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Updated: 1 hour 59 min ago

Skills2Work Promotes Labour Market Integration for Beneficiaries of International Protection in the EU

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 09:44

Brussels – On 29 and 30 November IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and its project partners organized the closing event of the Skills2Work project.

Funded by the European Commission, Directorate-General Migration and Home Affairs (DG Home), and implemented with 11 regional partners, the Skills2Work project aims to facilitate labour market integration and participation of Beneficiaries of International Protection (BIPs) by promoting the early validation of formal and informal skills and competences.

This is achieved by supporting the reception framework and capacities of relevant authorities, service providers and employers, and by enhancing access to information and services regarding the recognition of skills and qualifications of refugees. 

“It is important to intervene early in the asylum process to build on the motivation of asylum seekers in order to provide them with language courses, first integration measures and further advice for a successful entry on the labour market,” said Laurent Aujean, Policy Officer at the European Commission, DG Home.

A job facilitates the socio-economic integration of refugees, and as such, increases the social cohesion within the society.

Fares Al Qadi, Event Manager at the Refugee Company, shared his views during the event: “When you are in a new place, the best thing you can do is to meet new people and build a network… Integration is an ongoing process, not like a test that you fail or pass. Some people are born with a head start, I was born with the opposite."

Director of the IOM Regional Office for the European Economic Area Eugenio Ambrosi further underlined that “successful integration is essential for all stakeholders, not only in terms of the benefits gained from migration, but also for the well-being of migrants and the security, stability and social harmony and prosperity of society as a whole.”

The foundation of the project was laid by IOM at the beginning of January 2016 with the establishment of a European network of experts, municipalities, interest groups, employers and academics. The Skills2Work project is active until 28 February 2018 in nine EU countries: Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom.

During the event in Brussels, the project partners and beneficiaries shared successful initiatives from the project, best practices and challenges. 

IOM Netherlands Chief of Mission Martin Wyss outlined the concrete outcomes of the project which include a dedicated website with procedures and information about employers in the participating EU countries; a booklet with success stories of refugees and employers; a video clip highlighting the skills and talents that migrants bring to European economies; and a set of best practices and recommendations for enhancing the validation and recognition of skills and competences.

Seventy participants took part in the event, representing various organizations based in the nine participating Member States, including migrant support organizations, refugees, the private sector, the European Commission, local municipalities, government representatives, academic institutions and start-ups.

For more information on the project and on the event, please contact Marian Lenshoek, IOM The Netherlands, Email:, Tel: +31 70 31 81 500.

Language English Posted: Friday, December 1, 2017 - 16:28Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Ajmal (Afghanistan), general assistant of a Red Cross Reception Center (Jette, Belgium), and his employers, Farid and Chloé. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Skills2Work participating missions and project partners. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Central American Conference on Migration Focuses on Migrant Women

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 09:43

El Salvador – The 12th Annual Meeting of the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM), which brought together vice ministers of Foreign Affairs and senior officials from Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and the United States, concluded yesterday (30/11) in El Salvador.

This year, on the initiative of the Pro Tempore Presidency held by the Government of El Salvador, the discussions focused on the needs of migrant women. The delegates also discussed the progress made by the countries in combatting trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling, as well as the position of the Governments in the region towards the Global Compact for Migration (GCM).

During the opening ceremony, the Foreign Minister of El Salvador, Hugo Martinez, referred to the goals set by El Salvador’s Pro Tempore Presidency, in an effort to ensure that negative and positive effects of female migration are addressed from a comprehensive, specific and inclusive approach. He invited delegates to consolidate their work on behalf of migrants within the countries of origin and separate migration issues from the concept of security.

The Deputy Foreign Minister for Salvadorans Abroad, Liduvina Magarin, drew attention to the importance of responding to the needs of migrant women, as they are vulnerable not only by being migrants, but also due to the several risks associated with gender-based violence.

The topic of migrant women is particularly important within this region, as several studies conducted in countries of Central America, indicate that approximately 52 per cent of the inward remittances in Central America are sent by women.

The RCM is an intergovernmental forum established in 1996 to support the dialogue on migratory issues and the exchange of ideas and experiences for joint reflection and cooperation on the issues of common interest of the participating countries.

Since 2009, IOM hosts the Technical Regional Secretariat of the RCM, and this year the relationship between the two bodies was strengthened with the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding, by which Member States of the RCM requested IOM to exercise administrative control over the resources of the intergovernmental forum.

The meeting was also attended by ICRC, ILO, UNHCR, UNICEF and WHO high-level representatives, as well as by representatives of the Regional Network of Civil Organizations for Migration. Other multilateral organizations such as the Central American Integration System also participated in the event.

At the end of the meeting, the Pro Tempore Presidency was assumed by the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama, Luis Miguel Hincapié, who announced that next year the RCM will work in favour of the “SDGs and migration governance”, to ensure that proper migration management contributes effectively to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda.

The RCM is one of the 16 regional consultative processes on migration available around the globe. Regional consultative processes on migration (RCPs) bring together representatives of states, international organizations and, in some cases, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for informal and non-binding dialogue and information exchange on migration-related issues of common interest and concern.

For further information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central, North America and the Caribbean, Tel. +506 2212 5300, Email

Language English Posted: Friday, December 1, 2017 - 16:27Image: Region-Country: El SalvadorThemes: Capacity BuildingGender and MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Representatives from 11 countries attended the 12th Annual Meeting of the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM).

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Experts Discuss Potential of Innovative Data Sources for Migration Analysis

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 11:53
Language English

Ispra, Italy –  A group of experts on big data and alternative data sources, including researchers, private sector representatives, policymakers and practitioners are gathering today (30/11) at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy to discuss the potential of Big Data and innovative data sources for migration analysis. The workshop is co-organized by the European Commission’s Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography (KCMD) and IOM’s Global Migration Data AnalysisCentre (GMDAC).

The workshop aims to review existing concrete applications of big data and other alternative data sources on migration, such as social media platforms and mobile phones, and identify those that hold the biggestpromise for enhanced understanding of migration-related aspects. As a matter of fact, migration data from traditional sources – such as national population censuses, household surveys and administrative sources – are all characterized by serious limitations,including lack of timeliness, coverage, accuracy and incompleteness, particularly in countries with limited resources for data collection and analysis. On the other hand, a small but rapidly growing number of studies and initiatives globally are turning thepotential offered by new technologies into reality, while raising a number of issues.

