Guinea - Security, civil protection and land management authorities from Guinea and Mali, as well as officials from four bordering prefectures and representatives of the UN Migration Agency (IOM) met recently to discuss strengthening border management and security cooperation.
Two meetings, on 24 and 26 May, took place in eastern Guinea’s Mandiana and Siguiri prefectures. The talks focused on addressing cross-border security and migration challenges in these prefectures and in the adjacent prefectures of Kangaba and Yanfolila in Mali, and formalizing an integrated border management cooperation plan, including future border posts to be built in the prefectures.
IOM also updated participants on the installation of its Migration Information Data Analysis System (MIDAS) at the Guinean border post in Kourémalé. The tool enables electronic monitoring of migration flows at border crossings and has been installed by IOM in over 20 countries in Africa, Central and South America.
The cross-border meetings are part of a range of support that IOM provides to the Governments of Guinea and Mali to build border security and control capacity and, more broadly, to maintain secure borders and manage the flow of goods and people while also protecting the human rights of migrants.
This one-year USD 1.5 million initiative is funded by the Government of Japan.GuineaThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault:
Belgium - The UN Migration Agency’s (IOM) Data Analysis Centre has launched an online video series called Talking Migration Data, which features prominent migration and data experts, and officials explaining key migration trends around the world.
Three videos have been published on the website of the Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) and at least six others are in production. The topics include unauthorized immigration to the United States, how to measure irregular migration flows, the Global Compact on Migration, how to improve data collection, and future labour migration trends.
In the first video of the series, Jeffrey S. Passel, Senior Demographer at the Pew Research Center in Washington DC, talks about dwindling numbers of migrants from Mexico into the United States.
“It is lower than it has been in the last 20 years,” said Passel. “That’s due to the lack of jobs, and enforcement at the border has made it more expensive and more difficult for Mexicans to come to the United States.”
Additional experts featured in the Talking Migration Data series include:
- Kathleen Newland, Senior Fellow and Co-Founder of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI)
- Franck Düvell, Associate Professor, Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), Oxford University
- Michelle Levoy, Director, Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)
- Philip Martin, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Davis
- Nando Sigona, Senior Lecturer, University of Birmingham.
The Talking Migration Data series will also be part of a new Global Migration Data Portal to be officially launched in the autumn of 2017.
For further information, please contact Stylia Kampani, IOM Global Migration Data Analysis Centre; Tel.: +49 (0) 3027877816, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted: Friday, June 2, 2017 - 16:47Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: Migration ResearchDefault:
Switzerland - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is conducting investigations into alleged misconduct in both Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps. Both investigations are complex matters that require resources, time and due process.
The Organization’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is leading both probes with a team of experienced investigators. If IOM’s investigation of these allegations produces evidence that substantiates any misconduct by IOM or other personnel, the Director General is prepared to take any required action.
“IOM takes all allegations of misconduct extremely seriously and has a policy of zero tolerance towards any breaches of its rules of conduct,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “The safety and protection of vulnerable migrants is our top priority.”
IOM will also initiate a review of its operations and management at both refugee camps to ensure that the essential humanitarian aid provided to refugees at both locations, in close cooperation with UNHCR and other partners, continues to be effective and valued.
Investigations at IOM are done by the Organization’s Office of the Inspector General. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) operates as an independent arm of IOM providing internal oversight. OIG provides the Director General with independent advice to ensure integrity of operations.
All IOM staff, as well as staff of our partners, are expected to sign the organization’s Standards of Conduct which specifies an obligation not to abuse positions in relation to beneficiaries and to make sure that all their actions are free of any consideration of personal gain.
The Standards of Conduct instructs staff regarding their professional and personal behaviour. Failure to comply with the Standards may amount to misconduct, and may lead IOM to refer such cases to national authorities for prosecution.
For further information please contact IOM HQ: Leonard Doyle Tel: +41 79 285 71 23, Email: email@example.com
Posted: Thursday, June 1, 2017 - 00:21Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastKenyaDefault:
Switzerland - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Tuesday presented their plans for expanding operations in Libya and enhancing their support to migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and Libyans affected by the ongoing conflict.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, joined IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing, at a senior-level briefing at IOM’s Geneva headquarters where they briefed member states on their recent missions to Libya and called for support to broader stabilization efforts in the country.
UNHCR issued today a Supplementary Appeal for US $75.5 million to meet the increased humanitarian and protection needs of people in Libya – including internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities, as well as refugees and asylum seekers. The appeal includes protection monitoring and interventions, as well as advocacy on issues related to respect for human rights, access to basic services, asylum procedures and freedom of movement.
“We have urgent work to do in Libya and can only do it together,” said UNHCR’s Grandi, adding “We are going the extra mile in trying to make a difference for hundreds of thousands of people.”
IOM in April launched a three year Action Plan for Libya with two key objectives. The first is to provide evidence based humanitarian assistance and protection to both displaced Libyans and migrants. The second objective is to stabilize Libyan communities, as well as to build Libyan capacities in migration management. That appeal is for in excess of US $180 million, lasting for a total of 36 months.
“While IOM has already started to implement the Action Plan, thanks to funding from some donors, greater financial support is needed in order to urgently assist and protect migrants and conflict affected populations in Libya,” Director General Swing said. He emphasized that all IOM activities are coordinated and implemented in cooperation with the Libyan authorities and UNHCR.
For further information, please contact:
William Spindler, UNHCR, Tel: +41 79 217 3011, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joel Millman, IOM, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: email@example.com
Othman Belbeisi, Chief of Mission, IOM Libya, Tel: +21629600389, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Aseh, UNHCR, Tel: +216 29 174 592, Email: email@example.comPosted: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 23:30Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastLibyaDefault:
Sri Lanka - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) today (30/05) deployed three rapid assessment teams to Ratnapura, Galle, Matara and Kalutara – four of the districts worst hit by devastating floods and mudslides in southern and central Sri Lanka.
At least 177 people have been killed by floods and landslides, with 109 people still missing, since heavy rains on Friday, according to Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre (DMC). Most of the deaths were caused by landslides.
Over 768 houses have been destroyed, 5,869 more have been partially damaged and 80,409 people are temporarily displaced in 361 safe locations, according to the government. Over half of the displaced are located in Rathnapura district, where more rain is forecast today.
Sri Lanka’s National Building Research Organization has also issued warnings of further landslides in a number of districts, including Kegalle and Ratnapura, where IOM provided shelter assistance to flood and landslide-affected communities last year.
To date over half a million people in 15 districts in south and central regions of the country have been affected by abnormally heavy monsoon rains in recent weeks.
The flooding is believed to be the worst since May 2003, when a similarly powerful monsoon from the southwest destroyed 10,000 homes and killed 250 people.
When the rain has eased on Sunday and Monday, rescue workers used the break in the weather to deliver much-needed aid to the worst-hit areas. But many villages remain inundated and cut off from basic services.
Rescue operations led by the Sri Lankan military are continuing and the DMC has already identified an urgent need for drinking water and non-food relief items (NFIs), including shelter.
Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry is also deploying mobile health units and will introduce vector control measures to combat expected outbreaks of mosquito-borne dengue fever, which often follows flooding. Displaced people living in emergency shelters are particularly vulnerable.
The Sri Lankan government has appealed for international assistance and, according to media reports, three Indian naval ships carrying relief supplies arrived in Sri Lanka on Saturday and Sunday. China, the United States and Pakistan have also provided assistance.
For more on the displacement caused by the floods please go here.
For more information please contact Giuseppe Crocetti at IOM Sri Lanka, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +94(0)115325300
Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 16:53Image: Region-Country: AsiaSri LankaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia:
Over half a million people have been affected by flooding and landslides in central and southern Sri Lanka. Photo: UN
IOM today visited Kalutara district as part of a rapid assessment mission. Photo: IOM
Central African Republic - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has tracked more than 19,000 displaced people in the Central African Republic’s (CAR) sub-Prefecture of Bangassou (Mbomou Prefecture), which is situated at the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). More than 13,000 of those displaced are children.
IOM, together with the local Red Cross, has rolled out its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) to monitor the displacement in Bangassou following an attack on 13 May 2017 carried out by the auto defence group in the town (especially in the 3rd district, where around 2,000 Muslims resided).
As the co-lead of the Camp Coordination Camp Management (CCCM) component of the Shelter/Non-Food Item (NFI)/CCCM cluster, IOM deployed the CCCM co-facilitator to Bangassou as part of a humanitarian delegation to assess humanitarian needs of displaced persons and to roll out the DTM in coordination with various humanitarian actors including the local Red Cross.
“More than 80 per cent of the displaced persons are living with host communities and not in camps,” said Yoko Fujimura, DTM expert. “Host families are sharing the little that they have with displaced people and therefore should also be supported to avoid tensions over limited resources,” she added.
IOM also supported Caritas in discussions with representatives of the displaced population in two spontaneous displacement sites in the Yugu neighbourhood of Bangassou. The discussions aimed at establishing governance among the displaced population, which consists of a steering committee and sectorial committee. This governance structure was created to facilitate communication with humanitarian actors to effectively manage the provision of services and protection as well as organize and improve the living conditions of those displaced in the Yugu neighbourhood.
The resurgence of violence is also affecting other regions in the country including Kaga Bandoro, Bambari, Bria, Bangassou, Alindao and PK5 in Bangui. In May 2017, there were more than 500,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) country wide, a figure that had not been reached since August 2014.
For further information, please contact Anne Schaefer at IOM CAR, Tel: +236 72 18 76 35, Email: email@example.com
Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 16:46Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastCentral African RepublicThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia:
Children collect water in CAR where over 19,000 people have been displaced since 17 May 2017. Photo: IOM / Amanda Nero
Switzerland - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 69,574 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 28 May, with over 80 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder arriving in Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 198,346 arrivals across the region through 28 May 2016.
IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported deaths on three Mediterranean Sea routes now top 1,569, with several new reports arriving Monday of remains of migrants discovered in the waters between Libya and Italy.
IOM Rome reported that, through 28 May this year, 58,944 migrants or refugees have landed in Italy. (See chart below).
IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported Monday that more than 250 migrants were rescued over the weekend. Operations are still underway. Also on Monday, 29 May, Di Giacomo confirmed that seven corpses were brought to Palermo after being retrieved in recent rescue operations. He said survivors taken to Pozzallo reported at least one recent incident that resulted in 20 drownings.
IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported that on Monday, 29 May, a total of 2,845 migrants were rescued at sea off Libya during the 10-day period beginning 18 May, in 11 different rescue operations off the Western Libyan coastal cities of Az Zawiyah, Zuwara and Tripoli.
Eight rescue operations have taken place off Az Zawiyah, with 1,773 people (1,578 men, 143 women and 52 children) being rescued. All migrants have been taken to Shuhada al Nasr detention centre. IOM staff visited the centre and warned that further support is needed as the detention centre remains heavily overpopulated. IOM has recognized the need for humanitarian assistance including the provision of non-food aid and is assessing an emergency response including psychosocial first aid.
“Usually the migrants who are rescued are found in a very fragile and vulnerable state of mind,” explained IOM Libya’s Samer Daw. “They build their dreams on going to Europe and when these dreams are shattered, they are left in a terrible situation. Therefore, the psychosocial support activities are a good way for them to relieve some of their stress.”
On 26 May, 571 migrants – including 508 men, 55 women and eight children – were rescued in waters off Tripoli, Libya’s capital. Four of the women were pregnant. IOM’s implementing partner assisted the migrants at the disembarkation point with first aid assistance, primarily burn injuries. Two migrants were also transferred to a health clinic for treatment of skin burns.
“Twelve of the rescued migrants had burns which were treated in collaboration with IMC and Multakana. IOM provided bottles of water and food to the rescued migrants,” explained IOM Libya’s Moad Laswed. The migrants were of 18 different African nationalities, with a majority from Guinea Conakry, Nigeria and Senegal. The migrants were initially supposed to be transferred to Mitiga detention centre but, due to space restraints, were instead taken to Trig al Shok detention centre in Tripoli. IOM will visit the detention centre and distribute non-food aid including hygiene kits for the rescued migrants.
During the afternoon of 26 May, 381 migrants (including 53 women and 15 children) were rescued off Zuwara. The boat departed from Subratah with the majority of the migrants coming from Nigeria.
IOM Libya also reported Monday (29 May) that through almost five months into 2017, IOM Libya has assisted 4,030 stranded migrants to return home from Libya through its voluntary humanitarian return (VHR) programme.
The latest return was last Thursday (25 May), when IOM helped 165 stranded migrants – 145 men and 20 women – return home to Nigeria. Among the passengers were three unaccompanied children and two female medical cases.
Also on 25 May, two stranded Ethiopian migrants were also able to return home on commercial flights.
Two days earlier, on 23 May, IOM helped 171 stranded migrants – 166 men and five women – return home to The Gambia from Libya. Among the female passengers were an infant and a child; 133 of the migrants had been in Gharyan Al Hamra detention centre. The remaining 38 migrants previously lived in urban areas.
The charter flights, which departed from Tripoli’s Mitiga airport, were coordinated with the Libyan authorities, the Embassies of The Gambia and Nigeria respectively, as well as IOM colleagues in the receiving countries.
Recognizing the high demand for assistance to return home among stranded migrants in Libya, IOM has been scaling up its VHR assistance in 2017. So far this year, IOM Libya has facilitated the VHR of 4,030 stranded migrants in Libya. Of that total, 108 of the assisted migrants were unaccompanied children; 56 were victims of trafficking.
IOM Athens said yesterday (29 May) that Greek authorities reported new arrivals of 376 migrants and refugees between Thursday (25 May) and Sunday (28 May). Since 1 January, a total of 6,043 sea-borne arrivals of irregular migrants have been reported at various Greek islands.
Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 2,166 fatalities through 28 May (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – about two thirds of the global total.
Since last Friday, MMP has recorded 34 deaths in the Central Mediterranean and also added this year’s first migrant death in East Asia of a 38-year-old Bangladeshi man who died trying to enter Hong Kong. MMP notes that, a year ago (25–26 May, 2016), over 800 people drowned in the Central Med, one reason for the great disparity in year-on-year figures reported this week.
For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/Mediterranean_Update_170530.pdf
For further information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: email@example.com
Kelly Namia at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: email@example.com
Christine Petré at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peru - Heavy rains during April and May of this year affected more than one million people in northern Peru and displaced over 173,000 people, many of whom made their way to makeshift shelters and camps. The UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Peru, together with the Government of Peru and local partners, is assisting displaced families and providing technical assistance to local authorities to strengthen the management of the displacement camps.
President of the Kia Motors Corporation Regional Headquarters for Central and South America Kevin Kim pledged to support IOM’s activities for displaced populations in the Region of Piura, through a USD 100,000 donation on behalf of the South Korean automotive company.
"It is extremely important that the private sector can join the efforts to help people who have been displaced by the rains,” said IOM Peru Chief of Mission Jose Ivan Davalos. “We hope many more companies can follow the example of Kia Motors Corporation, whose valuable contribution is greatly appreciated and will allow us to reach a larger number of vulnerable families.”
With this contribution from Kia Motors Corporation, efforts will be made to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable displaced population in Piura, and to promote the dissemination of information on the risks of human trafficking in the affected regions.
KIA Motors Corporation is a global leader in the automotive industry committed to supporting the ten principles of the UN Global Compact on human rights, labour rights, the environment and anti-corruption.
The donation event was also attended by Keun Ho Jang, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Peru; James Park, Manager, Regional Headquarters of Kia Motors Corporation for Central and South America; Minister Seung-in Hong, Embassy of the Republic of Korea; Juan Florencio Martin, Country Manager of SKBERGE, importers of KIA in Peru; Luis Mariategui, General Manager of KIA; as well as the management team of SKBERGE Peru.
For further information, please contact Ines Calderon at IOM Peru, Tel: +5116330000, Email: email@example.com
Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: AmericaPeruThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia:
Kia motors donates USD 100,000 to IOM's response for displaced people in Peru. Photo: IOM
UN Migration Agency, Somalia, KSrelief Protect Somalis from Trafficking, Smuggling, Human Rights Abuses
Somalia - Due to the worsening effects of the drought, 746,996 people have been displaced in Somalia since November 2016. These Somalis often no longer live within their traditional clan structure – the mechanism through which Somalis are protected from exploitation and abuse. Those with no clan protection are increasingly vulnerable to trafficking and smuggling.
From 16–17 May 2017, the UN Migration Agency (IOM), with financial support from the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief), held a training on trafficking, smuggling and human rights of people on the move. Eighteen officials from Somalia’s National Commission for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (NCRI) participated in the event.
Vulnerability is especially heightened for the sick, the elderly, children and women as they move in search of food, water, safety or better opportunities. The NCRI participants were alerted as to the importance of ensuring that people are not exploited or abused while on the move.
IOM’s Migration Response Centre (MRC) helps better manage migration flows, by offering services to Somalis before they migrate, as well as to migrants in Somalia. These include registration of migrants by the Government and referrals to existing technical, vocational and educational training opportunities within Somalia. The support that can be provided by the MRC to both migrants and governments was highlighted during the training.
As the mandated government entity responsible for displaced people, migrants, and refugees, NCRI is a key stakeholder in Somalia’s fight against human trafficking and smuggling.
“I request participants to put into practice the lessons learned and knowledge gained from the workshop by ensuring implementation in their day-to-day duties, helping to better address migrant issues,” said Ahmed Nur, NCRI Commissioner, during the training.
This training – the fourth of six planned trainings on counter-trafficking, smuggling, and human rights – is part of a USD 10 million project that benefits almost 20,000 Somalis who have returned to Somalia from conflict-affected Yemen. The project is being implemented jointly by IOM and UNHCR, in close coordination with the Somalia Task Force on the Yemen Situation, and respective regional and local authorities.
For further information, please contact: Nasser Alsubaie at KSrelief, Tel: +966 539 186 339, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Heidrun Salzer at IOM Somalia, Tel: + 252 617 722 436, Email: email@example.com
Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 16:26Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastSomaliaThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingHumanitarian EmergenciesMigrants RightsMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia:
UN Migration Agency (IOM) trains Somali government personnel on protection of migrants from trafficking, smuggling and human rghts abuses. Photo: IOM
Mauritania - With a population of 3.9 million, Mauritania has over 200,000 nationals living abroad, according to a 2012 survey by the Mauritanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This week the country launched an important tool to map that overseas population.
The UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Mauritania presented its new portal for mapping the Mauritanian diaspora on 28 May. The event, attended by the Mauritanian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Sidi Ould Salem, also provided an opportunity for experts from Morocco and Senegal to share their tools and the lessons learned on diaspora engagement.
Salem said: "We are hopeful to obtain through this tool, a specific legal framework for the mobilization of highly skilled Mauritanian diaspora."
Developed with funding from the IOM Development Fund, the tool will be managed and updated by officials of the Ministry of Higher Education. It will provide the location of qualified Mauritanian nationals abroad and assess their willingness to contribute to the national development of their home country.
Members of the diaspora wishing to register themselves can do so very easily. They can create a profile including, for example, a résumé which can be updated as required. Those registered will be able to respond to government announcements published on this portal.
Anke Strauss, IOM Mauritania Chief of Mission added: "I cannot emphasize enough the importance for Mauritania to mobilize its diaspora by stressing that this project is in line with the IOM Diaspora mobilization strategy that revolves around the 3 Es (Engage, Enable, Empower)."
Next steps include a broad outreach campaign to inform the Mauritanian diaspora on the launch of the portal. Soon, the portal will be also accessible for the project Temporary Return of Qualified Nationals.
For further information, please contact Momme Ducros, IOM Mauritania, at Tel: +222 36 36 04 50, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 16:22Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastMauritaniaThemes: OthersDefault: Multimedia:
Attendees at Launch of IOM Portal to Map Mauritanian Diaspora. Photo: IOM
Myanmar - Myanmar Buddhist and Christian religious and community leaders met in Yangon last week at a workshop organized by IOM to discuss community-based solutions to human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
Every year some 250-350 Myanmar nationals are identified as victims of trafficking in neighbouring countries. Most are trafficked for purposes of forced labour, sexual exploitation, forced marriage or organized begging.
The workshop attracted 42 participants including Buddhist monks, Christian nuns and priests, the Myanmar Police Anti-Trafficking Task Force (ATTF) and representatives from other faith-based community organizations, including Karuna Mission Social Solidarity (KMSS) and Good Shepherd.
“There are currently no anti-smuggling laws in Myanmar, but for trafficking cases we can use the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Law and human rights law, as traffickers often abuse human rights. I encourage everyone here to apply the lessons learnt in the workshop in your respective communities,” ATTF Police Major Khin Maung Kywe told delegates.
The workshop, which was funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), highlighted the need for a coordinated approach to combating smuggling and trafficking, and focused on the role of religious leaders in addressing the challenge in the community. Participants learnt about migration, the risks of trafficking and working collaboratively towards community-based solutions.
“Religious leaders are particularly influential in Myanmar and are highly respected and trusted members of their communities. Many people turn to them in times of hardship and crisis such as after natural disasters – when people are at their most vulnerable,” said IOM Myanmar protection specialist Yoko Kimura.
“Previously, there were many challenges for Buddhist religious leaders being involved in social work in Myanmar. We could not participate in this type of social work due to our discipline, which primarily focuses on purely religious matters. But now we can participate without breaking Buddhist principles. When we give sermons, we can also include information about trafficking,” said a senior monk taking part in the workshop.
Other interventions discussed at the workshop included the inclusion of counter-trafficking messages in religious sermons and links with Buddhist and Christian teachings.
Strengthening collaboration among churches and incorporating youth education programmes at Dhamma schools and churches on the risks of trafficking and safe migration were also discussed.
For further information please contact Sharon Dimanche at IOM Myanmar. Tel. +951523509, Email: email@example.com
Language English Posted: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 16:19Image: Region-Country: AsiaMyanmarThemes: Capacity BuildingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia:
Buddhist Monks participating in Yangon Anti-Trafficking Workshop. Photo: IOM / Liam Best 2017
Switzerland - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 60,521 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 24 May, with over 80 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 193,333 arrivals across the region through 21 May 2016.
IOM Rome reported that, through 24 May this year, 50,267 migrants or refugees have landed in Italy (See chart below), however that does not include all the men, women and children who are believed to have been rescued over the past 48 hours.
IOM spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported Friday (26 May) that the unofficial number of migrants rescued Thursday is around 2000, indicating that a total number of survivors rescued between Tuesday and Thursday would be close to 6,000, all believed to have sailed from Libya.
Mr. Di Giacomo further explained that the balance of some 4,129 migrants rescued on Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to land in Italian ports during the day today, Friday. He added that a week ago, on Friday 19 May, a dinghy carrying 130 migrants that had departed from Sabratha, Libya, passed another dinghy in distress and took on four people at sea, all Nigerians, who had been struggling to stay afloat. The four survivors reported that they had departed from Tripoli a few hours earlier. According to their testimony, at least 156 fellow passengers were on that craft, and died at sea---including dozens of women and children.
He also reported that on Thursday (25 May) a wooden boat carrying approximately 500 people capsized. A day later IOM is reporting the remains of 34 people have been recovered from that sinking. It is still not known how many more may have died in that incident.
These deaths being to at least 1,530 recorded on the Mediterranean in 2017, all but 82 in the waters between Libya and Sicily. IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports last year at this time 982 migrants or refugees were reported lost in these waters, out of a total of 1,398 believed lost along three Mediterranean crossing routes.
While today’s 1,530 fatalities exceed last year’s Mediterranean totals at the same point in time, they are not the greatest reported on this route. Through the end of May 2015, MMP reported 1,828 men, women and children had perished on the Mediterranean Sea. Although not yet added to the Missing Migrants Project data base, IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported that on 23 May, 230 migrants were rescued off Az Zawiyah, and in another rescue mission, also in Az Zawiyah, 96 migrants (86 men and 10 women) were rescued.
On the same day, 120 migrants (113 men and seven women) were rescued off Tajoura, close to the capital Tripoli. In addition, she reported, that same day two bodies were retrieved in Az Zawiyah and Tripoli.
On 25 May, about 110 migrants were rescued off Az Zawiyah, IOM planned a visit to the site late on Thursday to find out more about the most urgent needs.
So far in 2017, 6,453 migrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast and 228 bodies have reportedly been retrieved off shore.
These latest deaths bring the worldwide total recorded by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) to reports that there have been 2,125 fatalities through 24 May (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – about two thirds of the global total.
In addition to the nearly 200 new victims recorded in the Central Mediterranean this week, MMP recorded one death on the Pakistan-India border on May 15, and one on the Syria-Turkey border on May 18.
For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
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 further information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: email@example.com
Kelly Namia at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: email@example.com
Christine Petré at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 10:18Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandDefault:
Iraq - An average of 10,000 individuals are fleeing from West Mosul and arriving daily at the transit Zone in Hamam al-Alil, according to the military and camp management there.
Last Thursday (May 18) the number of people fleeing West Mosul peaked when some 16,100 individuals passed through the Hamam al-Alil screening site, according to government figures. It was the largest official daily movement of people since the Mosul operation began on October 17, 2016.
With gruelling high temperatures during the day most opt to make the trip in the cooler hours of the night, leaving and walking several hours before reaching the nearest military checkpoints.
From there, the men, women and large number of children are transported to the town of Hamam al-Alil town south of Mosul, on the western banks of the Euphrates, in Ninewa governorate.
The town, the largest south of Mosul city has become the transit hub for the tens of thousands of families who have fled the conflict in West Mosul.
With the camp adjacent to the site at full capacity, many families are being moved to other camps, with large numbers opting to go to areas east of Mosul where they stay with families, friends or in rental accommodation.
According to Iraq Government figures, cumulatively, more than 742,000 people have been displaced from Mosul and its surrounding areas since October 16, 2016, when the military offensive began, including 566,000 individuals displaced from western Mosul since the second phase of the military offensive to retake the city was launched in mid-February. More than 73,000 Iraqis were displaced last week alone.
An estimated 117,732 individuals have returned to their areas of origin in east Mosul, while 34,841 people returned to West Mosul.
The current number of IDPs from western Mosul who remain displaced is more than 531,000 individuals.
An estimated 200,000 individuals are still entrapped under ISIL territories in Mosul’s Old City. As of May 23, IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has tracked and located more than 377,000 individuals (nearly 63,000 families) currently being sheltered in camps and emergency sites. This includes people living in host communities, informal sites and rented homes.
In Hamam al-Alil on Wednesday (24/05), families arriving from newly retaken areas spoke of ISIL horrors, extreme shortages of food, medicines, water and power as well as the fear of being shot while escaping.
“We ran out of food and were left with ground wheat and the skins of the wheat we had stocked earlier,” Um Omar, said.
She said that towards the end, their meals consisted of boiled hay.
Another woman surrounded by her tired and restless children said she knew of families who were now cutting grass and wild plants they can find for food.
Nearly 85,000 children are still trapped as a result of the offensive to retake Mosul, and water supplies in the camps for the displaced are “stretched to the limits,” according to UNICEF.
But despite the hardships, the long walk to safety, the fear and hunger, for the many who arrive at Hamam al-Alil, it is as if they have been reborn again.
The new mantra or popular catch phrase amongst Iraqi IDPs who succeed in escaping ISIL has become “Thank God, we are reborn again.”
Not all, however, are as lucky.
In IOM’s field hospital, in partnership with Qatar’s Red Crescent, in Hamam al-Alil, young Abdul Rahman sobbed his heart out as he recounted the day his house came under ISIL mortar attack killing his elder brother and severely injuring his leg.
“I am afraid…” the skeletal 11-year old sobbed quietly from his bed at the field hospital.
“I lost my leg…” he cried. “I wont be able to run or play football anymore.”
“My brother was sitting next to me, then the house came down on us and he was killed,” Abdul Rahman recounted, as he lay in bed with his right leg, amputated to a stump, just above the knee.
Unable to leave the house due to the hail of mortars being fired by ISIL on their neighbourhood that day, Abdul’s brother Ahmad (22) and a father of an 8-month-old baby, bled for four hours from his injuries before he eventually died.
Abdul’s father eventually managed to carry his injured young son Abdul Rahman and move him to another location. It took five days and five different locations before the young boy was eventually brought to IOM and Qatar’s Red Crescent field hospital where he could receive treatment.
By the time he arrived at IOM’s field hospital, despite the desperate efforts by surgeons to save his leg, the limb tissues to his severed arteries were dead and young Abdul Rahman’s leg had to be amputated.
As the Iraqi military forces close in on the Old City and the last remaining neighbourhoods, reports from the injured and escapees suggest that ISIL is tightening, what remains of its grip against the civilians.
“They are calling out from the mosque minarets, warning that they will shoot the children if families attempt to escape,” Um Ahmad said.
“They are even booby trapping our front doors to prevent us from escaping,” said Hassan who lay in one of IOM’s hospital beds recovering from injuries to his legs.
Unbeknown to him, ISIL had laid explosives at the entrance of his house. As stepped out to escape the explosives went off.
In another bed Saadoun stood vigilant moving from one bed to another checking on his two young boys: Qaws, a 3-year-old injured in the leg and Yassin 7, who was injured in the head.
Back in the Hamam al-Alil camp, where the family of seven members are crammed with relatives in a tent, he left three other children who are also injured.
A bomb aimed at their neighbour’s house, which ISIL was occupying with the family as human shields, brought down his own house over their heads.
His five children were all injured, and his neighbours killed including a grandmother and two children.
“I couldn’t dig out my neighbours from under the rubble,” Saadoun lamented sadly.
Some 12,500 people have been transferred from frontline areas to hospitals for trauma injuries treatment as of 20 May according to OCHA; including 6,369 people from West Mosul alone.
IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said: "The fact that huge numbers of Iraqis continue to flee West Mosul, despite the dangers involved, is a testament of both the dire situation inside, and the enormous task ahead of us to alleviate the suffering of IDPs. IOM and our humanitarian partners in cooperation with the Government of Iraq, will continue to provide comprehensive humanitarian assistance and lifesaving support to IDPs to the full extent of our resources.”
IOM’s DTM actively monitors displacement across Iraq. The latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures on displacement across Iraq and due to Mosul operations are available at: http://iraqdtm.iom.int.Africa and Middle EastIraqThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault:
Philipines - This week, (22-23/5), the UN Migration Agency, IOM and ten Colombo Process (CP) member States met in Manila, the Philippines, to discuss practical approaches to protecting their nationals abroad during crises.
The CP, which is also known as the Ministerial Consultation on Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin in Asia is currently chaired by Nepal. Countries represented at the meeting included Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.
The two-day meeting came at a time when governments in Asia are increasingly taking steps to better protect migrants caught in countries experiencing humanitarian crises, including natural disasters and conflict.
“People living and working outside their countries of origin are vulnerable and risk becoming stranded abroad in times of crisis,” said Marco Boasso, IOM Philippines Chief of Mission. “They often lack the necessary resources, and access to the services and information they need to address the challenges brought by unforeseen crises,” he added.
The meeting, which focused on IOM’s “Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC)” initiative was organized to enable CP States to exchange lessons learned on how to help nationals stranded abroad in countries experiencing crisis.
It also encouraged CP States to set up a ‘collective preparedness mechanism’ that would allow their consular services during crises to provide protection for the nationals of all CP States – not just their own.
The meeting, which was funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), followed a call made by the 2016 CP Ministerial Declaration on developing collaborative consular mechanisms, sharing information, and promoting political commitment among CP member States.
“The delegations expressed a readiness to recommend tackling migration crisis interventions in many standing CP Thematic Working Group meetings, including those which refer to pre-departure orientation and empowerment, skills training and ethical recruitment,” noted Gahendra Rajbhandari, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal.
IOM is already helping to build the capacity of the consular services of Viet Nam, Afghanistan and the Philippines to assist migrants caught in crises. Many of their practices and lessons learned are described in the MICIC Guidelines.
CP States have already made considerable progress in protecting their nationals abroad during crises, notably in Nepal, Syria and Libya.
For further information, please contact Lorenzo Guadagno from the MICIC team at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 7179 566, Email: email@example.comPosted: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 10:01Image: Region-Country: AsiaPhilippinesDefault:
Free Movement of Persons and Migration Project in West Africa Builds Capacity in Migration Data Collection and Management
Nigeria - This week (22-24/05), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), with support from the UN Migration Agency (IOM) through the EU-funded Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa (FMM West Africa) project, organized a three-day regional training of trainers on migration data collection and management.
The training – held in Abuja, Nigeria – focused on strengthening national capacities on migration data management as effective data collection is vital to migration management with significant benefits to migrants, host communities and governments.
Countries in the West African region have improved their migration management by establishing various standards, methodologies, concepts and definitions related to migration. However, at national level, data has not been consistently collected and the data that has been collected is not always effectively utilized. The region’s high rate of human mobility is key to its economic growth. However, a lot of this mobility is not measured due to the absence of harmonized procedures for collecting and analysing migration data.
“Collecting, analysing and understanding migration data means there is a need to collect more than just border control data,” said Ann Singleton, University of Bristol and Senior Advisor to IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC). “Using the ECOWAS Guidelines as a starting point, National Statistical Offices and Ministries will be able to better understand, and report to, their policy makers at the national and regional levels to help build an evidence base for effective policies,” said Singleton.
To address this challenge, the ECOWAS, in collaboration with IOM GMDAC, developed regional guidelines (2016) that contain standardized definitions of migration terms and concepts, as well as an action plan for improved data practices. As a result, ECOWAS and IOM GMDAC facilitated a series of trainings for government officials in the region.
This regional training of trainers brought together 30 experts from national statistics offices and officers in charge of administrative data collection from the national immigration agencies of ECOWAS Members States. They worked on the regional guidelines and the training tools to reinforce their knowledge and capacities to step-down the training at the national level.
“I’m happy to participate in this training. This is an ideal environment to discuss ideas on how to improve data collection and management,” said Dauda Aba Fane from the National Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) in Mali. “I hope to be better prepared once I complete this training. I’ll share the acquired knowledge with my colleagues in Mali to be able to improve together trustable data. Improved data are essential to inform policy makers,” she added.
The training was co-facilitated by ECOWAS, Research and Statistics directorate, and the IOM Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) global experts.
The Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa (FMM West Africa) project is implemented by IOM, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), and is being funded jointly by the European Union and ECOWAS.
The FMM West Africa project seeks to maximize the development potential of free movement of persons and migration in West Africa and has a component on intra-regional dialogue and migration policy development, specifically designed to support the Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA) process.
For further information please contact, Frantz Celestin at IOM XX, Tel: (234) 814 0671127, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 09:59Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastNigeriaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault:
Lebanon - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) last week (18-19/05), the organized a two-day training in Lebanon on "Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Victim Identification and Protection". A total of 20 Middle East Airlines cabin crew supervisors and staff from relevant security agencies, who deal with passengers at Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, took part.
The training aimed to enhance the capacity and skills of cabin crew supervisors and airport agencies in effectively identifying victims of trafficking and referring them to adequate care in Lebanon. The training was facilitated by a team of counter-trafficking experts from the Lebanese Ministry of Justice, Internal Security Forces and IOM.
“Airports are a hub, where trafficking in human beings starts and flourishes,” stated Judge Rana Akoum from the Ministry of Justice, highlighting the importance of raising awareness with the airport staff at the opening of the training. “A training that targets cabin crew supervisors and airport staff is really important. They can be a watchful eye over the indicators of trafficking and play a role in identifying victims,” said Akoum.
“The training supports existing efforts to increase the identification of human trafficking cases among at-risk populations, and referral of victims to specialized care,” stated Fawzi Al Zioud, IOM Lebanon Head of Office, at the training. “We are happy to see the private sector taking steps to combat human trafficking and hope to strengthen that by ensuring a wider awareness on this crime to the general public,” said Al Zioud.
The Government of Lebanon has made significant efforts towards addressing human trafficking in recent years. However, a lot can still be done to actively identify cases and enact a referral mechanism in order to protect and assist victims of trafficking.
“It is very interesting to gain knowledge on how to identify trafficked cases and necessary to act to help victims,” said Rima Abu Rahal, a Middle East Airlines cabin crew supervisor, who took part in the training. “It is very useful to raise awareness with the cabin crew on this topic. I believe this training should expand to reach out to captains and more staff if possible,” she added.
For further information, please contact Dima Haddad at IOM Lebanon, Tel: +961 76823 014, Email: email@example.comPosted: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 09:57Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastLebanonThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault:
Egypt - IOM Egypt recently launched a mobile application for Bosla, a migrant information-sharing website that provides information on services available to migrants in Egypt.
Built up from the website, the mobile application is available on Android, iOS, and Windows and reflects an interactive functioning directory of services available to migrants, where they can interact and provide their respective feedback and inputs to service providers, as well as on conditions and assistance available in their communities of origin. The two-way communication also allows IOM to constantly improve Bosla, based on the feedback received.
By making Bosla platform accessible on mobile devices, IOM aims to maximize outreach to migrants residing in Egypt and ensure a fast, easy and most effective access to information.
Meaning ‘compass’ in Arabic, Bosla was developed to orient migrants towards agencies throughout Egypt providing critical, essential and basic services as well as events available to migrants in Egypt. Both the website and the mobile application include an online directory of local organizations that provide services, allow and promote activities for the benefit of migrant communities in Egypt.
Going forward, Bosla will be turned into a regional platform covering five targeted countries: Algeria, Egypt, Libya Morocco and Tunisia, including the relevant features that would make the platform accessible in different languages identified by IOM as most commonly spoken by the target migrant communities in all five countries to improve its two-way reach in migrant-dense communities.
Bosla was initially launched within the framework of the European Union (EU)-funded programme, Stabilizing at-risk communities and enhancing migration management to enable smooth transitions in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya – START and its revamp will be concluded in June this year also under START. Ongoing support has been provided by another EU-funded project: Community Resilience Initiative to Support the Regional Development and Protection Programme in North Africa – RDPP.
For further information, please contact Yasmin Abdalla at IOM Egypt. Tel: +202 27365140, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 09:55Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastEgyptDefault:
Chile - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) yesterday (24/05) signed a cooperation agreement with the Chilean Federation of Industry (Spanish abbreviation: SOFAFA). The agreement, signed in Santiago, Chile, seeks to ensure the implementation of specific projects, establish technical committees and consulting arrangements in the business sector related to migration in Chile.
As the world faces unprecedented human mobility, more people than ever live outside their country of birth and they represent an important labour force that businesses now need to consider more than ever before.
Chile is affected by this phenomenon of migration, which represents an opportunity for development in distinct sectors in the country, given that migration brings professionals and qualified personnel in several areas. The business sector therefore needs to be recognised as a key actor in ensuring migration contributes to sustainable development in line with Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.
In this context, SOFAFA and IOM Chile’s cooperation agreement seeks to pursue a better approach to migration issues in an objective manner that builds on international experiences.
“Chile’s business sector sees migration as an opportunity. This has been demonstrated on multiple occasions. This agreement ratifies the will to incorporate those who arrive in Chile in search of opportunities, into the Chilean economy in a safe, orderly and regulated manner. We are ready to contribute and open the necessary spaces to accompany Chilean businesses in this process,” said Norberto Girón, IOM Chile Chief of Mission.
For his part, the president of SOFOFA, Hermann von Mühlenbrock, said “We need to maintain an attitude of openness and not fall into the trap of discriminating against those who bring capital, work and ideas that can contribute to economic development.”
IOM Chile is building strong collaborative links with the private sector, in areas as diverse as fruit production and harvesting, tourism, the hotel industry, manufacturing and mining. This agreement will facilitate new working alliances and cooperation destined to increase understanding amongst businesses and society of the value and contribution of migration to sustainable development in Chile.
SOFOFA is a not-for-profit business association that brings together business and trade unions connected to the Chilean industrial sector. It is the largest business entity in the country, made up of more than 4,000 business, 43 sectorial associations and 23 regional trade unions.
For further information, please contact Sebastián Mathews, IOM Chile Press Officer: Tel: +56 02 9633710 Email: email@example.comPosted: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 09:53Image: Region-Country: AmericaChileThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault:
Somalia - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) this month joined the first meeting of the Inter Ministerial Task Force for Migration Management under the new Federal Government of Somalia.
Established in May 2016 by the previous Prime Minister under the lead of the Ministry of Internal security, the High Level Task Force is complemented by two technical Task forces for Human Trafficking and Smuggling and for Return and Readmission. The Task Forces were established to introduce a Migration Governance system in Somalia, to develop policies and to foster better coordination within the Ministries.
“This Task started its work when the Government was entering a transition period, now we need to continue the legacy so we can jointly find a solution to irregular and risky migration by tacking the root causes in a sustainable way,” said Mariam Yassin Hagi Yussuf, the Chair of the High Level Task Force the Federal Republic of Somalia’s Special Envoy for Migrants and Children’s Rights, during the meeting.
“Migration is a global issue and can be a challenge faced by Somalia and its neighbouring countries,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Somalia Chief of Mission. “As IOM, we will continue to support the Government through capacity building of the members of the Taskforce to enable them be in a position to address the root causes of irregular migration and also help in better management of migration flows in Somalia”.
The meeting was attended by Federal Government of Somalia officials from the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Internal Security Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Constitutional Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Women and Human Rights, Ministry of Education, Office of the Attorney General, Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and the Office of the Special Envoy for Migrants and Children’s Rights.
The Inter Ministerial Task Force for Migration Management’s work is supported by IOM and is funded by the European Union and is part of IGADs regional programme on migration governance.
For further information, please contact Julia Hartlieb at IOM Somalia, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +254 741 988 846Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 - 09:40Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastSomaliaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault:
Switzerland - 2015 was the year of hope for the global migration and humanitarian communities.
That year, we saw the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development call for effective measures and strengthened support to empower displaced people and migrants as part of a broader commitment “to leave no one behind”. This was important progress on the Millennium Development Goals which had nothing to say about migration, let alone the contribution it can make to resilience or sustainable development.
Also in 2015, the world came together to agree to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which set out core commitments to substantially reduce disaster risk, loss of lives and livelihoods, and improve health. Now part of the development architecture built around the 2030 Agenda, the Sendai Framework is the first global agreement on disaster risk reduction to incorporate clear references to mobility and displacement. The core commitments not only recognize displacement as a principal consequence of disaster, they also acknowledge the important contributions that migrants make – through remittances, networks, skills and investments – to risk-reduction and resilience-building.
In December of that very same year at the Paris Climate Conference (COP21), 195 countries adopted for the first time ever a universal, legally binding global climate deal. This was long-awaited progress. Importantly, the Paris Agreement recognizes the need to protect vulnerable populations, including migrants, and establishes a dedicated task force to advance strategies that avert, minimize and address displacement related to climate change.
Three historic agreements – showing the true power of international cooperation – which together reflect the hopes of a global community aspiring towards a sustainable, safer and more prosperous future for all.
This week, the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is once again bringing together governments and international and local groups to review progress made so far in taking forward one of our beacons of hope from 2015: the Sendai Framework. It is remarkable that the meeting is taking place in Cancún, Mexico, where the links between human mobility and climate change were first acknowledged through the Cancun Adaptation Framework in 2010.
While significant progress was made in 2015, intentions must now be turned into concrete actions to fulfil the commitments we made as an international community.
I have no doubt that we could easily find ourselves back where we started before 2015, or even before 2010, if we do not seize the opportunity that this global forum of leaders presents to move from commitment to action. It is now essential that we act collectively to reduce risk and build resilience based on the recognition of the important role that human mobility plays for inclusive growth, sustainable development, resilience-building and, especially, for disaster risk reduction.
Mass displacement continues to be one of the most visible consequences of disasters. The hope we felt in 2015 can be contrasted with the profound suffering of the 19.2 million people newly displaced by natural disasters in 113 countries that year. This was more than twice the number of those displaced by conflict and violence in that same year. As numbers grow and solutions seem to be more and more elusive, it is now more urgent than ever to intensify our joint efforts to build the resilience of vulnerable communities to disasters and displacement.
The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is playing its part by launching a Strategic Work Plan on Disaster Risk Reduction, which is aligned with the UN Plan of Action. Since the Sendai Framework, IOM has been working on Disaster Risk Reduction in 26 countries. Partnerships are essential to reducing risk; partnerships with local governments, local organizations, but, most importantly, with displaced people, migrants and communities at risk. We will never be fully successful unless it is the communities themselves that take the lead in crafting strategies that reduce their own risk and build resilience.
People living in disaster-prone areas are already playing their part. In Myanmar, Mozambique and the Philippines, we have built communities' disaster preparedness as the global lead agency on Camp Coordination and Camp Management for natural disasters. In Pakistan, Vanuatu, Nepal, Rwanda and Timor Leste, we have assisted thousands of households in recovering from disasters by rebuilding stronger houses, restoring infrastructure and supporting livelihoods. We are also working with communities to prevent new risks in countries such as Indonesia, Afghanistan and Micronesia.
We know mobility can save lives, enhance resilience and reduce risks; but mobility can also lead to vulnerabilities. As we witness widespread suffering in drought-stricken East Africa and nearby regions, we must ensure that our disaster risk reduction efforts take account of human mobility both as an acute impact on vulnerable populations and as an adaptive strategy for resilience.
I am not sure how much longer we can ask disaster-prone communities to remain hopeful that change is coming. They should not have to wait any longer.
It is time to implement the commitments made in 2015.
William Lacy Swing
UN Migration Agency (IOM)
School children in Papua New Guinea read flyers preparing them for a natural disaster occurrence.