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Updated: 22 min 40 sec ago

IOM Supports Governments of Burundi, Tanzania to Strengthen Humanitarian Border Management

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 08:26

Bujumbura/Dar es Salaam – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is working with the governments of Burundi and the United Republic of Tanzania to strengthen the capacities of border institutions in the two countries to effectively manage mass border-crossings through a humanitarian border management (HBM) approach.

The 12-month pilot project jointly implemented by IOM, UNDP and UNHCR aims to promote concrete cross-border, human rights-based, and multi-agency approaches to peacebuilding in border areas between Burundi and Tanzania, supported by the UN Peacebuilding Fund.

“Strengthening the knowledge and skills of border officers from Burundi and Tanzania in terms of HBM is of paramount importance as the border between these countries is subject to mass movements due to humanitarian crises,” said Qasim Sufi, IOM Chief of Mission in Tanzania.   

In the context of this project, one of IOM’s responsibilities is to coordinate assessments, build the capacity of stakeholders and develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in line with an HBM approach, as well as facilitate cross-border meetings and workshops between officers at the border.

So far in November, 64 immigration and border police from Burundi and Tanzania have been trained on HBM. The trainings were held on 5-9 and 12-16 November in Bujumbura, Burundi and Kigoma, Tanzania respectively.

The training focused on strengthening the level of preparedness and management of significant migratory flows at the border through assessments, capacity building and cross-border meetings by reinforcing collaboration and coordination. It also provided a platform for government officers from the two countries to exchange information, discuss best practices and take steps to reinforce information sharing and cross-border cooperation.

“This training will not only provide a new opportunity to strengthen and sustain the efforts already made by your respective governments in managing population flows at the border, but also to initiate the development of HBM SOPs, which will further serve to reinforce your national contingency plans,” said  AJ Morgen, IOM Burundi Chief of Mission in her opening remarks at the training in Bujumbura.

The training also addressed protection and respect for human rights, engaging local communities, practical exercises on HBM and the development of SOPs. 

Earlier in November, two cross-border coordination meetings for police officers took place at the border. The meetings served to promote sustainable cross-border collaboration, in addition to identifying the gaps and challenges regarding existing mechanisms, operational procedures and exchange of information in terms of HBM.

As part of preparations for the two meetings, IOM conducted two border assessments in Mugina (Makamba province) and Gisuru (Ruyigi province) in Burundi as well as Manyovu in Buhigwe district and Mabamba Kibondo district in Tanzania.

The assessments identified a series of concrete and operational recommendations for key actors in HBM in both countries, particularly in terms of training and equipment needs.

Lack of preparedness in emergencies remains a significant challenge to both countries as the borders between Burundi and Tanzania are heavily trafficked by migrants, particularly during times of conflict on the Burundi side or during voluntary repatriations.

Besides movement caused by conflict, these borders are in a region prone to the spread of diseases such as Cholera and Ebola.

IOM is well-positioned to provide expertise through capacity building in improving their response mechanisms towards mass movements. IOM’s HBM activities aim at improving preparedness and response to protect those who cross borders during emergencies, and at the same time ensuring security at border crossings is maintained.

In Burundi, IOM is partnering with the government to carry out capacity-building activities related to migration management and strives to improve collaboration and coordination with neighbouring countries.

For more information please contact:
Sebastien Reclaru at IOM Burundi, Tel: +257 75400662, Email: sreclaru@iom.int
Gracia Anthony at IOM Tanzania, Tel: +255 716204156, Email: ganthony@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 23, 2018 - 15:24Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaDefault: Multimedia: 

The 12-month pilot project jointly implemented by IOM, UNDP and UNHCR aims to promote concrete cross-border, human rights-based, and multi-agency approaches to peacebuilding in border areas between Burundi and Tanzania, supported by the UN Peacebuilding Fund. Photo: IOM/Triffin Ntore 

The 12-month pilot project jointly implemented by IOM, UNDP and UNHCR aims to promote concrete cross-border, human rights-based, and multi-agency approaches to peacebuilding in border areas between Burundi and Tanzania, supported by the UN Peacebuilding Fund. Photo: IOM/Triffin Ntore 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 104,506 in 2018; Deaths Reach 2,075

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 08:24

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 104,506 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 18 November. Spain topped 50,962 – more irregular arrivals to Spain through 45 weeks of 2018 than all arrivals during the past three years combined.

This makes it the fifth straight year arrivals of irregular migrants and refugees have topped the 100,000 mark, although this year’s totals are low compared to those at this time in 2017 (157,323) and 2016 (345,831).

As colder weather conditions arrive, the sea passage to Europe grows ever deadlier.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 2,075 people who have died or gone missing on one of three migratory routes across the Mediterranean in 2018.

Most recently, at least nine people lost their lives in the Western Mediterranean. The sole survivor, a teenage boy from Guinea, was rescued off the coast of Vejer de la Frontera, Cádiz, on Monday 19 November. He told Spanish authorities that he was travelling with nine others, including his brother, in an inflatable row boat which had departed from Tangiers, Morocco over a week before. Bad weather conditions, as well as the lack of food and water, caused several people to die during the journey. Their bodies were lost at sea, this youth said.

The boy was the only survivor. He is currently in the intensive care unit in the hospital in Cádiz with severe hypothermia. The remains of two people, believed to have been on board the same boat, washed ashore on two beaches in the area: on Tuesday 20 November, the body of a woman was recovered on Playa del Palmar, while the day after, 21 November, the body of a man was found on Playa de los Corrales. Additionally, two more bodies connected to the 5 November shipwreck off the coast of Barbate, Cádiz were recovered on 19 November. At least 23 people died in that single shipwreck at the beginning of the month.

Since the beginning of 2018, at least 631 people have lost their lives trying to reach Spain. A recent report by a Spanish foundation for investigative journalism, porCausa.org, found that more than 6,700 people have died or disappeared while trying to reach Spain since 1988.

Based on the data compiled by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, at least 1,144 people died or were lost in the Western Mediterranean in the last five years (data for 1 January 2014 – 21 November 2018), more than half of those – 631 of 1,144 – just in the 325 days of 2018, or almost two victims per day.

Missing Migrants also has recorded deaths these years on Spain’s other seaborne migratory route, from the West African mainland to the Islas Canarias.  Since 2014, 319 men, women and children have perished on this route (See Table 12).   

IOM Spain

Ana Dodevska reported Thursday irregular migrants to Spain continue to arrive at a rate of over 120 per day during the month of November. October was Spain’s busiest month for sea arrivals on month on record, with migrants or refugees entering by sea at a rate of over 350 people per day (See Table 2).

IOM Greece

Antigoni Avgeropoulou reported Thursday (22 November) that since Tuesday, and through Thursday afternoon, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported there were at least five incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Samos. The HCG rescued a total of 182 migrants and transferred them to the island.

Another 60 arrivals Tuesday and Wednesday to Lesvos and Kalymnos bring to 28,891 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year through 21 November. That is just short of the total (29,501) arriving through all of last year, a total that appears will be surpassed in 2018 (See Table 8.b).

In the Eastern Mediterranean, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project recorded news of a boat capsized off the coast of Bodrum, Turkey on 19 November. Ten survivors (four Syrians, four Palestinians and two Egyptians) were rescued, two of them in critical condition. Tragically, a young Syrian man lost his life.

IOM Italy

Flavio Di Giacomo reported Monday monthly arrivals to Italy have averaged fewer than 2,500 men, women and children entering Italy by sea after departing North Africa since the start of November 2017. July 2017 was the last time monthly sea arrivals of irregular migrants and refugees surpassed 10,000 men, women and children – a total that arrived in 12 of the previous 13 months before that date – and had been arriving regularly in previous years of the Mediterranean emergency (See Table 7).

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 3,260 people who have died or gone missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018 (See Table 3).

Beyond the Mediterranean Sea, migrant corridors in the Americas are among the deadliest in the world today.

Since the beginning of the year, the Missing Migrants Project team has documented the deaths of 354 migrants on the US-Mexico border, a slight increase over the 313 deaths recorded during the same period in 2017. On 13 November, the remains of a 34-year-old Mexican woman were found on a ranch west of Falfurrias, Texas.

On 20 November, a 17-year-old Honduran young man was hit by a vehicle as he was walking on the side of the road connecting Mexicali with Tijuana, in Mexico’s Pacific state of Baja California. He was part of the group of Central American migrants fleeing violence and poverty in large groups or “caravans,” who recently began arriving in the border city of Tijuana, intent on seeking asylum in the US.

The MMP team also recorded the death of another Honduran teenage boy, who died from pneumonia at the General Hospital of Tijuana on 21 November (See Table 3).

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

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, click here.  Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project.

See contacts here.

Language English Posted: Friday, November 23, 2018 - 15:23Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Backs Royal Thai Police Training in Counter Trafficking, Border Management

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 08:22

Bangkok –  IOM this week (21/11) handed over a new online learning portal to The Royal Thai Police Cadet Academy to improve police training in specialized fields including migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons and transnational organized crime. 

The portal was developed to complement a set of training materials jointly developed by IOM and the Academy to cover 16 of 28 modules comprising the Bali Process’ Curriculum on Standardized Induction Training for Frontline Border Officials.

“Irregular migration induced by smugglers and traffickers undermines the security of states and puts migrants in vulnerable and exploitative situations. Cadets who go on to become trained police officers will be well-placed to intercept and intervene to ensure the safety and protection of vulnerable migrants,” said IOM Thailand Chief of Mission Dana Graber Ladek.

The handover ceremony also marked the completion of the third phase of a Canadian-funded IOM project: Strengthening Border Management and Intelligence Capacity of Thai Government Officials.

The project, which aims to help reduce Thailand’s vulnerability to threats posed by transnational crime, has trained 613 officers and 57 trainers from the Royal Thai Police, its constituent bodies and other government agencies since August 2016. 

The trainings were designed to help officers to intercept and investigate cases of human smuggling, trafficking and other transnational crimes. They covered key areas including fraudulent travel document detection, cyber security, information management, inter-agency cooperation, and victim identification and assistance.

A further 55 immigration and police officers from neighbouring Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar also took part in trainings on international policing and cooperation conducted jointly with the Thai Immigration Bureau. 

The project also addressed border management with the introduction of five Verifier Travel Document and Bearer (TD&B) workstations at Thai border checkpoints. Developed by IOM, the Verifier TD&B is an automated, standalone system designed to help border control officers conduct secondary inspections quickly and efficiently.

A total of eight Verifier TD&B workstations are now in operation at key border checkpoints across Thailand, including Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Don Mueang International Airport, Chiang Mai International Airport, Phuket International Airport, Nong Khai checkpoint, Sadao checkpoint and Aranyaprathet checkpoint.

Since the TD&B system was first introduced in Thailand in 2014, 215 cases of fraudulent passports and 154 cases of imposters have been identified by the authorities. 

Effective border management and tackling transnational crime, including illicit drug trafficking, trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling are priority areas for Thailand, which shares land borders with Malaysia, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Myanmar.

For further information please contact IOM Thailand. Dana Graber Ladek, Email: dgraber@iom.int, Tel: +66 2 343 9301 or Reuben Lim, Email: rlim@iom.int, Tel: +66 2 343 9370

Language English Posted: Friday, November 23, 2018 - 15:21Image: Region-Country: ThailandDefault: Multimedia: 

Thai Immigration Bureau officers train in fraudulent travel document detection. Photo: IOM/Benjamin Suomela  

Thai Immigration Bureau officers train in fraudulent travel document detection. Photo: IOM/Benjamin Suomela  

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Government of Chile Organize a Job Fair for Venezuelans, Others

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 08:21

Santiago – The United Nations Migration Agency (IOM), and the Government of Chile this week (21/11) organized a job fair in Talca, a city in southern Chile. Special focus was put on refugees and migrants from Venezuela and an effort to improve their employability in the Maule Region, home to over 12,000 migrants from different nations.

Joining IOM’s efforts were the Regional Ministerial Secretary of Labour and Social Security, the Municipality of Talca, the National Training and Employment Service (SENCE) and the Commission of the National Certification System of Labour Competencies (ChileValora). The Maule Region’s Intendant [administrative official], Pablo Milad, inaugurated the job fair at Talca´s main square along with several members of his cabinet.

Over one thousand visitors attended the fair. Refugees and migrants from Venezuela discovered a wide choice of employment opportunities, ranging from security guards to technicians in several fields, offered by 26 different national and trans-national companies representing the region’s private sector.

"The vision we had in Venezuela was not that there were so many opportunities for us here, but there are scenarios like this, where, no matter your condition or origin, we are at home,” said Franklin Duque, a Venezuelan who attended the fair.

Each vacancy corresponded to a legitimate job, complying with all Chilean labour laws, where migrants could apply regardless of nationality. Attendees also were encouraged to prepare resumes and have them printed free of charge. The services of a Creole translator were made available for Haitians.

"I was a migrant for 16 years, so I understand that foreigners can always contribute to make this region bigger and adapt to our cultures in the best possible way," said Intendant Pablo Milad, who lived in France, Spain and Portugal.

Other government institutions that support entrepreneurship, and participated, included the Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO), its Technical Cooperation Service (Sercotec) and the Solidarity and Social Investment Fund (FOSIS). Also participating were civil society organizations that assist migrants.

“This is as much for the people of Maule as for migrants from all nationalities,” said Félix Martínez, who heads IOM Chile’s Sub-office in Talca. “Thus, we appreciate the support of local authorities and hope to continue advancing to start activities that favour the integration towards a more inclusive region."

This activity was funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration from the United States Department of State.

For more information please contact José Estay, IOM Chile, Tel. + (56) 2 2963 3710, Email: jestay@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 23, 2018 - 15:17Image: Region-Country: ChileDefault: Multimedia: 

Over one thousand visitors attended the job fair in Talca, Chile. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Agencies Join Up to Provide Opportunities in Turkey

Wed, 11/21/2018 - 04:23

Istanbul – “Opportunities for Lives” was launched on Monday in Instanbul, aiming to provide greater entrepreneurship opportunities for Syrians under temporary protection and Turkish citizens in nine Turkish provinces.

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) will work closely as an implementing partner on this two-year project, led by the International Labour Organization (ILO) under the general coordination of the Turkish Directorate-General for International Labour Force.

Funded by the European Union, “Opportunities for Lives” or “Hayata Fırsat” in Turkish, includes activities to increase economic and social resilience of both groups by strengthening opportunities for labour market integration. IOM Turkey’s Chief of Mission Lado Gvilava, said at the launch, “By creating greater opportunities for business development and supporting labour market integration of Syrians, we are helping build a cohesive society that benefits both migrants and host communities. We hope that this project will help move forward and positively influence labour migration policy in Turkey.”

IOM will play a main role in delivering vocational, entrepreneurship and awareness trainings and provide business start-up grants and competitions. The nine target provinces include Ankara, Istanbul, Bursa, Konya, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Adana, Mersin and Hatay. With a particular focus on youth and women, the project will partner with public agencies at the central and provincial level, municipalities, workers’ and employers’ organizations.

The Head of the EU Delegation to Turkey, Ambassador Christian Berger, added, "Refugees are development and economic actors that, through their skills and talents, can positively contribute to the Turkish economy. For this reason, the EU has supported and will continue to support Turkey in its efforts to enhance refugees' skills such as entrepreneurship and improve the employability, labour market access and integration of both refugees and vulnerable Turkish citizens in communities with a high presence of refugees”.  

The launch event provided an opportunity for practitioners at national and local levels to share experiences and lessons learned. They included representatives from business associations such as the Gaziantep Chamber of Industry, the Istanbul Chamber of Small Hotels, and a board member of the Syrian Businessman Association. 

Hayata Fırsat will reach out 13,000 Syrians, 5,000 Turkish citizens, 350 public officials from relevant agencies, 500 representatives and 500 businesses from workers’ and employers’ organizations.

For more information, please contact Lanna Walsh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email: lwalsh@iom.int

Language English Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - 11:19Image: Region-Country: TurkeyThemes: Capacity BuildingMigrant AssistanceMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

A group of young Syrian students attending  a consultancy session to support their entrepreneurship project at Gaziantep University. Photo: Nadine Nallaham

Turkish and Syrian students working together on their entrepreneurship project during training held by IOM in Harran University, Sanliurfa province, Turkey. Photo: Nadine Nallaham

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

US Airlift Targets 70,000 Afghans Displaced by Drought

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:23

Herat – Afghanistan is currently facing its worst drought in decades. The Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) and humanitarian partners have so far identified 35,549 families (223,100 individuals) displaced in the western provinces of Herat, Badghis and Ghor between January and October 2018.

Of these, 44 per cent or close to 100,000 individuals are children below the age of 18, and 19 per cent are below the age of five. More than half of the displaced have settled in Herat city, 39 per cent are in and around Qala-e-Naw, the provincial capital of Badghis, and the remaining two per cent in other provinces.

The displaced population is desperately poor and lack access to food, water, shelter and health services. Many are living in tents or in the open air with the onset of freezing winter temperatures. 

USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is responding to the crisis with a major airlift of aid, including plastic sheeting, blankets and kitchen sets, to help 10,000 families or 70,000 individuals. IOM is organizing warehousing of the aid and its distribution in Herat and Badghis over the next three weeks.

The first of three C-17 aircraft carrying the aid landed in Herat on Saturday (17/11). Two more aircraft are scheduled to arrive in the coming days.

Ambassador John Bass, speaking at Herat airport, welcomed the airlift. “The United States confirms its continuous support to the Afghan people, and we thank IOM for cooperating with USAID/OFDA in helping thousands of displaced Afghan families,” he said. 

Deputy Governor of Badghis Malikzada also welcomed the aid but said that more would need to be done to alleviate suffering caused by the drought. “Assistance also needs to be provided in places of origin through investment in the agricultural sector, so that people can sustain themselves in their places of origin. We do not want to establish camps in urban centres and create subsidized communities that permanently rely on aid for survival,” he said.

So far, 8,341 families have received non-food relief items, including blankets and household items, and 5,031 have received emergency shelter. The assistance was distributed by IOM, UNHCR, IFRC, DRC, IRC and NRC. UNICEF has committed to cover the needs of an additional 3,000 families. 

 3.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in 20 of the most drought-affected provinces in Afghanistan, UN World Food Programme reported last week.

More information on IOM assistance to Afghans affected and displaced by natural disasters, including drought, can be found here

Watch this IOM Reporter video from Chief of Mission Laurence Hart in Herat, Afghanistan.

For further information please contact Eva Schwoerer at IOM Afghanistan. Tel:  +93 729229129. Email: eschwoerer@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:23Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

US Ambassador John Bass, Afghan and IOM officials welcome the first of three flights carrying US aid to drought victims in Herat, western Afghanistan. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Real-time IOM Crisis Communications System Deployed to Help Save Lives During Ebola Response in DR Congo

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:23

Geneva – The World Health Organization is now using IOM’s innovative Security Communications and Analysis Network (SCAAN) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to support the security of its staff fighting the Ebola epidemic. The effectiveness of this innovative crisis communications system was demonstrated almost immediately.

With the latest Ebola outbreak spreading in the country, health workers are responding to the emergency in remote parts of north-eastern DRC which are prone to rebel violence. In October 2018, containment efforts in Beni city had to be suspended after a deadly rebel attack killed 21 people. Last week seven UN peacekeepers were killed in a military attack on rebel forces.

On Friday evening, just after the SCAAN system was activated, a WHO residence came under attack in Beni and IOM’s 24/7 Operations Centre in Manila began receiving alerts via the dashboard. Support calls were made to the WHO staff in question. Shortly thereafter the WHO security focal point in DRC sent a message to all staff advising them to take steps for their own safety – particularly to stay away from windows and seek cover.

IOM developed SCAAN, a security mobile app and digital platform to enhance the safety of its own and other UN staff who so often are exposed to danger during their work, in collaboration with CENTRIC, a research and innovation centre at Sheffield Hallam University. Over the past year, IOM has field-tested the security communications system that includes a dashboard for security professionals to monitor global risks to staff and a mobile app to enable staff to send alerts and receive push notifications on developing threats to ensure a rapid and well-directed response for those in danger.   

This communications network connects end users with a network of field security officers who can bring their expertise and aid to assist staff in urgent situations. All these functionalities can provide urgently needed and potentially life-saving support, as they did to WHO staff working in the DRC.

On their mobile devices, staff are equipped with: 

  • Easily installed app to provide emergency alerts, receive warning information, and crowd-source reports about incidents in their vicinity.
  • One-touch contact with security professionals to get help and respond to requests for accountability and status.
  • Geo-location which can provide critical information in case of hostage taking or security incident.
  • Live interface with the UN TRIP system so that travel notifications can be input and received on the go.

On the live dashboard, security professionals are equipped with:

  • A map-based security dashboard for monitoring the status, safety and location of all enrolled staff.  
  • Graphical visualization of the number of staff members on the system, current location, and any indicating a “NOT OK” status.
  • Ability to push warnings of specific or general nature to all staff or targeted groups based on location.
  • Interactive analysis of security trends and threats by region, type and risk level.

SCAAN was born in the aftermath of the 2008 terror attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai during which tourists holed up in hotel rooms took to social media as the situation unfolded.

The telephones were disconnected and the only means of communication they had were mobile phones and social media – so people started using social media, sending messages about gunshots, asking what they should do.

SCAAN is also being rolled out to IOM’s 11,000 staff worldwide to enhance their security as they work in challenging contexts. Currently, as the rollout continues, SCAAN is being used by more than 3300 IOM staff based in 130 countries.

For further information, please contact Leonard Doyle, IOM Geneva. Tel: +41 79 285 7123, Email: ldoyle@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:22Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

The WHO SCAAN dashboard, onscreen at IOM’s 24/7 operations centre in Manila. Photo: IOM

The WHO SCAAN dashboard, onscreen at IOM’s 24/7 operations centre in Manila. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Creates Emergency Safe Havens for Bangladesh’s Rohingya Refugees

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:21

Cox’s Bazar – Dozens of community buildings in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps have been upgraded by shelter teams from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, to provide temporary accommodation for refugees in emergency situations.

Seventy buildings have now been completed under the first phase of the project, supported by the European Union (EU), offering temporary shelter space for over 4,500 people.

The upgraded structures will allow IOM shelter and site management teams to provide better protection for refugees if they are affected by landslides, floods, bad weather or other unexpected events that force them to leave their own shelters.

Mohammed Nur, 36, a maji or community representative, said: “If weather conditions turn bad and storms destroy our shelters, people from our area will be able to stay here safely for a few days. It is a relief for all of us.”

In a second phase of community shelter upgrade work, to be funded by the United Kingdom, a further 100 buildings will undergo improvements. Once completed, the 170 strengthened structures will be able to accommodate 10,000 people with urgent shelter needs.

The facilities will also serve as a temporary accommodation for families whose shelters need to be repaired or completely re-built in the coming months, as the dry season offers a window of opportunity to tackle damage inflicted during the monsoon season.

“IOM and partners have provided over 100,000 households with materials to help them upgrade their own shelters. But weather and environmental conditions in the camps mean tens of thousands of families live with the knowledge that their shelters could be damaged or destroyed at any time,” said Manuel Pereira, IOM’s Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.

“Ensuring we have secure and stable buildings in which people can safely take shelter if disaster strikes is hugely important under such circumstances. This project means that even though people are living in very uncertain conditions, if the worst happens, we are still able to offer them a safe haven.”

The EU funding was provided by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) under a consortium project implemented by IOM, the German Red Cross, and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The Disaster Risk Reduction consortium was established to mitigate against disasters among refugee and local communities affected by the Rohingya refugee crisis.

Almost a million Rohingya are currently living in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, after escaping violence in Myanmar, which surged in late August 2017 sending over 500,000 people fleeing across the border in just a few weeks. The region is prone to some of the worst monsoon conditions on earth and undergoes two cyclone seasons each year.

Most Rohingya live in what has become the largest refugee settlement in the world – a desperately overcrowded environment on ground prone to landslides and flooding. People living in local villages, where infrastructure has been severely overstretched since the arrival of so many people in a very short period, also face ongoing risk of environmental and other disasters.

For more information please contact Fiona MacGregor at IOM Cox’s Bazar. Email: fmacgregor@iom.int, Tel: +88 0 1733 33522

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:21Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Rohingya CrisisShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

The block M24 (Camp 20) mosque is one of the community structures upgraded by IOM, with funding from ECHO, to provide temporary shelter for Rohingya refugees during emergencies. Photo: IOM 

The block M24 (Camp 20) mosque is one of the community structures upgraded by IOM, with funding from ECHO, to provide temporary shelter for Rohingya refugees during emergencies. Photo: IOM 

The block M24 (Camp 20) mosque is one of the community structures upgraded by IOM, with funding from ECHO, to provide temporary shelter for Rohingya refugees during emergencies. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Government of Chile Promote Employability for Venezuelans

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:20

Santiago – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Government of Chile held two events this month in Santiago, Chile’s capital, and the northern city of Antofogasta with the aim of informing refugees and migrants arriving in Chile from Venezuela about its process of labour certification, access to government training and financial literacy orientation. 

These seminars are part of the new collaborative partnership between institutions whose intent is to jointly coordinate certification of labour competencies of refugees and migrants from Venezuela, strengthen access to information and provide leads to labour opportunities.

“This partnership is strategic, as it benefits people to find a job in Chile through proper certification, and protects employers to have a certified labour force,” said IOM Chile Chief of Mission Norberto Girón. “This synergy is an important step in the construction of a more inclusive country where employment conditions for refugees and migrants from Venezuela are improved."

ChileValora is also lending its expertise to the agenda.  The Commission of the National Certification System of Labour Competencies is a public service agency related to the Presidency of the Republic through the state’s Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. It operates jointly operating with CUT (Labour Union) and CPC (Confederation of Production and Commerce).

“Through this initiative, ChileValora contributes to the process of integrating the Venezuelans into the country, and hand in hand with IOM, it strengthens the employability of those seeking a new life and enables them to be a contribution to our society,” explained the Executive Secretary of ChileValora, Francisco Silva.

Added Silva: “In the fulfilment of this project, the certification of labour competencies, aligned with the needs of the national productive sectors, is key for all because it also means contributing to the growth of the country,” he added.

Nationals from Haiti, Peru and Colombia also participated in the seminars. The sessions included a presentation by ChileValora experts on the importance of the certification of labour competencies to develop a business and ways to gain access to it. It also included a presentation on alternatives to access training and financing through the National Training and Employment Service (SENCE), in addition to a presentation on ways to integrate into the Chilean banking system, delivered by professionals from BancoEstado.

These initiatives are part of the IOM Regional Action Plan launched in April this year to support governments hosting nationals from Venezuela in the Americas and the Caribbean. The Action Plan aims at strengthening the regional response to flows of Venezuelans, supporting the efforts that governments have initiated across the region.

Both seminars were funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) from the United States Department of State.

For more information please contact José Estay, IOM Chile, Tel: + (56) 2 2963 3710, Email: jestay@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:19Image: Region-Country: ChileThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Djibouti Hosts Forum on African Migration

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:19

Djibouti City – The Fourth Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFoM IV) began yesterday (19/11) in Djibouti City under the theme, Harnessing the Benefits of Free Movement of Persons Regime for Sustainable Development in Africa.

The Government of Djibouti is hosting the three-day conference in collaboration with the UN Migration Agency (IOM), the African Union Commission (AUC) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

Held annually since 2014, the Forum aims to provide more focused engagement with all relevant migration stakeholders on the African continent. Dozens of delegates are gathered representing 34 African Union member states, Regional Economic Commissions (RECs), international organizations, private sector, trade unions, academia, parliamentarians, African diaspora community and civil society organizations working on migration issues.

Opening the deliberations, Prime Minister of Djibouti, Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed urged African member states to foster dialogue “because migration transcends across borders, it requires enhanced cooperation and coordination.”

The conference covers a myriad of topics related to migration in Africa, including: a coordinated human mobility agenda for Africa: the benefits and challenges of free movement; the continental free trade area; accurate data for evidence-based policy making; and fostering social cohesion, integration and security cooperation.

The event complements efforts being made by the African Union (AU) and respective RECs to increase the capacity of member states as well as consolidate instruments, policies, laws and other commitments that facilitate the free movement of people, goods and services on the continent.