The workshop will discuss the possibilities offered by big data, but also the obstacles hindering more systematic uses of innovative data sources in the field of migration – namely issues of privacy and ethicaluse of data collected in real time without people’s informed consent; how to address the inherent bias in use of big data, given that users of internet-based platforms and mobile phones are not representative of the population at large; issues of access todata that are mostly held by private actors; and how to use insights gained from big data for informed policymaking on migration. It will also suggest pragmatic steps forward to enhance use of big data for migration analysis.

Outcomes of the workshop, including recommendations and interviews with some of the participants, will be posted on the GMDAC and KCMD website in due course.

Please follow the hashtag #bigdata4migration for live updates on Twitter.

For more information, please contact Marzia Rango at and Michele Vespe at

Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 18:50Image: Region-Country: ItalyDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Shattered Future: Sexual Violence and Child Exploitation in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 06:01

Democratic Republic of the Congo  - I rent a tent for five dollars a week, and pay 30 as a monthly fee to access an artisanal mining camp of more than 900 miners. To get there takes a two-hour climb from the nearest trading centre. I sleep with about six male workers, each of whom pays about three dollars per session. Sometimes a miner pays for an entire overnight session for five dollars. I have four children that I left with my mother in the provincial capital, which is about three hours’ drive from this site. Every month I spend three weeks on top of this hill providing sex services within the camp, then for a week I go check on the children and bring money for their upkeep...

This testimony of a sexually-abused woman represents the plight of many young girls that are sexually violated in thousands of artisanal mining zones in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Despite the international, regional and national due diligence guidelines and mechanisms such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk areas; the Regional Certification Mechanism (RCM) of the Great Lakes Region, sexual violence, labour exploitation and abuse against women and children continue to occur at an alarming rate in and around artisanal mining sites in the country.

A recent assessment by the Panzi Hospital in South Kivu, in collaboration with IOM, the UN Migration Agency, revealed escalating human rights violations and abuse against women and children who suffer in silence for fear of social apprehensions, reprisals, stigmatization and social exclusion. The study also highlights the concerning situation particularly of sexual violence against young women and girls leading to unwanted pregnancies and early parenthood.

Because of recurring conflict in the Eastern DRC, associated with deep-seated gender discrimination, harmful cultural practices and the low social status of women and children contribute to high rates of gender-based violence. Labour exploitation and abuse against women and children continue occurring at alarming rates particularly around remote mining sites where laws and rules are often disrespected, and poor work and social conditions prevail.

Despite national and international efforts to improve the justice system and build up the capacity of security forces, impunity remains the norm and justice the exception.

To address these human right violations of women and children in the mining areas and empower them to participate in social and economic systems without stigma and discrimination, IOM and the Panzi Foundation in the South Kivu are collaborating to find external support that will help the two organizations provide a holistic set of essential services targeting female sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) survivors and exploited children.

This could be done through provision of medical care, psychosocial support, economic reintegration, vocational and literacy training, legal support, and strengthening of civilian and

police and judicial systems for prevention and case referral system. Community awareness activities and information campaigns will use various communication approaches to promote rights and equity of women and children.

In a recent speech at a global meeting on natural resources, governance and human rights held in Dakar, Senegal, Dr. Denis Mukwege, the Medical Director of the Panzi Hospital and Foundation stated: “We can no longer continue to repair the consequences of violence without talking about its root causes.”

This story was shared by IOM DRC team.

Language English Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 12:57Image: Region-Country: Democratic Republic of the CongoDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM and the Panzi Foundation in the South Kivu are supporting victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) survivors and exploited children. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Focus on Global Compact for Migration as 108th IOM Council Gets Underway in Geneva

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 04:13

Geneva – The 108th IOM Council kicked off yesterday (27/11) at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland. Some 596 delegates representing IOM Member States and Observers, as well as new applicants for membership and observership, UN representatives, academia, private sector, migrants and civil society are attending the event.

Yesterday’s Council highlights included the IOM Director General’s report, the keynote presentation by Miroslav Lajčák, the President of the 72nd General Assembly on the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) and a statement from Louise Arbour, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for International Migration (SRSG).

In his report, IOM Director General William Lacy Swing referred to IOM’s response to the many challenges faced by migrants and internally displaced people today. “Since our last Council meeting a year ago, there has been a series of global developments that have accounted for the use of much of our time and energy and your resources,” said DG Swing. “We now have eight level-three humanitarian emergencies - the highest emergency level of the UN, including IOM’s role in the Rohingya crisis, the cholera outbreak in Yemen and nine armed conflicts from West Africa to the Himalayas,” he added.

Speaking of IOM’s new role as the UN Migration Agency, DG Swing highlighted the renewed interest of the media and the public in the Organization’s work, with journalists citing IOM more than ever before. “We have a seat at the table, a voice in the dialogue, and access to information and funding which we did not have before,” said DG Swing.

During her address, SRSG Arbour stressed that the GCM, which will be negotiated next year, is not the end point, but a living document, forward looking, flexible and adaptable that will be judged on its ability to deliver results.

Today (29/11), panellists are discussing, among other topics, collaboration through innovative partnerships on promoting migrant integration and social cohesion. This panel will be moderated by IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson, and will include a presentation from Canadian journalist and author, Doug Saunders, writer of Arrival City: How the Largest Migration in History is Reshaping Our World.

As part of the closing activities on Friday, the Migrants’ Voices session will feature testimonies from migrants who have returned to their countries of origin with assistance from IOM. Fabiola from Brazil and Augustine from Nigeria will speak about their experiences and share their success stories.

The Council is the highest authority of IOM, the UN Migration Agency which meets in regular session once a year and in special sessions at the request of one third of its members, the Director General or the Chairman of the Council in urgent circumstances.

For more information please contact: Jorge Galindo, IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179205 Email:

Language English Posted: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 11:12Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

Several member states and other representatives attend the 108th session of the IOM Council in Geneva, Switzerland.


Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency: Mediterranean Migrant Deaths Top 3,000 for 4th Straight Year

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 11:19

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Migration Agency, is reporting that a grim weekend of death has resulted in the confirmation of at least 3,000 migrant or refugee deaths on Mediterranean Sea routes through 26 November 2017, marking the fourth consecutive year that IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has reported this total.

Deaths across the Mediterranean since the October 2013 Lampedusa tragedy – a shipwreck that took the lives of over 360 victims – now have surpassed 15,000, or more than 50 per cent of all migrant and refugee deaths worldwide over these last four years.

“We’ve been saying this for years and we’ll keep on saying it: It’s no longer enough to simply count these tragic statistics. We must also act,” said William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, on Monday. “This latest news, coming on the heels of all we have learned of open slave markets in Libya, the deprivation we see of those held by smugglers en route to the Mediterranean coast, and the difficult conditions of Libyan detention centres, all demand our attention. We must end these practices and manage migration in a way that is safe, regular and secure for all.”

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project last week reported migration along the three main sea routes of the Mediterranean had left 2,993 victims through Friday, 24 November. Over the weekend IOM learned of at least eight deaths on the Western Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Spain as well of the death of a 10-year-old Afghan boy off the Greek island of Lesvos.  Also this past weekend IOM learned at least 31 migrants perished in an incident off Libya’s coastal city of Garabulli in a boat capsizing. It is believed that many migrants went missing.

“Horrifying news this weekend as more lives are lost at sea in their search for better life opportunities,” said Othman Belbeisi, Chief of Mission of IOM Libya. “More has to be done to reduce irregular, unsafe movements of people along the Central Mediterranean route.”

Today’s total of all known and suspected drownings stands at 3,033 through Sunday, 26 November – which translates as an average of nearly ten deaths per day since the first of January.

In recent years – including 2015, when total irregular traffic by migrants across the Mediterranean surged past one million men, women and children – the 3,000 fatality threshold was breached during the late summer season. In both 2014 and 2015 IOM recorded at least 3,000 sea deaths in the region during the second half of September. Last year, when 5,000 migrant deaths were recorded in the deadliest year on record, the 3,000 mark came on 20 July.

Dates when 3,000 migrant deaths were reached in previous years:

  • 2014: 21 September – 3,283
  • 2015: 25 September – 3,785
  • 2016: 20 July – 5,413
  • 2017: 26 November – 3,033*

*through 26 November

Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM Regional Director for the European Union, Norway and Switzerland warned that the continuing alarming rate of fatalities raises serious questions about the policy and measures currently in place. 

“People are still dying at sea in enormous numbers, even after years of seeing this happen repeatedly. We have to ask ourselves, why is this still happening?” Ambrosi said Monday in Brussels.  

“Rescue at sea needs to be more robust and well resourced, with a clear, life-saving mandate and better cooperation among all actors involved. But at the same time, the best way to save lives is to offer migrants a way around smugglers through safe and legal bridges to Europe,” he added.  

The UN Migration Agency reports that 163,979 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 26 November, with about 75 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 348,591 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

IOM Rome reported Monday (20 November) 116,632 migrants arrived by sea to Italy this year: about 32 per cent fewer than last year in the same period, although about 2,000 arrived in the past week (See chart below).

IOM’s Flavio Di Giacomo added 490 migrants were rescued over the weekend: 416 of them were travelling on a single wooden boat and were brought to Catania by the NGO ship Aquarius (SOS Mediterranée) on Monday. Among them were 409 Eritreans. Nearly half the migrants on board were women.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday total sea arrivals reached 19,421 through 27 November. Over the weekend, IOM learned of at least eight deaths on the Western Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Spain where remains of two victims were discovered near Tarifa and Barbate, in Cádiz (Spain) on 25 November while the Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras reported that six bodies had been recovered from Morocco’s shores over the weekend.

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Monday (27 November) news of at least five incidents off the islands of Lesvos, Rhodes and Chios Island that required search and rescue operations. The Hellenic Coast Guard managed to rescue the 266 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands. On Saturday, IOM learned of the death of a 10-year-old Afghan boy found on a boat off the Greek island of Lesvos, during a rescue of some 66 migrants by a Frontex vessel that same day. 

Some 15,492 men, women and children have entered Greece by sea from waters of the Eastern Mediterranean since 1 August, or more migrants (11,405) than entered during all of 2017’s first seven months. Namia further reported that 720 migrants or refugees entered Greece by sea during the dates 19-25 November, at about the same 100-per-day rate Greece has witnessed since mid-summer. Through 25 November, the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory is 26,897 (See chart below). 

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded the deaths of 5,124 people migrating in 2017, including at least 31 migrants who died – an unknown number still are missing – after their boat capsized off the coast of Garabulli, Libya, on Saturday (25 November). In the Western Mediterranean, the bodies of eight migrants were recovered. In the Eastern Mediterranean, a 10-year-old Afghan boy died of suffocation on board a boat carrying at least 66 people aiming to reach the Greek island of Lesvos on Saturday (25 November). These deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 3,033. That compares with 4,757 at this time a year ago (See chart below).

In the Caribbean, three Haitian migrants died in a vehicle accident last Wednesday (22 November) in a motorway in the department of Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic, shortly after crossing the border from Haiti. On the US/Mexico border, reports emerged of the death of an 18-year-old from Ecuador, Manuel Yunga, who drowned when crossing the Río Bravo on 21 September in Laredo, Webb County (Texas).

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic:

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit:

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email:
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail:
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Abby Dwommoh, IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile:  +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 ext 109, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 18:06Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Family Members Linked to Nearly Half of Child Trafficking: New IOM, Polaris Data

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 11:00

Geneva – Almost half of identified cases of child trafficking begin with some family member involvement, according to new data released by IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

These statistics, which are critical to human trafficking prevention efforts and the identification and protection of survivors, are based on data released by The Counter-Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC), the world’s first human trafficking data portal to include such data contributed by multiple agencies.

The extent of family involvement in the trafficking of children is up to four times higher than in cases of adult trafficking, suggesting the need for more prevention efforts specifically targeting children and their families. In addition, boys are more likely to be recruited by a family member than girls.

Children are most commonly trafficked into forced sexual exploitation, begging, and domestic work. The new data also show that children are most likely to be coerced into trafficking through physical, sexual and psychological abuse, while adults are more likely to be controlled having their documents confiscated, or having someone exploit their irregular status in a foreign country.

The CTDC is a new data portal initiated by IOM, in partnership with Polaris, a non-governmental organization that works to combat and prevent modern-day slavery and human trafficking, to host the world’s largest open access, multi-stakeholder repository of human trafficking data.

“Our Organization is taking a leading role in increasing the access to this critical information in order to strengthen counter-trafficking interventions,” said IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing.

“Modern slavery is a clandestine crime operating in the shadows as efforts to fight it are often based on only partial information. That’s why comprehensive data is essential, so we can put more targeted pressure on trafficking and reach more survivors so they can leave their exploitative situations. The CTDC is a leap forward to better illuminate the reality of modern slavery and facilitate coordinated efforts to combat it across borders,” said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris.

The CTDC is continuing to build partnerships with other counter-trafficking actors, with the NGO Liberty Asia being the newest contributor, bringing the total number of records of human trafficking cases hosted by the site to nearly 80,000 victims of 180 nationalities exploited in 117 countries. Further data is to be contributed by counter-trafficking partner organizations around the world in the coming months. The availability of such data for the first time is expected to have a large counter-trafficking impact.

These statistics related to child trafficking cases with family involvement are based on nearly 12,000 survivors of trafficking for which the information related to the recruitment process is known.

In response to these concerning statistics, IOM is calling for governments and other development and humanitarian partners to step up counter-trafficking interventions aimed at children, by:

  • Helping heads of household to make the best long-term plans for themselves and their family, which respect the agency and aspirations of their children. Where this includes the decision to migrate, it is important to tackle the root causes of unsafe migration as a survival strategy. Families should not feel compelled to send their children out into the world unsafe and unprepared. Children and their families should be equipped to identify and defend themselves against abusers and would be exploiters.
  • Enabling children to address their own vulnerabilities through helping them to identify potentially dangerous or exploitative situations, recognize unhealthy relationships that are not based on mutual respect, know where and how they may be able to receive support, and understand options available to them to pursue their aspirations.
  • Ensuring that protection and systems are accessible to all children, regardless of their migration status. Child protection systems should also act in the best interests of the child in all circumstances, including in the provision of solutions to bring sustainable resolutions of their cases.

More research is needed to better understand the specific risk and protective factors that make children vulnerable to human trafficking. The voices of children should be heard in the design, implementation and evaluation of services, policies and interventions and the legitimacy of their aspirations should be recognized.

To access the CTDC please click here. Data on the site are regularly updated so charts and data visualizations may not exactly match statistics in written analysis.

More information on IOM can be found here.

More information on Polaris can be found here.

CTDC is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Department of State. The contents are the responsibility of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of State or the United States Government.

For more information on the CTDC, please contact IOM HQ:
Harry Cook, Tel: +41227179111, Email:
Jorge Galindo, Tel: +41227179205, Email:

Brandon Bouchard, Tel: +1 202 790 6322, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 18:00Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia: 

“Our Organization is taking a leading role in increasing the access to this critical information in order to strengthen counter-trafficking interventions,” said IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing.  Photo: IOM/Amanda Nero

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Over 1,800 Rohingya Refugees Have Arrived in Bangladesh in Past Week as Violence Continues in Myanmar

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 10:58

Cox’s Bazar – In just three months an estimated 624,251 Rohingya refugees have crossed into Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, fleeing violence and oppression in Myanmar’s Northern Rakhine State. Of these, over 1,800 have arrived in the past seven days. This brings the total population of Rohingya seeking safety in the district to over 836,000. 

“Although the number of people arriving is far lower than the first few weeks of the crisis, hundreds of refugees continue to cross the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar daily,” said Andrew Lind, the UN Migration Agency (IOM)’s Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar. “People are still arriving in the settlements with horrifying accounts of physical and sexual abuse, harassment and murder. All of them fear for family members left behind in Myanmar,” he added.

A 30-year-old woman, who spoke to IOM on Monday (27/10), as she arrived in Balukhali settlement with her five children, said that she fled her village when it was burned to ground just seven days ago. She said that the people attacking the village were divided into two groups: one, which kidnapped people, and a second, which set villagers’ houses alight. “I saw them kidnap people with my own eyes, but I did not see where they took them,” she said.

After two days hiding in a nearby village, fearing further attacks in the area, she started to make her way to the border with her children. She told IOM that her husband had died several months earlier because they had no access to healthcare in Rakhine State.

For days, her two older sons carried the two youngest children, while their mother carried the fifth child and what little she had managed to salvage from their home. She told IOM that her four-year-old son now refuses to eat and keeps talking about how they are going to be attacked again. “There is no peace. We cannot sleep... If we are not safe, we will not go back,” she said.

Like the other refugees, the family arrived with almost nothing in a sprawling, congested settlement, where the humanitarian community’s response is still trying to catch up with the vast needs of a desperate population.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are of particular concern. The World Health Organization (WHO) found that over 60 per cent of water sources tested in the settlements were contaminated with E.coli. Much of the contamination is a result of shallow wells located less than 30 feet away from latrines. Full latrines, and lack of space to desludge them, are also contributing to the potentially life-threatening problem.

In the past week, IOM has drilled thirteen deep tube wells in Zone SS, a less congested area in Balukhali settlement, where people arriving over the last two weeks have settled. In total, IOM has now drilled 374 deep tube wells and installed 4,973 latrines (permanent and emergency) in the Cox’s Bazar settlements and in host communities.

Protection concerns in the settlements are also growing. With so many vulnerable and destitute people living in a small area, the settlements have become a target for opportunist human traffickers looking to exploit the refugees. IOM is seeking funding to help better protect the refugees and offer support to survivors of exploitation and human trafficking.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Cox’s Bazar. Tel: +8801733335221, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 17:55Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

A woman waits to receive humanitarian aid with her child, having arrived in the Rohingya refugee settlement only moments before. Photo: Olivia Headon/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

A young Rohingya refugee receives medical treatment on arrival at Balukhali settlement. Photo: Olivia Headon/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Survey Reveals Growing Humanitarian Needs in Ukraine’s Eastern Conflict Area

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 10:55

Kyiv – As temperatures plummet across Europe, millions of people in eastern Ukraine are facing into a fourth winter of discontent. Many conflict-affected communities remain cut off from markets, social services, housing and jobs. Despite security concerns and harsh living conditions in the non-government-controlled area (NGCA), many people continue to return to their homes there.

New UN Migration Agency data shows a steady stream of displaced people coming back across the contact line between the Government and non-government-controlled areas, increasing local vulnerabilities. Three and a half years into the conflict, 16 per cent of respondents surveyed in September stated they returned to their original place of residence, a three per cent increase on the previous round.

Seventy per cent of surveyed returnees said they were going back to their homes, where they do not have to pay rent as they do elsewhere. Over half of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) returning are over the age of 60, and most are pensioners. This heightens their vulnerability as the pension is linked to their IDP status and residence in the government-controlled area.

As highlighted in previous IOM reports, paying rent and finding employment have been bars to IDP integration, prompting IDPs to return to their homes in the NGCA. Even though average monthly income has risen to UAH 2,340 (USD 87) per IDP household member, it is still well below the subsistence level at UAH 3,035 (USD 113) calculated by the Ministry of Social Policy.

Almost two thirds of returnees surveyed report that their income only covers their food needs. That figure is far lower (38 per cent) for IDPs in the GCA.

“Access to deliver humanitarian aid to the NGCA is unstable but it remains of paramount importance to ensure that support is provided to the most vulnerable individuals throughout eastern Ukraine,” said Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss, Chief of Mission at IOM Ukraine on a visit to the East last week.

“We have assisted nearly 200,000 IDPs and conflict-affected people since the start of the conflict in 2015. We intend to keep that up during the difficult winter months, especially to vulnerable populations near the contact line between the Government and non-government-controlled areas,” he added.  

IOM has been conducting surveys on the situation of IDPs in Ukraine on a regular basis since March 2016. In the latest round, conducted in September 2017, 1,025 IDPs were interviewed face-to-face and 4,204 IDPs registered by the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine were interviewed by phone across the country.

The National Monitoring System (NMS), is conducted quarterly by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) with funding from the European Union.

IOM has been conducting surveys on the situation of IDPs in Ukraine on a regular basis since March 2016. In the latest round, conducted in September 2017, 1,025 IDPs were interviewed face-to-face and 4,204 IDPs registered by the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine were interviewed by phone across the country.

The National Monitoring System (NMS), is conducted quarterly by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) with funding from the European Union.

For more information please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 17:50Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsMigration ResearchMigration and Climate ChangeDefault: Multimedia: 

 People travelling from government controlled to non-government controlled area of eastern Ukraine are loading onto a bus at Mayorsk checkpoint. Photo: Varvara Zhluktenko / UN Migration Agency (IOM) (2017)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Koreans Hear Untold Stories of Forgotten Migrants, Refugees

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 10:50

Seoul – IOM in the Republic of Korea (ROK) has hosted a second public event to highlight the plight of migrants and refugees forced to leave their homes by conflicts in remote corners of the world rarely covered by international media.

Moving Stories: Untold Journeys of People on the Move, an IOM ROK initiative designed to raise Korean public awareness of forced migration, presented IOM’s work in Bangladesh, South Sudan and Afghanistan. It also highlighted ROK government humanitarian aid. Hosted at the KT Olleh Square auditorium in Seoul on Friday evening (24/11), it attracted an audience of over 200 mostly young people.

“The stories of displaced people in protracted crises like South Sudan and Afghanistan often go unheard, because they are so difficult (for media) to access,” said Miah Park, IOM ROK Head of Office. “The current Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh may also disappear from the headlines. But it is important that we do not forget their stories.”

Peppi Kivinimei-Siddiq, IOM project manager described life in the vast, squalid Rohingya refugee settlements of Cox’s Bazar in southern Bangladesh, where IOM is working to help over 800,000 people who fled Myanmar to escape what has been described by the UN as “ethnic cleansing.”

Tya Maskun, IOM’s Head of Operations in South Sudan, told the audience about internally displaced South Sudanese sheltering in the UN’s Wau “Protection of Civilians” site, as warring factions make it impossible for them to live outside in the community.

Laurence Hart, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Afghanistan, described IOM’s work at the country’s borders with Pakistan and Iran, where in 2016 alone, over a million Afghans returned home, often destitute and in desperate need of help to support their reintegration.

“By telling the stories of these migrants, I hope this event inspired everyone here to follow these issues more closely. We were thrilled by the enthusiasm of the audience and hope that this interest will be reflected in the broader Korean public,” said Hart.

IOM ROK hosted its first Moving Stories event in June 2017. It featured IOM media and communications experts who shared images and stories of forced migration around the world.

For more information, please contact IOM Seoul. Miah Park, Tel: +82 70 4820 2781, Email: Or Jumi Kim, Tel: +82 70 4820 0292, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 17:47Image: Region-Country: Republic of KoreaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

(From left) Mia Park, Laurence Hart, Peppi Kivinimei-Siddiq and Tya Maskun take questions from the floor. Photo: Jumi Kim / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Lebanon Supports Resettlement of 1,937 Refugees to France

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 10:42

Beirut/Paris – Last week (24/11) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, supported the resettlement of 22 Syrian refugees to France. With this group, the number of refugees resettled to France from Lebanon has reached 1,937 refugees since the start of the EU-funded programme in 2014. 

Bruno Foucher, Ambassador of France to Lebanon, was present at Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport to personally see off the refugees and wish them well as they embarked on their new lives in France.

IOM Lebanon supported the refugees from the selection interviews to their departure. The support included organizing domestic and international travel arrangements, coordinating with UNHCR the exit permit applications to the General Security Directorate of Lebanon, and assisting the refugees at the airport prior to their departure.

IOM France assisted the refugees upon their arrival to Paris, coordinating with NGOs and accommodation providers in charge of integration, follow-up and support and generally ensuring that the refugees were immediately taken care of upon their arrival in France. 

“Resettlement of refugees is an important, life-saving scheme which demonstrates a solidarity and a sense of shared responsibility with Lebanon in response to the refugee situation in this small country, which hosts over a million Syrian refugees,” said Fawzi Al Zioud, IOM Lebanon Head of Office.

In preparation of their resettlement, the refugees attended pre-departure orientation (PDO) sessions which aim to provide refugees with practical information on life in France, integration and cultural adaptation processes. During these interactive sessions, dedicated IOM trainers, who speak the language of the refugees, addressed issues such as gender equality, religious practices, and rights and obligations under the resettlement scheme.

Prior to travel, physicians from IOM’s Migration Health Department conducted pre-embarkation medical checks of all refugees to ensure they were fit to travel and suffered no acute illnesses that could have compromised their safety, or that of other passengers.

Among the refugees headed for France was 4-year-old Sham, whose birthday coincided with the departure date and was therefore in a very celebratory mood. Like the other refugees in the group, Sham’s parents fled from Syria to Lebanon a few years ago and are looking forward to a new life in France.

From January until 24 November 2017, IOM Lebanon has supported the resettlement and family reunifications of 17,231 refugees and migrants to 23 countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom and Sweden. France is among the 37 countries worldwide with resettlement programmes and is a main partner of IOM in securing durable solutions and dignified assistance for refugees and migrants.

The current resettlement programme is funded by the national programme of the EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), managed by the French Ministry of Interior (General Directorate for Foreigners in France).

For more information, please contact Fawzi Al Zioud at IOM Lebanon, Email: Or Sara Abbas at IOM France, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 17:40Image: Region-Country: LebanonFranceThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

Syrian refugees at the airport in Beirut before they flew out to France on 23 November. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Syrian Refugees Arrive in Zagreb from Turkey in First-ever Refugee Resettlement to Croatia

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 10:40

Zagreb – A first group of 36 Syrian refugees landed in Zagreb after leaving Turkey today, and a family of four is expected to arrive this evening (28/11) through a new resettlement programme initiated by the Republic of Croatia with the support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

The group is the first of 150 Syrian refugees that Croatia has committed to resettling from Turkey, bringing the newest EU member into a group of emerging resettlement states.

Tatjana Radošević, Head of IOM’s office in Zagreb, commended Croatia for undertaking its first-ever resettlement pilot project.

“We are delighted to partner in the programme and happy to see the realization of Croatia’s commitment to share the responsibility for refugees and show solidarity with hosting countries,” said Radošević.

She further noted that the resettlement agreement between Croatia and IOM marks a new milestone in cooperation and that the level of support to the government has grown and diversified since 1992.

The 36 refugees included 15 adults, 20 children and 1 infant (18 male and 18 female). An IOM medical escort accompanied the refugees on the flight.  IOM also provided pre-departure health assessments for the resettled refugees and has facilitated the two selection missions undertaken by the Croatian government thus far in Turkey.

The pilot resettlement programme, implemented by IOM in cooperation with the government, will run through January 2019 and includes post-arrival orientation and early integration support for the resettled refugees. Activities will also include capacity building, networking and partnership building between national and local stakeholders to facilitate sustainable resettlement programming for the future, including the provision of housing solutions and through volunteering schemes.

Resettlement programmes help to save the lives of vulnerable refugees who, despite having international protection needs, might otherwise be compelled to undertake unsafe and even fatal journeys via irregular routes, often with the help of smuggling networks.

Apart from helping Croatia to meet its internationally assumed obligations, the protective and humanitarian character of the pilot resettlement project ensures a much needed safe and legal channel for the beneficiaries.

For more information please contact IOM Croatia. Igor Aničić, Email:, Tel: +385 164 63 885 or Ivan Piteša, Email:, Tel: +385 48 16 885


Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 17:33Image: Region-Country: CroatiaThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

Resettled Syrian refugees in Croatia taking onward bus transportation organized by IOM after landing in Zagreb. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2017  

IOM receiving and assisting resettled Syrian refugees after landing in Zagreb from Turkey on 28 November 2017. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2017 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Deputy Director General Joins Launch of Women on the Move Report

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 10:33

Geneva – IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson, last week (21/11) participated in the launch of the new World Health Organization (WHO) report Women on the Move: Migration, Care Work and Health, which seeks to explore the global paradox in which care workers, largely migrant women, make a considerable contribution to public health in many countries but are themselves exposed to many health risks.

Women account for 48 per cent of the 244 million international migrants, and for 80 per cent of international migrant domestic workers and health care.

Joining the IOM DDG were high-level representatives including WHO’s Assistant Director-General for External Relations, Ambassador Michèle Boccoz; WHO’s Assistant Director General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health Cluster, Dr. Princess Nothemba Simelela; the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore; the Director of International Health, Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine of Sri Lanka, Dr. Alan Ludowyke; the Director of International Relations of the Ministry of Health in Mexico, Hilda Davila; the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Office of the United Nations and to the other International Organizations in Geneva, Ambassador Antje Leendertse; and the host, Director of the Graduate Institute’s Global Health Centre, Prof Ilona Kickbush.

IOM contributed significantly to this report through its Migration Health Division and Gender Coordination Unit, bringing the perspective of the determinants of women’s migrant health and the role of migrants as drivers of development for countries of origin and destination.

“Migrants’ health needs and rights must be mainstreamed into global health, migration and development agendas. We applaud WHO for this report that raises awareness and helps in advancing this dialogue,” said Ambassador Thompson.

“The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration offers a unique opportunity we cannot miss. It is expected to provide a framework of common principles, commitments and understandings amongst Member States on all aspects of international migration, including the humanitarian, development and human rights-related dimensions. The health of migrants, of these women migrants, must be there,” added Ambassador Thompson.

Grounded in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the report provides key messages on the state of evidence on this population group, the emergence of global care chains and transnational families, including those left behind, the legal and policy frameworks which affect their lives, and what needs to change.

 “An important point that has received limited attention is that these women often leave their children behind with potential mental and physical health implications, as negative influences arise from parental separation and breakdown of the family support system,” stressed Ambassador Thompson.

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the theme of this report can be traced back to the G7 Forum for Dialogue with Women, hosted by Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin in September 2015, and noted discussions at the 42nd G7 meeting in Japan in May 2016 which called for more attention to migrants and their role in paid and unpaid care work. The report aims to advance discussions on how to achieve the 2030 Agenda. 

For more information, please contact Jacqueline Weekers, IOM HQ, Email:, Tel: + 41 22 717 93 55.


Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 17:26Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Gender and MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Deputy Director General, Ambassador Laura Thompson, speaking at the launch of the 'Women on the Move: Migration, Care Work and Health' report. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Libyan Health Professionals Trained on Early Warning Alert and Response System

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 10:26

Tunis – On 27 November IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), brought together 47 health professionals from across Libya to undergo a three day-training on Strengthening Disease Early Warning Alert and Response System (EWARS), which they will deploy in Libya.

Another 40 health practitioners will receive the same training during a second session, which will take place from 30 November to 2 December.

The training falls under the projects Strengthening Health Information System and Medicine Supply Chain Management (SHAMS) implemented by WHO in Libya, and Protecting Vulnerable Migrants and Stabilizing Communities in Libya implemented by IOM. Both projects are funded by the European Union.

The two groups of participants are members of rapid response teams and include surveillance officers, laboratory technicians and clinicians. They will be trained on methods for managing possible disease outbreaks of priority communicable diseases.

All 87 health trainees will also be provided with Android tablets, and will work to immediately report notifiable diseases as well as communicable diseases which will be reported on a weekly basis. Information gathered on diseases will automatically be saved on a server controlled by the NCDC.

“This is an essential first step in order to avoid disease outbreaks, especially communicable diseases, and we are pleased to be working closely with WHO, the Ministry of Health and the NCDC,” said IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi

“Early diagnosis is crucial in terms of detecting diseases before they evolve and become epidemics, making it difficult to provide proper response at a later stage,” said Dr. Abdelaziz Alahlafi from WHO. “EWARS is equally a nationwide project that gathers information and puts in motion a database of widespread diseases to precipitate our response and avoid a humanitarian crisis.”

The daily notifications and weekly disease reporting from across 23 different sites have been ongoing since February 2016. By October, the reporting sites had increased to 75, and this number is expected to increase to more than one hundred sites by the end of the year.

Electronic reporting on EWARS from 13 detention centres will be received on an immediate and weekly basis, a development that is unprecedented in Libya. This reporting will also be expanded to other government recognized detention centres.

For more information, please contact: Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 17:24Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Health professionals from across Libya attending a three day-training on Strengthening Disease Early Warning Alert and Response System (EWARS) in Tunis. Photo: UN Migration Agency

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Caribbean Consultation for Global Compact for Migration Held in Trinidad and Tobago

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 10:24

Port of Spain – A Sub-Regional Consultation for the Caribbean towards a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is being held this week (27-28/11) in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Hosted by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, these consultations are organized by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, with the financial support of the European Union.

The event brought together government representatives from Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) representatives also participated in the planning and attended the event.

The purpose of this meeting is to ensure that the experiences regarding migration governance in the Caribbean, a region which has been shaped by migration throughout its history, are considered during the development of the GCM.

For the Caribbean countries and territories, climate change and migration are a growing challenge, and a GCM could be a useful tool to meet it. Dominica registered a surge of 3,000 applications for first-time passport holders during the first ten days after hurricane Maria devastated the island. As hurricanes get stronger and more frequent in the Caribbean, its effects on sub-regional migration will increase.

Due to the heterogeneity of the region, the two-day consultation covers a wide range of topics, including the analysis of common and unique themes related to migration in the Caribbean and the identification of the main principles and commitments to recommend for negotiations of the GCM. It is expected that the discussions will result in a regional report based on the inputs provided by each participating country.

"These consultations will allow participants to openly discuss migration within a regional space, as well as to coordinate and promote information exchange in the Caribbean," said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America and the Caribbean.

The Caribbean is one of the few regions in the world which does not have a collective forum on migration, where countries can discuss and identify common issues and interests, as well as differences.

IOM Regional Coordination Officer for the Caribbean, Robert Natiello, said, “If the Caribbean can form and consolidate a permanent intergovernmental consultation conference, the region would take a step forward, meeting international objectives in the regional governance of migration and in defining parameters for governance in the territories.”

Natiello added, “IOM sincerely hopes to assist in establishing such a process.”

For more information, please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212-5300, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 17:16Image: Region-Country: Trinidad and TobagoThemes: Global CompactGlobal Compact on MigrationDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

New Study Concludes Europe’s Mediterranean Border Remains 'World’s Deadliest'

Fri, 11/24/2017 - 09:14

Berlin – IOM, the UN Migration Agency’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), today (24/11) released a new report reviewing the evidence of Four Decades of Cross-Mediterranean Undocumented Migration to Europeand concludes that Europe’s Mediterranean border is “by far the world’s deadliest.”

Relying on analysis of IOM estimates from the Missing Migrants Project, the report states that at least 33,761 migrants were reported to have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean between 2000 and 2017 (as of 30 June). Professor Philippe Fargues of the European University Institute, the report's author, notes that this number likely under-reports the actual scale of the human tragedy, even as the record number of migrant deaths may have begun to subside in 2017 due in part to cooperation between the EU and Turkey, and now Libya, to stem migrant flows. 

 “Stopping migration and eradicating deaths at sea may [be] conflicting objectives. Shutting the shorter and less dangerous routes can open longer and more dangerous routes, thus increasing the likelihood of dying at sea,” Prof. Fargues states in the report.  

The report analyzes irregular migration across the Mediterranean since the 1970s. It highlights that irregular arrivals to Europe have increased in response to more restrictive migration policies by some European countries.

Prime examples from the report are the irregular migration from North Africa and Turkey to Europe in the 1970s, after visa requirements were introduced for temporary labour migrants from these regions. These policies encouraged those who were already in Europe to stay, increased irregular migration of family members to join their relatives in Europe and gave way to the smuggling business. Absence of legal pathways for asylum-seekers and refugees to travel to Europe and seek asylum also increased arrivals by sea along the Eastern, Central and Western Mediterranean routes since 2009.  

The study also highlights differences between the modern pattern of migration from Africa to Italy, mostly via Libya, and that from the Middle East to Greece via Turkey. For example, Professor Fargues concludes that since 2009, “arrivals to Greece from Turkey are primarily of nationals from origin states affected by conflict and political instability (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria), who would be likely to receive refugee status in the EU.” These asylum-seekers had no options for humanitarian visas or regular migration in their countries of origin, the report states.

Arrivals to Italy from North Africa largely originate across sub-Saharan Africa in response to deep migratory pressures – population growth coupled with limited livelihood opportunities, high unemployment and poor governance and political and economic instability.

People from major refugee-source countries were a minority of migrants arriving in Italy, except for a short period in 2013–14. However, the number of first residence permits issued in Europe in 2009–2016 to African nationals – an indicator of regular migration – was higher than that of African migrants arriving irregularly by sea. The report also notes that most migrants in Libya come from countries that are not among the top countries of origin of migrants smuggled to Italy.

The report concludes by acknowledging the limitations of available data on irregular migration and identifying further research and data needs.

Download report here.

For more information, please contact Marzia Rango at IOM Germany, Tel: +49 (0) 30 278 778 24, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, November 24, 2017 - 15:43Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: Migration ResearchMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 161,010 in 2017; Deaths Nearly 3,000

Fri, 11/24/2017 - 09:12

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 161,010 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 24 November, with about 75 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 345,831 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.  

IOM Rome reported 23 November that 114,673 migrants arrived by sea to Italy this year, according to Ministry of Interior figures, which is a nearly 32 per cent reduction from arrivals at this same point in 2016 (see chart below).  Not included in this total were 1,127 migrants rescued on 22 November as part of 11 rescue operations.  The rescues were carried out by the Italian Coast Guard, the Italian Navy, the Irish Navy ship Le Niamh and the Spanish Navy ship Cantabria, and by the NGOs Aquarius, Seefuchs, Lifeline and Seawatch. 

According to the Italian Ministry of Interior, the primary countries of origin of migrants arriving by sea to Italy were Nigeria, Guinea, Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali. 

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded the deaths of 5,080 people migrating in 2017.  Two deaths were recorded in Europe over the past days. On 22 November, the remains of a migrant were found in a mountain village in Evros region, Greece. On 21 November, a 6-year-old Afghan girl was hit by a train on the Serbia-Croatia border. In the Middle East, three migrants lost their lives on the Syria-Turkey border. On the US/Mexico border, the remains of one migrant were recovered in the All-American Canal in Calexico, California, on 19 November.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project documented that six people drowned this week after falling from a boat overnight off the coast of Libya. Another 107 people were rescued from the same boat by the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms.

In the Central Mediterranean, the remains of one woman were found in a rubber boat off the coast of Libya by the rescue ship Aquarius, run by SOS Méditerranée and Médecins Sans Frontières. According to testimonies of survivors, she died right before they left Libya due to lack of medical care. These deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,993.

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit:
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:
For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email:
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail:
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Abby Dwommoh, IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 ext. 109, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, November 24, 2017 - 15:42Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Appoints Ghanaian Rapper as Goodwill Ambassador to Promote Safe Migration

Fri, 11/24/2017 - 09:11

Accra – Ghanaian rapper and songwriter, Kofi Kinaata, has become IOM, the UN Migration Agency’s first Goodwill Ambassador to promote safe migration in Ghana. He will be supporting IOM’s advocacy and fundraising efforts, including educating young Ghanaians about the dangers associated with the journey across the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea to reach North Africa and Europe.

Kinaata will support IOM Ghana’s Aware Migrants Information Campaign through the release of a new song aimed at encouraging Ghanaian youth to value their lives and not take unnecessary risks in chasing illusionary greener pastures. The Aware Migrants Information Campaign is part of the Engaging West African Communities (EWAC) project funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

From 20 to 21 November, Kinaata travelled to the Brong Ahafo Region with Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, IOM Ghana Chief of Mission, as his first official trip. He met with the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister; visited the Migration Information Centre (MIC) set up by IOM and currently managed by Ghana Immigration Service in the city of Sunyani; and visited a pilot farm established by IOM through the Ghana Integrated Migration Management Approach (GIMMA) project in Nkoranza. The farm employs young returnees and provides alternative livelihood generation for potential migrants among other activities. The GIMMA project is funded by the European Union and jointly implemented by IOM Ghana and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).

“Kofi Kinaata, as one of the most talented contemporary Ghanaian singers, has a huge fan base among young people including those in areas prone to high migration. His engagement with IOM can truly contribute to saving many Ghanaian lives that are lost or negatively affected by irregular migration every year,” said Lopez-Ekra. “Having friends and acquaintances who have chosen to migrate irregularly, he has embraced the safe migration cause wholeheartedly. We are thankful for his involvement with our work,” she added.

In 2016, 5,636 Ghanaian migrants arrived in Italy by sea, an increase from 4,431 in 2015. Most Ghanaians trying to reach Europe irregularly travel through Libya, where currently, tens of thousands of the estimated 700,000 migrants living in the country suffer horrendous human rights abuses by the hands of traffickers. IOM has reported and condemned the exploitation of migrants in Libya since April 2017 when a video emerged showing African migrants in Libya being sold as slaves.

In 2017, IOM Ghana has so far facilitated the return of 241 Ghanaians from Libya and Niger. IOM will continue to assist stranded Ghanaians who need humanitarian assistance through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Africa. The returnees are provided with reintegration assistance based on their needs. IOM and partners also support returnees with orientation towards innovative income-generating activities which have a socio-economic impact on their community of origin.

For more information, please contact Anita J. Wadud at IOM Ghana, Tel: 0302 742 930 ext. 2400, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, November 24, 2017 - 15:40Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: IOMOthersDefault: Multimedia: 

Ghanaian rapper and songwriter, Kofi Kinaata (centre) and Sylvia Ekra Lopez (far right) meet young people on a field visit in Brong Ahafo. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Libyan Authorities Launch Migration Working Group with IOM Support

Fri, 11/24/2017 - 09:07

Tripoli – This week (21/11) Libyan authorities, with the support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency launched the Migration Working Group under the auspices of the Coordination Framework for International Technical Cooperation with the State of Libya.

Co-chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IOM, the Migration Working Group is one of the six working groups of the Coordination Framework, endorsed during the Senior Policy Committee meeting held on 18 July 2017 in Tripoli. The launch, held at the Ministry of Planning, chaired by the Head of the European Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jaalal Alashi and co-chaired by IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi, was attended by representatives of relevant Libyan Ministries, a high-level delegation from IOM HQ, Ambassadors and Embassy representatives, as well as other UN agencies.

This working group aims to coordinate respective strategy and policies on migration and to serve as a platform for constructive dialogue on migration aiming to provide actionable tools and practical solutions to govern migration effectively with respect of human rights, and to reduce the impact of irregular migration.

“The Libyan authorities reaffirm the importance of the establishment of this working group, which is highly timely, and we look forward to working closely with the international community in general and IOM in particular in order to overcome the outstanding issues and develop ways to deal with the phenomenon of migration that concerns the entire region,” said Alashi.

“We are hoping that the launch of this working group will serve as the first step towards efforts to manage migration for the benefit of all,” said Belbeisi.

A number of sub-groups will be launched in order to cover key priority areas such as labour policies, border management and health-related issues.

For more information, please contact Christine Petre, IOM Libya, Tel: +21629240448, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, November 24, 2017 - 15:41Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesOthersDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM in Sabratha, Libya distributes non-food items and hygiene kits and provides health assistance, psychosocial counselling and voluntary humanitarian return (VHR) assistance to conflict-affected families. File Photo: Eshaebi / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Kuwait Reaffirms Support to UN Migration Agency Operations in Syria

Fri, 11/24/2017 - 09:05

Geneva – IOM Director General William Lacy Swing met yesterday (23/11) with the Ambassador of the State of Kuwait, Jamal Al-Ghunaim, at IOM Headquarters in Geneva. The meeting served as the handover ceremony of a generous contribution from Kuwait to the IOM response in Syria.

At the meeting, Ambassador Al-Ghunaim, Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, commended DG Swing on the work that IOM does to bring relief to people in need in the Middle East, and reaffirmed Kuwait’s commitment to support IOM in delivering quick assistance to people ravaged by conflict in the region.

“Kuwait funding is extremely timely and will support IOM’s emergency and resilience programming inside Syria in line with IOM’s whole of Syria appeal for 2018 which is being finalized and will be launched as part of the Syria Humanitarian Response Plan 2018 in December,” said DG Swing. “IOM’s appeal will focus on the following nine sectors of assistance: non-food items (NFI), shelter, early recovery and livelihoods, camp coordination and camp management (CCCM), logistics, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), protection, coordination and health,” he added.

Currently, the IOM team for Syria operations consists of 289 staff including 33 international staff in Damascus, Gaziantep and Amman hubs. IOM operations have reached a total of 750,000 beneficiaries in 281 communities inside Syria, including 15 per cent in hard-to-reach and besieged areas. Despite these efforts, humanitarian needs remain extremely high, with 6.1 million internally displaced people (IDPs) inside Syria since the beginning of the crisis, including 1.4 million newly displaced in 2017.

DG Swing added that he was looking forward to welcoming Kuwait as a new Observer State at the IOM Council on 28 November. He stated that IOM wishes to replicate the Kuwait model with other States in the region in order to extend further assistance to people in need in the Middle East.

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo, IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179205, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, November 24, 2017 - 15:39Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing (right) with H.E. Jamal Al-Ghunaim, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations Office in Geneva (left), at IOM Headquarters in Geneva. Photo: Jorge Galindo/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN