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Updated: 2 hours 30 min ago

New Framework for Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Crises 'Reinforces IOM’s Accountability'

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 10:46

Geneva – Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is prevalent in all the crises where the UN Migration Agency (IOM) operates. Worldwide, IOM camp managers, shelter engineers, and health workers, amongst others, witness every day the unbearable, devastating and often prolonged consequences of crises and displacement. This may include the individual harm and suffering caused by acts of GBV, and its negative impacts on communities the Organization seeks to assist and protect through, for example, stigmatization and ostracism of GBV survivors, lack of social cohesion and even failed peace processes.

Although IOM has addressed GBV within emergency and post-crisis programmes for many years, interventions were largely ad hoc and not systematically integrated into IOM crisis operations.

Four years ago, with the support of the governments of the UK and Canada, IOM embarked on a global, institutional journey to ensure that actions to mitigate, address and ultimately prevent GBV were implemented in a manner commensurate with its prevalence and severity.

Sustainable support through the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration’s ‘Safe from the Start’ funding initiative has enabled IOM to reflect on the best way to strengthen our engagement and contribution towards the collective efforts of the UN system, civil society and partners to address GBV worldwide.  

Building on lessons learned and emerging good practices documented over the course of these years, IOM’s Department of Operations and Emergencies has developed IOM’s first Institutional Framework for Addressing GBV in Crises (GBViC Framework).

On 25 September, the GBViC Framework was launched at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

“This Framework reinforces IOM’s accountability to crisis-affected populations, partners and donors by articulating and advocating for a robust and consistent approach to quality GBV interventions as an essential part of IOM crisis operations,” said IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson, who moderated a high-level panel with representatives from UNFPA, the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), and the governments of Colombia and the United States.

“It also fulfils one of IOM’s important commitments to the global Call to Action on Protection from GBV in Emergencies,” Ambassador Thompson said.

The GBViC Framework is also the result of a fuller understanding of the operational challenges of tackling GBV and the areas where IOM can make the most valuable contribution to the collective efforts of the humanitarian system. The GBViC Framework’s key objective is to ensure that the safety, dignity, well-being, and equitable access to services for all crisis-affected persons, especially women and girls, is prioritized, integrated, and coordinated across all IOM crisis operations.

Emphasizing the need for collective efforts in addressing GBV, the Director of UNFPA Office in Geneva, Monica Ferro, noted that, “we are at the stage of acknowledging that it is the responsibility of all of us, not just GBV specialists, but all of us to take responsibility and address the issue through prevention, mitigation and response. It is time to scale up and to take collective action.”

The GBViC Framework represents a major step for IOM as it seeks to foster a more coherent approach to addressing GBV in humanitarian crises.

“As a leader in mainstreaming gender-based violence prevention and response into the shelter cluster and supporting the Gender-Based Violence Area of Responsibility, people look to IOM for expertise and resources,” said US Humanitarian Counsellor, Tressa R. Finerty.

“This framework will ensure the institution itself is looking at the risks to women and girls in a holistic and consistent way.  IOM has made and continues to make an impact on the ground.”

IOM Director General, Ambassador William Lacy Swing, provided closing remarks through a video message. “I am very pleased with the progress that IOM has made in its institutional and global commitments to address GBV in crises, and I am proud to say that this Framework will be a part of my legacy.”

For more information please contact Victoria Korsnes Nordli at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 92 34, Email: vnordli@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:33Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Gender and MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

A large-scale project was launched to provide equitable access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services for people affected by the crisis in South Sudan while strengthening prevention of gender-based violence (GBV). Photo: IOM 

Female community leaders in South Sudan meet every two weeks to discuss issues about the protection of civilians (PoC), in this case malaria. Photo: Amanda Nero / IOM 

 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Act Now on Migrant Health, IOM Tells UN General Assembly

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

New York – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has added its voice to the call for better healthcare in Europe and Central Asia.

At the first of three IOM side-events on health at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York Thursday (27 September), IOM Regional Director Argentina Szabados noted that diseases like TB, HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis “don’t carry passports but can move from country to country.”

Szabados – whose office covers South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia – spoke at a high-level panel to discuss the UN’s Common Position on combatting the three diseases, which affect millions across the region.

“Four in ten people living with HIV in the European Economic Area are migrants,” she told the expert panel at UN Headquarters. “This region is the only one where new infections of HIV are on the increase, where multi-drug resistant TB is eroding health gains, and where people are more prone to viral hepatitis. This is particularly true of the east of the region, and of all the vulnerable groups, migrants are at highest risk.”

The theme of the discussion centred on leaving no-one behind in access to healthcare. Szabados stated that not only are migrants being left behind, they also leave everything behind when they set out on often-perilous journeys: “They leave their homes, their families, their possessions, their culture, their language. Sometimes they leave their identity, or even their very lives.”

The panel discussion was chaired by WHO’s Dr. Masoud Dara; co-panellists included Dr. Nedret Emiroglu, Director of the Division of Health Emergencies and Communicable Diseases at the WHO, and Prof. Stanislav Špánik, State Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Slovak Republic.

Dr. Emiroglu noted that despite a decline in TB rates, Multi-Drug Resistant TB in on the increase.

“One thousand Europeans fall ill with TB every day,” she said. “This is an unacceptable number. When it comes to HIV, it is of even more concern: two million people are living with HIV, 80 per cent of them in the East of the region and Central Asia. Only one third of them are getting the treatment they need.”

Szabados said the Global Compact for Migration, which will be ratified by Member States at a special session of the UN in Morocco in December, gave the world a migrant-centred approach to the challenges posed by migration, including health challenges, “for the first time in human history.”

Noting that migration was as old as humanity, she stressed that it was neither practical nor desirable to reduce human mobility and Member States must thus work towards eradicating diseases.

“We must not demonize the disease: we must cure, inform and prevent, and we must give migrants, especially the young, tools to protect themselves. Apart from the rights issue, which is the most salient, keeping migrants healthy makes simple economic sense,” she concluded.

The UN Common Position on HIV, TB and Viral Hepatitis: Links to Migration
By Dr Jaime Calderon

Ending tuberculosis (TB), HIV and viral hepatitis by 2030 is part of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on health and well-being but cannot be achieved by the health sector alone. A number of socioeconomic and environmental determinants affect these ongoing epidemics in European and central Asian countries, which can only be addressed through action across sectors.

Within the UN Issue-based Coalition on Health and Well-being in Europe and Central Asia, WHO/Europe, together with sister UN agencies, has developed a UN common position paper on ending TB, HIV and viral hepatitis in Europe and central Asia through intersectoral collaboration.

It recognises that despite the  substantial health improvements that have been reached in the WHO European Region, with life expectancy has been steadily growing, not all are benefiting from this trend, in particular the marginalized and vulnerable parts of society including prisoners, homeless people, injectable drug users, victims of human trafficking and of gender based violence, children, youth, migrants and refugees, sex workers and men who have sex with men.

Despite the fastest decline in TB incidence in the world, by an average of 5.3 per cent a year since 2006, this region bears the highest proportion of multi drug-resistant TB globally, with only about half of these patients successfully treated. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing concern also for HIV and viral hepatitis, threatening the effective prevention and treatment of the conditions and increasing healthcare costs. The WHO European Region is the only region with increasing number of new HIV infection with a staggering 75 per cent since 2006, also increasing the number of deaths due to AIDS-related causes.

The Common Position supports links between services for the three diseases and other sectors, including alcohol and substance dependence, mental health, gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health, food insecurity and nutrition, taking also into consideration migration patterns and urbanization dynamics.

The migration process can expose migrants, particularly those in situations of vulnerability, to health risks associated with perilous journeys, including exposure to infectious and communicable diseases, severe psycho-social stressors, violence and abuses.

Migrants may also suffer from limited access to continuity and quality of health care, and from structural exclusion and marginalization, discrimination and many other forms of inequities.

IOM advocates for, and implements, comprehensive programmes with its partners that look at preventive and curative initiatives to benefit mobile populations as well as their host communities. Migrant-sensitive and migrant-inclusive healthcare systems are high on IOM’s agenda, and “Healthy migrants in healthy communities” marks IOM’s activities as contribution towards the physical, mental and social well-being of migrants.

The UN Issue-based Coalition is a regional partnership initiative led by WHO/Europe to support the achievement of SDG 3 on health and well-being for all at all ages as well as the health-related targets present in other SDGs. It reports to the United Nations Regional Coordination Mechanism for Europe and Central Asia. One of the Issue-based Coalition’s 4 workstreams focuses on TB and HIV.

Dr Jaime Calderon is Senior Migration Health Advisor at IOM’s Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia

For more information please contact Joe Lowry at IOM’s Vienna Regional Office at Tel: +43660 37765404, Email: jlowry@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration HealthMigration PolicyUNDefault: Multimedia: 

Argentina Szabados, IOM Regional Director for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia addresses the UN high level side event on HIV, TB and Viral Hepatitis in New York yesterday (27/09). Photo: IOM

Participants hold copies of the UN Common Position paper. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Supports UNAIDS ‘Right to Health’ Campaign in South Sudan

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

Bor – Earlier this month, UNAIDS launched the ‘Right to Health’ campaign on HIV testing and treatment for uniformed forces in Jonglei, South Sudan. Already supporting this group to know their status and access HIV/AIDS treatment, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is a key operational partner in the campaign.

Five years of conflict in South Sudan has massively halted the development of the young country’s health system. Access to services has been interrupted for those who had been lucky enough to receive them in the first place. Due to lack of information on HIV in the country, the stigma against those who test positive is high.

The joint UN campaign is carried out in coordination with the Government of South Sudan, including the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior and the South Sudan AIDS Commission (SSAC).

The campaign targets 100,000 people in the South Sudanese armed and uniformed forces and Ministry of Interior – which includes the military, police and prisons, fire brigade and wild life services – as well as their families and communities living near military barracks in Jonglei.

Prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, is much higher among uniformed forces than the South Sudanese public, as is also seen in other sub-Saharan African countries. For HIV specifically, the rate is nearly twice the national average, according to a 2015 Modes of Transmission study carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO).

IOM kicked off the campaign this week in Bor, Jonglei, supporting outreach teams from within the uniformed forces and Ministry of Health. Jointly trained by the Ministry of Health, WHO and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) HIV Department, these teams will set up temporary voluntary and counselling sites throughout Jonglei over the next few months. They will provide pre- and post-counselling and referrals for HIV positive cases to nearest Ante-retroviral Therapy (ART) facility.

On the first day of the campaign (26/09), some 60 personnel in the military forces (55 men and 5 women) were tested.

In collaboration with the gender-based violence sub-cluster, IOM will ensure the integration of referral pathways within the outreach teams through a partnership with Intersos. Following a decision from the Ministry of Health, the ‘Right to Health’ campaign has also been expanded to include people living with disabilities in South Sudan. 

“The ‘Right to Health’ campaign will support the Government of South Sudan in reaching uniformed forces and ensure that they get to know their HIV status and can access treatment, if positive,” said Salma Taher, IOM South Sudan Project Officer, Migration Health Unit. “The integration of referral pathways in this campaign is crucial so that survivors can access services,” Taher added.

Last year, IOM conducted a gender-based violence knowledge, attitudes and practices survey in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare and gender-based violence sub-cluster and supported by the Global Fund. It found that “survivors are not aware of health services; nor of importance of seeking medical services in 72 hours of a rape.”

Since 2014, IOM has been providing HIV/AIDS services to vulnerable groups in South Sudan such as displaced people, female sexual workers and their clients, “boda-boda” (motorbike taxi) and truck drivers and men who have sex with men. The Organization began working with uniformed forces in 2016.

IOM’s support to the ‘Right to Health’ campaign is currently funded through the UNAIDS Unified Budget Review and Accountability Framework (UBRAF) and the Organization’s wider work in HIV and AIDS sensitization, testing and treatment is also funded by the UNDP as the Principal Recipient of the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculous and Malaria.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon in Juba, Tel: +211912379843, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) get tested for HIV during UNAIDS 'Right to Health' campaign in Bor, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/O. Headon 2018

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) get tested for HIV during UNAIDS 'Right to Health' campaign in Bor, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/O. Headon 2018

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) get tested for HIV during UNAIDS 'Right to Health' campaign in Bor, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/O. Headon 2018

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) get tested for HIV during UNAIDS 'Right to Health' campaign in Bor, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/O. Headon 2018

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) get tested for HIV during UNAIDS 'Right to Health' campaign in Bor, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/O. Headon 2018

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) get tested for HIV during UNAIDS 'Right to Health' campaign in Bor, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/O. Headon 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Vanuatu Launches National Policy on Climate Change and Disaster-Induced Displacement

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

Port Vila – Vanuatu this week (26 September) launched a National Policy on Climate Change and Disaster-Induced Displacement with support from the IOM Development Fund (IDF).

Sudden and slow-onset disasters are increasing features of life in the Pacific island nation. In the last two months alone, 11,000 people have been displaced from Ambae island due to an eruption of its Manaro volcano, triggering a whole-of-government response to meet their needs and the needs of the neighbouring island communities now supporting them.

As the cyclone season approaches – and many families remain displaced – the importance of a coordinated response, with national standards related to displacement, that is outlined in the new policy is even more pronounced, according to Vanuatu Minister of Climate Change Adaptation Ham Lini Vanuaroroa.

“This policy is…a national roadmap towards mitigating challenges that have and will arise, but with strategic focus and clear plans,” he said. “By focusing on systems level areas such as institutions and governance – as well as sectoral areas such as housing, education and nutrition – the policy has the potential…to guide us as and when disaster strikes. We can prepare, plan, and respond to the short term and longer term needs of displacement.”

The development of the policy was supported by the IDF through a project entitled Development of a National Framework for Durable Solutions in Vanuatu.

IOM worked with Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office and Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation in a participatory process to develop the policy, based on the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, which this year marks their 20th anniversary.

“IOM, as the UN Migration Agency, is committed to helping governments build capacity and ensure that displaced people and affected communities are protected from and are resilient to the impacts of natural disasters,” said IOM Australia Chief of Mission Pär Liljert, who coordinates the work of IOM missions in the South Pacific.

“IOM will continue to provide technical assistance to the Vanuatu government to implement the policy,” he added.

The launch in Port Vila was attended by representatives of the government, donor countries, local and international NGOs, UN agencies, academia and media.

For more information please contact Caroline Logan at IOM Port Vila, Tel.+678 26994.  Email: clogan@iom.int,

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: VanuatuThemes: Migration ResearchMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Volunteers from the Community Disaster and Climate Change Committee on Maewo island help load relief supplies and household items during the Ambae island relocation in August 2018. Photo: Caroline Logan/IOM

Vanuatu Minister of Climate Change and Acting Prime Minister Ham Lini Vanuaroroa presents the new policy. Photo: Adorina M/IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 81,207 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,733

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 81,207 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 26 September, with 35,859 to Spain – an increase of 600 to this destination since IOM’s last report on 23 September.

The region’s total arrivals through the recent weekend compare with 134,614 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 302,803 at a similar point in 2016.

Spain, with 44 per cent of all arrivals through the year, continues to receive seaborne migrants in September at a volume nearly twice that of Greece and nearly seven times that of Italy. Italy’s arrivals through late September are the lowest recorded at this point – the end of a normally busy summer sailing season – in almost five years (see chart below).

IOM Libya this week reported that on Monday, 24 September, the UN Migration Agency organized its first charter to Ethiopia from Libya’s Zintan airport, with a stopover in Egypt. A total of 137 stranded migrants were on board.

With the current volatile security situation and limited international flights due to the closure of Tripoli’s Mitiga airport, IOM managed a stopover for this charter in Alexandria, in coordination with IOM in Egypt and with the support of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This was done to enable an additional 60 Egyptian migrants stranded in Libya to return home. 

The stranded migrants included 12 women, six children, one infant and seven medical cases. Special assistance was also provided to four unaccompanied migrant children, to enable their reunification with their families. Of the total number, 111 migrants returned from detention centres in Tripoli and Zintan while 24 had been living in urban areas.

IOM organized land and air movements for the stranded Ethiopian and Egyptian migrants in coordination with the Libyan Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM), respective consulates and IOM’s receiving missions.

Despite the fact that Mitiga airport in the capital has remained closed since last month due to the eruption of violence and fighting between the different parties to the conflict, IOM has managed to find alternative pathways to continue its return assistance via other cities such as Misrata, Zwara and Zintan.

“It would have been otherwise a challenging mission to assist a smaller group via commercial flights in light of the conflict in and around Tripoli and the closure of Mitiga International Airport,” said Ashraf Hassan, Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) Programme Coordinator. “This charter was made possible thanks to the efforts of the local authorities at Zintan’s airport. The smooth collaboration between the authorities and ourselves ensured a well-coordinated, successful and safe return for the stranded migrants in Libya.”

Before departure, IOM staff conducted proper vulnerability screening, medical assessment and fit for travel check-ups, while facilitating exit visas for the waiting passengers. The migrants at the detention centres received food, non-food items (NFIs) and shoes prior to their final departure. IOM also provided both medical and additional operation escorts to further support vulnerable migrants on logistical matters on their journey.

Fathi was among the Egyptian migrants onboard Monday’s charter flight. After having spent seven months at a detention centre in Misrata and then transferred to Tariq Al Sekka detention centre in Tripoli, he decided to seek IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance, as he felt homesick and wanted to reunite with his family. “I was thinking about my life back home with my family, when I saw IOM staff visiting the detention centre. I was very happy, and I immediately signed up to go home.’’

The flight departed Zintan airport and headed to Alexandria for the transfer of the 60 Egyptian migrants onboard before continuing towards Addis Ababa. Upon their arrival, all returnees would receive immediate assistance such as food and pocket money to cover their immediate needs including in-country onward transportation cost. The migrants are also eligible for further reintegration support, to start a new chapter back home.

This charter was funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Through the current year IOM has overseen the voluntary humanitarian return of 12,372 stranded migrants who have left Libya for their countries of origin. Since 1January 2017 IOM has assisted a total of 31,743 stranded migrants wishing to leave Libya to almost three dozen countries in Africa and Asia.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 35,859 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 26 September (see chart below).

IOM notes that over this year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. In the 118 days since May 31, a total of 27,709 have arrived – an average of some 235 migrants per day. The months of June-September 2018 already have seen a total of 31,232 irregular migrants arriving by sea, with September not yet finished. This is the busiest four-month period recorded for Spain since IOM began tallying arrival statistics on irregular migrant arrivals by sea.

Land arrivals to Ceuta and Melilla, Spain’s two enclaves on the African continent, have totalled almost 4,800 this year; however, after peaking in the month of July, those numbers have dropped significantly over the past 57 days (see chart below).

As IOM reported earlier this week, Spain in 2018 has now received via the Mediterranean more irregular migrants than it did throughout all the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined (see chart below).

 

On Thursday IOM researchers in the Western Balkans reported their latest Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) flow monitoring data that show more than 3,289 new migrants have been registered as arriving in Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1 and 25 September 2018. That is about thirteen times more than the average of 220 monthly arrivals reported in the countries concerned in 2017.
Between January and September 2018, authorities in these countries registered a total of 20,415 irregular entries. According to the available information on nationalities: Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq are the most commonly reported origin countries. The distribution of migrants by nationality varies between the three countries on the route. Almost half (42%) of the 15,537 irregular migrants registered in Bosnia were registered as Pakistani nationals. Another 41% of the overall registered caseload were nationals of the Islamic Republic of Iran (13%), the Syrian Arab Republic (12%), Iraq (8%) and Afghanistan (8%).

In Montenegro and Albania, Syrian nationals comprised the majority (44% and 52% respectively), followed by those who arrived from Pakistan (19% and 15% respectively), Algeria (19%) in Montenegro and Iraq (15%) in Albania. Such differences in the nationality structure of registered migrants are explained by the fact that migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina also enter from Serbia and that certain groups of migrants from Montenegro continue not only toward Bosnia and Herzegovina but toward Serbia as well.

Moreover, since March 2018, DTM has been monitoring outgoing flows from Albania to Montenegro in the Shkoder region. According to the available data there were 1,044 migrants apprehended while attempting to exit Albania irregularly. Similarly, to the nationality breakdown of registered arrivals, outgoing flows were predominantly composed of migrants from the Syrian Arab Republic (39%) and Pakistan (34%).

The increase in arrivals is also observed in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, where authorities registered a total of 2,361 irregular migrants between January and September, six times more than the 383 registered in the same period 2017 and four times the 547 registered in the whole of 2017. More than a half of all registered irregular migrants were from the Islamic Republic of Iran (54%). The remaining nationality groups in the top five are Afghanistan (11%), Pakistan (10%), Iraq (8%) and Libya (6%).

On Thursday, IOM Greece reported that over three days (24-26 September) this week the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) units managed three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Samos and Rhodes. The HCG rescued a total 118 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands.

Additional arrivals of some 241 individuals to Lesvos and Kos and some of other islands over these past three days bring to 23,180 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 26 September (see chart below).

Land arrivals to Greece this year by irregular migrants appeared to have peaked in daily volume in April, when they averaged over 130 per day. That volume dipped through the following five months. Sea arrivals are peaking in September – already this year’s busiest month, with five days remaining – to 3,985 through 26 days, or 150 per day. The combined total of land and sea through August was 31,361 (Sea: 19,195;  Land: 12,166) or 130 per day (see charts below).

IOM Cyprus’ Dimitrios Tsagalas reported this week that 428 irregular migrants and refugees have made their way by sea to the island, over 120 of them during the period of 17-25 September. The migrants and refugees have been variously identified as Syrian, Kurdish and Cameroonian. The largest group – 65 men, women and more than two dozen children – arrived after being spotted on a boat on 20 September off Cape Greco.

Others have arrived via the Ledra Palace checkpoint in the UN buffer zone in Nicosia. On 25 September 18 people, all believed to be Syrian nationals, arrived in a boat spotted off Ayia Thekla, in the Sotira region. According to media reports, the boat left Tartus in Syria on 24 September. There also have been media reports about a boat with 14 Syrian nationals spotted in the Apostle Andreas region in the northern part of the island. These refugees reportedly were turned back to Turkey.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 1,733 people on the Mediterranean in 2018. Most recently, three people died trying to cross the Western Mediterranean to reach Spain. A 19-year-old Moroccan woman was shot, and three others were injured on 25 September, after they departed by sea from the Moroccan city of Fnideq with 20 others. Local NGOs have confirmed her death and provided more details about her identity. Hayat (which means “life” in Arabic) was born in Tetouan and was studying law at the University of Martil. She leaves behind her parents, two brothers and a sister.

On the same day, Spanish authorities recovered the body of an unidentified man of Sub-Saharan African origin on Alboran Island, around 90km south of the Spanish province of Almería. A few days earlier, the body of a woman was recovered 1.5 nautical miles north of Punta Almina, Ceuta. This is the second body recovered at sea near the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in recent days. In the past two weeks, the remains of 11 migrants were recovered at various locations on the coasts of Morocco and Spain.

These cases are not connected to any known shipwreck, an alarming trend indicating that shipwrecks may occur undetected and that still more bodies will be found.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 2,744 deaths and disappearances during migration so far in 2018 (see chart below). Beyond the Mediterranean, several deaths in other regions have been recorded since Monday’s update.

In Europe, one migrant drowned in the Port of Calais as he was trying to board a ferry bound for the UK on 23 September. In the United States, the remains of four migrants were recovered in the past week. On 20 September, US Border Patrol officers recovered the remains of two migrants in less than 24 hours on ranch lands near Falfurrias, Texas. A man drowned on the Río Bravo on 25 September; his body was recovered near Peñitas, Texas. On the same day, a 39-year-old man from El Salvador was found dead on the side of a road in Donna, Texas.

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

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

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Othman BelbeisiI, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 60 03 89, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int
Ashraf Hassan, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 79 47 07, Email:  ashassan@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 166); Mobile: +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email: aavgeropoulou@iom.int
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 248, Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel. +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 28 78 78 05 (mobile) office: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email: mchabbi@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Workshop for Community Mobilizers Strengthens IOM’s Outreach Activities for Migrants in Niger

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

Agadez – Fifty community mobilizers, or ‘MobCom’ for IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in Niger, from Arlit, Dirkou, Niamey and Assamaka, recently (17/09) participated in a one-week workshop in Agadez, which focused on building their capacities as communicators.

IOM has been implementing outreach activities in Niger since 2016 when the first orientation office opened in Agadez. Prior to opening the office, the informal discussions held with migrants at the transit centres and in the ghettos showed a lack of knowledge and misinformation about the length, conditions and risks of the route to Libya and Algeria, and further, to Europe.

“It has been quite a journey since then. We have improved both our techniques and our presence. People know us and trust us now,” said Azaoua Mahaman, from IOM’s Orientation Office in the Agadez region.

The four orientation offices in Niger in Agadez, Arlit, Dirkou and Niamey, together with their over 50 community mobilizers, are responsible for implementing the national awareness strategy developed by the mission, through various outreach activities.

More than 170,000 people have been sensitized regarding irregular migration and its alternatives since 2016, with close to 100,000 in 2018 alone.

The orientation offices provide access to objective information on safe migration, including individual counselling, to both migrants in transit and host communities. The MobComs, both Nigerien and third-country nationals, often migrants like Hadiza themselves, build trust with local communities and migrants through their regular sensitization sessions.

“Awareness is a somewhat broad term, yet intuitively widely understood,” said Stephanie Eeckman, Community Outreach Officer at IOM Niger. “As part of a continuous and interactive communication flow, awareness-raising is a process that opens up opportunities for information exchange and develops the skills and abilities needed to enable change,” Eeckman added.

To achieve a change that can effectively influence migration decisions, IOM Niger developed a participatory approach to awareness-raising based on behaviour change communications (BCC), which in turn is based on interpersonal communication (IPC) that can ultimately contribute to social change.

The MobComs inform migrants about the risks of irregular migration and its alternatives, and IOM’s mandate and its assistance. Ultimately, the MobComs seek to ensure that migrants and community members can make informed decisions. A whopping 83 per cent of migrants at IOM’s transit centres have heard about IOM’s mandate and assistance through a community mobilizer carrying out a sensitization session.

If referred to one of IOM’s six transit centres in Niger, the migrants are assisted with meals, shelter, medical and psychosocial assistance, assistance with their travel documents and transportation to their countries of origin. Fifty-five per cent of the migrants sensitized in 2018 decided to join IOM’s assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) programme.

Recently, IOM deployed two MobComs to Assamaka, from where most distress calls took place in 2018. The MobComs play a pivotal role in search and rescue operations as first responders for distress calls.

The two days of theoretical training were followed by two days of basic participatory theatre techniques. The workshop ended with practical sessions in the ghettos in Agadez, where the MobComs put to practice their newly learned skills.

The retreat was also an opportunity for the community mobilizers to exchange and learn from each other about their respective contexts as well as to take advantage of these exchanges to develop new and innovative approaches.

“Before, I could go to Niamey and meet a community mobilizer and not recognize him. Now we know each other, so we can work well together. We are ready to go back and use the skills we have acquired here in our day to day outreach activities for migrants,” said Dan Ballan Mahamn Sani, a Community Mobilizer in Arlit.

IOM’s outreach activities through the four orientation offices in Niger are supported by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), and the EU-IOM joint initiative for migrant protection and reintegration which, together with the Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM) programme, is funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

For more information, please contact Monica Chiriac at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8931 8764, Email: mchiriac@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:15Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Community StabilizationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM’s community mobilizers from across Niger, at the workshop in Agadez, in September 2018. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Central and North American Countries Promote Information Exchange to Aid Searches for Missing Migrants

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

San José — The Regional Conference on Migration (CRM), with the support of the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), held a workshop in Costa Rica this week (25-26/09) to promote guidelines for the coordination and exchange of information for searches of missing migrants. 

According to data from IOM´s Missing Migrants Project, so far in 2018, around 374 migrants have died during their passage through the Americas and the Caribbean, while many others remain missing.

“Migrants escape contexts of violence and insecurity and undertake long and dangerous journeys in search of better opportunities,” said Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director of IOM for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. “The loss of many of these lives is a truly a tragedy. IOM is ready to support the efforts carried out by countries of the CRM and our partners at the Red Cross to enhance their visibility and bring comfort to their families.”

Through a participative methodology, the workshop addressed challenges and existing good practices for finding missing migrants, with the aim of increasing collaboration between CRM member states and other regional and national organizations through agreed guidelines.

Raquel Vargas, General Director of Migration of Costa Rica, highlighted the relevance of the event to complement ongoing national and international initiatives. “Participating in this first effort of coordination and experience exchange strengthens the actions that the institutions are conducting to generate a safe, regular and orderly migration, not only in Costa Rica but in all the region,” Vargas said.

The workshop Guidelines about Regional Mechanisms for Coordination and Exchange of Information for the Search of Missing Migrants in Contexts of Migration included the participation of governmental institutions from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, the United States, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.

Representatives of the Red Cross, the Regional Network of Civil Society Organizations for Migration, UN agencies and the CRM Technical Secretariat also participated in the event.

For further information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean; Tel: +506 2212 5352, Email: jgallo@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:10Image: Region-Country: Costa RicaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration ResearchMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Officials from 9 Central American and North American countries met to find ways to facilitate the searches for missing migrants trough information sharing. Photo: CRM / Renan Rodas

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Caribbean Countries Tackle Data Collection Challenges in Regional Workshop

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

Montego Bay – Representatives of 13 countries participated in a specialised workshop this week (24-25/09), through which the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and its initiative for Caribbean Migration Consultations (CMC) promoted coordination and collaboration in the collection and analysis of migration data in the region.

“Data analysis has been one of the main weaknesses for an adequate management of migration in the Caribbean. The availability of relevant and high-quality information is still very limited,” noted Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director of IOM for Central America, North America and the Caribbean.

“In response to this need, we organized a workshop that enables decision-makers to know best practices for collection and management of migratory data, gathering important representatives of migration agencies and statistical institutions to better comprehend and use data linked to migration, refugee protection and development policies,” Pisani added.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) and UNHCR also collaborated to successfully run this in event under the CMC framework.

The initiative aims to assess migration data needs in the context of the Sustainable Development Agenda. Participants identified challenges, gaps, needs, opportunities, resources and best practices utilized by other countries for the management of migration information, with the purpose of developing feasible mechanisms to improve collection, analysis and exchange of information in the region.

Accurate and relevant migration data could allow states to strengthen and better focus their responses to natural disasters and human movements, increasing the positive impact of interventions, projects and programmes. 

“Interventions designed using quality data have the opportunity for far greater effectiveness in migration management, as well as for the protection and assistance of identified and targeted groups,” said Brendan Tarnay, IOM Project Coordinator for CMC. “Quality data and data sharing can significantly reduce the number of duplicated records in public services. The work and collaboration at this CMC meeting will lead to greater inter-agency communication and data sharing, a priority already identified by participating governments.”

The regional workshop was made possible with support from the United States Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), and the cooperation of the Government of Jamaica, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and IOM's Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC).

For more information, please contact Brendan Tarnay at the IOM Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean; Tel: +506 2212 5312, Email: btarnay@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:05Image: Region-Country: JamaicaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants from Caribbean countries attend workshop migrant data collection and management. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Jordan Celebrates Diversity through ‘I Am A Migrant’

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

Amman – Jordan’s capital, Amman, has in the past 15 years witnessed a booming population growth. Beginning with the Iraq war in 2003 and ending with the Syria Crisis, the city has quickly evolved into a Middle Eastern melting pot as internal migrants from rural areas and other cities live together with Ammanis, and migrants and refugees of diverse origins.

Amman’s population has since 2010 risen sharply from 2,816,200 to 4,226,700 in 2017, based on numbers provided by the Department of Statistics of Jordan.

This diversity was well reflected in the audience attending the 30th edition of the European Film Festival, an annual event that attracts cinema lovers. In this context, and to capture the diversity of Amman and its migrants, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) Mission in Jordan seized the opportunity of the festival to place a public booth and connect with migrants through the “I Am A Migrant” campaign (IAAM). This campaign launched by IOM three years ago seeks to challenge negative perceptions on migration through stories narrated by migrants.

During the festival, IOM staff volunteered to raise awareness on migration, and engaged participants approaching IOM’s booth, inviting them to participate in the IAAM campaign by sharing their migration story.

“Many people we are talking to believe that migrants are only the ones that leave their countries because of a crisis or due to economic reasons,” said Yasmeen, an IOM staff volunteering during the festival. “Even I had a very different idea of what is a migrant before I started working with IOM.”

The key success of the IAAM campaign has been built upon its ability to portray the different backgrounds of migrants and the variety of reasons that encourage a person to migrate. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the personal perception of migration and the stereotypes that impact on our self-definition as migrants.

“My brother and I study in the United States of America,” says Aisha, a young political science student. “I am happy to learn about this I Am A Migrant initiative in Jordan. I think is a great idea.”

Photos and stories of migrants visiting IOM’s booth were printed and posted around the venue. Even attendees who haven’t migrated yet wanted to contribute and to show their support to the diverse society they live in.

IOM’s booth and active discussions with the film festival attendees also served to inform the public about the mandate and activities of the Organization and the mission in Jordan.

“I have realized that some people didn’t know what we do or had bad impressions of the work of the UN agencies in Jordan,” says Nirmeen, an IOM staff member from the logistics department. “I think this is a good opportunity to explain to them our activities and goals and to change their perceptions of our work.”

Apart from the IAAM booth, IOM also facilitated a session on the participatory video initiative launched worldwide to give voice to migrants, internally displaced persons and refugees.

Through this collaboration with the EU Delegation in Jordan and the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), IOM expects to contribute to the promotion among Jordanians of a positive and realistic perception of migrants and migration.

For more information please contact Laura Sisniega Crespo at IOM Amman, Tel: +962 6 5625080 (Ext. 1502), Mobile: +962 79 7048167, Email: lsisniegacrespo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:00Image: Region-Country: JordanThemes: Diversity and IntegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Jordan’s IAAM booth at the 30th European Film Festival in Amman. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

‘Holding On’ Exhibit Captures Imaginations at UNHRC, Humanitarian Consultations

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

Geneva – Fresh from a recent viewing at G20 meetings in The Hague, IOM’s virtual reality exhibit Holding On was featured at two Geneva events this week – the UN Human Rights Council meetings at Palais de Nations and the day-long IOM-NGO Humanitarian Consultations.

“There is a lot of interest in the exhibit and the way we’re using VR to bring viewers directly into the lives of internally displaced people (IDPs),” said curator Carlo Mendes.

“We feel the momentum building behind it; the next two months will be very busy. Every week we’re hearing from international partners interested in hosting the exhibit, and from IOM missions who want to use this engaging approach to educate the public and donors about the realities of the lives of IDPs we are assisting around the world.”

The intent of the exhibit is to raise awareness of the plight of the roughly 40 million people displaced within their own countries by conflict. A further 26 million are displaced every year due to natural disasters.

IOM videographers have already captured six VR stories in IDP communities from Columbia and Nigeria to the Philippines. Each two- to three-minute-long feature focuses on a single item an IDP has kept that reminds him or her of the home they were forced to flee. Items as simple as a camera, t-shirt or small bird have come to represent what was lost, and reflect the resilience, hopes and dreams of the principal characters and their families.

“In the next few weeks we will complete several more VR experiences for Holding On. In the meantime, all the content, including conventional videos that do not require VR glasses, and feature stories about each of our collaborators, are available on the exhibit’s website,” Mendes said.

Visit the Holding On website at http://holding-on.iom.int/

For more information please contact Carlo Mendes at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 285 43 66, Email:  cmendes@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 14:55Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMMigrants RightsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM’s virtual reality exhibit Holding On was featured at two Geneva events this week – the UN Human Rights Council meetings and the IOM-NGO Humanitarian Consultation. Photo: IOM

IOM’s virtual reality exhibit Holding On was featured at two Geneva events this week – the UN Human Rights Council meetings and the IOM-NGO Humanitarian Consultation. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Deploys New Ambulance Fleet to Serve Rohingya Refugees, Local Community in Bangladesh Camps

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 10:31

Cox’s Bazar – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has deployed a fleet of ten new ambulances fitted with critical medical equipment to support emergency health services for Rohingya refugees and local host community residents in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh.

The vehicles, funded by the United Kingdom, Sweden, the United States and the European Union, contain specialist equipment to deliver high dependency first aid during complex emergency situations. This includes equipment to cope with head injuries, heart problems, pregnancy complications and cases requiring admission to intensive care.

“These ambulances are going to be at the front line of saving lives and providing better health care for local people and refugees in Cox’s Bazar,” said IOM Emergency Coordinator Manuel Pereira. “They not only increase our ability to move people swiftly and safely to wherever they can receive the best health care. The specialist medical equipment inside the vehicles also means that we can help prevent tragedies while on the move.”

IOM is the lead agency for medical referrals in the area and runs a 24-hour hotline to ensure patients from across the district can receive urgent transfer by ambulance to the most appropriate health facility.

The new ambulances began operating as an IOM community clinic in Kutapalong, Cox’s Bazar, serving refugee and local mothers, was ranked by Bangladesh’s Ministry of Health among the top five in the country for maternal and child health services. The clinic was named number one for such services out of more than 2,200 clinics in Bangladesh’s Chittagong division, which includes Cox’s Bazar.

There are now almost a million refugees living in Cox’s Bazar after violence in Myanmar forced over 700,000 people to flee to Bangladesh over the past year. The dramatic increase in population has resulted in a spike in demand for medical services.

Since the refugee crisis in Cox’s Bazar began in late August 2017, IOM medics have carried out over 600,000 consultations with patients from the refugee and local communities. Over that period IOM health staff have also supported over 9,000 referrals to secondary and tertiary medical facilities in the area.

IOM in Cox’s Bazar currently oversees the referral of over 200 patients each week from medical facilities run by different organisations in the refugee camps and surrounding towns and villages to facilities across the area, including the Cox’s Bazar Sadar District Hospital and Chittagong Medical College.

The launch of the new ambulances was welcomed by Commissioner of the Office of Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC) Mohamed Abul Kalam, who officiated at the inaugural event, which was also attended by representatives of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

As part of IOM’s commitment to continuing to improve access to health care in Cox’s Bazar for all those affected by the crisis, health experts are also working to support emergency response capacity for ambulance staff. This week they are being trained by UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) specialists on first responder use of the Emergency Trauma Bag.

“This training will help us to further improve services and benefit the local community, the refugees and UN agencies working here in the Cox’s Bazar,” said IOM Emergency Health Programme Coordinator Dr. Andrew Mbala.

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 16:29Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Ethiopian migrants, at Bole Addis Ababa International Airport, after arriving from Libya on 24 September 2018. Photo: IOM

Some of the 76 Ethiopian migrants who returned home from Libya on Monday 24th September 2018. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Provides Return Assistance to 76 Ethiopian Returnees from Libya

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 10:24

Addis Ababa – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, assisted in the voluntary return of 76 Ethiopian stranded migrants from Libya on 24 September 2018. The group comprised 12 women and 64 men. Among the returnees, four were migrant children, while six were psychiatric cases. 

Each said he or she had no means to return home without the Organization’s support.

The migrants departed Zintan, Libya making their way to Cairo, Egypt then arriving in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Lured by smugglers, migrants from Ethiopia often have chosen what’s known as the Northern Migratory Route – through Sudan, Egypt and Libya – expecting to cross the Mediterranean to a better life in Europe. Instead many were captured by traffickers, forcing their families to pay large sums of money for their release. In fact, many unfortunate African migrants to Libya have experienced being sold as slaves to work off the ransom terms of their captors.

Surviving such ordeals is no guarantee of future success. IOM’s Missing Migrants project indicates that 1,728 migrants have lost their lives in the months between January and September 2018 on the Mediterranean alone.

Since August 2017, a European Union funded programme – Joint Initiative for Migrants Protection and Reintegration – has assisted 102 Ethiopian migrant returnees from Libya. Under the programme, Ethiopian returnees coming back from Djibouti, Sudan, Tanzania, Yemen, Zambia and South Africa have been provided with post-arrival assistance. This week’s action has been by far the largest number of returnees the programme has received from Libya.

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative and Better Migration Management (BMM) programmes funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund aims to support migrants voluntarily returning to the country of origin. The two programmes focus on ensuring not only the return of the vulnerable migrants, but also contribute to the sustainable reintegration.   

Upon arrival in Ethiopia, post-arrival assistance – which includes one overnight accommodation, medical screening, psycho-social support, onward transportation and counselling – is provided to the returnees at the IOM Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Transit Centre.

The return assistance for the 76 migrants was possible through a funding received from the Government of Italy.

For more information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at the IOM Special Liaison Office in Addis Ababa, Tel: +251 911 63 90 82, Email: salemayehu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 16:21Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationEUTFDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the 76 Ethiopian migrants who returned home from Libya on Monday 24th September 2018. Photo: IOM

Ethiopian migrants, at Bole Addis Ababa International Airport, after arriving from Libya on 24 September 2018. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 80,602 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,730

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 10:21

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 80,602 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 23 September, with 35,653 to Spain, the leading destination this year. In fact, with this week’s arrivals Spain in 2018 has now received via the Mediterranean more irregular migrants than it did throughout all the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined.

The region’s total arrivals through the recent weekend compare with 133,465 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 302,175 at this point in 2016.

Spain, with 44 per cent of all arrivals through the year, continues to receive seaborne migrants in September at a volume nearly twice that of Greece and more than six times that of Italy. Italy’s arrivals through late September are the lowest recorded at this point – the end of a normally busy summer sailing season – in almost five years. IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Monday reported that Italy’s 21,024 arrivals of irregular migrants by sea this year represent a decline of nearly 80 per cent from last year’s totals at this time. (see chart below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 1,730 people on the Mediterranean in 2018. Most recently, a woman drowned off the coast of Bodrum, Turkey on Sunday while attempting to reach Kos, Greece via the Eastern Mediterranean route. The Turkish Coast Guard reports that 16 migrants were rescued from this incident. On Saturday, a 5-year-old Syrian boy drowned off the coast of Lebanon’s Akkar province after a boat carrying 39 migrants to attempt to reach Cyprus capsized.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 35,594 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 23 September (see chart below).

IOM notes that over this year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. In the 115 days since May 31, a total of 27,444 have arrived – or just under 240 migrants per day. The months of May-September this year have seen a total of 30,967 irregular migrants arriving by sea, the busiest four-month period for Spain since IOM began tallying arrival statistics, with just over one week left in September.

With this week’s arrivals Spain in 2018 has now received via the Mediterranean more irregular migrants than it did throughout all the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined (see charts below).

On Monday, IOM Athens’ Christine Nikolaidou reported that over four days (20-23 September) this week the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) units managed at least nine incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Farmakonisi.

The HCG rescued a total 312 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands. Additional arrivals of some 248 individuals to Kos and some of the aforementioned islands over these past four days brings to 22,821 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 23 September (see chart below).

Sea arrivals to Greece this year by irregular migrants appeared to have peaked in daily volume in April, when they averaged at around 100 per day. That volume dipped through the following three months then picked up again in August and again in September, already this year’s busiest month – 3,536 through 23 days, over 150 per day – with about a quarter of the month remaining. Land border crossing also surged in April (to nearly 4,000 arrivals) but have since fallen back, with fewer than 2,000 crossings in each of the past four months (see charts below).

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 2,735 deaths and disappearances during migration so far in 2018 (see chart below).

In the Americas, several migrant deaths were recorded since last week’s update. In Mexico, a 30-year-old Salvadoran man was killed in a hit-and-run on a highway in Tapachula, Mexico on Friday. Another death on Mexico’s freight rail network (nicknamed “La Bestia”) was added after reports of an unidentified man found dead on tracks near San Francisco Ixhuatan on 15 September.

In the United States, on 16 September, an unidentified person drowned in the All-American Canal east of Calexico, California – the 55th drowning recorded on the US-Mexico border this year. A few days later a car crash south of Florence, Arizona resulted in the deaths of eight people, including four Guatemalan migrants, on Wednesday. Two others killed included one of the vehicles’ driver and his partner, who authorities say had been involved with migrant smuggling in the past.

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

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

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 16:09Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, University of Zimbabwe Partner in Diaspora Skills Transfer Initiative

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 10:08

Harare – The UN Migration Agency, IOM and the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences on 9 September signed a Cooperation Agreement on Diaspora Skills Transfer Initiative to facilitate the voluntary return of health professionals in the diaspora on a short-term basis. The initiative also is designed to provide their health expertise in exchanges with their home communities and to address at the College of Health Sciences any identified skills deficits in Zimbabwe. 

The programme will strengthen the capacity of health science lecturers at the college to produce adequately skilled and well-equipped health professionals.

In her remarks, IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission, Lily Sanya, reaffirmed IOM’s commitment to supporting national governments in creating platforms for diaspora engagement to harness their development potential. “The signing of this Cooperation Agreement is a major milestone in Zimbabwe’s endeavours to progressively enhance her engagement and empowerment of her diaspora to contribute towards national development,” she said.

Speaking at the same occasion, Margret Chirapa, Secretary General of the Zimbabwe National Commission for UNESCO said, “Zimbabwe has a huge skills deficit in the health and tertiary education sectors as a result of unprecedented flight of skilled professionals or “brain drain” which has hampered efforts in sustainable development.” Chirapa further added that according to the National Critical Skills Audit (2018), there is an overall 95 per cent shortage of skills in the health and medical sector with a percentage shortage above 80 per cent for specialist medical fields. 

It is envisaged that the Diaspora Skills Transfer Initiative will contribute to addressing the skills gap by facilitating the temporary return of at least 60 expert Zimbabwean health and tertiary education professionals who will be attached to health and higher education institutions for periods ranging from three to four weeks. 

Under this diaspora skills transfer initiative, IOM will undertake screening, pre-selection of applicants, provide airfares as well as subsistence expenses for selected health professionals and facilitate their placement in health training institutions in Zimbabwe. For its part the University of Zimbabwe will conduct matching and selection of lecturers to teach within the College of Health Sciences and provide a conducive environment, equipment, facilities, support materials during their placement.

University of Zimbabwe Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Paul Mapfumo expressed optimism that the skills transfer initiative is going to enable the college to tap into the Zimbabwean health care experts in the diaspora to bridge the skills gap especially in short staffed disciplines and those departments which have recently introduced new training programs but have challenges attracting the relevant expertise locally.

“Quality training is an ever-enduring value at the University of Zimbabwe with a view to produce internationally competitive graduates. The initiative we are witnessing today will definitely contribute to enhancement of quality training and subsequently quality health care provision,” added Professor Mapfumo. 

The Diaspora Skills Transfer Initiative is part of the Promoting Migration Governance in Zimbabwe (PMGZ) project, implemented by IOM with funding support from the European Union under the framework of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) and co-funded by IOM Development Fund (IDF). One of the intended results for the project is improved neutral platforms for dialogue and schemes through which Zimbabweans in the diaspora contribute to decision making and national development 

For further information, please contact: Gideon Madera, IOM Zimbabwe Tel: +263 772863172, Email: gmadera@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 16:07Image: Region-Country: ZimbabweThemes: Migration HealthMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Lily Sanya, IOM Chief of Mission, and Professor Paul Mapfumo, Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe, signing the Cooperation Agreement. Photo: IOM/Gideon Madera

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Assesses Displacement Impact of Super Typhoon Mangkhut, Commends Philippine Government Preparation, Response

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 10:30

Itogon – Super Typhoon Mangkhut (known locally as Ompong), slammed into the Philippines on 15 September, leaving fields of destroyed crops, landslides and damaged homes in its wake. While an estimated 364,823 families in 30 provinces across Luzon were affected, the government’s preparedness plan and pre-emptive evacuation of thousands of families kept the loss of life to a minimum, according to the UN Migration Agency (IOM).

Widespread destruction included a number of fatal landslides across the mountainous regions of Northern Luzon. In Itogon, Benguet province, 35 people were confirmed dead and 68 are still missing. Many in the community were left in a state of shock.

Said one survivor: “We are lucky to be alive, but without knowing if we can ever return back home, or if we can generate an income moving forward, what is next for us? We have lived here since 1997, so this community and village is our home. But after this typhoon, we do not know what is next.” 

In the immediate aftermath of the typhoon, IOM deployed its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) programme in Regions I, II, III and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR.) The DTM collects information on the location and needs of displaced people in the most affected areas to inform the humanitarian response.

Preliminary DTM assessments showed 1,093 individuals (279 households) displaced in 19 evacuation centres in Macabebe, San Simon and Apalit municipalities in Pampanga province in Region III.

In Cagayan, Ilocos Norte and Benguet provinces (Region I, Region II, CAR), IOM assessed a total of 48 evacuation centers out of which 30 were already closed. The 11 sites still open were all located in Benguet, where people could not yet return home, mainly due to flooding and landslides.

“Thanks to our donors USAID-OFDA and ECHO, and our close relationship with the government, IOM managed to quickly deploy teams to identify the most vulnerable communities in need” said IOM Philippines Chief of Mission Kristin Dadey. “Moving forward, we will continue to support the government, focusing on key interventions in shelter, camp coordination and camp management, psychosocial interventions and early recovery efforts.”      

For further information please contact Kristin Dadey at IOM Philippines. Email: kdadey@iom.int, Tel. +63 917 803 5009.

Language English Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 16:29Image: Region-Country: PhilippinesThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

A landslide in Itogon, Benguet, triggered by Super Typhoon Mangkhut, left 35 people dead and 68 missing. Photo: JC Borlongan / IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Backs Bangladesh’s Adoption of Migration Governance Framework

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 10:28

Dhaka – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Government of Bangladesh organized a one-day national sharing and validation workshop in Dhaka this week (18/9) to finalize a migration governance framework for Bangladesh.

The workshop, which was held as part of a European Union-funded project on improved migration governance and sustainable reintegration, was attended by representatives from key ministries, development partners, the private sector, research institutions and national media. It was chaired by Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque.

An estimated 12 million Bangladeshis have emigrated in the past four decades. In 2017 alone, over a million people migrated for work, mainly to the Middle East, sending home some USD 13.5 billion in remittances.

While most migrate through regular channels, some continue to put their lives at risk by resorting to irregular routes operated by human smugglers and traffickers. Last year for example the Italian Ministry of Interior reported that over 9,000 Bangladeshis arrived in Italy after crossing the Mediterranean from Libya in small boats. Others are believed to have perished at sea.

The Government of Bangladesh now believes that a holistic framework on migration is needed to address irregular migration from the country and to promote safe and orderly migration that benefits all.  

“International migration is providing unequivocal scope for Bangladesh to unlock potential for sustainable development,” said Foreign Secretary Haque, “but a nation’s effort in building a beneficial and responsible migration governance framework needs to be supported by conducive political, economic, social and environmental conditions, so that migration continues to remain a choice and migrants are treated with respect and dignity.”

In 2017, IOM Bangladesh, with financial support from the European Union, launched a three-year project to build governance capacity to better manage migration. Over the next two years, the project will strengthen existing policy frameworks to improve their functionality and ensure the protection of migrants.

Audrey Maillot, the EU’s Team Leader for Governance in Bangladesh, noted that the migration and development nexus is an important component of the EU’s global approach to migration and mobility.

“The EU is committed to approach migration in a comprehensive way and to mainstream it into all relevant policy areas. As one of the political priorities of the EU, it now impacts overall EU foreign policy and development cooperation,” she said.

“This migration governance framework will set out a common understanding among stakeholders, ensure shared responsibilities and unite the nation to benefit migrants and promote safe and orderly migration opportunities,” said IOM Bangladesh Deputy Chief of Mission Sharon Dimanche. “Bangladesh is one of the first countries to come up with a migration governance framework based on a comprehensive country and migration governance indicator assessment.”

The framework aims to lay out a coherent, comprehensive and balanced vision for migration governance that takes into consideration social, economic and environmental factors. It is aligned with the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration – a non-binding global agreement on migration governance prepared under the auspices of the United Nations and slated for adoption at an intergovernmental conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, in December 2018.

For more information please contact Chowdhury Asif Mahmud Bin Harun at IOM Bangladesh, Tel. +880 1755509476, Email: mbinharun@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque addresses the migration governance workshop. Photo: Tanmoy Saha Turja / IOM 

Anwara, a Rohingya refugee, inside the world’s biggest refugee settlement in Bangladesh. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Network Against Trafficking and Irregular Migration Established in Nigeria

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 10:27

Calabar – “We are not going to stop people from migrating; migration is a right, but we must work together to ensure that those migrating are not being trafficked,” said Arinze Orakwue Director, Public Enlightenment, National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) at the first National Awareness Raising Strategy Synergy meeting to combat human trafficking in Nigeria held on 18 September.

The event was organized by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in collaboration with NAPTIP and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) to foster better collaboration among government partners, civil society organizations and other stakeholders working towards raising awareness about the dangers of irregular migration and human trafficking in communities of origin in Nigeria.

The meeting was held in Calabar, Cross River State, a border town and seaport in south-east Nigeria that has witnessed an increase of cases of human trafficking and irregular migration. Last year Joe Abang, Cross River State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, stated that traffickers used ports and various creeks in the area to transport their victims to countries like Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon among others.

From April 2017 to date, IOM has helped 32 female and 25 male migrants return home to Cross River from Libya.

The meeting paved the way for the formation of a technical working group on national awareness raising to combat human trafficking, to be chaired by NAPTIP. Participants also agreed to establish a social media network called Partners Against Trafficking and Irregular Migration (PATIM). The Network will facilitate information and knowledge sharing among relevant state and non-state actors for effective coordination of all awareness activities aimed at combatting human trafficking and irregular migration in Nigeria.

“There is a critical need to have core focal persons [representing our] stakeholders to form a technical working group that will work in unison and take immediate and coordinated action in addressing the issues of human trafficking and irregular migration,” said Mienye Badejo, Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and Head of Migrant Resource Center, Lagos State. “This initiative is well thought of and should be sustained.”

On behalf of the Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Paul Odenyi pledged the agency’s commitment to fight against human trafficking through awareness raising. “We should outline roles and responsibilities up to the local level. National Orientation Agency is willing to make available the existing facilities and structures in all the local government areas of the federation in support of any awareness raising activities aimed at addressing the challenges of human trafficking and irregular migration in Nigeria,” Odenyi said.

“Stakeholders should be encouraged to use communication for development (C4D) techniques towards creating awareness about the dangers of irregular migration and engineering behaviour change towards safe migration,” said Cyprine Cheptepkeny, IOM Nigeria C4D Officer.

The meeting, which was funded by the European Union and the Italian Government under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration and the Aware Migrants project respectively, gathered 17 female and 11 male participants from NAPTIP, NCFRMI, NOA, and Girls Power Initiative (GPI), among others.

For more information please contact IOM Nigeria:
Jorge Galindo, Tel: +234 906 273 9168, Email: jgalindo@iom.int
Ikechukwu Attah, Email: iattah@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 16:26Image: Region-Country: NigeriaDefault: Multimedia: 

Mienye Badejo, Deputy Director of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment. Photo: Ikechukwu Attah/IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, JSI Partner with Indonesian Municipality on “Smart City” Initiative to Improve Access to Services

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 10:25

Makassar – IOM, JSI Research & Training Institute, and city officials have met to discuss how information and communication technologies can improve the quality of and access to public services in the eastern Indonesian municipality of Makassar.

The two-day data validation and systems mapping workshop was part of the ongoing “Smart City” initiative, which aims to speed up the collection of data that can improve sustainable urban planning, reduce costs and empower citizens to demand better services.

The workshop was funded through a multi-country USAID-funded project “Building Healthy Cities” (BHC), managed by JSI and implemented by IOM. You can learn more about BHC here

A busy port city of 1.6 million people, Makassar is one of 26 cities within the ASEAN Smart Cities Network, a collaborative platform launched this year under Singapore’s ASEAN chairmanship, which aims to synergize smart city development efforts across the ASEAN bloc. 

Like many cities in Southeast Asia, Makassar is a rapidly growing urban area with new residents moving in from rural areas throughout Indonesia. It also hosts some 1,900 refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom are supported by IOM and depend on services provided by the municipality.

The workshop brought together stakeholders including representatives of government, civil society, the private sector, academia, faith-based groups, and international donors to review BHC data and assessments, including three draft studies conducted earlier this year by JSI, the Urban Institute and IOM.

The assessments identified operational challenges and opportunities for the city to improve its data-driven response to enhance service delivery to city residents. Connecting under-served segments of the population to existing services remains one of the key goals of “Smart City Makassar.” 

Representatives of special needs populations and from remote islands within the municipality also attended and took part in articulating the future direction of the project.

"Smart City Makassar” must emphasize human interaction and not over-rely on technology. Our aim is to improve the lives of all Makassar citizens,” said Dr. Andi Hadijah Iriani, Sp. THT-KL, head of Maksassar’s City Planning and Development Agency (BAPPEDA.)

Ismail Hajji Ali, who leads the “Smart City Makassar” team, cited the Makassar Open Data platform as a key element accessing essential data. “Open data is one of the innovations of the digital era that can transform Makassar’s local government,” he said.

For more information, please contact Dr. Ahmad Isa at IOM Makassar. Tel: +62 411 858 115, Email: aisa@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 16:25Image: Region-Country: IndonesiaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

Makassar, IOM and JSI Research & Training Institute are collaborating on the multi-year USAID-funded Building Healthy Cities project. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Regional Workshop Strengthens Data Analysis for Decision Making on Migration Issues in Central America

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 10:24

Panama City – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is helping Mexican and Central American officials strengthen their abilities to produce and analyze the data used in migration-related decision making through a workshop held this week (20-21/09) in Panama City.

"Data is a powerful tool for action," said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean, during the opening of the two-day workshop.

"Having updated data on migration trends and flows allows us to assist decision-makers [in creating] efficient and relevant policies, as well as specific interventions, programme and project development, service delivery, and assistance. This information translates into effective protection of migrants’ rights,” he added.

The project, “Regional Strengthening of the Production and Analysis of Information on Migration”, seeks to strengthen the capacities of countries in the region to produce and analyze statistical data on migration, and to develop a Virtual Information Platform for Migration Governance (PIVGM). This platform will make official data on migratory flows and the socioeconomic conditions of migrants available to decision-makers and to the general public.

The initiative is an important contribution to the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The text of the Global Compact, approved in July 2018, identifies cooperation between countries and an improvement in the collection of data on migration at the national and international levels as priorities to optimize the design of evidence-based policies.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development also calls upon countries to facilitate safe, regular and orderly migration, and to implement well-managed policies. In addition, regional bodies such as the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM) and the Central American Commission of Directors of Migration (OCAM) have previously acknowledged the need to address information gaps and enhance the exchange of information in one of the main migration transit areas in the world.

The platform, developed with funding of the IOM Development Fund and implemented in coordination with the mechanism for Caribbean Migration Consultations (CMC) and the RCM, will include user friendly and comparable data, visual representations, and cross-sectional information to facilitate access to and analysis of information, as well as the design of evidence-based migration policies and programmes.

The PIVGM will also contribute to standardizing the collection and exchange of relevant data within the network’s member countries, reinforcing intergovernmental collaboration.

For more information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212 5352, Email: jgallo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 16:23Image: Region-Country: PanamaThemes: Migration PolicyMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

The Virtual Information Platform for Migration Governance will contribute to standardize the collection and exchange of relevant data. Photo: Jorge Gallo/IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 78,372; Deaths Reach 1,728

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 10:23

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 78,372 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 20 September, 34,238 of whom travelled to Spain, the leading destination this year. This compares with 132,715 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

Spain, with over 44 per cent of all irregular arrivals on the Mediterranean to date, has outpaced

Greece and Italy throughout the summer.

Italy’s arrivals (20,859) to date are the lowest recorded by IOM since 2014, lower in fact, than arrivals recorded by Italian authorities during many individual months over the past five years. The same can be said for Greece, whose totals for irregular migrant arrivals through the first week of September this year (22,261) recently surpassed arrivals to Italy. It is the first time that has happened since the early spring of 2016.  

A year ago, Greece’s irregular migrant arrivals were about one-sixth those of Italy, while Spain’s were about one-tenth (see chart below).

ITALY

According to official MOI figures, 20,859 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea this year, 79.7 percent less than the same period last year. The main point of departure has been Libya

Rescue operation occurred in the Channel of Sicily with survivors transported to Sicily (Catania, Augusta, Porto Empedocle, Pozzallo, Trapani, Palermo, Lampedusa).

Staff are deployed at the main landing points in Sicily (including Lampedusa), Calabria and Apulia where they provide legal assistance to those arriving by sea, monitor the reception conditions and support the authorities in the identification of vulnerable groups.

SPAIN

IOM Spain reported Monday that 34,238 irregular migrants have arrived by sea this year via the Western Mediterranean; of those, some 11,307 arrived since the start of August. For the first 20 days of September, irregular migration arrivals on the Western Mediterranean route were running at a rate of close to 213 per day (see chart below).

*The figures include 630 individuals rescued by the Aquarius ship (disembarkation: 17 June, at the Port of Valencia) and other 87 individuals rescued by Open Arms (Disembarkation: Port of Algeciras, 9 August 2018)

 

Search and rescue operations

GREECE

IOM’s Christine Nikolaidou in Athens reported on Thursday (20/09/2018) that from Tuesday 18 September to date, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported that there was at least 1 (one) incident requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Samos. The HCG rescued a total 34 migrants and transferred them to the island.

IOM Staff is present in Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Leros, Kos and Crete Island where they are working closely with authorities (Frontex, the Hellenic Coastguards and the First Reception Service) to identify vulnerable migrants including unaccompanied minors, elderly migrants, migrants with medical needs and families with children.  Vulnerable groups are referred to authorities in order to be provided with the necessary care.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 2,726 people migrating to international destinations in 2018.

The Mediterranean continues to account for the vast majority of deaths recorded globally. Most recently, five people died in the Western Mediterranean in separate incidents. In the past week, the remains of four migrants have washed up on the shores of the Spanish province of Granada. On 15 September, the remains of an unidentified man washed up on Castell de Ferro beach, near Gualchos. Two days later, on 17 September, the body of a woman was recovered in Herradura Bay, near Almuñécar. On 18 September, the body of a man was found by a Guardia Civil patrol boat 50 nautical miles south of Port of Motril, while on 20 September, another body washed up on La Rábita Beach, near Albuñol. These remains are not associated to any known shipwreck, which indicates that many deaths are unknown. Additionally, the Spanish rescue services recovered one body and rescued 56 people from a sinking boat in the Alboran Sea, 150 nautical miles southwest of Alboran Island, on 19 September.

In Libya, authorities from the customs office in Jaghboub reported that they found the bodies of three Egyptian migrants in the desert near the Egyptian border.

In Mexico, the route north to the US border presents numerous risks to migrants, including taking unsafe transportation options. On 19 September, a 40-year-old man died and 12 people of Central American origin were injured in a vehicle accident in the federal highway 109, near the municipality of San Pedro Totolapan, Oaxaca. Along the US-Mexico border, irregular migrants are often forced to cross through remote parts of the countryside in order to avoid coming into contact with authorities in well-patrolled areas. Most recently, the remains of a migrant were discovered on ranchlands near Eagle Pass, in Texas, on 19 September.

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

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

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

Language English Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 16:13Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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