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Updated: 2 hours 16 min ago

More Progress Needed on Migration Governance If Sustainable Development Goals Are to Be Achieved by 2030, IOM Urges

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 10:47

New York – The United Nations High-level Political Forum (HLPF) –  the biggest gathering of governments, business and civil society leaders to review progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – will be convened from Tuesday, 9 July, to Thursday, 18 July 2019. This will be the 4th HLPF since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015. 

With emerging evidence suggesting that the international community must dramatically accelerate action to meet all the SDGs by 2030, this year’s HLPF provides a special platform to strengthen multilateralism and to demonstrate how our working together can generate practical solutions that ultimately deliver benefits and results where it matters most: in the lives of all people.  

For IOM, this means recognizing that we cannot achieve the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs without due consideration of migrants and migration. It means recognizing that how we govern migration can be the difference between positive and negative development outcomes. One the one hand, migrants can – in the right conditions – make significant economic, social and cultural contributions to communities of origin and destination. On the other hand, if migration is poorly managed, it can negatively impact development; migrants can be put at risk, communities can come under strain, and development gains can be jeopardized.  

Ensuring that we maximize the benefits of migration, while addressing its downsides, requires strong policies and institutional frameworks, clear objectives and a long-term perspective. This in turn means that all governments should continually prioritize migration in national and global policy agendas, as a promise for advancing human development around the world. 

The HLPF is an opportunity to reinforce this message, and to reinvigorate action to ensure that migrants are not left behind. This year, IOM will highlight the importance of migration to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda by hosting a side event titled “Migration Governance Indicators for Well-managed Migration: An Evidence-based Approach to Global Commitments” on 17 July. 

The event will focus on the experience of the countries and cities that participated in the Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) assessment, a tool for governments to take stock of the different structures and initiatives they have in place to manage migration, identify good practices and gaps and establish new priorities. 

The UN Network on Migration will also launch the Start-up Fund for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (Migration MPTF) mandated by the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) on 16 July. 

The Migration MPTF is the only funding mechanism fully dedicated to supporting collective action on migration and ensuring that mutual trust, determination and solidarity amongst States and with other stakeholders can be fostered to ensure the implementation of the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration. 

Called the largest annual gathering on SDG progress, this HLPF will set the stage for the high-level week of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly in September, during which a series of Summits and mandated High-level Meetings will be held, aimed at inspiring ambitious action to end poverty, respond to the climate threat and secure healthy, peaceful and prosperous lives for all. Each meeting, which includes the Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit and the SDG Summit, as well as high-level meetings on Financing for Development, Universal Health Coverage and Small Island Developing States, are intended to galvanize support for some of the major issues at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

IOM hopes that these unique, but inter-connected meetings will address migration effectively, so that we really can achieve migration for the benefit of all. 

For more info please contact the IOM Office to the United Nations, Chris Richter, Tel: +1 917 767 0863, Email: or Rahma Gamil Soliman, Tel: +1 917 515 74 54, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 16:40Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

UN Headquarters in New York with a projection of a 10-minute film introducing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ahead of the UN Sustainable Development Summit from 25-27 September 2015. UN Photo/Cia Pak

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign Livens Up Ugandan Cities

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 05:35

By Marion Dehier and Richard M Kavuma

 Kampala – IOM Uganda and its implementing partners recently organized a series of public campaigns to raise awareness about human trafficking.

The campaign was supported by the Better Migration Management (BMM) programme, a regional, multi-year, multi-partner programme co-funded by the European Union Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). BMM aims to improve migration management in the region, and in particular to address the trafficking and smuggling of migrants within and from the Horn of Africa.

The main events took place in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, as well as in the northwestern districts of Yumbe and Moyo. IOM worked in collaboration with the Humanitarian Assistance and Development Services (HADS) and the Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL).

In Yumbe town, traffic came to a standstill as students, youths, women groups and boda (motorcycle taxi) operators, led by a brass band, marched with posters and placards, warnings about the lurking danger of trafficking in persons.

Social workers and security leaders then addressed the participants, urging them to resist the allure of unverified promises of ‘big jobs’ abroad or in Uganda’s larger towns.

The main speaker was Hakim B. Viga, the District Internal Security Officer for Yumbe. He said many parents in the district were naively surrendering their children to traffickers believing that the youngsters were being taken for religious education. Viga also encouraged youth to follow regular migration pathways.

“There are many companies which have been licensed by the government to export labour,” Viga said. “But some of our young people go through Kenya and end up in the Middle East without proper documentation. So, if someone comes to you saying ‘I want to take you abroad to work’, first do a very thorough investigation before you accept.”

In the neighbouring district of Moyo, the awareness raising campaign took place in Morobi village in the Palorinya refugee settlement, and was attended by both refugees and members of the host community. The main speaker was the Officer in charge of the main Police station in the district, Shafik Kasujja. He, too, urged the community to critically scrutinize what might appear to be promises of dream jobs abroad.

The awareness activities, co-organized by IOM’s implementing partner HADS, included a lively concert, with popular local musicians like Uncle Pato entertaining the crowd of several hundred men, women and children of various ages. The amusement was punctuated by well-received awareness messages from IOM and HADS staff.

To crown the awareness drive, IOM and UYDEL organized Big Splash events in the Kampala slum areas of Katwe and Kawempe.

Pupils from local schools, along with community members, marched around Katwe to raise awareness on human trafficking. Learners from almost 10 primary and secondary schools presented skits, poems, songs and plays on ridding society of trafficking in persons and promoting safe migration.

In Kawempe, music and sports competitions were held against a backdrop of anti-trafficking messages, with competing teams wearing T-shirts customized to the theme of the day.

Joycelynn Karungi, IOM Uganda Counter-Trafficking focal person, thanked the children and the community for taking part in the fight against the scourge, and also in highlighting the message: “Stop Human Trafficking. It Starts with You”.  Karungi urged the audience to internalize and spread the messages embedded within the multi-lingual information and education materials they had received. She also urged the audience to be vigilant and report cases of trafficking, since anyone can be prosecuted under the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, in place since 2009.

As Esther, a one young girl from Trust Primary Bulenga Ssumbwe, told the audience during her speech: “Together we can kick Human Trafficking out of Uganda.”

In a poem, another pupil, from Merryland Primary School Gayaza, said: “Parents, do not frustrate our dreams by sending us to early marriage or giving us away to traffickers for the benefit of just a dollar that you push into your pockets.”

. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is one of the implementing partners of the Better Migration Management programme alongside the British Council, CIVIPOL, Expertise France, GIZ, Italian Department of Public Security (IDoPS) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  IOM implements this programme in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.

For more information, please contact the IOM Uganda Programme Coordinator Erika de Bona. Email:;  Tel +256 312 263 210

Media enquiries can be directed to: IOM Uganda Public Information Officer, Richard M Kavuma. Email:  Tel +256 312 263 210.  MOB: +256 772 709 917 / 700 646 403.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 11:28Image: Region-Country: UgandaThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Thousands Displaced as Monsoon Rains Pound Rohingya Camps

Mon, 07/08/2019 - 09:07

Cox’s Bazar – Five days of heavy rains and winds have pounded Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, displacing over 2,700, damaging over 3,400 houses and leaving two people dead.

The destruction – triggered by monsoon weather systems sweeping into the Bay of Bengal – saw IOM staff and volunteers working throughout the camps to repair damaged structures and relocate the hardest-hit families to emergency shelters.

“We are only half way into the monsoon season and have helped over 2,000 people in the past 72 hours. Our teams have been working around the clock,” said IOM spokesman George McLeod. Preliminary damage estimates already exceed those recorded in 2018, he added.  

Records from rain gauges between 3-5 July in the Kutupalong mega camp showed 510 mm. Camp 16 – another major settlement – recorded 530 mm.   

IOM and partners, including UNHCR and WFP, have been preparing for the monsoon and cyclone season since late 2018 through infrastructure upgrades and awareness-raising campaigns in both the camps and host communities.

IOM preliminary damage data covering the period 2-6 July includes:

  • 1,186 households affected by landslides
  • 216 households impacted by flooding
  • 1,840 households affected by wind
  • 15,534 people affected by flooding or other safety risks
  • 391 landslides, 51 wind storms, and 26 floods reported

As of last night (7/7), IOM damage reports for the previous 24-hour period indicated 13 more landslides, nine windstorms and two floods affecting 2,200 individuals and 432 households. The rains and wind are expected to continue this week.  

Find more details here: Inter Sector Coordination Group Weekly Update: 27 June - 04 July 2019

For more information please contact George McLeod at IOM Cox’s Bazar, Tel: +880 18 7071 8078, Email:

Language English Posted: Monday, July 8, 2019 - 15:02Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Rohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Heavy rain results in flooding and landslides in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps. Photo: IOM

Heavy rain results in flooding and landslides in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Tripoli Migrant Centre Airstrike Death Toll Rises to 53, Including 6 Children

Fri, 07/05/2019 - 11:42

Tripoli – In Libya, the security and humanitarian situation is worsening.   

Fifty-three migrants are confirmed dead, among them six children following Tuesday’s airstrike on the Tajoura detention centre. Over 130 people were injured. The more then 600 migrants detained at Tajoura represented at least 17 different nationalities, mainly African.   

According to IOM staff on-site Thursday, 350 migrants – among them 20 women and four children – remain in detention there.   

IOM teams provided food and water to the people who were still traumatized by Tuesday’s attack, and will continue to assist them. At least 12 survivors with severe injuries – some needing urgent surgery – have been referred to clinics by IOM doctors who remain on call to follow up on these cases.   

For more information, please contact, Safa Msehli, IOM Libya. Tel: + 216 22 241 842, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 5, 2019 - 16:04Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: migrants in vulnerable situationsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff are continuing to provide food and water to the estimated 350 migrants who remain at the Tajoura detention centre today as clashes occurred in parts of the Libyan capital Tripoli. 

At least 53 people died and more than 130 were injured by airstrikes late Tuesday on the Tajoura detention centre in Tripoli, Libya. 

IOM staff are continuing to provide food and water to the estimated 350 migrants who remain at the Tajoura detention centre today as clashes occurred in parts of the Libyan capital Tripoli. 

At least 53 people died and more than 130 were injured by airstrikes late Tuesday on the Tajoura detention centre in Tripoli, Libya. 

IOM staff are continuing to provide food and water to the estimated 350 migrants who remain at the Tajoura detention centre today as clashes occurred in parts of the Libyan capital Tripoli. 

At least 53 people died and more than 130 were injured by airstrikes late Tuesday on the Tajoura detention centre in Tripoli, Libya. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Latin American Countries Agree on Road Map for the Integration of Venezuelans

Fri, 07/05/2019 - 10:52

Buenos Aires – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcome the adoption by Latin American and Caribbean countries of a road map to facilitate integration in the region of refugees and migrants from Venezuela.

The road map was adopted during the IV International Technical Meeting of the Quito Process, held in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, on 4 and 5 July.

Government representatives from 14 Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as UN agencies, regional organizations, development banks and representatives of civil society participated in the meeting, which was convened by the Government of Argentina.

"The continuing exodus of Venezuelans surpasses and exceeds the capacities and resources of governments in the region. This implies an urgent challenge for the countries hosting them," said Eduardo Stein, Joint UNHCR-IOM Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants.

Stein added: "The Quito Process represents a key space for communication and coordination among States. There are many good practices in the region and governments benefit from opportunities for exchange, articulation and harmonization. For this reason, it is crucial to continue expanding and strengthening the participation of countries of the region in this Process."

The meeting highlighted the actions and efforts by the countries of the region, not only in terms of reception, documentation and humanitarian assistance, but also in promoting access to health, education, employment, and housing to help the integration of Venezuelan refugees and migrants.

In a joint declaration, the governments agreed to reinforce cooperation, communication and coordination between the countries of transit and destination of Venezuelans, strengthening measures against transnational crimes, such as people smuggling and trafficking, as well as against sexual and gender-based violence and different forms of discrimination and xenophobia to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable.

The Road Map of the Buenos Aires Chapter is composed of specific actions related to issues including human trafficking, the provision of health care, and recognition of academic qualifications.

It also includes the establishment of centers of information, reception, advice and assistance for refugees and migrants, a platform for orientation and development of human capital, and the strengthening of national systems for refugee status determination.

The creation and implementation of an Information Card for Regional Mobility was presented as a priority to complement and strengthen the processes of documentation and registration at national levels that already exist or are being developed.

The governments also agreed to promote the creation of a group of countries and institutions that will collaborate in mitigating the impact of the crisis in the region by mobilizing resources to support the implementation of the Quito Plan of Action and the Road Map.

IOM and UNHCR reiterate their support to countries affected by the outflow of Venezuelans and call for strengthened international funding for the continuation of current actions and the implementation of projects presented during the meeting.

According to data from national immigration authorities and other sources, the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela around the world has exceeded 4 million.


For more information, please contact:


In Geneva: Joel Millman, +41 79 103 8720 (

In Buenos Aires:

Juliana Quintero, IOM ( +54 1132488134)


In Geneva:

Liz Throssell, UNHCR ( +41 79337 7591)

In Panama:

William Spindler, UNHCR ( +507 69290257 o +41 79 2173011) 

Olga Sarrado, UNHCR ( +507 6640 0185)

In Buenos Aires:

Analía KIM, UNHCR  ( +54 11 4815 7870)      

Language English Posted: Monday, July 8, 2019 - 14:17Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: migrants in vulnerable situationsDefault: Multimedia: 

Passengers prepare to board an IOM charter flight relocating 130 Venezuelans in Brazil. Photo: IOM/Fábio Fonseca

Venezuelans crossing from Colombia to Ecuador. Photo: IOM Ecuador

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Assists Survivors of Shipwreck Tragedy Off Tunisia’s Coast

Fri, 07/05/2019 - 10:29

Zarzis, Tunisia – More than 80 migrants, among them women and children are believed to have drowned when a vessel capsized off Tunisia’s Mediterranean coast this week.  

On Thursday (04/07) the International Organization for Migration (IOM) assisted four male survivors who said they sailed from Zwara, Libya, early Monday. One of the men, a 29-year-old national from Côte d'Ivoire suffering from hypothermia died in hospital Thursday morning. 

The survivors told IOM staff that the inflatable boat carrying 86 people including four women and two children, left Zwara around 6:00am on 1 July. A few hours later the boat began to leak and capsized during the confusion and frantic movements of the dozens of people on board.  

After 40 hours in the water, the men were spotted by fishermen who alerted the Tunisian Coast Guard, who brought them to Zarzis.  

This is not the first such tragedy this year. On 10 and 11 May rescues were carried out on two overloaded crafts. On one boat, 59 people went missing while 16 were rescued. On the second craft, 69 were rescued. Both reportedly left Zwara, Libya, at the same time. 

So far this year, 426 have drowned attempting to cross the central Mediterranean route, while some 3,750 have been returned to systematic and arbitrary detention—where they remain at risk as clashes continue to rage in Libya’s capital, Tripoli. 

IOM was able to meet with two of the three rescued at sea. The third, is in stable condition in intensive care and cannot be interviewed. IOM Tunisia Chief of Mission Lorena Lando said of the remaining survivors of this week’s tragedy, two are hospitalized and one is in a shelter run by the Tunisian Red Crescent (TRC). 

Lando said IOM remains in contact with all the survivors, who are believed to be Malian citizens, adding they appeared to be in a state of shock and are traumatized. IOM provided them with basic needs and psychological support, in partnership with TRC. 

IOM has learned that of the 82 still missing, four are women, one of them pregnant. Two others were traveling with at least one child each. Unaccompanied children also were on board. The survivors said they knew of one Egyptian, one Gambian as well as several others from Mali, Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea aboard the vessel. 

For more information, please contact:   
Lorena Lando, IOM Tunisia, Tel: + 219 28542954, Email:  
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: + 216 28 787 805, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 5, 2019 - 16:06Image: Region-Country: TunisiaThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

A migrant rescued from a previous shipwreck off the coast of Tunisia in August 2018. Photo: IOM Tunisia

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

New Spike in Displacement in Eastern DRC Further Complicates Ebola Response, Requires Urgent Relocation and Response

Fri, 07/05/2019 - 10:20

Kinshasa – Renewed violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) region that is struggling to contain the on-going Ebola outbreak, has claimed the lives of at least 160 people and displaced hundreds of thousands of others, further complicating the response to the public health emergency. 

“The people who fled the frontline of the conflict are living in dire conditions,” said Fabien Sambussy, IOM Chief of Mission in DRC. 

“Humanitarian actors urgently need access to provide assistance and prevent further massive displacement. We are increasingly concerned that rising displacement creates fertile ground for the spread of disease – most worryingly Ebola – in Ituri province.” 

According to the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, who visited the area recently, an estimated 400,000 persons are currently displaced throughout Ituri Province.   

Djugu Territory has seen a 135 per cent rise in displacement with 20,000 new internally displaced persons (IDPs) registered last month in 12 displacement sites managed by IOM, which has provided Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) and shelter services since 2018. Thousands more are sheltering in spontaneous sites.  

“Efforts are ongoing to mobilize the necessary resources to determine the number of people displaced and their whereabouts,” added Sambussy, referring to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). “Our humanitarian and government partners can use this data to better target and assist affected populations.” 

Poor hygiene conditions in displacement sites severely increase the risk that Ebola, as well as cholera, measles and acute respiratory diseases, will spread. Many of these people are seeking assistance in Ebola-affected Bunia where the displacement site officially called ‘General Hospital Site’ has received more than 5,000 new IDPs, increasing the site’s population to 10,000 – twice its capacity. The overcrowded site, where hygiene conditions are poor, is close to the town’s hospital and the Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC) where 12 suspected and confirmed cases are being treated. 

A plan to relocate IDPs to a new settlement on land owned by Bunia’s Catholic Diocese is currently underway.  

The 120,000 square meter plot offers favourable conditions for the safe and dignified relocation of IDPs. IOM is mobilizing the financial resources required to start land development as well as the rapid relocation of IDPs exposed to public health hazards and other protection risks. 

IOM is also reinforcing its Ebola surveillance and disease prevention activities in Ituri by supporting health points of control within the country, and Points of Entry at international borders with risk communication, hand washing/hygiene promotion and surveillance activities including temperature screening and collection of key traveller information and health status. IOM also uses information on population mobility in the region to target preparedness measures, including in Uganda, South Sudan and Burundi, with the aim of reducing disease transmission to new areas and across borders.

This recent resumption of violence follows 16 years of relative peace; intercommunal violence in the same area displaced hundreds of thousands of people between 1997 and 2003.  The security situation has now deteriorated in resource-rich Djugu and neighbouring Mahagi territories due to intense fighting between Lendu and Hema groups, and conflict between Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and non-state armed actors. 

IOM CCCM operations in DRC are funded by the Governments of Sweden and Canada. Ebola activities are funded by USAID/OFDA and the World Bank. 

For further information please contact Esthiwahyu Husnur at IOM DRC, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 5, 2019 - 16:05Image: Region-Country: Democratic Republic of the CongoThemes: Migrant AssistanceMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Thousands of people are displaced in an overcrowed displacement site near Bunia's General Hospital in Ituri province. Photo: IOM/Ernesto Bafile

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Mongolia Build Displacement Tracking Capacity to Prepare for Natural Disasters

Fri, 07/05/2019 - 10:17

Ulaanbaatar – IOM and Mongolia’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) yesterday (04/07) organized a workshop in the Mongolian capital on mobility monitoring for emergency preparedness. 

The event, which was part of a joint IOM / NEMA project on climate change and disaster-related migration, brought together migration experts and representatives from government, NGOs and UN humanitarian agencies to discuss the role of IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM.)  

Mongolia suffers from natural disasters including droughts and bitterly cold dzud winters, which kill livestock and force herders to migrate to urban areas. Fewer economic opportunities in the countryside are also causing growing numbers of rural people to migrate to cities.  

IOM and NEMA have conducted a baseline study to monitor population mobility for disaster preparedness in Mongolia using the DTM. The study will help the Government of Mongolia to establish a comprehensive system to collect data on displacement caused by climate change and natural disasters. 

“Clear and timely data is essential for emergency preparedness and response. All stakeholders involved in providing humanitarian assistance need to be able to access shared data to make sure that no vulnerable groups of people are excluded,” said IOM China and Mongolia Chief of Mission Giuseppe Crocetti. 

IOM’s DTM was first created as a tool to capture the number and location of people in displacement situations. Over time it has been customized for use in different countries and has developed into a more complex system for faster data dissemination and response. In Asia it has been used to promote emergency preparedness in Afghanistan, Lao PDR, Philippines, Cambodia and Indonesia. 

In Mongolia, DTM’s data collection is based on NEMA’s data collection system and provides real-time information on population movements. But there is still an information gap in population mobility due to limitations in official data.  

NEMA Deputy Director and DTM Team Leader Batmunkh Uuganbayar told workshop participants that rural livelihoods in Mongolia depend heavily on the environment. “In order to analyze patterns of herders’ internal migration, NEMA has now assessed the data in 330 soums (districts.) DTM implementation is bringing opportunities for further coordination and partnership at all levels,” he said. 

For more information please contact Joana Bala at IOM Mongolia, Email:, Tel. +976 94 637810 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 5, 2019 - 16:03Image: Region-Country: MongoliaThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeDefault: Multimedia: 

Desertification is threatening traditional livelihoods in Mongolia. Photo: IOM/Nyamdavaa Yondonjamts 2017

Drought and consecutive dzud winters are forcing herders to abandon their livelihoods. Photo: IOM/Nyamdavaa Yondonjamts 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Releases Glossary on Migration to Foster Correct Use of Migration Terminology

Fri, 07/05/2019 - 10:15

Geneva – Languages evolve, and the way professionals use language matters – perhaps nowhere as crucially as language pertaining to human movement, resettlement, refuge and displacement. 

Is a ‘detention’ centre the same as a ‘holding’ centre? Who is, or isn’t, a ‘highly-skilled migrant worker’?  Do we know what is ‘climate migration’, or why the term ‘climate refugee’ should not be used?  

Chronicling the correct use of words and migration terms also is an evolving process. This week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is releasing its third edition of its Glossary on Migration, a process IOM began in 2004 and which was most recently updated in 2011. 

At a time when discussions around migration have become particularly toxic, it is important to consider how terminology can shape – and, sometimes, distort – reality.  

As António Vitorino, IOM Director General has said: “Usage of often wrong, or alarmist, terms around the world has negatively impacted the way migrants are perceived. Accurate terminology is not only for the sake of political correctness but can shape perceptions of migration.” 

Creating uniformity in language is pivotal to ensure an accurate understanding and coherent exchange of information among actors working in the field of migration. It is also a fundamental step towards a collective, more humane, yet efficient, response to migration challenges. 

The IOM Glossary on Migration is the result of a lengthy process of consultation within the Organization and with external academic and partner organizations and institutions. It is meant to reflect the way IOM understands a wide range of terms relevant to migration and to clarify how migration-related terms are legally defined or commonly used. 

The latest online volume opens with the words “Welcome to the IOM Glossary on Migration.”  

Explained Kristina Touzenis, head of IOM’s International Migration Law unit: “Put like that, it sounds as if this document would solve all issues related to how we speak about migration. It will not. What this document aims to do is to give definitions for commonly (and, on occasion, not so commonly) used terms when speaking of migration.” 

The new Glossary reflects recent developments in the use of migration-related terms arising from discussions of issues that have come under international scrutiny only in recent years. For example, new terms include ‘climate migration’, ‘disaster-induced migration’, and the various meanings of the term ‘relocation’, as well as terms that have recently become of common use, such as ‘human mobility’.  

Whether a reader is a policy maker, a practitioner, a journalist, a scholar, a student or simply someone who is interested in migration issues, the Glossary can provide some useful insights on migration terms, as well as on the underlying realities. 

To access the IOM International Migration Law Glossary, please use the following link: 

For more information, please contact Alice Sironi, IML at IOM Geneva, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 5, 2019 - 16:02Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMMigration LawDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM has released the third edition of its Glossary on Migration.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 29,844 in 2019; Deaths Reach 681

Fri, 07/05/2019 - 10:10

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 29,844 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 3 July, a 36 per cent decrease from the 46,441 arriving during the same period last year.  

Nearly half all arrivals this year (13,997) have landed in Greece, while another one-third (10,538) have landed in Spain. Greece and Spain combine to account for 82 per cent of the region’s irregular sea landings, with the balance arriving in much smaller proportions to Italy, Malta and Cyprus (see chart below). 

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through six months of 2019 are at 681 individuals – or almost half the 1,414 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018.  

IOM Italy 

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo cited official Ministry of Interior figures of 2,790 migrants who have arrived in Italy by sea this year through 3 July, compared to 16,709 at this same time in 2018. IOM Libya has reported that through 27 June over 3,700 migrants have been intercepted at sea and returned to Libya in 2019. 

IOM Spain 

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported on Thursday sea arrivals to Spain through 3 July have reached 10,538 men, women and children.  That’s an average of almost 58 persons per day, compared to last year, through June 30, of just over 83 people per day.   

According to the Spanish Ministry of the Interior’s report, this represents a decrease of 27.4 per cent compared to the same period last year (3,951 fewer individuals).  

While monthly arrivals to Spain are lower this year over all (see chart below), fatalities on the Western Mediterranean route remain high – with 202 deaths reported through six months of this year, compared to 294 at this time in 2018.  

IOM Greece 

IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou reported on Thursday that since 2 July the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least 12 incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Leros, Kos, Samos and the port of Alexandroupolis. The HCG rescued a total of 459 migrants and transferred them to those respective ports. 

Those arrivals, plus another 30 arrivals IOM recorded on 1 July, bring to 13,997 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year (see chart below).  

Missing Migrants Project 

2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project. Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 32,324 individuals, including 1,367 in 2019 (see chart below). 

Due to the challenges of collecting information about these people and the contexts of their deaths, the true number of lives lost during migration is likely much higher. Missing Migrants Project records should only be viewed as indicative of the risks associated with migration, rather than representative of the true number of deaths across time or geography.   

This past week the Missing Migrants Project recorded the deaths of 125 people: 84 in the Mediterranean, 31 in Northern Africa, five in the US-Mexico border, two in Europe, one each in Central America, the Middle East and Eastern Africa – an indication of the global nature of the risks many people face during migration. 

A shipwreck in the Mediterranean on 3 July resulted in at least 82 missing migrants with one migrant rescued who later died in a Tunisian hospital. According to three survivors, the craft departed from Zouara, Libya, at dawn on Monday, but began to sink a few hours later. The Tunisian Marine and fishermen rescued three Malian nationals, and one Ivorian off the coast of Zarzis, in Tunisia. The Ivorian unfortunately died of hypothermia in the hospital one day after the shipwreck. Among those who remain missing are seven women. 

In Northern Africa, two boats sank trying to get to the Canary Islands in the past two weeks. On Thursday, 27 June, six people drowned, including two women and one baby. Their boat, which departed from Sidi Ifni, a city in Morocco, started to sink a few hours after sailing.  

The second shipwreck occurred near Dajla, a city in Western Sahara, on 23 June, and resulted in the death of four migrants. Twenty-one remain missing. According to the survivors, the boat was overcrowded with at least 38 migrants and in rough conditions. A few hours after sailing, the captain abandoned the boat when he noted that it was about to sink.  

In the US-Mexico border, five deaths were recorded in the last week. A Brazilian girl, aged two, was lost by her family when crossing the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas and is presumed dead.  

Two men also lost their lives on Sunday: a 47-year-old Mexican man died in a hospital from injuries sustained after falling from the international boundary fence in Arizona, and a Brazilian man drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande in Texas. On 27 June, a Honduran man also drowned in the Morelos Dam in Baja California, Mexico, in his attempt to get to the US. 

In total, at least 422 people have lost their lives in the Americas in 2019, compared with 271 recorded through this point in 2018.  

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants deaths and disappearances are collected, click here. The report Fatal Journey Volume 4, published 28 June, includes an overview of five years of Missing Migrants Project data (2014-2018) and an update on what is known about deaths during migration in 2019. 

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

See contacts here

Language English Posted: Friday, July 5, 2019 - 16:01Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Attack on Libyan Detention Centre an "Appalling Breach of International Law" - UN Network on Migration

Thu, 07/04/2019 - 04:28

Geneva – The United Nations Network on Migration condemns the attack on the refugee and migrant detention centre in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, that has killed at least 44 people and wounded more than 130 others.
The attack is an appalling breach of international law and the imperative to safeguard civilians from conflict.  It also highlights the additional plight of the thousands of migrant women, men, girls and boys arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in detention centres across Libya, where the UN has documented degrading, inhumane and unsafe conditions, including torture, ill-treatment, forced labour, enforced disappearance, rape, and a lack of access to food and essential medical care, among other serious human rights violations.
The Network calls on all Libyan actors to safeguard the lives of all migrants on their territory or under their authority and to proactively take measures to protect them and other civilians from the ongoing armed conflict.  The Network urges the Libyan authorities, regional allies and the international community to use this tragic episode as a turning point and to end the flagrant abuse of migrants and their exposure to danger. This must include a thorough investigation of the incident and commitment to bring those responsible to account.
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is built on the bedrock of the United Nations Charter and international law.  It represents a collective commitment to cooperate to save lives and prevent migrant deaths and injuries and to uphold the human rights of everyone. Yesterday’s bombing questions that collective commitment.
The attack also places the spotlight on the often unconscionable conditions in which many migrants are detained, not just in Libya but around the world, and the grave risks they face in detention. In pursuit of a better life for a range of reasons, numerous migrants in all regions undertake long and treacherous journeys.  Too often, the end point is criminalization and detention rather than appropriate protection and assistance.  Worrying and intensifying reports of immigration detention – often for prolonged periods and in inhumane conditions – demand a reconsideration of an approach that is unsustainable while being unquestionably harmful for migrants. 
The United Nations Network on Migration calls on States to put an end to unnecessary and arbitrary instances of detention, as well as substandard conditions of immigration detention, including overcrowding and lack of access to food, hygiene and health services, to reunite families immediately, and to ensure that no child is ever detained for reasons relating to their, or their parents’, migration status. Migrant women, men, girls and boys are entitled to appropriate protection and care, based on individual assessments, in accordance with international human rights law, and with particular respect to their right to liberty.
Many United Nations offices which make up the Network are working to address these issues, including in the context of humanitarian evacuations and assistance; protection programmes tailored for migrants, including migrant children and women; as well as voluntary return and reintegration assistance, to name a few. 

The Network remains committed to work with and through its members and partners to help save migrant lives and advance the guiding principles and objectives spelled out in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

For further information , please contact:

IOM: Leonard Doyle
Director of Media and Communications Division
Tel: +

UNICEF: Juliette S. Touma
Regional Chief of Communications / Middle East and North Africa 
Tel: +962-79-867-4628
Tel: +1-917-20-90-817

OHCHR: Rupert Colville
Spokesperson for the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Tel: +41 22 917 97 67

Language English Posted: Thursday, July 4, 2019 - 10:20Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: migrants in vulnerable situationsDefault: Multimedia: 

Medical and emergency services respond after attack on the refugee and migrant detention centre in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Migrants Preparing to Return Home With IOM’s Assistance Among Casualties of Libyan Detention Centre Airstrike

Thu, 07/04/2019 - 03:05

Tripoli  – An airstrike on Tajoura detention centre in Libya late Tuesday night killed at least 44 migrants and injured more than 130 others including some registered with IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme, several of whom were scheduled to return home in the coming days.

“Innocent lives were lost in the attack on Tuesday night, and immediate action is needed from all sides,” said IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi.

“The suffering of migrants in Libya has become intolerable. It must be clear to all that Libya is not a safe port and that thousands of lives remain at imminent risk.”
One hundred and eighty-seven of the more than 600 detainees from several countries were registered for VHR.
Immediately following the attack, IOM doctors and nurses arrived at the detention centre accompanied by ambulances responding to the tragedy that destroyed the hanger where 180 male migrants were detained.
IOM doctors provided assistance to people at the scene, referred those with severe injuries, some needing urgent surgical interventions, to clinics and continue to follow up on their cases today.
The teams managed to locate a group of injured migrants who left Tajoura after the attack in the surrounding neighborhood and transferred them to hospital for further treatment.
As night falls in Tripoli an estimated 250 migrants, many of them women and children, remain at the detention centre.
IOM continues to call for an end to the arbitrary detention and reminds all parties that civilians are not a target.
While the humanitarian situation in the capital Tripoli worsens for all civilians, some 3,300 migrants who remain detained in similar centres are considered at-risk.

For more information, please contact:
IOM Libya: Safa Msehli at +21622241842 Email:
IOM Geneva Leonard Doyle at +41792857123 or Joel Millman at +41791038720


Language English Posted: Thursday, July 4, 2019 - 09:01Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: migrants in vulnerable situationsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM medical staff continue to assist survivors of Tuesday night's Tajoura detention centre bombing, transferring the wounded safely to clinics for further treatment. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNHCR Condemn Attack on Tajoura, Libya, Detention Centre and Call for an Immediate Investigation

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 12:44

Geneva – The appalling toll in injuries and lives from Tuesday night’s attack east of Tripoli at the Tajoura Detention Centre speaks to the deep concerns, expressed repeatedly¸ by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, over the safety of people in detention centres. 

This latest violence also speaks to the danger both IOM and UNHCR have warned over returning migrants and refugees to Libya after their interception or rescue on the Mediterranean Sea.
Our two organizations strongly condemn this and any attack on civilian life. We also call for an immediate end to detention of migrants and refugees. We call for a guarantee of their protection in Libya.
Nonetheless, such an attack deserves more than condemnation. UNHCR and IOM believe a full and independent investigation is required to determine how this happened and who was responsible, and to bring those individuals to account. Coordinates of such centres in Tripoli are well known to combatants, who also know those detained at Tajoura are civilians.
Tajoura held at least 600 migrants and refugees—including women and children. The airstrike that left scores dead, also left dozens injured. For that reason, we expect the final death toll to include many more victims.

Including those victims at Tajoura, some 3,300 migrants and refugees remain arbitrarily detained inside and around Tripoli in conditions that can only be described as inhumane. Moreover, migrants and refugees face increasing risks as clashes intensify nearby. These centres must be closed.
We are doing all we can to help. IOM and UNHCR have dispatched medical teams, while a wider UN inter-agency team awaits clearance to visit the area. We remind all parties to this conflict that civilians must not be targets and must be protected under both International Refugee Law and International Human Rights Law.
The ongoing conflict in the Libyan capital has forced nearly 100,000 Libyans to flee their homes. UNHCR with partners that include IOM has relocated more than 1,500 refugees from detention centres near combat to safer areas. Separately, in 2019, IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return operations have assisted in the departure of more than 5,000 vulnerable individuals returning to 30 countries of origin in Africa and Asia.
IOM and UNHCR urge the broader UN System to condemn this attack and end the use of detention in Libya. Moreover, we urgently call on the international community to provide humanitarian corridors for migrants and refugees to be evacuated out of Libya. For the sake of all in Libya, we hope that States with influence will redouble their efforts to cooperate in urgently bringing an end to this terrible conflict.

For more information, please contact:

In Libya: Safa Msehli at +21622241842 Email: or
In Geneva: Leonard Doyle at +41792857123 or Joel Millman at +41791038720

Charlie Yaxley +41 79 580 8702
Rula Amin +962 0790 04 58 49

Language English Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 18:41Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: migrants in vulnerable situationsDefault: Multimedia: 

The aftermath of Tuesday night’s devastating attack at the Tajoura Detention Centre, east of Tripoli. Photo: IOM/ Moad Laswed

The aftermath of Tuesday night’s devastating attack at the Tajoura Detention Centre, east of Tripoli. Photo: IOM/ Moad Laswed

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Helps Bhutan to Build Immigration, Border Management Capacity

Tue, 07/02/2019 - 10:18

Thimphu – IOM, in coordination with the UN Country Team (UNCT) in Bhutan, has completed a five-day capacity building programme for Bhutanese immigration officials on immigration and border management, focusing on passport examination procedures.  

The training of trainers, which was attended by 20 officials from the Department of Immigration’s headquarters, the international airport and regional immigration offices, was designed to enhance border security and strengthen capacities to detect document and identity frauds in order to combat irregular migration and transnational organized crime.  

Bhutan, a small Himalayan nation, hosts an estimated 52,300 migrants, many of them manual workers from India, who cross the border to work in Bhutan’s expanding construction sector. Other migrants come from China, Nepal and further afield, including the United States and Japan. In 2017 international migrants accounted for about 6.5 per cent of Bhutan’s 800,000-strong population.  

Growing numbers of young Bhutanese are now also travelling abroad – mainly for tertiary education. In 2017 Bhutanese emigration reached 44,000 with Nepal, India, Australia, Denmark and Netherlands among the top countries of destination.  

Bhutan’s Immigration Department is building its capacity to meet these changing migration patterns and the Thimphu training was the first in a series of planned IOM/UNCT initiatives. These will include a border and migration management assessment and other capacity building programmes to expedite regular mobility and enhance border security at key border crossing points. 

According to IOM senior regional technical specialist Donato Colucci, who delivered the passport examination training, participating officials will cascade knowledge and skills to colleagues to detect altered and counterfeit passports, and imposters. The sessions included study of printing techniques, security features, biometrics and international standards of passports, he said.   

Trainees were familiarized with the most appropriate technical tools to support day-to-day passport examination activities. These included the use of a compact device comprising a UV light and magnifier to provide a detailed authenticity check of documents though identification of specific security features, he added. 

For more information please contact Chris Lom at the IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Tel: +66 626028752, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - 16:17Image: Region-Country: BhutanThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Bhutanese immigration officials complete a five-day IOM training on passport examination procedures. Photo: IOM 2019 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

EU Budget and SDGs Anchor IOM Recommendations to EU Council Presidency

Tue, 07/02/2019 - 10:12

Brussels – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in recommendations released yesterday (01/07), encouraged the new Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) to advance a long-term EU budget that promotes orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration as key to sustainable development in countries of origin, transit and destination.  

Finland – which on 1 July assumed the EU Presidency for the next six months – will be leading the Presidency when Heads of State and Government gather at the United Nations in New York in September to review progress on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   

“At the same time, the Finnish Presidency will play an essential role in advancing the next long-term EU budget, which we recommend be designed to ensure that well-managed migration positively contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda,” said Ola Henrikson, IOM’s Regional Director for the EU, European Economic Area and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). 

“SDG target 10.7 calls on governments to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration. This budget is an opportunity to do so with a long-term perspective,” he said.  

IOM’s key recommendations therefore encourage coherent, evidence-based EU migration policies across the spectrum that can help to ensure that well-managed migration is a driver of development and well-being for migrants, communities and countries in Europe and beyond. The Finnish Presidency is equally encouraged to promote a change in the narrative on migration at the highest levels. 

Concerning the EU’s approach to return, readmission and reintegration, IOM believes that EU migration funds within the EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) should be designed to fully respect fundamental rights and guarantee humane, dignified return conditions. 

Finally, because migration plays a key role in today’s environment and climate change challenges, IOM recommends that EU Member State planning integrates migration into climate and environment policies and ensures that regional cooperation frameworks address this issue. 

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

IOM's recommendations can be downloaded here

For more information please contact Melissa Julian at IOM Brussels, Tel: +32 287 7133, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - 16:05Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: Migration GovernanceMigration PolicyMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

On 1 July, Finland took the helm of the six-month rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). Photo: European Union 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

One Child Every Day: Lack of Data Leaves Most Vulnerable Group at Risk – UN Migration Report

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:54

Berlin – A new report from the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) highlights the need for better data on migrant deaths and disappearances, particularly those of missing migrant children. 

This year’s Fatal Journeys 4 report focuses on the theme of missing migrant children, given the growing number embarking on dangerous migrant journeys. According to IOM data, nearly 1,600 children – an average of almost one every day – were reported dead or missing between 2014 and 2018, though many more go unrecorded. 

“Tragically, we have been reminded in recent days that children are among the most vulnerable groups of migrants,” said Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s GMDAC.  

“The lack of data on the ages, characteristics and vulnerabilities of missing migrant children creates serious protection gaps; it makes it very difficult to create programmes and policies designed to protect them.” 

UNICEF contributed a chapter to this latest report, and IOM looks forward to working closely with them in the future. 

Five years of Missing Migrants Project data: Other key findings   

  • Since 2014, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded globally the deaths of more than 32,000 people.   
  • Between 2014 and 2018, more than 17,900 people died or went missing in the Mediterranean – the remains of almost two thirds of those victims have not been recovered.  
  • Despite the conflict in Yemen, people continue to attempt the sea crossing from the Horn of Africa across the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden: at least 125 people drowned off the shores of Yemen in 2018, compared with 53 in 2017. 
  • Of almost 2,200 deaths recorded during migration in South-East Asia between 2014 and 2018, at least 1,723 were Rohingya.  
  • Most of the 288 deaths recorded in South Asia since 2014 were of Afghan migrants.    
  • In the Middle East, 421 deaths were recorded between 2014 and 2018; the largest number (145) in 2018.  
  • An increasing number of deaths on the United States–Mexico border have been recorded each year since 2014, totalling 1,907 over five years.

The timely focus on children is part of IOM’s contribution to a recent call to action launched by UNICEF, UNHCR, IOM, Eurostat and OECD to improve data on migrant and refugee children. 

“Children dying or disappearing during migration should be a concern to everyone,” said Ann Singleton, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol and co-editor of the report. “There is an urgent need for better policies and action, informed by better data, to prevent these deaths and protect children.”  


The report includes chapters highlighting the vulnerabilities of children on the move, the legal obligations of States regarding the death and disappearance of children on the move, and the ethical considerations of research on this sensitive subject.  

On the growing number of children at risk globally, the report notes that it is often difficult to find data on missing migrants disaggregated by age. The report also notes measures to be taken to improve data on missing migrant children to help prevent future tragedies. Fatal Journeys 4’s concluding chapter discusses IOM plans to improve data on missing migrant children.  

“Action is urgently needed to improve the public and policymakers’ understanding of the vulnerabilities of children and migrants,” said Julia Black, Project Coordinator of IOM’s Missing Migrants Project and co-editor of the report. 

Estimates Low  

IOM researchers explain that the global figure of deaths likely is a low estimate, given that many deaths are never reported nor remains found. Similarly, research indicates that the sharp drop in deaths between 2017 and 2018 – to 4,734 from 6,280 – stems largely from a drop in the number of migrants using the Central Mediterranean route to Europe, when the number of recorded crossings from North Africa to Italy fell to less than 46,000 from over 144,000. 

Increased Risk 

Nonetheless, the risk of death along this route increased. As explained in the report, death rates can be calculated several ways. Yet even the most conservative estimates suggest that 1 in 35 people crossing the Central Mediterranean perished in 2018, compared with 1 in 50 in 2017. Moreover, the number of migrant deaths recorded along the Western Mediterranean route to Spain rose sharply from 224 in 2017 to 811 in 2018, as increasing numbers of migrants used this route to reach Europe. 

For more information, please contact: 
Frank Laczko at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), Tel: +49 30 278 778 20, Mobile: +49 151 1167 6795, Email: 

Julia Black at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:  

Ann Singleton at the University of Bristol, Tel: +44 772 097 9932, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:51Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: IOMMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Marking a Milestone: 100,000 Refugees Resettled from Lebanon Since Eruption of Syrian Crisis

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:50

Beirut – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) this month (June) noted its 100,000th resettlement of a refugee residing in Lebanon assisted in beginning a new life in a third country since fleeing the crisis in neighbouring Syria. This marks a significant milestone in IOM Lebanon’s resettlement efforts since the Syrian crisis first erupted in 2011. 

Lebanon, a country of nearly six million, is home to an additional one million UN-registered refugees, mainly Syrian, although others hail from Iraq, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan. 

For these eight years, IOM in Lebanon has worked alongside the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to resettle refugees to 25 countries, including Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and European Member States, among others. These efforts accelerated in 2014, and then again at the end of 2015, when the Government of Canada made its commitment to admit 25,000 Syrian refugees from the three Middle Eastern countries of Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.  

One was “Kasem,” a Syrian refugee father of three who was recently resettled from Lebanon to Canada, who said: “When we were first told we would be resettled to Canada I was so happy. I know that we can get better services for my son’s medical condition, because we are moving to London in Ontario where they have the best hospitals. My children are going to get better education. We are going to be safe and get back all we have lost in our country.”  

In Lebanon, IOM conducts health assessments for refugees prior to their departure to ensure that their health needs are addressed, they are fit to travel and to ensure continuity of care for those with existing health conditions.  

During Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) Sessions, trainers provide vital information about the social services and opportunities refugees will find upon arrival. Refugees also learn about customs, laws and rights in their new countries.  

In some cases, IOM also facilitates the selection missions for immigration interviews in partnership with governments of receiving countries. Finally, IOM teams organize all land and air travel, ensuring movements from Lebanon are organized in a safe, timely and efficient manner. 

Around the world, IOM assists refugees selected for resettlement to complete their journeys to their new countries. In 2018, the Organization’s largest resettlement mission – in terms of the number of beneficiaries who have travelled under IOM auspices for resettlement or humanitarian admission – was Lebanon, where one in six residents is a refugee.  

“Despite the significant progress made to offer a substantial number of people the opportunity to start a new chapter of their lives, IOM remains concerned for the hundreds of thousands or more refugees and migrants in Lebanon who also need dignified solutions,” explained Fawzi Al Zioud, Head of Office for IOM Lebanon.  

In addition to traditional resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes, IOM facilitates other pathways for refugees, including family reunification and medical evacuation.  

According to UNHCR’s Global Trends Report, only 92,400 refugees were resettled globally in 2018, less than 7 per cent of those awaiting resettlement. In 2019, it is estimated that 1.4 million refugees who are currently residing in 65 refugee hosting countries worldwide will need resettlement. 

For more information, please contact Angela Wells, IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 7940 35365, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:49Image: Region-Country: LebanonThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

Jasem, 24, and Jumana, 25, are starting the next phase of their life in France with their son and newborn twins. Photo: IOM/Muse Mohammed

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, WFP Conduct First Beneficiary Data Exchange in South Sudan

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:48

Juba – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) recently completed the first functional data exchange between their own beneficiary management systems to provide updated information on tens of thousands of people receiving assistance in Upper Nile and Jonglei regions.   

The data exchange, the first of its kind, involves IOM’s BRaVE, a biometric beneficiary data management system used to strengthen humanitarian responses, and WFP’s SCOPE system, a beneficiary information and transfer management platform that helps WFP know better the people it serves. 

Under an agreement signed in 2018, the two agencies will share biometric data of individuals registered in each of their systems. The exercise aims to harmonize and synchronize the information in the two management systems to enhance efficiency in the delivery of assistance.  

As part of the first phase of the data sharing arrangement, IOM and WFP have so far exchanged the data of more than 100,000 people in Upper Nile and Jonglei states.  

As part of WFP and IOM’s duty of care to people they serve, data privacy and protection is a fundamental part of the agreement. The use of data is overseen by a corporate data governance mechanism that provides rigorous safeguards to mitigate against risk of leakage and ensure data privacy.  

In line with industry standards, the cyber and data security framework follows UN rules on data privacy and human rights and is consistently upgraded as technology and systems advance.  

The exercise in South Sudan, which involved upgrading both systems to ensure the inter-operability, compatibility and accuracy of beneficiary data to enable bulk data migration, will reduce duplication and cut down on redundant manual data collection. 

“As humanitarian needs continue to rise in South Sudan, outstripping available resources, innovative approaches are urgently required to help us meet needs,” says Ronald Sibanda, WFP’s Country Director in South Sudan. 

“The data sharing initiative with IOM will not only help us provide assistance better by cutting duplication and redundant processes but helps us track population movements in case of further displacement.” 

In South Sudan, WFP uses SCOPE to biometrically register people across all locations, throughout its food and cash programmes. Once registered, people redeem their food or cash assistance through fingerprint authentication and their household SCOPE card. WFP has now registered 1 million people on the SCOPE system in South Sudan and plans are underway to register five million people on the system by 2020. 

Through its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), IOM conducts registration – biometric and non-biometric – at the request of governments or other humanitarian partners to support the targeting and delivery of humanitarian assistance and services.  

“The successful development of interoperability between SCOPE and BRaVe for data exchange of beneficiary information is a remarkable achievement in harmonizing  beneficiaries’ personnel data management and improving the efficiency of aid delivery for humanitarian response since WFP is the largest food assistance provider and IOM is the key data provider through the DTM programmes,” said Jean-Philippe Chauzy, IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission, after the completion of the exercise. 

BRaVe is the standard application used for IOM’s biometric registration activities and beneficiary data management. Since its rollout in 2014, the system currently supports humanitarian operations in South Sudan, Nigeria, Ethiopia and the Philippines. 

By late 2019, IOM and WFP plan to have exchanged data for more than 700,000 people across the country.  

As the leading international organization for migration, IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. IOM acts with governments and partners to assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management; advance understanding of migration issues; encourage social and economic development through migration; and uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants.  

The United Nations World Food Programme – saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future. 

Follow us on Twitter: @IOMSouthSudan, @WFP_SouthSudan, @WFP_Africa  

For more information please contact: 
Nabie Loyce, IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 912380115, Email: 
Tomson Phiri, WFP South Sudan, Tel: +211 922 465 247, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:47Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

A little girl participates in IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix biometric registration of internally displaced persons in Unity State, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/Jean-Philippe Chauzy

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Cambodian Labour Migrants in Thailand: IOM Study

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:46

Bangkok – Labour migration to Thailand has a significant impact on the socioeconomic well-being of Cambodian migrants and their families, according to a new study conducted by IOM and Chulalongkorn University’s Asian Research Centre for Migration (ARCM).  

“Assessing Potential Changes in the Migration Patterns of Cambodian Migrants and their Impacts on Thailand and Cambodia” investigates the situation of the estimated 650,000 Cambodians who work in Thailand. It is among the most comprehensive research studies ever conducted on this often poorly understood group. 

Surveying over 900 Cambodian migrant workers in six Thai provinces, researchers also interviewed some 122 key stakeholders including government officials, employers and NGO staff using quantitative and qualitative methods. 

Among their findings: Most Cambodian migrants in Thailand were relatively poor before they migrated and chose to leave because of better job opportunities and higher wages across the border. A majority now work in relatively low-wage jobs, concentrated in labour-intensive economic sectors including agriculture, construction, fishing and manufacturing.  

While 97 per cent of Cambodian migrants reported that their working conditions were “good” or “satisfactory,” the survey found that one third received less than the minimum wage of the Thai province in which they worked. Documented migrants received higher wages than those who worked on a day pass or those who were undocumented. 

Despite the low wages, Cambodian migrants remit an average of THB 39,312 (USD 1,228) per year. Interviewees said that remittances are crucial in maintaining or improving living conditions for their families back in Cambodia.  

Other benefits from migration included increased savings and developing new skills, which interviewees said they expected would help them secure better jobs with higher wages either in Thailand or Cambodia. 

Cambodian migrants tend to migrate with their spouses, despite Thai regulations making no provision for family migration. Three-quarters of respondents were married and 85 per cent of those surveyed were living with their spouse in Thailand. Over half of all respondents had children, children often left behind in Cambodia with relatives. 

In addition, Cambodian migrants tend to re-migrate to Thailand multiple times. Almost three-quarters of respondents had worked in Thailand previously. Although most plan to return to Cambodia, few intend to do so soon, often preferring to stay six years or more before returning home.  

The report concludes with tailored recommendations for the Thai and Cambodian governments – and development partners – to create evidence-based policies, strategies and interventions to maximize developmental benefits of safe, orderly and regular migration. 

“For over five decades, Cambodian workers have migrated to Thailand in high numbers for employment, contributing to Thailand's economy and playing a critical role in filling labour shortages in key economic sectors. This study acts as a good starting point for all migration practitioners to better understand the nature of Cambodian migration to Thailand,” said IOM project manager Nathan Webb, who oversaw the report.  

The study, which was funded by the IOM Development Fund, builds on the success of two previous IOM reports on Lao and Myanmar migrants in Thailand, also in collaboration with Chulalongkorn University.  

Cambodian study: 

Previous Lao study: 

Previous Myanmar study: 

For further information, please contact please contact IOM Thailand. Nathan Webb, Email:, Tel: +66 2 343 9383 or Reuben Lim, Email:, Tel: +66 2 343 9370. 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:45Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Cambodians migrate to Thailand through the border town of Poipet. Photo: IOM/Muse Mohammed

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM – UN Migration Lauds Kuwait for Upgrade to Tier 2

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:44

Kuwait – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Kuwait praised the Government of Kuwait for its upgrade to Tier 2 on the US Department of State’s 2019 Report on Trafficking in Persons (TIP).  

From 2016 until 2018, Kuwait has maintained its status on Tier 2 Watch List on the annual trafficking report. During those years, the State of Kuwait’s efforts in complying with international laws and standards to combat Trafficking in Persons have significantly and consistently increased.  

Iman Ereiqat, IOM Kuwait’s Chief of Mission, said: “This development is in line with the pioneering humanitarian leadership and efforts made by Kuwait, not only locally but also regionally and globally at all levels to contribute to the alleviation of the suffering of those affected by crises regardless of gender, race, nationality, religion or political affiliation.” 

More potential victims of trafficking are provided with several protective services including the Public Authority for Manpower’s (PAM) Shelter for Female Migrant Workers. The shelter is a haven for workers who have been exploited or trafficked, whether from their country of origin or in Kuwait.  A hotline for the shelter has recently been established to process any complaints at all hours of the day.  

The State of Kuwait exemplifies its continuous commitment towards the protection of the rights of some 600,000 domestic workers. An anti-trafficking law established in 2013 ensures that the rights of domestic workers are fully protected. Domestic workers law no. 68/2015m, passed two years later, provides legal entitlements to protect the rights of both the worker and the employer. Reported potential trafficking cases undergo thorough investigation by the Ministry of Interior’s specialized trafficking unit where criminals are then penalized based on the crimes committed.  

IOM’s mission in Kuwait maintains its strong ties with the State of Kuwait and the Government shelter to by providing technical advice when needed and providing vulnerable migrants with assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR). IOM works in close coordination with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Justice and the Public Authority for Manpower. It is important to note that for the first time IOM nominated a Goodwill Ambassador, Sheikha Bibi Nasser Al Sabah, for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) based on her admirable efforts in advocating for the rights of migrant workers for the past decade. 

To read the full report, click here 

For more information please contact: Dana Al-Othman at IOM Kuwait, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:42Image: Region-Country: KuwaitThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN