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Updated: 1 hour 58 min ago

Chinese Recruitment Agencies Improve Pre-Departure Orientation for Workers Heading to Europe

Fri, 11/24/2017 - 09:02

Beijing – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the China International Contractors’ Association (CHINCA) this week organized a workshop for 36 Chinese recruitment agencies on pre-departure orientation best practices for Chinese workers going to Europe.

The two-day event, which targeted recruitment agencies from various Chinese provinces, was facilitated by migration experts from IOM and International Labour Organization, together with labour migration experts from Finland, Italy and Sweden. An official from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce also took part.

The aim of the workshop, which was part of the EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support Project funded by the European Union Partnership Instrument, was to facilitate safe labour migration from China to Europe through an exchange of best practices, with special emphasis on the role of recruitment agencies and pre-departure orientation.

Participants discussed recent developments in labour migration from China to Europe, new international regulations, and IOM’s International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS).

“Providing adequate information on the European Union and its Member States to the increasing numbers of Chinese workers seeking employment in Europe is an important aspect in reducing the risks of exploitation and abuse, both at home and overseas,” said Marcien Grabiec, Counsellor at the EU Delegation to China.

CHINCA Vice-Chairman Wang He told participants that CHINCA will improve its cooperation with all stakeholders in international exchange and cooperation to promote orderly, safe and regular labour migration flows.

IOM China also used the workshop to pre-launch its free information platform (WeChat application entitled: 赴欧贴士). This application is designed to equip Chinese migrants moving to Europe (focusing on Austria, Italy and Germany) with useful information, including the visa process and key aspects of living and working in Europe. The WeChat function will be launched in the coming months and will be accessible via the IOM China Official WeChat account (Username: IOMCHINA).

For more information, please contact Etienne Micallef, IOM China, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, November 24, 2017 - 15:38Image: Region-Country: ChinaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Delegates at the pre-departure orientation workshop in Beijing. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

New Faces on Ukraine’s Borders with IOM Support

Fri, 11/24/2017 - 08:59

Kyiv – This week, 600 newly recruited Ukrainian border guards officially started their service at Boryspil airport, Kyiv Central Railway Station and the Krakovets border-crossing point on the Ukraine-Poland border. The new staff were recruited under the New Face of the Border project implemented by the State Border Guard Service (SBGS) of Ukraine, with support from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the US Department of State.

“Today we mark an important milestone for the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service, as IOM is honoured to contribute to the establishment of a new transparent recruitment system that allows young professionals, with a good command of English and highest ethical and technical standards, to join the State Border Service,” said Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission.

“The new recruitment system represents a critical piece of the Service’s anti-corruption efforts. IOM Ukraine stands ready to further support SBGS' reforms aiming at strengthening its role as a modern and efficient law enforcement agency.”

Under the project, the IOM Mission in Ukraine designed and implemented a new recruitment system for the SBGS to select and hire border guards through an objective, transparent and impartial process. Out of more than 2,550 applicants, over 1,500 were civilians up to 45 years old and another nearly 1,000 were currently or previously serving border guards. The new recruits received intensive training, organized with the support of IOM and the US Department of State.

The project will continue through the coming year and will expand to introduce similar recruitment processes for the border crossing points in the airports of Lviv, Odesa, Dnipro, and Kharkiv, as well as at the Ukraine-Poland border (Yahodyn, Shehyni and Rava-Ruska).

Anastasia, a lawyer by education, is one of the 600 new recruits. She is 26 now, and after graduation she worked mainly in the restaurant business. “I always wanted to apply the knowledge I had from the university, and the work with the State Border Guard Service seemed exactly like what I was looking for,” she said. “For civilians like me it was quite difficult to go through the mandatory physical training, but we managed.”

For more information please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, November 24, 2017 - 15:37Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Two newly-recruited Ukrainian border guards. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Migrant Information Day in Ireland Focused on Facilitating Integration

Fri, 11/24/2017 - 08:57

Dublin – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week (21/11) organized a Migrant Information Day event in collaboration with the New Communities Partnership (NCP), a migrant-led umbrella organization in Ireland.

Held at the Dublin headquarters of the Irish Human Rights Equality Commission, the event was attended by David Stanton TD, Minister of State for Justice at the Department of Justice and Equality with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration, and Integration, who spoke about the importance of providing information to migrants.

Emily Logan, the Human Rights and Equality Chief Commissioner, also addressed the audience which included migrants from Ireland’s Direct Provision Centres, where people seeking asylum in Ireland are housed.

The event brought together organizations that directly support migrants in alleviating their day-to-day issues and smoothen their integration.

Based on the work of NCP and IOM Ireland, and with the help of various community leaders and individuals, the organizers identified five main areas where people from new communities look for information, support and advocacy, namely:

• Employment – support in accessing labour market, work activation and CV writing;
• Health – accessing health services, practical advice in obtaining a medical card and mental health awareness;
• Racism and Discrimination – how to report racial incidents, and how to deal with racism;
• Education – English classes, courses and support in learning English, and
• Integration – socio-economic and cultural opportunities for new communities, rights and entitlements in Ireland.

Over 20 organizations specialized in the areas identified above were present at the event, sharing information and answering to queries about their services.

For more information, please contact IOM Ireland:
Laurentiu Ciobanica, Tel: +35316760655, Email:
Eoghan Coleman, Tel: +35316760655, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, November 24, 2017 - 15:36Image: Region-Country: IrelandThemes: OthersDefault: Multimedia: 

David Stanton TD (2nd from left), Minister of State for Justice at the Department of Justice and Equality with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration, and Integration with the IOM Ireland team. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Training for Local Authorities on Migration Governance Underway in Turin

Fri, 11/24/2017 - 08:55

Turin – The ILO International Training Centre (ITC) in Turin, together with IOM, is this week (20-24/11) hosting a training workshop on Governing Migration at Local Level, attended by over 30 representatives from governments and international organizations. It follows the first training on Mainstreaming Migration into Policy Planning held from 30 October to 3 November, also at the ITC. This workshop marks the launch of an annual event stemming from the previous work of the UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI).

In a global context of human mobility and rapid urbanization, local and regional authorities are at the forefront in addressing challenges and opportunities arising from migration. The content of the course is based on the modules of My JMDI Toolbox on migration and local development which are:

•          Managing the link between migration and development;
•          Establishing partnership, cooperation and dialogue on migration and development;
•          Empowering migrants at the territorial level and access to services;
•          Creating job and economic opportunities through migration at local level;
•          Increasing the impact on development through integration and reintegration policies.

My JMDI Toolbox has been developed by IOM and ITCILO in close cooperation with the JMDI. The five-day training aims at maximizing the potential of well-managed migration for local development, by sharing the perspectives of a broad range of actors including policy makers, civil society and academia. It is part of IOM’s various activities to empower local and regional authorities as key actors for sustainable urban development, in line with New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“If we are to succeed in developing migration policies that are fit for purpose in an increasingly mobile and connected world, it will have to be done in partnership with cities. As first responders to migration, cities are closest to and best placed to respond to the needs and realities on the ground,” said Cecile Riallant, IOM Senior Migration and Development Specialist, during the event.

Participants from Brazil, Ethiopia, Germany, Kenya and other countries are sharing their impressions of the course via social media, illustrating the various team-oriented activities taking place in Turin. “IOM Southern Africa reflecting on its regional strategic engagements with development partners: effective migration governance requires joint effort,” tweeted Naomi Shiferaw, IOM Regional Policy and Liaison Officer in Pretoria.

The training also consists of an online follow-up phase to be rolled out two weeks after the face-to-face training.

These activities are part of the second phase of the Mainstreaming Migration into National Development Strategies programme, a joint effort between IOM and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179205, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, November 24, 2017 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: ItalyThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Representatives from governments and international organizations at the week-long training session. Photo: Agnes Farge 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Launches First Ever Regional Migration Data Hub for Southern Africa Region

Fri, 11/24/2017 - 08:48

Pretoria – IOM, the UN Migration Agency officially launched today (24/11) the Regional Migration Data Hub for Southern Africa (RMDHub) in Pretoria. The establishment of the Hub is part of IOM’s response to requests by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member States to enhance governments’ capacities to generate accurate and reliable data to better inform policy development.

The RMDHub also responds to recommendations by SADC Ministers of Home Affairs and of Labour to strengthen collaboration between Member States, IOM and partners to ensure that migration data are shared and communicated more effectively.

This follows the launch of the Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) in 2015, in Berlin, Germany. “Poor presentation of migration data can contribute to misperceptions about migration, and distort public debates about the topic. We need to do more to ensure that data are presented accurately and communicated in ways that can be easily understood,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

As migration has risen to the top of the global and regional policy agendas, there is increased demand for reliable data to shape and inform the migration narrative. Migration data is key in the formulation of effective migration policies, therefore IOM has established this Hub to support the collection, analysis and interpretation of migration data at the national and regional levels. Without consistent and comparable data, it is difficult to analyze trends and forecast migration patterns to develop strategies to manage migration in a more humane, safe and orderly manner.

“Migration pertains to many sectors and ministries with migration data hosted by different Government ministries and institutions. The RMDHub will therefore serve as a central repository of migration data and information gathered through studies, research and operational activities in the SADC Region carried out by IOM, National Institutions, Academia, Civil Society and Private Sector,” explained Charles Kwenin, IOM Southern Africa Regional Director.

Kwenin added that the Hub “will also ensure coherence in migration data collection, analysis and interpretation. In collaboration with the Global Migration Analysis and Data Centre, it will explore innovative approaches to collect reliable data on migration flows, patterns and trends.”

Through a significant and progressive move, migration was included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In addition, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants stresses the need to enhance data collection, specifying that such data should be disaggregated by sex and age and include information on regular and irregular flows, human trafficking, and the needs of refugees and migrants among other aspects.

The introduction of the RMDHub comes a few weeks before the official launch of the Migration Data Portal in Berlin. Managed by IOM´s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, the Portal aims to serve as a unique access point to the world of global migration statistics and data. The Portal brings together an abundance of sources and datasets on international migration, including by region. Infographics, data visualizations, videos, blog posts and thematic pages shall make the portal a useful tool for policy-makers, statisticians, journalists and anyone interested in migration.

The launch, attended by senior Government officials, Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to the Republic of South Africa, and other key stakeholders, showcased innovative technological tools and resources that IOM has developed in recent years to enhance this important regional response. 

For more information, please contact Ntokozo Mahlangu, IOM Southern Africa Regional Office, Tel: 081 721 7418/071 582 1230, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, November 24, 2017 - 15:34Image: Region-Country: South AfricaThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, International Humanitarian Partnerships Aid Coordination of Rohingya Refugee Response

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 07:39

Cox’s Bazar – Over the past few weeks, International Humanitarian Partnerships (IHP), with support from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has been building a coordination hub for the Rohingya refugee crisis response in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

The hub will provide workspace for approximately 50 aid workers, meeting rooms and internet connectivity close to the refugee settlements. This will enhance the humanitarian community’s ability to coordinate effectively in the field.

“We were asked by IOM, on behalf of the humanitarian community, to create an inter-agency coordination hub to improve efficiency,” said Morten Helge Hansen, the IHP Team Leader from the Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA). “With most humanitarian offices over an hour away from the settlements and barely any network signal or internet access in the area, we know that this facility will help overcome some of the challenges that we are currently facing.”

The hub, which was started in late October, is expected to be finished in early 2018. But the first meeting was held in it last week and field sectors leading the response already began to move into their new office spaces yesterday (22/10.) “We are taking a step by step approach, while we are constructing,” said Hansen.

IHP provides multi-national collaborative support to UN humanitarian operations in both conflict and natural disaster settings. The partnership has eight members: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

“Our crew consists of eight people from four different governmental agencies with a variety of skills. We have a doctor, some firemen, an environmental consultant, an IT specialist and an electrician. This is the beauty of IHP,” Hansen said.

This project is supported by the Governments of Estonia, Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark and the UK, as well as, the European Union.

A second hub is planned further south in Cox’s Bazar district, where they are smaller refugee settlements and many Rohingya live among Bangladeshi communities.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Cox’s Bazar. Tel: +8801733335221, Email:


Language English Posted: Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 14:33Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Workers from the IHP project prepare a door for installation in the coordination hub. Photo: Olivia Headon/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Joins UN SG in Call to End Libya Migrant Slave Trade

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:27


Geneva —  IOM, the United Nations Migration agency, welcomes the remarks Monday of UN Secretary General António Guterres concerning recent news reports and video footage showing African migrants in Libya reportedly being sold as slaves. This statement, along with recent engagement by Libyan authorities to tackle criminality and curb the power of the smugglers, encourages IOM that progress will be made, indeed is increasing.

“Secretary General Guterres said he is horrified by these revelations and so am I. So should everyone be,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing, who added IOM stands ready to offer the significant help of IOM staff on the ground in Libya and request an immediate return of all international agencies to Libya. 

Director General Swing explained that IOM is working with local authorities who wish to disrupt smuggling and providing assistance to victims.

