Languages

  • English
  • Deutsch
Subscribe to PBN News Germany feed
Updated: 2 hours 3 min ago

Canada Supports IOM Scale-up of Humanitarian Aid for Displaced People in DR Congo

Fri, 04/06/2018 - 08:57

Goma – The Government of Canada announced on Wednesday (4/04) that they will fund IOM, the UN Migration Agency in its response to the ongoing displacement crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The funding, which totals CAD 2 million, will be used to provide lifesaving humanitarian aid to displaced people in three provinces: North Kivu, Tanganyika and Ituri.  

“This funding arrives at a time when IOM is scaling up its response to the escalating displacement crisis in DRC,” said Jean-Philippe Chauzy, IOM DRC Chief of Mission.

IOM has been present in displacement sites in North Kivu since 2013 and with this new funding, will be able to continue its activities in North Kivu, while also strengthening its response to internal displacement in Tanganyika and to address the more recently developed displacement crisis in Ituri. 

At the end of 2017, Ituri was once again plunged into intercommunal violence, as fighting between the two prominent ethnic communities broke out. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), approximately 343,000 persons have become internally displaced within the province since the beginning of January 2018 following the conflict. As this recent surge of violence was unexpected, humanitarian actors in DRC were not prepared for the massive displacement crisis, which followed.

As vital information on displaced communities in Ituri was greatly lacking, IOM took part in an inter-cluster assessment mission and subsequently conducted rapid needs assessments in three spontaneous displacement sites in and around of the Ituri provincial capital Bunia near the end of March. These assessments included information on approximate number of households and internally displaced persons in the sites, available assistance, gaps and humanitarian actors present on the ground. The rapid needs assessments were shared with the wider humanitarian community to foster a more informed response.

“The funding from the Canadian Government will help IOM scale up its response in Ituri and will be used to conduct site planning in the spontaneous displacement sites in Bunia, assist displaced households with shelter assistance, provide cash assistance, and assist returnees who wish to return to their area of origin,” said Chauzy.

“IOM’s response in the DRC is one of its most underfunded, although it is the country in Africa with the greatest amount of internal displacement – 4.5 million people are internally displaced – and one of the countries with the most urgent needs; 13.1 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection. The upcoming high-level pledging conference for the DRC crisis in Geneva at the end of next week will be an opportunity for the donor community to save lives through providing more funding,” he added.

In December 2017, IOM launched an appeal for USD 75 million to urgently meet the growing needs of displaced people and the communities hosting them across the DRC. IOM’s interventions focus on the following sectors: Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), Displacement Tracking, Shelter and Non-Food Items, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health, and Protection, particularly responding to gender-based violence. As of today, IOM DRC has received 11 per cent (USD 8.3 million) to address the needs of the appeal.

The IOM Humanitarian Appeal for the Democratic Republic of the Congo is here.

For more information, please contact:
Olivia Headon in IOM HQ, Tel: +41794035365, Email: oheadon@iom.int
Jean-Philippe Chauzy in IOM Kinshasa, Tel: +243 827 339 827, Email: jpchauzy@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, April 6, 2018 - 14:54Image: Region-Country: Democratic Republic of the CongoThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

A displaced family at a spontaneous displacement site in Bunia, D.R. Congo. 

Accessing clean water at a spontaneous displacement site in Bunia, D.R. Congo. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Micro Gardening Scheme to Help Feed Rohingya Refugees, Bangladeshi Local Communities

Fri, 04/06/2018 - 08:56

Cox’s Bazar – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are distributing 50,000 vegetable gardening kits to tackle malnutrition and improve the diet of people affected by the Rohingya refugee crisis in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Almost 700,000 refugees have fled to Cox’s Bazar from Myanmar’s North Rakhine State in the past seven months. Many were already suffering from malnutrition due to poverty and discrimination in Myanmar. Now reliant on basic food rations of rice, lentils, cooking oil and spices distributed by aid agencies every two weeks, the refugees, particularly children under five years old, urgently need to diversify their diet. Local families also need access to more diverse and nutritious food.

The micro gardening initiative, which will provide seeds and tools to 50,000 families – 25,000 in the refugee camps and 25,000 in host villages in Ukhiya and Teknaf sub-districts – is part of a USD 3 million programme to promote home gardening and larger-scale production among local farmers. The initiative is funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). Almost half of the households receiving the kits are female-headed. 

“In the coming months, we’ll be able to have leaves and vegetables regularly,” said 27-year-old Hamida, a young mother living in the Kutupalong-Balukhali mega camp with her husband and two children, who recently received a micro gardening kit. “Now we only eat them when we have money to buy them in the market. Otherwise we just eat rice and lentils or sometimes just rice with some chili and salt,” said Hamida.

“The kits mean that they (the refugees) can grow leaves and vegetables on whatever land they have around their shelters. They can also sell the extra produce,” said Mohammad Abul Kalam, Commissioner of Bangladesh's Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC) in Cox’s Bazar, who handed over the first kits in the Ukhiya sub-district complex. "This will enable people to live better," he added.

Local day labourer Rashid Ahmed, 48, agreed: “Buying leaves and vegetables regularly from the market isn’t possible. But we can have it almost every day if I grow it myself.” said Rashid, who is the only person earning money in his seven-member family. “It will bring in some money as well. I can earn at least 100 taka (USD 1.19) a week selling the extra produce,” he added.

As part of the kits, families received red amaranth, high-iron spinach, lady fingers, long yard beans and pumpkin seeds. They also got compost, a spade and a watering can. The kits include a watertight, 60-litre food storage drum to prevent mold and infestation of food stocks, which will be essential in the coming wet season. Local families received a slightly different kit, as most have bigger kitchen garden areas than the refugees. All the beneficiaries received basic training in micro gardening techniques.

“The initiative mainly focuses on providing high quality, nutritious food to improve nutrition at the household level, but also focuses on production capacity and farm-to-market strategies for farmer groups,” said Peter Agnew, FAO’s Emergency Response Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar. “We’re also introducing new technology to the communities, as it’s been successful in producing high-nutrition vegetables for the refugee population and providing some income generation for the host community.” FAO is implementing a five-year project with Bangladesh's Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE). 

“Seven months into the crisis, it’s not only the refugees, but also the host community that needs assistance,” said Manuel Pereira, IOM's Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar. “The speed of the influx of refugees put huge pressure on local agriculture and the food supply chain. There are 400,000 people among the refugees and host communities who currently need nutrition support. This initiative will improve their nutritional status. It will also contribute to mitigating an expected 50,000 metric tonne annual food deficit in Cox’s Bazar,” he added.

For more information please contact IOM Cox’s Bazar:
Fiona MacGregor, Email: fmacgregor@iom.int, Tel. +880 173 333 5221
Shirin Akhter, Email: sakhter@iom.int, Tel: +880 341 52195

Language English Posted: Friday, April 6, 2018 - 14:58Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Hamada’s micro gardening kit will improve her family’s diet. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Eastern Approaches: UN Migration Agency Turns to Tajik Diaspora for Help Preventing Disease

Fri, 04/06/2018 - 08:56

Moscow – Saturday, 7 April is World Health Day, and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is using the occasion to draw attention to the health needs – and rights – of migrants.
 
“Migrants and mobile populations deserve specific attention due to linguistic, structural and economic barriers which can limit their access to health services,” noted Dr. Jaime Calderon, IOM’s Senior Regional Health Advisor for South Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia – a region which sometimes falls short of the World Health Organization’s goals of Health for All.
 
A lack of targeted inter-country strategies hinders prevention and control of tuberculosis (TB), its multi-drug resistant strains, and HIV. Traditionally, TB and HIV control programmes address national needs, which – in a context with extensive cross-border migration – limit the health coverage of migrants and mobile populations in the region.
 
“Countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia still have some gaps to fill to achieve this goal, especially with regard to communicable diseases such as TB and HIV,” added Dr. Calderon. “The goal is to ensure that everyone, everywhere can access quality health services without facing financial hardship, as set out in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.”
 
Thousands of Tajiks head to the Russian Federation every year to seek work. They are being targeted with health messages in a joint campaign run by IOM and the Governments of Tajikistan and the Russian Federation.
 
“Many migrants from Tajikistan are undocumented and quickly end up in poor working and living conditions that make them vulnerable to communicable diseases,” said Rukhshona Kurbonova, from IOM’s Migration Health Unit in Tajikistan. “Lack of language skills and cultural differences can also hamper them in their search for health services. We need to reach out and involve diaspora communities to help spread the word.”

Kurbonova was speaking on the margins of an event in Moscow last week, where Russia-based Tajiks were trained in methods of spreading information within their networks. It is the start of a large-scale information campaign on the prevention of TB and HIV in and around the Russian capital. The training was supported by the IOM Development Fund (IDF).

“Migrants have a right to healthcare. We need to ensure they are included in governments’ attempts to provide universal health coverage, as this is key to the well-being of people and nations,” Kurbonova concluded.

For more information, please contact Rukhshona Kurbonova at IOM Tajikistan, Tel: + 992 90 505 43 00, Email: rqurbonova@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, April 6, 2018 - 14:50Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Members of the Tajik diaspora in Moscow were trained in dissemination of health information messages by IOM and the two governments. © IOM

Members of the Tajik diaspora in Moscow were trained in dissemination of health information messages by IOM and the two governments. © IOM

Representatives of the Tajik Diaspora discuss migrant health issues with Tajik health authorities at a IOM training course in Moscow last week. © IOM

Recent TB awareness campaign in Tajikistan. The methodology is being replicated among the Tajik diaspora in the Russian Federation.  © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 15,289 in 2018; Deaths Reach 517

Fri, 04/06/2018 - 08:54

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 15,289 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 95 days of 2018, with about 44 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (33%) Spain (23%) and Cyprus (less than 1%).

This compares with 31,060 at this point in 2017, and with 172,089 at this point in March in 2016.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Thursday shared data released this week in Italy concerning the top 11 countries of origin where arriving migrants are coming from (see chart below).

According to Italy’s Ministry of Interior the leading sender country arriving via the Mediterranean’s Central route this year is Eritrea, with 1,552 – or about 25 per cent of the 6,161 men, women and children leaving North Africa by sea.  Tunisia was second on the 2018 list, with just under 1,200 arrivals, followed by Nigeria, Pakistan, Libya, Côte d’Ivoire, Sudan, Guinea and Senegal – all with between 200 and 500 arrivals. Rounding out the bottom of the list are Mali and Algeria, both with fewer than 200 arrivals through 2018’s first three months.

Comparing these data with arrivals from 2015 through 2017, IOM notices a distinct shift. The single largest sender, Nigeria, has been the origin for over 78,000 migrants since 1 January 2015, although three quarters of that total was compiled before 2017.

Similarly, the lion’s share of the totals for Senegal (22,508), Côte d’Ivoire (25,917), Sudan (24,712) and Guinea (26,074) each also predate 2017. Eritrea, this year’s leader, has sent 68,484 migrants to Italy via North Africa since 1 January 2017. But more than 60 per cent of that total arrived before 2017 (see chart below)

 

By contrast, 2017 and 2018 have seen a greater proportion of arrivals from North Africa – from Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Libya. Of some 8,000 Tunisians crossing the Mediterranean to Italy since 2015, over 6,000 have arrived since the beginning of 2017. Sudan, which averaged 500 arrivals monthly in 2017 – and nearly 800 in 2016 – has dropped this year to a monthly average under 80 new arrivals to Italy. Bangladesh – with over 22,000 arrivals through the 36 months between January 2015 and January 2018 (or over 600 per month) this year is averaging fewer than 80 per month.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported Thursday that on Saturday (31 March) 80 migrants (all men) were returned to Libyan shores by the Libyan Coast Guard. Most of those migrants came from Sudan, Ghana, Nigeria and Morocco. The migrants were on a rubber boat trying to reach Italy after embarking from Zuwara.

IOM arrived at the disembarkation point and provided primary medical health care, protection screenings, food, water and juice. The migrants were transferred to Tajoura detention centre where IOM distributed non-food items, hygiene kits and clothes to the concerned migrants.  No emergency cases were reported and no bodies were retrieved.

IOM reports that, so far in 2018, 3,479 migrants have been returned to Libyan territory by the Libyan Coast Guard; this is a 5 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

Petré also reported on Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) flights leaving Libya this week, including three charters and one commercial transport bringing migrants home to Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Sierra Leone and the Philippines. Over 5,340 returning migrants have completed these flights since 1 January, and over 11,500 since the scale-up phase started on 28 November 2017. At least 24,710 migrants have returned home from Libya with IOM’s assistance since 1 January 2017.

IOM Greece's Kelly Namia reported Thursday that over four days, the Hellenic Coast Guard reported at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos and Chios. The Coast Guard rescued 167 migrants and transferred them to these respective islands.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday that total arrivals by sea in 2018 have reached 3,460 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 5 April. This compares with 3,326 arriving last year through all of April.

 

Most recently, 19 migrants died in different incidents in the Western Mediterranean. On 1 April, Spain’s maritime rescue service rescued one person and recovered four bodies from a sinking boat during a rescue operation in the Gibraltar Strait. The sole survivor told authorities that 12 migrants had been on the boat when it capsized.

On 2 April, another body was retrieved in waters near Barbate, Cádiz: the current death toll from Sunday’s shipwreck stands at five dead and six missing. This tragedy took place only a few days after a boat carrying seven migrants capsized in the same area: according to Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras, seven men went missing on 29 March in waters between Morocco and Spain. Additionally, the remains of one migrant were found by local fishermen near Al-Hoceima, Morocco on 1 April. In the first three months of 2018, 139 migrants have died or gone missing when attempting to reach Spain.

In the Mediterranean, 517 migrants are estimated to have died, compared with 804 through this point in 2017. It is important to consider that for the past three years, IOM has reported 500 Mediterranean Sea deaths before the end of March, a trend that has been consistent even though overall deaths and arrivals data have fluctuated considerably over those same three years.

In 2016 – the deadliest year on record – IOM recorded the deaths of over 5,000 irregular migrants on the Mediterranean for the full year, and over 362,000 total arrivals. In 2017 the fatalities totals dropped to just over 3,000 with just over 170,000 total arrivals. In short: even though both fatalities and arrivals fell sharply between the two years, fatalities during both years’ initial quarters were remarkably consistent.

Indeed, it was only in 2014 – the first full year IOM recorded the daily movement of migrants on the Mediterranean – that 500 deaths did not occur within the year’s first 100 days. That year it wasn’t until mid-year – 27 June – when the Missing Migrants Project recorded its 500th fatality. For the second half of the year, over 2,500 deaths were recorded.

It is also important to note that this year’s 500+ deaths have occurred despite a steep drop in total arrivals. This is true even of Spain, which had seen a rapid rise in the volume of arrivals and deaths on its Western Mediterranean Sea route during the second half of 2017, but whose volumes during the first quarter of 2018 are virtually identical those of 2017, a year during which 224 men, women and children drowned attempting to reach Spain.

Already this year nearly 140 irregular migrants have died trying to reach Spain, or about two-thirds the 2017 total – yet with three quarters of the year remaining. The explanation for this near tripling of the route’s fatalities does not lie with a corresponding rise in volume, but with something else.

This is also the case with Italy, where about 360 deaths on the Mediterranean’s Central Route through 100 days is less than half of 2017’s total during the same period. That noted, 2018 arrivals total just slightly more than one-quarter of 2017’s – which means even though the death toll is smaller, the ratio of drownings to arrivals is actually much higher than was being recorded at this time last year.

All of this makes difficult predicting 2018’s next nine months.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 871 deaths and disappearances during migration in 2018, compared with 1,420 through 4 April in 2017 (see chart below).

Several deaths were recorded in other regions since last week’s update. In recent days, 43 migrants and refugees died in vehicle accidents in different parts of the world. In the Horn of Africa, a tragic road accident occurred in Tanzania on 29 March that took the lives of six refugees, along with one IOM team member and one Tanzanian citizen. The accident took place near Ngara town and happened during the transport of 515 Burundians undertaking voluntary return in a convoy of buses chartered by IOM.
In Thailand, a fire on a bus carrying migrants from Myanmar killed 20 people, including 18 women, on 30 March. That incident took place in Tak province in western Thailand, along the border with Myanmar. On the Turkey-Armenia border, a minibus carrying migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran crashed in Turkey’s eastern province of Igdir on 30 March, killing 17 people.
In Mexico, one man died after falling from a freight train near Escárcega in the Mexican state of Campeche. Additionally, MMP received data this week from the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner in Arizona, USA for March: the remains of eight migrants who lost their lives crossing the US/Mexico border were recovered at different locations in Pima County during last month.

MMP data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.
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
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@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
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@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, April 6, 2018 - 14:46Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Helps Strengthen Nicaragua’s National Coalition against Trafficking in Persons

Fri, 04/06/2018 - 08:54

Managua – IOM, the UN Migration Agency donated technological and computer equipment to the National Coalition Against Trafficking in Persons. The material, handed over yesterday (05/04), will back the actions of prevention, investigation, and protection to victims, carried out by the government of Nicaragua.

The donated equipment was delivered to the Ministry of the Interior, which coordinates the National Coalition against Trafficking in Persons, the Public Prosecutor's Office, and the Ministry for the Family, Children and Adolescents and the National Police. A total of 25 desktop computers, 5 laptops, 3 professional cameras, 60 chairs, printers, among others, were donated, which improved the conditions and response capabilities to join the fight against human trafficking.

In addition to the delivery of technological equipment to the institutions, the project also aims to carry out actions for the development of a personal institution, to improve the protection and protection capacity of the victims, and investigate cases of human trafficking.

The Head of the Office of IOM Nicaragua, Paola Zepeda, explained that the proposed actions are carried out at the central level, and then replicated at the local level, in the areas of greatest vulnerability to human trafficking.

"It is essential to strengthen protection networks at the local level in areas where there is a greater risk of a person being a victim of trafficking and smuggling of migrants, especially taking into account the emigration of Nicaraguans to other countries," said Zepeda.

“Combating trafficking in persons is a priority for the Government of Nicaragua. We cannot be isolated from this type of criminal manifestations to which we are all committed to fight and not allow to settle in our territory," said Luis Cañas, Deputy Minister of the Interior. "Through these trainings, each institution of the National Coalition, according to its role, will do whatever necessary to be attentive to any manifestation of the crime of trafficking in persons."

The donation is part of a project financed by the IOM Development Fund, which seeks to contribute to the strengthening of the National Coalition Against Trafficking in Persons in Nicaragua. The activities of this project strengthen the capacities of specialized institutions for the provision of comprehensive services for the care and protection of victims, as well as for the investigation of cases and punishment of traffickers.

For more information, please contact Anabell Cruz Zavala at IOM Nicaragua, Tel: +505 22789569, Email amcruz@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, April 6, 2018 - 14:44Image: Region-Country: NicaraguaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

The equipment delivered by IOM will improve the conditions and response capabilities for the fight against human trafficking in Nicaragua. Photo: © Anabell Cruz / IOM

“We are all committed to fight and not allow (this crime) to settle in our territory" said Luis Cañas, Nicaraguan Deputy Minister of the Interior (Center). Photo: © Anabell Cruz / IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

A Critical Year for Unity in Defining Migration Policy Globally

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 03:13

Brussels – Senior officials from the European Union (EU) and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, are meeting in Brussels today (04/04) to strengthen cooperation on some of the most pressing European, neighbourhood and global migration issues, including better protection of vulnerable migrants, the challenge of managing mixed migration flows, and the Global Compact on Migration.   

Ahead of the meeting, IOM Director General William Lacy Swing welcomed the continued strategic dialogue between IOM and the EU, particularly at a time when migration challenges and opportunities lead the political debate and are a fixture on global and European agendas. 

“This is an absolutely critical year for unity in defining migration policy globally. The issues at stake touch all of us, from vast regions, large and small countries, to the most vulnerable of migrants,” said Ambassador Swing. 

“We have a historic opportunity to build a system for human mobility where people can move safely, legally and voluntarily, in full respect of their human rights.  We particularly need to make headway in addressing the movement of the most vulnerable migrants with specific protection needs,” he added.

This year’s meeting – the fifth of its kind since the launch of the EU-IOM Strategic Cooperation Framework in 2012 – is being hosted by Christian Danielsson, Director General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement at the European Commission (DG NEAR). 

IOM Director General Swing and Deputy Director General Laura Thompson are taking part in the high-level dialogue together with other senior officials from the European Commission (DG DEVCO, DG ECHO, DG HOME and DG NEAR), and the European External Action Service (EEAS). 

The EU-IOM meeting takes place in the lead up to the landmark adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in December.  Ambassador Swing underlined that the EU and its Member States have the expertise and experience to take a leading role in the negotiations for the Global Compact for Migration.

“We are optimistic that with EU leadership, we will reach an agreement that provides a unifying framework of common principles, commitments and understanding among Member States on all aspects of migration,” said Ambassador Swing. 

“We would like to see this grounded in existing international norms, focus on practical implementation, and include mechanisms for follow-up and review,” he added. 

Meeting participants will also discuss ongoing cooperation on forced displacement and development, and on return and reintegration. 

Background on the EU-IOM Strategic Cooperation Framework

The EU-IOM Strategic Cooperation Framework was established in July 2012 to enhance collaboration on migration, development, humanitarian response and human rights issues with three European Commission services (DG DEVCO, DG ECHO, DG HOME) and the European External Action Service (EEAS).  DG NEAR formally joined the Framework in February 2016.

The Cooperation Framework builds on a shared interest in bringing the benefits of well managed international migration to migrants and society. It also serves as a basis for the exchanges, development and structuring of the relationship between the EU and IOM.

Senior Officials Meetings are held to foster dialogue and cooperation at the highest level on key policy issues, best practices, as well as legislative and operational initiatives covering all aspects of migration, mobility and displacement.

In addition to the yearly Senior Officials Meeting, regular meetings are held between the EU and IOM among Heads of Unit/Division and technical experts.

Since the start of the cooperation, 15 meetings have taken place at all levels, involving over 300 EU and IOM staff.

For further information please contact Ryan Schroeder at IOM’s Regional Office for the EU, Tel: +32 2 287 71 16, Email: rschroeder@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 09:03Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: Global Compact on MigrationInternational and Regional CooperationDefault: Multimedia: 

EU and IOM senior officials meet to discuss cooperation on global migration issues. © IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Calling All Filmmakers! UN Migration Agency Launches Call for Submissions to 2018 Global Migration Film Festival

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 11:11

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, begins casting a wide net this week to bring forth the talent behind one of the migration world’s enduring art forms: motion pictures. It’s all part of the UN Together campaign to promote diversity worldwide.

To select a compelling roster of films to be screened at IOM’s December 2018 Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF), the Geneva-based body is calling for submissions of Full-Length Feature and Short Films, in all genres: fiction, documentary, animation, etc.

Submissions will be accepted starting today (3 April) through 21 June. To merit consideration each submission must address the challenges and promises of migration as well as the many and unique contributions migrants make to their new communities. Both established and emerging filmmakers are invited to participate.

Before submitting, we encourage filmmakers to post a short video or pitch to the brand new TOGETHER app which you can find in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Using the app, you can communicate with other filmmakers and collaborate on projects around the world.

A committee of international professionals will determine the Official Selection across two categories as follows:

  • Full-length features: filmmakers working in all genres are invited to submit films that address festival themes, with a total running time exceeding 41 minutes.
  • Short Films: filmmakers working in all genres are invited to submit films that address festival themes, with a total running time of up to 40 minutes. 

Only films submitted through the festival’s designated platform, FilmFreeway, will be considered. 

Over the years, films have informed, entertained, educated and provoked debate. It is in this spirit that IOM launched The Global Migration Film Festival in 2016. Last year the Festival was present in 100 countries; an Official Selection of 39 films led to 345 screenings in 100 countries around the world, drawing a global audience of over 27,000 people.

“The journeys migrants take, sometimes full of peril, often full of hope, have been the subject of films throughout the history of cinema,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “We hope the films at our next festival will instill understanding, empathy with characters, awe at their journeys and admiration for those who welcome their new neighbors.” 

All selected films are also eligible to win awards, including the Innovation Award for films made solely with mobile phones.

Amina Rwimo, a refugee filmmaker living at Kakuma Refugee Camp, won an Emerging Filmmakers award in 2017.  "This award will be a stepping stone towards many more opportunities," she said.

Post-screening debates and panels are encouraged, and GMFF organizers in each participating country may organize their own side events, prize giveaways and more. Click here to access to the official Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) portal.

For more information, please contact Amanda Nero at IOM HQ at Tel: +41 227 179 482, Email: anero@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 17:06Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Trafficking in Persons Commission Launches First Training Manual to Combat Human Trafficking in Afghanistan

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 11:06

Kabul – The Afghan High Commission to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (TIP Commission) has organized a workshop in Kabul to finalize a training manual for Afghan government and NGO stakeholders on identifying and assisting victims of trafficking in Afghanistan.

The Commission, which includes representatives from government ministries, the judiciary and civil society, drew up the Training Manual in Trafficking in Persons, Afghanistan 2017 following a series of consultations with its constituent agencies.

The manual, which is the first of its kind in Afghanistan, is part of a multi-year USAID-funded, IOM project designed to strengthen the country’s capacity to respond to trafficking in persons.

It will be used by national and international stakeholders to train Afghan law enforcement agencies including border police, immigration officials, members of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), NGOs specializing in counter trafficking, shelter managers, and community leaders such as members of shuras, imams and university lecturers. 

The US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report describes Afghanistan as a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking.

Men, women, and children are often exploited in bonded labour. An initial debt assumed by a worker as part of the terms of employment is exploited, ultimately entrapping other family members, sometimes for multiple generations. This is particularly prevalent in the brick-making industry in eastern Afghanistan, where entire families are trapped in debt bondage.

Other victims include children exploited in carpet making, domestic servitude, commercial sex, begging, poppy cultivation, transnational drug smuggling and the trucking industry.

Afghans returning from Iran and Pakistan are particularly vulnerable to trafficking and unaccompanied minors are often targeted by smugglers and traffickers in the communities where returnees have re-settled.

“Human trafficking is a huge concern in Afghanistan. This manual will fill a knowledge gap and build the capacity of law enforcement and other responders to recognize the crime, identify victims and provide effective victim support,’ said IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission Laurence Hart.

For more information, please contact IOM Afghanistan: Eva Schwoerer, Tel. +93 729 229 129, Email: eschwoerer@iom.int, Nasir Ahmad Haidarzai, Tel. +93 794 100 542, Email: nhaidarzai@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 16:58Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Panasonic Solar Lanterns Bring Light to Displaced Communities in Ethiopia

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 10:38

Addis Ababa – On its 100th anniversary, Panasonic Corporation has announced the successful completion of the 100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project, which has brought light to off-grid communities in 30 countries, through 131 organizations, in the last five years. 

Ethiopia benefited from the project through the donation of 2,400 solar lanterns which were distributed by IOM, the UN Migration Agency to displaced families in rural settings. 

The solar lanterns enhanced security and connectivity through provision of light and mobile charging capacity in line with the Panasonic Corporation’s aim to improve and enhance the quality of life in emerging economies and developing countries. The project contributed to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at mobilizing global efforts to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity. 

Farah Hashi, a 60-year-old elder received a lantern on behalf of the community mosque at a displacement site for people affected by drought in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. The mosque gathers more than 50 people, five times a day for daily prayers, three of which are carried out in the dark. “We used to burn wood or use battery operated torch lights for the evening prayers. The closest battery shop is several kilometers away, so maintaining the torch was a challenge,” Hashi explained. He noted that the solar lanterns, “will bring a sense of security and light to our mosque; so we are very grateful for Panasonic.”  

Yousuf Mohamed, a 40-year-old caretaker for the youth centre in the area stated, “This gives us light and we can also charge mobile phones with it. We had to pay five birr (0.18 USD) for each mobile charge and stay at the town for hours until the phones were charged. We have to make that trip at least three times a week, so this is very useful.” 

IOM’s distribution of the lanterns reached 100 communities displaced by drought which has severely impacted Ethiopia since 2015. 

IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission Maureen Achieng, explaining the benefit of the distribution of lanterns through private sector partnerships said, “Displacement often occurs in rural settings where social amenities like electricity are limited, a fact that further exacerbates the vulnerability of displaced populations, especially women and girls.” 

She added, “These lanterns will contribute significantly to the protection of affected communities, reducing risks and insecurities and enabling them to pursue their lives and livelihoods in safety and dignity.”

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 15:40Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Community StabilizationInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Displaced communities in Ethiopia receive solar lanterns from Panasonic Corporation, distributed by IOM. © IOM

Displaced communities in Ethiopia receive solar lanterns from Panasonic Corporation distributed by IOM. © IOM

Displaced communities in Ethiopia receive solar lanterns from Panasonic Corporation distributed by IOM. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 14,651 in 2018; Deaths Reach 498

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 09:38

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 14,651 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 91 days of 2018, with about 42 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (35%) Spain (23%) and Cyprus (less than 1%).

This compares with 29,221 at this point in 2017, and with 165,697 at this point in March in 2016..

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Monday that over the four days (27-30 March), the Hellenic Coast Guard informed IOM of at least five incident requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos. The Coast Guard rescued 175 migrants and transferred them to that island.

An additional 585 irregular migrants landed at the islands of Samos, Chios, Rhodes, Kos—as well as several landings at Lesvos that did not require rescue—to bring the total for irregular arrivals to Greece through 30 March to 5,098 (see chart below), a figure some 40% higher than at this same time last year.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals by sea in 2018 have reached 3,345 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 1 April. That compares with 2,426 through all of March 2017.

The 498 deaths on the three Mediterranean Sea so far this year compare with 739 at this time in 2017, a decline of about 37% year-on-year.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded has recorded 800 deaths and disappearances during migration in 2018, compared with 1,374 at this time last year. Part of the difference is statistical: MMP has complete data, for example, for all of March 2017's missing migrants identified in the U.S.-Mexico boirder reguion, but will not have complete data for last month for several more days. Similarly, MMP does not have complete data for North Africa, where an estimated 217 people died through this date last year(see chart below).

Today's data do not include the deaths of six refugees killed in Tanzania in a traffic accident while being transported back to their homes in Burundi in an eight-bus convoy operated by IOM. Nor do today's data include the reports of migrants missing in Greece's Evros River, where reports have yet to be confirmed.

Most recently, six migrants died in Central America when making their way north to the border with the U.S. On 26 March, a boat carrying 10 migrants from the Colombian town of Capurganá to Panama capsized off Puerto Obaldía, in Guna Yala, northeast Panama. Five survivors and the remains of a man and an infant girl were recovered by the Panama border police, while three migrants remain missing. In Mexico, the body of a young man was retrieved near train tracks in Las Julietas de Torréon, Coahuila on 26 March.

There were three other additions to the Missing Migrants Project database since last week’s update. On the US-Mexico border, where 56 migrant deaths have been recorded this year, a 40-year-old Mexican woman was found dead in Mexicali, Baja California on 24 March.

In Italy, a Nigerian woman died 24 March after being rejected at the border with France. In addition, a 16-year-old Eritrean migrant died Wednesday at a hospital in Lille, France, from injuries he sustained after jumping from a truck near Port of Calais last Friday, 23 March.

On the Greece-Turkey border, a rescue operation was launched on Wednesday to locate migrants who were reported missing at the Evros river in north-eastern Greece, where water levels were very high due to heavy rainfall over the past few days.

 

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

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

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

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
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@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
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 71 860 312 ext. 109, Mobile +216 28 78 78 05, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 15:36Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Chilean Mayors in Dominican Republic to Share Experiences on Migration and Local Development

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 09:36

Santo Domingo — Mayors of three Chilean cities arrived yesterday in the Dominican Republic to participate in several meetings with approximately 200 Dominican mayors in which they will discuss the link between migration and local development. The meeting is part of the Migrants and Cities program implemented by IOM Chile since 2014. 

Since 2010, around 18,000 Dominicans have received a Chilean visa. Two out of every three of these migrants are women, and 75 per cent of Dominicans living in Chile are between the ages of 15 and 44 years. They have settled mainly in the Chilean capital and mostly work in the services sector. 

Given the increased migrant flows, Chilean cities have generated public policies to integrate migrants into local development. Such strategies include ensuring access to education and facilitating health care for immigrants. 

Supported by the IOM Development Fund (IDF), the National Institute of Migration (INM) of the Dominican Republic, and the Dominican Federation of Municipalities (FEDOMU) organized this exchange between both countries. The three participants from Chile were Álvaro Ortiz, mayor of Concepción, who also represents the Association of Municipalities of Chile (AChM); Gonzalo Durán, Mayor of Independencia, and Rodrigo Delgado, Mayor of Estación Central and President of AChM's Commission of Migratory Affairs. Two of these mayors represent the Metropolitan Region, where 79 per cent of the Dominican migrant population is concentrated. 

"We are modeling a new migration governance, and incorporating local governments is the next challenge. This exchange between town governments of Chile and the Dominican Republic let us know the good practices developed in the Chilean context," said Jorge Baca, IOM's Chief of Mission in the Dominican Republic. 

"Furthermore, we have seen that a fundamental change of immigration towards the Dominican Republic is its urban character. Therefore, the importance of creating spaces to dialogue and direct attention to the challenges confronted by local governments in the face of the emigration of their citizens, the link with the diaspora and the arrival of immigrants and their participation in local development," Baca added. 

"These exchanges empower and validate spaces of high importance for the integration and social inclusion of migrants from a local level," said Norberto Girón, IOM's Chief of Mission in Chile, who is accompanying the Chilean mayors.

Girón added, "On the other hand, it is a substantive effort that is made in coordination with the Chilean Association of Municipalities, through a cooperation agreement signed in January of this year with its president Felipe Delpin."

For more information, please contact: Alicia Sangro Blasco, IOM Dominican Republic, Tel: +1 809 688 81 74, Email: asangro@iom.int, José Estay, IOM Chile, Email: jestay@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 15:31Image: Region-Country: Dominican RepublicThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Mayors from Chile and the Dominican Republic will discuss migration and local development in Santo Domingo, as part of the IOM project “Migrants and Cities”. Photo: FEDOMU

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Regrets Loss of Life in Tragic Road Accident in Tanzania

Fri, 03/30/2018 - 17:56

Dar es Salaam - IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, moved swiftly to assist victims of a tragic road accident in Tanzania that occurred Thursday (29/03) around 16:30 local time, and took the lives of eight people—including one IOM team member, six refugees and one Tanzanian citizen, who was working alongside the roadway. Support to victims of the accident is being provided by the Government of Tanzania, as well as, the UN, including IOM, the UN Migration Agency, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and the World Food Programme (WFP).
 
Jamal Mohamud, an IOM employee acting as emergency coordinator at the site, said on Friday (30/03), "the accident happened during the transport of 515 Burundians undertaking voluntary return in a convoy of eight buses chartered by IOM."
 
The tragedy occurred at the Kilometer 9 location near Ngara town in Kagera Region on the highway leading to Tanzania’s border and involved two of the convoy’s eight buses. A total of 114 passengers were on board those two vehicles. Almost all of the survivors were treated for cuts and other minor injuries and discharged, Mohamud said, while 16 passengers suffering more extensive injuries were taken to a nearby hospital. The remaining survivors, including those passengers in the six undamaged buses, have gone to the government’s Lumasi Transit Center for food, shelter and counseling.
 
“It is clear that this accident—and the resulting deaths and injuries—is a major human tragedy,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing, “one that requires us to continue to see that those injured receive urgent medical aid and that every effort be made to identify and handle with appropriate respect and dignity the bodies of the deceased. IOM will ensure that all possible support and assistance be given to all survivors and any next-of-kin, including psycho-social care for those in need of such.”
 
For more information, please contact Qasim Sufi, IOM Tanzania, Tel: +255 659 125 842, Email: qsufi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 30, 2018 - 23:50Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

5000 Displaced Burundians Move to Long-term Housing as Four Displacement Camps Close

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 15:32

Bujumbura - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has provided long-term shelter for more than 5,000 internally displaced Burundians. This sustainable shelter support was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and carried out in partnership with the Government of Burundi and the Burundian and Luxembourgish Red Cross.

Following floods and landslides, thousands of people – including over 4,000 women and children – were displaced for two years to four camps in Gatumba and Rumonge. A decommissioning process began in January 2018 to improve the living conditions of internally displaced people in the displacement camps: Cashi, Gitaza, Mushasha I and Mushasha II.

The support provided to help those displaced transition from the camps included the construction of semi-permanent shelters and the provision of rental support, depending on their situation. Those who rented housing before the natural disaster or could provide a land title in areas deemed safe from the threat of natural disasters, received rental support. Others with secure and approved land in the hills of Rumonge were provided with transitional shelter, while the most vulnerable households received transitional shelter on plots provided by the Government.

All received aid packages containing blankets, mosquito nets, floor mats, soap and a kitchen set, as well as dignity kits provided by UNFPA, the UN Population Fund. IOM also provided agricultural kits to households receiving rental support in Gatumba and Rumonge. These tools will help generate income, with the aim of eventually supporting themselves beyond the six months of rental support provided. The agricultural equipment included a shovel, two hoes, a watering can and an agricultural backpack sprayer for herbicide applications.

“The closing of this camp is helpful for us because it decreases various disease,” explained Jean, formerly displaced and a camp leader from Mushasha II in Gatumba, the western part of Bujumbura province.

“Fortunately, charity organizations helped us with the medical cards that gave us access to public health centres. Closing this will help us fight against diseases. We are also grateful for the rental support… The most important is to leave these small tents because it is not easy here, because diseases can be easily transmitted. It is also difficult when you have children, particularly the ones who are grown up. You understand how uncomfortable it is when you are a parent,” said Jean. He expressed hope that the closure of the camps would put an end to these grievances.

In Rumonge, some 100 kilometres south of Bujumbura, a total of 159 houses were built at sites determined to have reduced risk of potential damage from natural disasters. Former internally displaced people will be housed in semi-permanent shelters on their land of origin.

The most vulnerable internally displaced people, who either did not have land of their own or whose land was not approved due to disaster risks, were provided with plots in an area of land granted by the Government of Burundi in Kigwena. There, IOM, in collaboration with the Burundian and Luxembourgish Red Cross, built 174 transitional shelters for former internally displaced people and members of the host community.

“Today marks an important moment not just for the 5,022 internally displaced people receiving shelter assistance, aid packages, transport assistance and reintegration support, but for the entire country as new communities come together and opportunities for improved wellbeing arise,” said AJ Morgen, IOM Chief of Mission. “The IOM team and its partners, in close cooperation with the Government of Burundi, have worked tirelessly over the past several months to provide sustainable solutions for some of Burundi’s most vulnerable displaced people. While the decommissioning of these four camps is a significant step in addressing the most pressing needs of the internally displaced, we must not forget about the nearly 170,000 Burundians who still remain internally displaced,” said Morgen.

The official ceremony for the decommissioning of the four camps was attended by AJ Morgen, Chief of Mission; Juvénal Bigirimana, Governor of Rumonge; Reverien Simbarakiye, Directeur Général pour la Réintégration des Sinistres; Deo Rusengwamihigo, Conseiller Principal chargé des questions sociales à la 2ème vice-présidence de la République; and representatives of partnering UN agencies and NGOs, including UNFPA, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), CARE and World Vision.

The decommissioning of the four camps is part of IOM’s continued efforts to support long-term solutions for those affected by crises in Burundi. However, nearly 170,000 people remain displaced from their homes throughout the country. Of these, 70 per cent are displaced due to natural disasters, many of them in the provinces of Bujumbura namely Mairie, Bubanza, Gitega, Cankuzo and Bujumbura Rural.  

For more information, please contact Marta Leboreiro Núñez in IOM Burundi, Tel +257 75 40 02 24, Email: mleboreiro@iom.int

Language English Posted: Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 21:16Image: Region-Country: BurundiThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

A formerly displaced mother and child in Burundi. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UNODC, IOM Launch New Initiative to Counter Migrant Smuggling

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 10:24

Vienna (UN Information Service) — Two United Nations agencies are joining forces to combat migrant smuggling. Today (28/03) at the UN in Vienna, IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organized an event centring on a Joint Platform on Countering Migrant Smuggling.

Opening the event, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said: “We must work together to deny criminals the means and opportunity, to protect the lives and safety of people, and end the impunity of smugglers.”

He welcomed this joint initiative to pool and leverage the expertise and experience of both organizations in the fight against migrant smuggling, saying: “UNODC is committed to expanding our work and exploring ways of bringing UN agencies together, including to ensure that criminal justice responses to migrant smuggling are part of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches”.

Argentina Szabados, Director of IOM’s Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia said: “As Ambassador Swing, our Director General has often stated, there is no lack of political will or legal protection for migrants, the gap is in implementation. The smuggling of migrants across borders is a transnational crime and requires transnational cooperation. We need action. Too many lives are being lost, and too much suffering is being endured.”

During these journeys, migrants face abuse and exploitation, inhumane treatment and sexual violence.

On a global level and through its regional and country offices IOM has contributed towards preventing and combatting migrant smuggling for many years. In 2016, it adopted a Comprehensive Approach to Counter Migrant Smuggling which defines four key pillars of work: protection and assistance; addressing the causes; enhancing States’ capacity to disrupt the activities of migrant smugglers; and promoting research and data collection

UNODC is the guardian of the United Nations Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants under the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Through global, regional and national programmes managed from Vienna and a network of field offices, UNODC is supporting States in countering migrant smuggling through legislative assistance and capacity building to investigate and prosecute smuggling-related offences as well as dismantle organized criminal groups, protect the rights of smuggled migrants and strengthen international cooperation.

UNODC has also produced a series of tools and policy papers, including the web-based Smuggling of Migrants Knowledge Portal, and has led public campaigns against migrant smuggling in different parts of the world. In 2018, UNODC will publish a Global Study on the Smuggling of Migrants.

The new IOM-UNODC initiative encourages the main stakeholders to join forces against the smuggling of migrants. This may include joint research; reinforcing Member States’ capacities - upon request - to dismantle criminal networks engaging in migrant smuggling; enhancing assistance to smuggled migrants; or supporting the development of prevention strategies and action plans.

***

Promoting and facilitating orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration as stated in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10 is essential for saving lives, promoting regular and orderly migration, putting migrant smugglers out of business and leading to inclusive development.

The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, adopted unanimously by all 193 Member States of the UN in 2016, provides a powerful platform for the assistance of migrants and combatting migrant smuggling. The New York Declaration set in motion a process of intergovernmental consultations and negotiations culminating in the planned adoption of the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. Strengthening the transnational response to smuggling of migrants is being addressed in the negotiations towards the adoption of the Global Compact.

***

For further information please contact

UNODC: Sonya Yee, Programme Officer, Tel: (+43 1) 26060-4990, Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-4990
Email: sonya.yee@un.org

IOM: Joe Lowry, Senior Media and Communications Officer, IOM Regional Office in Vienna, Tel: (+43 1) 581 22 22 24, Email: jlowry@iom.int

Language English Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 16:22Image: Region-Country: AustriaThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

UNODC Executive Director Yuri Fedotov and IOM Regional Director Argentina Szabados opening the IOM/UNODC event on a Joint Platform for Migrant Smuggling at the UN in Vienna today. © IOM

IOM Regional Director Argentina Szabados delivering opening remarks at the joint IOM/UNODC event on migrant smuggling at the UN in Vienna today. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 13,355 in 2018; Deaths Reach 498

Tue, 03/27/2018 - 09:43

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 13,355 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 84 days of 2018, with about 46 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (32%) Spain (22%) and Cyprus (less than 1%).

This compares with 27,008 at this point in 2017, and with 163,895 at this point in March in 2016.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo said Monday that Italy has reported no new arrivals to ports for the past week. The 6,161 arrivals of irregular migrants by sea so far, this year are less than 30 per cent of the total in 2017, and about 42 per cent of the total at this time in 2016.

For the month of March, traditionally the start of the busiest season on the Mediterranean’s Central route, traffic is down to the lowest level at least since 2016. Last year during the first 25 days of March, 8,489 men, women and children arrived in Italy on this route; in 2016 the total for the first 25 days of March was 5,404.

This year’s monthly total – 914 arrivals – comes to just over 10 per cent of the 2017 total, and 17 per cent of 2016 (see chart below).

 

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Monday that over the four days (21-24 March) the Hellenic Coast Guard informed IOM of at least two incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos.

The Coast Guard rescued 128 migrants and transferred them to that island. Another 77 migrants reportedly landed on Lesvos, plus 32 on Leros, bringing total arrivals through 24 March to 4,215. In 2017, the total on the same date was 3,496 – making arrivals for the first three months of 2018 about 20 per cent heavier than was seen on this route than last year (see chart below).

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals by sea in 2018 have reached 2,932 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 24 March. That compares with 2,426 through all of March 2017.

The 498 deaths on the three Mediterranean Sea so far this year compare with 788 at this time in 2017, a decline of about 37 per cent year-on-year.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 789 deaths and disappearances during migration in 2018, or virtually the same total reported last year just for the Mediterranean (see chart below).

Most recently, the body of an unidentified African migrant was found washed up to the shore of Tripoli, Libya on Tuesday, 20 March.

Other additions to the Missing Migrants Project database since last Friday’s update include three migrants in Southeast Asia. The three, from Myanmar, were killed while another eight were injured in a crash on 17 March in Tambon Ban Paeng, Thailand after their van hit a truck and caught fire.

On the US-Mexico border, where 55 migrant deaths have been recorded this year, a 35-year-old Honduran migrant was found dead Thursday after he drowned while attempting to cross the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo at Reynosa, Mexico.

The bodies of two migrants were found in Texas on March 15th – one on a ranch near Falfurrias, the other near Sarita, Texas.

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

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
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@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
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 71 860 312 ext. 109, Mobile +216 28 78 78 05, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 15:13Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Fostering Integrated Border Management in Ukraine

Tue, 03/27/2018 - 09:35

Kyiv – With seven neighbours, over 150 international and inter-state border crossing points, Ukraine has one of the longest and busiest frontiers in Europe.

Almost 100 million people and over 20 million vehicles crossed Ukraine’s borders last year – respectively a nine per cent and a two per cent increase on 2016.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency has just signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation with the State Fiscal Service (SFS) of Ukraine which sets out to help Ukraine ensure the right balance between open and controlled borders.

“We aim to support Ukraine in facilitating secure, transparent and more efficient border procedures for the benefit of cross-border trade and movement of persons in the region,” said IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission, Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss, after signing the memorandum of understanding with the acting Head of the SFS, Myroslav Prodan.

The memorandum covers issues such as customs modernization in Ukraine, simplification of border crossing formalities, harmonization of border crossing procedures and their adaptation to EU best practices, improvement of inter-agency cooperation on border management, enhancement of risk management and the capacity to counter illicit movement of goods, irregular border crossings and corruption.

“We are also creating opportunities for cooperation on the enhancement of human resources management and training of personnel, improvement of the customs infrastructure at the border crossing points, and instalment of modern equipment,” said Prodan.

IOM and the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine started cooperating in 2013 through several EU-funded projects, benefitting customs authorities of Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, as well as travellers, businesses and cargo operators.

The recently launched EU-funded project Enhancing Integrated Border Management along the Ukraine-Moldova Border, implemented by IOM, is aimed at renovating and equipping – from furniture and servers to weighing and inspection equipment − two border crossing points: Kuchurhan-Pervomaisc and Reni-Giurgiulesti.

For more information, please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, +38 967 447 97 92, Email: vzhluktenko@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 15:18Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Chief of Mission in Ukraine and Myroslav Prodan, acting Head of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine sign MoU. © IOM

Crossing point Novi Yarylovychi – Nova Huta at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, YouTube Stars Launch Campaign to Prevent Exploitation in Manufacturing

Tue, 03/27/2018 - 09:35

Bangkok Young Thais truly have the power to change the world. This was the message at the launch of IOM X’s Do you know who made it? campaign today (27/03), which asks young Thais to take the lead in making smart purchasing decisions that reinforce the fair treatment of workers in the manufacturing industry.

IOM X is a campaign to prevent human trafficking and exploitation, run by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

In partnership with some of Thailand’s top YouTube stars, IOM X will reach more than 13 million Thai YouTube users with stories that highlight both the good side and the bad side of the manufacturing industry.

From Bie the Ska’s drama depicting a father’s misery on the production line of a mobile phone factory, producing the very product his daughter is begging him for; to VRZO’s Happy, an ironic look at how clothes are marketed, versus how they are made; and BILLbilly01’s animated music video highlighting the fact that there are real people making the clothes that we wear; IOM X’s Do you know who made it? campaign takes a deep dive into the manufacturing industry.

YouTube creator Softpomz gets the inside scoop from kids on what’s fair and what’s not when it comes to work, while Picnicly interviews restaurant owners working to improve the lives of their staff and suppliers.

“Here’s the truth: whenever we make a purchase, we risk supporting exploitation,” said IOM X Programme Leader Tara Dermott. “But if we choose what we buy wisely, we can contribute to breaking the cycle of abuse that harms the people behind the products.”

There are approximately 16.6 million people in forced labour situations in Asia Pacific, across a variety of industries, including manufacturing. Annual illegal profits from forced labour in Asia, including in the manufacturing sector, are an estimated USD 52 billion.

Human trafficking victims in manufacturing jobs in Asia Pacific often live in substandard housing, are not paid their full salaries, and have their documents confiscated to prevent them from leaving their jobs.

They may be subjected to unpaid overtime hours or hazardous working conditions (such as working with toxic chemicals and dangerous machinery), and are at risk of injuries resulting from repetitive motions. Not having the right protective clothing and gear can lead to serious health issues such as cancer, respiratory illnesses, dermatological problems, liver damage, hearing problems and neurological problems.

Debt bondage – the practice of forcing someone to pay off a loan by working – is a common practice used in the manufacturing industry to keep victims bound to their workplace. For example, a migrant working in the electronics manufacturing industry in Southeast Asia pays an average of USD 500-1,200 in recruitment fees; often these fees are then deducted from the worker’s salary.

IOM X launched the Do you know who made it? campaign with USAID, Google Thailand, Love Frankie and TQPR.

Visit IOMX.org/tham to better understand where the products you buy come from, and how you can help prevent the exploitation of the people who make them. High-resolution photos and further information are available at https://tinyurl.com/IOMXYouTube.

For more information please contact Mia Barrett at IOM X, Tel: +66 84 705 2114, Email: mbarrett@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 15:21Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

Behind the scenes of Picnicly's video. © IOM X

Behind the scenes of Bie the Ska's video. © IOM X

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

First International Dialogue on Migration of 2018 Underway in New York: IOM

Tue, 03/27/2018 - 09:35

New York – The first International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) of 2018 – IOM, the UN Migration Agency’s major forum for policy dialogue – is currently underway. The first of the two dialogues to be held this year, this week’s discussions (26-27/03) are focusing on partnership and taking place at United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York.

“The IDM was established some 17 years ago to be a very large and welcoming meeting place, where our Member States can interact directly and openly with other relevant actors on migration governance, exchange views, and promote understanding of migration dynamics,” said IOM Director General, Ambassador William Lacy Swing, in his opening remarks.

Noting the timely focus of this year’s IDM on inclusive and innovative partnerships for effective global governance of migration, Ambassador Swing stated that the first-ever Global Compact for Migration “deserves close, concerted action from the international community as a whole to ensure successful review implementation and follow-up.”

Louise Arbour, the United Nations Special Representative for International Migration added, “The Secretary-General’s Report Making Migration Work for All called for the Global Compact to provide a positive agenda that would focus on helping migrants fulfil their potential, promote regular migration and address effectively the challenges of irregular migration.”

Among the participants of IDM are national and local governments; multiple ministries; civil society; the private sector, migrant and diaspora organizations; academia; the media; and others. Discussions explored different partnership models that exist in the field of migration and showcase their value by presenting some of the migration management tools developed through cooperation among different actors.

“The 50 million children who have migrated across borders or been forcibly displaced represent an incredible pool of talent and potential. These children must be front and centre of the global migration agenda this year,” said Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. She urged all stakeholders to “make 2018 a year where we as a global community come together to scale up solutions for people on the move.”

“I do believe that topic chosen could not be more appropriate and timely. It is essential that actors come together to find partnerships which are inclusive and innovative,” said Guy Ryder, Director General, International Labour Organization (ILO). He added it was important to set the tone for more constructive dialogue which will take real leadership from all concerned.

IOM recognizes the paramount importance of cooperation and has been working in close partnership with all relevant stakeholders, including fellow UN agencies in areas such as migration and development, migration and climate change, children, trafficking and smuggling, labour and health.  

Julie Bolcer, Deputy Commissioner, Policy and Communications at NYC Mayor's Office for International Affairs said, “Our message is: Cities are ready to help, we have the expertise, and we know that in order to achieve an inclusive and human-centred global compact for migration, our voices need to be heard.”

Various issues were elaborated including the importance of partnerships in making data available for migration policymaking, achieving the migration-related Sustainable Development Goals and enhancing migrant worker protections and eliminating forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking.

The Dialogue will conclude today (27/03) focusing on topics such as partnership frameworks in place to effectively respond to the needs of vulnerable populations, the role of local authorities and cities in the migration management, and the whole-of-society partnerships while exploring methods of engaging non-State actors for good migration governance.

Watch today the IDM live from 10am EDT in the six UN official languages: http://webtv.un.org/

For more information, please contact IOM in New York:
Azzouz Samri, Tel: +41 794 425 228, Email: asamri@iom.int
Rahma Gamil Soliman, Tel: +1 917 515 7454, Email: rsoliman@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 15:19Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: IOM Development FundDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM DG William Lacy Swing speaks at IDM 2018 in New York. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Appeals for USD 88.5 million for Response to Ethiopian Crisis

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 10:59

Addis Ababa – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has launched an appeal for USD 88,550,000 to help people in need of humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia. The appeal covers IOM’s activities under the humanitarian community and Government’s Ethiopia Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan (HDRP), IOM’s assistance to Ethiopian migrant returnees from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and humanitarian support to refugees from neighbouring countries.

IOM’s appeal aims to support some of the 1.7 million Ethiopians displaced throughout the country, identified by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). Approximately 1.1 million people are displaced due to conflict, 857,000 of whom were displaced near the borders of the Oromia and Somalia Regions over the past year, and over 500,000 people due to climatic shocks. In addition, 47,600 Ethiopian migrant returnees and 87,000 South Sudanese and Somali refugees are planned to be reached with support detailed in the appeal. Under this appeal, IOM will also support empowerment of young people and the strengthening of institutions in Ethiopia working on counter trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.

“We need to rethink the way we work in countries like Ethiopia,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Director of Operations and Emergencies at the Organization’s headquarters in Geneva. “We want this appeal to mark the end of the “Band-Aid approach” and the start of longer term thinking. Millions of people are in dire need of our urgent support in Ethiopia, but we hope that the life-saving sustainable measures we put in place this year will mean that by next year more communities will be resilient to climate stresses like drought,” said Abdiker.

Ethiopia has had a fast-growing non-oil-related economy with double digit growth sustained over a decade. It has experienced massive investment in infrastructure and industry. However, in 2016, the worst El Niño induced drought in 50 years forced more than 10 million people to become depend on relief food assistance, while also eroding household and community resilience and increasing vulnerability nationwide. Last year, rains failed again, and, in south and south-eastern Ethiopia, 8.5 million Ethiopians were left in need of relief food assistance.

The 2018 Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan released by the Government of Ethiopia National Disaster Risk Management Commission and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator shows that this year 16.4 million people will need humanitarian assistance throughout the country.

Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians leave home to seek employment in the Gulf countries, most often KSA. On 29 March 2017, KSA issued a Note Verbal declaring that all irregular migrants should voluntarily leave the country, among them an estimated 500,000 Ethiopians. To date more than 140,000 Ethiopians have returned. Many returnees come back to little and the push factors that encouraged them to leave in the first place are still present. IOM’s appeal covers reintegration support, which is vital for returnees to sustain their livelihood.

Ethiopia remains the second largest refugee-hosting country in Africa hosting over 909,000 refugees. Of these registered refugees, more than 428,928 are South Sudanese and 254,274 are Somali.

Transportation of newly arrived refugees from border entry points to the refugee camps remains a critical to ensure that they can access aid. Shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and livelihood support in the context of the Comprehensive Refuge Response Framework (CRRF) remains critically under-funded and are included in IOM’s current appeal.

“Ethiopia has bravely endured these difficult situations but to sustain its growing economy, it needs urgent support from the global community,” said Maureen Achieng, IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission and Representative to the African Union (AU), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

Download the appeal here.

For more information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251.11. 5571707 (Ext. 455), Mobile: +251.91.163-9082 Email: salemayehu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 23, 2018 - 17:59Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Internally displaced Ethiopians in Guji Zone, Oromia Region. Photo: Rikka Tupaz / IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration’s International Dialogue on Migration 2018 to Support Global Compact for Migration

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 10:59

New York – The International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) – a forum for policy dialogue between migrants’ countries of origin, transit and destination – will be held in New York City next week, 26-27 March.

As Member States negotiate a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration (GCM) to be adopted at the end of 2018, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, will continue to support the GCM development process by dedicating two workshops of its International Dialogue on Migration to the topic of inclusive and innovative partnerships for effective global governance of migration.

The first workshop of the IDM will be held Monday through Tuesday at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York.

The IDM forum will also include representatives of civil society, migrants’ groups, experts and other stakeholders. It provides an informal and non-binding setting in which all stakeholders have an equal right to participate, fostering trust, openness and genuine exchange while addressing the full range of migration issues and their linkages with other policy domains.

IOM recognizes the paramount importance of cooperation and has been working in close partnership with all relevant stakeholders, including fellow UN agencies in all these areas. As a result, many cooperation frameworks and tools have been developed jointly with UN Agencies and other partners.

These tools are made available by IOM and partner agencies for the development and adoption of a global compact, and subsequently for the implementation and follow-up stages.

During the 2017 IDM, IOM Director General William Lacy Swing pointed out that international cooperation should involve all relevant actors: national and local governments; multiple ministries; civil society; the private sector, migrant and diaspora organizations; academia; the media; and others. In addition, the importance of partnerships in migration, at all levels, was a key takeaway from the GCM stocktaking meeting, held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in December 2017.

At this year’s IDM, discussions will explore different partnership models that exist in the field of migration and showcase their value by presenting some of the migration management tools developed through cooperation among different actors. Participants will have the opportunity to exchange good practices and experiences on successful and inclusive partnerships at local, national, regional and international levels, evaluate both achievements and challenges encountered, and consider what can be done to replicate and scale up such partnerships elsewhere.

A recent report of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Making Migration Work for All, states that “Managing migration is one of the most urgent and profound tests of international cooperation in our time.”

It is against this backdrop that the IDM will provide States, United Nations agencies and other partners an opportunity to demonstrate good partnership and coordination of efforts and discuss ways to improve collaboration. 

For more information on the agenda and meeting documents, please check the International Dialogue on Migration 2018 webpage: http://www.iom.int/inclusive-and-innovative-partnerships-effective-global-governance-migration

To watch the live webcast in the six UN official languages: http://webtv.un.org/

For more information, please contact Azzouz Samri, Governing Bodies Division, IOM International Cooperation and Partnerships, Email: asamri@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 23, 2018 - 17:55Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: IOM Development FundDefault: Multimedia: 

The IDM forum will include civil society, migrants’ groups, experts and other stakeholders. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Pages