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Updated: 1 hour 22 min ago

Kenya Hosts African Union Horn of Africa Initiative Meeting on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 10:51

Nairobi – The Government of Kenya hosted the Fourth Meeting of the Technical Working Group of Law Enforcement Agencies of the African Union Horn of Africa Initiative (AU-HOAI) on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants Meeting last week (01/10) in Nairobi.

Aside from the host government, other participating AU Member States included Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, South Sudan, Sudan and Tunisia. The meeting was also attended by the AU Commission; IOM, the UN Migration Agency; and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, which form the Initiatives Secretariat. Representatives from INTERPOL, which serves as a technical partner to the Initiative, were also present.

The Technical Working Group deliberated on a resource gap analysis that was undertaken on the working group’s Five-Year Plan of Action as well as the operationalization of the Regional Operations Centre in Khartoum (ROCK). It also looked at a draft communication and visibility strategy for the initiative and a proposal to undertake a study on the characteristics, flows and trends of human trafficking and migrant smuggling.

The Government of Kenya was represented by James Nyatigoh, Deputy Director for the Department of Immigration Services. In his remarks, Nyatigoh took note of the UN-adopted Global Compact on Migration (GCM) and its commitments to eradicate trafficking in persons as well as the need for a “concerted effort with multi-disciplinary approaches to help achieve best results on counter-trafficking and migrant smuggling”.

Egypt, which is currently the presiding Chair of the Initiative, was represented by Nelly Elorabi, Director of Migration, Asylum & Combating Human Trafficking Department, who highlighted the importance of “African solutions for African problems”.

Peter Mudungwe, Migration Adviser within the Department of Social Affairs at the African Union (AU) presented a summary of the Technical Working Groups’ previous meetings and its achievements and encouraged a fruitful deliberation. The IOM Special Liaison Office in Addis Abba presented the draft communications and visibility strategy, and a concept for a proposed regional study on human trafficking and migrant smuggling. UNHCR provided inputs on mixed movements and wide-range of actors in the region.

The agreed recommendations of the Technical Working Group, the draft strategy and the proposed study will be presented at the upcoming AU senior officials meeting in Cairo, Egypt on 24 October.

The Technical Working Group Meeting was followed by a second-round capacity building training of law enforcement agencies on counter trafficking and migrant smuggling from 2 to 5 October in Nairobi. The training focused on the protection of migrants in vulnerable situations, enhancing cross-border cooperation in combating human trafficking, protection of victims and prosecution of perpetrators.

During the training, Marcellino Ramkishun, Senior Migration Management Officer said: “Trafficking in persons and people smuggling have to be investigated across the borders. We need to divert from establishing national strategies for a complex, international problem.”

Emmanuel Simiyu from the Kenya Department of Immigration added: “To curb trafficking in persons, the Kenya Immigration has partnered with IOM Kenya for the use of facial recognition machines and training on counter trafficking. There is also cooperation with different airlines who provide timely information on persons suspected to be trafficking or smuggling people and this helps us intercept them.”

For more information please contact:
Maureen Achieng at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251-11 557 1707 (Ext. 400), Email: machieng@iom.int
Michael Pillinger at IOM Kenya Country Office, Tel: +254 20 4221 161, Email: mpillinger@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: KenyaThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

Opening Session of the African Union Technical Working Group with Egypt (Chair) and Kenya (Host government)

Opening Session of the African Union Technical Working Group with Egypt (Chair) and Kenya (Host government)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches Guide to Harness Migration’s Positive Contribution to Sustainable Development

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 10:49

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has released a new guide for government actors involved in implementing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as they relate to migration. Migration and the 2030 Agenda: A Guide for Practitioners, published on 09 October, aims to help policymakers integrate migration into local and national development planning.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes migration as a core development consideration – marking the first time that migration is explicitly integrated into the global development agenda. Implementation of the SDGs provides an opportunity to protect and empower mobile populations to fulfil their development potential and benefit individuals, communities and countries around the world. But the migration-SDG connections reach far beyond just implementing migration policies, and entail integrating migration across governance sectors.

“This guide is a breakthrough as it enables [policymakers] to seize the tremendous opportunity brought by the inclusion of migration in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and to systematically connect migration and development policies moving forward,” said Cécile Riallant, IOM Senior Migration and Development Specialist.

“Effective migration governance is a key success factor for the achievement of the SDGs. Many SDG targets can only be achieved if migration and migrants are considered. This guide equips states and development actors with relevant guidance and tools to better understand the migration-SDG connections and to take practical action to integrate migration into SDG implementation,” she added.

The publication was commissioned by IOM with support received from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

The full guide is available here.

For more information please contact Katie Colven at IOM HQ; Tel: +41 717 93 65, Email: kcolven@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 16:47Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM's new guide for government actors involved in implementing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as they relate to migration.

IOM's new guide for government actors involved in implementing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as they relate to migration.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Backs Indonesia’s Response to Earthquake, Tsunami Delivering Water, NFIs to Devastated Areas

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:01

Palu – As search and rescue operations begin to wind down in Central Sulawesi, following the September 28th earthquake and tsunami, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) is deploying staff and aid to the affected area at the request of the Indonesian authorities. Three IOM specialist staff, including a doctor, will today take part in a multi-agency assessment mission in the affected area.

IOM will tomorrow dispatch an 11-truck convoy from Makassar in southern Sulawesi to Donggala, one of the worst affected towns in the area, carrying 83,600 liters of drinking water in 19-liter re-usable plastic bottles. The convoy, the first of six or seven scheduled over the coming days, will have a police escort over the roughly 24-hour road journey.

Drinking water has been identified as one of the most urgent needs in the area, where basic infrastructure including mains water and electricity were knocked out by the disaster. While the government is working all out to restore access to power and clean water in the coming days, the IOM water shipment, organized at the request of the Indonesian military, will provide a stop gap solution in an area that has yet to get the same level of aid as neighboring Palu. 

IOM is also providing a 10,000-liter water bladder, 4,000 emergency shelter kits and 4,000 household (NFI) kits to help survivors of the disaster, which left at least 1,581 people dead and 2,550 people seriously injured. At least 113 people are still missing, and numbers of casualties are expected to rise as areas previously cut off by landslides and flooding become accessible. An estimated 66,000 houses have been damaged and almost 71,000 people are displaced and staying in over 140 sites.

IOM will this week start to work with the Indonesian authorities to map the extent of displacement caused by the earthquake and tsunami.  The Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB), the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Affairs have agreed to coordinate their assessments to map the disaster using IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) – a tool that shows how many people have been displaced, where they are and their immediate needs.

The government-led assessment will start with the identification of displacement sites. Once a site is identified, the BNPB will register families using an agreed format. The survey data will be collected by 300 students flown into Palu from Makassar by the Indonesian military. IOM and UNFPA will provide technical and logistical support and the information will be shared on a public website to inform the humanitarian response.

“We are working closely with our government counterparts and partner agencies to ensure that the humanitarian community has the data it needs to provide an effective humanitarian response. The DTM will help us to ensure that the right aid goes to the people who need it most,” said IOM Indonesia Chief of Mission Mark Getchell.

Earlier this week IOM allocated USD 200,000 from its internal funds to kickstart its emergency response operation. Additional funding is now expected from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

Earthquakes are common in Indonesia, one of the most seismically active countries on earth. On 5 August, a 6.9 magnitude quake and a series of strong aftershocks struck the island of Lombok, 1,700km from Palu, killing at least 430 people and injuring 1,300 more. Tens of thousands remain displaced and more than 67,000 houses are reported to have been damaged.

A 9.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Sumatra on Boxing Day 2004 triggered a tsunami that killed an estimated 220,000 people, including more than 160,000 Indonesians.

Since that time Indonesia has invested considerably in its emergency response systems. IOM has worked closely with the national disaster planning agency on trainings and simulations over the years, particularly in Aceh province, the area hardest hit in 2004.

IOM has worked in Indonesia since 1979 and currently has 16 offices and 11 project sites across the country. These include two offices in Sulawesi.

For more information please contact Mark Getchell at IOM Indonesia, Tel:  +62 8111092582, Email: mgetchell@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 17:30Image: Region-Country: IndonesiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM emergency response specialists working with government and UN partners assess the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi. Photo: IOM 2018

IOM emergency response specialists working with government and UN partners assess the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi. Photo: IOM 2018

IOM emergency response specialists working with government and UN partners assess the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Supports South Sudan in Developing Its First Migration Policy

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:01

Juba – South Sudan is developing the young country’s first ever migration policy with support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Through a three-day consultation, which began Wednesday (03/10), key Government stakeholders are setting priorities to be addressed by the comprehensive migration policy.

South Sudan hosts thousands of migrants – estimated to be more than 845,000 in 2017, according to the 2017 International Migration Report – the majority of whom are from the East and Horn of Africa and are often travelling irregularly. Not only a country of destination for many migrants, South Sudan is a major transit country on the route to Northern Africa. 

This week’s consultative workshop was made possible through funding from the Better Migration Management Programme (BMM) and the Government of Japan. BMM is a regional, multi-year, multi-partner programme co-funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). BMM aims to provide capacity building to improve migration management, particularly to prevent and address irregular migration, including smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons.  

“We saw the need for South Sudan to come up with a migration policy when we realized that there were some legal loopholes,” said Riaw Gatlier Gai, South Sudan’s Deputy Minister for Interior, who officially opened the consultation. “We need to close these gaps,” said Gai.  

Migrants enter the country for a variety of reasons, a phenomenon described as mixed migration. Groups in the country include refugees, migrant workers and their families, unaccompanied migrant children and victims of trafficking. Those travelling to or through the country often enlist the services of smugglers to facilitate their journey.

“Migration in itself is not a bad thing,” said James Pui Yak, South Sudan’s Deputy Inspector General of Police, at the consultation. “We South Sudanese have been to so many countries as migrants and refugees; that experience has shown us the benefits of migration,” added Yak.

Migrants' vulnerability to abuse is heightened in humanitarian settings, particularly for irregular migrants. The impact of a crisis can be worse for them, as they cannot easily access information or aid. This is not only the case in South Sudan but also in countries like Somalia, Yemen and Libya. 

Discussions during the consultation centred on establishing correct facts and figures around migration in South Sudan, mixed migration, labour migration, and migration and development. 

“Regular and irregular migrants contribute to the country's economy, particularly through payments for business licenses and creating employment opportunities,” remarked Tya Maskun, IOM South Sudan Head of Operations.

She added: "This consultation marks the beginning of South Sudan’s journey towards establishing a legal framework, which should aim to protect and address migrants' needs while harnessing the benefits they bring to the country.”

Maskun also added that due to its status as a member of the East African Community, South Sudan is a party to the free movement protocol, an agreement that should be at the core of migration policy. The protocol defines free movement as the right to enter and exit member states and move freely within them, subject to the states’ laws and procedures, with the aim of increasing Africa's economic integration.

IOM began its migration management support to South Sudanese nationals in 2010 by facilitating their return and reintegration, for those who wished to participate in the historic referendum for independence from Sudan. The outcome of this week’s consultation will lead to another landmark step forward for the country.

For more information, please contact IOM Juba:
Harry Smith, Tel: +211912379615, Email: hsmith@iom.int
Olivia Headon, Tel: +211912379843, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 17:25Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: Multimedia: 

Riaw Gatlier Gai, Deputy Minister for Interior, officially opens the IOM-hosted consultation on South Sudan's migration policy. Photo: IOM/Olivia Headon 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Community Action Plans Launched in Jubbaland State, Somalia

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:01

Jubbaland IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in partnership with the Jubbaland State launched the Afmadow Community Action Plan (CAP) in Afmadow, Somalia on 29 September. This followed a similar launch in the previous day (28/09) in Garbaharey district.

As part of the Midnimo (a Somali word for “unity”) project, led by the Federal Government of Somalia and implemented jointly by IOM and UN Habitat with funding from the UN Peacebuilding Fund and the UN Trust Fund for Human Security, the CAP results from inclusive consultations between various socio-economic groups, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, women, youth, and host community members. It lays the foundations for governance, cohesion, durable solutions and peace. The Community Action Plan will be reviewed quarterly and upgraded accordingly. The community action plans outline an inclusive common vision and prioritize projects for peaceful coexistence and sustainable development.

“Today is a historic and unforgettable day for Afmadow District; we are very excited to see the community identified projects from our own hearts that have been accepted and taken forward to the implementation phase,” said Sheikh Mohamed Dakane, Afmadow District Commissioner, during the launch.

“As the government, we have never ever seen a project like Midnimo where the community are full drivers of the process and we are here officially to launch the CAP and lay the foundation for six community projects,” he added.

Both events, in Afmadow and Garbaharey, were led by the Ministry of Interior, District Commissioner and community leaders, and attended by government representatives, including from the Governor’s office and Jubbaland Refugee and Internally Displaced Person's Agency.

Representatives from the diaspora and local and international NGOs, including Norwegian Church Aid, American Refugee Committee, Gedo Women Development Organization, among others, were present. Also, in attendance were community groups, such as representatives of IDPs and returnees, women, youth, community elders, religious groups, vulnerable members of the community, and business community members.

Authorities applauded the Midnimo partners for facilitating the community-based planning approach and urged all actors to use the action to guide their interventions and fundraising efforts in coordination with local authorities.

In Garbaharey, IOM will support four projects identified in the CAP, namely, the construction of the airport terminal hall, a health centre, meat market, and extension of Gogol Primary School.

The launch resulted in various pledges to support other community projects. The World Food Programme and UNICEF, through the Gedo Women Development Organization, will manage the proposed health centre in Garbaharey.

Adan Shimbirolays, a Somali-American singer from Garbaharey, noted: “We have already supported and constructed Jalle Siyad hospital in Garbaharey and let me assure you again that I will take this action plan, do fund raising around the world with big concerts and music shows using my talent as a singer and finally support community projects listed here.”

Jama Abdullahi Ugas, the Director of Social Affairs from the Governor’s office, urged the community to work closely with the local administration to strengthen the security situation in the town.

“We couldn’t have gathered here and have this important event if there is no security in this town. This is made possible due to the cordial working relationship with the community and the local government and we are always encouraging you to double your efforts to achieve your goals,” he said.

Mohamed Aden, a community leader, added: “It is a great honour for us to have such a wonderful launching ceremony. We really appreciate IOM for conducting such sustainable developmental projects in Afmadow town. It is the first time we lay the foundations for six different projects in Afmadow town. We strongly thank you for your tireless support and commitment towards these wonderful and historical activities.”

Friendly football matches then took place after the CAP launches in both Garbaharey and Afmadow, during which young IDPs, returnees and host community members used sports kits donated through the project.

The Garbaharey CAP launch and sports event were equally aired live on Jubbaland State Television and radio. View it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2eJPGQycKY&feature=youtu.be.
For more information please contact the Programme Support Unit at IOM Somalia, Tel: +254700671197, Email: iomsomaliapsu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 17:20Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Capacity BuildingCommunity StabilizationDefault: Multimedia: 

Afmadow football team. Photo: IOM/Hilowle Abdurahman 2018

Launch of the Community Action Plan in Garbaharey. Photo: IOM/Ahmed Gure 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 84,345 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,777

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:01

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 84,345 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 3 October, with 38,451 to Spain, the leading destination this year.

The region’s total arrivals through the recent weekend compare with 139,677 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 312,153 at this same point in 2016. Deaths on the Mediterranean remain high, at 1,777. However, that figure is well below fatalities recorded at this time last year (2,749) or 2016 (3,682).

Arrivals to Italy – just 947 in September – marked the first time in the last five years months fewer than 1,000 migrants or refugees landed in Italy (see chart below). Almost as few arrived in February and March this year, traditionally the slowest period of the season, yet even in those winter months at least 1,000 arrivals were recorded. The sharp drop that began over a year ago during the summer of 2017 has accelerated throughout this current year.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project notes that at least 1,777 people have died or gone missing on migratory routes across the Mediterranean region during the first nine months of 2018 and into 3 October, which marks the fifth anniversary of the October 2013 Lampedusa shipwrecks.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo noted Thursday, “Wednesday marked five years since a shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa claimed 368 victims.  In Italy, 3 October became the official Remembrance Day for those migrants – formally titled National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Immigration.”

He explained that, five years ago, the Lampedusa shipwrecks made headlines and the international community seemed united in its willingness to avoid further death at sea. But since then, 14,736 migrants have lost their lives on the Central Mediterranean Route trying to reach Europe.

IOM – together with UNHCR and other organizations – took part this week in the commemoration of the tragedy organized by the ‘3 October Committee’ in Lampedusa. The initiative brought to the island students from across Italy (as well as from a school in Paris) who attended awareness lessons on migration issues. IOM staff provided a lesson on the trafficking of human beings. The commemoration was concluded with a silent march led by the survivors of the shipwreck and ended at the Gate of Europe, created in 2008 by the artist Mimmo Paladino, the memorial monument dedicated to all migrants who have died at sea.

“It is important to come to Lampedusa on 3 October because the tragedy that took place on that day must always be commemorated, together with all the other tragedies that unfortunately are still happening at sea. We came here also to stress, once again, that saving life at sea must always be a priority,” said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project notes that over 60 per cent of migrant deaths worldwide in 2018 have been recorded in the Mediterranean. Most recently, a shipwreck between Morocco and Spain occurred on 1 October: 11 bodies have been recovered from the capsized patera while another 23 people remain missing, according to testimonies from 26 survivors. A child and an infant are among the 34 dead or still missing.