The smugglers’ business model is key: “As with running guns and drugs,” DG Swing said, “it’s all about money.”

IOM, DG Swing said, has a range of concrete suggestions the organization is urging Libyan authorities to consider. For example: 

— a commitment to de-criminalize irregular migrants immediately while at the same time making slavery and other forms of mistreatment of migrants a punishable crime to be dealt with severely;

— offer technical capacity-building and training to the Government to strengthen its ability to address the slavery issue. 

— moving towards replacing detention centers with open reception centers where migrants could come and go freely until they either find work locally or be returned home voluntarily under IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return and Reintegration (VHRR) 

— authorize IOM and its partners to receive and take in hand for accommodation, food, medical treatment for all migrants returned by the Libyan Coast Guard, or others, to keep them out of the hands of smugglers. 

The world began hearing of the existence of Libyan slave markets in April this year, when  witnesses came forward in both Niger and Libya. Having remained operational in Libya without interruption since 2006, IOM since 2015 has managed the successful voluntarily repatriation of over 13,000 third country nationals, who have left Libya to return to 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. 

IOM also operates a way station at Agadez, Niger, where its team works to warn all migrants of the risks and dangers of putting their lives in smugglers hands and offer those who wish to return home the opportunity to do so voluntarily with IOM’s Assistance. In modified form, IOM with European Union aid is currently establishing a similar network of way stations linking the migrant trail from Sénégal to Cameroon to offer migrants similar assistance.

“To end the slave trade we need to stop human smuggling,” DG Swing asserted. “You do that by destroying their business model. And you do that by ending by decriminalizing migration and encouraging migration that is documented, safe and secure for all.”

For more information please contact Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 15:54Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

Secretary-General António Guterres reads a statement to journalists concerning allegations of slavery in Libya. Photo: UN Photo/Mark Garten

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Rohingya Refugees in Smaller Bangladesh Settlements Risk Being Left Behind

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:26

Cox’s Bazar – Thousands of Rohingya refugees who have settled in the villages of Shamlapur, Leda and Unchiprang in the southern part of Cox’s Bazar district are at risk of being left out of humanitarian aid programmes as international attention focuses on the humanitarian crisis in the main Kutupalong and Balukhali settlements. 

Since 25 August, an estimated 622,000 refugees have fled violence in Myanmar to seek refuge in Cox’s Bazar. This brings the total number of refugees in the district to an estimated 834,000. Although most are in the main settlements, over 74,000 Rohingya refugees are living in the smaller Shamlapur (22,067), Leda (22,130) and Unchiprang (29,915) sites.  

IOM emergency managers say that the three sites urgently need to be developed. This includes provision of vital infrastructure, including access roads, lighting and waste management. Unchiprang, which has seen a huge wave of spontaneous settlement in the past three months, is at greatest risk.

Access to clean water is also a major concern across all the locations, particularly as the dry season approaches. Aid agencies providing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services are racing to identify solutions to this potentially life-threatening problem. 

As with the main settlements, people in the smaller settlements suffer from crowded living conditions, which inhibit the expansion of vital WASH services. “Most of the temporary pit latrines are full. With little to no land for desludging, they are becoming unusable and a danger to communities living nearby,” said IOM WASH specialist Stephen Waswa Otieno.

He noted that in Leda there is only one latrine per 47 people – well below the humanitarian “Sphere” standard of one per 20 people. In Shamlapur there is one per 16 people, but most are full or dangerous and in need of decommissioning.

In Shamplapur, where there is also only one well per 57 people. Many are contaminated with e.coli or are too shallow to provide enough clean water for the population through the dry season, he adds.

IOM is also providing WASH services to local communities living around the sites, where stretched public services in underdeveloped villages are taking their toll on people who already had very little and are now hosting Rohingya refugees on their land.   

IOM’s doctors working in the three areas also report that patient numbers are now outstripping capacity. They have conducted 42,320 consultations with Rohingya refugees and villagers from the host community since 25 August.

Aisha, a recently arrived 20-year-old Rohingya refugee, gave birth to her first child in the IOM Health Clinic in Leda last Tuesday (14/11). The yet-to-be-named baby girl lay sleeping as her mother told their story.

Aisha was six months pregnant when her village was attacked and she and her family were forced to flee. They ran to the river and crossed it to eventually reach Bangladesh. “I only had the clothes I was wearing,” said Aisha. She remembers the pain of escaping when heavily pregnant and the need for frequent rest stops.

Her husband, who was with her when they arrived in Bangladesh, has yet to see their baby daughter. He is currently receiving treatment at a Cox’s Bazar hospital supported by IOM, for gunshot wounds he sustained fleeing Myanmar.

For more information please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Cox’s Bazar. Tel: +8801733335221, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 15:53Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Aisha, a new mother, sits with her baby in IOM’s Leda Clinic. Photo: Olivia Headon / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Nearly 715,000 Syrian Displaced Returned Home Between January and October 2017

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:25
Language English

Geneva – Between January and October 2017, a total of 714,278 internally displaced Syrians returned to their places of origin within Syria.  

The majority of those returning had been displaced within Syria with 58  per cent per cent having returned from Aleppo Governorate, many of whom were returning to another area within Aleppo, and 12  per cent per cent from Ar-Raqqa Governorate. In addition, the top three sub-districts where people returned to were located in Aleppo Governorate (Jebel Saman, Al Bab and Al-Khafsa). 

Out of the total number of people who returned home, 37,635 were displaced again, after their return. Again, March experienced the most displacement of those, who had returned.

Some 96.3 per cent returned to their own house, many of which are damaged and in need of extensive repair. The rest settled with hosts from their places of origin (2.4 per cent), in abandoned houses (1.0 per cent), rented accommodation (0.16 per cent) and informal settlements (0.01per cent).  

The amount of people returning was generally higher in the first half of the year, which was around the time that the Government of Syria retook Aleppo city and that other sub-districts in Aleppo Governorate were liberated from ISIL control. March was the month with the highest number of returns so far in 2017 with over 113,000 movements.

Approximately, 25 per cent of returnees stated the need to protect assets and properties as their reason for return. Other reasons noted include improvement of security situation (20 per cent), social and cultural issues hindering integration or safety in area of displacement (17 per cent), improvement of economic situation in area of return (18 per cent) and worsening of economic situation in area of displacement (15 per cent). 

Returnees are settling in areas devastated by seven years of conflict, not equipped to host them. Around 47 per cent of returnees have reported lack of access to household items, 51 per cent have reported challenges in accessing clean water, 54 per cent have reported challenges in accessing food and 67 per cent reported facing challenges in accessing healthcare. People returning to Aleppo and Ar-Raqqa Governorates face the worst access issues with the most reported challenges being the "high cost of the services" and that "services are not enough". 

These returns have been mainly spontaneous but not necessarily voluntary, safe or sustainable. As such, they cannot, at present, be considered within the context of a durable solutions framework. Find out more about this at: 

While people are returning to their areas of origin, during the same period, a total of 1,452,636 individuals were newly displaced inside Syria, most of them are from Ar-Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zor Governorates. This bring the total number of IDPs inside Syria to 6.1 million since 2011.

These data have been collected by IOM’s implementing partners, who use a set of tools and methods to identify, assess and monitor different population categories throughout Syria, in relation to needs and mobility dynamics at a community level. 


For more information please contact Olivia Headon at Tel: +8801733335221, Email:


Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 15:52Image: Region-Country: SyriaDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 160,067 in 2017; Deaths Reach 2,985

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:23

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 160,067 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 19 November, with about 75 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 345,544 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

IOM Rome reported Monday (20 November) 114,606 migrants arrived by sea to Italy this year, according to Ministry of Interior figures, which is a nearly 32 per cent reduction from arrivals at this same point in 2016 (see chart below).

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday total sea arrivals reached 18,818 on19 November, an increase of over 1,000 migrants since IOM’s last report on Friday (17/11). Over the weekend reports of as many as 100 small boats were reported in Spanish media, as hundreds of migrants were rescued and brought to shore.

IOM’s Missing Migrant Project reported that in the Western Mediterranean, three migrants died when the boat in which they were travelling overturned in waters close to the Spanish North-African enclave of Ceuta. The boat was carrying 24 people on board. At least 21 survivors, including two women and five children, managed to reach the shore safely. These deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,985, compared to 4,713 through this same date a year ago (see chart below).

Worldwide, Missing Migrant Project (MMP) has recorded the deaths of 5,066 people migrating in 2017. In addition to the three Western Mediterranean drownings over the weekend, MMP recorded deaths in South Asia and along the U.S. Mexico border.
The remains of five Pakistani migrants were found on Saturday (18 November) in the district of Kech in Balochistan province, Pakistan, near the Iranian border. That is the same area where 15 bodies were discovered three days earlier, as IOM reported last week. Initial reports indicate that they were shot when they were planning to cross the border into Iran.

Additionally, one migrant drowned and at least four are still missing off the coast of La Jolla in San Diego County on Sunday (19/11), after they tried to enter the United States from Mexico.
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 missing migrants are collected, click here.


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 more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email:
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail:
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Abby Dwommoh, IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel :  +216 28 78 78 05 (mobile) office: +216 71 860 312 EXT. 109  Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 15:50Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Donates USD500,000 Equipment, Supplies to Mosul Hospital

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:20

Mosul – Over one million individuals were displaced during operations to retake Mosul (which began in October 2016), according to IOM Iraq’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). From Markaz Mosul sub-district – encompassing the city of Mosul – nearly 600,000 people continue to be displaced, although more than 222,400 people also have returned to their homes since the end of the offensive in July 2017.

Conflict and displacement coupled with difficulties of return has meant that health care delivery in the sub-district has been strained. To strengthen government-run health facilities in the wake of the Mosul crisis, through the end of October IOM Iraq has donated medical equipment and supplies valued at approximately USD 500,000 to Al-Salam Teaching Hospital in east Mosul.

The equipment was funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Government of Kuwait.

The Ninewa Governorate’s Department of Health coordinated the donation and nominated Al-Salam Teaching Hospital in east Mosul to receive the supplies, due to the hospital’s increased patient load following the influx of returning displaced persons and high numbers of vulnerable host community members. The donation aims to contribute to the stabilization of communities in east Mosul.

Prior to the handover, the equipment and consumables were used in IOM’s field hospital in Hammam al-Alil, about 30 km south of Mosul. Since its establishment in March 2017, a few months into the battle to retake Mosul from ISIL, IOM’s field hospital in Hammam al-Alil played a critical role in providing emergency care and treating patients displaced from conflict zones, mainly West Mosul.

Between March and September 2017, IOM’s field hospital in Hammam al-Alil served approximately 9,300 outpatients and admitted 664 cases for non-trauma and trauma surgeries, including injuries and fractured limbs sustained as result of the conflict.

The medical equipment and supplies donated to Al-Salam Hospital include: operating tables, anesthesia machine, ventilators, medical monitors, infusion pumps, heart defibrillators, hospital-grade autoclave sterilizers, patient trollies, X-ray machines, laboratory equipment, and consumable medical supplies.

“It was the right time to carry out this upgrade, which will double the capacity of the hospital to deliver health services,” said Dr. Sangar Perdawed, IOM Iraq’s National Emergency Health Coordinator. “This donation is part of IOM’s capacity building activities, which strengthen government-run health centres to better serve all patients.”

“This is the only intensive care unit (ICU) currently operational in Mosul,” said Dr. Raad Abdulhady, Manager of Al-Salam Hospital. Referring to the defibrillator and medical monitors that will be installed in the ICU, he added, “We needed the donated equipment; it will contribute to saving lives, whether in operating theatres, intensive care or emergency units.”

The original Al-Salam building – once Mosul’s main hospital – was severely damaged almost a year ago, during military operations to retake the eastern part of the city.  The hospital reopened in March 2017 in a nearby East Mosul location. It has a capacity of 150 beds.

According to Dr. Abdulhady, between 450 to 500 patients currently visit the hospital daily, mainly for orthopaedic, cardiac and internal medicine, and injuries, many from road traffic accidents. Patients receive treatment free of charge.

In addition to the upgrades in Al-Salam Hospital, IOM Iraq has recently donated consumable supplies and medical equipment valued at approximately USD70,000 to other health facilities throughout the country.  The beneficiary health facilities include Raparen Teaching Hospital, Rizgary Teaching Hospital, Nanakali Hospital, Razhan Clinic, Hawler Teaching Hospital, West Emergency Hospital, East Emergency Hospital (all in Erbil Governorate); and Al-Areage Primary Health Care Center in Mosul and the health clinic in Gwer. 

Dr. Ibrahim Khalil, the Medical Supplies Manager at Rizgary Teaching Hospital said: “Every day, we perform more than 50 surgeries in three operating rooms; the availability of intravenous fluid for these surgeries is crucial. Our hospital provides services to the local communities, displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees alike, free of charge.” He added, “These are essential life-saving supplies. Shortages due to the current financial situation have placed a high burden on the hospital, but the supplies we have just received will cover for at least 200 major operations and 100 minor interventions.”

 Displacement continues across Iraq

Mosul - According to IOM Iraq’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), more than one million individuals were displaced during operations to retake Mosul (which began in October 2016).

From Markaz Mosul sub-district, encompassing the city of Mosul, nearly 600,000 people continue to be displaced, and more than 222,400 people have returned, since the end of the offensive in July 2017.

Across Iraq - more than 2,991,000 Iraqis continue to be displaced due to the current crisis, which began in January 2014. More than 2,679,000 of those who were displaced have returned (as of 15 November 2017).

IOM Iraq DTM data about displacement across Iraq can be accessed at:


For more information please contact:  Sandra Black, IOM Iraq; Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 15:49Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

The original Al-Salam building was severely damaged during military operations to retake the eastern part of Mosul in December 2016. Photo: Raber Aziz / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Destroyed wheelchairs at the original Al-Salam building. Photo: Raber Aziz / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Donated medical supplies at the new east Mosul location of Al-Salam hospital. Photo: Raber Aziz / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Builds Protection Capacity of Korean Humanitarian Workers

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:19

Seoul – With an estimated 65 million people forcibly displaced worldwide due to conflicts and natural disasters, humanitarian workers from the Republic of Korea (ROK) are increasingly being deployed for the first time to work in emergencies overseas.

“Today, there are now about 900 Korean aid workers involved in humanitarian assistance overseas,” said IOM ROK Head of Office Miah Park. “In order to be effective, they need to fully understand the basic principles of international protection as they relate to affected populations.”

IOM Korea, with funding from the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), last week (15-17/11) hosted a three-day training – Protection Portfolio in Crisis – for 30 humanitarian workers from Seoul-based NGOs.

The training, conducted by specialists from the UN Migration Agency’s Geneva headquarters and it Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, addressed key protection concepts and policies, including IOM’s Migration Crisis Operational Framework (MCOF.)

Other topics included the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse; tools to reduce the risk of human trafficking in crisis situations; and the role of the protection cluster in combating gender-based violence and providing child protection in emergencies.

“Protection is a part of IOM’s core mandate. We need to ensure protection for the most vulnerable and respond to their needs,” said IOM Migrant Assistance Division Head Anh Nguyen. “We hope this training will help Korean humanitarian workers to integrate protection principles into all their field operations,” he noted.”

The training was one of a series of capacity building trainings for NGOs organized by IOM ROK with financial support from OFDA.

For more information, please contact Miah Park at IOM ROK, Tel: +82 70 4820 2781, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 15:48Image: Region-Country: Republic of KoreaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

A participant sharing her experiences in assisting unaccompanied and separated children. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

A simulation of the Nepal earthquake scenario used to apply protection principles into humanitarian assistance. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Humanitarian workers participated in group activities to improve their understanding of protection considerations during humanitarian crises. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Holds Training in Tanzania to Improve Medical Care to Refugees Set for Resettlement

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:14

Dar es Salaam – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, last week (14-17/11) organized training sessions in Tanzania, for IOM, non-IOM and private panel physicians who conduct physical exams and health assessments for resettlement countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

These training sessions are organized in different regions throughout the world every year with the objective of providing technical support to health professionals. This year’s training was organized in Dar es Salaam for more than 80 IOM and private panel physicians and nurses who conduct health assessments for refugees and migrants throughout the sub-Saharan Africa region. 

The sessions conducted by IOM’s Migration Health Division (MHD) include the revision of technical instructions to enhance the quality of overseas medical exams as well as their integrity and anti-fraud measures. The goal is to improve the quality of medical care provided to refugees destined for resettlement both prior to their departure and upon arrival.

“This year’s training has two new components: the collaboration with the University of Minnesota and with partners at the Minnesota Health Department who have vast experience in refugee health in the United States,” said Dr. Qasim Sufi, IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission in his opening remarks. “Additionally, the current year's session has a component designated for migration health nurses who are the backbone of the migration health assessments process,” he added.

The nurses who attended the training were selected from the pool of IOM expert nurses, and they will collaborate with resettlement partners in developing a specific training for nurses involved in overseas exams.

The two previous trainings were organized in Geneva and Manila to enable participation of physicians in Europe and Asia who are unable to attend the annual International Panel Physician Association (IPPA).

In addition to the traditional resettlement partners such as the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, this training was attended by colleagues from the University of Minnesota and refugee resettlement health partners from the state of Minnesota that will support panel physicians in Africa with continued learning to improve their clinical skills on health conditions such as splenomegaly, sickle cell disease and mental health conditions, which are prevalent among resettlement populations going to the United States from Africa.

For more information, please contact IOM Kenya:

Dr. Marwan Naoum, Tel: +254 700638331, Email:

Dr. Vasil Gajdadziev, Tel: +254204444167, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 15:47Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Chief of Mission Dr. Qasim Sufi giving the opening remarks at the Third Training for Panel Physicians in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Participants at the Third Training for Panel Physicians in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Participants at the Third Training for Panel Physicians in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Boosts Tanzania’s Capacity to Address Irregular Migration

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:13

Dar es Salaam – At the request of Tanzania’s Ministry of Home Affairs and Commissioner General of Immigration services, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, through its African Capacity Building Centre (ACBC) in Moshi, this week (20/11) donated four facial matching systems to the Tanzania Immigration Services Department at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA).

The donation was received by Samuel Magweiga, the Commissioner for Border Management and Control (BMC), on behalf of the Commissioner General of Immigration. The other three systems were donated to the Kilimanjaro International Airport and the Holili Taveta One Stop Border Post (OSBP), at the land border between Tanzania and Kenya.

The donation was followed by a simulation training session for a group of 15 immigration and information technology officers conducted by IOM ACBC and IT experts who showed participants how to use the new systems.

Facial matching systems can identify fraudulent travel documents such as passport, visas, and other identity documents and detect identity fraud by travellers trying to enter or stay in the country irregularly.

The objective of these donations is to strengthen the technical capacity of the immigration officers at both land and air entry points to combat irregular migration and enhance border security. The ultimate goal is to facilitate orderly and humane migration in the country.

“We are very grateful for the donation and the technical support provided by IOM,” said Commissioner Magweiga. “However, we need more of its kind for all our land, air and maritime entry points to combat irregular migration which is becoming rampant along our borders,” he added. 

Dr. Qasim Sufi, IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission, commended the excellent working relationship between IOM and the immigration authorities in Tanzania and promised to follow up on their additional requests with potential donors in the country.

“This system is of paramount importance for an international airport like JNIA in today’s increasingly mobile, interdependent and interlinked world as it will boost its capacity to efficiently and securely manage the processing of travel documents,” said Sufi.

The facial matching systems were donated by IOM under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP I). The UNDAP brings together all the UN agencies and provides a platform for them to work and ‘deliver as one’ in Tanzania.

IOM is a member of the Refugees working group that is also working on issues related to mixed migration in the country. This includes several activities ranging from capacity building of law enforcement and other government officials on migration management issues, operationalization of One Stop Border Post (OSBP), media training and development of training materials including the review of the Tanzania Immigration Border Procedures Manual.


For more information please contact IOM Tanzania:

Nelson Goncalves, Tel: +255 688 700 090, Email:

Yahya Eshall, Tel: +255 627 423117, Email:

Gracia Anthony, Tel: +255 716 204156, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 15:46Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Exchanging the deed of donation with the Tanzanian Commissioner for Border Management in the capital Dar es Salaam. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Running through the main features of the facial matching system. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

A simulation training session with Tanzanian immigration and IT officers. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Supports Voluntary Humanitarian Return of 135 Burkinabe Migrants from Libya

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 14:02

Ouagadougou - IOM, the UN Migration Agency this week (9/11 and 14/11) assisted 135 Burkinabe migrants to return home from Libya under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

The two flights chartered by IOM touched down on November 9, and November 14, 2017 at the International Airport of Ouagadougou. Onboard, most of the returnees were young men, completely exhausted by their journey but also relieved to return home.

Their return was organized by the Burkina Faso Ministry of Women, National Solidarity and Family in collaboration with IOM and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Many returnees told IOM staff that they had expectations to reach Europe from Libya, a transit point to cross the Mediterranean.

“I wanted to reach Europe and hoped to earn something to lift my family out of poverty. I travelled via Agadez in Niger and crossed the desert to enter Libya. I spent eight months in Libya, including seven months in detention. It was a real nightmare. Now I am grateful for the support to start-up my life again in Burkina Faso. I came back without luggage and lost a lot of money”, said Dembélé Moustapha, one of the young migrants who returned from Libya.

Upon their arrival in Ouagadougou the migrants were welcomed by Fati Ouedraogo, the Secretary General of Ministry of Women, National Solidarity and IOM team with its partners.

“We saw them [the returnees] arriving in terrible conditions. Some are very sick and all very weak. As a mother, I am completely shocked to know that young men, the future of our country, have put themselves in such difficulty by travelling through the desert and crossing the sea in dangerous conditions” said Ouedraogo.

“We appreciate and encourage IOM to strongly support us with the assistance to vulnerable returnees. For those who are tempted by such an irregular travel to Europe, I can only say to you that they will earn more by working here in Burkina Faso than by this type of attempts to reach a non-existing El Dorado,” she concluded.

Returning migrants were given immediate support by IOM and partners, including temporary accommodation in a transit center where they could rest and eat. They received a kit containing toiletries and support to travel the day after to their final destinations. A team composed of Red Cross volunteers, representatives from civil society and a CONASUR (Conseil National de Secours d'Urgence et de Réhabilitation) representative offered counseling, urgent medical care and psychosocial assistance. Four returnee in a particularly vulnerable situation were transferred to a hospital for close medical follow-up. All migrants were registered and profiled to get a deeper insight in the dynamics behind their irregular migration.

Through the EU-IOM Joint initiative for Migration Protection and Reintegration in Africa, returnees will be provided with reintegration assistance based on their needs. IOM and partners will support returnees with orientation towards innovative income-generating activities which have a socio-economic impact on their community of origin.

IOM monitors the reintegration activities closely and will open very soon an office in the Center-East region of the country, an area where many of the returnees go back to.

This year, IOM has supported 669 Burkinabe migrants to return from Libya.

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


For more information please contact Andreas De Boer, OIM Burkina Faso, Tel. (+226) 74 93 81 28, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 - 20:00Image: Region-Country: Burkina FasoDefault: Multimedia: 

Registration of migrants. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Solar Power Brings 24-Hour Healthcare to Rohingya Refugees, Local Communities in Bangladesh

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 10:10

Cox’s Bazar – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is harnessing solar energy to power its remote health posts in Cox’s Bazar’s giant Kutupalong and Balukali makeshift settlements, which are now home to an estimated 440,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. 

Violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State has forced over 620,000 refugees to flee to Bangladesh since August 25th, bringing the total number of people seeking safety in the Cox’s Bazar settlements to over 833,000.  

Many of the new arrivals and those already living in the settlements, as well as local communities, are desperately in need of healthcare. 

Prior to the latest influx of refugees, IOM coordinated the work of agencies working in the health sector, in close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Bangladeshi Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. 

As people have flooded into the settlements over the past three months, pressure on the health sector has steadily risen. Since August 25th, IOM has carried out over 75,000 health consultations for both Rohingya refugees and the local community in Teknaf and Ukhiya sub-districts (upazilas). In October alone, over 3,865 women received pregnancy-related care, including 3,030 antenatal care, 525 postnatal care and 310 deliveries. 

Prior to the introduction of solar power, IOM's healthcare teams were confined to working during daylight hours, because the lack of lighting made it impossible to provide patient care from dusk to dawn. A plan for a 24-hour care system is now being developed.

The new energy supply also powers wells and water purifications systems, ensuring clean water is available at the health posts. It also means that the health posts are not affected by power cuts and that patients can charge their phones while they wait.

The introduction of solar energy was made possible through the support of Solevolt, a solar energy company, Kopernik, a non-profit organization that distributes low-cost technologies to recipients in less-developed countries, and BPO Data Exchange, a Bangladeshi Social Enterprise.  

“As the demand for our healthcare services increases, solar-powered lighting means we can provide round the clock emergency consultations and medicine distributions," explained Mariam Abdelkerim-Spijkerman, the IOM Emergency Health Officer in Cox's Bazar. "The health needs of the refugees are immense - providing 24-hour lighting helps save lives,” she added. 

IOM's health clinic in Leda, a village where Rohingya refugees have been settling south of the main settlements, also uses solar power as a back-up source of electricity, ensuring that the clinic never has power outages. 

With increasing needs, IOM is focused on scaling up health services provision to meet immediate needs in the existing settlements, and the needs of those settling further away from existing services. The main challenge in the new settlements remains the lack of road access.

IOM currently supports 13 health facilities, seven mobile medical teams (six in Ukhiya and one in Teknaf) and ten ambulances for transporting urgent and emergency cases. In collaboration with partners, it also works with over 350 community health workers throughout Cox's Bazar.

The humanitarian community is now responding to the needs of over 833,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, including new arrivals and people who had fled following previous outbreaks of violence. IOM has appealed for USD 120 million to meet the needs of the most vulnerable refugees and the Bangladeshi communities hosting them through February 2018. This includes USD 9 million for health. You can find out more about the appeal here

IOM's health response in Cox’s Bazar is currently funded by the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Cox’s Bazar, Tel: +8801733335221, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 - 17:07Image: Region-Country: BangladeshDefault: Multimedia: 

A Rohingya refugee waits in IOM's Kutupalong health post with her young child. Photo: Olivia Headon/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Global Conference on Cities and Migration Underway in Belgium

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 09:57

Mechelen – The Global Conference on Cities and Migration is currently being held in Mechelen, Belgium (16-17/11). Hosted by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and the City of Mechelen, the conference is co-organized by partners UN-Habitat; IOM, the UN Migration Agency; and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).

The conference seeks to help promote a more positive narrative on migration from the perspective of local and regional authorities, recognizing that people migrate mainly to cities and to reinforce the need to recognize local authorities as key actors in migration management and policy making, as reflected and embedded in the process of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM).

Cities and Migration gathers more than 150 representatives from Local Authorities and Associations and Networks of Local Authorities, representatives from UN agencies, foundations and the private sector. Over 50 cities from Europe, North, Central and South America, Asia and Africa are represented.

The conference serves as an opportunity to consolidate local governments’ contribution to developing a Global Compact on Migration and to review progress in the implementation of the migration-related commitments of Habitat III, ahead of meetings in Mexico next month as well as the 9th World Urban Forum scheduled for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in February 2018.

“While national and international discussions on migration and refugees often get too quickly polarized, local communities take a different approach. They know best what the needs are of their citizens – migrants and non-migrants – and are champions in finding creative solutions that make sense. That is why it is so important that the voice of local authorities is heard in the Global Compact on Migration,” said Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation of Belgium.

“[Mechelen was chosen as the host city] because of its excellent track record on migrants' inclusion. The city has chosen not only to accept its super diversity, with 138 nationalities for a total of 86,000 people, but also to embrace it as the new normal,” said Bart Somers, Mayor of Mechelen.

“The universality of the 2030 Agenda should help us change policies on migration around co-creation and right to the city and recognise that Local Government networks have a responsibility to foster this change with the support of the national governments and the international community,” added Emilia Saiz, Deputy Secretary General of UCLG.

The main outcome of the conference is the Mechelen Declaration, which is expected to capture the voice on Cities and Migration by Mayors and Governors of Regional and Local Governments. The document will be submitted to the Special Representative of the Secretary General for International Migration (SRSG), Louise Arbour, and co-facilitators.

“We hope that the findings and conclusions of this conference will contribute usefully to the HABITAT III follow up process and to the Global Compact on Migration, through the Declaration that this Conference will endorse,” said William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General.

For more information, please contact Géraldine d’Hoop, IOM Belgium and Luxembourg, Email:, Tel: + 32 2 287 74 12, +32 473 281 846 or visit the website of the conference: 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 - 16:06Image: Region-Country: BelgiumDefault: Multimedia: 

William Lacy Swing (IOM DG), Bart Somers (Mayor City of Mechelen), Emilia Saiz (Deputy Secretary General UCLG), Filiep Decorte (Director a.i. UN-Habitat New York Liaison Office) at the Global Conference on Cities and Migration, 16 November 2017. Photo: Dries Deschuttere / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 158,935 in 2017; Deaths Reach 2,982

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 09:56

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 158,935 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 15 November, with about 75 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 343,158 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

IOM Rome reported Thursday (16/11) with new information concerning twin shipwrecks off the Libyan coast on 3 November, when IOM spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo’s reports yielded a total of 90 victims, including several dozen African women – most known to be Nigerian – whose deaths initially were being investigated as homicide. 
“It is unusual for so many bodies to be recovered and for all of them to be women and girls. In total, the bodies of 26 girls were recovered,” said IOM’s Federico Soda in Rome.  “At first, what struck our attention was the news of the bodies of 26 girls brought to land by rescuers, including 23 young Nigerians.”
Soda added: “At first the cause of their death was not clear, but the autopsy has since confirmed that they drowned and that no signs of recent physical or sexual violence were found on their bodies. It is important that we have additional information and estimates about how many people are missing and presumed drowned. These are human beings whose life and death cannot go unnoticed and who most probably spent their last moments in terror, fighting for their lives.”
Survivors' stories revealed other details. Initially it had been estimated that one of the incidents resulted in the confirmed deaths of 23 people with another 53 considered missing. Di Giacomo explained it has since emerged that the second incident caused, besides the death of three women whose remains were recovered, the drowning of another 11 victims, whose bodies remain missing at sea.
“That’s 64 people now gone missing and 26 bodies recovered,” Di Giacomo concluded. “This is the tragic outcome.” He said a funeral service for the 26 girls will take place Friday in Salerno. With this update, IOM reports these deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,982.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday total sea arrivals reached 17,687 through 14 November, nearly 10,600 more than had arrived through this date in 2016, when a total of 7,080 men, women and children reached Spanish shores. Spain’s Ministry of the Interior counted 975 individual migrant vessels making these voyages in 2017, compared to just 377 in 2016, an increase of nearly 600 boats. That increase was much greater than irregular migration arrivals to Spanish enclaves in North Africa.  Those land arrivals thus far in 2017 are 5,473, or about 15 per cent of 2016’s totals in mid-November, when a total of 4,758 migrants had arrived. 
IOM Spain noted the 17,687 total includes arrivals to Spain’s Canarias islands in the Atlantic, once a very busy destination for sea-borne migrants leaving Northern Africa. While irregular migration continues to Las Canarias, this year Spanish authorities have reported just 291 such arrivals, which is a sharp decline from 2016 when 566 arrived on this route.
IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Thursday (16 November) of two incidents off the island of Lesvos since Tuesday requiring search and rescue operations. The Hellenic Coast Guard rescued 58 migrants and transferred them to safety. IOM reported the arrival of only two migrants on 12 November (both to the island of Kos), none on 13 November, and then 209, to Lesvos and Samos, on 14 November.
A total of 14,209 men, women and children have entered Greece by sea from the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean since 1 August, or more migrants than entered during all of 2017’s first seven months. Namia further reported that more than 1,700 migrants or refugees entered Greece by sea through November’s first two weeks, bringing migrant sea arrivals to Greek territory to 25,614 for the year so far (See chart below). 

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded the deaths of 5,052 people migrating in 2017. That compares to a worldwide figure of 6,977 at this time last year – a decline of over 1,900 fatalities. Deaths on the Mediterranean continue to comprise a majority of all migrant deaths, as has been the case for the past three years.
This year’s total of 2,982 fatalities in the Mediterranean compares to 4,572 at this time in 2016, a drop of about 1,600 men, women and children. In other words, almost the entire decline in worldwide fatalities can be attributed to fewer deaths on the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, most data from the rest of the world continue to track historic trends (See chart below).

Beyond the Mediterranean, MMP continues to monitor lethal migrant routes, where reports of death by drowning, highway and railroad accidents and the occasional homicide surface daily.

In Central America, the deaths of six migrants were recorded in different incidents over the past few days. On 14 November, a child and his father, both from Honduras, were shot when they were travelling on a rural road near Huimanguillo in Tabasco, Mexico. One day before (13/11), the remains of two Honduran migrants who had allegedly been murdered were found in a vacant lot in Palenque, Chiapas. On that same day, a Salvadoran migrant died after falling from a freight train in Mazatlán, Sinaloa.
On 14 November, remains were recovered of a migrant killed in a vehicle accident on a motorway near Cuauhtémoc Stadium in Puebla, Mexico. In Díaz Ordaz, Tamaulipas, on 11 November, one migrant drowned in the Río Bravo while attempting to cross to the US.
 In South Asia, the remains of 15 Pakistani migrants were found on Wednesday (15/11) in a mountainous region of Buleda, in Balochistan province, Pakistan. Initial reports indicate that they were shot when they were planning to cross the border into Iran.
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 missing migrants are collected, click here.
Latest Mediterranean Update infographic:

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit:

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email:
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail:
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Abby Dwommoh, IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel:  +216 28 78 78 05, Mobile: +216 71 860 312 ext. 109, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 - 16:05Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Undertakes Survey to Improve Prevention and Response to Gender-Based Violence in South Sudan

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 09:56
Language English

Juba – Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is endemic in South Sudan, where years of crisis have increased the vulnerability of women and girls. The scale of violence against women and girls in conflict and humanitarian settings is increasingly recognized as one of the most concerning human rights violations.

To better understand knowledge of gender-based violence and improve prevention and response in South Sudan, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in coordination with partners, undertook a large-scale study of knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) related to GBV.

This represents gathering of the first comprehensive data on GBV among internally displaced persons (IDPs), host communities and key populations in South Sudan to become widely available. The KAP survey collected baseline information about current knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding GBV and sexual health, gender norms, knowledge of and access to services.

The study, which interviewed over 3,200 people, used quantitative and qualitative research, focusing on the experiences of women, girls and men, with a particular focus on populations of humanitarian concern and areas of high HIV prevalence in Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Unity, Upper Nile, Western Bahr el Ghazal and Western Equatoria states.

The findings: IOM’s survey results indicate a generally high level of awareness about the term GBV among the population. Sadly, this may be due to a high occurrence of such activity. According to the survey, 48 per cent of female respondents reported a woman or girl in their household experiencing some form of GBV, just in the past 12 months.

“The findings of this survey offer us a major step forward in informing GBV prevention and response activities in South Sudan,” said IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission, William Barriga, at the validation workshop of the survey on 16 November. “Equipped with this, often disheartening information, stakeholders dedicated to GBV prevention and response efforts will be able to accelerate awareness activities and mobilize resources to help protect this country’s most vulnerable.”

GBV can have devastating impacts. It can result in long-term physical, psychological and social traumas that affect individuals and their families and communities for decades.  In South Sudan, the effects are further compounded by lack of access to appropriate health care and psychological support.

The large-scale survey was supported by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria through the UN Development Programme, and through coordination with the GBV Sub-Cluster, the South Sudan AIDS Commission and the South Sudan ministries of Health and Gender, Child and Social Affairs.

For more information, please contact Salma Taher at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 922 123 185, Email:, or Ashley McLaughlin, Tel: +211 922 405 716, Email:

Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 - 16:04Image: Region-Country: South SudanDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Deputy Director General Commends South America’s Contribution to the Global Compact for Migration

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 09:55

Montevideo – Representatives of 10 South American governments met this week in Montevideo, Uruguay, at the 17th South American Conference on Migration (SACM), which was opened this week (14/11) by IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson and the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uruguay Ambassador Ariel Bergamino.

The Conference, which ended Thursday (16/11), brought delegations from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. This year’s theme: “The inclusion and integration of migrants beyond territorial borders”.

The SACM is the main regional forum for consultation and non-binding governmental dialogue on migration in South America and one of the 18 Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs) in the world.

Referring to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration at the opening of the event, Ambassador Thompson emphasized that the SACM has made a very important contribution to the process and affirmed the importance of the Lima Declaration, recently approved during the 12th meeting inter-sessional of the SACM that took place in Peru.

“The Lima Declaration is consistent with the principles and history of the SACM and highlights with absolute clarity the need for the Global Compact to have a focus on the Human Rights of migrants,” Ambassador Thompson said.

Ambassador Thompson also commended the practices of the South American region such as the Resident Agreement of the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR), through which more than two million temporary and permanent residences have been granted to South American citizens since 2009; as well as the instruments of free transit issued by the Andean Community of Nations and, more recently, agreements on free mobility adopted by the Pacific Alliance.

Ambassador Bergamino said: “It is our obligation to work to guarantee the rights of our nationals, regardless of the time and place of residence. The inclusion and integration of migrants beyond territorial borders should be a commitment of all the countries of the continent.”

The SACM focused on thematic areas that included the Human Rights of migrants, migration and South American integration, the strengthening of migration governance and the international projection of the South American region.

IOM, as the Technical Secretariat of the Conference, presented its report to the government delegations, which included information on the Secretariat's contributions to the SACM in the administrative, programmatic and technical cooperation areas, during the past year.

Also participating in the SACM were the Deputy Minister of Salvadorans Abroad, Liduvina Magarín (current Presidency of the Regional Conference on Migration), representatives of the Red Cross and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, several observer and civil society organizations.

At the closure of the SACM, the member countries adopted the ‘Declaration of Montevideo’, a document that includes the conclusions and commitments undertaken related to migration in the region.

For further information, please contact Juliana Quintero at the IOM Regional Office in Buenos Aires, Tel. + (54) 11 32488134, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 - 16:03Image: Region-Country: ArgentinaDefault: Multimedia: 

Government Officials meeting at the XVII South American Conference on Migration in Montevideo, Uruguay. Photo: Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN