Dublin – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) today finalized a new partnership to provide free courses for journalists and students to encourage accurate reporting on migration and balance narratives that fuel the stigmatization and discrimination that migrants face around the world.
“The last 12 months have shown us all how important our news and news sources are for keeping us informed and educated,” said Simon Coveney, Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, speaking at Monday’s event.
“While fake news is a danger that more and more people are aware of, countering it or revealing it isn’t something that many know how to do. Therefore, I warmly welcome this important initiative from NUI Galway and Irish Aid to tackle misinformation and fake news being spread about migration.”
The Global Migration Media Academy (GMMA) initiative led by IOM supports efforts to tackle misinformation and promote diverse perspectives on this expansive topic. The project is co-funded by the IOM Development Fund and Irish Aid.
NUI Galway will provide an introductory course; a global overview of migration which will be made available free of charge online and in universities. Working with IOM country offices in Mexico, Morocco, the Philippines and Serbia, the university through the GMMA will also support media training programmes with a country and regional migration focus. The Academy will expand to other countries and regions as the project evolves.
The partnership was formalized at a special online event to acknowledge the new Global Cooperation Agreement between NUI Galway and IOM. The agreement also allows for NUI Galway to collaborate with IOM in other migration related projects in the future.
The production and promotion of positive narratives on migration has been identified as an effective way to counter misinformation and disinformation that incite fear and sow divisions that lead to stigmatization and discrimination, said IOM Ireland Chief of Mission Lalini Veerassamy.
“As we establish the GMMA, it is key to have a reputable academic institution such as NUI Galway working with us to develop standardized training tools on media and migration,” said Veerassamy.
The global foundation course, which will be contextualized to reflect different migration dynamics will equip journalists from all over the world with the necessary tools to develop more balanced and accurate narratives on migration which in turn will reduce the spread of misinformation.”
The GMMA will have a strong focus on training journalism students to identify and track disinformation and harmful content, including fact-checking techniques and data journalism.
“Our journalism academics are international experts in media literacy and it is an honour for them to work with the IOM and Irish Aid on this vitally important international project which will have far-reaching positive learning for society,” said Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway
Courses will draw on migration research and data, as well as explore unfolding global developments like COVID-19 influencing the future of mobility and migration, including public attitudes.
Students are encouraged to explore this complex topic from different perspectives and publish compelling, nuanced and evidence-based stories.
View video here.
For more information, please contact:
IOM Geneva, Hannah Murphy, Tel: +447951538946, Email: email@example.com,
IOM Ireland, Marshall Patsanza, Tel: +353 87 337 6177, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NUI Galway, Ed Carty, Tel: +353864178175, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Monday, April 26, 2021 - 19:03Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia:
The Global Migration Media Academy will provide student journalists around the world with the tools to develop balanced narratives on migration and reduce the spread of misinformation. Amanda Nero/IOM 2018Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Countering XenophobiaMigration ManagementMigration and the 2030 Agenda
Joint IOM-UNHCR press release
Geneva - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, are deeply saddened by the latest loss of at least two lives after a boat capsized off Venezuela’s shores on Thursday 22 April.
According to local authorities, at least 24 people including several children are believed to have been on board the boat heading towards the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Seven people were rescued by commercial Venezuelan vessels, and two bodies have so far been recovered, while rescue operations are ongoing to find other survivors among the 15 Venezuelans that are still unaccounted for according to authorities.
“The waters of the Caribbean Sea continue to claim the lives of Venezuelans,” said Eduardo Stein, Joint Special Representative of UNHCR and IOM for Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants. “As the conditions in the country continue to deteriorate – all worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic – people continue to undertake life-threatening journeys.”
This is the latest of several incidents involving the capsizing of boats carrying Venezuelan refugees and migrants towards Caribbean islands, the most recent reported near the Venezuelan city of Guiria in December last year.
With land and maritime borders still closed to limit COVID-19 transmission, these journeys take place mainly through irregular routes, heightening the dangers as well as health and protection risks.
“Shipwrecks, tragic deaths at border crossings and further suffering are avoidable, but only if immediate and concerted international action is mobilized to find pragmatic solutions that put saving lives and protecting human rights at the forefront of any response,” added Stein.
“The establishment of regular and safe pathways, including through humanitarian visas and family reunification, as well as the implementation of protection-sensitive entry systems and adequate reception mechanisms, can prevent the use of irregular routes, smuggling and trafficking.”
UNHCR and IOM reiterate their readiness to lend support and technical expertise in exploring practical solutions to provide regular pathways that also take into account COVID-19 prevention measures. UNHCR and IOM, as co-leaders of the Interagency Coordination Platform for refugees and migrants from Venezuela (R4V), work with at least 24 other partners and governments across the Caribbean to meet the needs of refugees and migrants in the sub-region.
There are over 5 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants around the world, 200,000 of whom are estimated to be hosted in the Caribbean.
For more information
Daniela Rovina, IOM, firstname.lastname@example.org, +507 6312-8294
Bryan Brennan, IOM, email@example.com, +507 6379-9450
William Spindler, UNHCR, firstname.lastname@example.org, + 507 6382 7815
Olga Sarrado, UNHCR, email@example.com, +507 6640 0185
Diana Diaz Rodriguez, UNHCR, firstname.lastname@example.org, + 507 6646 3469
Angela Wells, IOM, email@example.com, +41 79 403 5365
Aikaterini Kitidi, firstname.lastname@example.org, +41 79 580 8334
Language English Posted: Monday, April 26, 2021 - 10:53Image: Region-Country: Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)Themes: Venezuela CrisisDefault: Multimedia: Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Missing Migrants
Geneva – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are deeply disturbed by reports of a tragic shipwreck off the coast of Libya. Fears are that this latest incident could have claimed the lives of up to 130 people.
The rubber boat, which reportedly embarked from the Al Khoms area east of Tripoli, is said to have capsized due to bad weather and stormy seas.
The NGO SOS Méditerranée reported that the first distress call was received by authorities on Wednesday morning. SOS Méditerranée and commercial vessels searched the area on Thursday only to discover several bodies floating around the deflated rubber dinghy but no survivors.
This would be the largest loss of life recorded in the Central Mediterranean since the beginning of the year. So far in 2021 alone, at least 300 other people have drowned or gone missing in the Central Mediterranean. This is a significant increase compared to the same period last year, when some 150 people drowned or went missing along the same route.
IOM and UNHCR warn that more migrants and refugees may attempt this dangerous crossing as weather and sea conditions improve and living conditions in Libya deteriorate.
In Libya, migrants and refugees continue to be subjected to arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, exploitation and violence, conditions that push them to take risky journeys, especially sea crossings that may end up with fatal consequences. Legal pathways to safety, though, are limited and often fraught with challenges.
UNHCR and IOM reiterate their call on the international community to take urgent steps to end avoidable loss of lives at sea. This includes the reactivation of search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, enhanced coordination with all rescue actors, ending returns to unsafe ports, and establishing a safe and predictable disembarkation mechanism.
For more information please contact:
Safa Msehli at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 403 5526. Email: email@example.com
Ryan Schroeder at IOM Brussels Tel + 32 492 25 02 34. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Rome Tel: +39.347.089.89.96 Email: email@example.com
In Geneva, Aikaterini Kitidi, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +41 79 580 8334
For Libya, Tarik Argaz, Email: email@example.com, Tel: +216 29 961295Language English Posted: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 00:14Image: Region-Country: LibyaGlobalDefault: Multimedia:
So far in 2021 alone, at least 300 other people have drowned or gone missing in the Central Mediterranean. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionMigration ManagementMissing Migrants
Addis Ababa – Over 1 million people are displaced across 178 accessible locations in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and neighboring Afar and Amhara, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) ’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).
This data was collected through a monthly Emergency Site Assessment (ESA) which has been in place since the conflict in Northern Ethiopia erupted in November 2020.
The assessment, conducted from 02 March to 23 March, revealed that there are some 1,000,052 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Tigray region, another 45,343 in Afar region and 18,781 in Amhara region. The data suggests that IDPs are fleeing to towns and cities to seek humanitarian assistance and gain access to essential services. It is the fourth such assessment conducted by IOM in the area.
The data is only indicative of the displacement in areas accessible to IOM DTM surveyors. Many areas in Northwestern, Central, Eastern and Southern zones in Tigray region remain out of reach to humanitarian partners due to continuing insecurity.
The highest concentration of IDPs is in Shire, where 445,309 IDPs are residing in overcrowded collective shelters, including schools, within the host community and in open spaces. A majority of them are from Western and Northwestern Tigray. Other urban areas with high displacement concentrations included Adwa (129,524 IDPs), Mekelle (126,267), Adigrat (100,168) and Axum (60,115).
According to the surveys, some of the most urgent needs of those displaced are life-saving food assistance, emergency shelter, non-food items such as bedding sets and kitchen sets, access to healthcare services, access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition and protection services.
Significantly, 75 sites have reportedly not received food distribution since the conflict broke out. An estimated 60 of these sites (80 per cent) are in Tigray region.
Since the beginning of the crisis, IOM has been monitoring the humanitarian and displacement situation through monthly area-based assessments, which capture the number of displaced persons, their locations and needs to inform the wider humanitarian response.
IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix will continue to expand its assessment coverage in the north so that the needs of more internally displaced persons can be assessed. Since 2018, this matrix has been the official source for displacement numbers in Ethiopia. DTM works in collaboration with Ethiopia’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC).
IOM Ethiopia’s Emergency Site Assessment Round 4 Report can be found here.
DTM assessment activities are funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Germany.EthiopiaDefault: Multimedia:
DTM staff are gathering data at a collective center hosting IDPs in Shire. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Globaltags 2021: DTMEmergency Relief and ProtectionInternal DisplacementInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration ManagementReducing Global Inequalities
St. Vincent – The first members of the International Organization for Migration (IOM)'s emergency response team arrived today (23/04) in St. Vincent to support displacement tracking activities and the delivery of essential shelter and emergency items to thousands of people who were forcibly displaced by the eruption of La Soufriere volcano.
The team will also provide technical guidance at shelters where more than 6,000 Vincentians now live. A shipment of approximately 1,200 hygiene kits and cleaning equipment will arrive from Trinidad and Tobago in the following hours.
"The situation in St. Vincent is still uncertain. As the eruption can go on for months, this is a crisis that will require a humanitarian response but also a response in terms of rehabilitation," said Jan-Willem Wegdam, IOM´s Emergency Response Coordinator for La Soufriere Eruption.
"This is a crisis that is not only affecting St. Vincent, but also, directly and indirectly, the other islands in the subregion.”
After months of heightened activity, La Soufriere Volcano erupted on 9 April. The volcano has erupted several times since then and continues to expel clouds of ash that have reached the neighboring islands of Barbados and Grenada. The latest explosive eruption occurred on 18 April. According to national and regional experts, the volcano is likely to erupt for days and weeks – possibly months.
As of April 21, the government registered 13,303 displaced persons. Nearly 6,600 are being housed in 85 public shelters, while more than 6,700 displaced persons are staying with family or friends.
"There are some people who want to go to different countries, but it is not a large number," explained the Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves during a TV programme in Grenada. "They said they want to stay at home. I have been around several of the camps, and that's the message."
On Tuesday, 20 April, the United Nations and the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines launched a USD 29 million global funding appeal. The appeal hopes to finance interventions to cover immediate needs – shelter, water, sanitation, food security and protection – and recovery-related activities on housing, education, and livelihoods.
IOM will begin supporting the ongoing emergency operations by responding to the shelter and housing needs of some of the most vulnerable households affected. IOM will also support the emergency shelters and shelter management sub-committee, and a coordinator for these activities will be deployed to St. Vincent.
These activities have been made possible with funding from Australian Aid and IOM’s Migration Emergency Fund Mechanism.
For more information, please contact Jan-Willem Wegdam at IOM San Jose, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: +1 (242) 805-8501Language English Posted: Friday, April 23, 2021 - 11:28Image: Region-Country: Saint Vincent And The GrenadinesDefault: Multimedia: Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternal DisplacementInternational Cooperation and Partnerships
Vientiane – On 19 and 20 April, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW) convened an awareness raising campaign for the promotion of safe migration and ethical recruitment on the occasion of International Labour Day (1 May) and World Day against Child Labour (12 June), under IOM’s regional programme for Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) and regional Poverty Reduction through Safe Migration, Skills Development and Enhanced Job Placement (PROMISE) project supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Laudes Foundation.
Many Lao workers choose to migrate internally from rural provinces to Vientiane, or internationally to Thailand or other destinations in search or better job opportunities. IOM’s research shows that migrants do not always seek information about their destination and may not have a plan for their journey, fully understand their contract, benefits, or rights. With limited exposure to official information, migrants tend not to register their residency, face challenges in accessing public services, finding a job and accommodation.
This year’s event aims to promote migrant workers’ rights and provide knowledge on safe and regular migration, among workers, employers, and government authorities. IOM and MoLSW have now developed key information which help both employers and employees, international and internal migrants to improve knowledge on safe migration, ethical recruitment, and decent work. Through consultations with employers and workers, identify labour rights issues faced by internal and international migrant workers. All of which contribute to designing future interventions to address challenges faced by migrant workers with close collaboration with the private sector.
Delegates from IOM, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the MoLSW, together with representatives from recruitment agents, visited Labour Units around Vientiane Capital, including Hoya Lao Co. Ltd in the Saysettha Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Lao Quality Sole Co. Ltd, Trio Co. Ltd and Trimax Co. Ltd to meet with workers and management and raise their awareness on safe migration and ethical recruitment.
Mdm. Baykham Khattiya, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, and Zena Van Bemmel Faulkner, Programme Officer at IOM observed the working conditions at the factories to identify ways to better protect migrant workers and optimize the benefits of labour migration. “One of the main objectives of our visit today is to encourage labour units to register with the National Social Security Fund for the benefit of the workforce. Observing the actual working environment of the workers will help us develop the law and regulation that corresponds with the actual situation.” Mdm. Baykham added.
Following the completion of the Labour Day event, IOM will conduct a follow-up employer survey under PROMISE to enhance recognition of the difficulties faced and needs of employers during COVID-19. The findings will inform potential action plan to implement the suggestions and solutions, contributing to strengthening the protection of women and men internal and international migrant workers to ensure a safer and more successful migration and employment experience.
Under its CREST programme, IOM aims to uphold human rights and labour rights of migrant workers in business operations and supply chains. CREST works towards the protection of migrant workers, including better access to ethical recruitment channels, eradication of fees charged to migrants, transparent employment terms and conditions, and effective remedy.Language English Posted: Friday, April 23, 2021 - 13:32Image: Region-Country: Lao People’s Democratic RepublicDefault: Multimedia:
IOM and the MOLSW handing over information materials on ethical recruitment, decent work, and safe migration to a garment factory in Vientiane Capital as part of the International Labour Day 2021 event. Photo: IOM Lao PDR/2021
Garment and manufacturing industry in Vientiane Capital is one of the major employers for internal migrants from other provinces. Photo: IOM Lao PDR/2021
Minister Mdm. Baykham Khattiya asked a woman worker about her work in the factory. Photo: IOM Lao PDR/2021Press Release Type: Localtags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration Management
Pemba – Nearly 4,000 people have fled in Palma in northern Mozambique in the past week, pushing the total number of displaced to almost 25,000 according to data collected by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which this week contributed USD 1.2 million to the response.
“Hundreds of people with urgent humanitarian needs are arriving daily by foot, bus and boat due to the instability in Palma,” IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission Laura Tomm-Bonde said.
“We continue to deliver life-saving assistance but need further support to help foster durable solutions for thousands of internally displaced families so they can begin building a new future for themselves and their families.”
IOM's humanitarian operations in northern Mozambique are funded by donor agencies, with the support of a USD 1.2 million contribution from IOM’s Migration Emergency Funding Mechanism. The Organization’s Director of Operations and Emergencies will arrive in Mozambique tomorrow to further assess the situation and to reaffirm IOM's commitment to support people in need in this region.
More than half of the displaced are in the districts of Mueda (6,970) and Nangade (6,733) on the northern border with Tanzania. Others have moved farther south in Cabo Delgado province; 5,000 people have arrived in Pemba City, and a further 3,795 to Montepuez district.
Malitate Ali, a mother of six including a newborn, found shelter with a relative in Pemba and is receiving psychosocial support from IOM.
“In Palma, armed groups came, they burnt stores, houses and beheaded people,” she said. “Some of my family members were taken and injured. I need food and clothing for my children, especially my baby. If peace returns to Palma, then I shall return.”
IOM continues to provide psychosocial and protection assistance to hundreds of displaced people from Palma, including psychosocial first aid, group counselling, and individual assistance.
The Organization is shipping non-food items (NFIs) to replenish the pipeline and to scale-up the response, including across hard-to-reach areas. In the past week shelter and NFIs were provided to nearly 2,000 displaced families in Mueda and Montepuez districts, including tarpaulins, blankets, clothing, buckets, jerry cans and other essential items.
IOM has provided direct assistance to more than 40,000 people affected by insecurity in Cabo Delgado since the beginning of the year. Daily Displacement Tracking Matrix´s updates are available here.
IOM is appealing for USD 58 million through its 2021 Crisis Response Plan, which includes almost USD 22 million to respond to critical humanitarian needs in Northern Mozambique under the Humanitarian Response Plan.
For additional information, please contact Paul Dillon at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 636 9874, Email: email@example.com or Angela Wells, Tel: +41 79 403 5365, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Manuel Mabuiangue, Tel: +258 847345420, Email: email@example.com Language English Posted: Friday, April 23, 2021 - 11:28Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueDefault: Multimedia:
Displaced people safely access services and receive lifesaving aid in Ngalane Center, Metuge District. Photo: IOM
Malitate Ali, a mother of six including a newborn, found shelter with a relative in Pemba and is receiving psychosocial support from IOM. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Globaltags 2021: DTMEmergency Relief and ProtectionInternal DisplacementInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration ManagementReducing Global Inequalities
Geneva – The Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), António Vitorino, today congratulated Nepal on its successful leadership of the Colombo Process over the last two years and committed continued IOM support as Afghanistan takes over as Chair.
DG Vitorino made the remarks at the virtual Chairmanship handover ceremony during which Nepal was commended for its achievements, notably the work of the five Colombo Process Thematic Areas Working Groups towards greater understanding of labour migration governance across and beyond the region, and the contribution of the Colombo Process Member States to the Global Compact for the Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).
Afghanistan succeeds Nepal as Chair of the Colombo Process for a period of two years. At the virtual handover ceremony, the Governments of Nepal and Afghanistan were represented by the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security of Nepal, Mr Gaurishankar Chaudhari, and the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of Afghanistan, Mr Bashir Ahmad Tahyanj, respectively.
The Colombo Process – also known as the Regional Consultative Process on the Management of Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin in Asia – was established in 2003. It brings together 12 South and Southeast Asian labour-sending countries in a member state-driven, non-binding regional consultative process on migration to facilitate dialogue and cooperation on issues of common interest and concerns relating to labour mobility.
Nepal assumed the Colombo Process Chair in 2017 under the theme: “Safe, regular and managed migration: a win-win for all”. Minister Gaurishankar Chaudhari of Nepal stressed how, through their collective efforts, the Colombo Process had made significant contributions to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), which reflected the shared objectives of the Colombo Process itself. As the Chair, Nepal had promoted the Colombo Process position and ensured its high visibility also in the preparatory processes leading up to the GCM.
As the Chair for the next two years, Afghanistan will pursue an ambitious program of priorities to guide its mandate and advance its achievements. Mr Bashir Ahmad Tahyanj, Afghanistan’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, extended his gratitude to Nepal and stressed that it is a great honor for Afghanistan to continue Nepal’s legacy.
The Afghan Chairmanship will focus on how to ensure that labour mobility governance responds to the socioeconomic recovery from COVID-19, protecting workers throughout the labour migration process and ensuring safe and regular pathways for migration.
For further information, please contact the International Partnerships Division, IOM HQ, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 09:23Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia: Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionGlobal Compact on MigrationInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration Management
Harare – More than 200,000 Zimbabweans have returned home over the past year due to the economic fallout from COVID-19 in countries where they had been working.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is providing nurses to help Zimbabwean officials conduct COVID-19 tests. Other services include critical risk communications and disease surveillance activities, infection prevention and control, protection, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Reintegration Assistance.
IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Mario Lito Malanca noted the number of returns exceeded expectations, highlighting the massive socio-economic impact the virus has had across the regions requiring a refocus on long-term solutions.
“Without these measures, we will see many returnees falling deeper into crisis, resorting to negative coping mechanisms, and possibly being forced to migrate once again through irregular means,” he said.
More than 1.9 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Southern Africa since March 2020, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and over 60,000 lives were lost. Worst hit were the three main destination countries for Zimbabwean migrant workers: South Africa, Malawi and Botswana.
An IOM survey of the returnees found that, in most cases, the decision to return was linked to the impacts of the pandemic, including financial challenges, hunger and loss of accommodation, lack of access to medical assistance, mental health support, identity document issues and the risk of assault in the country where they were working.
The survey also found that the returnees have professional skills ranging from construction to trading, agriculture, catering, painting, and domestic work.
The Zimbabwean Government’s guidelines require returnees to have valid COVID-19 certificates prior to entering the country. Without a valid test certificate, they are sent to provincial quarantine centres in Beitbridge, Plumtree and Chirundu to await testing.
With support from IOM and its Development Fund (IDF), the Government of Zimbabwe is engaging with its neighbours toward bilateral agreements to tackle the push factors of the returns, while setting up internal mechanisms of socio-economic reintegration through employment assistance projects.
On Thursday 22 April, IOM and the Zimbabwean Embassy in South Africa are organising a virtual webinar on Zimbabwe Diaspora engagement for development. The objective is to initiate a sustained dialogue between the Government of Zimbabwe and its Diaspora on development-related issues. Registration can be completed here.
IOM Zimbabwe’s recently launched USD 38.9 million Crisis Response Plan 2021 aims to strengthen COVID-19 preparedness and response capacities well into 2021 and to promote socio-economic reintegration through self-employment, community income projects and livelihood activities targeting 1.7 million people.
For more information, please contact Fadzai Nyamande-Pangeti, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 14:23Image: Region-Country: ZimbabweDefault: Multimedia:
Some of the more than 200,000 Zimbabwean returnees over the past year receive post-arrival assistance while awaiting transportation to different parts of the country. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Globaltags 2021: COVID-19Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration ManagementReducing Global Inequalities
Joint press release IOM/UNHCR
Geneva – More than 50,000 Venezuelans have been relocated from Brazil’s isolated northern state of Roraima to 675 Brazilian cities, thanks to a model national initiative.
Since the relocation strategy was launched three years ago, it has helped nearly one in five Venezuelans in the country to significantly improve their quality of life.
A survey carried out by UNHCR with 360 relocated Venezuelan families showed that over 77 per cent had found employment within weeks of their arrival to their destination, compared to only 7 per cent being employed in Roraima. As a result, the families reported that, within six to eight weeks of settling in a new city, their incomes had increased.
Prior to the relocation, six out of ten of those interviewed lived in temporary shelters and 3 per cent were homeless. Four months after being relocated, none were sleeping rough. The majority were renting homes, and only 5 per cent were living in temporary accommodation. Moreover, after being relocated, all the families had at least one child in school, compared to 65 per cent before they moved.
The relocation strategy is part of Operation Welcome (Operação Acolhida), the federal government’s response to the influx of Venezuelan refugees and migrants to Brazil. It aims to reduce the pressure on vulnerable border communities where Venezuelans arrive, and foster integration by helping refugees and migrants find new job opportunities in other cities.
“The response implemented by the Brazilian government has successfully helped tens of thousands of Venezuelans to rebuild their lives in the country with dignity,” said the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Chief of Mission in Brazil, Stéphane Rostiaux. “We have reached an important milestone amid a pandemic which has unexpectedly disrupted the lives of many. We must continue to work together to support the most vulnerable.”
Despite COVID-19, relocations have not stopped over the last year. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 1,000 Venezuelans have been safely relocated each month.
“Brazil has been steadfast in its resolve to find long-term solutions to the plight of Venezuelan refugees and migrants, despite the added challenge posed by COVID-19,” said Jose Egas, the Representative in Brazil of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. “The internal relocation strategy has proven effective in giving displaced Venezuelans the chance for a new beginning. It constitutes a model practice, both for the region and the world.”
All those who embarked on relocation flights were screened for COVID-19, while other measures were taken to prevent the spread of the disease.
Among those who have been relocated, 47 per cent are women and girls and 37 per cent are minors. The vast majority, 88 per cent, travelled as a family unit. Approximately 260,000 Venezuelans refugees and migrants are currently living in Brazil, according to government statistics.
Voluntary relocation efforts through Operation Welcome are supported by the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform (R4V), composed of 48 organizations from civil society and the United Nations, under the leadership of IOM and UNHCR.
Since 2018, IOM and UNHCR have assisted with the verification of documentation, conducting pre-departure medical consultations, funding travel costs, finding adequate reception facilities for people with specific needs and funding infrastructure improvements and other programme expenses.
The agencies also help refugees and migrants secure job opportunities and onward travel, when necessary.
The R4V platform’s Refugee and Migrant Response Plan for Brazil requires USD 98 million to assist Venezuelans in the country, including activities related to the relocation strategy.
For more information, please contact:
Daniela Rovina, IOM (firstname.lastname@example.org), +507 6312-8294
Bryan Brennan, IOM (email@example.com), +507 6379-9450
William Spindler, UNHCR (firstname.lastname@example.org), +507 6382 7815
Olga Sarrado, UNHCR (email@example.com), +507 6640 0185
In Geneva:BrazilVenezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)GlobalDefault: Multimedia:
All beneficiaries receive the vaccines foreseen in the national immunization calendar before traveling. Photo: Operation WelcomePress Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration ManagementReturn and Reintegration
Joint Press release IOM, UNHCR
Geneva/Tunisia – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are deeply saddened by reports of a shipwreck off the coast of Sidi Mansour, in southeast Tunisia, yesterday evening. The bodies of 41 people, including at least one child, have so far been retrieved.
According to reports from local UNHCR and IOM teams, three survivors were rescued by the Tunisian National Coast Guard. The search effort was still underway on Friday. Based on initial information, all those who perished were from Sub-Saharan Africa.
This tragic loss of life underscores once again the need to enhance and expand State-led search and rescue operations across the Central Mediterranean, where some 290 people have lost their lives so far this year. Solidarity across the region and support to national authorities in their efforts to prevent loss of life and prosecute smugglers and traffickers should be a priority.
Prior to yesterday’s incident, 39 refugees and migrants had perished off the coast near the Tunisian city of Sfax in early March. So far this year, sea departures from Tunisia to Europe have more than tripled compared to the same period in 2020.
UNHCR and IOM continue to monitor developments closely. They continue to stand ready to work with the national authorities to assist and support the survivors, and the family members of those lost.
For more information, please contacts:
In Geneva: Safa Msehli, firstname.lastname@example.org +41794035526
In Tunis: Riadh Kadhi, email@example.com +216 28 787 805
In Tunis, Ikram Houimli, firstname.lastname@example.org, +216 58941076
In Geneva, Aikaterini Kitidi, email@example.com, +41 79 580 8334Language English Posted: Friday, April 16, 2021 - 23:59Image: Region-Country: TunisiaDefault: Multimedia:
The tragic loss of life underscores once again the need to enhance and expand State-led search and rescue operations across the Central Mediterranean. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionMigration ManagementMissing Migrants
The Hague – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands launched the Cooperation on Migration and Partnerships for Sustainable Solutions initiative (COMPASS) at the beginning of 2021. COMPASS is a global initiative, in partnership with 12 countries, designed to protect people on the move, combat human trafficking and smuggling, and support dignified return while promoting sustainable reintegration.
The initiative is centred on a whole-of-society approach which, in addition to assisting individuals, will work across all levels – households, communities, and the wider communities – and encompasses the following partner countries: Afghanistan, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, and Tunisia.
“We want to mobilize families, peers and communities to encourage informed and safe migration decisions, protect migrants, and help those returning home reintegrate successfully,” said Monica Goracci, Director of the Department of Migration Management at IOM.
“One key component is also undermining the trafficking and smuggling business models through the promotion of safe alternatives and information sharing to reduce the risks of exploitation and abuse by these criminal networks.” Vulnerable migrants, including victims of trafficking and unaccompanied or separated children, will have access to a broad range of protection and assistance services such as mental health and psychosocial support, while migrants in transit who wish to return home will be supported with dignified return and reintegration.
Community level interventions will focus on improving community-led efforts to address trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, and support sustainable reintegration of returning migrants. COMPASS will work with national and local governments to enable a conducive environment for migrant protection, migration management and international cooperation on these issues.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased to launch the COMPASS programme in cooperation with IOM, an important and longstanding partner on migration cooperation,” said Marriët Schuurman, Director for Stability and Humanitarian Aid of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
“The programme is a part of the Dutch comprehensive approach to migration with activities that contribute to protection and decreasing irregular migration. Research and data gathering are also important components, and we hope that the insights that will be gained under COMPASS will contribute to broader knowledge sharing on migration and better-informed migration policies.”, added Schuurman. The initiative has a strong learning component, designed to increase knowledge and the uptake of lessons learned, both within the programme and beyond its parameters. COMPASS will actively contribute to global knowledge that supports countries in managing migration flows and protecting vulnerable migrants such as victims of trafficking. The implementation of COMPASS is set to start soon.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, as the donor to the COMPASS initiative, pledges its active support to partner countries to improve migration cooperation mechanisms within its long-term vision.
IOM, the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration, contributes its expertise as the technical implementation partner to the initiative. IOM works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners in its dedication to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all.
For more information, please contact:NetherlandsGlobalDefault: Multimedia:
COMPASS will provide vulnerable migrants including victims of trafficking and unaccompanied or separated children access to a broad range of protection and assistance services.
COMPASS will provide vulnerable migrants including victims of trafficking and unaccompanied or separated children access to a broad range of protection and assistance services.Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigrants in Vulnerable Situations/Migrants RightsMigration Management
Berlin – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is launching a new guide to help practitioners disaggregate data related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by migratory status, to address the needs of migrants and highlight their contributions to sustainable development.
To date, disaggregation of global development data by migratory status remains low. Migrants are largely invisible in official SDG data. As the global community approaches 2030, very little is known about the impact of the 2030 Agenda on migrants. Despite a growing focus worldwide on data disaggregation, namely the breaking down of data into smaller sub-categories, there is a lack of practical guidance on the topic that can be tailored to address individual needs and capacities of countries.
Developed by IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), the guide titled ‘Leave No Migrant Behind: The 2030 Agenda and Data Disaggregation’ centres on nine SDGs focusing on hunger, education, and gender equality among others. The document is the first of its kind, in that it seeks to address a range of different categorization interests and needs related to international migrants and suggests practical steps that practitioners can tailor to best fit their context.
“Thanks to the support from Statistics Sweden, GMDAC launched on 14 April a new guide on how to disaggregate SDG indicators across topics such as poverty and health by migratory status,” said Frank Laczko, IOM GMDAC Director.
“Inclusive data is critical to ensure migrants are not left behind in achieving the SDGs.”
The guide also highlights the key role disaggregation plays in understanding the many positive links between migration and the SDGs, highlighting migrants’ contributions to the 2030 Agenda.
The guide outlines key steps for actors to plan and implement initiatives by looking at sex, gender, age and disability, in addition to migratory status. These steps include undertaking awareness raising, identifying priority indicators, conducting data mapping, and more.
“We believe that being able to shed light on the situation of vulnerable groups, such as migrants, in the 2030 Agenda is essential to ensure inclusive development,” said Cathy Krüger, project manager at Statistics Sweden. “We were very happy to support IOM in this work because of their broad and on-the-ground experience in the field. We hope the guide will help countries make progress in following migrants in the Agenda, and also act as a good example for other vulnerable groups.”
COVID-19 has laid bare deepening inequalities around the world, reminding us how important it is for policy to be inclusive for all populations and communities, including many migrants who, in many settings, have faced heightened risks and negative impacts related to the pandemic. To leave no one behind, migrants must be considered across efforts to achieve the SDGs, and this begins with disaggregated data.
Read more about the importance of data disaggregation for SDG indicators here.
For more information, please contact Elisa Mosler Vidal at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +44 777 05 343 63, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLanguage English Posted: Friday, April 16, 2021 - 15:49Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia:
GMDAC - The new guide centres on nine SDGs focusing, among others, on hunger, poverty, education, and gender equality. Photo: Julie Batula/IOMPress Release Type: Globaltags 2021: International Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration ManagementMigration and the 2030 Agenda
Addis Ababa – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) today received over 1,500 rolls of heavy-duty plastic sheeting from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) that will be used to provide temporary shelter relief to more than 80,000 people displaced by conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
IOM will immediately transport and distribute the supplies to people in need across Tigray, where conflict has forced an estimated 1 million people to flee their homes. Many are now sleeping outside or in crowded shelters. The donated shelter supplies include sleeping mats, blankets, and basic household items including kitchen sets with pots, pans, and cooking utensils.
“Over the past five months, the United States has been working tirelessly with our Ethiopian and international partners to provide emergency assistance to the 4.5 million Ethiopians affected by the crisis in Tigray,” US Ambassador to Ethiopia Geeta Pasi told IOM Chief of Mission Maureen Achieng and Commissioner Mitiku from Ethiopia’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) at a warehouse in Addis Ababa.
“USAID’s airlift of durable plastic sheeting is on top of the already USD 305 million of humanitarian aid.”
IOM’s Achieng applauded the contribution.
“The generosity of the United States as demonstrated through the emergency shelter materials for the displaced men, women and children of Tigray comes at a moment of dire need,” she said. “It will ensure that even as we work on lasting solutions to the displacement, the affected IDPs can still live lives of safety and dignity.”
The latest relief supplies are part of the United States, IOM, United Nations, and international humanitarian organizations’ broader contribution to help people in Tigray. More than 60 per cent of the USD 500 million in international humanitarian assistance to Tigray has come from the US.
For more information, please contact:
Kaye Viray at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251993531220, Email: email@example.com
William Herkewitz at USAID Ethiopia, Tel: +251911509472, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLanguage English Posted: Friday, April 16, 2021 - 00:38Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaDefault: Multimedia:
A truck loaded with heavy-duty plastic sheeting is prepared to make the trip to Tigray, Ethiopia, where an estimated 1 million people are displaced by conflict. Photo: OIM 2021Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternal Displacement
Aden/Addis Ababa – One hundred and sixty Ethiopian migrants have returned home safely from Yemen today with the assistance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), just one day after a perilous journey across the Gulf of Aden claimed the lives of dozens of people, including at least 16 children.
More than 32,000 migrants, predominantly from Ethiopia, remain stranded across Yemen in dire, often deadly, circumstances.
“The conditions of migrants stranded in Yemen has become so tragic that many feel they have no option but to rely on smugglers to return home,” said Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM’s Director for Operations and Emergencies.
At least 42 people returning from Yemen are believed to have died on Monday when their vessel sank off the coast of Djibouti. Last month, at least 20 people had also drowned on the same route according to survivors. IOM believes that, since May 2020, over 11,000 migrants have returned to the Horn of Africa on dangerous boat journeys, aided by unscrupulous smugglers.
“Our Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme provides a lifeline for those stranded in a country now experiencing its seventh year of conflict and crisis. We call on all governments along the route to come together and support our efforts to allow migrants safe and dignified opportunities to travel home,” added Labovitz.
COVID-19 has had a major impact on global migration. The route from the Horn of Africa to Gulf countries has been particularly affected. Tens of thousands of migrants, hoping to work in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), now find themselves unable to complete their journeys, stranded across Djibouti, Somalia and Yemen.
While the pandemic has also caused the number of migrants arriving to Yemen to decrease from 138,000 in 2019 to just over 37,500 in 2020, the risks they face continue to rise. Many of these migrants are stranded in precarious situations, sleeping rough without shelter or access to services. Many others are in detention or being held by smugglers.
“We cannot find jobs or food here; Yemen is a problem for us,” said Gamal, a 22-year-old migrant returning on the VHR flight. “I used to sleep in the street on cardboard. I could only eat because of the charity people would give me and sometimes we were given leftovers from restaurants. I never had much to eat.”
Since October 2020, in Aden alone, IOM has registered over 6,000 migrants who need support to safely return home. Today’s flight to Addis Ababa was the second transporting an initial group of 1,100 Ethiopians who have been approved for VHR to Ethiopia. Thousands of other undocumented migrants are waiting for their nationality to be verified and travel documents to be provided.
Prior to departure on the VHR flight, IOM carried out medical and protection screenings to ensure that returnees are fit to travel and are voluntarily consenting to return. Those with special needs are identified and receive specialized counselling and support.
In Ethiopia, IOM supports government-run COVID-19 quarantine facilities to accommodate the returnees on arrival and provides cash assistance, essential items and onward transportation to their homes. The Organization also supports family tracing for unaccompanied migrant children.
Across the Horn of Africa and Yemen, IOM provides life-saving support to migrants through health care, food, water and other vital assistance.
Today’s flight was funded by the US State Department's Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). Post-arrival assistance in Addis Ababa is supported by EU Humanitarian Aid and PRM.
For more information, please contact:
Angela Wells at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 403 5365; Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - 00:00Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaYemenDefault: Multimedia:
Yemen: Stranded Ethiopian migrants prepare to board an IOM-facilitated flight from Aden, Yemen, to fly home to Addis Ababa
Credit: Majed Mohammed 2021Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigrants in Vulnerable Situations/Migrants RightsMigration ManagementReturn and Reintegration
Obock, Djibouti – At least 34 people have died after a boat operated by people smugglers, transporting approximately 60 migrants escaping conflict in Yemen, capsized on its way to Djibouti in the early hours of Monday morning.
Every year, tens of thousands of young African migrants from the region make the dangerous journey from countries like Somalia and Ethiopia through Djibouti and Yemen in search for work in the Gulf.
COVID-19 is forcing many to turn back due to widespread border closures that have reduced access to Gulf states. It is unknown what caused the vessel to capsize.
Similar journeys between Yemen and Djibouti are being undertaken aboard unseaworthy vessels by migrants desperate to return home on a near daily basis.
Despite the dangers, the number of migrants arriving in Djibouti continues to increase. In March, over 2,343 migrants arrived from Yemen, compared to 1,900 in February. Most were trying to head home to Ethiopia and Somalia. Last month, in a similar incident this time en route to Yemen, smugglers threw 80 people overboard after complaining the boat was overcrowded and sinking. At least 20 drowned.
“IOM is working with the Djiboutian authorities, the humanitarian community, and donors to end this suffering and save lives,” said IOM Djibouti Chief of Mission Stephanie Daviot.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of migrants from the Horn of Africa are trapped in Yemen. Many are living in dangerous conditions, usually without access to food, shelter, medical care and security. Migrants are forced to pay smugglers large sums of money to facilitate their journeys home. IOM in Djibouti and Yemen is providing food, water, medical care and counselling for survivors of such tragedies and other migrants.
In Yemen, over 6,000 migrants have been identified and registered for Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR), assistance to get home. IOM is calling on governments in the region to increase VHR for stranded migrants.
In March, IOM launched a USD98 million appeal – Regional Migrant Response Plan for the Horn of Africa and Yemen (RMRP) – to respond to the needs of migrants in the Horn of Africa and Yemen, including Djibouti.
For further information, please contact Yvonne Ndege at IOM Regional Office, Nairobi, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +254797735977Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - 02:32Image: Region-Country: DjiboutiDefault: Multimedia: Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionMigrants in Vulnerable Situations/Migrants RightsMissing Migrants
Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), together with the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, are launching a joint research “SEE MIGRATION LIKE WATER: An Analysis of IOM Flow Monitoring Survey Data on Migration Flows in West and Central Africa”. The report analyzes migration flows and migrants’ vulnerabilities on their journeys within and from West and Central Africa.
The West and Central Africa region provides rich evidence of dynamic migratory patterns, including long histories of diverse intraregional and interregional migration flows. The complexity and rapidly evolving characteristics of mobility in the region, combined with the emergence of new challenges and risks, such as COVID-19, aggravate risks along migration journeys and leave many migrants unprotected.
The report calls for a comprehensive and contextualized understanding of migrants’ vulnerabilities across the most popular West and Central African migration routes – examining risk and protective factors at the individual, household, community, and structural level.
The study is based on IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) flow monitoring survey data gathered from over 110,000 migrants, across 38 transit points in 7 countries in West and Central Africa. In addition, qualitative data from expert interviews conducted in 2020 shed light on the impact of COVID-19 on migrants’ journeys and their well-being.
This joint research is part of the wider effort of IOM to collect and disseminate sound empirical data on migration dynamics and vulnerabilities in order to support progress towards enhancement of safe migration, including to support the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and realize the migration-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets.
The report is currently available in English, while the French version will be available in May 2021.
For more information, please contact:
Safa Msehli; Email: email@example.com
Kennedy Omondi; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Veronica Lewin; Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Monday, April 12, 2021 - 16:47Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia:
Chadian military convoy arriving in Doyaba Transit Centre, Sarh with 2,000 returnees. Photo: IOM/Craig MurphyPress Release Type: Globaltags 2021: DTMData and Research
Communities Displaced by Recent Violence in Mozambique Offered Respite, Assistance at New Transit Centre
Pemba – Hundreds of people displaced by recent attacks in Palma, northern Mozambique, have found temporary shelter this week in a transit centre established in Pemba City by the Government of Mozambique with support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and partners.
As of yesterday (08/04), IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has recorded nearly 14,000 people displaced to Nangade, Mueda, Montepuez and Pemba by the latest surge in violence. This number is growing by the day.
“What I saw cannot be unseen,” said Flavia Hilário, a survivor of the attack in Palma. “I never thought death could be like that. I managed to flee Palma with my two young sons.” “We went to Mwizi neighborhood, where we stayed for three days without food, then to Macanja for five days under the same conditions. Once in Afungi, we were airlifted to Pemba, where we have received assistance at the transit site."
Survivors of the attack in Palma have dispersed throughout northern Mozambique in search of safety, travelling by bus, plane and boat. Thousands are believed to be traversing through dense forests, making their way south on foot.
Children represent more than 40 per cent of the people the DTM has recorded as displaced; at least 170 are unaccompanied and have been separated from their caregivers.
Since the attacks, IOM has scaled up humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Cabo Delgado, in cooperation with humanitarian and government partners.
The Organization has provided mental health and psychosocial support and protection assistance to more than 1,000 newly displaced persons; facilitated referrals to health and social services; and distributed wheelchairs, crutches and other in-kind assistance. IOM and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) partners are also supporting the reception and accommodation of people arriving to temporary or relocation sites.
The IOM-supported transit centre in Pemba provides survivors with a place to stay overnight and to receive assistance. The Organization also installed lighting and other upgrades to the facility to ensure the space is safe and accessible to people with special needs.
“IOM teams are assisting survivors who continue to arrive to safer areas of Cabo Delgado following their distressing experience fleeing these attacks,” said IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission, Laura Tomm-Bonde.
Close to 700,000 people have been internally displaced in northern Mozambique since the onset of violence in October 2017. Pemba City and other places hosting a high number of IDPs are stretched beyond their capacity to provide basic services to displaced persons and host communities.
IOM has provided lifesaving assistance to more than 900,000 people affected by disasters and conflict in Mozambique since 2019. Humanitarian operations required by IOM and partners to respond to increasing needs remain significantly underfunded.
“We are grateful for the additional support from donors for humanitarian operations and urge the donor community to continue these efforts so that thousands more families displaced by violence in Cabo Delgado in recent years can receive relief and begin to recover,” added Tomm-Bonde.
Daily DTM updates are available here.
For additional information, please contact Paul Dillon at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 636 9874, Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Angela Wells, Tel: +41 79 403 5365, Email: email@example.com; or Sascha Nlabu at IOM Mozambique, Phone: +258 86 801 2222, Email SNLABU@iom.intLanguage English Posted: Friday, April 9, 2021 - 16:02Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueDefault: Multimedia:
IOM continues to provide mental health and psychosocial support and distribute wheelchairs and crutches to Mozambicans displaced by the recent attacks in Palma. Photo: Manuel Mabuiangue / IOM 2021
Flavia Hilário fled the attacks in Palma in late March with her two sons and is now seeking refuge at an IOM-supported transit centre in Pemba City. Photo: Manuel Mabuiangue / IOM 2021Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: DTMEmergency Relief and ProtectionInternal DisplacementInternational Cooperation and Partnerships
Berlin – Tens of thousands of people live with the pain and uncertainty of not knowing the fate of their relatives and loved ones who went missing or died during migration journeys around the world. Besides the emotional toll, their lives may be forever marked by the many psychosocial, legal and financial impacts related to the disappearance of their relatives.
“Families of missing migrants have little visibility, and their needs are barely addressed,” said Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) in Berlin.
“Besides the moral imperative, Objective 8 of the Global Compact on Migration specifically calls on states to identify those who have died or gone missing, and to facilitate communication with affected families. This is applicable regardless of migration status of the missing person or the situation of their families.”
With the aim of giving a voice to these families, IOM GMDAC has carried out qualitative research with families searching for missing migrants in several countries, to better understand the challenges they face during their search and how they can be better supported.
The findings from this research in Ethiopia are highlighted in a report published today: Families of missing migrants: Their search for answers, the impacts of loss and recommendations for improved support in Ethiopia. The results of the research with families of missing migrants in the United Kingdom, Spain and Zimbabwe will be published throughout the next few months.
According to IOM’s Missing Migrants Project and Ethiopia’s Bureau of Labour and Social Affairs, between 2012 and 2020, at least 7,000 Ethiopians died or went missing on migration routes to South Africa, North Africa, Europe and the Gulf States. There are also situations of migrants going missing in transit or in places of destination that are not included in this list. It is likely that most of their families, whether in Ethiopia or elsewhere, do not have certainty about what happened to them.
In Ethiopia, as in the other countries of research, there are no clear, centralized or official mechanisms to report missing migrants, which forces people who fear that something has happened to their relatives during their migration journeys to seek information informally, through other migrants, smuggling facilitators and social media.
The gaps in information and the lack of effective search mechanisms allows for the prevalence of scams, fraud and extortion targeting families searching for their relatives. In some cases, Ethiopians told of their relatives who took the same migration route as their missing loved ones to try to find out what happened to them, and in doing so, faced similar dangers on the way.
As a result of their loved one’s disappearance, families interviewed in Ethiopia described experiencing a vast range of physical, psychological and behavioural issues, ranging from anxiety, depression, hopelessness, stress, sadness and loneliness to sleep disturbance, inability to focus, loss of appetite and paralysis. Unable to obtain confirmation of the fate and whereabouts of their relatives, families cannot apply for support from community-based insurance systems, and the increased financial burden disproportionally affects women and older relatives. A father of two missing sons lamented:
“My sons were my hope. One died during an earlier migration [journey]. The second went to search for him and also to try his luck and reach South Africa. He went missing as well. It was last year when he called after arriving in Malawi. He never called again. I am dying twice: [because] I lost them and [because] I lost hope. They used to help me till and farm the land. They were my pride. They were my hope. I am getting older and weaker. I can’t work. I rely on my relatives for agricultural labour, but they can only help me after finishing with their own farming.”
“People who are missing their children, spouses and other relatives are not passive victims. Families in Ethiopia have developed their own community support structures to search for answers,” said Kate Dearden, one of the IOM coordinators of this project.
“However, state-funded tools and services are urgently needed to report and resolve cases of migrants who have gone missing in other countries, as well as to help families with the impacts of this situation. This requires a humanitarian approach to this issue and sustained cooperation between countries.”
Find the new report “Families of missing migrants: Their search for answers, the impacts of loss and recommendations for improved support - Ethiopia” here.
Click here to read some of the testimonies of families of missing migrants in Ethiopia.
“Living without them – Stories of families left behind” is a 4-part podcast series produced by IOM about the research project with families of missing migrants. Listen to the first episode here.
For more information, please contact:
Krizia Kaye Viray at IOM Ethiopia, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org , Tel: +251 11 1301243, M. +251 353 1220 or
Kate Dearden at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (Berlin), Email: email@example.com , Tel: +49 3027 877832
The absence and unexplained fate of a loved one has multidimensional effects in the lives of the people they leave behind. Illustration: Salam Shokor / IOM 2021Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionGMDACInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration ManagementMissing Migrants
Vientiane – Ms. Shareen Tuladhar, the Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Lao People’s Democratic Republic paid a courtesy to H.E. Mdm. Baykham Khattiya, the newly appointed Minister of Labour and Social Welfare on 7 April.
On behalf of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW), the Minister thanked IOM for the continuous support in managing effective labour migration, strengthening migrant protection, and promoting safe labour migration. H.E. Mdm Baykham also expressed appreciation for IOM’s commitment in supporting Lao People’s Democratic Republic to facilitate safe and orderly migration.
Ms. Tuladhar congratulated the Minister on the new appointment. “IOM is very honoured to support MoLSW and we are excited to further the collaboration under H.E. Mdm. Bykham’s leadership.” She added. Ms. Tuladhar reassured that IOM stands ready to support the MoLSW to strengthen labour migration management, which is part of the Ministry’s strategic mission.
IOM strives to protect migrant workers and to optimize the benefits of labour migration for both the country of origin and destination as well as for the migrants themselves. Specifically, in the current context, migrant workers play a critical role in the contribution of socio-economic recovery in any country.
MoLSW is the longest-standing partner of IOM in Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Since 2001, IOM has partnered with MoLSW in offering policy and technical advice to national governments that promote efficient, effective, and transparent labour migration flows; facilitating the ethical recruitment of workers; and capacitating officials and first responders in safe migration practices through various programming.
For more information, please contact Karen HO at IOM Vientiane. Tel. + 856 (20)55 136 294. Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLanguage English Posted: Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 17:10Image: Region-Country: Lao People’s Democratic RepublicDefault: Multimedia:
H.E. Mdm. Baykham Khattiya met with Ms. Shareen Tuladhar on 7 April. Photo: IOM/2021
Ms. Shareen Tuladhar discussed the upcoming International Labour Day celebration with the Minister. Photo: IOM/2021Press Release Type: Localtags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration Management