Also, in the Western Mediterranean: the body of a sub-Saharan African woman presumed to be a migrant was found on Cabo Negro beach, Morocco last Sunday. In the Central Mediterranean, an NGO plane patrolling the coast of Libya reported spotted a body floating several miles northeast of Zuwara on Monday. No remains have been retrieved since then, which is another indication that many more migrant deaths in the Mediterranean probably go undetected.

IOM Libya reported Thursday total departures of stranded migrants this year under IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme have reached 12,819 with 172 leaving last week and 121 the first two days of October (see chart below).

Since 1 January 2017, IOM has returned 32,190 under VHR, either via commercial airliners or charters. The top four countries of return are Nigeria, Niger, Mali and Guinea. Last week’s returnees went home to The Gambia, Bangladesh, Guinea and Cameroon. This week’s returnees were to Senegal, Pakistan, Cameroon and Bangladesh.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday that IOM estimates that through 03 October, data provided by Spain’s Ministry of Interior indicate the total number of arrivals to Spain is 43,371, of which 38,451 are registered as arrivals by sea (see charts below).

SEA AND LAND ARRIVALS 2018

 

 

 

Month

Sea

Land

Total

January

1400

782

2182

February

1102

416

1518

March

867

417

1284

April

1258

448

1706

May

3523

414

3937

June

6926

397

7323

July

7855

1085

8940

August

6406

616

7022

September

8054

245

7562

October

1060

 

1060

November

 

 

0

December

 

 

0

TOTAL:

38451

4820

43371

 

IOM notes that over this year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. In the 125 days since May 31, a total of 29,564 have arrived – or just under 240 migrants per day. The months of August-September alone have seen a total of 13,723 irregular migrants arriving by sea – or 225 per day, on average. Through the first three days of October, an average of 353 irregular migrants have arrived each day.

 
Dimitrios Tsagalas of IOM Cyprus reported Thursday that on 2 October Cyprus Civil Defence spotted 16 people at the Ledra Palace checkpoint. According to IOM staff who were on the Pournara Temporary Accommodation, two males, four females and 10 children, all of Syrian nationality, were reported in the party. Tsagalas said with those latest arrivals the total number of irregular migrants and refugees arriving in 2018 to Cyprus now is 501.

IOM Greece reported on Thursday that from Tuesday (02 October) through Wednesday night, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least five incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Samos and Lesvos. The HCG rescued a total of 259 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands.

Those and 61 more arrivals over three days (2-4 October) bring to 23,560 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 04 October (see chart below).

IOM’s Western Balkans team reports that according to available DTM flow monitoring data, more than 4,351 new migrants were registered arriving in Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1 and 30 September 2018, which is twenty times more than the average of 220 monthly arrivals reported in the countries concerned in 2017. 

Between January and September 2018, authorities in these countries registered a total of 21,059 irregular entries. According to the available information on nationalities: Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Algeria and Iraq are the most commonly reported origin countries. The distribution of migrants by nationality varies between the three countries on the route. One third of all registered migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina were from Pakistan, followed by those from the Islamic Republic of Iran (15%), the Syrian Arab Republic (13%), Afghanistan (10%), and Iraq (9%).

In Montenegro and Albania, Syrian nationals comprised the majority (42% and 50% respectively), followed by those who arrived from Pakistan (16% and 19% respectively), Algeria (8%) in Montenegro and Iraq (9%) in Albania. Such differences in the nationality structure of registered migrants are explained by the fact that migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina also enter from Serbia and that certain groups of migrants from Montenegro continue not only toward Bosnia and Herzegovina but toward Serbia as well. Further on, since March 2018, DTM is monitoring outgoing flows from Albania to Montenegro in Shkoder region. According to the available data there were 1,164 migrants apprehended while attempting to exit Albania irregularly. Similarly to the nationality breakdown of registered arrivals, outgoing flows were predominantly composed of migrants from the Syrian Arab Republic (39%) and Pakistan (33%).

Available DTM flow monitoring data for Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia also indicate increased movement of irregular migrants to/through these countries. Between January and September 2018, there were 5,593 newly registered migrants in the reception centers across Serbia. This is almost twice the 2,897 registered in the same period last year, and slightly more than the 5,435 registered in the whole of 2017. More than half of all registered migrants in Serbia this year declared Pakistani origin (58%), another 12% were from the Islamic Republic of Iran followed by 9% of migrants from Afghanistan, 6% from Iraq and 6% of Bangladeshi nationals. In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia authorities reported arrival of 2,361 irregular migrants as of 19 September, four times the 547 reported in the whole of 2017.

Beyond the Mediterranean, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths and disappearances of 2,797 people during migration to international destinations in 2018 (see chart below).

Elsewhere in the world – where infrequent monitoring of migratory routes means that data on migrant deaths is even more scarce – several migrant deaths were recorded. On the US-Mexico border, two bodies were recovered near the Rio Grande. On Sunday, a man’s body was found among the bushes on banks of the river near Mission, Texas.

On Monday, an unidentified man was found drowned in the Rio Grande in the south of Maverick County, Texas. On Wednesday, another unidentified man was found dead after falling from La Bestia – the notoriously dangerous cargo trains used by migrants travelling northwards to the US – near Tezuapan, Mexico, near Cañada Morelos. This same region was the site of another Bestia-related death, of a 28-year-old migrant from El Salvador whose remains were recovered in July near a railroad crossing known as “Bola de Nopal,” or “Cactus Ball.”

In Africa, reports that a ship carrying 60 migrants had been lost at sea off the coast of Guinea-Bissau had a less dire outcome than expected. Despite initial reports that wreckage from the migrants’ boat had been recovered, Captain Siga Batista confirmed that 63 missing migrants had been rescued by a cargo ship and brought to the Gambia. There were later reports that two individuals were lost at sea, though this has not yet been confirmed.

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

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel:   +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 166; M. +30 69 48 92 98 09
Email: aavgeropoulou@iom.int
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 248, Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel. +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 17:15Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Helps Somali Migrants Return Home from Tanzania

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:01

Mogadishu – On Wednesday (03/10) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, assisted 17 Somali migrants in returning voluntarily from Tanzania, where they had been detained as they embarked on an unsuccessful journey to South Africa.

IOM’s intervention was made under the auspices of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa (also known as the ‘Joint Initiative’) with funding from the EU Trust Fund for Africa.

The latest return will bring the number of Somalis assisted by IOM under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative to 82 since March 2017.

This assistance was provided in close coordination with the governments of Somalia and Tanzania and will enable the Somali returnees to build a future back home. It includes medical check-ups, housing, group and psychosocial counselling, along with longer-term support towards developing job skills and starting up small businesses to have gainful employment and decent livelihoods. The Joint Initiative aims to assist at least 1000 Somali returnees before March 2020.

Gerald Kihinga, representing Tanzania’s Commissioner General of Immigration (CGI), thanked IOM for its continuing support in managing migration, and welcomed the collaboration and coordination between the governments of Tanzania and Somalia in attending to the increasing numbers of Somali migrants entering Tanzania irregularly.

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 covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries.

Southern Africa is still a preferred destination for migrants from East and the Horn of Africa. However, the southern route – largely to South Africa – also has its share of hazards, including the risk of arrest for those without the requisite documentation, or for those who overstay their welcome in the transit countries.

Others opt for Europe and the Middle East using what have come to be known as the northern and eastern routes: perilous journeys through areas impacted by conflict, to the north of Africa, the western part of the continent as well as the Horn of Africa.

For more information please contact:
Amy Edwards at IOM Somalia, Email: aedwards@iom.int
Gracia Anthony at IOM Tanzania, Tel: +255 716 204156, Email: ganthony@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 17:10Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationHumanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

The 17 migrants just before their departure for Ethiopia. Photo: IOM

From left: Tanzania’s Commissioner for Passport and Citizenship, Mr. Gerald Kihinga and IOM Chief of Mission in Tanzania, Dr. Qasim Sufi. Photo: IOM

One of the migrants as the group boards the plane for home. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Despite Ongoing Conflict Al-Hudaydah Port Remains Lifeline of Yemen

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:01

Al-Hudaydah — Despite renewed and ongoing clashes in the city of Al-Hudaydah, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is continuing its support to displaced persons in the city and across Yemen.

Since March 2015, consistent insecurity in Yemen has ravaged the country causing subsequent collapse of the infrastructure, economy, health services and livelihoods with 22.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

The military offensive to seize control of the Al-Hudaydah port and surrounding areas that began in June has exacerbated the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen, leading to the large-scale internal displacement of two million people. IOM reports that since June 2018 some 78,400 households fled their homes in Al-Hudaydah to seek temporary shelter in public schools in San’a.

The fragile health system in Yemen is also under immense pressure to sustain the growing medical needs of the population. Limited numbers of health professionals, shortages of medical supplies and restricted access to healthcare for civilians due to unrelenting fighting have increased the severity of disease outbreaks such as cholera.

The Al-Hudaydah port remains a vital conduit and lifeline for the delivery of humanitarian aid to those desperately in need. Eighty per cent of Yemen’s imports, including food and basic commodities, enter the country through the Al-Hudaydah port. Twenty-eight million Yemenis, especially the eight million people at risk of starvation, rely on this port as a lifeline. 

“Any blockade or destruction of the port risks toppling the country into a full-blown famine with inevitably devastating consequences,” said Maysa Khalil, IOM Head of Sub-Office in Al-Hudaydah.

Thus far in 2018, IOM facilitated the return of 615 migrants via the Al-Hudaydah port. However, unpredictable access to the port has resulted in the cancellation of multiple voluntary humanitarian return missions, with no movements in the past two months.

As the humanitarian situation worsens, IOM remains committed to providing assistance to displaced communities in districts across the Al-Hudaydah Governate. In the last two months, IOM supplied 1,788 shelter kits and 2,450 non-food item (NFI) kits to families in Bayt Al-Faqiah district. In Al-Qatee’e and Al-Marawi’ah districts, IOM established four kitchens and served 2,000 meals daily. IOM also provides food baskets through the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) in Al-Qanawis, Ad-Durayhimi, Az-Zaydiyah, Al-Munirah and Bayt Al-Faqiah districts. In addition, IOM supported 946 displaced families with cash and rental subsidies assistance in Al-Garrahi, Zabid and Jabal Ra’s districts.

Across Al-Hudaydah, IOM also offers emergency medical services including vaccinations, reproductive healthcare, mental health and psychosocial support in coordination with partner agencies such as the World Health Organization.

IOM remains committed to ensuring the provision of medical equipment, ambulances, emergency assistance, child protection services, water, sanitation, and hygiene services, and other lifesaving assistance to conflict-affected populations across the country.

For more information please contact: Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329; Email: smalme@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 17:05Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

A shelter and relief items distribution in Yemen. Photo: IOM

An internally displaced Yemeni child receives treatment. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNICEF Identify Challenges Faced by Venezuelan Children and Adolescents, Newly Arrived in Brazil

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:01

Brasilia – Who are the Venezuelan children and adolescents who have arrived in Brazil in recent months? What are the needs and vulnerabilities of these girls and boys?

Answers to these and other questions were provided by IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) when they published this week (02/10), results of a new survey completed by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DMT) unit focusing on children and adolescents.

The survey, which was financially supported by the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), was conducted in the municipalities of Pacaraima and Boa Vista, in Roraima state in May and June 2018.

IOM and UNICEF identifiedthe challenges faced by Venezuelans upon arrival in Brazil, especially by children and adolescents. Almost 4,000 people were interviewed, 425 of whom were with their children under the age of 18.

Data of approximately 726 children and adolescents was also collected. The majority of the interviews were conducted in the neighbourhoods of Boa Vista and Pacaraima (426), 171 were on the border between Pacaraima and Venezuela, and 76 were in the bus station of Boa Vista.

The data show that many of the girls and boys who arrive in the country find it difficult to attend school. A considerable number of them report having access to health care but are at health risk due to problems with hygiene and food insecurity. There are also reports of children being exposed to violence. The main findings of the survey are:

Education

  • 63.5 per cent of the children and adolescents do not attend school.
  • Considering only compulsory school age, more than half (59 per cent) of the children and adolescents aged 5-17 years in the neighbourhoods do not attend school. In the age group of 15-17 years, 76 per cent are out of school.

Health

  • Most children and adolescents (87.1 per cent) were up-to-date on their vaccines. Among the general population interviewed, 70 per cent reported having had access to health services.
  • Nonetheless, poor sanitary conditions can impact their health; Some 60 per cent of the survey respondents reported having no access to filtered drinking water; 45 per cent lacked regular access to water for cooking and for personal hygiene.
  • 28 per cent of the people under the age of 18 had diarrhea in the past month.

Food security

  • Since arriving in Brazil, 115 children and adolescents (16 per cent) experienced a period during which they did not have enough food.
  • 128 had to reduce the number of meals.
  • 93 felt hungry and were not able to eat.
  • 84 ate only once or did not eat for some days.

Child labour

  • 16 of the respondents indicated that, at some point after arriving in Brazil, a child or adolescent under their responsibility had worked or performed some activity in exchange for payment.

Sexual violence

  • 14 people gave a positive answer to the question, “Since you arrived in Brazil, have you ever met a child or adolescent who was at risk of sexual violence?”

See the complete survey in Spanish and Portuguese.

About DTM
Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) is a tool that captures and monitors information on human mobility and displacement. One of its methods are the Flow Monitoring Surveys (FMS).

The first round of the survey, which focused on the situation of Venezuelan immigrants in Brazil, was carried out between January and March 2018 by IOM upon the request of the Brazilian Ministry of Human Rights. The second round, conducted between May and June and supported by UNICEF, focused on children and adolescents.

The first survey was carried out in transit sites and settlements in Boa Vista and Pacaraima. Homeless people and people living in abandoned properties and houses were interviewed. The team interviewed 3,785 people – a majority of them over 18 years old. Additionally, 27 unaccompanied minors (over 15 years old) also were interviewed.

The results only reveal the characteristics of the population surveyed. Therefore, it is not possible to make a probabilistic generalization of the entire Venezuelan migrant population either present or in transit between May and June 2018 in Boa Vista and Pacaraima.

 

For more information please contact Stéphane Rostiaux at IOM Brazil, Tel: +55 61 3038 9065, Email: srostiaux@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 16:58Image: Region-Country: BrazilThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Partners Train Nepal National Security Forces in Emergency Response

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:01

Kathmandu – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) this week (3-5/10) organized a three-day simulation exercise with Nepal’s Department of Urban Development and Building Construction  (DUDBC) under the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), the Nepal Police and Armed Police Force, and Nepal Army to provide the country’s National Security Forces with hands-on experience in emergency response and management of camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

“Lessons learned from the devastating floods in 2008 and 2017, and the earthquakes in 2015 highlighted the importance of a rapid and coordinated response and the need to manage displacement through the rapid establishment of standardized sites. This exercise is designed to help keep disaster response units, their skills and equipment intact in a highly disaster-prone country,” said IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Paul Norton. 

Under Nepal’s new Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act 2017, the country’s National Security Forces are responsible for search, rescue, and other relief work following any natural disaster. The DUDBC under the MoUD co-leads the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) cluster, which is responsible for managing camps for internally displaced people, with IOM.

“Nepal is rated among the 20 most disaster-prone countries in the world and this simulation exercise will help to identify gaps in camp coordination and management and feed our future response plans,” said DUDBC Director General Mani Ram Gelal. “As the CCCM lead, DUDBC needs to ensure that camps and services are in line with SPHERE (Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response) standards in any future emergency.”

Over 100 participants from federal and provincial governments, National Security Forces, United Nations, International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) took part in the simulation exercise, which was the first of its kind.

The exercise was part of a USAID-funded IOM project Capacity Building of National Security Forces in Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), implemented in coordination with DUDBC and Nepal’s National Security Forces.

For more information please contact Paul Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel: +97714426250, Email: mailto:iomnepal@iom.int. Or Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, Tel: +977-1-4211673, Email: mailto:info@moud.gov.np

Language English Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 16:53Image: Region-Country: NepalThemes: Capacity BuildingInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Nepal’s National Security Forces now play a central role in the country’s disaster response planning. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

António Vitorino Begins Term as IOM Director General

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Geneva – On Monday (01/10), António Vitorino of Portugal became the latest Director General of IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency. Mr. Vitorino succeeds veteran United States diplomat William Lacy Swing, who served two five-year terms as Director General.

IOM Director General António Vitorino, 61 (DOB 12 January 1957), is a former European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs (1999-2004) and Portugal’s former Minister of the Presidency and National Defence (1995-1997). He has also enjoyed a distinguished career in Portugal as a lawyer as well as in electoral politics.

Mr. Vitorino was elected to Portugal’s Parliament in 1980. In 1983 he became Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs. He later served as Deputy Secretary for the Governor of Macau until 1989, when he returned to Lisbon to become a judge of the Constitutional Court, a term that ended in 1994. He subsequently served as Minister for National Defence and Deputy Prime Minister within the government of António Guterres, now the United Nations’ Secretary General.

From 1999 to 2004, Mr. Vitorino served as the European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs. During his tenure, Mr. Vitorino participated in conversations that led to the drawing of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Convention on the Future of Europe.

Since exiting politics in 2005, Mr. Vitorino has returned to law, serving as a partner with the firm of Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira & Associados. Mr. Vitorino has been President of the think tank Notre Europe since June 2011 and for many years enjoyed an ongoing role as commentator for the leading Portuguese television channel RTP 1.

Mr. Vitorino earned a degree from the University of Lisbon’s School of Law in 1981, as well as a Master’s Degree in Legal and Political Science. He has authored works on Constitutional Law, Political Science, European Community Law, and was also a member of the Drafting Committee of the Portuguese White Book on Corporate Governance.

Upon taking charge Monday morning, Director General Vitorino offered this message to the IOM staff:

“Today it is my first day in office as your new Director General and I want you all to know how fortunate I feel to be joining the IOM family, roughly 11,000 men and women, the majority of whom are scattered around the globe.

“With this brief message, let me, first and foremost, praise the remarkable work of my predecessor Bill Swing. He has consolidated IOM’s reputation as a principled, accountable, transparent organization with an enviable track record of efficiency and effectiveness.

“Thank you, Bill.

“Let me also be very direct with you in this first message to tell you what especially appeals about IOM, in my view, is its commitment to be simultaneously at the service of migrants and of our member states alike. Thanks to IOM’s membership in the UN family, we are also, I believe, reaching an inflection point in the life of our organization.

“We are about to see, hopefully, the Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration being endorsed in Marrakech in December. And the Secretary General of the United Nations has asked IOM to play a coordinating and supporting role of the newly created UN migration network, therefore, being in charge of supporting member states in the implementation of the objectives of the global compact.

“I believe that IOM is fortunate with the fact that these new tasks largely align with our work that we already develop daily. And, the advantages of IOM, that you know so well: its flexibility, its effectiveness, its decentralized nature and being a cost-effective organization make IOM prepared for this new challenge and to adapt, change and grow.

“Of course, there we will also need to be very clear on one point: we stick to our very nature. We are an organization very much close to migrants, especially those who are more vulnerable and those who are in need of humanitarian assistance. And, we will stick to our very nature, to our DNA, being capable to respond to the requests of our member states, being flexible in providing tailor-made solutions and being effective in contributing to the management of migratory flows, linking together countries of origin, of transit and of destination.

“Above all, I think that these new tasks correspond to the recognition of the unique role that IOM plays as a proximity organization to the migrants that we serve in particular, and our key roles to guarantee their human rights, their human dignity, their wellbeing, irrespective of their legal status.

“Therefore, IOM’s new role in the UN system and in the implementation of the Global Compact should not be seen as a job just for the headquarters or for the central departments. Not at all. It is a task which involves the entire organization and doing that, we will do it in an inclusive way, from the smallest missions to my office in headquarters, including the country and the regional offices.

“We will also deepen our partnership with UN agencies and other stakeholders from the civil society at the local, at the regional and global level.

“And, of course, for that purpose some organizational and funding adjustments will have to be made in due course.

“I’m fully aware that today in different parts of the world, the political landscape on migration is overheated. But the paradox is that at the same time as there are signs of retrenchment, that’s the moment when the global compact is adopted.

“That’s the moment when the UN Migration Network is created and therefore those two instruments, fully aligned with the sustainable development goals, will be the leverage to put migration on the international agenda, and to guarantee its advancement worldwide.

“Therefore, I must say to you very frankly, I believe that there has never been a more exciting or challenging time to work in the field of migration. I’m counting on the professionalism, commitment and full engagement of all who work in IOM. Our future success depends as much on the service of the countless men and women of IOM, as it does on the leadership.

“I know for my personal experience that you, the staff of IOM, whether in headquarters or in the field are totally committed to the values of our constitution and to our unique mission.

“As we take on these new challenges, I am counting on all of you.

“Thank you.”

Watch the statement here: https://youtu.be/sGlFMoPv2sQ

For more information, please contact Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

New IOM Director General, António Vitorino. Photo: IOM /M. Mohammed

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Allocates USD 200,000 to Aid Victims of Indonesian Earthquake, Tsunami

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Jakarta – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has allocated USD 200,000 from its emergency funds to kickstart an emergency response operation following the powerful earthquake and ensuing tsunami that hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday.

“IOM has been meeting with government counterparts, including the Ministry of Social Affairs, and UN partner agencies to discuss the immediate priorities and needs identified by the government. We want to target areas where our intervention can have the greatest positive impact and offer the most support to the government’s ongoing efforts. We will be putting forward proposals which may include deployment of our displacement tracking matrix (DTM) - a tool that maps how many people have been displaced, where they are and their immediate needs, to inform the humanitarian response,” said IOM Indonesia Chief of Mission Mark Getchell.

Other areas in which IOM may be able to help could include the establishment of a “humanitarian bridge” by which non-food relief items from IOM stockpiles in the region can be delivered to government staging points in the affected areas. Evacuees can then be transported out of the affected areas on the returning empty vehicles/vessels. The deployment of shelter and camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) experts could be another possible area of assistance, Getchell added.

IOM Jakarta is today convening a meeting of the IOM-supported Indonesian National Cluster on Protection and Displaced Persons to further discuss the best ways forward in response to the disaster. According to the Indonesian authorities, immediate needs in addition to evacuation, include health, fresh water, food, hygiene and shelter.

An IOM disaster response expert will tomorrow join other UN Humanitarian Country Team members on an assessment mission to the affected area led by the Jakarta-based ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre.)

The 7.4 magnitude earthquake and the wall of water that crashed into Palu, a city of 350,000, has claimed at least 1,234 lives and injured hundreds more. Many outlying areas close to the quake’s epicentre in Donggala remain cut off due to landslides and infrastructure damage, and there are fears the casualty toll will rise sharply in the coming days. More than 200 aftershocks have hit the area since Friday.

Earthquakes are common in Indonesia, one of the most seismically active countries on earth. On 5 August, a 6.9 magnitude quake and a series of strong aftershocks struck the island of Lombok, 1,700km from Palu, killing at least 430 people and injuring 1,300 more. Tens of thousands remain displaced and more than 67,000 houses are reported to have been damaged.

A 9.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Sumatra on Boxing Day 2004 triggered a tsunami that killed an estimated 220,000 people, including more than 160,000 Indonesians. IOM was a key government partner in the emergency response and reconstruction, creating the logistics train that supplied the response and building thousands of homes, clinics, schools and government buildings.

Since that time Indonesia has invested considerably in its emergency response systems. IOM has worked closely with the national disaster planning agency on trainings and simulations over the years, particularly in Aceh province, the area hardest hit in 2004.

IOM has worked in Indonesia since 1979 and now has 16 established offices and 11 project sites across the country. These include two long-established offices in Sulawesi. For more about IOM’s work in Indonesia, please go to: http://indonesia.iom.int/

For more information please contact Mark Getchell at IOM Indonesia, Tel:  +62 8111092582, Email: mgetchell@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:40Image: Region-Country: IndonesiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

The earthquake and tsunami that hit Central Sulawesi on 28 September 2018 left hundreds dead and tens of thousands displaced. Photo: Indonesian Red Cross/IFRC

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 82,100 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,741

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 82,100 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 30 September, with 36,654 to Spain, the leading destination this year. (Spain’s arrivals include over 600 migrants sailing to Las Canarias in the Atlantic Ocean – see more below.)

The region’s total arrivals through the recent weekend compare with 136,313 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 304,933 at this same point in 2016. Deaths on the Mediterranean remain high, at 1,741. However, that figure is well below fatalities recorded at this time last year (2,676) or 2016 (3,602).

Spain, with nearly 45 per cent of all arrivals through the year, continued to receive seaborne migrants in September at a volume nearly twice that of Greece and more than seven times that of Italy. Italy’s arrivals through late September are the lowest recorded at this point – the end of a normally busy summer sailing season – in almost five years (see chart below).

 

 

Arrivals to Italy – just 964 in September – marked what appears to be the first time in over four years that fewer than 1,000 migrants or refugees landed in Italy (see chart below). Almost as few arrived in February and March this year, traditionally the slowest period of the season, yet even in those winter months at least 1,000 arrivals were recorded. The sharp drop that began over a year ago has continued throughout this year.

 

IOM Libya reported Monday total departures of stranded migrants this year under IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme have reached 12,544 with 172 leaving last week. Since 1 January 2017, IOM has returned 31,915 under VHR, either via commercial airliners or charters. The top four countries of return are Nigeria, Niger, Mali and Guinea. Last week’s returnees went home to The Gambia, Bangladesh, Guinea and Cameroon.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that IOM estimates that data provided by Spain’s Ministry of Interior indicate the total number of arrivals to Spain is 41,474, of which 36,654 are registered as arrivals by sea and at least 4,820 as land arrivals to the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. From the total number of sea arrivals, 36,015 were registered on the Western Mediterranean Route (Peninsular Coast, Balearic Islands and sea arrivals to Ceuta and Melilla) and the remaining 639 were registered on the Western African Route linking the African continent to the Canary Islands (see chart below).

Compared to the same period last year, sea arrivals have increased 196 per cent. 


IOM’s Missing Migrants Project notes that at least 2,756 people died or went missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018, and the Mediterranean region continues to outweigh all others in terms of recorded migrant deaths, with 1,741 losing their lives at sea in the first nine months of 2018.

Most recently, seven people drowned when crossing the Aegean Sea from the Turkish province of Edirne to Greece.
On 30 September, three people were rescued and the remains of five Syrian nationals were recovered by the Turkish Coast Guard off the coast of Enez. Survivors reported that two people (a man and a woman, also of Syrian origin) were missing. A search-and-rescue operation is still underway.

In the Western Mediterranean, the body of a woman was found in Herradura Bay, near Almuñécar in Spain’s province of Granada on 28 September. Just ten days earlier, another body was recovered in the same area. In the past two weeks, the remains of 12 migrants have washed up at different locations on the shores of Morocco and Spain. These cases are not connected to any known shipwreck, an alarming trend indicating that some boats may sink without the knowledge of any authorities. If there are no survivors, an incident may go entirely unrecorded.

On Monday, IOM Greece reported that over the last four days of September (27-30), the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Samos and Chios. The HCG rescued a total 97 migrants and transferred them to those two islands.

Those and other arrivals over these four days brings to 23,240 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 30 September (see chart below).

 
IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou said that on Saturday a Syrian man, 31 years old, was found dead in the Malakasa open accommodation site, after an altercation between Syrian refugees and Afghans. An investigation by the Hellenic Police is ongoing. Police were still present outside the Malakasa open accommodation site on Monday.
Eight people – all Arabs – were reported injured, none in critical condition.

The victim was said to be a husband and father to five children. His family has been relocated to an apartment in Athens, where other family members are currently living. Psychological support has also been provided and IOM is taking care of funeral arrangements. IOM has Site Management support in Malakasa assisting the Greek Government; however, IOM staff is not present there during weekends.

Nikolaidou added IOM is supporting the Greek authorities in the emergency response to the increased migration flows and the decongestion of the Greek islands. From 20 September to the present IOM has welcomed 732 vulnerable refugees and migrants from the islands of Lesvos and Samos. That total of 732 people has been allocated to the open accommodation facilities in Vagiochori, Kato Milia and Volvi in Northern Greece, where IOM is the official site management support agency (SMS).

IOM is also present at the port of Piraeus, supporting the Greek authorities in the transportation of refugees and migrants to the selected accommodation facilities. Nikolaidou said today (2 October) that 203 refugees and migrants are scheduled to be transferred to the Volvi open accommodation facility.

IOM Cyprus’ Dimitrios Tsgalas reported there has been a new arrival on Sunday (30 September) of 34 migrants to the Limnitis area—in the Northern section of the island—coming from Turkey. According to local media reports, there were 26 males, two females and six children (aged 1 to 7) of Syrian nationality who entered the Republic of Cyprus through the UN buffer zone. According to statements, migrants and refugees each paid 2300 USD for their journey from Turkey to Cyprus.  The newly arrived were transferred to Pournara temporary reception centre.

IOM Cyprus said with this latest arrival the total number of confirmed landings by irregular migrants to Cyprus in 2018 is 485.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) estimates that at least 2,756 people died or went missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018 (see chart below).

Besides those lost on the Mediterranean, several deaths in other regions have been recorded since Friday’s update. In North Africa, the body of a Nigerian migrant was found on the side of the road in Bani Walid, Libya on 28 September. On the US-Mexico border, US Border Patrol officers found the remains of a man in a ranch near Laredo, Texas on 26 September. Identification documents found in the same spot indicate that the man may have begun his journey in India.

Additionally, the Missing Migrants Project team recorded the deaths of two people in Imperial County, California in September. In the first nine months of 2018, the remains of 15 people were found in this county in California, according to the Mexican Consulate in Calexico. These recent deaths bring to 299 the total number of deaths confirmed along the border corridor, which for MMP data collection purposes includes both countries’ territory. With three months remaining in 2018, it is a virtual certainty that this will be the fifth straight year that border deaths exceeded 300 migrants. In 2016 the MMP data indicate the 300 deaths benchmark was reached on 22 September. In 2017, MMP had recorded 300 deaths on the border by 6 November.

Including all migrant deaths of men, women and children believed to be en route to the US-Mexico border via Central America and Mexico’s interior, IOM estimates at least 2,306 fatalities have been recorded since January 2014 – a fatality rate well over one migrant per day (see charts below) through nearly five years. Last year remains the deadliest during this period, with at least 508 recorded fatalities.

At 355 deaths through three quarters of this current year, 2018’s count so far may be higher, as some US border counties release fatality figures and MMP researchers expect September numbers to increase slightly when those data are released in the coming days.

US Mexico Border Deaths (full year)
2014 – 306 deaths
2015 – 339 deaths
2016 – 401 deaths
2017 – 415 deaths
2018 – 299 deaths*
TOTAL:  1,760
Mexico/Central America deaths (full year)
2014 – 116 deaths
2015 – 101 deaths
2016 – 180 deaths
2017 – 93 deaths
2018 – 56 deaths*
TOTAL: 546
*as of 30 September

 

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 166); Mobile: +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email: aavgeropoulou@iom.int
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 248), Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel. +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel:  +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Email: mchabbi@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Updates on Migration Flows to Spain

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Madrid – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reported that as of Friday (28/09), total land and sea arrivals in the first nine months of this year have surpassed the arrival totals of 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined, but signalled that despite the higher number of arrivals the situation remains manageable.

Migrant arrivals to Spain via the Western Mediterranean and Western African routes have reached a total of 36,654 this year. Another 4,820 migrants reached the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla by land. 

Sea arrivals to Spain currently account for 45 per cent of all Mediterranean arrivals this year given the reduced numbers of migrants arriving in Italy and Greece by sea.

Arrivals to the Canary Islands have also increased this year (611) over last year (144). However, IOM does not assess that this indicates a significant re-activation of the old route.  In 2006, over 35,000 migrants arrived at the Canary Islands by sea.

Noting the dynamic migration context, IOM Chief of Mission in Spain Maria Jesus Herrera remarked that the Spanish authorities and partners on the ground have made strides to improve the reception and management of arriving migrants. “We are not seeing an emergency unfolding in Spain. The situation – while prone to pressures in instances when arrivals are larger than usual – remains under control,” said Herrera.

“As always, the focus should not be on numbers, but on individual needs and the reasons why migrants continue to be driven to migrate irregularly. With more adequate channels for legal migration and complementary pathways for refugees, there would be fewer irregular crossings, fatalities and smuggling operations,” she added.

This summer, Spanish authorities established two temporary centres in the southern region of Andalucía, which are now operational. The centres were set up to improve management of the inflows, allowing authorities to register the newly arrived migrants before referring them to reception centres for further care.

While Spain is now handling the majority of migrants arriving to Europe, there has been a steep overall decline of arrivals across the Mediterranean, especially to Italy which has registered the largest decrease.

IOM Regional Director for the EU, Norway and Switzerland, Eugenio Ambrosi, urges the European Union (EU) to seize this opportunity of lower overall arrivals to move beyond a ‘crisis’ approach and work together across borders and political lines.

“Numbers are down but the needs are still high – not only because of those who die and face increasing risks of dying at sea, but also for the situation within the EU. Migrants, refugees, and the communities they arrive in need equal attention,” said Ambrosi. “We need to work for cohesion, cooperation, and solidarity at all levels, from the moment a boat is in distress, all the way through to disembarkation, reception, relocation, return, integration and social cohesion.”
  
IOM in Spain is currently conducting interviews with newly arrived migrants as part of IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) to gain better understanding of the movements, profiles and needs of those arriving to Spain. IOM is also implementing the EU-funded TANDEM migrant youth empowerment and mentorship project, migrant integration projects, and work in the fields of counter-trafficking, relocation and refugee resettlement.
 
For more information please contact:
Oussama Elbaroudi at IOM Spain, Tel: +34 665 046 539, Email: ouelbaroudi@iom.int
Ryan Schroeder at IOM’s Regional Office in Brussels, Tel: +32 492 25 034, Email: rschroeder@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: SpainThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Migrants at the temporary hosting center in Ceuta, Spain. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Helps 67 Ethiopian Stranded Migrants Return from Tanzania

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Dar es Salaam – Last Friday (28/09) the UN Migration Agency (IOM) office in Tanzania successfully secured the release and return of 67 Ethiopian irregular migrants who were detained in Tanzanian prisons.

All 67 irregular migrants were escorted from different prisons in Tanzania to Dar es Salaam by IOM staff who assisted with the issuance of travel documents and other preparations for their return. During their trip from Dar es Salaam to Addis Ababa, the migrants were accompanied by delegates from the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Immigration Department, as well as staff from IOM Ethiopia.

Prior to their departure and in line with IOM’s voluntary return procedures, all 67 migrants underwent fit-to-travel medical examinations. They were provided with non-food items including clothes and toiletries and received departure assistance at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam.

Upon their arrival at Addis Ababa, they were received by the IOM Ethiopia team, which provided post-arrival support in the form of psycho-social and medical assistance as well as an orientation session.

IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission Dr. Qasim Sufi expressed his appreciation for the collaboration between the Governments of Tanzania and Ethiopia, and for the IOM staff efforts in securing the release of all 67 irregular migrants who had been detained for several months in various prisons throughout Tanzania. He further thanked the representative of the newly opened Ethiopian Embassy in Tanzania for facilitating the issuance of travel documents for the returning migrants and applauded the presence of an Ethiopian embassy in Tanzania that will speed up the process of migrant returns back to Ethiopia.

Gerald Kihinga, acting Commissioner General of Immigration, thanked IOM for the continuous support that it provides to the Government of Tanzania to manage migration in the country. He further added that more collaboration and coordination between the Governments of Tanzania and Ethiopia is needed to address the increasing number of Ethiopian migrants irregularly entering Tanzania.

The return of the 67 migrants was made possible with generous financial support from the project Improving Protection of Migrants, Horn/Gulf of Aden/Yemen, Phase VIII. The project is funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and managed by IOM Ethiopia.

Heba Abdel Latif, the IOM Coordinator for the project, was delighted to see that the IOM joint-country efforts had a successful outcome. She further added that the returnees will receive personalized reintegration assistance in Ethiopia based on their identified vulnerabilities, which will facilitate their long-term reintegration into their communities of return.

The Horn/Gulf of Aden/Yemen: Improving Protection of Migrants, Phase VIII project aims to enhance the management of mixed migration flows in the Horn of Africa and Yemen by supporting governments and protecting the rights of migrants.

The project also focuses on ensuring that vulnerable migrants benefit from improved protection, assistance at Migration Response Centres and protection services, aligned to international standards and provision of direct assistance (this includes assisted voluntary returns, non-food items, and medical supplies to assist vulnerable migrants). 

For more information please contact:
Gracia Anthony at IOM Tanzania, Tel: +255 716 204156, Email: ganthony@iom.int
Heba Abdel Latif at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 983 85 86 55, Email: habdellatif@iom.int
Yves Hatungimana at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 989 82 28 87, Email: yhatungimana@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:25Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Ethiopian migrants boarding the flight at the Julius Nyerere International Airport, Dar Es Salaam. Photo: IOM

Ethiopian migrants at the Julius Nyerere International Airport, Dar Es Salaam. Photo: IOM

Migrants at the Immigration Department in Dar Es Salaam. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, FAO Re-Plant Bangladesh Forest to Repair Environmental Damage Caused by Refugee Influx

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Cox’s Bazar  In just two weeks over 45,000 trees and around 700,000 grass cuttings have been planted by Rohingya refugees and local villagers in Cox’s Bazar to help reverse environmental damage caused by the arrival of some 730,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in the area over the past year.

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and UN Food and Agriculture Agency (FAO) project will plant a further 36,500 trees and million grass cuttings over the coming days.

Bangladesh’s Forest Department, in coordination the Office of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC), UN agencies and NGO partners, is leading the way in the effort to stabilize soil and replant in the area, which was previously national forest land.

In total around 200,000 saplings have now been planted by humanitarian agencies over recent weeks, according to the Energy and Environment Technical Working Group (EETWG), the inter-agency group which coordinates energy and environment activities for the humanitarian response in Cox’s Bazar.

The ongoing and planned replanting projects will also provide livelihood opportunities for thousands of refugees and members of the local community as they work together to improve the environment.

Almost half a million Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar arrived over just a few weeks in late August and September 2017. The sudden influx had a significant impact on the environment as once-green hills were stripped bare of trees and shrubbery to make way for desperately needed shelters - leaving the slopes at serious risk of landslides and flooding.

In total there are now almost one million refugees in the area. This has led to rapid deforestation as demand for firewood saw woodland stripped bare – devastating important habitats, endangering women and children who are often tasked with collecting wood and creating health problems due to smoke inhalation.

According to the Bangladesh Forest Department around 7,000 hectares (2,800 acres) of forest has been heavily damaged as a result of the refugee influx – an issue which has provoked tensions in the local community.

To reduce a reliance on firewood for fuel, prevent further deforestation and allow forest rehabilitation to be carried out, humanitarian agencies are simultaneously providing LPG stoves to refugee and local families in the area. This innovative action has been recognized as a key step in creating a more sustainable environmental response and improving living conditions in the camps, particularly for women.

In total 240,000 stoves will be distributed – enough to reach all refugee families and a significant number of vulnerable people in heavily impacted communities. The recently launched SAFE Plus (Safe Approaches to Fuel and Energy Plus Landscape Restoration and Livelihoods) project- a partnership between IOM, FAO and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) – began the distribution of LPG stoves to 125,000 families in September.

With these alternative fuel options in place, work on reforestation can be ramped up, saving the remaining topsoil and stabilizing slopes, according to FAO Emergency Program Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar Peter Agnew. “The disaster risk reduction element of reforestation work, mitigating landslides and flashfloods caused by deforestation, is key objective of the project,” he said.

“A year after this crisis began, it is heartening to see authorities, agencies, and of course refugees and local villagers, come together to work to support forest regeneration and create a healthier environment and better future for all,” said Manuel Pereira, IOM’s Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.

“Redressing environmental damage on this scale will take time, but the speed and immense hard work of all those involved in replanting projects over the past weeks are already having a positive impact, as can be seen by the vast increase in greenery across the camps,” he added.

For more information please contact Fiona MacGregor at IOM Cox’s Bazar. Email: fmacgregor@iom.int. Tel. +88 0 1733 335221

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:20Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Bangladesh’s Forest Department and UN agencies are reversing deforestation in Cox’s Bazar with a massive replanting programme. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Partners Hold Regional Maritime Security Conference in Madagascar

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Antananarivo – Ninety-five percent of all trade in East, Horn and Southern African countries passes through seaports and other maritime routes. Due to the high amount of incoming traffic, seaports across Africa are vulnerable to transnational crime and smuggling. In order to better secure sea borders on Africa's vast coastline, 40 technical experts from 12 countries – including officials from entities responsible for migration management and maritime security – are gathered in Madagascar for a three-day regional conference to identify priority actions to support continental and regional solutions in this field. The event, which started yesterday (01/10), is jointly organized by the UN Migration Agency (IOM), the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and Interpol.

The conference is organized under the Better Migration Management (BMM) programme – a regional, multi-year, multi-partner programme funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The overall objective of this programme is to improve migration management in the Horn of Africa region, and in particular to address the trafficking of human beings and the smuggling of migrants within and from the Horn of Africa while taking into consideration the country-specific migration dynamics. IOM is one of the main implementing partners for the BMM programme along with UNODC, GIZ, Expertise France, Italian State Police, CIVIPOL and the British Council.

The conference gathers representatives of BMM partner countries from the Horn of Africa region (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan) as well as from the Indian Ocean (Comoros, France [Réunion], Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles and Tanzania). The focus is on maritime security and transnational organized crime including common threats such as piracy, terrorism, arms smuggling, corruption, human trafficking and smuggling of persons, drug trafficking, and other illegal acts.

In his welcome remarks Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM’s Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa, emphasised that “facilitating the safe and orderly movement of goods and persons remains a priority concern at ports and along sea borders.” He added that “this Regional Conference provides a unique opportunity to strengthen regional collaborative approaches related to maritime security threats and challenges, among them trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants.”

Hamada Madi, the IOC’s Secretary General, welcomed this initiative and stressed the importance of establishing formal regional mechanisms for the exchange of maritime information and the coordination of joint operations at sea to enhance maritime governance. “The two MASE (Maritime Security Programme) regional agreements set the base for these regional maritime security mechanisms, which are in line with the needs of the region. Five countries signed these agreements but, it is of utmost importance that other States join and sign them to ensure a more sustainable and stronger maritime security and safety architecture in the Western Indian Ocean,” Madi noted.

The conference builds on the IOC’s Ministerial Conference on maritime security issues held in April 2018 in Mauritius, where ministers in charge of security and representatives of regional organizations adopted a Declaration on Maritime Security in the Western Indian Ocean. Member States had also reiterated the need to continue their commitment and that of regional organizations towards the sharing and exchange of maritime information and the coordination of action at sea through dedicated regional Centres.

For more information please contact:
Daniel Silva y Poveda at IOM Madagascar, Tel: +261 32 56 54 954, Email: dsilva@iom.int
Pascaline Alexandre at the Indian Ocean Commission, Tel: +230 402 61 00, Email: Pascaline.alexandre@coi-ioc.org
Or visit the website of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa: https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/node/162

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: MadagascarThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Technical experts in migration and maritime security from twelve countries during the opening session of the Conference. Photo: IOM

Madagascar’s Minister of Defense proceeding with the opening of the regional conference on behalf of the host Government. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Airport Welfare Desks Aim to Aid Bangladeshi Migrants

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Dhaka – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has re-established five migrant welfare desks at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport to serve as information and documentation points for outbound and returning Bangladeshi migrants. The desks will provide the migrants with better access to reliable information, documentation and pre-departure and post-arrival services.
 
Bangladeshi migrant workers play a key role in the nation’s economy, which has seen an average annual growth rate of 6 percent over the past decade. Migrant workers, who have sent home an estimated USD 138 billion in remittances since 2008, have played a major role in this success story.

But while many migrants have successfully migrated and returned home, others have opted for irregular channels and become victims of smugglers and traffickers. Bangladeshis travelling irregularly through Libya and across the Mediterranean to reach Europe have become a major concern for both European Union (EU) member states and the Government of Bangladesh. Many have died on the dangerous route and others have become stranded in Europe. 

According to the Bangladeshi government, reestablishing reliable information centers and improving service standards will help migrants to make informed choices and encourage them to take regular pathways. “Services need to be made more accessible and effective and there is no room for compromise,” said the Bangladesh Expat Secretary Rownaq Jahan.

IOM re-established the welfare desks at Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport’s arrival and departure lounges as part of an EU-funded project: Prottasha – Bangladesh: Sustainable Reintegration and Improved Migration Governance.

"The EU supports initiatives in partner countries to strengthen their capacity in all relevant areas of migration management. These desks can play a vital role to facilitate safe migration and sustainable reintegration,” said EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Rensje Teernik.

According to Bangladesh’s Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), an estimated one million Bangladeshis migrated for work in 2017. This number is likely to increase with the government targeting economic growth of 8 percent by 2020. 

“Access to accurate and timely information at all stages of migration is a basic right for migrants,” said IOM Bangladesh Chief of Mission Giorgi Gigauri. “That means mainstreaming rights-based policies and having the right kind of infrastructure – like these desks - to meet adequate service delivery standards.”

For more information please contact Chowdhury Asif Mahmud Bin Harun at IOM Bangladesh, Email: mbinharun@iom.int, Tel. +880.1755509476.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:10Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Integrated Border ManagementMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Migrants verify their documents at a migrant welfare desk in Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport. Photo: IOM 2018

One of the four migrant welfare desks during its construction. Photo: IOM 2018

Migrants verify their documents at a migrant welfare desk in Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport. Photo: IOM 2018

Migrants verify their documents at a migrant welfare desk in Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Organizes Regional Seminar on Mixed Migration in West Africa

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Dakar – On 27 September IOM, the UN Migration Agency, organized a regional seminar on mixed migration and the protection of vulnerable migrants in the regional economic union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Dakar, Senegal.

In the West African context, mixed migration refers to complex population movements driven by multiple factors, comprising economic migration, human trafficking and forced displacement. Mixed migration flows present different, but not exclusive, protection needs during migrants’ journeys.

The seminar, bringing together 35 participants from, amongst others, ECOWAS Member States, international donor partners, and international governmental and non-governmental agencies from the region, aimed to promote a common understanding of both the challenges and opportunities in improving migrant protection in the ECOWAS space and to identify protection gaps existing in the region.

Originating from West Africa, the Central Mediterranean Route (CMR) is the most dangerous migration flow in the world. The route is used every year by thousands of mostly West African migrants trying to reach North Africa and Europe. In 2016, eight in 10 adolescents with secondary education and nine in 10 adolescents with no education reported exploitation during their journey. Ensuring the protection of people on the move through a coordinated approach is therefore essential for a comprehensive and efficient migration management strategy.

“Harrowing tales of West African migrants trying to reach Europe through the Central Mediterranean Route shed light on an unacceptable situation and protection gaps facing the most vulnerable persons along the routes,” said Michele Bombassei, IOM Regional Thematic Specialist on Migrant Assistance in West and Central Africa.

“It is time to develop transnational protection systems to ensure basic rights for vulnerable persons regardless of their nationality or migratory status,” he added.

Protection of migrants refers to all activities aimed at respecting the human rights of migrants and ensuring that vulnerable persons have access to shelter, health care and education, among other services.

During the seminar, the latest research findings on protection were presented to the audience. IOM and Altai Consulting presented their latest report on the existing protection systems in four countries (Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, and Senegal) and the challenges in their service provision to migrants. Save the Children together with the Mixed Migration Hub presented its study exploring the vulnerability of children on the move and the legal frameworks affecting child mobility in the region. Research presented by Migration Hub analyzed recent youth reintegration efforts in Nigeria and the Regional Working Group on Child Protection presented the recently adopted ECOWAS Strategic Framework on Child Protection.

“Developing protection systems in the region that provide migrants access to justice and lifesaving assistance is essential,” said Marie-Eve Boyer Friedrich, Human Rights Officer at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The project Protecting Vulnerable Migrants in West and Central Africa, funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) of the State Department of the Government of the United States, aims to reinforce the capacities of regional institutions, national governments and international bodies in managing mixed migration and ensuring the respect of migrants’ rights in West and Central Africa.

For more information, please contact Florence Kim at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +22178 620 62 13, Email: fkim@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:05Image: Region-Country: SenegalThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

“Be brave, brother” written by a migrant in a transit center in Northern Niger, along the Central Mediterranean Route. Photo: IOM/Michele Bombassei

Entrance of a protection center in Niger, one of the main transit countries along the Central Mediterranean Route. Photo: IOM/Amanda Nero

Truck carrying irregular migrants in Niger, one of the main transit countries along the Central Mediterranean Route. Photo: IOM/Amanda Nero

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Ghana Trains Community-Based Surveillance Volunteers to Prevent Spread of Diseases Across Borders

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Accra – In September 2018, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Ghana trained 317 Community-Based Surveillance (CBS) Volunteers in the Northern Region of Ghana to identify and promptly report specific health risks in their communities that could spread as a result of human mobility.

By notifying local health authorities when outbreaks of disease occur, CBS Volunteers (CBSVs) play a strategic role in Ghana Health Service’s Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response Strategy. While CBS has been employed in Ghana since the late 1980s, IOM has modified its trainings in response to the recent West African Ebola epidemic. The volunteers are now encouraged to shift from case-based monitoring and reporting to events-based reporting.

Rather than focusing on individual cases of illness, events-based reporting targets patterns of events that may indicate proneness to future epidemics in a community. IOM’s revised module is thus an early warning system to situations when two or more members of a household or neighbours begin to display similar symptoms.

In total, since July 2017, 930 CBSVs and 163 supervisors have been trained across five regions of Ghana. Training locations were selected based on proximity to borders – either international borders or those between regions in Ghana.

The most recent trainings took place in Yagaba, the capital of Mamprugu Moagduri district in the Northern Region. Mamprugu Moagduri shares borders with the Upper East and Upper West Regions of Ghana.

Abdulai S. Abukari has been serving as CBSV for years in this district.

In 1998, he reported a cholera outbreak in his community by cycling 32 miles to the nearest health directorate in Walewale and crossing the White Volta River. Thanks to Abukari’s identification efforts and the subsequent treatment of the cholera patients, his community remained safe. After the new training provided by IOM, Abukari declared, “Now when I go on the street with my card, everyone knows we are also a part of Ghana Health Service.” Providing volunteers with identification improves volunteers’ visibility to members of the community, while also motivating the volunteers by recognizing the important role they play.

IOM Ghana’s CBSV training was piloted in the Ketu South District bordering Togo, in the Volta Region, and the Kassena Nankana West District, bordering Burkina Faso, in the Northern Region. The success of the pilot has resulted in Ghana’s Ministry of Health accepting to roll out the modified CBS module to more than 25 districts across the country. At present, the Jomoro District of the Western Region near Cote d’Ivoire, the Assin North District of the Central Region, and the Tatale Sanguli District of the Northern Region have all benefited from trainings.

IOM Ghana’s modified CBSV trainings are supported by the IOM Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) with funding from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The GHSA was launched in Ghana in 2016 when five West African countries were chosen for its implementation.

For more information, please contact Patrick Avevor at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233 50 320 2803, Email: pavevor@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:00Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementMigration HealthDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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