicular accidents on Europe’s highways, and 12 more at various railway points. 

In Mexico, Missing Migrants Project recorded the deaths of two individuals. In Mexico’s southern province of Veracruz, a 33-year-old man from El Salvador lost his life in a vehicle accident on 12 January. A day later (13 January), the Honduran Government reported the death of a 23-year-old Honduran national in a hospital in Saltillo, Coahuila. He was critically injured after being hit by a freight train several weeks before, on his journey north to the United States. There were 39 train-related deaths of migrants in Mexico last year.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 17:20Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Urgent Humanitarian Assistance Needed for Migrant Workers Displaced by Clashes in Northern Chad

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 09:19

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Chad requires USD 1.2 million to urgently assist more than 950 migrants and Chadian nationals displaced by inter-communal fighting around two gold mines near the Libyan border at the end of December (27-28/12).  

The Organization anticipates more will flee the ongoing instability, with estimates for the coming days of another 1,200 people, who are expected to travel south from Zouarke to Faya-Largeau. Recent clashes have led to at least 30 deaths, according to media reports, with another 400 injured, according to local authorities. 

IOM is one of the few organizations present in Faya-Largeau. It offers community stabilization programmes and medical and psychosocial support to migrants in the town of approximately 20,000 which has traditionally served as a hub for Chadian nationals and African traders transiting for commerce, or on circular migration routes linking Chad, Niger, Sudan and Libya. 

The community lacks adequate resources to respond to the humanitarian needs of the recently displaced migrants.  

IOM officials say emergency funding will allow IOM to provide health assessments, assist stranded migrants and displaced Chadians to voluntarily return to their communities or countries of origin, as well as support authorities dealing with the emergency. 

“The migrants were surprised by the conflict and fled without even taking a blanket or money to pay for their homeward transportation,” said Daoud Hamat Bechir, Governor of Borkou Province. 

Chad is a key transit country on the northbound Central Mediterranean Route, as well as a destination country for many migrant workers. Since 2012, migrant workers from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal and Sudan, among other countries, have been drawn to gold mining areas in northern Tibesti. 

Through all of 2018, IOM assisted 120 vulnerable migrants seeking voluntary return to their countries of origin. IOM operates three Flow Monitoring Points (FMPs) to track displacement and migration trends in northern Chad. An average of 571 individuals transited through IOM’s Flow Monitoring Points in Faya-Largeau and Kalait daily in November 2018. 

Since 27 December, however, movement has been limited. Authorities estimate that 1,800 people – migrants and Chadians – who fled seeking protection, are currently stranded in or around Miski, and between Guizindi, Houm and Wour. 

Furthermore, IOM Chad supports the government to develop informed and responsive policies and programmatic responses to migration challenges, border management, diaspora engagement and counter-trafficking initiatives. For years, IOM Chad’s core activities have been focused on community stabilization and emergency support for displaced and returning Chadians. 

IOM operations are made possible through the support of the Federal Republic of Germany, the European Union Trust Fund, IOM’s Global Assistance Fund and IOM’s Humanitarian Assistance to Stranded Migrants Fund. 

For more information, please contact Anne Kathrin Schaefer at IOM Chad, Tel: +235 60281778, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, January 11, 2019 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: ChadThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the migrant gold miners who needed assistance after Chad halted activities in two of the country’s major gold mining areas in 2018. Photo: IOM

Gold nuggets mined in Chad. Photo: Facebook

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

30,000 Irregular Migration Deaths, Disappearances Between 2014-2018: IOM Report

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 09:19

Berlin – At least 30,510 people died during irregular migration between 2014 and 2018, the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Missing Migrants Project reports. More than 19,000 deaths and disappearances were recorded due to drowning, not only in the Mediterranean Sea, but also in the Rio Grande, the Bay of Bengal, and many other overseas routes. 

Due to the lack of official sources of information on deaths during migration, and the corresponding lack of detail on most of those who die during migration, these figures are best understood as a minimum estimate.  

Nearly half of the five-year total fatalities of at least 14,795 men, women and children were recorded on the Central Mediterranean route between North Africa and Italy. The Missing Migrants Project estimates that there were at minimum 17,644 lives lost at sea on all three trans-Mediterranean routes in the last five years, equivalent in these five years to roughly ten times the number of people who drowned when the luxury liner Titanic sank in 1912. 

Deaths recorded during migration throughout Africa comprise the second-largest regional total of the 30,000 deaths recorded since 2014, with 6,629 fatalities recorded since 2014. Nearly 4,000 of those deaths occurred in Northern Africa, where a lack of reliable data and extensive anecdotal reports indicate that many more migrants have died than are recorded. 

In Asia, where data are similarly scarce, the deaths of more than 2,900 people were recorded during migration, including 2,191 in Southeast Asia and 531 in the Middle East. 

At least 2,959 people died migrating in the Americas in the last five years, more than 60 per cent of whom (at least 1,871) lost their lives on the border between Mexico and the United States. More than 1,000 deaths were recorded in the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean between 2014 and 2018, although the difficulty in obtaining reliable reports – particularly at sea or through remote jungle areas – means that the true number of migrant deaths is likely far higher. 

“Irregular migration poses significant risks to those who undertake such journeys, and safe legal pathways are urgently needed so that fewer people resort to this option,” said Dr. Frank Laczko, director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC). “Even though many focus on the Mediterranean, the truth of the matter is that people die on migratory routes worldwide.”  

The main causes of death recorded in the Missing Migrants Project dataset speak to the hazardous transportation and natural conditions that migrants encounter when they travel irregularly. In addition to the 19,000+ deaths and disappearances recorded due to drowning, another 3,800 individuals died due to harsh natural conditions en route – including exposure, dehydration, and exhaustion – or due to sickness combined with lack of access to medicines.   

For more than 2,000 individuals, cause of death remains unknown. For many people, their remains were recovered days, weeks or months after they died en route – often rendering it impossible for authorities to determine a cause of death. The bodies of many more are neither discovered nor recovered. In the Mediterranean, reports from shipwreck survivors indicate that, conservatively, 11,500 have been lost at sea over the last five years – whose remains have never been found. 

Little is known about the identities of the 30,510 deceased recorded by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project in the past five years. Information on age and gender is available for just over one in four individuals: nearly 1,600 of the dead were children, 1,700 were women, and just over 5,000 were men. Similarly, the country of origin is available for less than half of the deceased recorded between 2014 and 2018.  

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 migrant deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.  

For more information contact IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre:  Julia Black, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:; Kate Dearden, Tel: +49 30 278 778 32, Email:; or Marta Sanchez, Tel: + 49 30 278 778 28, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, January 11, 2019 - 16:10Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Missing Migrants Global Overview: Jan 2014 - Dec 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

E-Campus Offers Free Online Learning Platform on Migration

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 09:19

San José – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has begun 2019 with the launch of E-Campus, a free online learning platform on migration. E-campus provides an opportunity for government officials, civil society, students, academics and anyone interested in updating their knowledge in human mobility. 

The E-Campus online learning tool, which was initially created as the Migration Learning Platform (PAM, by its acronym in Spanish), already has thousands of users. Most courses can be completed within three to five hours, with an IOM certificate awarded at the end.  

The platform can be accessed here:   

Currently, E-Campus has more than 20 courses in Spanish, English, and French. The languages on offer depend on the course and will be expanded over time. All courses are facilitated by experts and specialized institutions with broad, updated content covering diverse topics such as migration management, attention to migrants in conditions of vulnerability, LGBTI migrant populations, human trafficking and labour migration, among others. 

According to the International Journal of Information and Education Technology (2018), some of the benefits of e-learning include more immediate feedback for students, improvements in performance and encouragement of high thinking skills, that is, analysis, evaluation, and creation.  

“The world is changing, and solutions must adapt. E-Campus is an excellent migration learning tool which is easy to access and is laden with high-level content. Also, it is an opportunity for other organizations to conduct courses on common issues, in coordination with IOM,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean. 

The platform was first piloted at the regional level, within the framework of the IOM Regional Migration Programme: Mesoamerica-Caribbean, with more than 6,000 students completing a course between 2015 and 2018. 

For more information, please contact Alexandra Bonnie at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: ++ 506 2212 5304, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, January 11, 2019 - 16:03Image: Region-Country: Costa RicaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

More than 6 ,000 students completed an E-Campus course between 2015 and 2018, during pilot in Latin America. Photo: IOM / Marcela Cerdas

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Welcomes Malta’s Safe Harbour and EU Solidarity for Sea Rescue Survivors, Appeals for Swifter, Reliable Solutions

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 10:26

Floriana/Rome/Brussels The International Organization for Migration (IOM) commends the Maltese authorities for providing a safe port for the disembarkation of the 49 migrants rescued by the Sea Watch 3 and Sea Eye boats. IOM also notes the contribution of those EU Member States that have agreed to step up and operationalize EU solidarity, as well as the European Commission for its role in coordinating the agreement.

This joint action strengthens the recognition that front-line states are not solely responsible for the reception of rescued migrants and that greater solidarity is needed to address this issue.

IOM recognizes the tireless life-saving search and rescue work conducted in the Mediterranean by front-line states and NGOs, and reiterates its position that the swift disembarkation of rescued migrants to places of safety is a legal and moral priority.

Events of the last few weeks demonstrate the urgent need to reduce risks and move beyond ad hoc arrangements to a more predictable disembarkation mechanism and reliable post-arrival solidarity solutions in line with the joint IOM-UNHCR proposal of 2018.

Since July 2018, IOM has provided support with the transfer of migrants and refugees from Malta to Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands and remains ready to support the continuing relocation efforts.

For more information please contact Eliza Fenech-Khan in Floriana, Malta, Tel: +356 213 74613, Email:; Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:; or Ryan Schroeder, IOM Regional Office for the EU,  Tel: +32 2 287 7116, Email:


Language English Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2019 - 17:17Image: Region-Country: BelgiumItalyMaltaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Photo: AFP

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Addresses Protection Needs of Internally Displaced Somalis

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:36

Baidao – Tens of thousands of drought and conflict displaced Somalis received shelter materials and non-food item (NFI) kits distributed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Somalia last month. 

The distribution of basic necessities like kitchen sets, blankets, jerry cans, plastic sheeting, wood and tools to 8,560 internally displaced families in 153 camps began on 11 December.

The materials will improve the people’s living conditions and address their protection, peace and development needs, with a particular emphasis on women and children, by allowing them to create a safer, more dignified existence.

“This assistance has allowed us to recover some household items and to reinforce our shelter which has improved our living conditions,” explained Halimoa, a mother of three.

An estimated 252,000 families are living in 371 camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) across Baidao, 250km northwest of the capital Mogadishu. Many have been displaced for years due to drought and conflict in the region.

IOM utilizes a network of community outreach teams to evaluate and communicate the urgent needs of camp residents.

“Due to the lack of lighting in IDP sites many residents were afraid to go out at night, but after the distribution of NFI kits with solar lanterns we have seen improved conditions and less fear among the population,” said Ali, one of the outreach leaders.

The distribution was funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). The programme aims to reach 7,700 families living in IDP camps across Somalia.

For more information please contact the IOM Somalia Programme Support Unit, Tel: +254 715 990 600, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 11:35Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Photo: IOM/Muse Mohammed

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Podcast Series, #9: Migrant Rights and Your Rights

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:24

New York – Migration is one of the great challenges of our time. The worldwide numbers have increased by almost 50 per cent since 2000. 

In late December 2018, the UN General Assembly took a major step forward, voting to endorse the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

This vital agreement sets up nearly two dozen objectives and is aimed at reducing human suffering and boosting cooperation among nations on how to manage legal migration. 

"Because migration is such a complex issue, you can't just regulate it with one set of rules at an international level," Kristina Touzenis, head of the International Migration Law Unit at IOM tells us. "There are different types of migrants."

The debate over rights for migrants is part of a much broader conversation about the strength of democracy. "Most people don't realize how dangerous it is to allow a certain section of the population to be denied their rights, because with this, sooner or later, it will be legitimate to deny all our rights," she says.

In this episode, our podcast host Tolu Olubunmi shares some of her personal story as a Dreamer and a migrant. Born in Nigeria, Tolu came to the United States when she was a teenager. "Along the way I had lost my immigration status and had become undocumented: shrouded in fear and hidden in the shadows."

We hear Tolu's brave story of how she came out of the shadows to advocate for the rights of migrants. 

Listen here.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 11:20Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: OthersDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Grim Milestone as Migrant Deaths, Disappearances Top 4,000 for Fifth Consecutive Year

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:18

Berlin - For the fifth consecutive year more than 4,000 people are believed to have died or gone missing on migratory routes across the globe, the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports. 

While final data collection for 2018 is still being compiled from several jurisdictions, at least 4,592 migrants reportedly died or disappeared during their journeys, down 20 per cent from the previous year, and over 8,000 in 2016. 

Half (2,297) of those people were among the more than 116,000 migrants known to have arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean. There are few reliable sources of information about deaths and disappearances due to the clandestine nature of irregular migration so the data collected in some regions, particularly the desert approaches to Mediterranean crossing routes, are incomplete. 

Underlining the perils involved in those movements, multiple tragedies on all three Mediterranean routes in the final two weeks of the year claimed the lives of at least 23 people including two children; 31 others are reported missing. 

The coast guards, navies and rescue agencies of several nations, non-governmental groups running rescue operations and a US-flagged cargo vessel together reportedly rescued at least 135 migrants at sea in the final two weeks of the year. 

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 more information please contact Leonard Doyle  at IOM Headquarters, Tel: +41 22 717 9589, Mobile: +41 79 285 71 23, Email:; or Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Email:,  Mobile: +49 30 278 778 27.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 11:01Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Photo: IOM Archive.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Sierra Leone, USAID To Train Thousands of Health Workers on Infection Prevention and Control

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 10:09

Freetown – On Wednesday (19/12), 100 health care professionals graduated from Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) training courses at a ceremony in Bo, Sierra Leone – held in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Njala University.

During the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone in 2014, more than 400 health care workers perished from the disease while providing life-saving assistance to infected patients.

Communities throughout Sierra Leone continue to struggle with significant health challenges and diseases, including malaria, cholera, typhoid, STIs/HIV/AIDS, respiratory tract infections, Lassa fever, maternal and child mortality, and tuberculosis.

Graduates leave the training programme with sound knowledge of IPC practices that will protect themselves, their patients and their communities during future outbreaks as well as prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

“After years of implementation in Sierra Leone, coordinating with the health system to strengthen our interventions, this project is proof of a dynamic collaboration between partners to achieve standard IPC short courses at Njala University; this is a great achievement,” said Jasmine Riley, USAID Project Coordinator.

Since January 2018, 11 certified professors delivered 10-day clinical and five-day non-clinical courses at Njala University’s three campuses—Mokonde, Kowama and Towama. Mobile teams of instructors travelled to 15 schools, reaching additional students in Bo, Bonth, Kailahun, Kenema, Makeni and Tonkolili. In total, more than 3,000 successful students will receive a certificate of merit from Njala University by the end of 2019.

In October 2016, USAID granted the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) USD 3 million for the Establishment of Infection Prevention and Control Short Courses and Mobile Training project to strengthen the health care system in the country. The project aimed to deliver static and mobile training to 3,240 students; and establish IPC simulation skills and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) laboratories.

Wednesday’s event celebrated the collaborative success of USAID, IOM, Njala University and MoHS in the joint achievement of all the project’s objectives, as well as the progress made by the Government of Sierra Leone in strengthening the capacity of health care workers.

For more information, please contact at IOM Freetown, Sanusi Savage: +232 99606000, Email: and Dr James Bagonza, +232 99606005, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, December 21, 2018 - 12:25Image: Region-Country: Sierra LeoneThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Nursing students at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Services at the IOM Infection Prevention and Control Training in Freetown. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Global Mayors Unite in Support of Human Mobility, Migration and Development

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 10:07

New York – On 17 December, the Marrakech Mayoral Declaration “Cities Working Together for Migrants and Refugees” was presented to the United Nations General Assembly to adopt the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) that took in New York. This event was the culmination of a series of actions which began on 8 December, when over 150 mayors and city leaders from across the globe gathered in Marrakech to participate in the 5th Mayoral Forum on Human Mobility, Migration and Development. 

This year’s Mayoral Forum focused on “City Leadership in Implementing the UN Global Compacts”. The Mayoral Declaration, adopted during the Forum, was also presented at the Intergovernmental Conference to adopt the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) on 10-11 December in Marrakech.

The Marrakech Mayoral Declaration calls for the full and formal recognition of the role of local authorities in the implementation, follow-up and review of both Global Compacts, recalling that they are at the forefront of managing the impact of migration as well as the promotion of inclusive, safe and sustainable societies, as migration remains primarily an urban and local phenomenon.

“There is no delivery of a GCM if cities do not deliver,” said Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol.

During the forum, IOM Director General António Vitorino stated: “in an increasingly urbanised world, we should be connecting migration and urbanisation policies as is called for the in New Urban Agenda and that the right to the city should also apply to migrants if we are to leave no one behind.”

“Cities and local governments are not only instances that react to migration flows and implement measures enacted by other levels of government. They are your partners,” stated Valérie Plante, Mayoress of Montreal, to the participants of the GCM conference.

“Cities and local and regional authorities have a key role to play in the implementation of both Global Compacts with cities also acting as the linchpin that can bring all necessary actors together from civil society to the private sector in order to ensure a whole-of-society impact,” stressed Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Mayors made commitments with respect to the implementation, follow-up and review of both GCM and GCR, and to future engagement within the framework of the Mayoral Mechanism that will be launched during the 2019 Global Forum on Migration and Development in Ecuador.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is the first-ever negotiated global agreement on a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions. Emphasizing the principle of shared responsibility among countries of origin, transit and destination, it provides a roadmap for improved governance of international migration through innovative solutions, increased commitments from States, and a renewed focus on multi-stakeholder partnerships.

The 5th Mayoral Forum was co-organized by the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) of the World Bank, the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the government of Morocco, with the participation of the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and Cities Alliance. The Mayoral Forum has been made possible by the financial support of the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC).

The Marrakech Mayoral Declaration is available in French, Spanish and English.

For more information please contact:
Maurizio Busatti at IOM HQ, Email:
Cécile Riallant at IOM HQ, Email:
Colleen Thouez at the Open Society Foundations, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, December 21, 2018 - 12:20Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Global Compact on MigrationIOMDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN