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Updated: 4 min 39 sec ago

UN Migration Agency Regional Office Expands Cooperation with Forthcoming OSCE Chair

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 09:32

Bratislava – On Wednesday (24/1) the Director of IOM’s Vienna Regional Office Argentina Szabados met with the State Secretary of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Lukas Parizek in the capital, Bratislava. 

Slovakia assumes the annual Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2019.

The meeting explored how the Slovak Republic can prepare for its OSCE Chairmanship and how it can advance migration priorities with OSCE States.

IOM’s Szabados welcomed Slovakia’s appointment as chair of the largest regional security and cooperation grouping in the world, as well as its advancement of OSCE’s current priorities, including migration. “IOM looks forward to continued cooperation with the Government of Slovakia in advancing migration governance both bilaterally and multilaterally within the OSCE framework,” she said.

Szabados noted IOM’s extensive presence throughout the region, with interventions in areas ranging from curbing human smuggling and trafficking, to preventing and combating violent extremism, as well as migration and development programming. She emphasized the importance IOM, as the UN Migration Agency, places on gender aspects of its work.

State Secretary Parizek, and Director General for International Organizations, Development Assistance and Humanitarian Aid Karla Wursterova, expressed their appreciation of  IOM’s office in Bratislava to IOM Regional Director Szabados, and to Head of Office Zuzana Vatraľová. Secretary Parízek noted that “Since Slovakia became an IOM Member State in 1996, it has been pleased to be a contributor to the Organization's budget, and its programming.” He added that he looks forward to further deepening Slovakia’s relations with IOM as a practical and constructive partner on migration issues.

For more information please contact Amr Taha, IOM Regional Office in Vienna, Tel: +43 660 535 3658, Email ataha@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Friday, January 26, 2018 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: AustriaThemes: OthersDefault: Multimedia: 

State Secretary of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Lukas Parizek greets IOM Regional Director Argentina Szabados.

State Secretary of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Lukas Parizek greets IOM Regional Director Argentina Szabados.

Delegations from IOM and the Government of Slovakia at this week’s meeting in Bratislava.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

FAO, IOM Boost Cooperation on Migration

Thu, 01/25/2018 - 04:24

Rome/Geneva – In view of the co-chairmanship of the Global Migration Group (GMG) this year and to further strengthen their collaboration, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Comprising more than 20 UN agencies, the GMG has been recognized as a source of technical support and advice to the Member States, and will be co-chaired by FAO and IOM in 2018. 

The new agreement will serve as a basis for FAO and IOM to mainstream a development approach in global initiatives and fora on migration, highlighting the importance of agricultural and rural development in the context of migration.

It will also enable strengthened collaboration in strategic advocacy, generating and sharing knowledge, and advice on the design, implementation and monitoring of programmes countries adopt to include migration into their national development policies.
Closer ties are crucial in view of intergovernmental negotiations leading to the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration (GCM) by the end of 2018.

The Global Compacts to be crafted this year – one for migration and a separate one for refugees – will be the product of a country-led process and will provide a comprehensive set of common principles and approaches to improve, complement and reinforce policy frameworks at the national, regional and global level.

IOM is the leading international organization for migration and joined the UN system in 2016. FAO's focus on food security, smallholder farmers and rural development offers a unique opportunity to address some of the key factors behind forced migration.

Rural development and migration

Migration requires a comprehensive and integrated approach, which takes into account the many factors that impact migration, including agricultural and rural dimensions.
IOM's focus lies on improving migration governance, through its worldwide network of field offices working on policy and technical assistance, capacity building and emergency response. FAO has a strong focus on addressing the drivers of irregular migration, and harnessing the development potential of migration by investing in job creation in rural areas of origin and increasing the stability and resilience of rural households.

Both organizations call for explicit recognition of migration – both its causes and its potential – in national policies on climate change as well as rural development.

FAO and IOM: Paving the way for closer collaboration

The decision to strengthen the collaboration between FAO and IOM was reiterated in 2016 when FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva met with Ambassador William Lacy Swing, IOM Director-General, on the margins of the World Humanitarian Summit.
In July 2017, during the 40th session of FAO Conference, the two leaders spoke on measures needed to contrast climate-induced and launched a joint brief on the subject. The two Organizations are also collaborating with IFAD, WFP and OECD for the development of a joint technical report on the interlinkages between food security and migration.

As GMG co-chairs in 2018, FAO and IOM will be closely collaborating with the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General in line with the request raised in the Secreary General's report Making Migration Work for All to the United Nations to be a source of ideas and policy guidance, as well as a convener, for the implementation of the New York Declaration and the Global Compact on Migration.

For further information please contact  Tamara Keating, IOM HQ, Tel:  +41 22 717 9533, Email: tkeating@iom.int

Language English Posted: Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 11:17Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

A returnee (2nd from right) oversees work on his pawpaw farm in Sri Lanka. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2014.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Investing in better migration data could be worth over $35 billion

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 03:03

World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland – Could better use of data help turn human mobility into an asset worth tens of billions of dollars?

That’s the finding of a study by the UN Migration Agency’s (IOM) Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), working with the McKinsey Centre for Government (MCG), being released today at Davos’ World Economic Forum. 

In the new report, entitled “More than Numbers: How migration data can deliver real-life benefits”, IOM and MCG illustrate how investing in better data can help manage migration more effectively and illustrates clear examples of this.

The International Organization for Migration´s Director General William Lacy Swing explained in launching the report: “Too often, data are seen as the abstract business of experts operating in backrooms. Yet data are essential to produce real-life results such as protecting migrants in vulnerable situations, fill labour market shortages and improve integration, manage asylum procedures, ensure the humane return of migrants ordered to leave or increase remittance flows.”

Added Solveigh Hieronimus, Partner at McKinsey & Company:  “In this report, we have taken a fresh perspective on migration data and statistics, one that could benefit the entire development world. By taking a value based approach to migration data we can ensure that investment is squarely focussed on impact. Ultimately, if governments want to see better outcomes they need to prioritise more relevant data, not just more data.”

The report illuminates how investing in migration data can bring huge economic, social and humanitarian benefits. It provides detailed calculations of these benefits, across a range of different policy areas, and for both developed and developing countries. Looking ahead, the report provides guidance to countries interested in realising these benefits and suggests ways in which they could develop their own strategies to improve data on migration.

For example, many migrants to the European Union have skills that do not match their jobs. Using data to reduce over-qualification would increase the income of migrants in the EU by EUR 6 billion, the report calculates.

Better data can also save labour migrants USD 6 billion in recruitment fees for jobs abroad or increase the money that migrants send home by USD 20 billion worldwide.

But it is not only about money.

Smart use of data can double the success rate of identifying human trafficking cases, speed up asylum applications or promote humane, voluntary returns.

“We are at a crucial moment,” said IOM Director-General Swing. UN member states have started negotiations leading towards the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.

Consultations leading up to the negotiations in 2018 have highlighted the importance of improving the evidence on migration. UN countries have also committed to several migration-related targets linked to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals agreed in 2015. Without better data it will be hard to assess progress towards these common targets. “The time to invest in better migration data is now”, says Swing.  “Just looking at the examples we have illustrated in the report would see a boost in USD 35 billion towards the opportunities and challenges that migration presents.”

