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Updated: 2 hours 8 min ago

Situation of Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants Needs Greater Global Attention

Thu, 08/29/2019 - 16:06

Statement by Eduardo Stein, Joint UNHCR-IOM Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants

Geneva - The number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela has now reached 4.3 million and is growing by the day. As of today, there is no end in sight to this massive population movement, which includes an increasing number of people with vulnerabilities, many of them in need of international protection, as well as a large group seeking access to basic services and employment opportunities.
The countries most affected by this population movement are in Latin America and the Caribbean, in particular in the Andean Region, where the socio-economic impact of the outflow from Venezuela has been the most extensive and far-reaching.
Despite strained budgets, diminishing resources, social tensions and overwhelmed institutions, countries in Latin America and the Caribbean continue to make commendable efforts to give protection and assistance and to promote the social and economic inclusion of Venezuelans in their territory. However, there is little doubt that the situation of Venezuelan refugees and migrants is surpassing the capacities of individual countries and of the region as a whole.
It is only through a coherent, predictable and harmonized regional response that countries in the region will be able to meet the unprecedented humanitarian challenge of responding to the needs of a growing number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants.
As Joint UNHCR-IOM Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the region, I am concerned that limits on Venezuelans in accessing the territory of receiving countries may force them into making irregular journeys, leading to trafficking and smuggling, and exacerbating their vulnerabilities.
While recognizing the sovereign right of States to decide what measures to take in order to allow access to their territories, I call upon countries in the region to preserve access to asylum and to strengthen the mechanisms that allow the identification of people in need of international protection. Likewise, I respectfully urge States to maintain flexible entry policies, given that many Venezuelans face considerable difficulties in complying with entry requirements, and to continue regularizing and documenting Venezuelan refugees and migrants, as well as facilitating family reunification.
Furthermore, I respectfully exhort countries in the region to continue to articulate, coordinate and harmonize their policies and to exchange information and good practices through the Quito Process, which as a non-binding group has brought together Latin American and Caribbean countries affected by the outflow of Venezuelan refugees and migrants. I encourage them to continue to seek cooperation and responsibility-sharing in the spirit of the Quito process, the next meeting of which is scheduled on 5 and 6 December in Bogota, Colombia.

I also appeal to the international community, including bilateral and multilateral cooperation agencies, financial institutions and development actors, to reinforce their support, including financial, to the Venezuelan population, as well as to the receiving countries and local communities hosting Venezuelans.

Media contacts:
In Geneva: Joel Millman,, +41 79 103 8720
In Buenos Aires: Juliana Quintero,, +54 11 32488134
In Geneva: Liz Throssell,, + 41 79 33 77 591
In Panama, William Spindler,, +507 638 278 15

Language English Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Eduardo Stein, Joint UNHCR-IOM Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Venezuelan Health Professionals Strengthen Public Health System in Argentina: IOM Study

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 09:38

Buenos Aires – A new report by International Organization for Migration demonstrates that Venezuelan migration is helping relieve the health professional shortages Argentina is facing.
Many of the 145,000 Venezuelans currently living in Argentina are trained as nurses and doctors. In fact, there are 16 Argentine provinces where Venezuelan physicians already are certified to work, with more than 200 medical professionals, just in the province of Buenos Aires alone, and smaller numbers in Jujuy, Chubut, and Córdoba. There even are Venezuelans working in the public health system as far south as Tierra del Fuego.

IOM has released these and other findings of the study Labour Integration in the Health Sector of the Venezuelan Population in Argentina, carried out in the framework of the response to the flows of refugees and migrants from Venezuela in the country.

The study was recently launched (23/08) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the participation of the National Directorate for Migration (DNM, Spanish acronym), senior officials from the provinces of Catamarca and Salta and organizations of Venezuelan health professionals.

The research aims to characterize the Venezuelan health professionals living in Argentina, both in terms of their labour qualifications and those much sought after by the local job market. By means of this study, IOM hopes to contribute to decision-making by migration, sanitary and educational authorities, regarding the promotion of the labour integration of the Venezuelan population residing in the country.

According to the study, in order to fully comply with international standards, Argentina should triple the number of nurses to properly meet the requirements of the health system.

The report also highlights that there is an unequal distribution of health professionals throughout the country, with high percentages in capital cities and urban centres, thus generating shortages in other places, especially in the countryside.

The study notes that Argentina has already adopted measures to facilitate the recognition of the degrees obtained by Venezuelan health professionals. In this sense, the settlement of newly arrived doctors from Venezuela, as well as their relocation to areas in need of medical skills, has been supported and these actions have generated great benefits for the public health systems of the provinces with less human resources. That, in turn, leads to the labour insertion of Venezuelan doctors in their fields, promoting quality work for them, the study found.

Yang Álvarez, a Venezuelan doctor living in Argentina and the director of Inter-institutional Relations of the Association of Venezuelan Doctors in Argentina (ASOMEVENAR), explained: “The province with the highest number of Venezuelan doctors is Buenos Aires, with more than 200 professionals; followed by Jujuy with 50, Chubut with 40, and Córdoba, with 15. From Jujuy to Tierra del Fuego, there are already Venezuelan physicians working in the public health system.”

Watch the interview with Yang Álvarez here.

Gabriela Fernández, IOM Argentina Head of Office, listed several measures that the Government of Argentina has taken to make possible the inclusion of the Venezuelan population and emphasizing that “at every governmental level, efforts are undertaken so that the integration of this population is successful.”

Fernández added: “The profile of the Venezuelan population in Argentina is highly professional. Almost 50 per cent have a university degree and nine per cent have completed postgraduate courses. We are talking about a human capital that should be taken into consideration and aided towards their labour inclusion.”

She also thanked the provinces that are helping Venezuelan health professionals to join their hospitals, as well as the Venezuelan associations operating as support networks for those that have arrived recently.

The study was funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) from the United States Department of State.

Download the study here.

Watch an interview about the report here

For more information please contact Juan Pablo Schneider at IOM Argentina, Tel: +54 11 48151035, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: ArgentinaThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM launched a study on how Venezuelan health professionals strengthen the public health system in Argentina.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Brings Cultural Leaders to Peacebuilding Talks in Ethiopia

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 09:31

Addis Ababa – Aba Gedas are highly respected “cultural leaders” in the Oromia region and Gedeo Zone in Ethiopia. IOM brought them together with officials from the country’s Gedeo and West Guji Zones for a discussion on statutory peace building. The talks focused on how future conflicts could be prevented and improving social cohesion in Gedeo-West Guji and familiarizing community actors with components of statutory peacebuilding.

Following a 2018 spate of inter-communal violence, some 800,000 people have been displaced in Ethiopia in Gedeo-West Guji Zones. After the situation improved, and some peace was restored, both were due to cultural reconciliation led by the Aba Gedas. Many of the displaced returned to their hometowns.

However, despite the peace and reconciliation process, concerns remain over how to prevent such displacement from recurring.

IOM’s peacebuilding meeting took place on 24 August in Shashemene, Ethiopia, funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF). The event may be considered historic as it brought together both sides, with six Aba Gedas (three from each zone) alongside four Hadha Siqes (respected peacemaker mothers) who sat at one table to discuss ways to strengthen the peace initiatives that began five months ago.

“This workshop is a platform that has brought children of the same father under one tree for discussion,” said Denbobe Mare, the head of Aba Gedas from Gedeo Zone, speaking on the timeliness and significance of the meeting. “Such initiatives could help us to iron out challenges which could prevent our peacebuilding efforts,” Mare added.

Challenges discussed were highlighted by the Aba Gedas from both sides, while emphasizing the need for integrated efforts from both Aba Gedas and the Zonal Attorney Offices. The Aba Gedas confirmed that they are willing to counsel one another on mutual issues, and co-chair meetings when conflicts arise.

“What we agreed here together should be followed through by the Aba Gedas when our eight years of leadership are over, and we are replaced by our successors,” said one of the Aba Gedas, affirming their continuous commitment to this, even after their terms end. 

The Government of Ethiopia requested IOM’s participation through the Ministry of Peace to support peacebuilding initiatives. IOM organized these talks through a project known as Inclusive Governance and Conflict Management Support to Ethiopia. Traditional conflict resolution involving respected community figures is one approach the organization is actively supporting within the two Zones.

IOM continues to support affected populations in both areas with humanitarian assistance. Such assistance includes the construction of transitional shelters, the distribution of reintegration kits, improving water and sanitation facilities, alongside the provision of health services.

For more information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 11 6611117 (Ext. 1455), Mobile: +251 91 163 9082, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

August 24 marked a historic day as it brought six Aba Gedas (community leaders) from Gedeo and Guji as well as six Hadha Siqes (respected peacemaker mothers) together to discuss how to strengthen the peace initiatives in their region.

IOM facilitated the peacebuilding talk which brought community leaders from Gedeo and Guji as well as six Hadha Siqes (respected peacemaker mothers) and Attorney officers together. IOM continues to support the affected population in both zones with humanitarian assistance as well.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNHCR Promote Child and Youth Wellbeing with The Ball Has No Flags Initiative

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 09:28

San Jose – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is currently launching five campaigns to prevent the risks of irregular migration and encourage informed decision making among potential young Central American migrants.

Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras have already presented their campaigns Migrar Informados, Échale ganas and Ponele plan a tu vida. El Salvador is currently preparing to launch the Conectá con tu futuro campaign for the month of September. That same month, Nicaragua and UNICEF will present the #YoCamino campaign.

All campaigns are based on IOM's experience in Asia with the hugely successful IOMX project, which used the Communication for Development (C4D) methodology.

The five campaigns were developed based on the results of more than 2,800 interviews, coordination spaces with more than 100 local partners and the validation of the audience to which the campaigns are directed.

In Mexico, results showed that 97 per cent of migrants in transit would make a great effort to obtain the documents needed to regulate their stay in the country, but 59 per cent do not know which documents they need.

In addition, 49 per cent mentioned not knowing where to look for information to migrate in a regular way. In response to these needs, the Migrar Informados campaign seeks to raise awareness about the existence and benefits of migration regularization routes in Mexico.

In the three countries of the Northern Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador), initial research showed that more than 80 per cent of people wish to receive information on regular migration channels and most would make an effort to get their documents for regular migration. In addition, between 59 per cent and 70 per cent of people interviewed would be willing to engage in local education, employment or entrepreneurship opportunities as an alternative to irregular migration.

The campaigns Ponele plan a tu vida in Honduras, Échale ganas in Guatemala and Conectá con tu futuro in El Salvador, aim to make young people reflect on their life plans and consider information on alternatives to irregular migration.

Esteban Martínez Segovia, Head of Communications of El Salvador’s General Directorate of Migration stressed that “under this approach, more strategic communication plans can be promoted and aimed at achieving better results. Empathy with the communities is key to understanding the causes of migration, which, as we know, is evolving and adopting new forms.”

Data from the interviews in Nicaragua showed that 60 per cent of adolescents are unaware of the difference between traveling regularly and doing it irregularly. Responding to the needs shown in the diagnosis, the #YoCamino campaign, which will be launched in September, focuses on making the processes of regular migration known. In Nicaragua, the campaign is funded and supported by UNICEF.

The campaigns are strengthened at a local level with a network of information points formed by organizations and institutions trained by IOM and government counterparts. This network will provide personalized information on regular migration and local development opportunities. The percentages of people interviewed willing to visit a Migration Information Centre range from 81 per cent to 89 per cent per country.

The campaigns promote the use of, where users can find information about regular migration channels and opportunities for local learning, work and entrepreneurship. Internet use in the target audience of the campaigns range from 52 to 87 per cent. In addition, the campaigns have created a digital community around information on migration on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@enlacolmena)

The campaigns in Mexico and the Northern Triangle are being implemented within the framework of the Regional Migration Program: Mesoamerica-Caribbean, with funding from the Office of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the US State Department and UNICEF is funding the campaign in Nicaragua.

For more information, please contact Tatiana Chacón, at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 8632 8527, Email:, or Anabell Cruz at IOM Nicaragua, Tel: +505 7764 0424,

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: NicaraguaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Peruvian and Venezuelan children have fun during the launch of “The Ball Has No Flags”. Photo: IOM Peru

Peruvian and Venezuelan children have fun during the launch of “The Ball Has No Flags”. Photo: IOM Peru

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNHCR Launch The Ball Has No Flags Initiative in Perú

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 09:24

Lima – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, this week (24/08) launched The Ball Has No Flags (El Balón no tiene banderas) initiative, focused on promoting the well-being of children and youth in communities in Perú with high concentrations of refugees and migrants.

The objective is to strengthen values such as resilience, integration and community cohesion through Latin America’s most popular sport: football.

In this first stage, the project is being developed in the districts of San Juan de Lurigancho and San Juan de Miraflores, both located in Lima, Perú’s capital.

Two popular athletes participated at the launch past Saturday: Itzel Delgado, winner of a medal in Paddle Surf at the recent Lima 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, and Yuliana Bolívar, who medalled in judo at the same games. Yuliana was born in Venezuela, but now is a Peruvian citizen.

IOM Perú Programme Coordinator, Rogelio Quintero explained: “The proper integration of girls, boys and adolescents always contributes to the future of a country. Sport is characterized by bringing people together regardless of conditions or flags. For this reason, The Ball Has No Flags will support the integration and development of strengths and abilities.”

Through sport, Quintero added, about 200 children and adolescents between 6 and 18 years old – mostly Peruvian or Venezuelan – learn leadership and cooperation through the prism of equality and inclusion.

The activity is supported by the Fútbol Más Foundation, an organization that promotes community cohesion through play and sport as well as the well-being of children and youth.

 “The ball invites us to share, meet and celebrate. We want children, regardless of their nationality, to feel part of the cultural life in their community,” said Jimena Chavez, Social Director of Fundación Fútbol Más Perú. “We celebrate this initiative, where Peruvian and Venezuelan families will gather to start the sports partner program and demonstrate together that the ball has no flags.”

Federico Agusti, UNHCR Representative in Perú, said, “Football is the same anywhere in the world. It has the same rules, the same language and the same joys. It is a refuge for those who have had to leave everything and a meeting point to celebrate something we all understand, a goal. There are more than 30 Peruvians playing abroad, including Paolo Guerrero, and when he scores for Perú or Brazil, there are no differences, we celebrate the same. This project allows Peruvians and Venezuelans to start from a common point to learn to take advantage of their differences.”

The Ball Has No Flags project is part of the integration and solidarity campaign between Peruvians and Venezuelans known as Tu Causa Es Mi Causa. That campaign has been implemented by the UN System in Perú, with the leadership of IOM and UNHCR.

Watch video of the launch.

Join the campaign by sharing the hashtags #ElBalónNoTieneBanderas #TuCausaEsMiCausa and visiting the website

For more information, please contact Ines Calderon at IOM Perú, Tel: +51 997580915, Email: or Regina de la Portilla at UNHCR Perú, Tel. +51 959908967 Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 15:19Image: Region-Country: PeruThemes: Migration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

All campaigns are based on IOM's experience in Asia with the IOMX project, which uses the Communication for Development (C4D) methodology. Photo: IOM.

The five campaigns were developed based on the results of more than 2,800 interviews, coordination spaces with more than 100 local partners and the validation of the audience to which the campaigns are directed. Photo: IOM.

The campaigns promote the use of, where users can find information about regular migration channels and opportunities for local learning, work and entrepreneurship. Photo: IOM.

Internet use in the target audience of the campaigns range from 52 to 87 per cent. In addition, the campaigns have created a digital community around information on migration on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@enlacolmena). Photo: IOM.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Innovative Inclusive Approach to Strengthen Community Cohesion in Chad

Fri, 08/23/2019 - 09:01

Doba – A robust flow of refugees and returnees from the Central African Republic to Chad has increased pressure on host communities, often leading to clashes over access to limited livelihood resources.  

From March to July 2019, IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) identified 69,343 returnees in the provinces of Logone Oriental and Moyen-Chari, in Southern Chad. 

To address this issue, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Chad – in conjunction with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – has implemented the Emergency Food and Livestock Crisis Response project (PURCAE II) which aims to increase social cohesion, peaceful co-habitation and intercommunity dialogue between refugees, returnees and host communities, through the development of Project Implementation Teams (PITs). 

PITs are composed of seven to nine men and women volunteers from these communities, refugees and returnees. The team members are trained in project implementation, community mobilization, conflict management and resolution.  

Once formed, PIT teams work within their local community, holding focus groups, community meetings and other platforms of exchange, to identify and inform on community assets related to agriculture and livestock activities to be rehabilitated, as well as identify community members who could benefit from cash-for-work activities.  

This week, IOM organized the ninth project management and implementation training for community members which has led to the creation of the ninth PIT in Chad’s southern regions of Logone Orientale, Mandoul and Moyen-Chari. 

Through the Project Implementation Teams, IOM adopts an innovative mechanism for community stabilization based on the participation of project beneficiaries and host communities. Community members are involved from the beginning in the development and implementation of humanitarian assistance activities, enabling them to take ownership of activities, a crucial element to ensure the sustainability of the assistance. 

“Through this project, our goal is to strengthen the resilience of populations in Southern Chad through an innovative approach to project implementation which brings together beneficiaries and host communities,” explained Moussa Soro, Project Manager at IOM Chad.  

The project focuses on activities that will improve social cohesion and dialogue between communities, enhancing purchasing power of the most vulnerable households, rehabilitating productive assets to build resilience and increasing household management capacities.  

Since the beginning of the project, 71 individuals have been trained and nine PITs have been formed in the communities of Kobiteye, Danamadja, Nagkasse, Beraba, Kemdere, Doyaba, Maigama, Dilingala and Silambi, in Southern Chad. Cash-for-work activities have also been established in these communities. In the coming months, new PITs will be established and functional in the regions of Doba, Moissala, Sarh and Sido in addition to the commencement of the next cash-for-work rotations.  

The 18-month project, beginning in early 2019, hopes to aid over 24,100 beneficiaries through cash-for-work rotations, trainings and infrastructure rehabilitation, made possible by The World Bank Group.   

For more information, please contact Moussa Soro at IOM Chad, or visit 


Language English Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 14:50Image: Region-Country: ChadThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Training of seven community members, including refugees and returnees, on project implementation. Photo: IOM

Training of seven community members, including refugees and returnees, on project implementation. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Alternatives to Irregular Migration: IOM Launches Vocational Training Programme for Gambians

Fri, 08/23/2019 - 09:01

Banjul – The lack of access to employment opportunities among Gambian youth is widely cited as a major contributing factor to irregular migration. According to the 2018 Gambia Labour Force Survey, 95 per cent of Gambian irregular migrants surveyed cited “lack of work” as their primary reason for migrating. 

In response to this, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched a vocational training programme aimed at equipping Gambian youth with the skills to engage in entrepreneurial ventures or seek employment. 

“If I equip myself with skills in information technology, I can open my own company and employ Gambians. There would be no need for me to consider the backway (irregular migration),” said trainee Sidia Hydara. 

The programme was designed after a baseline assessment to identify market gaps, demands and opportunities in the West Coast and Upper River Regions – which represent the first and third highest, respectively, origin of Gambian migrants. While laptops and satellites are more widely used in the peri-urban West Coast Region, the demand for mobile phone repairs and solar panels was higher in the Upper River Region. 

Sidia joins a total of 100 youth who will participate in four separate vocational training courses at the Gambia Telecommunications and Multimedia Institute (GTMI): satellite installation and laptop repairs in the West Coast Region; and solar panel installation and mobile phone repairs in the Upper River Region. Lasting 6 to 12 weeks each, the courses will see 50 young men and 50 young women learn both technical and entrepreneurial skills, including business administration, financial management and customer service. 

After completing their courses, each of the students will receive a toolbox to enhance their ability to engage in income-generating activities. In addition, with the support of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), IOM will establish a revolving micro-credit fund which the students who develop viable business proposals after the training will have the opportunity to access. 

“Many youths embark on irregular migration journeys because they have no hope. They can’t find employment,” said Malick Bah, GTMI Director. “With an increasingly digitized Gambia and with training opportunities like this, there is renewed hope.” 

“Since 2017, IOM has assisted in the voluntary return and reintegration of over 4,000 stranded Gambians,” says Fumiko Nagano, IOM Chief of Mission in The Gambia. “We recognize that many youths without economic opportunities are still tempted to engage in irregular migration. So, the launch of this inaugural vocational training is aimed at addressing the root causes of irregular migration.” 

Following this, IOM will establish a training programme in the North Bank Region, the fourth highest origin for Gambian migrants, based on the identified market opportunities. 

This initiative forms part of a larger IOM project, funded by the AICS, aiming to bridge together youth, diaspora and local authorities to promote employment and address irregular migration in The Gambia. 

Watch training here 

For more information, please contact Miko Alazas, at IOM The Gambia; Tel: +220 330 3168, Email: 


Language English Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 14:45Image: Region-Country: GambiaThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

25 youth are being trained on satellite installation. Photo: IOM/Miko Alazas

Sidia Hydara believes that being equipped with employable skills is a viable alternative to irregular migration. Photo: IOM/Miko Alazas

''Nowadays, technology is advancing, so we need to learn many skills,'' said Mam Jarra Bossou (left) on the value of the training. Photo: IOM/Miko Alazas

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Arrivals Reach 45,505 in 2019; Deaths, 859

Fri, 08/23/2019 - 09:01

Geneva – IOM reports that 45,505 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 13 August, roughly a 30 per cent decrease from the 64,836 arriving during a similar period last year.

Arrivals this year to Greece and Spain are at 23,193 and 14,680, respectively, (37,873 combined) accounting for about 83 per cent of the regional total, with the balance arriving in much smaller numbers to Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Arrivals to Greece are running ahead of 2018’s totals from this time. Arrivals to Spain are lower.

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost seven months of 2019 are at 859 individuals – or about 55 per cent of the 1,558 deaths confirmed during a similar period in 2018.  (see chart below).

Mediterranean Sea deaths this year account for exactly 50 per cent of all global deaths recorded of migrants in transit by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP). Most of the Mediterranean deaths – nearly 600 in almost eight months – have been recorded on the Central Mediterranean route, where another 15 individuals were reported dead this past week.

An Ethiopian man recovered in Maltese waters last Tuesday reported that he was the sole survivor of a boat of 15 people. He reported that his fellow travellers had slowly succumbed to the elements and a lack of food and water and that their bodies were lost before their boat was rescued.

A Libyan Coast Guard unit also recovered the body of an unidentified man during a large-scale rescue operation on Saturday. Several of the 278 survivors reported that another man remains missing and is presumed to be lost at sea.

Missing Migrants Project

2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project. Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 32,669 individuals, including 1,709 in 2019 as of 22 August (see chart below).

Due to the challenges of collecting information about these people and the contexts of their deaths, the true number of lives lost during migration is likely much higher. Missing Migrants Project records should only be viewed as indicative of the risks associated with migration, rather than representative of the true number of deaths across time or geography.

The number of migrant deaths recorded in the Americas overall in 2019 is now 518, compared to 397 recorded at the same point in 2018, an increase of 30 per cent.

On the US-Mexico border, IOM recorded four deaths within 24 hours this past week starting Monday (19 August). All were also within the same general area.

On Monday, the body of an unidentified man was found in the Rio Bravo/Grande near El Saucito, not far from the city Piedras Negras, Mexico. In the early hours of the next day, a young woman and her three-year-old daughter were witnessed being swept away while attempting to cross the river at Piedras Negras. A search for the two have yet to discover their ultimate whereabouts. Later that same day, the body of a man who was presumed to have drowned was found on a ranch also near El Saucito.

In another unusual coincidence two van accidents on the opposite sides of the Asian continent claimed the lives of 15 migrants within two days: on Sunday, 10 Laotian migrants – including six women and four men – died in a crash in Thailand while travelling in a van to the border region of the country. On Monday, five Syrians were killed also while travelling in a van in Turkey, including three adult men, a 45-year-old woman and a 15-year-old boy. Two other Turkish men were killed in the accident while 11 of the van’s passengers survived.

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

The report Fatal Journey Volume 4, published 28 June, includes an overview of five years of Missing Migrants Project data (2014-2018) and an update on what is known about deaths during migration in 2019.

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

Language English Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 14:38Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Director General Visits Cyclone Affected Areas in Mozambique

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 10:48

Maputo – IOM Director General António Vitorino is currently on a two-day visit to Mozambique to assess and support the humanitarian response after the country was devastated by two catastrophic storms earlier this year. Cyclone Idai (March) and Cyclone Kenneth (April) affected 1.8 million people and caused hundreds of deaths.

Several months later, 500,000 people continue to live in destroyed or damaged homes and over 77,000 now live in new resettlement sites.

In Maputo yesterday (19/08), DG Vitorino met with the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi; they discussed continued cooperation between IOM and the Government of Mozambique to support affected populations. DG Vitorino also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Condugua Pacheco and the Vice Minister of the Interior, Helena Mateus Khida.

Today (20/08) in Beira, Sofala Province – one of the areas heavily affected by Cyclone Idai – DG Vitorino will meet with the Governor of Sofala Province, Alberto Mondlane and the Mayor of Beira City, Daviz Simango.

DG Vitorino is also scheduled to visit Mandruzi, a resettlement site for displaced families, accompanied by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“There is still a lot to do, and urgent humanitarian needs to be met, in the reconstruction of the lives of people affected by Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, especially in regard to food, shelter and livelihoods,” said DG Vitorino.

“IOM is committed to supporting the people of Mozambique, and to work together with Mozambican authorities and humanitarian partners in the recovery process following these disasters.”

“We thank the Government of Mozambique for their collaboration and for taking the lead in the emergency response to Cyclones Idai and Kenneth,” said IOM Chief of Mission Katharina Schnoering. “We salute the courage of the affected populations who are, step-by-step, rebuilding their homes, livelihoods and communities.”

Since March 2019, IOM has assisted over 280,000 cyclone affected persons with critical shelter materials and relief supplies. IOM is co-leading the Shelter Cluster with IFRC and is the lead of the CCCM Cluster working in close partnership with the Government of Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Management, IOM’s core government partner.

IOM is providing support to most vulnerable population through the provision of shelter and distribution of NFIs, Camp Coordination and Camp Management, Provision of Health and Protection services and Mental Health and Psychosocial support in both regions.

For more information, please contact IOM Mozambique, Katharina Schnoering, Tel: +258 863 511806, Email: or Sandra Black, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 16:55Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueThemes: Community StabilizationInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Director General António Vitorino speaks to the media in Maputo, Mozambique, Monday 19 August 2019. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Partners with Save the Children to Assist 600 Children in Ethiopia

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 10:48

Addis Ababa – Six hundred vulnerable children in Ethiopia are the target of a new partnership between the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Save the Children.

Over the next 18 months 400 migrant returnees and 200 other vulnerable children will be earmarked for assistance in eight sub-regions in East Hararghe, Oromia and Amhara’s North Wollo Zones.

This is the fourth such partnership under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration targeting minors in migration-prone regional states in Ethiopia.

IOM already is collaborating with three other local organizations to reach vulnerable children: the Mary Joy Development Association, Facilitator for Change and the Forum on Sustainable Child Empowerment.

Ultimately over 1000 children will be reached through these four partnerships.

To date, IOM has voluntary returned and provided reintegration assistance to 5,000 Ethiopian migrants under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative, out of whom 20 per cent are children. Some 1300 children have received needs-based reintegration assistance since 2017.

Under EU-IOM Joint Initiative assistance is tailor-made for returning migrants seeking to restart their lives in their countries of origin. This is done through an integrated approach that supports both migrants and their communities have the potential to complement local development and mitigate some of the drivers of irregular migration.

Children on the move are a particularly vulnerable group, with the Horn of Africa experiencing significant numbers. Ethiopia, which is Africa’s second most populous country, accounts for the largest migrant movements in the region that also incorporates Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan.

Unaccompanied children are among those traversing key migration routes in search of opportunities in other countries, with Saudi Arabia, Europe and South Africa being key destinations favoured by Ethiopians. 

Figures are few and far between, especially on the routes to Europe and South Africa, with an IOM report observing that over 6000 child migrants lost their lives in Africa between 2014 and 2018. Worldwide, nearly 1,600 children – an average of almost one every day – were reported dead or missing over the same period, although many more go unrecorded.

Unicef said in 2017 that the number of children travelling alone had increased five-fold since 2010, warning that many young refugees and migrants were taking highly dangerous routes, often at the mercy of traffickers.

From January to July 2019, IOM’s drop-in facilities for stranded migrants in the Horn of Africa – also known as Migrant Response Centres - registered 1,224 minors, amounting to 18% of all registrations. Fifty-nine percent of these children were unaccompanied and 41% accompanied (unaccompanied minors are usually between 15-17, while younger children are usually accompanied).

Between May 2017 and July 2019, IOM recorded 21,657 Ethiopian minors returning to Ethiopia from Saudi Arabia - mostly involuntarily) - making it around the 8% of the total number of returnees from Saudi Arabia to the Horn of Africa. In June and July 2019 IOM registered 1,869 minors as having returned from Saudi Arabia.

Since May 2019, IOM assisted the voluntary humanitarian return of 2742 migrants who were detained in a stadium in Yemen. 22 chartered flights brought the returnees to Ethiopia of which 1180 are minors.

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, funded under the European Union Trust Fund for Africa covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries.

According to Sara Basha, the coordinator of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative in Ethiopia, establishing collaboration is among the programme’s strengths. “Addressing the needs of vulnerable population especially migrant children is a complex undertaking which requires strong partnership with various stakeholders across the board,” Basha said.

For more information, please contact Helina Mengistu at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 11 5571707 (Ext. 1109), Email:    


Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: EUTFMigrant AssistanceMigration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

Supporting children is among the priorities of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative

Child migrant returnees at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa.