A recent study commissioned by the AU and IOM revealed that more than 80 per cent of African migration today occurs within Africa itself, either intra-regionally (particularly within the West, East and Southern African regions) or inter-regionally (from West Africa to Southern Africa, from East/Horn of Africa to Southern Africa and from Central Africa to Southern Africa and West Africa).

It is thus becoming increasingly important for the AU to guide renewed policies of free movement of persons on the continent.

Free movement of African populations is one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063, the blueprint to propel the continent to prosperity within the next 50 years, which emphasizes “a continent with seamless borders”. However, the Africa Visa Openness Index, a guide by the African Development Bank (AfDB), reveals that African countries remain largely closed off to African citizens.

Consequently, in January this year, Heads of States and Government of the African Union adopted the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, the Right of Residence and the Right of Establishment in Addis Ababa. The Protocol is one of the pillars of the integration process of the continent, along with the Agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Single African Air Transport Market.

The Protocol includes an Implementation Roadmap in which people can move freely within the continent with clear pathways for regularizing their stay and businesses in countries of destination. It will also enhance collection of reliable data on such movements, promote portability of skills and social protection among labour migrants, hence ensuring their effective participation in building the economies of the host community.

For more information: Lalini Veerassamy, IOM Djibouti, Tel: +216-2959 8604, Email: lveerassamy@iom.int. Or Eric Mazango, IOM Ethiopia Special Liaison Office, Tel: +251 904645879, Email: emazango@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:18Image: Region-Country: DjiboutiThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Prime Minister of Djibouti, Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed speaking at the opening of the Fourth Pan African Forum on Migration. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Study Identifies Reasons for Continued Displacement of Iraqi IDPs

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:18

Erbil – In April 2016, Iraq experienced its peak of displacement with approximately 3.42 million individuals forced to flee their homes. Two and half years later, in November 2018, this number has nearly halved to 1.87 million individuals, and most of these remaining internally displaced persons (IDPs) report planning to stay where they are over the next 12 months.

Protracted displacement is generally described as a condition in which internally displaced persons are unable to reduce the vulnerability, impoverishment and marginalization that may be caused by displacement.

Protracted displacement in Iraq is described in the study released today (20/11), Reasons to Remain: Categorizing Protracted Displacement in Iraq, conducted jointly by IOM Iraq; the Returns Working Group, an operational and multi-stakeholder platform on returns; and Social Inquiry, an Iraq-based research institute; and with input and support from the Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD) within the Federal Government of Iraq.

“Being stuck in protracted displacement, a situation that is characterized by long periods of exile and longing for home while a state of emergency no longer exists, is very challenging for the displaced and their families,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Iraq Chief of Mission.

“Finding durable solutions to displacement is a long-term process requiring close cooperation between the government and a range of humanitarian actors. Such support includes helping IDPs improve their coping capacities and self-reliance as well as facilitating environments to absorb displaced and returning populations in host communities,” Waite added.

In Iraq, there are many reasons why IDPs remain displaced. The study seeks to classify these reasons into five categories: obstacles relating to housing; livelihoods and basic services; social cohesion; security; and mental health issues and psycho-social distress.

The study found that destruction of houses in areas of origin is the most prevalent self-reported reason for prolonged displacement in addition to a lack of livelihood opportunities and perceptions of insecurity.

This report is the first step in a process to provide a comprehensive, geography-based analysis of remaining IDPs and obstacles to return.

The report can be accessed here.

For more information please contact Sandra Black in IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:17Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the buildings and homes damaged during conflict in West Mosul, Ninewa governorate, Iraq. Photo: IOM/Nima Tamaddon

Some of the buildings and homes damaged during conflict in West Mosul, Ninewa governorate, Iraq. Photo: IOM/Nima Tamaddon

Some of the buildings and homes damaged during conflict in West Mosul, Ninewa governorate, Iraq. Photo: IOM/Nima Tamaddon

Some of the buildings and homes damaged during conflict in West Mosul, Ninewa governorate, Iraq. Photo: IOM/Nima Tamaddon

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches Online Counter-Trafficking Course in Ukraine

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:17

Kyiv – A car accident ruined Taras’* life. He spent several months in hospital and lost his job. In desperate need of income, he came across a job advertisement from a farm owner who was looking for a cowherd. He took the job and stayed at the farm for 16 years, during which he was regularly beaten and humiliated, and only occasionally received his paltry salary.

After the farm owner died, Taras was finally given his passport back and told that he was free to go. He no longer had a home to return to, so a local IOM partner NGO provided him with shelter, where he had to learn basic life skills again. Taras received clothing, medical and psychological assistance from the UN Migration Agency.

To identify and assist more people like Taras, IOM and the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine developed a counter-trafficking e-course for government officials and NGO practitioners. The course, funded by USAID and Global Affairs Canada, was officially presented in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on 20 November.

“Unfortunately, in many cases victims of trafficking prefer not to ask for help and remain invisible. That is why there is a constant need to reach out to more frontline practitioners – central and local social services, law enforcement officials, the State Migration Service and the State Employment Service, NGOs, teachers, medical staff and others who might help identify trafficking survivors,” said Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission.

“The newly developed online course serves this goal, providing modern and cost-effective alternatives to traditional seminars and workshops,” he added.

The IOM Mission in Ukraine has been countering trafficking in human beings for 20 years. In addition to direct assistance provided to almost 15,000 trafficking survivors, the UN Migration Agency supports government efforts, including training for the stakeholders of the National Referral Mechanism for Assisting Victims of Trafficking, established in Ukraine in 2012.

Taras was officially granted victim of trafficking status by the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine in June 2017. As IOM, its local partner NGO and state social services joined their efforts to help Taras, he received further assistance, including a complex ophthalmologic surgery. Now he earns a living as a handyman and is well respected by his colleagues. The NGO also helped to find his family, who had thought Taras had died long ago, and he finally met the grandchildren he had never seen.

*Name has been changed to protect privacy

For more information please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel. +38 044 568 50 15 or +38 067 447 97 92, Email: vzhluktenko@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:17Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM reintegration assistance to victims of trafficking in Ukraine (2000-2018) 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 104,029 in 2018; Deaths Reach 2,063

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:17

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 104,029 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 18 November. Spain topped 50,911 – more irregular arrivals to Spain through 45 weeks of 2018 than all arrivals during the past three years combined (See Table 6).

This marks the fifth straight year arrivals of irregular migrants and refugees have topped the 100,000 mark, although this year’s totals are low compared to those at this time in 2017 (157,261) and 2016 (345,544).

As colder weather conditions arrive, sea passage to Europe grows ever deadlier. IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) in Berlin noted this week that at least 22 people went missing in the Atlantic Ocean off Morocco’s southern province of Tiznit on 18 November. Three survivors managed to swim to shore and alert the authorities that the boat in which they were trying to reach Spain’s Canary Islands had capsized. A search and rescue operation was underway on Monday. But, due to the difficult weather conditions, no trace of the boat or its occupants had been found.

On 16 November, the remains of a migrant were recovered near Caños de Meca, Cádiz, Spain, while the body of another man was recovered in the same area on 18 November. They are the 20th and 21st victims of the shipwreck that took place on 5 November off the coast of Barbate. In the last two weeks, the remains of 21 people have been located at sea or have washed up on the shore of Caños de Meca.

Since the beginning of 2018, at least 655 people have lost their lives trying to reach Spain: 620 of those deaths happened in the Western Mediterranean, while at least 35 deaths were recorded between the shores of North and West Africa and the Canary Islands. A recent report by a Spanish foundation for investigative journalism, porCausa.org, found that more than 6,700 people have died or disappeared while trying to reach Spain since 1988.

In the Central Mediterranean, MMP reported that a boat capsized off the coast of Sardinia on 15 November. Three young men of Algerian nationality were rescued from the small island of Toro, and they reported to Italian authorities that 12 of them had departed a few days before from Annaba, Algeria. A search and rescue operation that was launched was able to retrieve the bodies of two men. Tragically, seven migrants remain missing.

IOM Greece

Antigoni Avgeropoulou reported Monday (19 November) that since the start of last weekend the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) was involved in at least two incidents requiring search and rescue operations off islands of Samos and Kos. The HCG rescued a total of 92 migrants and transferred them to those respective islands.

Another 96 arrivals between Thursday and Sunday to Samos as well as to Chios, Lesvos and Kalymnos bring to 28,649 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year through 18 November. That is just short of the total (29,501) arriving through all of last year, a total that appears will be surpassed in 2018 (See Table 8.b).

IOM Libya

Maya Abu Ata reported through the first half of November nearly 15,000 stranded migrants have left Libya for their home countries under IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme. The total departure number is 14,905 since 1 January 2018. During the first two weeks of November a total of 713 men and women were returned under VHR. They went home to Niger, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia and Pakistan. About a quarter of these November beneficiaries of VHR had been taken from detention centres. The rest were living at large in Libyan urban areas.

IOM Italy

Flavio Di Giacomo reported Monday monthly arrivals to Italy have averaged fewer than 2,500 men, women and children entering Italy by sea after departing North Africa since the start of November 2017. July 2017 was the last time monthly sea arrivals of irregular migrants and refugees surpassed 10,000 men, women and children – a total that arrived in 12 of the previous 13 months before that date – and had been arriving regularly in previous years of the Mediterranean emergency (See Table 7).

IOM Spain

Ana Dodevska reported Monday irregular migrants to Spain continue to arrive at a rate of almost 140 per day during the month of November, almost the rate they arrived this year during the summer months and in much heavier daily averages than were seen in the spring months of March, April and May. October was Spain’s busiest month for sea arrivals on month on record, with migrants or refugees entering by sea at a rate of over 350 people per day (See Table 2).

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 3,242 people who have died or gone missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018 (See Table 3).

Beyond the Mediterranean’s sea routes, MMP this week recorded three deaths along land routes in Europe. UNHCR reported the deaths of two people on the Serbia-Bosnia and Herzegovina border in early November. On 11 November, the remains of a young man of Iranian nationality were recovered from the banks of the Drina river, which runs along a 200km stretch of the border between the two countries. He is believed to have been part of a group of migrants and refugees who crossed the river into Bosnia ten days earlier, when the disappearance of two Iranian men were reported. The body of the other man has not been recovered. In the UK, the body of an individual was found underneath a bus at the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone, Kent on 18 November.

On the US-Mexico border, three men who had left their homes in Mexico to migrate north lost their lives while attempting to cross the border. The MMP team recorded the death of a man who drowned in the Río Bravo on 2 November. He had been deported from the US a few days earlier and was undertaking the dangerous crossing with the hope of reuniting with his daughter, who lives in Florida. His body was recovered near Matamoros, Tamaulipas, by Mexican civil protection authorities.

Another man drowned in this same stretch of the river a few days later, on 16 November and has yet to be identified. On 14 November, US Border Patrol officers in Texas found the remains of a man on ranch land south of Laredo. Additionally, the MMP team recorded the violent death of a migrant in Mexico’s southern state of Veracruz, near Las Mojarras on 16 November.

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

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, click here.  Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:16Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

National Committee on Migration Management Introduced in Namibia

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:16

Swakopmund – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) began a three-day National Migration Workshop on 19 November in Namibia, in partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration. The programme continues through Wednesday, 21 November.

The main objective of the workshop is to launch the National Committee on Migration Management (NCBMM), a coordinating body comprised of government institutions, UN agencies, civil society and non-governmental organizations. The Committee will be responsible for overseeing development of the Namibian Comprehensive National Migration Management Policy and providing a roadmap for its implementation.

This initiative follows the 18-month IOM Development Fund project that aims to strengthen migration management mechanisms of the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN).

Addressing the participants during the opening session, Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Hon. Frans Kapofi affirmed, “Migration is a topic close to all our hearts.” He added that migration wil continue for years to come and emphasized the need for government to put in place a strategy for improved migration management.

IOM Namibia’s Head of Office, Jeremias Mendes, referred to the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) as one of the key instruments that will guide the management of migration globally. The GCM will be essential in helping Namibia align its migration management policy to the global standards of migration governance, he said.

Mendes stressed that “there is a growing need to strengthen the migration management to better protect national borders but also to ensure that migrants’ rights are protected.”

The workshop marks the beginning of a process that will continue through 2019 with the submission of the draft migration policy to the GRN cabinet for final endorsement and implementation.

For more, please contact Jeremias Mendes at IOM Namibia, Tel: +264 61 231 639, Email: jmendes@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: NamibiaThemes: Migration GovernanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants at IOM's Migration Management Development policy workshop in Swakopmund, Namibia (19 - 21 November). Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Boosts Capacity of Tanzanian Immigration Officials to Train Colleagues

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:15

Moshi – IOM’s African Capacity Building Centre (IOM ACBC) in coordination with the Tanzania Regional Immigration Training Academy (TRITA), conducted a two-week training on curriculum development for Tanzanian Immigration Officials in Moshi from 5 to 19 November 2018.

The training, which gathered 25 participants from different regions in the country, sought to strengthen the expertise of trainers from the Immigration Department on the development of training curriculum and material. Experts from the Tanzanian National Council for Technical Education (NACTE), which is the national agency that oversees and coordinates the provision of technical education and curriculum development, provided technical support on the subject.

Topics addressed during the two-week training period covered, amongst others, curriculum development procedures and processes such as situational and operational analysis, learning assessment methods and training skills with the aim of developing skilled trainers and ensure sustainable training programs. 

IOM ACBC Senior Migration Management Specialist, Marcellino Ramkishun stated that “with the advancement of technology and ever-changing migration trends, a training institution that offers an innovative curriculum that meets the aspirations and interests of trainees is a key foundation for a strong training institution such as TRITA.”

IOM Chief of Mission in Tanzania, Dr Qasim Sufi attended the closing event together with Hans Christiaan Faber, the Deputy Director General, of the Netherlands’ Ministry of Justice and Security, Repatriation and Departure Services and Jan Willem Konig, Advisor to the Minister of Justice and Security, Repatriation and Departure Services.

Dr Sufi thanked the Government of the Netherlands for supporting the training, adding that “This first training of its kind will for sure boost the knowledge and capacity of immigration officers to develop their knowledge and skills as trainers in TRITA.”

The key expected outcome of this training is that the participants will become qualified trainers who will conduct and develop training for the Tanzanian Immigration Department.

The training was held under the auspices of the project Enhancing Migration Management in African States through Training and Capacity Building on Integrated Border Management and Countering Irregular Migration, funded by the Government of the Netherlands through the Repatriation and Departure Services. 

For more information, please contact the African Capacity Building Centre: Marcellino Ramkishun, Mobile: +255 769954181, Email: mramkishun@iom.int; or Pamela Kyando, Mobile: +255 686950768, Email : pkyando@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:13Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Chief of Mission in Tanzania, Dr Qasim Sufi presents a certificate to one of the training participants. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches ‘Holding On’ Campaign: A Virtual Reality Experience of Internal Displacement

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 10:09

Geneva – Marking the 20th anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) launched the ‘Holding On’ digital campaign yesterday (15/11) to raise awareness of the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and celebrate their courage and resilience.

Holding On showcases the stories of internally displaced persons by asking them to reflect on their most cherished possessions. Global audiences can now share these stories on social media via the #HoldingOn hashtag.  They can also sign a petition that calls on states to respect and advance the Guiding Principles, which Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of IDPs, will use in her work.

The Guiding Principles serve as the global standard for States regarding the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons. Displaced within the borders of their own countries, IDPs are among the world’s most neglected – often denied access to education, employment, safe accommodation and other human rights.

Twenty years on, internal displacement continues unabated around the world with 40 million people displaced in their own countries by conflict and violence as of December 2017, which accounts for 62 per cent of all conflict-induced displacement. The number of IDPs has nearly doubled since 2000, increasing sharply over the last five years. In addition, a further estimated 26 million people are displaced annually due to natural disasters.

“Internally displaced people have left their homes on their own. They don’t have anything other than what they’re carrying. Our exhibition shows people who just walked out with a t-shirt or only holding their children in their arms…That’s all they have,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Director of Operations and Emergencies in the United Nations podcast, A Way Home Together: Stories of the Human Journey.

The items IDPs carry with them when they flee often become physical representations of a world that has since disappeared. As simple as a camera, t-shirt or small bird, these items represent symbols of struggle and hope.

“This camera carries a lot of memories. I used it to take pictures of my children at home. We used to go north to picnic and these cameras were always with us. We took pictures and video footage that I still keep as memories,” said Moafaq, displaced in an emergency site in Iraq.

Tetiana and Volodymyr Ziangirov, internally displaced in Ukraine, reminisced, “The crib is 23+ years old now. My two elder daughters grew up in it. My best memories are associated with this crib.”

The exhibition’s virtual reality (VR) films reanimate the lives of IDPs in Colombia, Iraq, Nigeria, the Philippines and Ukraine. Since July 2018, IOM has held ten exhibitions around the world including in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Djibouti.

Conventional videos that do not require VR glasses, as well as feature and photo stories, are now available on the campaign’s website, allowing people an intimate view into the lives of others who remain displaced.

Upcoming exhibitions will be held during the IOM Council in Geneva between 27-30 November, the opening ceremony of the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) in Geneva on 28 November, and on International Migrants Day in Cairo on 18 December.

For more information please contact Angela Wells at IOM Headquarters in Geneva, Tel: +41 22 717 9 435, Email: awells@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 16, 2018 - 16:57Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Holding On VR exhibitions have been held in ten locations around the world since July. The Holding On digital campaign launched yesterday. Photos: IOM

Holding On VR exhibitions have been held in ten locations around the world since July. The Holding On digital campaign launched yesterday. Photos: IOM

Holding On | It is time to listen to the stories of internally displaced persons. Learn more about this campaign at holding-on.iom.int
 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

First IOM Member State Forum on Comprehensive Approach to Resettlement and Complementary Pathways to Europe

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 09:56

Brussels – The need for a comprehensive approach, a continuum of care in resettlement, and complementary protection pathways to Europe for refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations was the focus of the IOM Member State Forum – the first of its kind held by the UN Migration Agency – and co-hosted with the Government of Belgium in Brussels this week (12-14/11). 

“The availability of humane solutions to forced displacement pales in comparison to the scale and scope of this phenomenon, with 68.5 million forcibly displaced persons across the globe,” said IOM Director General António Vitorino, in his opening message to the three-day event on Monday.

“IOM is convinced that more can be done on resettlement and complementary protection pathways in partnership and coordination with our Member States and partners to help refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations.”

Director General Vitorino stressed that the continued success and enlargement of these schemes rely on strong partnerships with all stakeholders. The Forum serves as a catalyst for this, he said.

IOM noted that countries such as Canada, the EU and Associated States, Argentina and Chile have significantly expanded resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes in recent years and are exploring other protection pathways for refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations. Complementary protection pathways such as family reunification and humanitarian visas, in addition to resettlement, also provide tailored responses in support of safe, orderly and regular migration.

“Ultimately, resettlement and complementary protection avenues are not about processes or procedures alone; they provide life-changing protection to fellow human beings in need,” said Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM Chief of Staff and Regional Director for the EU, Norway and Switzerland.  “As resettlement actors, we need to do our best to help their lives change for the better.”

The first day focused on the need for coordinated approaches in often complex environments, and the essential components of successful resettlement programmes, namely the interdependencies of case management, pre-departure health assessments, pre-departure orientation, movement management and post-arrival integration support, along with immigration and visa solutions.

Representatives of 25 European countries alongside their peers from Australia, Asia, North and South America attended the Forum together with partners and officials from European institutions. They learned about migrant-centric family reunification support as well as humanitarian and other visa processing operations through a series of presentations and panel discussions.

Operational solutions, they affirmed, must emphasize rights and needs, whether by protecting migrants from smugglers, unscrupulous visa brokers, excessive fees, or other factors that may cause them to seek unsafe and irregular migration channels.

An exhibition showcased the close cooperation with partners and the comprehensive set of activities in support of safe and dignified migration that IOM has developed over the years in collaboration with its Member States. The highly interactive exhibition included IOM's Holding On campaign, a virtual reality experience that places the viewer inside the makeshift homes and campsites of internally displaced persons as they reflect on their most cherished possessions.

The second and third days covered the area of health, reviewing the evidence and cost effectiveness of pre-departure health assessments (PDHA) through plenary sessions, thematic workshops and group discussions that enabled participants to exchange experiences and share evidence. Participants roundly assessed that PDHA is an important tool that can improve integration efforts in receiving communities, supported by the secure transfer of health information.

 “A rich amount of information was shared by a variety of experts from IOM, resettlement countries and other partners,” said Paul Desautels, Director, Resettlement Operations, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). “Numerous complex issues were raised in the sessions which ‎were provocative and allowed the countries to explore future programme enhancements in the areas of health, movement and integration.”

IOM’s protection-oriented approach and duty to ensure a continuum of care to its beneficiaries, leading to sustainable integration, is centered around working with governments and partners to tailor programmes to specific contexts whilst ensuring adherence to principles and standards of assistance for refugees and migrants.

This short animated video showcases the resettlement process, from selection to reception, for one refugee family. It highlights the plight of refugees and IOM’s role in essential aspects of resettlement, from health and integration, to ensuring safe and dignified movements.

For more information contact: Craig Murphy, IOM HQ, Geneva, Email: cmurphy@iom.int, Tel: +41 22 717 9183; Paul Douglas, IOM HQ, Geneva, Email: pdouglas@iom.int, Tel: +41 44 717 9538; or Jo De Backer, IOM Regional Office, Brussels, Email: jdebacker@iom.int, Tel: +32 2 287 71 15, +32 470 13 10 28; Patrick Corcoran, IOM HQ Geneva, Email: pcorcoran@iom.int, Tel: +41 22 717 9174

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 16, 2018 - 16:52Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration PolicyResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants at the first IOM Member State Forum on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways to Europe, in Brussels, earlier this week (12-14/11).  Photo: IOM / Vasiliki Polychronopoulou

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Asian Labour Sending Countries Meet on Migrant Workers’ Rights, Global Compact on Migration

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 09:52

Kathmandu – Senior officials and ministers from the 12 Colombo Process (CP) member states are meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal this week (15-16/11) to discuss the rights of migrant workers and implementation of the upcoming Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).

The CP is a regional consultative process that brings together Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Viet Nam to address issues of regional migration governance, notably the management of overseas employment and contractual labour. It is currently chaired by Nepal. IOM, which provides technical and policy support, serves as its secretariat. 

CP member states, which account for about 30 per cent of the world’s estimated 150 million international labour migrants, played a key role in drafting the GCM. Many of their joint recommendations were incorporated in the final draft, which is due to be adopted by the United Nations in Marrakesh, Morocco, next month. 

These recommendations focus on following themes: remittances, recognition of skills and qualifications, international labour market analysis, fostering ethical recruitment, pre-departure orientation and empowerment. 

“We believe that formal adoption of the GCM in December is going to add importance to regional consultative processes like the Colombo Process. They will play a key role in implementing GCM objectives and actions underlying the global framework,” said IOM Regional Director for IOM Asia and the Pacific Dr. Nenette Motus, who is leading the IOM delegation in Kathmandu.

“We are confident that the Colombo Process will further develop concrete plans to implement this historic undertaking, the aim of which is to manage migration for the benefit of all,” she added.

“Migration is an increasingly important vehicle for the development of both the host and sending countries,” said Nepali Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista. “In this context, ensuring the human rights and well-being of the migrant workers has become a shared priority. This presents the Colombo Process with immense opportunities to facilitate strategic partnerships and collective efforts to address the existing challenges.”

For more information please contact Paul Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel: +977 1 4426250, Email: iomnepal@iom.int or Government of Nepal, Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security, Tel: +977 1 4211963, Email: info@mole.gov.np

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 16, 2018 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: NepalThemes: Global Compact on MigrationLabour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Senior officials from Colombo Process countries meet in Kathmandu. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

First Lao National Workshop on Migration Discusses Sustainable Development Goals, Global Compact on Migration

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 09:50

Vientiane – IOM and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic organized the country’s first National Workshop on Migration and Cooperation at the National Convention Centre in Vientiane on November 15th.

The event, designed to better understand the cross-cutting nature of migration and its impact on sustainable development in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, follows the Southeast Asian nation’s accession to IOM membership in June 2018, when it became the 171st member state of the UN Migration Agency.

The National Workshop brought together key ministries and stakeholders including development partners, UN agencies, civil society organizations and the private sector. It also featured a keynote presentation by the Lao National Institute for Economic Research.

In her opening remarks, Lao Deputy Foreign Minister Khamphao Ernthavanh said: “The Lao People’s Democratic Republic, as a full member of IOM, will fulfill its obligations by continuing to strengthen cooperation with IOM in addressing the comprehensive development needs and challenges related to migration management to bring about tangible benefits for both society and migrants.”

IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson recognized the efforts being made by the Lao government to optimize the overall benefits of migration for individuals and communities. “Only collective efforts can deliver results and ensure that the risks and vulnerabilities faced by migrants are significantly reduced…. A whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach is needed to address migration challenges and harness opportunities,” she said.

The workshop shared information on existing migration initiatives in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and addressed the migration impacts of the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan. It also examined the role of migration in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

Under the leadership of the Lao Government, IOM Lao People’s Democratic Republic and development partners have joined hands in providing technical support to contribute to safe, orderly and regular migration in areas including counter trafficking, protection, immigration and border management, migration health, labour migration and disaster response.

For more information please contact Misato Yuasa at IOM Vientiane. Tel. +856.21267730, Email: myuasa@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 16, 2018 - 16:47Image: Region-Country: Lao People’s Democratic RepublicThemes: Capacity BuildingGlobal Compact on MigrationMigration PolicyDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson (right) addresses the workshop in Vientiane. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Anti-Trafficking Hotline Goes Online in Kenya

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 09:47

Nairobi – The fight against human trafficking in Kenya has taken on a new dimension. This month, plans were announced to set up a hotline that will hasten the response by the local authorities and the Counter Trafficking in Persons (CTiP) Secretariat to reports of trafficking and lead to the arrest of offenders. The hotline is the first of its kind in Kenya and will build on the existing child abuse helpline currently operated by the department of children and social protection which hosts the CTiP Secretariat.

The proposed hotline is the brainchild of the Department of Children’s Services and CTiP, which co-organized a workshop with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and IOM, the UN Migration Agency (7-8/11) where the plans were unveiled. The hotline’s operations will largely focus on hotspot districts like Kakamega County, located in Western Kenya, on the border with Uganda.

Kakamega is a county of origin and transit for trafficking victims; hence, there is a strong need to create awareness and foster cooperation to address the issue. CTiP Secretariat Chairperson Carren Ogoti said the counties prioritised for National Referral Mechanism (NRM) activities were those that reported a high number of cases in human and child trafficking.

“In Kakamega, it is sometimes difficult to prove a case as trafficking. In the rural setting, the incidents reported are thought to be ‘child stealing’ instead of trafficking,” said Benta Ochieng, a participant representing Probation and Aftercare Service.

Esther Wasige, the County Children Coordinator from Busia, said traffickers have found new ways of operating, making it hard to track them for prosecution.

The workshop thus focused on activating the National Referral Mechanism for assisting victims of human trafficking. It brought together 31 participants (18 male and 13 female). It was part of the Better Migration Management (BMM) Programme which aims to improve migration management in the region, and in particular to address the trafficking and smuggling of migrants within and from the Horn of Africa.  

BMM is a regional programme funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It is coordinated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and implemented through its partners including IOM, UNODC, Expertise France, Italian Department of Public Security, CIVIPOL and the British Council.

Apart from Kenya, BMM is active in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and South Sudan. In Kenya, BMM has been actively supporting the government in strengthening its capacities in the implementation of both the National Plan of Action (NPA) on countering human trafficking and the National Referral Mechanism.

CTiP has taken steps to put structures in place to counter human trafficking, among them the gradual delegation of more work to the counties in identifying, reporting, assisting and protecting victims of trafficking.

For more information please contact Etsuko Inoue at IOM Nairobi, Tel: +254204221000, Email: einoue@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 16, 2018 - 16:44Image: Region-Country: KenyaThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

Group discussion during the National Referral Mechanism workshop in Nairobi. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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