For more information please contact, Frank Laczko, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +4991 143 00160, Email: flaczko@iom.int or Jasper Tjaden, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 (0)30 278 778 22 jtjaden@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 10:00Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 4,485 in 2018; Deaths Reach 201

Tue, 01/23/2018 - 07:38

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 4,485 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 21 January. This compares with 3,335 coming ashore during a similar period in 2017. Italy accounts for approximately 60 per cent of the total, with the remainder split between Spain (19 per cent) and Greece (20 per cent).

IOM Italy’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported Monday (22/01) that a total of 2,749 migrants or refugees have arrived in Italy by sea this month, according to official Italian Ministry of Interior figures. That’s about a 15 per cent increase over the same period in January 2017, at the start of a late winter flow when arrivals quickly outpaced the totals from previous winters (see chart below).

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Monday that over four days, 17-20 January, the Hellenic Coast Guard reported one incident requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos. The Coast Guard rescued 32 migrants and transferred them to the respective island. Fewer than 50 migrants arrived during those days.

Greece arrivals this year continue a trend that began in 2017, when migrant arrivals along the Mediterranean Sea’s Eastern routes hit their lowest levels in four years (see chart below).

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday total land and see arrivals of irregular migrants through the month’s first three weeks have topped 1,000, including 216 border crossings at the African enclave of Melilla.

In Tunis, IOM's Olivia Headon reported that from 7 January through 17 January, coastal authorities in Libya have intercepted or rescued 1,497 migrants attempting to reach Europe by sea. Included in that figure were 81 children. IOM Libya also learned yesterday that fishermen near Qarapoli retrieved the remains of an African man. Authorities said the man's body was tangled in fishing nets and that this was the second such incident in recent days.

Since the last IOM report on Friday (19/01) the organization’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) added two more deaths in the Mediterranean, both on the Western route linking Africa to Spain. Two men, of Sub-Saharan origin, were pulled from the water 10 miles west of the Island of Alboran on Saturday, (20/01) after their boat sank while trying to reach Spain, according to the Spanish maritime rescue service.  Thirty-four others were rescued and brought to Almería, Spain.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded the deaths of 310 people during migration in 2018, many of those recorded at sea (see chart below).

 

Over the weekend, local authorities in Curaçao reported that human remains were found on the northeast shore of the island that could be connected to the shipwreck of 10 January, in which five Venezuelan migrants lost their lives. Venezuelan civil protection officials said they have accounted for 16 survivors of the voyage which may have had as many as 34 people on board when their vessel departed South America, all believed to be Venezuelan. An estimated 13 migrants remain missing.
On the US/Mexico border, winter cold continues to take its toll. The remains of five migrants who appeared to have died from hypothermia were recovered by authorities in Brooks County, Texas, on 21 January.

In the Middle East last week, 16 Syrian refugees lost their lives near the Masna’a border crossing in eastern Lebanon during a winter storm. Local authorities confirmed that 14 bodies (six women, two children and six men) were retrieved on Friday (19/01), while the bodies of a 30-year-old woman and a 3-year-old girl were found on Sunday, 21 January.

In Central Asia, 52 Uzbek migrant workers died last week in a bus fire in the Aktobe region in Kazakhstan. The bus was traveling along a road frequently used by migrant workers heading to the Russian border. Five people managed to escape the burning vehicle and survive the fire.

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

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: https://missingmigrants.iom.int/pdf?url=https://missingmigrants.iom.int/...
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Berlin, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 71 860 312 ext. 109, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 14:13Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Viet Nam Academy of Social Sciences Study Family Relocation due to Environmental Change

Tue, 01/23/2018 - 07:25

Ha Noi – IOM and the Institute of Sociology (IOS), Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, have released a new report: Planned Relocation in the Context of Environmental Change in Hoa Binh Province, Northern Viet Nam: An Analysis of Household Decision-making and Relocation Outcomes.

The study assesses the implementation and outcomes of planned relocation in the Hoa Binh Relocation Project, which aims to relocate 1,200 families from two remote communes in the mountainous Northwest region that face high natural disaster risks.

The study explored project implementation, household decision-making processes and relocation outcomes for 406 households, including those who have relocated, those who wish to move, and those who have chosen to remain or are undecided.

Its findings show the potential for relocation to contribute to improved quality of life and new opportunities for relocated communities. Existing policies in Viet Nam provide important support that can help relocated households transition successfully to new, safer locations.

But the implementation of the current project shows the complex nature of household decisions on relocation and the practical challenges encountered in helping families to address the multiple factors which impact relocation outcomes.

The research identified key themes in household decision making, along with practices that support successful relocation.

It showed that households had high levels of awareness and experience of natural disasters. But disaster risk was only one of multiple factors influencing their migration decisions. Others included concerns about the impact on their livelihoods and the social dislocation associated with relocation.

The findings related to project implementation and relocation outcomes also showed that although most families had a high awareness of the objectives of the project, they had a limited understanding of the actual process. It also noted the limited participation of commune authorities and communities in both planning and implementation.

The research recommends policy approaches to support improved relocation practices, including policies on relocation planning and implementation, participation and communication, livelihood development, and monitoring and evaluation.

The report was released at a best-practices workshop on planned relocation and disaster risk reduction co-hosted by IOM and IOS in Ha Noi. The event was designed to provide policy makers, researchers, and civil society with an opportunity to discuss the findings and best practices with national, regional and international experts.

“Planned relocation, and migration in general, are a possible response to environmental change, which can increase households’ resilience to slow onset and rapid onset disasters. But they can be complex and are probably best when safe in-situ adaptation or other options are not feasible. They also need to be planned, designed, implemented and monitored with full community participation,” said IOM Viet Nam head of programmes, Paul Priest.

Download the reports here:
English | Vietnamese

For further information, please contact IOM Viet Nam. David Knight, Tel: +844 3850 1810, Email: dknight@iom.int.  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 14:12Image: Region-Country: Viet NamThemes: Migration ResearchMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Environmental change is forcing some Vietnamese families to relocate. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Director General Swing to Attend World Economic Forum in Davos

Tue, 01/23/2018 - 07:25

Davos – The United Nations Migration Agency Director General William Lacy Swing is attending this week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland with a full slate of daily events. 

Early on Tuesday (23/01), DG Swing participates in the WEF’s fourth annual When Women Thrive briefing, this year called From Opportunity to Action.  Participants are being asked to consider the widening economic gender gap and ask themselves, “Are we making progress or making noise?”

Also, on Tuesday morning DG Swing will contribute to a panel on Somalia, which is facing a number of challenges and whose increasing instability poses an imminent threat to its region. Ambassador Swing will be joined by Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire of Somalia, the UNHCR’s Filippo Grandi, President Alpha Conde of Guinea and Peter Maurer of the ICRC, among others.

Three afternoon sessions Tuesday – ‘World in Transformation: Migration’, ‘We Need to Talk About…Immigration’ and ‘Reconnecting Refugees’ – will discuss data-driven strategies of integration and advocacy.

Wednesday’s activities include a morning panel: More than Numbers: How Decision Makers Can Capture the Value of Migration Through Data, featuring Ambassador Swing with Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Netherlands and Solveigh Hieronimus, Partner, McKinsey & Company, moderated by Khalid Koser, Executive Director, Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund.  

This event is timely given Wednesday’s launch of a new report, More Than Numbers: How Migration Data Can Deliver Real-life Benefits – by the UN Migration Agency’s (IOM) Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) and the McKinsey Centre for Government (MCG) that explains how using better data to address the challenges and opportunities of migration could be worth tens of billions of dollars to cities, governments, consumers and tax-payers worldwide. 

Later on Wednesday, Ambassador Swing will take part in a panel Stabilizing the Mediterranean, moderated by Roula Khalaf, Deputy Editor, The Financial Times and featuring Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni of Italy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of Nigeria and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece.

Ambassador Swing will be available for media interviews throughout the World Economic Forum week.

For more information, please contact: Leonard Doyle, IOM HQ, Tel: + 41 79 285 7123. Email: ldoyle@iom.int  or Joel Millman, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 14:14Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

UN Migration Agency (IOM) Director General William Lacy Swing at the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Appeals for USD 1.4 Billion to Help over 80 Million People in 50 Countries

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 07:55

Geneva - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is appealing for nearly USD 1.4 billion to address the needs of over 80 million people in 50 countries in 2018. These vital funds will support people displaced within the borders of their own countries, migrants, refugees and the communities that host them, people returning to their areas of origin and people experiencing or recovering from conflict and natural disasters.

“The world is experiencing more complex emergencies than ever before, with millions of men, women and children struggling to survive,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Director of Operations and Emergencies, from the Organization’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. “In terms of internal displacement alone, due to conflict and natural disasters, over 31 million people were newly displaced in 2016 adding to the millions already living in long-term protracted displacement.”

This appeal covers planned activities in crisis prevention and preparedness, emergency response, transition and recovery.

“IOM’s humanitarian programming aims not only to save lives but to help affected communities stabilize, build resilience and find solutions. The long-term impact of our responses is of paramount importance. Whether displaced by drought in Somalia, returning home to a recently liberated neighbourhood in Mosul or a member of the local community in Cox’s Bazar, where over 800,000 Rohingya refugees have settled, millions of people are in need not only of emergency assistance and protection but of innovative support that helps them get back on their feet, more resilient than they were before. This is IOM’s goal for 2018,” said Abdiker.

Information on IOM’s funding needs can be found online in the Humanitarian Compendium.

The planned areas of support include: Shelter and Non-Food Items; Activities to Promote Solutions to displacement, Support Community Stabilization and Transition; Camp Management and Displacement Tracking; Health Support; (Re)integration assistance; Humanitarian Communication; prevention efforts around Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Building; Psychosocial Support; Counter-Trafficking and Protection of Vulnerable Migrants; Technical Assistance for Humanitarian Border Management; Housing, Land and Property Support; Transport Assistance to Affected Populations; Migration Policy and Legislation Support; Diaspora and Human Resources Mobilization; and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

The countries covered include: Afghanistan, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Georgia, Guinea, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

Most of IOM’s funding needs are coordinated either under the country-specific inter-agency Humanitarian Response Plans or Regional Refugee Response Plans. IOM’s humanitarian funding requirements may change throughout 2018 as the settings in which the Organization works change.

In 2017, IOM humanitarian programming amounted to USD 1.1 billion.

IOM’s overall programme and budget can be accessed here.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ, Tel: +41794035365 Email: oheadon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, January 19, 2018 - 14:47Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

An IOM staff conducts a follow up assessment visit with a Syrian family living in Turkey to see how their assistance is impacting them. Photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

In no man’s land between Bangladesh and Myanmar, a Rohingya woman holds her child. Photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM Medical staff carry out a fit to travel check on a young Somali boy in Aden prior to his emergency evacuation out of Yemen. Photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Holds Training on Trafficking and Irregular Migration in Somaliland

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 07:54

Somaliland – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, with support from the Government of Japan earlier this month held a training on trafficking, irregular migration and the establishment of a referral mechanism for irregular migrants and Victims of Trafficking (VoTs) in Somaliland.

Thirty-two trainees were drawn from the Human Trafficking Development Agency (HAKAD), the Child Protection Working Group (CPWG), Non-Governmental Organizations and staff from the Migrant Response Centre (MRC). The training was organized with the support of HAKAD having requested IOM for capacity building for its members. HAKAD was formed to combat trafficking and irregular migration.

The training was designed to create awareness and provide conceptual clarity on trafficking and irregular migration. The training also included discussions on how to counter trafficking, irregular migration and the establishment of a referral mechanism. During the training, UNICEF facilitated a session on child protection. Structures for directing or redirecting victims of trafficking and irregular migrants to appropriate and definitive service provision were also reviewed.

IOM spearheaded the formation of the MRC in April 2009 to address protection issues for migrants. The referral system established will facilitate identification, referral, direct assistance, reintegration and protective services for irregular migrants and victims of trafficking based on gender, age and other specific needs.

IOM has previously trained HAKAD on trafficking and irregular migration and also facilitated and supported the agency in developing an action plan to address issues of irregular migration and trafficking.

HAKAD members, representatives from the Ministry of Information, IDP committees and local councillors were also trained by IOM on conducting and supporting community dialogue and conversation on trafficking and irregular migration.

IOM is working closely with HAKAD on raising awareness and creating community conversation, dialogue and debate on trafficking and irregular migration.

In his closing remarks, the Director of HAKAD, Saeed Abdilahi Ahmed said, “I believe that most of the participants who took part in this training did not know the difference between trafficking and smuggling. Through this training we now all know the difference and can identify cases of trafficking.”

Ahmed added, “We also had the chance to get together MRC, HAKAD and CPWG members to identify various activities we can carry out together. We reviewed the referral mechanism and we now have knowledge on how to refer cases that need assistance to the appropriate agencies.”

For more information, please contact Feisal Mohamud at IOM Somalia, Tel: +254721290074 Email: famuhamud@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, January 19, 2018 - 14:45Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM held a training on referral mechanism for irregular migrants and Victims of Trafficking in Somaliland on 8–11 January 2018. Photo: Askar Dayib Abdirahman / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 2,583 in 2018; Deaths Reach 199

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 07:52

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 2,583 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 17 January. This compares with 3,156 coming ashore during a similar period in 2017.

 

 

IOM Italy’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported Thursday (18/01) that a total of 1,671 migrants have been rescued in the waters between Libya and Italy in two days: 1,457 on Tuesday and 214 on Wednesday (the overall majority are not included in the above table).

The rescue operations were carried out by NGOs, the Italian Coast Guard, EunavforMed, commercial ships and Italian Navy. Three migrants died (among them two infants). Thursday weather conditions were extremely harsh yet there were reports of migrants’ boats at sea calling for help.

The 1,093 arrivals to Italy through Wednesday (17/01) is less than half the total (2,393) arriving by this time last year.   Since the end of June of 2017, Libya-to-Italy voyages have shown a marked decline, although fatalities on the Mediterranean’s Central Route remain high.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project records 179 deaths on this route in 2018, compared with 200 at this time last winter (see chart below).

 

Italy and Greece arrivals this year continue a trend that began in 2017, when migrant arrivals along the Mediterranean Sea’s Central and Eastern routes hit their lowest levels in four years (see chart below).

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday total land and see arrivals of irregular migrants this month are at 869 (as of 18/01), with sea arrivals totaling 653 migrants, divided between Spain’s southern shores and Balearic Islands (614) the Canary Islands (18) and Ceuta (21). Land arrivals, 216, were recorded at Melilla.

IOM Greece reported Wednesday that over the last week, the Hellenic Coast Guard reported there were at least 4 incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos and Samos. The Coast Guard rescued a combined 145 migrants and transferred them to these respective islands.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) added several deaths to the Mediterranean report this week.  In the Western Mediterranean, two Algerian nationals, a man and a woman, lost their lives in a shipwreck, eight miles north of Cap Falcon in Algeria on 16 January. Seventeen survivors were rescued from the same boat by local civil protection authorities.

In the Central Mediterranean, the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms reported three deaths off the coast of Libya: on 16 January, the bodies of a baby and a young man were found on an overloaded wooden boat during a rescue operation, while on 18 January, the NGO reported the death of another infant from malnutrition and fever on board their ship, while waiting for a medical evacuation that unfortunately did not arrive in time.

MMP lists 199 deaths in the Mediterranean this month, which makes January 2018 the second deadliest month in the region in half a year. Since June 2017 – when 547 migrants or refugees lost their lives on the Mediterranean – only one month, November (with 262 fatalities), saw more deaths than January so far, this with two weeks remaining in the month.

IOM recorded in each of the months of July, August, September, October and December 2017 fewer than 170 migrant deaths on the Mediterranean.

Worldwide, the MMP has recorded the deaths of 235 people during migration in 2018. Besides the Mediterranean casualties MMP recorded one new death in Europe over the past few days: on 13 January, a 30-year-old Moroccan man was hit by a train near Bolzano, Italy. Four migrants already had lost their lives as they tried to move across Europe since the beginning of the year. On the US/Mexico border, a newborn traveling in a family group from Honduras died from hypothermia in Nogales, Sonora, on 15 January.

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

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic:  http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170719_Mediterranean_Update.pdf

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

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Berlin, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 71 860 312 ext 109, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, January 19, 2018 - 14:46Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Holds First Reintegration Information Session for Returnees in Gambia

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 07:51

Banjul – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in collaboration with the HOPE Foundation this week (17/01) held a reintegration information session for 120 returnees in the Gambian capital Banjul. The first such session in the West African nation was organized to address questions pertaining to the reintegration assistance returnees are entitled to receive under the EU-IOM Joint initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.

Five local companies from various sectors including poultry farming, cashew nut farming, and carpentry, attended the event and discussed their services and products with the participants interested in their activities. Participants also discussed existing job opportunities and signed up for their areas of interests for future trainings.

“We try to reintegrate these young people coming back from Libya with work opportunities. We have the capacity to produce all the poultry needs of this country if we receive enough support,” said former IOM beneficiary Mass Jobe, now the manager of EMPAS Poultry company which offers reintegration job opportunities to youth returnees.

Jobe added, “We were very impressed by the character of the returnees who have demonstrated that they want to make their lives better and transform their lives for the better. We need to help them resettle and make good meaning of their lives.”

“Tell the brothers to stay, irregular migration is not the way. We can change the narrative, we are going to write our own story,” said Cherno Gay, a Gambian poet who attended the information session.

Launched in 2017, the EU-IOM Joint initiative aims at strengthening migration governance and the sustainable reintegration of returning migrants in 13 countries in West Africa (including The Gambia) and Libya.

For more information, please contact Marianna Bertelle, at IOM Gambia; Tel: +2202169647, Email: mbertelle@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, January 19, 2018 - 14:44Image: Region-Country: GambiaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Gambian returnees sign up for training at a reintegration information session. Photo: Marianna Bertelle/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Humanitarian Situation in DR Congo Reaches Breaking Point as Funding Gap Remains Enormous

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 09:05

Kinshasa – The humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has deteriorated dramatically over the past year due to a massive escalation of conflict and widespread insecurity. Extreme violence has spread to areas typically considered stable, such as the provinces of Kasai and Tanganyika. The situation has been recently compounded by deadly floods and an outbreak of Cholera, among multiple other health emergencies, while the IOM, the UN Migration Agency humanitarian appeal, released at the end of last year, remains vastly underfunded.

Some 4.3 million people are displaced throughout the DRC; 1.7 million of whom were violently forced to flee their homes in 2017. This recent spike of displacement has made the DRC the country with the highest number of internally displaced people in Africa. The majority of newly displaced people say that food is their biggest need and, in some areas, many of them have yet to receive any humanitarian assistance due to lack of funding.

In total, 13.1 million people will be in need of humanitarian assistance throughout the country in 2018. Children, young men, women and ethnic minorities have been among the hardest-hit. More than 4 million children under the age of five are at risk of acute malnutrition. Some 7.7 million people are expected to be impacted by the devastating effects of an acute food emergency, while 10.5 million have limited or no access to healthcare. An estimated 4.7 million women and girls will be exposed to gender-based violence (GBV) in crisis-affected areas in 2018.

“The humanitarian situation in the DRC is at breaking point as is our capacity to respond due to extremely limited funding,” said Jean-Philippe Chauzy, IOM DRC Chief of Mission. IOM is coordinating humanitarian activities in three of these provinces experiencing the highest levels of displacement: Kasai, North Kivu, and Tanganyika. “The stories that Congolese, who have been forced from their homes, are telling us are bone-chilling. They have been through so much already – torture, rape and murder of their loved ones – we cannot stand idly by as they suffer in silence.” 

IOM is appealing for USD 75 million to urgently meet the growing needs of displaced Congolese and the communities hosting them in the eastern and south-central provinces of North and South Kivu, Tanganyika and the Kasai. You can read IOM’s full appeal here.

IOM’s interventions in 2018 will focus on the following sectors: Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), Displacement Tracking, Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFIs), Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health, and Protection, particularly responding to gender-based violence (GBV) and helping unaccompanied or separated children. CCCM, a core activity of IOM in the DRC, ensures equitable access to humanitarian assistance and protection for displaced people, improving their quality of life and conditions. It also includes an advocacy component towards durable solutions for displacement. Data from our displacement tracking activities are utilized by the whole humanitarian community in the DRC.

Since its release, only USD 3.5 million has been given towards IOM’s appeal and in 2017, only 47 per cent of the overall inter-agency Humanitarian Response Plan was funded. This means that vital programmes have been unable to start, leaving thousands of displaced people in need. A revised inter-agency Humanitarian Response Plan is set to be released this Thursday (18/01).

“Funding levels are at their lowest for many years, with DRC seeming to have “fallen off the map” for many donors, at a time when we are facing vastly increased humanitarian needs. This is a worrying trend that we hope does not continue throughout 2018. Around the world, displaced people have similar needs, whether it is shelter, health or protection, we need to see a similar level of funding to other crises, ensuring that the needs of displaced Congolese are met appropriately,” said Chauzy.

For more information, please contact:

Olivia Headon in IOM HQ, Tel: +41794035365, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Jean-Philippe Chauzy in IOM Kinshasa, Tel: +243 827 339 827, Email: jpchauzy@iom.int    

Language English Posted: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 09:02Image: Region-Country: Republic of the CongoThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Chinese, European Criminal Investigation Specialists Meet to Coordinate Anti-Trafficking Efforts

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 10:47

China – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has organized a two-day seminar in Sanya, Hainan island, on “Facilitating of Exchanges & Establishment of Networks between Chinese & European Anti-Trafficking Criminal Investigation Specialists.”

The meeting, which started today, brought together officials from China’s Ministry of Public Security’s Office of Combatting Trafficking, provincial officials, and experts from EUROPOL, the European Union (EU) Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, together with investigators from Germany, Spain, Denmark, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

The seminar was part of the EU-China Dialogue on Migration Mobility Support Project (MMSP) and was to designed to enhance knowledge exchange on techniques and procedures to standardize operations and policy frameworks related to counter-trafficking.

Delegates reviewed relevant legislation and trafficking investigation case studies, with a particular focus on victim assistance and protection, and the role of international cooperation in prosecuting trafficking offences.

The meeting was the third MMSP activity devoted to counter trafficking, highlighting the importance attached to the issue by the Chinese authorities. In 2016 and 2017, IOM under MMSP organized workshops in Nanjing and Nanning on international standards for identifying and assisting victims of trafficking. Ministry of Public Security and Provincial Security Bureau officials attended from several provinces from around China.

A EUROPOL expert also took part in the Nanning workshop, highlighting the developments in collaboration between the EU and China, which led to the signing of an Agreement on Strategic Cooperation between Europol and the Ministry of Public Security in April 2017.

China has been increasingly proactive in combating human trafficking. According to the Ministry of Public Security, in 2014 there were 978 prosecutions of cases involving trafficking in women and children. Public security authorities rescued over 30,000 women and some 13,000 children.

China is also involved in an on-going legislative reform process that recently led the Supreme People’s Court to issue a key interpretation of Chinese trafficking law covering the trafficking of foreign women into some regions of China for forced marriage and prostitution.  

For further information, please contact Etienne Micallef at the IOM Office in China, Tel: + 86 138 1120 9875; Email: emicallef@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 15:53Image: Region-Country: ChinaDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Migrant Figures, Migrant Futures: IOM Paris Forum Demonstrates How Data Help Manage Human Mobility

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 09:09

Paris – IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, convenes in Paris this week (15-16 January), the world’s first International Forum on Migration Statistics, with partners Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).

The latest UN figures suggest that there are 257 million migrants in the world. Migration is one of the most important policy issues globally. Yet, apart from its overall size, very little is known about it. As the late Peter Sutherland, former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Migration noted, “The global community is still struggling to establish basic facts, such as who migrants are, where they are, where they come from and where they have moved to.”

Investing in migration data could potentially bring huge benefits for migrants and governments alike. For example, a forthcoming IOM and McKinsey report finds that data could help to increase the income of migrants in the European Union by EUR 5-7 billion if migrants were able to fully utilize their skills. Better data could also help to increase the money that migrants send back home by USD 15-20 billion or help identify double the number of trafficking victims.

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing says that governments lose out on large benefits if data is not used to its full potential. “Too often, data are seen as the abstract business of experts operating in backrooms. Yet data are essential to produce real-life results such as protecting migrants in vulnerable situations, fill labour market shortages and improve integration, manage asylum procedures, ensure the humane return of migrants ordered to leave or increase remittance flows,” said DG Swing in the new IOM-McKinsey report.

Part of the problem is lack of data. For example, approximately half of the countries in the world do not include a question in their census asking when the migrant arrived, which makes it difficult to distinguish between long-term and short-term migrants. And 17 per cent of countries in Africa have not conducted a census in the last 10 years. Lack of good quality data limits policy makers’ ability to manage migration, plan ahead and allocate resources.

Another problem: we are not making the best use of the vast amounts of data which are already being produced. Data can be scattered across various agencies within countries and between countries making it difficult to obtain a comprehensive picture of migration trends. We live in an era of “Big Data” where vast amounts of data are continuously generated by mobile devices and web-based platforms. For example, smugglers and people seeking the services of smugglers regularly use social media. These sorts of data could give us a range of different new insights into the dynamics of migration but have yet to be fully analysed.

We also need to communicate better the key facts and figures about migration. Often, the general public is misinformed about migration. Global polls show that people often overestimate the number of migrants that live in their country. 

Some advances have been made recently. IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) launched a Global Migration Data Portal in December 2017. It provides easy access to migration facts and figures from topics as diverse as international migration statistics, refugees and asylum seekers, trafficking, remittances, migration policies, and public opinion.

IOM is hosting several discussions at this week’s Forum in Paris. Harry Cook, IOM Data Management and Research Specialist presented on Monday (15/01) a panel on Measuring Trafficking in Persons.

The panel explored different methodologies to measure both the detected and non-detected side of human trafficking at global and national levels, including the new Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative. Participants discussed solutions for the monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators connected to trafficking in persons.

To learn more about the Forum please visit: http://www.oecd.org/migration/forum-migration-statistics/

Find infographics and interactive graphics at www.migrationdataportal.org

For more information please contact, Frank Laczko, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +499114300160, Email: flaczko@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 15:56Image: Region-Country: FranceDefault: Multimedia: 

The first International Forum on Migration Statistics gathered close to 700 statisticians, researchers, policy makers and representatives from civil society. Photo: OECD

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 1,916 in 2018; Deaths Reach 194

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 09:06
Language English

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 1,916 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 14 January. This compares with 3,046 coming ashore during a similar period in 2017.

IOM Italy’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported Monday (15 January) that last Thursday IOM learned that 263 migrants were rescued from a sailing ship of unknown registry and taken to the port of Crotone in Calabria, Italy.  IOM staff had the opportunity to speak with the disembarking migrants, who were mainly Pakistani, Iraqi, Syrian and Afghan.

According to their testimony, these migrants left Antalya, Turkey on a sailboat on 6 January, led by a smuggler of Russian nationality. Each paid from USD 5,000 to USD 12,000 for the trip, sums paid by their families. Many said they had relatives in France, Germany, Great Britain, among other places.

These witnesses said the smuggler threatened them with a firearm until he abandoned the boat after two days of navigation. When the sailboat encountered a storm, it began to take on water and became unstable. Three days out, the migrants, in a state of great agitation and fear, called for rescue, which arrived through the Italian Coast Guard and Guardia di Finanza patrol boats.

“As strange as it may seem, it is not the first time that we have recorded the arrival of a sailboat with migrants leaving from Turkey,” explained Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean.
He added: “It is a known phenomenon, but numerically very residual (about 1,000 arrivals from Turkey in 2017) compared to the total number of arrivals. We cannot therefore speak of a new route or be too surprised by this news. Rather this is an example of a less-used route, which involves enormous risks for migrants, who in this case have been lucky enough to survive a storm they had to face in very difficult conditions.”

The 841 arrivals to Italy through Sunday (14 January) is about one-third the total (2,355) arriving by this time last year.  Since the end of June of 2017, Libya-to-Italy voyages have shown a marked decline, although fatalities on the Mediterranean’s Central Route remain high. IOM’s Missing Migrants Project records 176 deaths on this route in 2018, compared with 200 at this time last winter (see chart below).


Italy and Greece arrivals this year continue a trend that began in 2017, when migrant arrivals along the Mediterranean Sea’s Central and Eastern routes hit their lowest levels in four years (see chart below).


 

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) in Berlin reported that in the Western Mediterranean the remains of two migrants were found at different locations off the coast of Algeria: on 12 January, local fishermen found a body entangled in their fishing nets near Mostaganem. He was identified as a 23-year-old local resident of the town of Abdelmalek Ramdane, and he had been reported as missing by his family since he attempted to cross to Spain two months earlier. On 13 January, another body washed up in Zemmouri El Bahri beach, near Boumerdès in Algeria.

Eighteen migrants have lost their lives in the Western Mediterranean since the beginning of the year, compared with 25 fatalities recorded in these waters during the first two weeks of 2017.

Worldwide, the Missing Migrants Project has recorded the deaths of 215 people during migration in the first two weeks of 2018. This compares to 276 at this time last year (see chart below).

Beside the two new Mediterranean deaths, seven migrants died trying to reach Spain’s Canary Islands from North Africa on 15 January: the Spanish Maritime Safety Agency reported five bodies were found in a large rubber boat near the island of Lanzarote. Another two migrants who were retrieved from the sea died later. Twenty migrants made it to the shore; two of those have been hospitalized with signs of hypothermia.

Two fatal incidents were recorded in Europe in recent days: on 11 January, a 26-year-old Afghan man was hit by a vehicle in the A14 motorway near Castel San Pietro in Bologna, Italy. On 14 January, a 28-year-old Gambian man died after being electrocuted on the roof of a train travelling from Ventimiglia in northern Italy to Menton, France.

In the Caribbean, the death toll from last week’s (10 January) shipwreck of a small motorboat carrying migrants from Venezuela to the coast of Curacao rose to five, after the body of another Venezuelan migrant was found last Friday, 12 January. Local authorities said they had accounted for 16 survivors of the shipwreck.

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

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170714_Mediterranean_Update.pdf

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Berlin, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 71 860 312 ext 109, Mobile:  +216 28 78 78 05, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 15:55Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Helps Bangladesh Police Tackle Trafficking Threat to Rohingya Refugees

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 09:05

Bangladesh – Human trafficking experts from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, are this week working with police in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh to help them tackle the threat of human trafficking facing thousands of vulnerable Rohingya refugees living in local settlements.

Tomorrow (17/01), 55 police and other law enforcement officers will attend a workshop run by IOM counter trafficking specialists aimed at raising awareness of different forms of trafficking and identifying ways in which the authorities and IOM can work together to prevent trafficking, identify victims and provide victim support. The training is one of several IOM counter trafficking initiatives in Cox’s Bazar.

“Rohingya children, women and men are targeted by traffickers who seek to exploit them in various situations including the sex industry, as unpaid domestic help, and in other forms of bonded labour. There is no single solution to ending trafficking and it is vital that aid agencies and the authorities work together to build skills and share information about this extremely serious issue,” said IOM counter trafficking specialist Emmy  Nurmila Sjarijono.

This week’s workshop follows a pilot IOM counter trafficking workshop with Bangladeshi police organized in December 2017. "These trainings are useful for our country and the Bangladeshi people. We work at the grassroots level with vulnerable people, so [we would like] more of our staff to receive trainings like these,” said Mazharul Islam, Assistant Adjutant with the Ansar law enforcement agency, who took part in the December workshop.

“I particularly appreciated the clarification of the difference between trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants and how they are connected. It was interesting to learn that trafficking not only happens across international borders, but also inside the country, and takes different forms, not just forced prostitution," he said.

As lead agency on trafficking in the Rohingya refugee camps -  where over 656,000 people have settled after fleeing violence in Myanmar in the past four months - IOM is rolling out a series of awareness raising initiatives among the refugee population, as well as working with the authorities. It has also created safe spaces for women in the settlements.

Hundreds of majis, community leaders within the camps, are among those currently receiving IOM information in verbal and picture form about how to identify possible trafficking attempts involving men, women and children, and what to do if they suspect that people are being targeted.

IOM also offers counselling and support services to survivors of trafficking and shelter facilities for those who have escaped or been rescued from trafficking situations.

“Trafficking was already a problem in Cox’s Bazar before the most recent influx of refugees from last August,” said Sjarijono. “With so many more people now at risk, it is vitally important to work together with the police and other authorities to prevent an increase in trafficking victims over the coming months.”

For more information please contact Fiona MaGregor at IOM Cox’s Bazar, Email: fmacgregor@iom.int, Tel. +8801733335221.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 15:54Image: Region-Country: BangladeshDefault: Multimedia: 

The Kutupalong Refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: Muse Mohammed

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

South Sudan Communities Receiving Regular Aid in Previously Inaccessible Areas

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 09:04

Wau – For over a month, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been able to provide consistent primary health care in Greater Baggari, South Sudan, which is an area south of Wau town that had been cut off from assistance for over a year. Improved access in recent months has enabled IOM to reach people living further south with lifesaving assistance.

Only weeks after the crisis erupted in June 2016, humanitarian access to Baggari – an hour’s drive from Wau town – was restricted. Displaced people and host communities were cut off from both relief aid and markets. In the months that followed, frequent insecurity further forced many people to flee to harder to reach areas, deeper into the bush.

As part of a multi-agency effort, IOM regained access to the area in August 2017 and conducted a distribution of shelter and relief items. Although additional impediments continued to make access difficult in the weeks that followed, IOM and other relief agencies have had consistent access to the area since October.

Due to restricted access and constraints on livelihoods, food insecurity and malnutrition in Baggari are among the highest in all of South Sudan. In response to dire needs, IOM opened a clinic in Farajallah, Greater Baggari, on 11 December and hired five people from the community to operate it. IOM’s Wau-based medical team visits the clinic once a week to refill supplies and vaccines, maintain the cold chain and provide capacity-building and technical expertise.

“Many people are arriving at the clinic exhausted and dehydrated, some walking as long as four hours from remote areas, like Congoulesi,” explained Dr. Mary Alai, an IOM Migration Health Officer based in Wau. “As access continues to open, we plan to conduct outreach missions to reach further into these remote areas to offer these much-needed services. Consistent access is critical to prevent a further deterioration of health conditions.”

Since December 2017, the clinic has conducted over 970 consultations and seen an increase in the number of consultations as information of the clinic’s presence reaches communities living in remote areas.

In addition to health and shelter assistance, IOM conducted a four-day Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) intervention in November last year to repair boreholes, conduct hygiene promotion and form water management committees. In the coming weeks, IOM will conduct further needs assessments in Baggari and continue providing much-needed aid.

An estimated 40,500 people remain in displacement sites in Wau town, in addition to those in remote areas. Although some families have begun returning home, concerns regarding security conditions continue to inhibit many people from leaving displacement sites, according to an intentions survey conducted by IOM last December.

Since June 2016, IOM has offered multi-sector humanitarian assistance to the affected population in Wau with support from the USAID Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the Government of Japan, the European Commission Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the Department for International Development (DFID), the Government of Canada and the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

For more information, please contact Ashley McLaughlin at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 922 405 716, Email: amclaughlin@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 15:52Image: Region-Country: South SudanDefault: Multimedia: 

A medical assistant conducts a health consultation at the clinic in Farajallah, Baggari. Photo: Ashley McLaughlin/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

An IOM midwife provides technical training and advice to a clinical assistant at the clinic in Farajallah, Baggari. Photo: Ashley McLaughlin/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency in Niger Helps Over 10,000 Migrants Return Home in 2017

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 09:00

Niamey – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Niger assisted more than 10,000 migrants to return home in 2017. The returnees included Nigeriens and third-country nationals, mostly from Sub-Saharan countries.

In 2017, a total of over 3,500 Nigerien migrants were assisted with voluntary humanitarian return (VHR) from Libya and over 7,000 third-country nationals were assisted with voluntary return (AVR) to their countries of origin.

For the migrants assisted at IOM’s five open-type transit centres in Niger in 2017, IOM provides food, water, shelter, medical and psychological support, and assistance with travel documents.

For the Nigerien nationals arriving by charters, IOM provides technical and logistic support for registration, profiling, and reception – all under the Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM) financed by the European Union.

Furthermore, IOM organizes transportation back to communities of origin, and, at times, may also provide escorts from airports and bus stations back to migrants’ hometowns or villages. Migrants also are provided pocket money to cover incidental expenses during their journeys.

For the safe implementation of the assisted voluntary and reintegration programme, the UN Migration Agency in Niger partners with the Government of Niger, various national and international stakeholders such as migrants, civil society and governments in countries of origin.

Out of the 3,500 Nigerien migrants assisted from Libya, more than 3,000 arrived this past December on six separate charter flights organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Niger as well as with the Niger Embassy in Tripoli, which operates under the initiative of President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou and Prime Minister Brigi Rafini.

One returnee, Rabiu, came back on one of the charter flights of migrants evacuated from Libya last month. He had spent two years in Libya during which he witnessed murder, torture and abuse. “Even if I don’t have anything today, I am happy to be back. I am alive and I get to see my family tonight,” he said.

To facilitate the returns, IOM liaises with consulates, embassies and Nigerien authorities to obtain identity documents since as close to 77 per cent of migrants assisted with voluntary return do not have any identification papers. These valuable partnerships established between IOM and these stakeholders have contributed to the safe implementation of the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme from start to finish.

“Migrants are increasingly seeking IOM’s support to return safely to their homes, once they realize that they are being exploited by smugglers on migratory routes,” said Giuseppe Loprete, IOM Chief of Mission in Niger.

All migrants assisted with voluntary return are entitled to reintegration assistance. Twenty reintegration micro-projects were set up in 2017 in five countries of origin: Senegal, Mali, Cameroon, Guinea-Conakry and Guinea-Bissau. Six hundred more individual projects were also implemented in Niger and countries of origin.

“More than 6,700 returnees have benefitted from reintegration projects in Niger and in countries of origin this past year. By offering them the option of reintegration, we not only give them the option to go home, but also to start over in their communities,” Loprete added.

In 2016, more than 5,000 migrants were assisted with voluntary return whereas in 2015 a little over 1,700 were assisted. This represents only the beginning of a bigger scaling up operation which has become a priority for all missions in the region, including Niger.

For further information, please contact Giuseppe Loprete, IOM Niger, Tel: +227 92199503, Email: gloprete@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 15:52Image: Region-Country: NigerDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff assisted more than 3,000 Nigerien migrants evacuated from Libya in December 2017.

IOM welcome 430 Nigerien migrants arriving with the sixth charter from Libya in December 2017. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 

After spending two years in Libya and having witnessed various atrocities, Rabiu returned to Niger in December 2017. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

First International Forum on Migration Statistics Begins Today

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 00:49

Paris – The first International Forum on Migration Statistics begins today (15/01) in Paris. The Forum, organized jointly by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) gathers close to 700 statisticians, researchers, policy makers and representatives from civil society. It offers a space for exchanging views on how to improve and innovate existing data collection to better understand global migration trends, drivers and impacts, and to support policy evaluation.

The two-day event at the OECD Conference Centre in Paris will consist of five plenary sessions and close to forty parallel sessions. The opening ceremony will be presided by OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurría; IOM Director General William Lacy Swing; and UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Liu Zhenmin.

“More and more, we are finding that without access to reliable, comprehensive and global data, managing migration policy becomes a game of blind man’s bluff. As we prepare to meet at this forum, we need to consider migration’s human faces, of course. But we have to always keep in mind that we can’t begin to put smiles on those faces until we first grapple with the data,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing in a recent statement.

IOM Deputy Director General, Ambassador Laura Thompson, will moderate the 4th plenary session on data innovation and big data for migration. Other IOM representatives speaking at the #IFMStats include Frank Laczko, IOM Director of the Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC); and Jacqueline Weekers, IOM Head of Migration Health Division, among others. 

The event will explore the challenges for improving the production and use of migration data, and will also delve deep into specific themes. For instance, a plenary session is devoted to exploring how public opinions on migration and migrants are formed, and how these can change by facing well-communicated facts. Other topics include big data for migration, as well as building the capacity for emerging economies and developing countries to produce migration statistics.

The Forum aims to become a bi-annual space, as part of the implementation strategy of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), for producers and users of migration-related data to share their views, identify gaps and highlight needs for training and capacity building. The event is supported by partner organizations including ILO, UNHCR, UNODC, Eurostat and UNECE.

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo, IOM HQ, Tel: +417179205, Email: jgalindo@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Monday, January 15, 2018 - 07:48Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing (right) at the first International Forum on Migration Statistics which began today (15/01) in Paris, organized jointly by IOM, OECD and UNDESA. Photo: OECD

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Welcomes UN Secretary General’s Report – Making Migration Work for All

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 08:22

 

New York – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, welcomed Thursday (11/01) the release of the UN Secretary General’s report, Making Migration Work for All. The Report comes at a crucial time in the process to develop a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, and will serve as an important contribution to global discourse on international migration.

Making Migration Work for All provides a forward-looking analysis and vision, and a principled approach to thinking about contemporary challenges around migration, and how to address them,” said Michele Klein Solomon, IOM Director for the Global Compact for Migration.

Making Migration Work for All recognizes the need to address the factors that compel people to leave their homes in search of safer, better lives. Strong emphasis is rightly placed on whole of government and whole of society approaches at the local, national, regional and global levels, with genuine partnerships not only between governments but with employers, unions, civil society entities and migrants themselves, amongst others, to manage migration.  

The Report makes note of the fact that most of the world’s 258 million international migrants already move through safe, orderly and regular means, and that they bring significant benefits to their destination and origin countries.

The report notes, for example: migrants spend, on average, some 85 per cent of their earnings in their host countries, thereby not only addressing skills and labour shortages there, but also contributing directly to economic growth through consumption of goods and services locally.  Moreover, migrants remit homeward 15 per cent of their earnings – in 2017 some USD 600 billion, per World Bank estimates – to the benefit of their families and communities in sender countries which, for many, is a lifeline.  

Nonetheless, many countries today confront significant challenges surrounding migration governance.

With migration an expanding global reality, the Report brings a fresh coherence to the migration narrative. It challenges governments to put in place comprehensive national systems to manage migration, based on the rule of law.  It places rightful emphasis on the need to maximize the benefits that migration offers.

IOM particularly commends the Report’s commitment to the notion that migration should be a matter of choice, not necessity, as well as the importance it attaches to protecting the rights of all migrants. IOM shares the UN Secretary General’s concern about migrants in vulnerable situations, including those in large and mixed flows and those affected by the growing effects of environmental degradation and climate change. The emphasis of the Report on addressing irregular migration is also particularly welcome.

“The best way to end the stigma of illegality and abuse around migrants is, in fact, for governments to put in place more legal pathways for migration,” said UN SG Antonio Guterres. “This will remove incentives for individuals to break the rules, while better meeting the needs of markets for foreign labour.”

Echoing discussion during the consultations phase of the global compact process, the Report places a priority on ensuring adequate regular pathways for migrants to access labour market opportunities at all skills levels. These pathways should be based on labour market and demographic assessments in countries of destination, not only for today but for decades to come.

This is but one of the measures the Report proposes to reduce both the incidence and risks of irregular migration and informal employment of migrants.  Partnerships for skills development are one innovative proposal for addressing skills deficits in destination countries while benefiting countries of origin through training of their labour force.  Another would be cross-border ethical recruitment initiatives that are rightly identified as promising for reducing both the costs and risks to migrants. 

At the same time, Making Migration Work for All clearly recognizes that governments retain the authority to determine the conditions of entry and stay of migrants, consistent with international standards, and recognizes countries’ legitimate security concerns as well. The Report stresses that migration is not, per se, a threat and emphasizes the importance of ensuring cooperative approaches to human, state and public security, including on border management and returns. 

Importantly, the Report places the migration narrative in a positive light, putting people at its centre. Making Migration Work for All recognizes the positive contributions of migrants and migration to inclusive growth, sustainable development and reducing inequalities within and between states over the long term. 

IOM supports the call to Member States to put in place a follow-up and review mechanism for the compact to ensure continued yet flexible progress, and notes the Secretary General’s intention to look at how the UN, including IOM, can best organize itself to support Member State implementation of whatever commitments they make in the compact.

As the Report stresses, this needs to be consistent with his overall reform efforts as well as SDG follow-up and implementation. 

The UN Migration Agency looks forward to continuing to engage closely with all partners as the process to develop a global compact for migration progresses. IOM believes that the development of a global compact for migration presents an historic opportunity to improve the lives and dignity of migrants as well as the ability of governments to manage migration.

The full report can be accessed here.

For further information please contact, Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, January 12, 2018 - 15:18Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration ResearchUNDefault: Multimedia: 

UN Secretary-General António Guterres joined a UN and IOM relief distribution in eastern Dominica. File photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 1,476 in 2018; Deaths Reach 192

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 08:21

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 1,476 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 11 January, with around 600 each landing in Italy and Greece and the remainder in Spain. This compares with almost an identical number – 1,159 – coming ashore during a similar period in 2017.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré cited Libyan Coast Guard sources Wednesday (9 January) who reported that up to 100 migrants remain missing in the third deadly shipwreck on the Mediterranean Sea since last Saturday (6 January). Now, less than midway through January there already are reports of close to 200 migrants or refugees dead or missing on the Central Mediterranean route.
By contrast, IOM recorded just 26 migrant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea lanes during the month of December 2017, at a time when Mediterranean migrant deaths were dropping sharply.
IOM reported on Tuesday 9 January that a total of 81 Mediterranean Sea deaths of migrants or refugees were recorded in the first eight days of the year. Five of those deaths were in Western Mediterranean waters off Spain and Morocco. The rest – 76 with a possibility of many more – were recorded in the waters between Italy and Libya.
In the latest incident on the Central Mediterranean route, on Tuesday, three rubber boats with 279 migrants (19 women, 243 men, 13 boys and four girls) were rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard, whose rescue operation lasted at least 12 hours.
IOM, the UN Migration Agency, was present at their disembarkation point in Tripoli and provided food and water to all survivors. According to survivors’ testimonies, around 100 migrants remain missing.
Survivors told IOM the boats departed from near the Libyan coastal towns of Azzawiyah and Al Khums. The majority of the survivors came from African countries including The Gambia, Senegal, Sudan, Mali, and Nigeria. The Libyan Coast Guard reported that seven survivors are from Bangladesh (one woman) while two are from Pakistan.
“It’s very distressing that during the first 10 days of 2018 we have seen more than 700 migrants rescued or intercepted off the Libyan coast with more lives lost at sea,” said Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission. “More has to be done to reduce irregular unsafe movements of people along the Central Mediterranean route.”
IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia said Thursday that over the last three days the Hellenic Coast Guard reported three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos and Samos. The Coast Guard rescued a combined 109 migrants and transferred them to these respective islands.
Almost 200 migrants came ashore at Lesvos, Samos and Chios islands on New Year’s Day, and another 250 over the following five days.
Italy and Greece arrivals this year continue a trend that began in 2017, when migrant arrivals along the Mediterranean Sea’s Central and Eastern routes hit their lowest levels in four years. (see chart below).

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported on Thursday (11/01) that the arrivals to Spain from 1 January until are 497, out of which 285 arrived by sea and 212 by land, that is, to Spain’s Melilla enclave in North Africa.
IOM Spain also sent the final figures of irregular migrant arrivals in 2017, as reported by the Spanish Ministry of Interior (see chart below):

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) in Berlin reported that in the Western Mediterranean 43 migrants were rescued from a sinking boat on 9 January. The remains of three people were recovered from that vessel. According to testimonies of survivors, an estimated eight people remain missing and are presumed dead. Total fatalities on this route through 11 days this year now stand at 16.
Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrant Project (MMP) has recorded the deaths of 203 people during migration in the first ten days of 2018, compared with 40 at this point in 2017.
Deaths recorded in the Mediterranean so far in 2018 total 192 – compared with 12 through the first ten days of 2017.
Within Europe one young man died on 9 January while trying to migrate: he was hit by a truck in the A16 motorway near Calais, France.
On the US-Mexico border, the skeletal remains of two migrants were found on 8 January within Texas ranch land near the US Border Patrol Falfurrias checkpoint.
In the Caribbean, the bodies of four Venezuelan migrants were found in a beach in Koraal Tabak, Curaçao, on 10 January.  Additionally, the Missing Migrant Project recorded the first death this year in South America: three Cuban migrants (two men and a woman) died in a vehicle accident in a motorway near Santa Vitória do Palmar, in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, on 1 January. They were reportedly on their way to the city of Chuy, at the border with Uruguay.  That brings total fatalities in the Americas through 10 days this year to 10, compared to 12 last year at this same time (see chart below).

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.
Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/120118_Mediterranean_Update.pdf
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int
For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 71 860 312 Ext. 109, Mobile +216 28 78 78 05Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, January 12, 2018 - 15:17Image: Region-Country: TunisiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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