Minors returning to Ethiopia from Djibouti

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Guatemala Launches Two Migration Data Platforms in Spanish

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 10:48

Guatemala City – Today (20/08) in Guatemala City, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) presents two migration data platforms in Spanish. The first is the Regional Migration Information Platform (PRIMI, by its Spanish acronym), which will offer official migration data from the countries of Central America and the Caribbean. The second release is the Spanish version of the World Migration Data Portal, managed from Germany by IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC).

PRIMI, a platform financed by the IOM Development Fund, will make data on migration generated by the governments of the region and disaggregated by sex, age and nationality available to decision makers and the general public. PRIMI will offer data through visual representations (infographics, interactive maps, dynamic graphs, tables) and interactive databases, which will allow the crossing of variables to facilitate their analysis.

For the management of the migratory information that will be available in PRIMI, a regional network of officials from national migration directorates was formed. This network will allow the sharing of records of international entrances and exits, residences, returns and other administrative data, which will strengthen coordination and information flows between governments.

“PRIMI aims to consolidate the information produced by IOM tools and other data provided by governments to facilitate the comprehension of migratory flows in the region, as well as the design of migration programmes and policies,” said Gabriela Rodríguez, project coordinator. “We also hope to carry out continuous work to strengthen the capacities of national migration offices in the region,” she said.

IOM also launches the Global Migration Data Portal in Guatemala today, which will be available in Spanish for the first time since its launch in 2017. The Portal aims to serve as a single point of access to complete and timely migration statistics and reliable information on global migration data.

The site is designed to help policy makers, national statistics officers, journalists and the general public interested in the field of migration navigate the increasingly complex landscape of international migration data, currently dispersed in different organizations and agencies.

“Migration is a cross-cutting phenomenon that concerns each and every one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and most of the 169 goals of the 2030 Agenda,” said Susanne Melde, Senior Analyst with GMDAC. “Since the SDGs are a country-led process, the responsibility to measure progress towards the SDG targets lies with the national governments. The Portal is a tool to strengthen the capacities in migratory data and information to fulfil this responsibility.”

The launch event of these two platforms takes place today at 6:30 pm at the Hotel Clarion Suites Guatemala.

You can access the Global Migration Data Portal at, and PRIMI at

For more information please contact Gabriela Rodríguez at the IOM Regional Office for Central and North America and the Caribbean, Email:, or Susanne Melde at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 16:45Image: Region-Country: GuatemalaThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

PRIMI enables one to explore and analyze data on migration from 12 countries of Central America and the Caribbean. 

PRIMI enables one to explore and analyze data on migration from 12 countries of Central America and the Caribbean. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Model of Migration Law Approved for Central America and the Caribbean

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 10:48

Mexico City – The Forum of Presiding Officers of Legislative Assemblies of Central America and the Caribbean Basin (FOPREL) yesterday (19/08) approved the Regional Framework Law on Migration, with a Human Rights Approach at its XXII Special Meeting.

The Framework Law was developed with the support of the International Organization for Migration and other multilateral and civil society organizations and will have an impact throughout the region. It will serve as a reference for strengthening the already existing regulatory frameworks in each country. That strengthening process will be carried out by the sovereign legislative body of each of the countries represented in the FOPREL.

According to IOM figures, at least 21 million Central Americans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans live outside their countries. Another three million people live as migrants in the same region. The framework law was developed for safeguarding these people's human rights, along with the welfare of the communities that saw them leave and those that host them.

“The framework law on migration matters is due to a mandate from the presidents of the member parliaments of our organization,” said Santiago Rivas, Executive Secretary of FOPREL. “It is transcendental for us since it compiles all the international treaties that the member countries of FOPREL have ratified and places a special emphasis on the human rights of migrants.”

The Framework Law was signed by the presiding officers of the legislative powers of Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico at the headquarters of the Congress of the United Mexican States and has become the first instrument approved at a regional level as a model to develop national standards for migration governance.

“In the region we have at least four challenges in this field: addressing the causes of irregular migration, generating conditions for return, creating regular migration channels and fighting xenophobic discourse,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean. “This Framework Law will help participating states face these challenges and will contribute to harmonizing their legislative frameworks.”

International organizations such as the Gilberto Bosques International Studies Centre, the Senate of the United Mexican States, UNICEF, UN Women, the Organization of American States (OAS), and civil society organizations such as Save the Children participated in the drafting of this framework law, led by FOPREL and IOM.

For more information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 7203 6536, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 16:38Image: Region-Country: MexicoThemes: Migration LawDefault: Multimedia: 

Marcelo Pisani (right), IOM Regional Director, highlighted the importance of the Regional Framework Law on Migration, before the presiding officers of legislative assemblies of Central America and the Caribbean Basin. Photo: IOM / Cesia Chavarria 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 43,584 in 2019; Deaths Reach 844

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 10:48

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 43,584 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 13 August, roughly a 31 per cent decrease from the 63,142 that arrived during the same period last year.  

Arrivals this year to Greece and Spain are at 22,283 and 14,168, respectively, (36,451 combined) accounting for almost 84 per cent of the regional total, with the balance arriving in much smaller numbers to Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Arrivals to Greece are running approximately 30 per cent ahead of 2018’s totals from this time. Arrivals to Spain are about 46 per cent lower.  

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost eight months of 2019 are at 844 individuals — or about 55 per cent of the 1,541 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018. (see chart below).   

Most recently, one man was found dead in a boat recovered by the Maltese Armed Forces. Three survivors were rescued in the operation; however, one other man is now in critical condition in hospital.  

IOM Spain 

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported on Monday sea arrivals to Spain, through 11 August have reached 14,168 men, women and children, with July producing the largest number of new arrivals since January (see chart below). 

IOM Greece 

IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou reported on Wednesday (14/08) that over eight days (07-14/08), the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) confirmed at least eighteen incidents requiring search and rescue operation off the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Kos, Leros and the port of Alexandroupolis. The HCG rescued a total of 643 migrants and transferred them to those respective ports.  

Those arrivals, plus another 1,499 at various islands and ports arriving during the days 8-12 August brings to 22,283 the total number of irregular migrants and refugees IOM has recorded arriving by sea to Greece this year (see chart below). 

IOM’s Nikolaidou also shared new data on arrivals to Greece through the month of July. In descending order, the top ten arrivals to Greece of irregular migrants via sea from Turkey are Afghanistan, Syria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Palestinian Territories, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Somalia, Congo, Cameroon and Ghana (see chart below).  

Missing Migrants Project 

2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project (MMP). Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 32,629 individuals, including 1,675 in 2019, as of 14 August (see chart below). 

Due to the challenges of collecting information about these people and the contexts of their deaths, the true number of lives lost during migration is likely much higher. Missing Migrants Project records should only be viewed as indicative of the risks associated with migration, rather than representative of the true number of deaths across time or geography. 

In Europe, the first known death has occurred of someone trying to reach the UK across the English Channel irregularly. On 9 August, an Iranian woman was tragically lost at sea. Nineteen others, including 4 children, were travelling on the same rubber boat and were rescued by authorities.  

Since the start of the year, at least 251 people have died while attempting to cross the US-México border. MMP recorded 291 deaths on this border in the same period in 2018. However, it is important to note that deaths along this border often are recorded retroactively, largely because remains may not be found until long after people die due to the vast and harsh terrain.  

Since MMP’s last update, on 4 August, the remains of 15 people were recovered in inland Texas, and three were recovered after they drowned crossing the Río Bravo, which follows virtually the entire border between México and the US state of Texas. So far, the identities of only six of these victims are known, including Yessica Carolina Castillo Buezo, a 35-year-old Honduran woman, who was found on a ranch northeast of the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint in Brooks County, Texas.  

In California, the death of a young man was recorded after his remains were found on 20 July near El Centro, Imperial County, where he is believed to have died from hypothermia.  The deaths of four more people were recorded in California since the last update.  All were drowned while trying to cross into the All-American Canal into Imperial County since the beginning of the year.    

In Central America, at least two people died while migrating on 4 August: an unidentified man who fell from a train that was travelling through Veracruz México, and Braudilio Acosta Gutierrez, from Honduras, who was shot in the municipality of El Progreso, in Guatemala when he intervened during a robbery.  He was travelling with his 19-year-old son, who survived him.  

Further south, on 8 August, a Venezuelan man died when he fell from the truck on which he was riding near Calarcá, east of Bogota, Colombia.  

Americas’ Migratory Routes Reach Grim Milestone: Over 500 Deaths so far in 2019 

In total, at least 514 people have lost their lives in the Americas in 2019, compared with 384 recorded through this point in 2018 – an increase of just over one-third.  

This is the earliest point in any of the past six years that IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has reached a threshold of 500 or more deaths in the Americas. In prior years, the 500-death mark was reached in either September (2016), October (2017, 2018) or December (2015), or, in the case of 2014, not at all, as only 495 deaths were recorded of migrants in transit in the Americas that year. 

Women (67 deaths) and children (40) made up just over one-fifth of all deaths recorded in the Americas in 2019, although remains also were recovered from 137 sites where the age and gender of the deceased has yet to be determined. 

Nearly half of all deaths – 247 through 15 August – have been recorded on the US-México border. The rest were reported either further south, in Central America (which for the MMP project includes much of México and the isthmus lying between Panamá and Guatemala), or near Caribbean Sea islands or South America. Deaths counted in those three regions were, respectively, 80, 151 and 30. 

The turmoil in Venezuela – where over four million migrants have left the country since 2015 – may account for much of 2019’s fatalities surge in recorded fatalities.  

This year IOM has reported 89 confirmed fatalities of Venezuelan nationals, whose deaths were recorded across South and Central America as well as in the Caribbean Sea.  

Venezuelans are second only to “Unknown” as the most counted nationality, which has 178 victims –many of which were found this year as remains in the desert long after their deaths or lost at sea, meaning that their identities and nationalities may never be confirmed.  

Those nationalities that have been confirmed include Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, México, Nicaragua and Ukraine (see chart below). 

The Missing Migrants Project counted deaths so far in 2019 in the following states: Bahamas (31), Dominican Republic (17), Turks and Caicos (19), Trinidad and Tobago (52) and Curacao (32) in the Caribbean. In México (76), Guatemala (2) and Panamá (2) in Central America; in Colombia (27), Brazil (2) and Perú (1) in South America. 

MMP also chronicled a wide range of causes of death of these many migrant men, women and children. 

Drowning – with 259 victims – was the leader, accounting for just over half of all deceased. More victims appear to have drowned at sea than along any of the treacherous river crossings many migrants risk, not only along the US-México border, but also along borders in Central and South America.  

Highway accidents (65) also has been a very common cause of death this year, while and mishaps along railway routes (21) are blamed for almost as many deaths as dehydration or exposure (22). Crimes of violence – including homicide – are linked to 19 deaths, with about the same number of fatalities in 2019 attributed to sickness or lack of medical attention. Over 100 cases note a cause of death as “unknown”, also linked to the fact that many migrants’ bodies are not found for weeks or months after their death. 

This total, does not include at least 11 deaths in custody in the Americas—either in US detention centres or in México. Because some of these victims were long-term residents of these centres, these cases are counted separately from the Missing Migrants totals.  

MMP is also aware of at least 50 cases in México and in Panamá’s Darién jungle where credible reports of deaths have yet to be corroborated. Some of these cases involve eyewitnesses who report they have seen bodies that have yet to be recovered.  

In other cases, bodies have been found, but it is not yet known whether these victims are properly categorized as migrants in transit, or migrants settled in the area, or nationals of the country who were not migrants at all. 

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial.  

To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here. The report Fatal Journey Volume 4, published 28 June, includes an overview of five years of Missing Migrants Project data (2014-2018) and an update on what is known about deaths during migration in 2019.  

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

See contacts here

Language English Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 - 16:25Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

First Yazidi Family Arrives in Germany Under New Humanitarian Admission Programme

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 10:38

Berlin – A family of eight Yazidis arrived in Berlin on Wednesday (14/08), in the latest effort by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to assist vulnerable Yazidis with their admission to Europe. Their arrival was made possible through the German Federal State of Brandenburg’s new regional Humanitarian Admission Programme (HAP).  

The family was accompanied by IOM staff during their journey from Erbil to Berlin, where they were welcomed at Berlin’s airport by specially trained staff before travelling onwards to their accommodation in Brandenburg. 

“It is crucial that we continue to assist this vulnerable group, who have suffered immeasurably at the hands of ISIL,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite.  

“We are grateful that, with Brandenburg, another German Federal State has stepped up to support vulnerable Yazidis, as they recover from their horrific ordeal and rebuild their lives,” said IOM Germany Chief of Mission Monica Goracci. 

Between 2015 and 2016, IOM supported over 1,000 Yazidi women to come to the German Federal State of Baden-Württemberg, among them 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad.  

In total, since 2015, IOM has assisted 1,327 Yazidis who have been granted humanitarian admission to European countries. In May 2019 alone, IOM assisted 130 Yazidis to travel to France as part of the Humanitarian Admissions Programme launched by President Emmanuel Macron. 

The current round of humanitarian admissions comes five years after ISIL swept through predominately Yazidi Sinjar, executing thousands of men, sexually enslaving large number of women and girls, and displacing thousands of people. Today, a significant portion of the community remains displaced, including hundreds of families who fled to Mount Sinjar in 2014.  

In Iraq, IOM supports the selection mission, assists with visa document processing, conducts health assessments and provides pre-departure orientation sessions. The HAP foresees the admission of 71 Yazidis from Iraq through the end of 2019. 

For more information please contact: 
Sabine Lehmann at IOM Germany, Tel: +49 3027877817, Email: 
IOM Iraq Public Information Unit, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 - 16:33Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: ResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

Staff of local partner NGO welcomes the Yazidi family at Berlin airport on 14 August. Photo: IOM 

A Yazidi family of eight arrives in Berlin on 14 August. Photo: IOM 

IOM staff with the Yazidi family after their arrival in Germany on 14 August. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Nepali Media Commits to Disaster Preparedness Advocacy

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 10:33

Kathmandu – Media should play a more proactive role in educating the general public about disaster preparedness, rather than simply reporting the aftermath of crises, according to journalists attending a workshop organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ).  

The event, which was supported by USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), brought together leading Nepali journalists to discuss how media can contribute to building a more disaster-resilient society through advocacy, awareness raising and improved accountability at all levels of government.   

Nepal is among the 20 most disaster-prone countries in the world. In 2015 earthquakes displaced some 2.8 million people. Over 117,000 people in the 14 worst-affected districts were forced to find shelter in makeshift camps. 2017 also saw heavy rains resulting in flooding across 35 of Nepal’s 77 districts. Over 190,000 houses were destroyed or partially damaged, displacing tens of thousands of people and leaving many homeless.   

The country’s new federal structure created under its new 2015 Constitution has seen a shift of power from the centre to provincial and municipal levels of government. Disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) is among 22 areas of government that are now the responsibility of devolved provincial and municipal authorities.  

The government is also re-organizing its disaster management agencies based on a new DRRM Act 2017. This also involves a significant decentralization of decision making, resources management and service delivery systems. 

Nepali media is already engaged in advocacy to raise awareness of disaster risk reduction. Nepal TV’s Talk of the Town programme has screened 52 episodes on DRRM issues to date, creating a nationwide forum designed to bring together stakeholders from different fields to achieve a common goal of building a more disaster-resilient nation. DRRM is also a national priority for members of parliament and the Government.  

The Kathmandu workshop was attended by some 30 journalists from News Agency Nepal (NAN) the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters Nepal (ACORAB) and other media outlets. It was facilitated by DRM expert and former Education Minister Dr. Gangalal Tuladhar.   

For more information please contact Paul Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel: +97714426250 (Ext. 194), Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: NepalThemes: Capacity BuildingDisaster Risk ReductionDefault: Multimedia: 

Nepali journalists see a greater role for media in advocating for more disaster-resilient communities. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

International Youth Day Marked by Education, Entrepreneurship Sessions for Migrants Across Niger

Tue, 08/13/2019 - 12:20

Niamey – In the weeks leading up to yesterday’s celebration of International Youth Day, IOM Niger with its partner Terre Solidali, organized five training sessions in three cities for close to 250 migrants and community members, delivered by young entrepreneurs from IOM’s “Initiatives for the Development of the Enterprise” (IDEE) project. 

Launched in early 2018, IDEE is designed to curb irregular migration by encouraging youth to believe in themselves as self-employed businesspeople who can create employment for others. 

Between 6-7 August, local entrepreneur Rachidatou Abdou organized a two-day training on homemade skincare products for more than 40 young girls and women at IOM’s transit center for migrant women in Niamey, as they waited for their return to their country of origin through the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme, under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.  

Rachidatou, 29, decided to create her enterprise Foyer Annour Aicha in 2016 when she had a hard time finding a job in Niamey. Since she had always been passionate about cosmetics, Rachidatou opened a business selling homemade skincare products such as soaps, body lotions and perfumes.  

Since becoming an IDEE beneficiary in January 2019, Rachidatou has improved the packaging of her products and her marketing skills, and delivered training sessions for women in Niger, Gabon, Senegal and Burkina Faso. Once back in their countries of origin, the women at the transit center can use their newly acquired skills as a starting point for an income-generating activity. 

Last Thursday, more than 30 unaccompanied migrant children at IOM’s transit center in Niamey, received a one-day training on textile printing from Digital Mind, a local communications agency that is the product of three young entrepreneurs from Benin and Niger, with support from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). 

Thanks to the IDEE project, they have been able to widen their client base and buy new printing machines. At the end of Thursday’s training, the migrants were able to print their own Youth Day t-shirts with a serigraphy machine, as a fun and creative way to end the day.  

To refresh the children’s knowledge during summer holidays, on August 10, local enterprise Niger Digital delivered two training sessions on math and French for the 40 children enrolled in IOM’s summer art camp, in the neighborhood Karadjé, in the outskirts of Niamey.  

Niger Digital is a start-up specializing in digital marketing, including the creation of websites and mobile applications, which focuses on current social issues and the development of IT tools that can respond to the needs and specificities of the local context. 

The sessions were delivered using the newly developed and solar powered box School+. This innovative tool can be particularly useful in rural areas, where there is no electricity or internet connection to provide students with high quality interactive content. Thanks to the headsets provided by the enterprise, the children were also able to experience virtual reality for a few hours while learning about science, the human body and marine life. 

"I took a lot of notes; it's important to listen and watch carefully,” said Mariama, 25, from The Gambia. “Once I get back home, I would like to make my own products and sell them - but only the best quality for my customers!” 

Between 5-9 August, local start-up Sonete in Zinder organized a one-week training on photo and video editing for 26 young men and women with limited educational backgrounds. These newly acquired skills will help them obtain contracts in the local market, for events such as weddings or other celebrations. 

In Tahoua, Sadit Technologie provided three weeks of computer trainings for 100 young people active in local associations.  

“A lot of companies in the region require their employees to know Microsoft Word and Excel, but most young people in Tahoua are lacking these basic skills,” says, Ibrahim Maman Sani, founder of Sadit Technologie. “Through these trainings, the participants can not only gain valuable job skills, but also network and find new business opportunities.” 

International Youth Day coincided with the religious holiday Tabaski (Aïd-El-Kebir) and was celebrated at IOM’s six transit centers across Niger with feasts, concerts, dance shows and debates.  

“The five training sessions organized this month highlight this year’s theme for International Youth Day, Transforming Education,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. “Youth today are our leaders of tomorrow, and thus it’s crucial to encourage them to acquire news skills or showcase the ones they have already.” 

For more information, please contact Monica Chiriac at IOM Niger at Tel: +227 8931 8764, Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - 12:16Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

More than 30 unaccompanied migrant children participated in last week’s training on textile printing. Photo: IOM/Daniel Kisito Kouawo 

More than 30 unaccompanied migrant children participated in last week’s training on textile printing. Photo: IOM/Daniel Kisito Kouawo 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Flood of IOM Festival Submissions Evidence Filmmakers, Audiences Mobilized on Migration

Tue, 08/13/2019 - 12:16

Geneva – The flood of submissions to IOM’s Fourth Annual Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF), the largest event of its type in the world, proves filmmakers are excited about telling migration-themed stories, festival manger Amanda Nero said today.

“The response to our month-long ‘Call for Films’ was overwhelming,” Nero said.

“We received submissions at more than twice the rate of last year’s event which reflects the increasing willingness of filmmakers to tackle migration stories in all their complexity, and the obvious interest of the film-going audience in this topic. This is something we want to build on in the future, establishing links to film schools for example so we can reach the next generation of filmmakers.”

More than 600 feature, documentary and short film submissions were received from 90 countries before Friday’s deadline, a rate of 20-per-day. Last year’s three-month-long Call for Films attracted roughly nine daily submissions.

Indian filmmakers were the busiest, sending 52 in total, followed by the United States with 42, Greece, 37, and the Islamic Republic of Iran and Italy, both with 35 films.

More than 40 per cent (243) of the total submissions are from The European Economic Area (EEA) or the European Union (EU). Asia and the Pacific accounts for over a hundred submissions. Central & North America, Caribbean ranked number three with 74 films submitted. South American filmmakers submitted 43 films, followed by South-Eastern Europe and Central Asia; Middle East and North Africa.

The GMFF is an inclusive festival, everyone is welcome and the entrance to all events is free. Screenings begin 28 November and run through 18 December –International Migrants Day. Last year, events were held in more than 100 countries.

The GMFF Official Selection will have about 30 films.

“Our two experienced programmers, volunteers and I are reviewing all the submissions to make the final selection. There are many fascinating films, it has been a hard selection process. Our objective is to select movies which speak to the public and generate empathy, providing to the audience a better understanding of migrants realities, needs, perspectives and capacities,” added Nero.

The films cover a wide range of themes. A French about a Cambodian man who migrated to France in the eighties and years later meets his former Khmer Rouge persecutors provides a personal insight in the South East Asian narrative. Another remarkable film tells the story of a Syrian living in Amsterdam using music as a tool to integrate and overcome cultural barriers.

Watch Highlights of the 2018 GMFF Gala Closing Ceremony

For more information, please contact IOM HQ at Tel: +41 227 179 482, Email:





Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - 12:15Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Global Migration Film FestivalDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples: IOM Gives Voice to Venezuelan Indigenous Communities through Participatory Video Screenings

Fri, 08/09/2019 - 09:46

Boa Vista – On International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples today, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) shares the experience of giving voice to indigenous people from Venezuela in the State of Roraima, Brazil, through a participatory video produced in May 2018.  

The participative initiative, implemented last year under the framework of the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF), was aimed at Warao and Eñepas ethnic groups at Pintolandia Shelter in Roraima’s capital Boa Vista. 

Through games and exercises, the Waraos and Eñepas learned how to use the video equipment and choose the themes and stories they wanted to record in their films. Through a participatory editing process, they edited their videos which were screened to the community living in Pintolândia, a shelter specifically set up for Venezuelan indigenous. 

The State of Roraima has registered the highest number of Venezuelans who have entered Brazil. The Federal Police has recorded 103,697 asylum requests from Venezuelans and another 74,860 who applied for temporary residency in Brazil, as of May 2019. 

Once the video was produced, IOM organized a presentation with local partners and authorities to present the two videos created by 20 shelter members trained in participatory video making by IOM GMFF facilitators over four days.  

This initiative aimed to empower and amplify the affected community’s voices and foster social cohesion between the different ethnic groups and communities living in the shelter. 

Members of the participatory video making process spoke about how they felt after watching themselves on the big screen along with fellow community members. “I enjoyed that we looked at two themes: the Waraos and the Eñepas. This was excellent because we have never looked at ourselves like this, through a video camera. It was like a big meeting between the two ethnicities living here. It was wonderful to see that happening,” explained Baudilio Centeno, a Warao participant. 

Karina Lopez, an Eñepas participant, said she was delighted after the screening: “I liked watching both videos and also enjoyed that they were made by us.” 

Almost 80, Pillar Paredes was the eldest participant amongst the two groups and had never made a video before. She filmed a segment presenting a typical Warao dance. During the video screening, she was sitting by her grand-daughter who laughed when Pillar appeared on the big screen singing and dancing. Her reaction after watching their video?  “I have decided that I will teach the children here our traditional dances.” 

One of the facilitators leading the process, Amanda Nero, IOM Communication Officer, noted that the process was challenging as the two ethnic groups have very different ways of expressing themselves and communicating. “It was important to have two different processes for each group to respect their own pace and style,” explained Nero.  

IOM Brazil carried out a study about the rights and legal status of indigenous migrants in Brazil, especially the Warao. Through the study, IOM emphasizes the legal tools available to grant equal treatment to Brazilian and Venezuelan indigenous groups and focus on the Warao demands to reshape public policies to their specific needs, safeguarding their indigenous identity. More information about this research can be found here. 

IOM’s GMFF Participatory Video Project is an initiative to amplify voices, empower and foster social cohesion. Similar initiatives were implemented in Amman, Jordan, in October 2017. In November 2017, IOM went to Malakal, South Sudan, to work with communities that have fled war and violence and in December last year, the workshop was done with a group of migrants living in Geneva, Switzerland. 

The initiative was funded by the IOM Development Fund (IDF) and supported by NORCAP. 

Watch how the videos were produced. 

For more information, please contact Amanda Nero at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 227 179 482, Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, August 9, 2019 - 15:41Image: Region-Country: Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)Themes: Global Migration Film FestivalDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

New South Sudan Strategy Maps Way Forward for Communities Returning Home After Displacement

Fri, 08/09/2019 - 09:40

Juba – The conflict in South Sudan has caused immeasurable suffering.  In the past six years, international observers have estimated 400,000 people have died. Today, at least 4.1 million people remain displaced—two million within the country—having fled their homes in search of safety. 

Now, South Sudan is showing signs of recovery. 

The September 2018 signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan has brought increased security and stabilization in more and more of the country, providing new opportunities for displaced populations to go home.  Over the past 11 months since the agreement, some 530,000 individuals have returned, according to IOM’s latest Displacement Tracking Matrix Mobility Tracking report.   

Nonetheless, millions of people still have to cope with ongoing food insecurity, conflict and violent crime throughout the country—all drivers of crisis—which now have become barriers to recovery that must be addressed to build resilience, peace and stability. 

IOM South Sudan recently released a roadmap for supporting conflict-affected communities as they transition from crisis to development, particularly displaced populations preparing to return home. 

The Return, Recovery and Resilience Strategy is designed to promote sustainable returns and recovery. 

“By bringing local actors to the forefront of the return and recovery process, we will support them to drive transformative change in an inclusive manner,” said Jean-Philippe Chauzy, IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission. “We’ll engage communities through their capacities rather than their needs, regarding them as active drivers of recovery, as opposed to passive recipients of aid.” 

IOM has been implementing such recovery and resilience projects in South Sudan since 2011. Given its role as the global migration agency, IOM draws on decades of experience worldwide responding to the challenges in situations where conflict meets forced migration, as well as a long history of adapting its humanitarian response to the needs of affected populations. 

Moreover, IOM is committed to working with partners to uphold the dignity and well-being of returnees. Improving access and provision of services is vital for communities’ sustainable return. That builds trust across conflict lines and helps returnees resume economic activity and receive protection. 

 “This strategy will act as a blueprint for each target location in South Sudan, especially where we can leverage our current operational presence, existing community and partner relationships and contextual knowledge,” Chauzy added. 

For more information, kindly contact Nabie Loyce in IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 912380115, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, August 9, 2019 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: SudanThemes: Community StabilizationInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Women displaced in Wau, South Sudan tailor clothes as part of IOM’s returns and recovery livelihood support programme. Photo: IOM/Olivia Headon 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

First Data Collection Summer School for University Students in Chad

Fri, 08/09/2019 - 09:35

N’Djamena – In the world of humanitarian response, proper data leads to better practices. This summer, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is sharing that lesson with university scholars in Chad to strengthen the capacity in the field of data collection and information management.  

Collecting data is key to better understanding of migrant flows and needs of displaced populations in Chad, where over 244,000 persons are currently displaced. Through IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) tool, data collection can help develop evidence-based policies, programming and improve the humanitarian response in the country.  

IOM organized the first DTM Summer School for university students in N’Djamena during the first week of August, a six-day training that hosted 15 undergraduate and graduate students in sociology, economics, information management and computer science. The IOM program offered participants exposure to data collection methodologies as well as the latest tools for data processing and analysis.  

“We want to build a talent pool to support and improve data collection in the country and continue to give opportunities to the youth to build upon their capacity,” said Yakin Mwanza, IOM DTM Coordinator in Chad, who emphasized the importance of annually renewing this initiative to offer more opportunities to Chadian youth to develop their skills in data collection and management. 

For most participants, the summer school provided their first technical training in the field. Participants also became more aware of IOM’s work in Chad, and how IOM’s reliance on reliable data can contribute to protecting displaced communities.  

“I encourage IOM to continue this initiative for all Chadian youth. This training helps us, the youth, to understand migration trends in our country and help contribute to the protection of displaced Chadians,” said Nanra, a data science student.  

After the training, participants took an exam to select four winners for internships with the DTM team.  

The DTM Summer School was made possible thanks to funding from the Federal Republic of Germany through its Emergency Assistance to Displaced Populations in Chad project and the Netherlands through the Enhancing the Understanding of Migration and Human Mobility in Chad Through Improved Migration-Related Data Management project. 

For more information, please contact Yakin Mwanza, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, August 9, 2019 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: ChadThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

 Students simulating data collection with communities. Photo: IOM

Family photo of the DTM Summer School. Photo: IOM

Students simulating data collection with communities. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN