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Updated: 28 min 52 sec ago

UN Migration Agency Holds Policy Discussion on Addressing Needs of Stranded, Vulnerable Migrants in East, Horn of Africa

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 10:42
Language English

United Republic of Tanzania - From 18-20 July 2017, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, will hold a policy workshop in Zanzibar for government representatives of Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, on addressing the needs of stranded and vulnerable migrants on the Southern migration route.

The workshop is one of the concluding events in a broader European Union-funded programme, which was carried out in close cooperation with the governments of Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, and Yemen, as well as several West African countries. Through this project, IOM assisted 404 Ethiopians stranded in Tanzania, who had asked to return home safely.

Every year, hundreds of Ethiopian youth, mainly young men, are intercepted in Kenya and Tanzania as they try to make their way to South Africa and beyond. They often pay smugglers to take them across the border, putting themselves and their families at risk of exploitation and physical harm.

Participants will share experiences on safe and dignified migration processes, especially return. They will also discuss the protection of vulnerable migrants in the frameworks of ongoing regional initiatives, such as the Khartoum process (which Ethiopia and Kenya are members of) and the European Union Valletta Action Plan, as well as global processes like the Global Compact for Migration.

In a series of capacity-building initiatives, Tanzanian law enforcement officers, community leaders, and representatives of media and non-governmental organizations have so far been sensitized on rights-based and protection-sensitive migration management. In addition, a total of 107 biometric registration equipment kits were given to the Ministry of Home Affairs for the registration of irregular and vulnerable migrants, and distributed to Regional Immigration offices across Tanzania. Registering as a migrant in Tanzania allows migrants to reside in the country without fear of deportation, pending confirmation of their status in the country.

Finally, a series of three regional dialogue meetings organized by IOM in this project have resulted in a much smoother workflow in the referral and assistance mechanisms to help migrants in need.

“We must place migrants and their rights, needs and capacities at the heart of our efforts, and we need to address the relationship of migration to critical adjoining policy domains, including development, humanitarian and peace and security, in a truly comprehensive way,” Johari Masoud Sururu, Commissioner of Immigration Services in Zanzibar, ahead of the policy workshop.

For more information, please contact Dr. Qasim Sufi at IOM Tanzania, Tel: +2556892563796, Email:

Posted: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 16:33Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Mainstreaming Human Mobility in Construction of Foreign Policy Agenda in Ecuador

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 11:51

Ecuador - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, was invited by Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility to participate in the first working session on the Foreign Policy Agenda of Ecuador 2017-2021, which focused on the topics of human mobility and universal citizenship.

The event took place on Tuesday (11/7) and joined organizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Ecuador’s Technical Secretariat of the Council for Equality for Human Mobility (CIMH) and its National Secretariat for Planning and Development (SENPLADES).

IOM Ecuador Chief of Mission Damien Thuriaux highlighted the importance of addressing the issue of human mobility in Ecuador in the Global Compact negotiations for a safe, orderly and regular migration. Thuriaux invited the national Government to be part of these negotiation processes and stated: "Ecuador's position in the Global Compact will be crucial to dialogue on all the challenges related to migration and human mobility, which require a global solution under a framework of cooperation among all countries. Ecuador’s Foreign Policy Agenda will be a key instrument to consolidate this position."

During the working session, emphasis was made on the importance of building a National Human Mobility Plan to include human mobility in Ecuadorian political planning at all levels of government. This will help to implement and promote a human rights-based agenda that highlights the respect of migrants' rights inside and outside the country.
José Luis Jácome, Ecuador’s Vice-minister of Human Mobility, referred to the Human Mobility Law to explain that each government institution has a responsibility to include public policies on human mobility in its work plans. "It's a challenge, but we have to start working on this," Jácome said. He also stressed: "It would be a big mistake to disregard human mobility in the national development plan in the process of constructing our national identity."

Technical Secretary of the Council for Equality for Human Mobility José Sosa referred to Ecuador’s Human Mobility Law as an exemplary norm that could become a reference for other migration policies in the region.  Sosa emphasized the importance in the law of the principle of universal citizenship, and offered the need to promote the return policies of Ecuadorian migrants through embassies and consulates. He explained how the possibility of Ecuador becoming a country of destination for foreign migrants would lead to the establishment of more South-South cooperation agreements to generate more inclusive and regularized migration mechanisms.

This dialogue is the first of eight round tables that aim to contribute to the Foreign Policy Agenda of the new Ecuadorian Government. The agenda will feature topics with implications for Ecuador’s policy both nationally and internationally. After the process is completed on 24 August, additional round tables will discuss relevant topics such as peace building, regional integration and human rights.

For more information, please contact Carolina Celi at IOM Ecuador, Tel: +593 23 934400, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 14, 2017 - 17:09Image: Region-Country: EcuadorThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration PolicyDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM, ICAO and Ecuadorian government officials take part in the first working session on the Foreign Policy Agenda of Ecuador 2017-2021. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

IOM Tanzania Assists Return of 80 Stranded Ethiopian Migrants via EU-funded AVRR Project

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 11:51

United Republic of Tanzania – On 13 July, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, helped 80 stranded Ethiopian migrants return to their country.

The Ethiopians – all of them young men, including 26 minors – had been held in three prisons located in two different regions of Tanzania. They asked IOM for support to go back home. With this latest round of returns, from Tanzania alone, IOM has now assisted 404 Ethiopian migrants since 2016 through the IOM Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) project. 

Prior to their departure by air from Dar es Salaam, IOM provided each migrant with new clothing and shoes and a fit-to-travel medical examination. Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, the returnees were received by IOM staff before travelling onward to their home villages with IOM’s assistance. They will also be given a reintegration package that can include vocational training, starting small businesses or re-enrolling in school, etc. These reintegration support packages will be provided in partnership with the various agencies within the Government of Ethiopia.

Many Ethiopian migrants leave their homes in search of a better life in South Africa. They pay smugglers for a journey which takes them to Kenya, then – often on boats – to Tanzania, and finally on to South Africa. However, in many cases, they are intercepted in Tanzania and prosecuted for unlawful presence in the country. Following the hearings, they are held in detention, for long periods of time.

“I never thought this moment would come to be reunited with my family,” said Ermias, 20 years old, just before boarding the plane to Addis Ababa. “I promise to be a good ambassador to my fellow youth and encourage them to use regular means to travel, or else they will end up in similar situations to those I have experienced,” he said.

“As this project closes, we realize the need for continued support for migrants from Ethiopia and elsewhere, who are stranded and in urgent need of assistance,” said Dr. Qasim Sufi, IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission. “We’re grateful to our donor, the European Union, for this important initiative, which has provided a new beginning for so many of them. At the same time, we must continue to support the Government and strengthen its capacity to stop networks of smugglers who shamelessly exploit people in distress.”

The assistance provided was part of the IOM Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) project funded by the European Union entitled, Addressing the Needs of Stranded and Vulnerable Migrants. This multi-country project covers Tanzania, Yemen and Morocco, supporting vulnerable migrants in each of the participating countries, the respective host countries, the main countries of origin, and the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that work to assist migrants.

For more information, please contact, Dr. Qasim Sufi at IOM Tanzania, Tel: +255 682 563 796, Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, July 14, 2017 - 17:10Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Young Ethiopian migrants wait to board their flight home from Tanzania. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 103,175 in 2017; 2,357 Deaths

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 11:49

Switzerland - IOM, UN Migration Agency, reports that 103,175 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 12 July, with almost 85 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 240,014 arrivals across the region through 12 July 2016.

Mediterranean Developments


1 JANUARY–12 JULY 2017

1 JANUARY–12 JULY 2016

Country of Arrival







2,206 (Central Med. route)


2,526 Central Med. route)



37 (Eastern Med. route)


376 (Eastern Med. route)


(as of 8/07)





(as of 11/07)

114 (Western Med. route)

(as of 30/06/16)

87 (Western Med. route)

Estimated Total





Data on deaths of migrants compiled by IOM's Global Migration Data Analysis Centre.
All numbers are minimum estimates.
Arrivals based on data from respective governments and IOM field offices.

IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported that, as of 9 July, 86,121 migrants had arrived in Italy by sea. He explained that the total does not include most of the 7,721 migrants rescued in the central Mediterranean route between Monday (10 July) and Wednesday (12 July); by Thursday evening only about 900 of those recently rescued men, women and children had been brought to land.

Di Giacomo listed the rescues as follows:

  • 767 on Monday (10 July)
  • 2,778 on Tuesday (11 July)
  • 4,176 on Wednesday (12 July)

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported that on Thursday (13 July), 263 migrants were rescued at sea in two separate incidents. In the morning, 123 migrants were rescued off Azzawyah, five of whom were transferred to a hospital where they received medical assistance from IOM partners. Some hours later, a further 140 migrants were rescued off Tripoli. Upon disembarkation, these migrants received medical assistance and were transferred to Trig al Shook detention centre.

Through to 13 July, nearly 11,000 migrants (10,994) have been rescued in Libyan waters in 2017.

IOM Libya also reported that on 10 July, the remains of one man were found in Al Maya, west of Tripoli. The total number of bodies retrieved so far in 2017 is now 348.

This latest confirmed fatality is not included in today’s Mediterranean total of 2,357. Although this figure trails the number of deaths (2,989) recorded by this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,350.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,228 fatalities in 2017 through 12 July (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – almost three quarters of the global total. MMP reports a substantial increase in fatalities in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean Sea compared to this time last year, but fewer deaths in the Middle East and South America where, so far in 2017, MMP has processed no reports of confirmed fatalities. Deaths are also up in Europe, South Asia and Southeast Asia and virtually identical to levels recorded by this time last year in the Horn of Africa region and along the US-Mexico border. The one region where fatalities are substantially down this year from 2016 is North Africa, where 265 have been reported dead this year, compared to almost 900 by this time last year. MMP researchers explain the discrepancy in that IOM’s receipt of data from the region tend to arrive quarterly rather than on a daily or weekly basis, as occurs in other parts of the world.

The newly listed fatalities in the MMP database since IOM’s last report on July 11 include: four deaths in the Western Mediterranean (three victims’ bodies recovered off the coast of Al-Hoceima, Morocco, by the Moroccan Coast Guard; one body retrieved southeast of Malaga by the Spanish Coast Guard); and one death in Ventimiglia, Italy, near the French border (vehicular accident).

Jan 1–July 12









Middle East



North Africa



Horn of Africa



Sub-Saharan Africa



Southeast Asia



South Asia



East Asia



North America






Central America






South America






For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit:
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Kelly Namia at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:                      

Language English Posted: Friday, July 14, 2017 - 17:11Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Ukraine Adopts New Migration Strategy Developed with UN Migration Agency

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 11:49

Ukraine - The Government of Ukraine adopted a new State Migration Strategy Wednesday (12 July), which will inform national migration policy for the next eight years.

The new document was developed to replace Ukraine’s 2011 State Migration Concept, which needed to be updated to reflect the latest global and local developments. Among them, the unprecedented forced migration from the Middle East, Ukraine’s relationship with the European Union, and the introduction of a visa-free regime between Ukraine and most EU Member States. Large scale displacement also continues in the country, with about 1.6 million people officially registered as internally displaced persons.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, contributed to the development of Ukraine’s Migration Strategy, at the Government’s request and with the support of the EU. The latest migration strategies of seven EU and Eastern Partnership countries – Bulgaria, Georgia, Finland, Hungary, Moldova, Poland and Slovakia – were examined and discussed when drafting Ukraine’s Migration Strategy.

The Head of the State Migration Service of Ukraine, Maksym Sokoliuk, thanked the EU Delegation to Ukraine and IOM for their support in the development of the document. “The State Migration Strategy is a road map which will further facilitate reforming the migration system and enhancing migration management in Ukraine,” Sokoliuk said.

The strategy introduces new elements to the migration policy, for the benefit of citizens, Ukrainians abroad and foreigners in Ukraine. It suggests reintegration programmes for returning Ukrainian migrants, activities promoting repatriation, and cooperation with Ukrainian diaspora worldwide – it is estimated that up to 20 million people of Ukrainian origin live outside the country’s borders. Considering the needs and rights of foreigners, the strategy envisages the facilitation of regular migration to Ukraine, retention of highly qualified foreign specialists, and regularization of irregular migrants who have families or work in Ukraine.

The document also stresses the need to further develop migration management information and communication systems, which will support identification of persons and document security, simplify the provision of administrative services and ensure effective information exchange with Interpol and European databases of authentic and false documents (PRADO and FADO).

“To implement the strategy, Ukraine will need to draft specific legislative acts and action plans,” noted Manfred Profazi, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission. “We are ready to support the Government in further enhancing its migration policy framework for the benefit of all concerned.” 

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

Language English Posted: Friday, July 14, 2017 - 17:12Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: Multimedia: 

Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman announces the approval of the country’s Migration Policy Strategy. Photo: Government of Ukraine 

Categories: PBN

International Dialogue on Migration Discusses Migrant Vulnerabilities in Preparation for Global Compact for Migration

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 11:49

Switzerland - Key actors in the Global Compact for Migration process will convene on 18 and 19 July at the United Nations Office in Geneva to explore and better understand migrant vulnerabilities through IOM’s International Dialogue on Migration.

The global compact is a major intergovernmental process, to which IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is extending technical and policy expertise as requested by Member States until its culmination in September 2018. It presents an historical opportunity for achieving a world in which migrants move as a matter of choice rather than necessity, through safe, orderly and regular channels, and in which migration is well governed and able to act as a positive force for individuals, societies and States.

This meeting, the second such Dialogue so far this year, is being held by IOM to create a space for governments and relevant actors to discuss solution-based approaches towards a global compact that reduces vulnerabilities and empowers migrants. Participants will explore all aspects of migrant vulnerabilities from a policy, cooperation and practical perspective.

Remarks will be made by high level guests including:

  • William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General
  • Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana
  • Ahmed Hussen,  Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship of Canada
  • Nanette Thomas, Minister of Political and Public Affairs of Sierra Leone
  • Shahidul Haque, Foreign Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh
  • Anna Makakala, Commissioner General of Immigration Services of Tanzania
  • José Luis Lacome, Vice Minister of Human Mobility of Ecuador
  • Khadijetou Mbareck Fall, Minister Delegate for Maghrebian and African Affairs, and Expatriate Mauritanians of Mauritania
  • Marina Del Corral, Secretary General of Immigration and Emigration of Spain
  • Peter Thomson, President of the General Assembly (via video message)

Contributions will also be made by other senior representatives of governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, diaspora, private sector, diaspora and academia. In total, 42 speakers will contribute to seven panels scheduled over the two-day event.

The outcomes of this discussion together with those of the first Dialogue held on 18-19 April 2017 at the UN Headquarters in New York will be gathered in a publication, which will input into the global compact stock-taking meeting to take place in Mexico in December.

Media are welcome to attend this Geneva event. To register, please email

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ, Tel: +4227179435, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 14, 2017 - 17:13Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Global Compact on MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Key actors in the Global Compact for Migration process will convene to explore and better understand migrant vulnerabilities through IOM’s International Dialogue on Migration. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

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UN Migration Agency Identifies Additional Displaced Population from West Mosul

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 11:49

Iraq - As the battle to retake west Mosul approached its conclusion this week, the IOM Iraq Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) reported an estimated 380,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) – or over 63,000 families – newly recorded east of Mosul city.

This week, the IOM Iraq DTM published its Round 74 report. Updated as of 30 June 2017, it covers displacement and return movements across the country.

The report recorded a total of 3,351,132 individuals (558,522 families) displaced since January 2014 and dispersed across 104 districts and 3,654 locations in Iraq. For the same period, the DTM identified 1,952,868 returnees (325,478 families).

Country-wide, the total number of identified IDPs increased by approximately 11 per cent (331,098 individuals). The increase is due largely to the completion of the DTM joint data collection exercise carried out in cooperation with local authorities in east Mosul.

This collaboration enabled the identification of approximately 380,000 additional individuals who were displaced from west to east Mosul.

These results included pre-emptive displacements, recorded as early as January 2017 prior to the military operations in west Mosul, in addition to those IDPs who transited through the Hammam Al-Aleel screening site and then moved to out-of-camp settings in east Mosul through the area of Kokjali.

On 19 February 2017, the overall number of individuals displaced due to Mosul operations dramatically increased with the launch of the west Mosul offensive. Significant population movements to out-of-camp locations in hard-to-access areas, most notably in east Mosul, began to be reported.

While many sought shelter in camps, a significant number of those displaced opted to stay in recently retaken areas in east Mosul. In response, the DTM expanded its methodology to report flow-monitoring movements at strategic spots such as the Hammam Al-Aleel screening site.

Throughout this same period, the DTM closely collaborated with local authorities to support the establishment of a joint information collection system to gather consistent data on IDPs within the city of Mosul as a consequence of the military operations.

In the last few months, DTM seconded its staff to local authorities to conduct joint field visits and collect direct information – at the neighbourhood level – on IDPs who fled west Mosul and are now in east Mosul. This data collection system established by IOM Iraq’s DTM revealed a number of previously unrecorded anticipatory IDPs as well as locating those who opted to live outside of camps.

The findings of this exercise have now been integrated into the regular DTM Emergency Tracking, following several rounds of triangulation and direct validation on the ground by governmental and non-governmental sources. The sharp increase in IDP figures visible on the Mosul portal is attributed to the integration of these new findings rather than to a specific event.

Based on the DTM new findings a total of 1,048,044 individuals (174,674 families) have been displaced from both east and west Mosul as of 13 July.
Of these IDPs displaced by Mosul operations, more than 825,000 individuals (137,000 families) continue to be displaced, 95 per cent of whom have been identified at neighbourhood/village level in Ninewa governorate, while another 5 per cent are distributed across 12 governorates.

Another 222,732 IDPs have now returned. DTM continues to closely collaborate with national authorities to harmonize IDP data findings across the country.

DTM will strive to update these records on a weekly basis, as joint field visits continue to be conducted throughout the 70 neighbourhoods covered in east Mosul. Collaboration with local authorities is ongoing to expand the system to west Mosul and refine the tracking of returnees across the city.

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said: “These new findings provide a more comprehensive understanding of the enormous crisis before us. IOM Iraq will continue to work with national and local authorities, to verify IDP movements, and provide necessary humanitarian assistance to the full extent of our resources.”

As of DTM Round 74, the returnee population increased by 8 per cent (139,188 individuals) for the same period.
The two governorates with the highest increase in returnee population were Anbar (8 per cent or 69,108 individuals) and Ninewa (25 per cent or 67,530 individuals).

Given the available information and the DTM methodology, the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) has revised the planning figures for the humanitarian response to 3.4 million internally displaced persons.

In total, 123 of the IOM Iraq Rapid Assessment and Response Team staff and 9,500 key informants across the country cooperated with the DTM to provide data for its latest report and findings; these can be found at the link below:

IOM’s DTM actively monitors displacement across Iraq. These DTM products and information about DTM methodology can be found on the DTM portal:

The latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures on displacement from Mosul are available at:

The latest DTM Mosul documents are available on the following links:
Mosul Operations Factsheet – 13 July
Mosul Operations Data Snapshot – 13 July
West Mosul Displacement Overview – 13 July

More photos and videos here.

For more information, please contact IOM Iraq:
Hala Jaber, Tel: +964 751 740 1654, Email:
Sandra Black, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 14, 2017 - 17:14Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Recently displaced families arrive in camps outside of West Mosul. Photo: Raber Aziz / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

More photos and videos here.

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Helps Nearly 100,000 Migrants Return and Reintegrate in 2016

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 10:46

Switzerland – Today (11/07), IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reported that they helped 98,403 migrants return home voluntarily in 2016. This assistance was provided through the IOM Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programmes and highlighted in their latest report, Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration 2016 Key Highlights.

This represents a 41 per cent increase to 2015, when 69,540 migrants were provided with return and reintegration support. The people assisted in 2016 from 110 countries were returned to 161 countries and territories of origin.

According to the report’s findings, nearly one third of migrants assisted by IOM AVRR programmes were female and nearly one quarter were children. Of the total assisted, 1,253 were unaccompanied migrant children, 995 were migrants with health-related needs, and 895 were identified as victims of trafficking.

As in 2015, the European Economic Area (and Switzerland) was the region from where most migrants returned (83 per cent), while South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and the Central Asia remained the region to where most migrants returned (49 per cent).

Germany was the host country from where the largest number of migrants assisted by IOM returned (over 54,000 migrants), followed by Greece (6,153) and Austria (4,812). The number of returns from these countries increased in 2016, in comparison to 2015, and together accounted for nearly two thirds of the total.

With approximately 17,976 migrants assisted, Albania remained the country to where the largest share of migrants returned, followed by Iraq (12,776) and Afghanistan (7,102). West and Central Africa, East Africa as well as the Horn of Africa are regions which registered important intraregional flows.  

The report provides an overview of global and regional trends for 2016, and a comparison between 2015 and 2016. It also highlights concrete activities related to key themes, which were of particular significance in 2016: AVRR from transit countries, innovative initiatives to assist migrants in vulnerable situations, partnership and cooperation projects conducted to enhance the provision of assistance to migrants, and research and evidence-based programming applied to AVRR. Voices of returnees are also echoed through direct testimonies shared in the report.

“The current migration dynamics show that assisted voluntary return and reintegration has to be part of any comprehensive and effective migration governance,” said Anh Nguyen, Head of IOM’s Migrant Assistance Division, in the Geneva headquarters. “The impact that return has on host countries, transit countries, and countries of origin, and most importantly on migrants and their communities, cannot be neglected. AVRR remains one of IOM’s core assistance and represents a win-win situation for all concerned, as it provides a humane, dignified, and cost-effective way to return home and to reintegrate within communities,” concluded Nguyen.

To read IOM’s AVRR 2016 Key Highlights report, please click here.

For further information on IOM AVRR programmes, please click here.

For further information, please contact Nazanine Nozarian at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 9314 or Email:   

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 16:31Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Sri Lankan Returnee engaged in livelihood activity under reintegration support. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

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UN Migration Agency, Global Fund Supports Iraqi Ministry of Health to Combat TB

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 10:46

Iraq - Iraq has one of the highest tuberculosis (TB) rates in the region, with more than 15,000 individuals infected annually, according to statistics from Iraq's Ministry of Health. In response, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in Iraq is providing urgent multi-stage medical support to TB patients across the country.

IOM’s Emergency Health Program supports the Iraqi Ministry of Health’s (MoH) National Tuberculosis Program (NTP), focused on assistance to displaced Iraqis, Syrian refugees, and vulnerable host community members, in cooperation with WHO and Health Cluster partners. In the last three months, IOM provided initial screening for more than 3,000 presumptive TB cases.

IOM’s TB in emergencies programme is based on extensive experience with TB prevention, diagnostic and treatment services. Its services aim to reduce avoidable morbidity and mortality through awareness, preventative and curative services.

Since 2014, as part of its Emergency Health Program in Iraq, IOM has been implementing a TB program, working hand in hand with Iraqi’s Ministry of Health and local authorities, with support from the Global Fund.

IOM with Iraq’s NTP and MoH representatives have designed interventions to fight TB. These include awareness raising, medical staff training, support to screening facilities, and early detection and diagnosis of TB cases among Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in emergency sites and camps.

Initially, IOM Iraq’s TB in emergencies activities were carried out in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), and in Kirkuk governorate. This year, IOM expanded its TB activities to operate in 12 governorates across the country: Anbar, Baghdad, Basra, Diyala, Duhok, Erbil, Kerbala, Kirkuk, Najaf, Ninewa, Salah al-Din and Sulaymaniyah.

IOM carries out initial screening at camps and in host communities; diagnostic tests to confirm cases are carried out at NTP laboratories. Between 2014 and 2017, IOM supported detection of more than 300 TB cases by NTP health facilities among IDPs and Syrian refugee populations in the KRI and Kirkuk.

According to Iraq’s NTP, in 2016 some 7,246 TB cases were identified – 47 per cent male and 43 per cent female – with age groups ranging between one to four years old (164 cases) and upwards to 65 and older (1,075 cases).  Of the total, 305 individuals were IDPs.

Of the total number of patients, 29 per cent were cured, 62 per cent completed treatment, 3 per cent (240 individuals) died; other cases were transferred, or did not complete treatment.

This year, NTP has confirmed a rise in the number of TB cases identified; this is mostly due to TB patients coming from Mosul, and IDPs in remote areas or hard to reach locations, for whom there has been a delay in diagnosis and treatment, or addition to interruption of treatment due to accessibility problems to reach health services.

IOM’s multi-stage TB program involves several steps, starting with awareness campaigns in IDP camps and informal settlements. IOM then performs initial screening for all IDPs, who come forth, believing they have symptoms of diseases.

An IOM TB team then offers transportation to suspected TB patients from the camp or informal settlement to a NTP centre.

At the NTP centre a specialist provides patients with a comprehensive physical examination, radiological investigation, tuberculin skin test, sputum smear and culture, drug susceptibility testing.

When results are received, NTP identifies those with TB. Treatment is provided either directly by IOM or through a referral system, in cooperation with NTPs and health partners. This year with Global Fund support, IOM is providing anti TB medication to patients through NTP’s pharmaceutical department.

TB patients are put on a strict six-month medication plan, including directly observed treatment (DOT), and given high protein TB food packages to enhance their physical strength.

Additionally, a person from the patient’s family is appointed to support and monitor the patient, and this family member is responsible to report any difficulty or failure to follow the assigned medical plan. IOM teams also conduct follow-ups on the patient’s progress once a week.

After two months, IOM brings the patient back to the NTP centre for another round of tests. If the results are negative, the patient is deemed cured. If, however, the results are positive, then the patient must continue with the full-term, six-month plan, after which a third round of check-ups is conducted.

If the six-month evaluation concludes that the patient continues to have TB, the medical plan is extended for another three months. IOM, in coordination with NTP, continues follow up through the entire duration until the patient demonstrates complete recovery.

“The conflict in Iraq has created enormous humanitarian challenges, including placing additional strain on the health system, and the exacerbation of health needs. Many displaced Iraqis have limited access to medical services, which increases health risks,” said IOM Iraq’s Chief of Mission, Thomas Lothar Weiss. “IOM Iraq is pleased to work together with Iraq’s Ministry of Health and humanitarian partners to educate vulnerable populations about the risk of tuberculosis and to support prevention and treatment.”

Due to the Mosul conflict, after months of grinding urban warfare, 827,628 individuals (137,938 families) are still in displacement. After a nine month assault to oust ISIL from the once two-million strong city, the Government of Iraq declared on Sunday that Mosul has been retaken. Military operations in Mosul led to the displacement of more than one million individuals to camps and out-of-camp locations.

Some IOM Iraq activities in Emergency Sites Qayara and Haj Ali in Ninewa governorate, were temporarily paused at the end of last week due to security concerns. As of this week, activities have fully resumed. The two sites together host nearly 80,000 displaced Iraqis.

IOM Iraq’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) is now weekly releasing figures of IDPs who transit through Hammam al-Aleel screening site – from the beginning of West Mosul operations. The cumulative figure of IDPs from West Mosul, who transited in Hammam al-Aleel (since 25 February 2017), stands at 695,677 individuals.

IOM’s DTM actively monitors displacement across Iraq. The latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures on displacement across Iraq are available at:

All DTM products and information about the DTM methodology can be found on the DTM portal:

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq:

Hala Jaber, Tel: +964 751 740 1654, Email:
Raber Aziz, Tel: +964 750 465 9204 Email:
Sandra Black, Tel: +964 751 234 2550 Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

A patient waits to be treated for TB in IOM Iraq Medical Clinic. Photo: Raber Aziz / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 101,417 in 2017; 2,353 Deaths

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 10:46

Switzerland – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) reports that 101,417 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 9 July, with almost 85 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 239,492 arrivals across the region through 9 July 2016.

OM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported that as of 9 July, 85,200 migrants arrived by sea to Italy – just under 10 per cent above levels compiled through the same period last year. IOM reported that over the past weekend some 140 migrants had been rescued at sea and were brought to Italy Monday.

IOM Rome Monday released nationalities’ breakdowns for arrivals by sea during the first six months of 2017 (see chart below). Nigerians comprised the largest group, with over 14,000 arrivals, followed by citizens of Bangladesh, with 8,241. That is roughly the same total for all Bangladeshis arriving in 2016. Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Senegal and Mali all showed increases in arrivals compared with the same period last year, as did Morocco. Both the Sudan and Eritrea showed sharp declines – the latter by nearly 50 per cent, from 9,016 arrivals in 2016 to 4,536 so far this year.

Late Monday IOM Rome learned 767 migrants had been rescued yesterday in seven separate operations led by military and NGO vessels. IOM Athens, meanwhile, reported this week that since IOM’s last report on 7 July, just 16 individuals arrived by sea to any of the Greek islands.

IOM Rome’s Di Giacomo said that on 8 July, 65 migrants were rescued east of the Tripoli by Libyan fishermen operating off Garaboli. Based on the migrants’ eyewitness testimony, around 35 people went missing whom fishermen were unable to save. 

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré had further details from that incident, reporting that among the migrants rescued are 13 women and unaccompanied minors, as well as 11 cases with burn injuries, four of whom required hospitalization.

IOM Libya also had this detail regarding a recent incident in Libya’s eastern desert: According to the Libyan Red Crescent in Tobruk, the total number of migrants found dead in the desert is close to 40. So far the Red Crecent has recovered and buried 21 bodies, 20 of which were identified as Egyptian, with the one remaining individual found without identification papers leaving his country of origin unconfirmed. There are remains of other victims still in the desert, IOM’s Petré explained, as the Libyan Red Crescent lacks proper vehicles necessary to recover them.

Additionally, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) this week reported that the remains of a total of 33 migrants were recovered off the shores of Tunisia during the month of June. Added to the 14 discovered in May, MMP noted that these confirmed deaths of 47 migrants over the past two months far exceeds the total (18) for all of 2016 and nearly matches the 50 recorded in all of 2015. MMP said 46 migrants were discovered dead along Tunisia’s shores in 2014.

With these latest reports, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) notes total deaths on the Mediterranean this year have reached 2,353. Although that figure trails the number of deaths (2,964) that were recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,350.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,223 fatalities through 9 July this year (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – almost three quarters of the global total. 

The more than 100 victims recorded in MMP’s database since IOM’s last report on 7 July include: 40 migrants found dead in the Jaghbough desert south of Tobruk, Libya; 35 missing from a shipwreck off the coast of Libya; 10 bodies recovered on coast of Tunisia; and two drownings along the US-Mexico border.

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit:
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:

For further information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Kelly Namia at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 16:29Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Gallup: Less than 0.5 Per Cent of Adults Worldwide Actively Preparing to Migrate

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 10:46
Language English

Germany - Today the UN Migration Agency (IOM) launched its report, "Measuring Global Migration Potential, 2010-2015", which analyses people´s migration intentions globally for the period 2010–2015.

The findings by IOM’s Global Migration Data Centre (GMDAC) show that less than half a per cent of adults worldwide (23 million) are actively making preparations to migrate abroad. The most popular destination for those planning to migrate is the US followed by the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, France, Canada, Germany and South Africa. One in three adults surveyed plans to migrate to a developing country.

Half of those planning to migrate live in just 20 countries, including Nigeria, India and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the countries with the highest number of adults planning to migrate abroad. West Africa, South Asia and North Africa are the regions with the largest migration potential.

The study is based on international survey data by the Gallup World Poll.

"This unique global survey provides an important insight into people's migration intentions and the profile of those most likely to migrate," said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

The share of the adult population planning to migrate abroad has increased moderately at the global level but more rapidly in certain regions. Adults planning and preparing to migrate are more likely to be male, young, single, living in urban areas and more likely to have completed at least secondary education.

The number of people planning to migrate seems to be a good predictor of actual flows of people as recorded by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Eurostat and UN DESA. Further analysis of migration potential may contribute to developing migration scenarios and forecasting. However, it is important to note that measuring potential migration is not the same as measuring actual migration. There are many reasons why a migration plan may never be realized including policy restrictions, a lack of resources or a change of heart.  

The Gallup World Poll conducts nationally representative surveys in over 160 countries. These surveys provide an indication of who is planning to migrate, which countries have the highest number of potential migrants, and which countries people would like to move to.

IOM Director General Swing added that the new study illuminates one trend that has been emerging for some time, which he explained was the “wide range of countries, both rich and poor, that are attracting migrants."

For further information, please contact Jasper Dag Tjaden, Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), IOM  Berlin, Tel: +49 30 278 778 22, Email:

Posted: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 16:28Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Meeting in Senegal Addresses Local, Regional Protection of Vulnerable Migrants, Victims of Trafficking

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 10:46

Senegal – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, organized a three-day workshop on protecting vulnerable migrants in Senegal on 4-6 July. The main objective of the meeting was to build the capacity of regional and national civil society actors in identifying and assisting vulnerable migrants, especially victims of human trafficking.

Human trafficking persists in Senegal, despite government and civil society actors working to combat it. Trafficking is particularly problematic in the gold mining region of Kedougou, where this workshop took place — specifically in the villages of Kharakeyna, Sambrambougou, Bantako and Tenkoto. The most common forms of exploitation involve forcing individuals into begging, unpaid labour and sexual exploitation. Many Nigerian women are deceived by traffickers, leave their home country and are then forced into prostitution near gold mines in Senegal.

Based on assessments from actors present in the region, it appears that the concept of trafficking is still largely unknown by the public. This makes the identification of vulnerable migrants very difficult. IOM works in partnership with several national and local actors on the ground to better assist various categories of vulnerable migrants, including victims of trafficking.

"The presence of mines in Kedougou and its proximity to the borders shared with Guinea and Mali make it a very attractive city for migrants, as well as traffickers,” said Nnamdi Iwuora, IOM Regional Programme Officer. “Our goal is to build the capacity of local actors on migrant protection as they are best placed to identify and assist vulnerable migrants."

Thirty participants attended the workshop, where they discussed best practices for identifying and protecting vulnerable migrants, including victims of trafficking; conducted case studies; visited a rehabilitation centre in Kedougou, and a gold mining site in Tenkato. At the latter, the participants took part in an interactive session with the head of the village, the Nigerian migrant community, regional officials, and other civil society actors. They discussed how they could improve migrant protection and relations between the migrants and the host community.

"We are over thirty women here and all originally from Nigeria. We left our home because there was nothing there for us,” said Becky*, a representative of the Nigerian migrant community. “Living on the mining site is a risk that we are willing to take if we can make some money. Many of us have children at home and all we want is to provide them with a good education so they won’t have to do what I am doing now. But to be able to work, we need to be sure we are protected. We are forced to sleep with men but they don’t care about our situation. Let’s hope that local authorities will help us," she concluded.

The participants all agreed that more regional coordination is needed. Border officials in Mali should also be trained to identify vulnerable migrants passing through and to assist them if necessary. There is also a need to better equip state actors in the area. Officials need adequate transport to be able to reach vulnerable migrants who find themselves in rural areas where access to assistance is inadequate.

This workshop is part of the regional project, Protecting Vulnerable Migrants in West and Central Africa, funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the State Department of the United States of America. One of the aims of the project is to build the capacity of government and civil society to protect vulnerable migrants in four countries in the region: Ghana, Burkina Faso, Gambia, and Senegal. The PRM project is being implemented by IOM for a period of one year, from October 2016 to October 2017.

*Name changed to protect identity

For further information, please contact, Tijs Magagi Hoornaert at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa in Senegal. Tel: +221 784 600 619; Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 16:27Image: Region-Country: SenegalThemes: Counter-TraffickingMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

A woman stands in a gold mine in Senegal's Kedougou Region. Photo: Tijs Magagi Hoornaert / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

A photo of Becky (name changed to protect identity), a representative of the Nigerian migrant community. Photo: Tijs Magagi Hoornaert / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

China Donates USD 1 Million for Humanitarian Assistance in Somalia

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 07:58
Language English

Somalia – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) held a project launch ceremony on Wednesday, 5 July 2017 to mark the start of operations of a project focusing on meeting emergency needs for shelter and non-food items (NFIs) in Somalia. The project will be implemented through a USD 1 million donation from the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

The function, attended by China’s Ambassador to Somalia, Qin Jian, and top Somali government officials including representatives from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, the Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was held in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Gerard Waite, IOM Somalia’s Chief of Mission, hailed China for its continued support for humanitarian work on the African continent. Waite reaffirmed IOM’s commitment to work closely with other humanitarian agencies and the Federal Government of Somalia in support of efforts to find a long-term solution to the recurrent challenges posed by natural and man-made disasters in Somalia.

“Through this programme, supported by China, IOM, in partnership with the Federal Government of Somalia, other UN partners and regional states, will cover critical gaps in shelter for those who are newly displaced by drought and by conflict,” Waite stated. He noted that the support will complement other IOM programmes, including camp coordination and camp management, displacement data tracking, as well as programming in support of long term recovery and stabilization in Somalia, currently being executed at the national level.

The Chinese Ambassador to Somalia, Qin Jian, emphasized that the purpose of the donation is to assist internally displaced persons (IDPs), vulnerable communities and returnees in Somalia, as per the recent agreement signed between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and IOM in Beijing on 15 May 2017.

“Not long ago the Chinese government provided Somalia with 10 million dollars in emergency humanitarian food aid, which included more than 2,800 metric tons of high quality rice, shipped along the Maritime Silk Road from Shanghai to Mogadishu to support the people of Somalia who are in dire need of food aid after being hit by severe drought,” Ambassador Jian stated, adding that the two countries have a long history of good bilateral relations.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Mohamed Moalim, commended China for the donation, noting that more support is needed from the international community given the magnitude of the humanitarian needs in Somalia. The Permanent Secretary observed that though the rains have returned, the situation continues to be dire.

The Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development, Abdi Dirshe, called for a multi-pronged approach which addresses emergency response as well as the underlying drivers of man-made and humanitarian disasters in Somalia, including conflict and limited capacity to withstand cyclical weather events such as droughts and floods, if Somalia is to avert humanitarian crises in the future.

“We want to connect development efforts to emergency response. These funds and resources must be used concurrently so that we can prevent all these problems from occurring over and over again,” Dirshe observed. Thanking the Chinese Government for its generous donation, the Director of Asia/Australia Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Shirwa Abdullahi, also emphasized the simultaneous need to tackle the drivers of human displacement and conflict to minimize frequent humanitarian crises in Somalia.

More photos are available here. Watch the video here.

For further information please contact the IOM Somalia Programme Support Unit at .

Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 13:42Image: Region-Country: SomaliaDefault: Multimedia: 

Abdi Dirshe, Permanent Secretary at the Federal Government of Somalia’s Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development, speaks at the launch of a multi-sector project that targets IDPs, vulnerable communities and returnees in Somalia. The project, funded by the People’s Republic of China, was launched in Mogadishu, Somalia on July 5, 2017.  UN Photo / Omar Abdisalan

Categories: PBN

Temporary Suspension of UN Migration Agency Activities in Qayara, Mosul

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:27

Iraq - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has temporarily suspended certain Iraq activities in both Qayara’s air strip emergency site and the Haj Ali camp, due to security concerns.

Yesterday’s (06/07) decision to halt activities and distributions in the sites, situated outside Mosul, comes following a temporary decline in the security environment in Qayara District, due to sporadic violence, including exchanges of gunfire. “The situation in Qayara is not currently conducive to humanitarian operations,” said Vincent Houver, Deputy Director of IOM’s Operations and Emergencies. 

Both emergency sites, hosting over 79,000 displaced Iraqis, were constructed by IOM in cooperation with Iraq’s Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MoMD).

IOM’s decision to temporarily suspend its emergency activities and to relocate all non-local emergency response staff to Erbil was made together with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) – which manages Qayara’s emergency site. The situation will be reviewed on Sunday (09/07). DRC, which also relocated its non-local staff, has kept a skeletal presence in the camp. Other organizations working in the camps and surrounding areas have taken similar action.

Only eight out of IOM’s 18 Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) staff currently remain in Haj Ali camp, but all those whose work entails travelling from Qayara to Erbil, have been instructed to leave the camp early to avoid delays at checkpoints and in order to respect a curfew imposed in Qayara as a result of the security situation. Qayara city itself is reportedly under curfew and the local population has been told to stay in their homes until security improves. IOM’s Qayara mobile team working in informal settlements has also temporarily suspended operations as the curfew has been put into effect in the area.

Although the suspension and relocation are temporary and a necessary disruption, they will have an impact on service delivery to displaced people living in the camps and those continuing to flee Mosul. The camps have also been closed by security to minimize the risks with no movement currently allowed in and out of the sites. There is a concern in Haj Ali, where 13 buses of newly displaced people were expected to arrive.

Due to the situation, six MoMD water trucks, which provide water to the camp, did not clear the checkpoints yesterday (06/07). That means less water availability for the residents of the sites. Temperatures in Iraq have been in the high 40s and low 50s (degrees Celsius) these past few days.

Currently, only camp-based staff are operating in the camps. IOM’s health team is continuing to operate at both sites. IOM’s psychosocial services report no imminent emergencies or events within the camps themselves; however, the camps are reportedly inaccessible for staff living outside, as security forces have stopped significant civilian movement in the area. IOM staff remaining in the Qayara emergency site have also reported increased stress among the displaced population. IOM is continuing to provide as much support as possible, under the current limitations.

Iraqi government forces, backed by a US-led coalition, launched a military offensive to retake Mosul on 17 October 2016. The eastern side of Mosul was recaptured in January after just three months of battles.

The second phase of the offensive to retake the western sector, including Mosul’s old city itself, was launched in February 2017. Last week, Iraqi troops took over the Old City’s Nuri al-Kabir Mosque, where ISIL first declared its de-facto state  “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014. The military had been predicting final victory within days after a grinding eight-month assault to oust ISIL from the once two-million-strong city. Iraqi forces are now fighting ISIL for control of the last 250 square meters, a senior official in the international coalition supporting Iraqi forces told Reuters.

IOM DTM Emergency Tracking (ET) has been monitoring displacement movements from Mosul district since the beginning of the military operations to retake Mosul started in October last year. Some 821,838 individuals (136,973 families) are currently displaced.

Military operations in west Mosul led to the displacement of thousands of individuals to camps and out-of-camp locations, the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) is now weekly releasing the figures of IDPs who transit through Hammam al-Aliel screening site – from the beginning of west Mosul operations. The cumulative figure from West Mosul, who transited in Hammam  al-Aleel, stands at 695,677 individuals.

IOM’s DTM actively monitors displacement across Iraq. The latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures on displacement across Iraq are available at:

All DTM products and information about the DTM methodology can be found on the DTM portal:

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq:

Hala Jaber, Tel: +964 751 740 1654, Email:

Raber Aziz, Tel: +964 750 465 9204 Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 17:06Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

A scene from Qayara’s air strip emergency site. Photo: Raber Aziz / IOM 2017

A scene from Qayara’s air strip emergency site. Photo: Raber Aziz / IOM 2017

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Releases Recommendations to EU Council President Estonia

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:24

Estonia - Human rights, social cohesion and international cooperation are the focus of recommendations that IOM, the UN Migration Agency, made to the Estonian Government. Estonia has now taken the helm of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) from July to December 2017. 

IOM Regional Director for the EU, Eugenio Ambrosi, said the Organization’s recommendations – released on Thursday (6 July) – are centered on the increasing need for international cooperation to protect migrants and promote social cohesion. He called on the Estonian Government to put human rights at the forefront of EU action on migration issues.

"IOM welcomes the Estonian Presidency's commitment to prioritizing migration because the challenges that both Europe and migrants face have reached a critical point where they can only be addressed by collective action and shared values," said Ambrosi. "IOM is ready to support the Presidency and EU member states through its global expertise and operational tools to advance our joint commitment to improving global migration governance and making sure that each and every migrant is assisted and their rights upheld," he added.

IOM’s paper specifically recommends three key action points for the Estonian Presidency: ensure that migrants’ human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled; promote social cohesion and integration as a positive mutual process between host societies and migrants; and enhance collaboration and conduct dialogue on an equal footing between countries of origin, transit and destination.

Last September’s UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants recognized the need for a comprehensive approach to human mobility and enhanced cooperation at the global level. At the Summit, UN Member States committed to “protecting the safety, dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, regardless of their migratory status, at all times” through the adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.

The New York Declaration set in motion a process of intergovernmental consultations and negotiations culminating in the planned adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in 2018. To deliver on the commitments made in the Declaration, the Global Compact should address all aspects of international migration, including human rights. A rights-based approach to migration in legislative, policy and programmatic discussions is the optimal way for states to successfully meet this commitment and there are hopes that this will be advanced during the tenure of the Estonian Presidency.

IOM's twice-yearly recommendations to the rotating EU Presidencies are guided by its Migration Governance Framework which is the first, and so far only, detailed articulation of planned and well-managed migration policies.

The six-month incumbent Presidents of the Council of the EU work together in groups of three in the interest of continuity and coherency. The current Presidential trio comprises Estonia (July/December 2017), Bulgaria (January/June 2018) and Austria (July/December 2018). The presidential representatives chair meetings at every level and propose the guidelines needed for the Council to take decisions.

Ambrosi will address diplomats and media on EU and global migration issues in Tallinn on Monday (10 July) at the IOM “I am a Migrant” campaign exhibition currently on display at the Museum of Occupations, in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden in Estonia.

IOM's recommendations paper can be downloaded here.

For further information: please contact Liis Paloots at IOM Tallinn, Tel: +372 6116 088 or +372 534 15497, Email: or Sofiane Ouaret at the IOM EU Regional Office in Brussels, Tel: +32 2287 7120, Email:


Language English Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 17:05Image: Region-Country: EstoniaThemes: Migrants RightsDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 101,266 in 2017; 2,297 Deaths

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:22

Switzerland - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) reports that 101,266 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 5 July, with almost 85 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 234,646 arrivals across the region through 3 July 2016.

IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported that just 1,129 migrants or refugees landed in Italy during the first five days of July, with no new rescues reported in Italian waters since last weekend. Arrivals to Greece through 5 July totalled 9,379, including 329 arrivals by sea, so far in July.

With the year half over, it is likely that arrivals to Greece this year will be the lowest in four years – well under the 34,442 IOM recorded in 2014, the 853,650 arrivals in 2015 and 173,561 last year (see chart below). The IOM Missing Migrants Project also notes that the Eastern Mediterranean route has been fatality-free since 24 April, when 23 drowned (16 dead, seven missing) while two were rescued off the coast of Molyvos, Lesbos. Deaths on this route at this time last year totalled 376 and 37 in 2015.

IOM Spain reported 6,464 migrant arrivals through 25 June along the Western Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Spain. That figure does not include the following rescues: on 5 July, 31 people were discovered at sea near Alboran island and taken to shore at Motril. A second boat, also near Alboran, brought in 32 survivors and taken to Motril, while a third boat brought in 33 survivors (also near Alboran, also taken to Motril). Two more boats brought 42 from Cabo de Trafalgar (survivors were taken to Tarifa); 40 more survivors were taken to Barbate. These data came from Salvamento Maritime, a Spanish rescue agency.

On 6 July, IOM Spain reported 26 men, women and children were rescued near Cabo de Trafalgar. IOM Spain said those survivors included 12 men, seven children and seven adult women, three of them pregnant. All survivors are believed to be from sub-Saharan Africa.

Additionally, on 6 July, the Spanish media stated that 14 more migrants were rescued near Los Caños de Meca: nine women (three pregnant) and five children.

IOM also is following reports of 49 missing after a boat capsized 28 miles southwest of Alboran Island, Spain. The three survivors said 52 people left Morocco last weekend. Remains of the missing individuals have not yet been recovered.

With these latest reports, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) notes total deaths on the Mediterranean this year are approaching 2,300 (2,297). Although that figure trails the number of deaths (2,963) that were recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,000.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,125 fatalities through 5 July this year (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – almost three quarters of the global total.

In the past three days, MMP researchers have added 75 new fatalities to the regional totals: 49 missing after a boat capsized 28 miles southwest of Alboran Island, Spain; 22 cases along the US/Mexico border (18 in Pima County, Arizona, and four in Brooks County, Texas); one death in a vehicle accident in Oaxaca, Mexico, and two other vehicle fatalities in the nearby state of Veracruz. MMP also added one migrant casualty in Higüey, Dominican Republic, believed to be a drowning during a failed attempt by migrants to reach Puerto Rico.

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:

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

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:

For further information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Kelly Namia at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:
María Jesús Herrera at IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 4457116; Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 17:04Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Internally Displaced, Returnees from Abroad Soar to Over 2.4 Million in Nine Afghan Provinces: IOM Survey

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:20

Afghanistan - One in six people is either a returnee or an internally displaced person (IDP) in the nine Afghan provinces of Baghlan, Balkh, Kabul, Kunar, Kunduz, Laghman, Nangarhar, Paktia, and Takhar, according to the second round of IOM’s Afghan Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) published today (7/7).

In the nine provinces, which are believed to have the highest levels of displacement and return in the country, a total of 2,416,570 individuals either returned from abroad or were internally displaced during the five years between 2012 and June 2017. This represents roughly 20 per cent of the provinces’ total base population of 11,851,822.

The DTM tracks mobility, determines numbers and locations of forcibly displaced people and provides basic demographic information. It aims to explain the reasons behind their displacement and their migration history, as well as their vulnerabilities and priority needs. Its main objective is to provide the government and humanitarian partners with comprehensive data, enabling them to deliver timely, targeted, and cost-effective assistance to conflict and displacement affected populations.

According to the survey, the returnees from abroad included 1,200,721 people from Pakistan and over 222,000 from Iran. Another 41,803 people returned from Europe, including Turkey.

Many returned to extreme poverty and some 73,850 returnees are now living in tents or open air holes dug into the ground and covered by tarpaulins. Many others rent or live in semi-ruined, abandoned houses. With 518,066 individuals returning between 2012 and 2017, Nangarhar has the highest number of returnees.

The survey also identified a total of 945,182 IDPs in the nine provinces assessed. Nearly all of them – 97.38 per cent – had been displaced by conflict. Another 1,141,334 people had returned to their homes.  Some 658,743 individuals had been forced to leave their settlements and had fled to another district or province.

The provinces also experienced outward migration during the period. Some 454,054 individuals or four per cent of the population left Afghanistan and have not returned. Of these, 105,218 or 23 per cent migrated to Europe, including Turkey. Another 82,984 moved to Pakistan and 52,497 to Iran.

“Displacement management is a major challenge for any country with a large number of displaced people. The DTM helps the government and humanitarian actors to identify areas of high return and migration movements in each province. But it can also deliver specific information on protection risks at the community level,” said IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission Laurence Hart.

The new survey follows a first round of data collection conducted January–March 2017 in the three eastern provinces of Nangarhar, Laghman, and Kunar. The DTM project was launched in response to dramatic rises in returns from neighbouring countries, as well as increasing internal displacement. Between January 2016 and June 2017 over 915,000 undocumented Afghans returned to Afghanistan from Iran and Pakistan, and over 807,400 were internally displaced by conflict.

Download the report here.

For more information please contact Eva Schwoerer at IOM Kabul, Tel. +93729229129, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 17:03Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationHumanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

A returnee family from Pakistan shelters in a cave in Balkh province, Afghanistan. Photo: IOM 2017

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Rehabilitates Water Wells in Southern Libya

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:18
Language English

Libya - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has completed the rehabilitation of 18 water wells in 12 out of 14 neighbourhoods of the Libyan city of Sabha. Those neighborhoods are: Manshiya, Mashroo’, Hajara, Aljadeed, Almahdiya, Abdelkafi, Althanawiya, Sukara, Gurda, Tyori, Nasriya, and Junga.

The project, part of the IOM Community Stabilization programme “Together We Rebuild”, included the provision of new electrical pumps for wells to allow the restoration of a domestic water supply.

The rehabilitation was accomplished with funding from the European Union. The UN Migration Agency contracted two local enterprises from Sabha. Activity was closely coordinated and supported by local authorities, in particular the Water and Waste Company in Sabha, the owner of the water wells.

The implementation of this project comes at a critical time when the city of Sabha has been suffering from an ongoing water crisis, which is particularly critical during the summer season when water consumption increases.

“We highly appreciate the support of the EU and the efforts made by IOM in rehabilitating 18 water wells in Sabha city which has been suffering from serious water shortages. This support comes at a critical time when the Water and Waste Water Company is in need of such support to help us maintain this essential service to the people of the city,” explained engineer Mohammad Aboul-Qassem Yaqa, the Head of Works and Maintenance Department at the Water and Waste Water Company.

Libya’s Minister of Local Government, Badad Ganaso Abdul Jaleel, added: "The Ministry of Local Government of the Government of National Accord supports IOM initiatives to promote community stabilization in the south of Libya. We are confident that the people of Sabha and the south in general urgently need these important projects, especially in these difficult times."

The identification of the necessity for the rehabilitation of water wells came as the result of a series of community meetings conducted by the Community Management Committee (CMC), which was formed by IOM and includes influential representatives from various tribes and social figures of the city. The CMC met with the community members in the various neighbourhoods, all of whom identified the rehabilitation of the water wells as their communities’ top priority.

The EU Ambassador for Libya, Bettina Muscheidt, explained that the EU supports Libyan efforts to end the current crisis through a political solution. “In the meantime,” she said, “Libya’s people cannot wait. Families across the country are in dire need of services. They want a return to normality. This is where this partnership between the Water and Waste Company in Sabha, the IOM and the EU can make a difference to improve lives and alleviate the suffering in an area where many different communities have been affected by the conflict.”

“The EU will continue supporting, through similar local initiatives, the economic and political stabilization of the south of the country,” added Ambassador Muscheidt.

“IOM thanks the Ministry of Local Government, the EU, the local municipality and the CMC for their continuous support as this project will facilitate access to water for thousands of people. We will continue to address the most urgent needs identified by the communities,” concluded IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi.

For further information, please contact IOM Libya. Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: or Patrick Charignon, Tel: +216 29 257 585, Email:

Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 17:02Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Zimbabwe Develops National Diaspora Policy with UN Migration Agency Support

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:16

Zimbabwe - On 5 and 6 July, the Government of Zimbabwe, with support from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the European Union, convened a high level discussion to develop the country’s 2017–2022 National Diaspora Policy Implementation Action Plan. The Plan will serve as a framework for engaging with the Zimbabwean diaspora worldwide.

Eighty participants took part from government ministries, the UN and the private sector, as well as diaspora representatives and other non-state actors.

The operationalization of the 2016 adopted National Diaspora Policy through a well-defined action plan comes against a background of increasing government acknowledgement of the potential of the Zimbabwean diaspora in contributing towards national development.

The action plan comprises of eight priority areas that relate to policies and legislation, the intra-governmental-diaspora relationship, institutional engagement, diaspora investment, remittances, national socio-economic development, knowing the diaspora and diaspora's rights.

“The Government recognizes that beyond the remittances from abroad, our diaspora presents social, economic, intellectual and political capital, a pool of knowledge and expertise which must be harnessed for the benefit of the country,” said Judith Kateera, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Macro Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, in a speech read on her behalf at the meeting.

The Government of Zimbabwe has demonstrated commitment to creating institutional structures that promote diaspora engagement in the national development agenda. The adoption of the National Diaspora Policy in July 2016 and the establishment and launch of the Diaspora Directorate in September 2016 are testimony of such commitment. In addition, with support from IOM and the EU, the Government of Zimbabwe conducted in October 2016  initial Zimbabwean Diaspora Engagement meetings in the United Kingdom, Canada and South Africa to move towards building mutual trust between the Government and members of the Zimbabwean diaspora.

“As a partner in migration management, IOM congratulates the Government of Zimbabwe for this important milestone,” said Lily Sanya, IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission. “IOM takes this opportunity to also thank the European Union for its generous support to the process. The Organization encourages the Government to establish sound mechanisms to ensure smooth implementation of the action plan and remains committed to providing needed technical support towards operationalization of the action plan.”

IOM’s support is being provided within the framework of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) project, “Promoting Migration Governance in Zimbabwe”. The project seeks to contribute to the establishment of a migration governance framework in Zimbabwe that supports state and non-state actors to manage migration in a migrant- and development-oriented manner. One of the four key results of the project is improved neutral platforms for dialogues and schemes through which Zimbabweans in the diaspora contribute to decision-making and national development.

For further information, please contact IOM Zimbabwe. Gideon Madera, Tel: +263 4 704285, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 17:01Image: Region-Country: ZimbabweThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants following proceedings during the high level discussion to develop Zimbabwe's National Diaspora Policy Implementation Action Plan. Photo: IOM 2017

IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Lily Sanya (right) making a contribution at the high level discussion to develop Zimbabwe's National Diaspora Policy Implementation Action Plan. Photo: IOM 2017

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Aids Undocumented Myanmar, Cambodian Migrants Leaving Thailand

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 11:15

Thailand - Irregular migrants in Thailand face an uncertain future after a Royal Decree imposed stiffer penalties on undocumented workers and the businesses that employ them. The decree – Royal Ordinance on the Management of Foreign Workers B.E. 2560 (2017) – was published by the Thai government on 23 June.

The announcement prompted a surge in the number of undocumented migrants returning to Cambodia and Myanmar.

The Thai Government has now postponed implementation of the Decree until 1 January 2018. Nonetheless, at least 34,800 Myanmar and 7,360 Cambodian migrants are known to have left Thailand over the past two weeks.

In response to the exodus, the United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) has been providing humanitarian assistance to returning Myanmar migrants at the Mae Sot-Myawaddy border crossing since 23 June and the Ranong-Kawthaung border crossing since 2 July.

As of 6 July, IOM had provided food, water, milk and medical kits to 18,277 often exhausted migrants arriving at the Mae Sot Immigration Detention Centre (IDC). IOM has also set up tents at the IDC to protect the migrants from the elements while they wait to cross the border.

In Ranong, IOM and NGO partners have helped local authorities transport the belongings of 520 migrants from the Ranong Immigration Detention Centre to boats crossing to Kawthaung in Myanmar.

“The rise in numbers has been prompted by fear of arrest and an uncertain future,” said Janet Ondieki, IOM Thailand Programme Coordinator for Counter-trafficking and Vulnerable Populations. “We are monitoring the situation closely and are working closely with the Thai authorities to provide humanitarian assistance to the migrants where needed.”

On the Cambodian border, where IOM has a Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) in the Cambodian town of Poi Pet, many migrants said they left Thailand fearing arrest, but plan to return when they have obtained the necessary travel documents and visas.

Returns to Cambodia have surged to over 5,000 in the past week, including women and children. Some women said that when they next return to work in Thailand, they plan to leave their children in Cambodia with relatives.

MRC staff members have been providing returnees with medical assistance and advice on how to obtain passports and migrate safely. They also arranged onward travel home for 15 particularly vulnerable migrants.

Thailand has an estimated migrant population of at least four million, of whom over one million are believed to be undocumented.

For further information, please contact IOM Thailand. Janet Ondieki, Tel: +66 2 343 9337, Email: or Reuben Lim, Tel: +66 2 343 9370, Email: Or IOM Cambodia. Troy Dooley, Tel: +855 1236 7498, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 - 17:00Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Myanmar migrants wait to cross the border at the Mae Sot Immigration Detention Centre. Photo: Chaovalit Inchan / IOM 2017

Categories: PBN