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Updated: 29 min 8 sec ago

New UN Migration Report Shows Complex Evolution of Pathways, Cost of Eastern Mediterranean Route

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 10:46

Vienna – New data released by IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, reveals a complex evolution of migrant arrivals in Europe via the so-called Eastern Mediterranean Route. The Agency’s main findings are that the cost of getting into Europe has increased significantly when compared to 2016, the routes have changed, and different countries of destination are being prioritized.

Many migrants are now paying upwards of USD 5,000 to get into the European Union, with those coming from Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan being charged the most. Greece and Bulgaria are being used as transit countries into the Western Balkans, with Northern Europe as the goal destination. While the most popular destination up to June 2016 was overwhelmingly Germany, migrants now seek to get to France, Sweden, Italy, Norway, Austria and Denmark as well. 

“With increased border controls, it has become harder to reach Europe,” noted Livia Styp-Rekowska, IOM’s Border Management Specialist in Vienna. “One constant, however, is the increase in sums demanded.” 

“The response to smuggling cannot be piecemeal,” she added. “It must provide protection and assistance to smuggled migrants; address the causes of migrant smuggling; enhance states’ capacity to disrupt the activities of migrant smugglers; and promote research and data collection on migrant smuggling.”

There are also indications that people have been exploited along the route, and have incurred huge debts to make their way to Europe.

“Loss of life at sea is tragic and should be averted at all costs, but there are other dimensions,” noted Styp-Rekowska. “One also has to remember that those who make it often have their lives put on hold. Our research shows that 40 per cent of refugee and migrant children have had no schooling in the past year. Almost one in three children reported that the last time they went to school was more than two years ago and just as many have missed one to two years of schooling. Twenty-three per cent said they have never gone to school.”

IOM’s flow monitoring surveys are part of the IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) activities in the Mediterranean. The initiative began in October 2015 and is conducted within the framework of IOM’s research on populations on the move through the Mediterranean and Western Balkan routes to Europe.

Between January and June last year, 6,401 surveys were conducted in Greece, Hungary, Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The sample size for the period between January and June 2017 consists of 2,140 surveys. The analysis focuses on the comparison of migrant profiles and characteristics of their journeys between these two time periods.

The full report can be accessed at:

http://migration.iom.int/docs/Flow_Monitoring_Surveys_Analysis_June_2017....

It was compiled using IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix and funded by UK Aid. Previous reports are available on demand.

For more information, please contact Livia Styp-Rekowska, Tel: +43 1 581 22 22 20, Email: lstyprekowska@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 16:40Image: Region-Country: AustriaThemes: Migration ResearchMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Syrian refugees crossing the Serbian-Croatian border. File photo: Francesco Malavolta / IOM 2015

Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 112,018 in 2017; 2,361 Deaths

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 10:39

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 112,018 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 23 July, with almost 85 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 250,586 arrivals across the region through 23 July 2016.

Dimitrios Tsagalas of IOM Cyprus reported on Monday (24 July) that a boat with 143 migrants was found off Pomos Island over the weekend. The migrants arrived at Cyprus’s Latchi harbour early on Monday morning.

“Police approached a boat near Pomos at 01:00 on which migrants were travelling and…towed [it] into the harbour at 04:00,” Tsagalas wrote. “On board were 62 men, 31 women and 50 minors. They were taken to Polis Chrysochous police station to be registered and provided with first aid, food and other supplies by members of the civil defence, the Red Cross and social welfare services.”

Late Monday, Ana Dodevska of IOM Spain wrote Salvamento Maritimo, the Spanish government's sea rescue arm, has reported the 23 July rescue of 44 men, three women and one minor from two small boats located in the Sea of Alboran. The migrants were said to be from Morocco and various nations of sub-Saharan Africa. Their arrival brings total sea rescues off Spain in 2017 to 7,774,  Dodevska said.

IOM Athens' Kelly Namia reported today (25 July) that Greek authorities late last week (21 July) discovered the remains of a 7-year-old Kurdish boy  near the Skaramangas refugee hosting site, west of Athens. The boy’s disappearance prompted an amber alert issued by the NGO 'Smile of the Child', and mobilized a police search operation, which led to the discovery of the boy’s body in the sea not far from the camp.

Police say the boy appears to have drowned. The refugee child's parents have been placed under arrest for exposing a minor to danger. Based on their accounts, the child had originally gone missing in the early hours (1AM) Friday, when his parents and other refugees in the camp began a search without result. A search was launched and the child's body was eventually found in the sea. There were no obvious signs of injury or other indications of criminal activity, Namia writes.

IOM Rome reports 9,396 sea arrivals to Italy this month through 23 July. That figure trails the full July totals for each of the past two summers by about 14,000 (see chart below), highlighting a trend that IOM has observed of slower traffic to Italy during mid-summer, and fewer deaths (approximately half of those recorded in July 2015 and 2016). Nonetheless, for the year to date, arrivals to Italy remain slightly ahead of either 2015 or 2016 totals at 93,417.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported yesterday from Tunis that through 24 July, a total of 11,403 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters while the remains of 349 men, women and children have been discovered along Libyan shores (see chart below).

“Today (23 July), 281 migrants were rescued at sea off Tripoli and Azzawya by the Libyan Coast Guard. Early this morning, 133 migrants (120 men and 13 women) were rescued off Azzawya and a few hours later, 148 migrants (142 men, two women and four children) were rescued off Tripoli,” she wrote.

The latest fatality in the region was reported last Friday (21 July), bringing the Mediterranean total to 2,361. Although this figure trails the number of deaths (3,047) recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,350.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,282 fatalities in 2017 through 23 July (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – almost three quarters of the global total.

Among the newly confirmed fatalities from MMP are: one body found near Sabratha, Libya; remains of a lone migrant found at a ranch near Falfurrias, Texas, USA; a drowning in Río Bravo, Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico; and nine deaths reported from the discovery in Texas of migrants trapped in a locked truck in a shopping mall parking lot incident (eight migrants were found dead inside the truck; one migrant rescued was later reported deceased at a local hospital).

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:

http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170725_Mediterranean_Update.pdf
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
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus,Tel: + 22 77 22 70, Email: dtsagalas@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 16:29Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, UN Habitat Event to Recognize Contribution of Migrants to Cities

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 10:28

New York – On Tuesday, 25 July, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and UN-Habitat will hold an event at UN Headquarters to recognize the role local authorities play in managing migration. This will take place on the margins of the fourth Informal Thematic Session of the Global Compact on Migration. 

This informal thematic consultation, hosted in collaboration with the Permanent Missions of Belgium and Ecuador, will discuss how to better harness the economic, social and cultural contributions of migrants to their host cities and explore the role of local governments in enhancing the developmental impacts of migration. The main focus will be on reviewing policies to promote integration and inclusion for migrants, as part of broader multi-level migration governance frameworks. 

Ambassador Michel Lastschenko, Special Envoy for Asylum and Migration, Federal Government of Belgium, remarked, “Belgium is extremely pleased to support this event. We welcome this opportunity to exchange ideas and best practices for supporting migrants with integration and at the same time encourage them to contribute their resources, skills and ideas, to build, revitalize and enrich cities: socially, economically and culturally.”

The event will also serve as a platform to formally announce the organization of a Global Conference on Cities and Migration, hosted by the Belgian Federal Government and the City of Mechelen. The Conference, to take place on 16-17 November 2017, will serve as a preparatory event for offering a space to collect best practices from local governments, and for them to provide their inputs towards developing a Global Compact on Migration.

The Conference will also provide a first informal review on the implementation of the migration-related commitments of Habitat III, ahead of the first follow-up during the 9th World Urban Forum which will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in February 2018. 

Increasing migration to cities does not take place without challenges. Population growth in cities poses a great deal of pressure on infrastructure, the environment and the social fabric of the city. The pace of urbanization can disproportionately affect the capacity of national and local governments of low-income nations to cope. 

Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Deputy Executive Director and Assistant Secretary-General for UN-Habitat, said: “We need better national policies, more engagement and adequate support for local governments to harness the significant benefits from migrants in our cities. In order to enable dignified support of migrants who come in large numbers, governments at all levels need to empower local actors and collaborate effectively to promote people-centred integration policies which both protect the human rights of migrants, and also to improve the quality of life for all those living in cities.”

In many countries, migration contributes to poverty reduction and enhanced human development by bringing significant social, economic and cultural benefits to cities and local communities. When well-managed, migration spurs economic growth, creates businesses and jobs, fills crucial labour and skills gaps, expands tax bases, contributes to social security schemes and promotes trade, investment and innovation.

Jill Helke, IOM Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Partnerships, said: “Migration is a people process, and it is actions by leaders, especially at the local level, which will determine whether and how migrants can unleash their potential to contribute successfully – economically, socially and culturally – with significant and long-lasting impact for themselves, their families, and communities.”

Further details about the event are available at: https://unofficeny.iom.int/migrants%E2%80%99-contributions-cities.

For more information, please contact Lanna Walsh, IOM Office to the United Nations in New York, E-mail: lwalsh@iom.int or Filiep Decorte, UN-Habitat New York Liaison Office, Email:  decorte@un.org

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 16:23Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Dozens of Cambodians commute through the Thai border in Poipet. For many, they work daily in nearby border towns while others might venture further in to work for short to long term periods. Photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Selects Kony to Accelerate Digital Strategy to Reach More Migrants

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 10:22

Austin – Today (25/07), Kony, Inc., a leading enterprise mobility and digital applications company, announced that it has been selected by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, to accelerate its digital strategy and support its vision to provide information and humanitarian services to more migrants and government agencies.

As the world’s leading intergovernmental agency dedicated to the wellbeing, safety and engagement of migrants, IOM will use the Kony AppPlatform to deliver mobile apps, including the MigApp, to provide key information and humanitarian services to migrants worldwide.

IOM works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. With 166 member states, over 400 field locations and more than 90 per cent of its staff deployed in the field, mobile applications play a critical role in the success of IOM as one of the lead responders to the world’s worst humanitarian emergencies.

IOM is dedicated to enabling humane and orderly migration, promoting international cooperation on migration, assisting in the development of practical solutions for migration issues and providing humanitarian assistance to migrants, including refugees and internally displaced persons.

Many migrants encounter tremendous challenges throughout their journeys and though many migrants, especially those forcibly displaced or migrating irregularly, carry very few personal possessions, most people do carry a smartphone, which can be a gateway to reliable and practical information on migration and humanitarian services.

IOM intends to use the Kony AppPlatform to build multiple apps to support its mission, not only to empower migrants to take charge of their own journey, but also reduce their dependency on unauthorized entities and processes that are not beneficial to the migrants.

“Since our establishment in 1951, IOM upholds the belief that migration builds resilience,” said Bernardo Mariano, IOM’s  Director of the Information and Communication Technology Division. “Migrants are agents of change and development. Our ultimate objective is to reduce the human and financial costs of migration through increased engagement with migrants. We look forward to leveraging Kony’s technology, expertise and secure mobile applications to further our commitment to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits not just migrants but all of society,” he added.

IOM selected the Kony platform to develop and deliver the MigApp, with the goal of reaching 1 billion migrants and achieving 1 million downloads of the app by 2018. The MigApp is a one-stop-shop application that users can download to their mobile phones for free to access information and services relevant to their migration process.

The goal is to help migrants make informed decisions, provide them with access to services related to their migration process, and allow access to IOM programmes. Features planned for the first phase of MigApp include:

  • Remittance comparison allowing migrants to find cost-effective ways to send money home;
  • Access to up-to-date practical information on IOM programmes and services;
  • “I am a Migrant” space where migrants can share their experiences, tell their stories and upload photos to share with other MigApp users;
  • Notification services providing alerts on emergencies, health-care information, and other important information related to their location;
  • IOM news;
  • Online registration enabling IOM to capture data which can be used to analyse migration patterns and trends.

“We are thrilled to partner with all global leaders, and we take special pride in supporting the mission of the UN Migration Agency,” said Thomas E. Hogan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kony, Inc. “As a global citizen deeply committed to the communities we serve, our contribution to humanitarian services for the world’s migrants is both important and rewarding.”

Kony is a recognized leader in the enterprise mobility space. Recently, Kony was the only leader named in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile App Development Platforms Report for five consecutive years. Kony has also been named a “Leader” in the IDC MarketScape: 2017 North American Mobile Banking and Payments report, with the highest rating for Mobile Banking capabilities.

For more information, please contact at IOM:  Alex Dougan, Tel: + 41 22 7179 352, Email: adougan@iom.int

Jean Kondo at Kony, Inc., Tel: +1 510 823 4728, Email: Jean.kondo@kony.com

Danielle Tarp at Blanc & Otus, Tel: +1 415 856 5182, Email: Danielle.tarp@blancandotus.com

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 16:18Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Missing MigrantsOthersDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM will use the Kony AppPlatform to deliver mobile apps, including the MigApp, to provide key information and humanitarian services to migrants worldwide (Screengrab).

Categories: PBN

Arab Regional Consultative Process on Migration and Refugee Affairs to Meet on Global Compacts on Migrants and Refugees

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 10:17
Language English

Cairo – The Arab Regional Consultative Process on Migration and Refugees (ARCP) is meeting in Cairo, Egypt on 25-26 July 2017 in preparation for the ongoing consultations on the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).

The meeting is organized in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency and aims to ensure the active participation of the members of the League of Arab States (LAS) in the ongoing consultations of the two Global Compacts and encourage their diplomatic missions in New York to coordinate in this regard.

The meeting also aims to raise awareness among LAS Member States on the ongoing processes for the development of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Global Compact for Refugees, and to identify key messages, priorities and experiences.

The first of these forums is the Regional Consultation on the GCM, led by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), in collaboration with IOM and LAS, which will be held in Beirut in September 2017.

The ARCP meeting will take place over two days; the first day of the meeting will be dedicated to the GCR and the second day to the GCM.

Among keynote speakers are Ambassador Laura Thompson, Deputy Director General of IOM; H.E Mr. Abdelkrim Benoutiq, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in charge of Moroccans Living Abroad and Migration Affairs; Ambassador Badre Eddine Allali, Assistant Secretary-General, Head of Social Affairs Sector, League of Arab States; Mrs. Carol Batchelor, Director of International Protection Division, UNHCR; and Ambassador Mohamed Ghoneim, Assistant Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Migration, Refugees and Combatting Human Trafficking, Arab Republic of Egypt.

On day two, dedicated to the Global Compact on Migration, IOM thematic specialists and GCM experts will lead the discussions on an array of topics which include:

  • Addressing the drivers of migration;
  • Reducing irregular migration and assisting migrants in vulnerable situations.
  • Supporting the positive impact of mobility and of diaspora on all dimensions of sustainable development
  • Identifying means to strengthen dialogue and partnerships between governments, civil society, private sector and international organizations for safe and orderly migration.

For more information, please contact Hend Eltaweel at IOM's Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, Email: heltaweel@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: EgyptThemes: Global CompactGlobal Compact on MigrationInternational and Regional CooperationDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Contributions of Migrants, Diasporas to Sustainable Development Frames Discussions at Fourth Informal Consultation of the Global Compact for Migration

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 04:19
Language English

New York – Member State representatives, UN agencies, civil society, migrants and diaspora leaders are convening at UN Headquarters 24-25 July for the fourth thematic consultation of the Member State-led process to develop a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). The theme “Contributions of migrants and diasporas to all dimensions of sustainable development, including remittances and portability of earned benefits” will examine the challenges and opportunities in leveraging the economic and social contributions of migrants to countries of origin and destination.

The consultation is the fourth in a series of six that will take place this year, feeding into the consultation phase of the GCM, the first intergovernmentally negotiated UN agreement to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

In his opening remarks later today, Director General of IOM Ambassador William Lacy Swing will emphasize the advantages of making sure migration is considered in development planning, including:

  1. Ensuring that migration is seen as an issue affecting all aspects of human development, including human rights;
  2. Allowing migration to be embedded in the broader development strategy, fostering a coordinated approach rather than piecemeal action.
  3. Helping to identify gaps in existing legal frameworks and prompting the inclusion of relevant international instruments; and
  4. Ensuring that funding and technical assistance are appropriately aligned.

Louise Arbour, UN Special Representative for International Migration is also expected to highlight that "while the net benefits of migration outweigh its costs - by a large margin - the public perception is often the opposite. Such public perceptions and attitudes negatively influence sound migration policy choices. This must be reversed so that policy is evidence-based and not perception-driven."

Panel discussions are focused on examining key elements of enabling frameworks in countries of origin and destination to encourage and maximize migrants’ contributions. These elements include incentives to invest, diaspora bonds, support to migrant entrepreneurs, skills development and circulation, political participation of migrants, and social remittances.

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is co-hosting two side events during the consultation. The first is Unlocking the Power of Diaspora: New Partnerships for Development in partnership with UNDP and organized by the Governments of Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Morocco and Spain, with funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. It will focus on highlighting good practices set by countries of origin to partner with diaspora for development and the role of the international community to support governments in developing effective partnerships with diaspora. IOM will also launch the “iDiaspora platform”, an online forum for members of diaspora communities to contribute their opinions to the intergovernmental process to develop a GCM.

The second is “Migrants’ Contribution to Cities” in partnership with UN-Habitat and organized by the governments of Belgium and Ecuador. It will explore policies to promote better integration and inclusion of migrants, as part of the broader multi-level migration governance framework.

IOM continues to support the intergovernmental process as it evolves, particularly extending the required technical and policy expertise. The last two consultations will take place in Vienna (4-5 September) and Geneva (12-13 October) on the topics of smuggling of migrants and irregular migrants, respectively.

For further information, please contact Lanna Walsh at IOM’s Mission to the UN in New York, Tel: +1.212.681.7000, Ext. 263, Email: lwalsh@iom.int

Posted: Monday, July 24, 2017 - 10:18Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaDefault: 
Categories: PBN

IOM to Launch Online Platform to Engage with Diasporas

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 04:07
Language English

New York - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, launches today (24/7) an online forum for members of diaspora communities to contribute their opinions to the first, intergovernmental agreement on international migration, “the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).”

“The iDiaspora Forum is a platform designed to initiate ideas, learn lessons, and share best practices. Diaspora engagement is a booming industry,” says iDiaspora Forum Moderator, Dr. Martin Russell.

The need to strengthen cooperation with diaspora groups and involve them in the preparation of the Global Compact is highlighted in the New York Declaration adopted on 19 September, 2016 at the first-ever UN Member States Summit on migration.

Russell adds that “diaspora communities have emerged as key influencers in global development practices. As policymakers and practitioners stride forward with discussions around the Global Compact, we are launching the iDiaspora Forum as a partnership through which diaspora individuals and institutions can help increase the visibility of diaspora engagement to the GCM”.

The online platform is structured along different themes focusing on issues that include diaspora capital and economic development, social cohesion, skills transfers, humanitarian support, innovative communications and developing diaspora capacities. All registered members can share their recommendations and experiences about each topic which are moderated by an acknowledged expert. Members are also given the opportunity to ask the moderator questions about diaspora engagement in the GCM.

“We want to ensure to work together to nurture Diaspora’s role for developing policy and practice. Let's share, be ambitious and have fun,” concludes Russell.

For more information, please contact Florence Kim at IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179111, Email: fkim@iom.int

Posted: Monday, July 24, 2017 - 10:07Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 111,514 in 2017; 2,360 Deaths

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 10:15

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 111,514 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 19 July, with almost 85 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 244,722 arrivals across the region through 19 July 2016.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported on 20 July that there have been 7,514 arrivals this year by sea, a number slightly lower than the 10,751 Spanish authorities released on Wednesday – a statistic that includes migrants and refugees arriving by land at Spain’s twin enclaves on the African continent, Melilla and Ceuta.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré also reported Thursday the remains of one man were discovered close to Subratah on Thursday 20 July. That raises the total number of bodies retrieved this year to 349. At the same time the number of rescued in Libyan waters so far this year reached 11,122. Last year at this time the figure was 11,233.

These latest fatalities bring the Mediterranean total to 2,360. Although this figure trails the number of deaths (2,996) recorded this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,350.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,269 fatalities in 2017 through 19 July (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – almost three quarters of the global total.

MMP regional figures today record: victims in three train accidents in Mexico (in Chiapas, in Mexicali, and in Coahuila); three drownings on the Texas–Mexico border along the Rio Bravo (in Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, and Brownsville); one incident at the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic in which five Haitian migrants (including a baby) drowned in an irrigation canal; and one body found near Mojácar, Almería, Spain.

Jan 1 – July 19

2017

2016

Mediterranean

2,360

2,997

Europe

34

25

Middle East

36

87

North Africa

265

916

Horn of Africa

103

112

Sub-Saharan Africa

136

57

Southeast Asia

45

41

South Asia

1

0

East Asia

1

3

North America

1

0

US/Mexico

154

190

Central America

37

59

Caribbean

96

56

South America

0

16

Total

3,269

4,559

 

 

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170721_Mediterranean_Update.pdf

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
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iomint   
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, July 21, 2017 - 15:46Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Issues Report on Arrivals of Sexually Exploited Migrants, Chiefly from Nigeria

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 10:13

Rome — Over the past three years, IOM Italy has seen an almost 600 per cent increase in the number of potential sex trafficking victims arriving in Italy by sea. This upward trend has continued during the first six months of 2017, with most victims arriving from Nigeria.

This is one of the key findings of a new report published by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, Human Trafficking through the Central Mediterranean Route, which was released in Italian this week (21 July) by IOM’s Coordination Office for the Mediterranean in Rome. An English version will be available soon.

Among other findings, the report states that sexual exploitation increasingly involves younger girls – often minors – who are already subject to violence and abuse on their way to Europe. IOM estimates that 80 per cent of girls arriving from Nigeria – whose numbers have soared from 1,454 in 2014 to 11,009 in 2016 – are potential victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

The report is based on data collected by IOM at landing sites and in reception centres for migrants in the regions of southern Italy, where the Organization carries out identification of potential victims and assists those who, once identified, decide to escape their exploiters and accept IOM support.

"Trafficking is a transnational crime that devastates the lives of thousands of people and is the cause of untold suffering," said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordinating Office for the Mediterranean. "This is a theme we have been working on for years, committing to protect, prevent and collaborate with the authorities dealing with organized crime."

IOM Project Manager Carlotta Santarossa added: "The report describes the organization's activities in the face of this phenomenon: the difficulties in protecting victims and the main vulnerabilities identified among several cases of people who were assisted by the Organization. We also wanted to tell some of the stories of people who have been assisted by IOM staff to highlight the true nature of this painful and hateful form of slavery. We also feel that it is increasingly urgent that data analysis be accompanied by an examination of the market these girls supply, and the growing demand for paid sexual services."

IOM staff working in Sicily and elsewhere meet potential trafficking victims as soon as they reach Italian soil. This allows IOM to develop a list of indicators that are useful in the identification of potential trafficking victims amongst the newly arrived migrants, using indicators based on information collected during individual and group meetings with migrants. These indicators are broadly described in the report, accompanied by some of the stories that have been collected by IOM staff during their activities.

Among the more significant indicators:

  • Gender: Most sex trafficking victims are women;
  • Age: Most victims are young and often underage, between 13 and 24 years old. (In 2016, there was a decrease in the age of the youngest victims of trafficking);
  • Nationality: It is important to emphasize the peculiarities of the case of trafficking victims from Nigeria, not only from Edo State but from different parts of the country (Delta, Lagos, Ogun, Anambra, and Imo are the states of origin that, apart from Edo State, are most cited by the Nigerians met by IOM);
  • Psycho-physical Wellness: In a group setting, victims of trafficking are usually the most submissive and silent. Sometimes they are obviously controlled by other migrants that speak on their behalf, or refuse to let IOM staff interview them in private.

Other indicators of trafficking emerge during in-depth individual talks; for example, some migrants claim that they have not paid anything for the journey because someone else paid for their movements. When IOM staff identify a potential trafficking victim, they explain to them that it is possible to access certain protection mechanisms and, with the victim’s consent, the Organization’s staff report the victim on the anti-trafficking toll-free number. If the person agrees, IOM staff also provide assistance in communicating and filing a report to the investigating authorities.

Activities in the field demonstrate that most trafficking victims are not willing, at least at first, to reveal their experience or to take advantage of security programmes provided by IOM and local institutions. There are many reasons for this including links between trafficking victims and traffickers, the control that the accompanying person (for instance, madame or boga) has over the victims, or the belief that victims cannot violate an oath sealed with a voodoo ritual or a rite of initiation (the victim is committed to honouring her agreement). Finally, there is a sense of responsibility towards one’s family that results in a fear of retaliation by traffickers on the victim’s family members back in their country of origin.

Very often the young women whom IOM staff meet have been victims of sexual violence during their journey; they have experienced serious trauma and suffer from psychological distress.

Very often the young women whom IOM staff meet have been victims of sexual violence during their journey; they have experienced serious trauma and suffer from psychological distress.

For more information on the report, please go to http://www.italy.iom.int/sites/default/files/news-documents/RAPPORTO_OIM...

 For more information, please contact:

Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int

Joel Millman, IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 21, 2017 - 15:48Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff Italy, meeting with a migrant. Photo: UN Migration Ageny (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, EU Partner to Provide Returning Nigerian Migrants with Reintegration Assistance

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 10:13

Abuja – As of late July onwards, nearly 4,000 Nigerian migrants, who become stranded in European or African countries and wish to return home, will receive reintegration assistance from IOM, the UN Migration Agency. By involving the migrants’ local communities, collective reintegration projects, such as business partnerships between returning migrants and members of their community, aim to discourage risky irregular migration through sustainable work and dialogue at home.

The European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) support is part of the EU–IOM Initiative for the Protection and Reintegration of Migrants, which was launched in Nigeria on 20 July. Roughly 3,800 Nigerian migrants will receive in-kind reintegration assistance to start businesses, study or cover medical and accommodation costs after they return home from other African countries (an estimated 3,000 migrants) and from EU member states (800 migrants) over the next three years. This represents a major scale-up in the reintegration assistance that IOM provided previously; the Organization supported around 300 returning migrants in the past year.

The timing of the initiative is critical as Nigeria continues to be the most common nationality of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea into Italy. Some 37,551 Nigerians arrived on Italian shores last year and this year, 9,286 have arrived as of May 2017. Tragically, many others never arrive; since January 2,207 migrants have died or remain missing at sea along the Central Mediterranean route, IOM reports.

IOM has helped more than 1,770 stranded Nigerians return safely from Libya this year. Many were victims of exploitation, detention and abuse during their travel to Libya, where the journey to Europe often ends. Nearly all of them are not forcibly displaced, but rather set out in search of better job opportunities. The most vulnerable among them, such as children, women with young children, victims of trafficking, those with disabilities or in need of medical attention, received in-kind reintegration assistance.

This support will continue under the EU Trust Fund project, but with a wider purview that includes the communities of returning migrants as well. Collective reintegration assistance will group returning migrants in work or training partnerships with members from their home community, in order to develop local support systems. It will also create more sustainable work opportunities by combining resources and engage unemployed youths, who might otherwise consider making dangerous journeys to Europe to find jobs.

These initiatives form part of IOM’s comprehensive approach to migration and displacement along major migration routes, working with concerned governments and civil society partners to ensure that those migrants who find themselves in situations of vulnerability along parts of their journey are able to benefit from adequate levels of protection and assistance, including upon their voluntary return in their country of origin.

IOM will work with governmental, non-governmental and religious organizations to develop new partnerships on reintegration delivery within communities. Key partners from the Government include the Ministry of Labour and Employment and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI).

“Nigeria’s national migration policy recognizes the importance of the return and reintegration of Nigerian migrants and promotes the facilitation of their adapting to a new life in their home country,” said Sadiya Farouq, NCFRMI Federal Commissioner, at the project’s launch, and commending the important focus.

In addition to scaling up reintegration assistance, this project aims to inform young Nigerians about the risks of irregular migration; returning migrants will be paired with unemployed youth at home to warn them about the perilous journey through the desert and across the Mediterranean Sea towards Europe. “The EU stands with Nigeria and the West African region and we will have other, complementary projects related to the migration phenomenon. Some are already ongoing, others will start soon,” added Kurt Cornelis, Head of Cooperation for the EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS.

“Facilitating partnerships between returning migrants and their community members is also important to counter some of the stigma and shame migrants say they face at home, after failing to reach their destination or goals outside Nigeria,” explained John McGeoghan, IOM Nigeria Project Manager, at the project launch. “Community mapping under this project will start in six areas of Edo, Lagos and Delta states, from where very large numbers of Europe-bound migrants often leave, hoping to work abroad. This will identify priority socio-economic opportunities and needs, the local actors who can assist returning migrants and identify what reintegration initiatives are possible,” said McGeoghan. 

The EU Trust Fund project is being implemented in 14 African countries. The participating countries are: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, the Gambia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

For more information, please contact IOM Nigeria:

Julia Burpee, Tel: +234 906 228 2406; Email: jburpee@iom.int;  

John McGeoghan, Tel: +234 906 228 4580; Email: jmcgeoghan@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, July 21, 2017 - 15:47Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM has helped more than 1,770 stranded Nigerian migrants return safely from Libya this year. Through the European Union Trust Fund, many will receive reintegration support to restart their lives at home. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

"It was a deadly journey," Armstrong says of his attempt to reach Europe by road and sea. He chose to return to Nigeria through IOM in April. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

"Her name is Flourish. That's what we hope to do now that we're home," her mother says. "I want to start tailoring again." The EUTF project will help her do that. IOM helped the mother and daughter return safely from Libya in May, after months of detention. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

"Her name is Flourish. That's what we hope to do now that we're home," her mother says. "I want to start tailoring again." The EUTF project will help her do that. IOM helped the mother and daughter return safely from Libya in May, after months of detention. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Supports Upcoming Social Innovation Hackathon in Erbil, Iraq

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 10:12

Erbil – The first Social Innovation Hackathon in Erbil, Iraq, will take place on 21–22 July organized by Re:Coded, a humanitarian innovation non-profit organization. The event will be supported by IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

The Social Innovation Hackathon will bring together more than 50 local developers, designers, social entrepreneurs, humanitarians and community residents to develop creative technology solutions that address the specific challenges facing refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. These include barriers to education, difficulty accessing the job market and social cohesion between displaced Iraqis and host community members.

Participants are expected to arrive from across northern Iraq, and will include residents of the Qushtapa refugee camp as well as students from the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani.

Since early 2014, over 3.3 million Iraqis have been internally displaced due to conflict, and more than 240,000 Syrian refugees currently live in Iraq. The humanitarian crisis has created many difficulties, disrupting sectors such as education and employment.

The Social Innovation Hackathon is an expression of the belief that the collaborative development of technology-oriented solutions can address these issues. Participants will bring their expertise and collaborate on designing technology-oriented solutions that address the challenges associated with displacement. Participants will be divided into teams of varying skill sets and expertise to generate project ideas around the creation of learning opportunities, improving access to employment and enhancing social cohesion.

Re:Coded staff and experienced developers will provide technical mentorship to teams throughout the event; humanitarian community leaders will also advise the teams to ensure understanding of the many deep-rooted challenges facing refugees and IDPs in Iraq. At the event’s conclusion, seed funding will be awarded to the project judged to have the greatest potential for positive impact.

IOM is sponsoring the Hackathon as part of its Social Cohesion and Innovation project in Iraq. IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Weiss said: “IOM is pleased to support this pioneering initiative with Re:Coded, which aims to assist and involve refugees, IDPs and members of the host community and help young innovators, developers and social entrepreneurs identify the problems and challenges in their communities that can be addressed through technological solutions.”

Re:Coded CEO Alexandra Clare said: “We are excited to bring together a diverse community of developers, humanitarians, community members and creatives to encourage innovative and sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing refugees and displaced people in Iraq.”

The Social Innovation Hackathon is supported by IOM and the US Government. Partners include Zain Iraq, Five One Labs as well as media partners Bite.Tech and Techfugees.

This June and July, Re:Coded ran a four-week summer programme in the Qushtapa refugee camp. The IOM-supported programme, the first of its kind in Iraq, provided 40 young refugees, aged between 12 and 18, with hands-on experience in computing concepts, programming fundamentals, gaming and algorithms as well as softer collaboration skills and problem-solving.

For more information, please contact

Alexandra Clare, E-mail: ali@re-coded.com or Aleksandra Lasota-Baranska, E-mail: abaranska@iom.int

Sandra Black, E-mail: sblack@iom.int, Tel: +964 751 234 2550

Language English Posted: Friday, July 21, 2017 - 15:45Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: OthersDefault: Multimedia: 

The first Social Innovation Hackathon in Erbil, Iraq brings together more than 50 local developers, designers, social entrepreneurs, humanitarians and community residents to develop creative technology solutions that address the specific challenges facing refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The first Social Innovation Hackathon in Erbil, Iraq brings together more than 50 local developers, designers, social entrepreneurs, humanitarians and community residents to develop creative technology solutions that address the specific challenges facing refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The first Social Innovation Hackathon in Erbil, Iraq brings together more than 50 local developers, designers, social entrepreneurs, humanitarians and community residents to develop creative technology solutions that address the specific challenges facing refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The first Social Innovation Hackathon in Erbil, Iraq brings together more than 50 local developers, designers, social entrepreneurs, humanitarians and community residents to develop creative technology solutions that address the specific challenges facing refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Libyan Government Officials Receive Human Rights Training from UN Migration Agency

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 10:12

Tripoli – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is currently holding a three-day training workshop focusing on human rights and identification of vulnerable migrants for staff of Libyan detention centres, the Libyan Coast Guard and other entities involved in rescue at sea operations.

The training, based in Tunis, seeks to build the capacity of the Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM), Libyan Coast Guards (LCG) and other authorities to ensure that migrants are treated in a way that upholds their dignity and fully respects their human rights. 

Officials from DCIM, the LCG, the Directorate of Coast Security, and the Directorate of Passport Investigation participated in the training, which also included improving the officials' knowledge on identifying vulnerable groups and addressing their needs. Divided into groups, the participants were also given the opportunity to discuss Operating Procedures in order to enhance their referral mechanisms.

“The aim of these trainings is to discuss and address coordination mechanisms among the government officials, particularly when it concerns human rights and protection, and how IOM can assist in strengthening their capacity,” emphasized IOM Project Manager Maysa Khalil. 

The training also included sessions on migrants’ rights; mental health and communicable diseases; the IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM); the links between human trafficking and smuggling, as well as external communication and protection. In addition to IOM, UNHCR and the Danish Refugee Council each contributed a session to the training.

Most of the challenges raised by participants were linked to health and protection aspects, particularly in detention centres and during rescue at sea operations, as well as coordination of interventions by international actors.   

“One of the challenges we face is that the migrants are too often stuck at the disembarkation point following a rescue operation,” explained Reyad Altaweni, one of the participants from Zuwara. Altaweni agreed with IOM that the time migrants spend at the disembarkation points needs to be shortened. There is increasingly closer coordination with IOM which improves the humanitarian response in times of rescue at sea operations whereby rescued migrants are assisted with water, food and health assistance, Altaweni added.

The trainings are part of the project, Enhancing Saving Lives at Sea Operations by the Libyan Coast Guards, which is funded by the Government of Switzerland. The project’s overall aim is to enhance saving lives at sea operations by providing lifesaving equipment, targeted infrastructure support and related capacity building.

For more information, please contact IOM Libya:

Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600 389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int

Maysa Khalil, Tel: +216 29 600 388, Email: mkhalil@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, July 21, 2017 - 15:44Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigrants RightsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

An IOM staff member talks about the impact of detention centres on health during a three-day training workshop on human rights for staff of Libyan detention centres. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

316 Somalis Arrive Home from Yemen in Past Four Days

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 05:30
Language English

Yemen - After nearly a five month ordeal, 316 Somali migrants have reached Somalia, transported by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, overland through Yemen and across the Arabian Sea.  

In February 2017, a smugglers boat, carrying more than 150 Somalis hoping to reach Europe, headed north up the Red Sea on the western coast of Yemen. The boat had originated in Somalia and docked once in the South of Yemen. A few kilometers from Yemen's Al Hudaydah port, the boat was hit, killing 40 persons and severely injuring another 13.  

IOM moved almost 100 Somali survivors of this boat tragedy, who were fit to travel, from Al Hudaydah to Sana’a, Yemen's capital. They traveled safely overland, bisecting war-torn Yemen.  

On 12 July 2017, three buses and an ambulance departed Sana’a to bring the Somali migrants to Aden, where IOM teams in Aden were on standby to receive the group. After a nights rest, IOM helped the group board a passenger boat that sailed from the Aden seaport. Crossing the Arabian Sea in 15 hours on 14 July, the group of Somalis  - 57 men, 25 women, 5 boys and 3 girls – arrived at the Port of Berbera, Somalia.  

An additional group of Somali migrants left Aden on 15 July 2017, with a total of 103 persons (23 men, 22 women, 30 boys and 28 girls).  In order to guarantee a smooth arrival and appropriate reintegration, IOM Somalia welcome the returnees.  

IOM organized the departure of a third group with another 100 Somalis, mainly families with children, on 18 July 2017 from the Aden harbour.   

Over the last five months, while waiting to leave, IOM helped ensure that the injured receive medical care, that they all received food and clothing, and that the most vulnerable women, children, and medical cases received temporary shelter.  

Such operations were organized in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The IOM operations has successfully assisted a total number of 1,306 Somalis in the last six months alone. 

For more information, please contact Rabih Sarieddine, Head of Sub-Office, IOM Aden, Tel. +967 736 088 839, Email rsarieddine@iom.int, or Saba Malme, Media and Communication National Officer, IOM Sana’a, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email: smalme@iom.int 

Posted: Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 11:12Image: Region-Country: YemenDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff helps a little girl helped board a boat that will sail from the Aden, Yemen seaport to Port of Berbera in Somalia. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

50,000 Syrians and Iraqis Visit UN Migration Agency, Germany's Family Assistance Progamme Offices in Last 12 Months

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 10:59

Iraq - Since July 2016, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has assisted in person over 50,000 vulnerable migrants with family reunifications in Germany through its Family Assistance Programme (FAP).

The aim of FAP, which was initiated and funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, is to support family reunification applicants in Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon during the visa application process for Germany. At their offices, IOM helps them to correctly complete the forms and prepare their documents in order to reunite with close family members already granted asylum in Germany.

The FAP project also works to dissuade refugee families from seeking unsafe, irregular migration channels; to support German consular staff; and to help refugees integrate into German society successfully.

Over half a million Syrians and Iraqis have registered for asylum in Germany since 2015 and approximately 355,000 have been granted refugee status, according to the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). Most of them have arrived taking a perilous boat journey and left behind their family members. As per German laws, those granted refugee status qualify for family reunification.

Eighteen-year-old Abdulrahman and his younger siblings were five of those supported through FAP. In 2015, Abdulraham’s father, Nasser, was one of the million migrants and refugees who crossed into Europe in search of a safe life for his family.
Knowing the risks of the journey, Nasser made the difficult decision to travel ahead of his children. Alone in Turkey, young Abdulraham acted as a father-figure to his younger siblings, living in a one bedroom apartment off money sent back by their father. After Nasser was granted refugee status in Germany, IOM’s FAP programme expedited the process to reunite the children with their parent.

“There are no words to express what this means to have my family in a safe country, surrounded by such generous people,” said Nasser. “My children have lived through tragedy. They lost their good memories. Now, kind German people are helping us to build new, happy memories.”

The family reunification process starts with an online appointment to a FAP centre, where IOM staff ensures the completeness of their documents while assisting them in preparing their application. In Lebanon and Turkey, IOM also supports the Consulates by collecting visa applications on their behalf. 

For parents waiting with young children, a playroom, with toys, books and colouring pencil sets, provides them with some entertainment. Children are also taught basic German language skills, to prepare them for their new lives before travel.

As well as the 50,000 cases processed by IOM’s FAP office in Lebanon, Turkey and Erbil, the three offices have also provided remote assistance to an estimated 162,000 Syrian and Iraqis at an average of 1,400 per month. 

The Family Assistance Programme is part of IOM’s facilitated migration portfolio through which IOM provides tailored operational assistance to states through efficient, cost-effective and non-profit international migration services.

Already in Germany, Mehdi Khalil and his cousin Lazem, are both four months away from their 18th birthday. To ensure reunification with their family members IOM has fast tracked their applications to allow them to get a visa before that date.

The fathers of the young boys – Abbas, 37, and his brother Azdaeen, 43 – together with the nine other children across their two families, cannot wait to join their sons – and to start a new life.

Both men paid for their eldest boys Mehdi and Lazem, 16 at the time, to be smuggled into Germany. It cost them a total of USD 10,000, a combination of money they said they borrowed from extended family members and their life’s savings.

The Yezidi brothers, farmers from Iraq’s Sinjar province, lived a comfortable life. They reared cows and sheep, from which they produced milk and made fresh cheese and yoghurt. They also grew crops and vegetables.

Though not rich, the family needed little and enjoyed the tranquillity of their life and community; that is, until ISIL took over their area, killing thousands of men and forcing tens of thousands to flee. They also took nearly 6,000 women and children as slaves and hostages.
The brothers and their children were lucky enough to escape to the Sinjar Mountains, where they spent a week with very little food and water before being rescued. Since then they have been internally displaced and living in Bajet Kandela camp in Kurdistan’s Dohuk Governorate.

“We can’t wait to get there and be reunited with our boys,” Abbas said. “Here we have nothing left, whereas in Germany we have the prospect of a new life and a fresh start for our children,” he added.

“We had a comfortable life here, then Daesh came and destroyed our homes, all three of them, as well as our farms. We lost everything… and our community was dispersed… They even stripped us of our memories,” Abbas continued, reminiscing on the past.

Mehdi’s mother, Khanso, cries at the mention of her son.

“I miss him very much. He liked to stand in front of the mirror to style his hair after a shower,” she recalled. “Remembering that hurts,” she recalled.

“I miss his hugs and kisses and just want to see him again, to take him in my arms and kiss his eyes,” Khanso said sobbing slowly.

But both the boys’ mothers say, their eventual reunification will also come with some pain because of those they will have to leave behind – elder married daughters and grandchildren.

Perhaps hardest of all is the fact that they may initially have to leave some of the younger children behind.

The reunification process for minors initially only allows for them to be joined by their parents, unless there are exceptional circumstances that mean the extended family should also go in the first phase. Once the parents themselves have been granted refugee status, which provides them with a residency permit, they are able to apply to be reunited with the other children.

“Our joy will be bittersweet,” said Ghazala, Lazem’s mother who will leave behind two married daughters and sons, her two grandchildren as well as some of her younger children.

“Now my thoughts and tears are for Lazem. Then, when I go to Germany, my thoughts and tears will be for those I left behind,” she sobbed. “The hole in my heart will never be healed. I will be missing them instead of Lazem.”

For children waiting with their parents, a playroom with toys, books and colouring pencil sets is available. Children are also taught basic German language skills to prepare them for their new lives before travel.

In addition to the 50,000 cases processed by IOM’s FAP offices in Lebanon, Turkey and Erbil, these offices have provided remote assistance to an estimated 162,000 Syrian and Iraqis at an average of 1,400 requests per month.

For more information, please contact:
IOM Iraq
Hala Jaber, Tel: +964 751 740 1654, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int
Sandra Black, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int
IOM Turkey
Abby Dwommoh, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email: MediaIOMTurkey@iom.int

Visit the FAP Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IOM.Family.Assistance.Programme/

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 16:40Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Family ReunificationRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the families assisted by the UN Migration Agency under Germany’s Family Assistance Programme (FAP). Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disability in Humanitarian Action Endorsed by UN Migration Agency

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 10:54

Switzerland - On 17 July 2017, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, endorsed the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disability in Humanitarian Action.

The Charter was developed, ahead of last year’s World Humanitarian Summit, by over 70 stakeholders from States, UN agencies, the international civil society community and global, regional and national organizations of persons with disabilities. The Charter had already been endorsed by several UN agencies.

By endorsing the Charter, IOM has committed to ensuring that its humanitarian assistance is more inclusive of persons with disabilities. Conditions can be dire for people with disabilities living in displacement or while migrating; however, forced displacement and unsafe migration can themselves create disabilities, as well. For the purpose of this Charter, persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, psychosocial, intellectual or sensory impairments, which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in, and access to, humanitarian programmes.

The challenges imposed by flight and exile are increased for migrants with disabilities both while they are on the move or living in insecure settings. Factors, such as lack of access to services (including medical care or medications), lack of identification, loss of access to routine support networks, increased risk of harm or exploitation, limited availability of support aids and the difficulties of extreme conditions of travel and inadequate shelter, all contribute significantly greater challenges faced by migrants and displaced people with disabilities.

“Endorsing the Charter will further ensure that IOM tailors its responses to the specific needs of the, often vulnerable, individuals we assist, including those with disabilities, and in line with upcoming international guidance on this particular vulnerable category,” said Vincent Houver, IOM’s Deputy Director of Operations and Emergencies.

IOM intends to strengthen the inclusion of disability in all aspects of its humanitarian response through the application of its protection mainstreaming policy, by promoting equal and meaningful access for all in times of crisis as well as through partnerships in the field. Further guidance will be developed in accordance with the upcoming international guidelines on inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action.

Since January 2017, IOM has been part of the Inter-Agency Stand Committee’s (IASC) Task Team on disability inclusion in humanitarian action. The primary objective of this group is the creation and endorsement of IASC Guidelines on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action. It is co-chaired by UNICEF, the International Disability Alliance and Handicap International. The IASC Task Team has rooted its action in the Charter. The release of the IASC guidelines is expected by the end of 2018.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ, Tel: +41794035365, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 16:39Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Born with a physical disability in his left leg, Ahmed grew up in Aleppo where he worked with other handicapped people through education, advocacy, and case work. Photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 111,148 in 2017; 2,359 Deaths

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 10:52

Switzerland -  IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 111,148 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 16 July, with almost 85 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 241,859 arrivals across the region through 16 July 2016.

Mediterranean Developments

  

IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported that 93,357 migrants had arrived in Italy by sea through Sunday (16 July) with no new rescues carried out over the weekend. The arrival figure surpasses by 13,496 the total at a similar point in 2016 – a 17 per cent increase year-on-year. Meanwhile, IOM Athens reported sea arrivals in the Eastern Aegean this week surpassed 10,000 for the year (10,044) a figure reached last year in early January, a month when over 67,000 (67,415) arrived on similar routes.
IOM Spain is reporting data on several weeks’ worth of arrivals and rescues in waters of Western Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Ana Dodevska reported that last Thursday (13 July) Spanish authorities rescued 48 people while a boat located 170 miles from Gran Canaria was rescued by a Moroccan sea patrol. IOM Spain said that through Saturday (15 July), the total number of sea rescues on Western routes to Spain stand at 7,389, with 115 fatalities.

 

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported Monday that through 14 July, a total of 10,994 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters while the remains of 348 men, women and children have been discovered along the Libyan shores. She explained that on 3 July, four bodies were retrieved in Tripoli; on 8 July, 65 migrants were rescued off Garabouli. And on 10 July, one male body was retrieved in Al Maya, west of Tripoli. On 13 July, 123 migrants were rescued off Azzawya while later that day, 140 migrants (114 men, 23 women and another three children)

These latest fatalities bring the Mediterranean total to 2,359. Although this figure trails the number of deaths (2,996) recorded by this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,350.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,256 fatalities in 2017 through 16 July (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – almost three quarters of the global total.

MMP notes that in recent days it added: one body recovered near Mijas, Málaga, Spain; one death in Sinaloa, Mexico; one body found near Carrizo Springs, Texas, USA; and 24 deaths in the Middle East (data from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on deaths at the Syria-Turkey border since January 2017).

1 January – 16 July

2017

2016

Mediterranean

2,359

2,996

Europe

34

25

Middle East

36

87

North Africa

265

908

Horn of Africa

103

108

Sub-Saharan Africa

136

57

Southeast Asia

45

41

South Asia

1

0

East Asia

1

3

North America

1

0

US/Mexico

150

186

Central America

34

59

Caribbean

91

56

South America

0

16

Total

3,256

4,542

 
For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170718_Mediterranean_Update.pdf
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
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iomint   
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 16:38Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Council of Europe Launch New Publication ‘Migrants in Disaster Risk Reduction’

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 10:48

Switzerland - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Council of Europe have gathered experiences from researchers and practitioners around the world on how migrants have been included and have participated in disaster prevention and preparedness, as well as response and recovery activities.

These experiences are published in a new publication, Migrants in Disaster Risk Reduction: Practices for Inclusion, which will be launched tomorrow (19 July) at the United Nations Office in Geneva. The launch will take place in the framework of IOM’s International Dialogue on Migration, which is focusing on Understanding migrant vulnerabilities: A solution-based approach towards a global compact that reduces vulnerabilities and empowers migrants”.

The publication highlights the importance and benefits of, as well as options for, integrating migrants into decision-making, policy-setting and implementation of disaster risk reduction initiatives. It builds upon the knowledge and experiences gathered through the Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) Initiative, a global state-led process for which IOM has been serving as Secretariat, as well as the Council of Europe’s EUR-OPA programme Migrants, Asylum Seekers and Refugees in the Context of Major Risks Prevention and Management.

The publication can be found in the IOM online bookstore: 
https://publications.iom.int/books/migrants-disaster-risk-reduction-practices-inclusion

Geneva-based media are welcome to attend the publication launch, which takes place at 13.30 on 19 July in Room XVIII, Palais des Nations.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon, IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 9435, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 16:37Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Disaster Risk ReductionDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

136 Guineans Return Home from Libya with UN Migration Agency Support

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 10:46

Guinea - It was 02:23 on Friday, 14 July when the special flight chartered by IOM Libya touched down on the tarmac at Conakry-Gbessia International Airport. On board were 136 Guinean migrants, including seven unaccompanied children, three women and one infant.

The charter flight had left from Mitiga Airport in Tripoli on Thursday. In what is now quite a regular procedure, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, conducted pre-departure interviews and medical examinations and facilitated the acquisition of travel documents and issuance of exit visas for all passengers. The migrants also received additional assistance in the form of kits, including clothing and footwear.

On hand to welcome them at the airport were the different teams comprising government and non-government officials: SENAH (National Service of Humanitarian Affairs), representatives of the Ministry of Guineans Abroad and the Ministry of Social Actions, IOM, the EU delegation in Guinea and the Guinean Red Cross. Among the returnees was a medical case who was directly transported to hospital for medical follow-up.

These migrants, who opted for a humanitarian voluntary return to Guinea, are among the many Guineans living in irregular situations in Libya, often in very difficult conditions. Some of them were held in the Tajoura, Alshok and Alsika detention centers.

Upon arrival in Conakry, the migrants were provided by IOM Guinea with on-the-spot assistance, which included the provision of food as well as non-food items; after which a registration process of all returnees began.

The data gleaned from these questionnaires will enable IOM to better understand the profile of the returnees, to learn more about the reasons for their departure, their migratory path and living conditions in Libya. IOM believes that this information will help to properly align activities relating to their reintegration into the returning migrants’ various communities.

After this profiling step, IOM gave each migrant the equivalent of EUR 50 to cover their transportation to their final destinations.

Within the next three months IOM will be using a programme – partly derived from the initiative of the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) – to assess the returnees’ situations on a case by case basis. This will assist IOM in helping returnees find alternatives to ensure their sustainable reintegration in Guinea, under the rubric of a programme entitled: Strengthening Governance of Migration and Supporting the Sustainable Reintegration of Migrants in the Republic of Guinea.

At the same time, IOM hopes to provide continuous psychosocial support to vulnerable migrants and, where necessary, any additional support to address their immediate needs.

Returning migrants residing in Conakry were able to return directly to their homes, while others from different parts of Guinea were accommodated for one night by SENAH at the Matam Transit Centre, from where they will proceed to their final destinations.

Among the returnees was 19-year-old Amadou* who worked as a mechanic in a garage in Libya. After having repaired a customer’s car, the latter refused to settle the bills and instead gave him a serious blow on the face, which removed his incisors, before shooting him on the back with a pistol. He gives thanks to one of his friends who immediately took him to the hospital. IOM Libya later transfered him to a private clinic for care.

Saliou* and Mohamed*, two friends from same neighbourhood are 13 and 14 years old respectively. They admitted having stolen the motorbikes of an uncle in order to finance their trip up to Libya, passing through Mali and Algeria. After arriving in Libya, they were captured by a gang before being locked up. Saliou explained, however, they were lucky as only the older prisoners were beaten. Saliou’s and Mohamed’s parents were at the airport to welcome them home.

As for Fatma*, she returned with her husband who had been working in Libya. She explained that she was forced to leave Libya due to financial difficulties stemming from the political instability the country has been facing these past years. Since the couple had no means to finance their trip back home, they sought help from IOM.

This year through 5 July, IOM Libya has assisted 5,172 stranded migrants (18 per cent of whom are women) return to their countries of origin. Three-quarters of the 5,172 migrants were held in detention centres, of whom, 1,838 were eligible for reintegration assistance.

Thursday’s flight was the fifth chartered by IOM in 2017 to facilitate the return of Guinean migrants from Libya, making a total of 595 Guinea migrants who have been supported by IOM Guinea, in addition to other voluntary returns of Guinean nationals coming from Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco and Niger, who also were stranded on the migratory trail.

The project, Strengthening the Governance of Migration and Supporting the Reintegration of Migrants in the Republic of Guinea, is a joint initiative between IOM and the European Union Trust Fund. Launched in April 2017, it will be implemented over a period of three years and will cover six administrative regions of Guinea: Conakry, Boké, Mamou, Labé, Kankan and N'zérékoré.

As part of this project, IOM Guinea will assist returning migrants (depending on their profiles and needs) to create small businesses, to involve them in a collective and/or community entrepreneurial initiative or to enroll them in professional training programmes.

*The names of migrants have been changed to protect their privacy.

For more information, please contact Lucas Chandellier, IOM Guinea: Tel. +: 224 628 33 86 53, Email: lchandellier@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 16:36Image: Region-Country: GuineaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Belarusian Youth ‘Act. Learn. Share’ to Combat Human Trafficking

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 10:45

Belarus - ‘Act.Learn.Share’, a summer camp for young adults, kicked off yesterday (17/07) just outside of Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Participants came from across the nation, all united in their desire to learn about and put an end to human trafficking.

The five-day initiative consists of workshops and meetings with experts, trainers and members of the media. The camp brings 18 young activists to learn about the problem of human trafficking, and related issues such as gender equality, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, internet security, and sustainable development. Participants will gain the tools to make their own contributions to counter-trafficking initiatives, spreading their knowledge of the issues and safety precautions throughout their communities.

The aim of the camp is to train future leaders who will participate in events organized by IOM and its partners in the region, or initiate and organize such events themselves. Guest speakers from UN agencies and NGOs will help the participants to develop leadership and communication skills.

Zachary Taylor, deputy UNDP representative attended the first day, and told participants, “The issue of human trafficking is, in its nature, complex and therefore it requires inter-disciplinary approaches and tools if we want to combat it effectively. Belarus’ practical experience in tackling this challenge and the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals can work to combat human trafficking from diverse angles.”

One of the participants, Maria Mukhaeva, chairperson of her local non-governmental youth organization, Youth of Europe for Peace, hopes to share her experience with her peers. “I hope I will use the knowledge and skills I develop [here] to contribute to the development of my organization and educate people who surround me and who I work with on human trafficking and other matters discussed at the camp.”

The youth summer camp is tailored to the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, and is the continuation of the IOM X Belarus campaign launched together with the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Belarus with the support of USAID (http://x.iom.by).

This initiative is organized by IOM jointly with the Ministries of the Interior and Foreign Affairs, NGOs, UNDP, UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNFPA, and DPI with the financial support and contribution of USAID and private companies, reflecting one of the key 4 P's in the counter-trafficking field – Partnership.

Video and photo updates will be available daily on http://x.iom.by.

For more information please contact Olga Borzenkova at IOM Belarus, Tel: +375 17 2882742. Email oborzenkova@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: BelarusThemes: Counter-TraffickingMigration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the participants at the summer camp for young adults, which kicked off yesterday (17/07) just outside of Minsk, the capital of Belarus.

Some of the participants at the summer camp for young adults, which kicked off yesterday (17/07) just outside of Minsk, the capital of Belarus.

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Provides Emergency Shelter, Assistance to 319 Displaced Families in Zimbabwe

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 10:42

Zimbabwe - On 15 and 16 July, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) distributed emergency shelter kits and non-food items to 319 households (1,595 individuals) in Tsholotsho District, Matabeleland North Province, who were displaced by floods in February 2017. The aim of this assistance is to provide protection and restore the dignity of displaced households through the provision of emergency shelter materials, cooking utensils, clothes and sanitary materials.

The displaced families stayed at the Sipepa Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp from February 2017 until the end of June 2017, when the Government of Zimbabwe relocated the internally displaced persons (IDPs) to higher ground in the Tshino and Saudweni resettlement areas in the same district.

The support was provided under the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) project Provision of Emergency Shelter and NFI kits to Households Affected by 2017 Displacement Inducing Floods and Tropical Cyclone Dineo in Zimbabwe.

Each household received two tarpaulins and four poles for shelter construction; a shelter toolkit comprising a shovel, hoe, machete, pair of shears, saw, hammer, rope, tying wire and three kilos of nails. A non-food item pack was also provided that included cooking utensils, mosquito nets, clothes, sanitary pads, water purification tablets and a 20-litre bucket with a lid.

In addition to receiving these materials, beneficiaries received training to construct and maintain the emergency shelters. As a demonstration, two shelters were built for the most vulnerable households during this training. The Building Back Better concept was emphasized whereby beneficiaries were encouraged to consider the importance of basic construction measures such as proper site identification and the use of materials that can withstand the common hazards, such as floods, occurring in the area.

‘’The emergency shelter will allow us to enjoy family privacy again,” said Sikosana Moyo, who occupies one of the demonstration houses. “For the first time since we were displaced by floods in February 2017, we truly feel that we have a home and it is a good feeling. The tools in the shelter kit will empower us significantly because these are the basic household tools.’’

‘’This assistance will go a long way in ensuring protection of the affected households especially during this cold period,” said Lily Sanya, IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission. “The emergency shelters will enable relocated households to plan for their future in terms of stabilization and recovery.”

Other partners including UNICEF and UNFPA are also providing water and sanitation, education and reproductive health support.

Above-normal rainfall – worsened by the effects of Tropical Cyclone Dineo in March, 2017 – resulted in severe flooding that affected 36 districts in Zimbabwe. At least 2,600 houses were destroyed, leaving thousands of people homeless. The Government of Zimbabwe declared a state of national disaster and appealed for international assistance to respond to the emergency.

For more information, please contact Gideon Madera at IOM Zimbabwe, Tel: +263 4 704285, Email: gmadera@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 16:34Image: Region-Country: ZimbabweThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the displaced families in southwestern Zimbabwe who received support from IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

Categories: PBN

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