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Updated: 2 hours 17 min ago

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 107,216 in 2018; Deaths Reach 2,123

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 09:56

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 107,216 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 28 November. This year is the fifth straight during which the arrival of irregular migrants and refugees has topped the 100,000 threshold – although 2018’s total is low compared to those recorded at this time in 2017 (160,440) and 2016 (350,549).

IOM Italy

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Thursday noted that all seaborne irregular arrivals in the Mediterranean region remain lower – by almost 10,000 people – than arrivals last year at this time only to Italy, which recorded 117,042 through this date (see chart below).

Di Giacomo noted as well on Thursday that a Spanish fishing boat, the “Nuestra Madre Loreto,” has been stuck at sea for six days now after rescuing 12 migrants who sailed from Libya on a dinghy earlier this month. Thus far no EU country has agreed to grant these migrants authorization to land.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 2,123 people who have drowned or gone missing on migratory routes across Mediterranean in 2018.

Most recently, three people drowned in the Western Mediterranean where Spanish rescue services recovered the remains of three migrants from a sinking boat in the Alboran Sea on 28 November; 90 survivors from that voyage were disembarked in Motril, Granada.

MMP also increased by one its total of drownings on the Central Mediterranean route because it received new information about an incident that occurred on 15 November off Sardinia in which at least 10 youths from Algeria were lost. Since IOM first reported on this incident another body has been recovered. MMP now believes six victims remain missing, with four bodies recovered. Initial reports indicated only nine victims were recorded.

IOM Spain

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that through Wednesday (28 November) 4,277 men, women and children have arrived as irregular migrants this month, or slightly more than 1,000 people per week. This is a sharp drop from October (nearly 2,500 per week) or September (almost 1,900) when deaths at sea were lower, despite the higher arrival volume (see chart below).

IOM Greece

IOM Greece reported on Thursday that no rescue operations have been conducted by the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) since at least last Tuesday (27 November) and that over two of four days this past week (25-28 November) IOM has been made aware of no new sea arrivals to Greece via the eastern Mediterranean route. On those other two days – when there were arrivals to Chios, Samos, Lesvos and Leros – a total of 253 migrants came ashore, including 89 last Sunday to Leros, an island rarely accessed by irregular migrants or the smugglers who transport them.

Those 253 arrivals (236 on Sunday and 17 on Monday), bring to 29,417 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year through 28 November. That is just short of the total (29,595) arriving through all last year, a total that appears will be surpassed in the coming days (see chart below).

IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou also reported that land crossings to Greece by irregular migrants mainly using Turkey and Bulgaria are, through ten months of 2018, well ahead of crossings from the same period last year. During the period 1 January to 31 October 2017, 5,428 irregular land arrivals were recorded by the Hellenic Police monitoring movements either from Bulgaria or Turkey. During the same period in 2018 the same authorities recorded 15,276 irregular arrivals – nearly triple the previous year’s rate.

Missing Migrants Proeject

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 3,323 people who have died or gone missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018 (see chart below).

Beyond the Mediterranean, the MMP team recorded several deaths on land routes in Europe. On 27 November, the remains of four men were found on train tracks near the town of Fylakas, in north-eastern Greece. Local authorities reported that a night train ran over the group of migrants, who may have been sleeping on the lines.  On the same day, a young Algerian man reportedly drowned in the Reka river, in Ilirska Bistrica, Slovenia. He was travelling with a group of six migrants, who were apprehended by authorities on 27 November.

A vehicle accident on Wednesday, 28 November killed a young Syrian man in the Egnatia Odos highway, near the town of Kavala, Greece. Missing Migrants Project data show that migrants are often forced to take unsafe modes of travel, as transportation accidents are the cause of 48 per cent of migrant deaths recorded in Europe in 2018.

In the Americas, four people who had left their homes to migrate north lost their lives.

On 26 November, a one-year-old baby who was travelling with his mother from their home country, Guatemala, died of pneumonia in Meoqui, Mexico. The week before, the remains of a 28-year-old Cuban woman were found off the coast of Guanaja, Honduras. She was part of a group of 18 Cuban balseros (rafters) who were trying to reach the US by boat. However, their craft capsized near Honduras’ Bay Islands, in the Caribbean Sea, and those on board were forced to swim to shore.

On 16 November, the remains of an unidentified man were found on railroad tracks near the town of Atotonilco de Tula, in Mexico’s state of Hidalgo. Another man was found dead near train tracks on 28 November in Hermosillo, Sonora. The MMP team has recorded the deaths of 39 people due to train-related injuries across Central America and Mexico since the beginning of the year.

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.

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

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

See contacts here.

Language English Posted: Friday, November 30, 2018 - 16:55Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Government of Argentina Organize Capacity Building Session Focused on Venezuelans

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 09:55

Buenos Aires – The UN Migration Agency (IOM), and Argentina’s National Directorate for Migration (DNM, by its Spanish acronym) organized last Tuesday (27/11) a session to strengthen migration management from a perspective of human rights and gender – with a special focus on the Venezuelan population arriving here.

Some 130,000 Venezuelan nationals are believed to be residing in the Argentine Republic, according to official data, while the year-on-year comparison of entries and exits shows continuing growth.

According to the official statistics –  included in the last report of the Regional Interagency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela – Argentina is the South American receiving country with the fourth highest number of Venezuelans, following Colombia, Perú and Ecuador.

The Government of Argentina works with IOM on actions aimed at strengthening the reception and integration of refugees and migrants coming from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Among these actions are the implementation of two rounds of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in close coordination with the DNM. Moreover, IOM has hosted three guidance sessions targeted at addressing Venezuelan professionals seeking work in different fields.

“The growing flow of Venezuelan nationals coming to the country requires us to double our efforts to provide a coordinated response to the specific needs of these persons,” said IOM Argentina Head of Office Gabriela Fernández.

Some of the issues analysed at this week’s event were migration governance; immigration and border management; counter-trafficking; and labour migration assistance to vulnerable migrants from a gender-based perspective. The methodology favoured dialogue and debate.

“It was a very productive event because the aim of the National Directorate for Migration, which is to establish a public policy on population, was disseminated,” stated DNM Migration Social Affairs Director Cristina Ciancio. She added: “To this end, we need to work in coordination with all the state sectors, and the concepts made available today will be spread in every province.”

The initiative is framed within the IOM Regional Action Plan launched in April this year, to respond to the recent flows of Venezuelan nationals in the Americas and the Caribbean.  The Action Plan includes the needs and priorities expressed by concerned governments, and it is complementary to existing regional and national coordination mechanisms.

The activity was funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) from the United States Department of State.

For more information please contact Débora Taicz at IOM Argentina, Tel: +54 11 48151035, Email: dtaicz@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 30, 2018 - 16:54Image: Region-Country: ArgentinaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

From Dakar to Desert, Brasilia to Pacaraima: Global Migration Film Festival Rolls Across Africa, Brazil

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 09:54

Dakar –The third edition of the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) kicked off in West and Central Africa on November 28 in Nigeria as the UN Migration (IOM) celebrates the longstanding symmetry – and drama – of migration and film-making, a marriage that now is more than a century old.

The opening of the Festival in West and Central Africa took place in Abuja, Nigeria (28/11). Close to 200 cinephiles attended the event featuring the short film Granma, by Nigerian filmmaker Alfie Nze and the documentary Bushfallers – A Journey of Chasing Dreams by Nils Benjamin Keding. The films were followed by a panel discussion with representatives from IOM, the Nigerian government, as well as Nigerians who shared their experiences in Libya.

IOM teams are planning events like the one in Lagos to unfold across the length and breadth of the continent. Besides Nigeria, IOM’s West Africa missions will be hosting celebrations in 12 more countries – from Mauritania to Cameroon – between 28 November and 18 December. In total, over 40 screenings are planned across the region, in capital cities as well as in remote areas.

In Niger, IOM is partnering with Cinéma Numérique Ambulant, an itinerant movie and theatre company, to organize film screenings in ten cities across the country. Theatre and dance shows are also planned across the six transit centres in the country.

In Côte d’Ivoire, the festivities will take place on International Migrants Day (18 December) and will include a screening, an art exhibition and testimonies from migrants and diaspora Ivorians. An awards ceremony for the most compelling migration success-story is also scheduled.

In Senegal, the Regional Office together with the United Nations Information Centre will organize an event on 13 December in Dakar to celebrate the dignity and protection of migrants in the region, whose youth are taking risks to migrate irregularly in search of greener pastures.

The closing ceremony of the GMFF will take place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on 18 December. The ceremony will award the best African Francophone film showing the complexity and reality of migration.

______________________________

GMFF in Brazil Brings Diversity to the Migration Debate

Brasília – After the official launch of the Global Migration Film Festival on Wednesday (28/11), Brazil opened this year’s exhibitions season of the festival with Brazilian productions, educational partnerships and debates.

Flowers of Hope (2016), the story of a group of Malagasy women who were victims of human trafficking and overcame their fear to tell their own stories of forced marriage and domestic slavery in a counter-trafficking documentary produced during the IOM’s GMFF Participatory Video Project, opened this year’s festival in Brazil.

Three other screenings will occur in Pacaraima on 2 December, Boa Vista on 6 December, and Rio de Janeiro on 11 December. Boa Vista and Pacaraima, located in Roraima, on the border with Venezuela, were chosen for their importance on the recent migration in Brazil and concentrate most of IOM’s activities. From April to November this year, more than 3,000 Venezuelans arriving in northern Brazil have been relocated through the Federal Government’s strategy with the support from IOM Brazil and other UN Agencies. In addition, over 15,000 Venezuelans have been provided with guidance on documentation and regularization, and other humanitarian assistance.

On 11 December, a special screening of the selected short films will be happening at the Fundação Casa de Rui Barbosa (a think tank from the Ministry of Culture), in Rio de Janeiro, to kick off the IV Summer Course on Migration and Asylum with the theme “Asylum in a Global Perspective”. The classes aim to promote an immersion forum for the exchange of ideas, networking, introduction to new political approaches and development of the subject.

After the exhibition, participants will also attend a debate with IOM Brazil’s staff member, Guilherme Otero and other specialists. Following the example of “Flowers of Hope”, some of the films and documentaries were directed and produced by migrants or refugees, their stories bring dramatic, poignant and comic views of migrants to various audiences through images that arouse feelings among people of all cultures.

The other selected short films for these exhibitions are “Brasiguaios” by Marcos Estrada, that tells the life story and identity of a group of Brasiguaios (Brazilian migrants in Paraguay) that is marked by the pursuit of land for agricultural production in Brazil or Paraguay; “Somos Un” a collaborative short film produced by Waraos and Eñepas to strengthen the integration of these two indigenous groups living in the same area and sharing stories; and “Riding 'The Death Train' to America's border”, a view on migrant policies.

According to IOM Brazil Chief of Mission, Stephane Rostiaux, “The IOM Migration Film Festival allows greater understanding and different perspectives to connect a wider audience to the challenges and possibilities of migration.” He added: “This is also a great chance for people to get to know more on the Warao population in northern Brazil,” making a reference to 'Somos Un’, a Brazilian production.

Brazilian exhibitions agenda is available on GMFF’s website.

The Global Migration Film Festival is supported by PLURAL+, a youth-produced video festival, and MigApp, IOM’s mobile application for migrants.

Click here for a complete list of the 2018 official selection and watch the GMFF 2018 Trailer.

For more information please contact Vitória Souza at the IOM Country Office in Brasília, Email: vsouza@iom.int

______________________________

Launched in 2016, the GMFF celebrates the connection between cinema and migration.

Professional and emerging filmmakers are invited to submit films about the migrant experience according to the established theme. This year, eight movies from the official selection tell the tales of African migration. Most of the screened films reflect the complexity of migration between dreams and realities, social pressure and search for freedom.

Follow the events in the region on social media: Twitter and Facebook.

For more information, please contact Florence Kim at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +221 78 620 6213, Email: fkim@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 30, 2018 - 16:54Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Global Migration Film FestivalDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Rising to the Challenge: New IOM/IDMC Global Partnership to Address Internal Displacement

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 11:12

Geneva – Efforts to provide solutions to the tens of millions of people displaced within their own countries by conflict and disasters will be enhanced by the new partnership announced today between the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).

The partnership links IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), the world’s largest source of primary data on internal displacement, and IDMC’s leading expertise in internal displacement data analysis, research and policy development. 

Ultimately, the organizations endeavour to advance national and global policies to improve the lives of internally displaced persons (IDPs) across the world. 

“IOM’s interventions in favour of IDPs, in support of our Member States, make up a significant share of our work globally. This partnership will take us to new levels of quality and consistency, and allow us to mobilize attention on an issue that has not been given sufficient consideration,” said António Vitorino, IOM’s Director-General.

“IDMC has been a long-standing partner of IOM’s and we are delighted to be formalizing and expanding the breadth of this collaboration,” he added.

Internal displacement continues to grow, driven by instability, conflict and disasters, even as the international community marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

The number of IDPs has nearly doubled since 2000, increasing sharply over the last five years. In addition to the estimated 40 million people internally displaced by conflict, a further 18.8 million people were internally displaced in 2017 due to climate-related disasters and natural hazards, according to IDMC.

“There are still many gaps in how we understand and address this issue,” said Alexandra Bilak, Director of IDMC. “The challenges and opportunities of the current global landscape of internal displacement require a strategic approach, and this partnership provides us with the political leverage we need to scale up our work, to develop new approaches and to help governments find lasting solutions to this issue.”

Moving forward, IOM and IDMC will develop a joint resource mobilization strategy to finance their mutual efforts, and work hand-in-hand to achieve more comprehensive approaches, across the entire continuum of displacement.

 

For more information, please contact Angela Wells at IOM Headquarters in Geneva, Tel: +41 7940 35365, Email: awells@iom.int

Frankie Parrish, Interim Head of Communications, IDMC, Tel: +41 22 552 36 45, Email: frankie.parrish@IDMC.ch

 

 

Language English Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 11:08Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Tetiana and Volodymyr Ziangirov fled their home after the conflict in Ukraine intensified in 2014, and built a life from scratch as internally displaced persons. Photo credit: IOM/Muse Mohammed. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Facilitates Return of 418 Migrants Stranded in Yemen in First Flight Evacuation

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 07:09

Sana’a / Addis Ababa – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) this week (26-29 November) began assisting 418 Ethiopian migrants stranded in Yemen to safely return under IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) operation. This is IOM’s first airlift since shortly after the conflict broke out in 2015 and the largest VHR operation carried out by IOM in Yemen to date.

On Monday (26 November), 102 Ethiopian migrants travelled from Sana’a International Airport to Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. In three subsequent flights scheduled through Thursday, another 316 migrants will follow. More than a quarter of the passengers – 121 of the returning 418 migrants – are minors.

IOM has been assisting many of the migrants returning this week for at least six months. Already in 2018, IOM’s VHR programme has assisted 668 migrants to return to Ethiopia on ships carrying migrants across the Gulf of Aden. Unstable weather conditions at sea combined with escalated fighting in and around Al Hudaydah ports posed major operational challenges in previous return operations.

“The first airlift return operation increases IOM’s ability to ensure that migrants who wish to leave Yemen can do so in a safe and dignified manner,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s Director of Operations and Emergencies, who added: “The airlift, made possible through close cooperation with authorities in Yemen and Ethiopia, opens the way for improved humanitarian assistance for migrants in Yemen.”

The ongoing conflict – now well into its fourth year – has not stemmed the flow of migrants to Yemen from Africa. Most of those migrants are intent on reaching Yemen and the Gulf countries for work opportunities. Yet upon arrival in Yemen, many discover they are unable to continue the journey due to the security situation, which includes severely restricted land routes and closed borders.

“A significant portion of the new arrivals are unaware of the severity of the situation in Yemen or the distance they will have to transit. They have found themselves stranded in a conflict-stricken country without access to basic needs and subjected to multiple forms of abuse, exploitation and violence,” said David Derthick, Chief of Mission in IOM Yemen.

Nonetheless, IOM estimates that nearly 100,000 migrants reached Yemen in 2017. By the end of 2018, this number will likely increase by 50 per cent.

The Organization’s VHR Programme is an orderly, humane option provided to migrants willing to return to their country of origin. Prior to departure, migrants receive lifesaving assistance – including food, non-food items and accommodation in addition to medical, mental health and psychosocial care.

As the returnees arrive in Ethiopia, they undergo health screenings before being temporarily housed at an IOM transit centre where they are provided with hot meals, health care referrals and assistance to reach their home communities or final destinations.

For unaccompanied and separated migrant children, IOM provides family tracing assistance, allowing them to eventually reunite with their primary caregivers.

Globally, IOM is committed to ensuring returnees can access opportunities that help them restart their lives and deter them from embarking on dangerous routes in the future.

In Ethiopia, IOM supports the reintegration of vulnerable returnees through vocational skills training, education, psychosocial support and small business grants. IOM Ethiopia seeks further funding to support the reintegration of vulnerable returnees from Saudi Arabia, Yemen and parts of Southern Africa.  

Additionally, IOM calls for long-term, sustainable measures that protect the dignity and well-being of migrants as they travel across the Horn of Africa and into Yemen. These include enhanced search and rescue missions along treacherous land and sea passages; solutions to the drivers of dangerous migration; and an end to the conflict in Yemen.

An upcoming conference, Drawing on Peace Dividends in the Horn of Africa to Ensure Urgent Enhancements in the Management of Migratory Flows to Yemen and the Gulf Countries, will be convened by IOM next week in Djibouti. The event will bring together governments in the Horn of Africa, and the Gulf, as well as UN and NGO partners, to identify practical solutions to dangerous migration flows and inform the new planning phase of the Regional Migrant Response Plan.

The governments of Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, as well as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, provide support for IOM’s voluntary return programmes.

IOM migrant assistance and protection activities in Yemen and Ethiopia are funded by Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America as well as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

For more information, please contact Angela Wells at IOM Headquarters in Geneva, Tel: +41 7940 35365, Email: awells@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 14:08Image: Region-Country: YemenDefault: Multimedia: 

On Monday (26 November), IOM assisted 102 Ethiopian migrants to return from Yemen to Ethiopia. Three more flights are scheduled through Thursday for another 316 migrants. Photo: IOM 2018 

On Monday (26 November), IOM assisted 102 Ethiopian migrants to return from Yemen to Ethiopia. Three more flights are scheduled through Thursday for another 316 migrants. Photo: IOM 2018 

On Monday (26 November), IOM assisted 102 Ethiopian migrants to return from Yemen to Ethiopia. Three more flights are scheduled through Thursday for another 316 migrants. Photo: IOM 2018 

IOM welcomed 102 Ethiopian returnees to the Addis Ababa International Airport yesterday, the first day of a four-day Voluntary Humanitarian Return operation from Yemen. Photo: IOM/Alemayehu Seifeselassie

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) began assisting 418 Ethiopian migrants in Yemen to safely return yesterday in a Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) operation. “The operation will continue for another four days, and we hope that it would continue in the future as it is a much safer method of moving migrants home,” said John McCue, IOM Deputy Chief of Mission in Yemen during the embarkment of the first airlift on 26 November. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Responds to Flooding in Iraq

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 07:07

Erbil – Large-scale flooding beginning on the morning of Friday (23/11) has wreaked havoc across Iraq, killing several people and causing widespread damage to homes, infrastructure and agriculture, and worsening the living conditions of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

In Ninewa governorate, Qayarrah Airstrip and Jeddah IDP camps were particularly affected by the flooding. Among the approximately 7,500 families residing in Qayarrah Airstrip Camp, 2,392 tents were completely flooded forcing hundreds of households to take refuge in the IOM health clinic and other communal areas. The health clinic in Qayarrah Airstrip Camp hosted nearly 300 individuals, providing IDPs with dry blankets, heaters and emergency health care services. The IOM ambulance transported ten individuals in need of medical assistance but unable to reach the clinic.

“We haven’t been able to sleep at all because we don’t have a dry spot to sit. The water level was knee-deep inside our tent. Now all of our belongings, everything we desperately need this winter, have been ruined by the mud left after the flood.

“We had to put our children on the roof of the communal kitchen to get them out of the mud. Even the food and grains we had stored are drenched. We are in desperate need of dry clothes, mattresses, blankets, fuel and food,” said Kamel Hussein, a resident of Qayarrah Airstrip Camp.

Within hours of the flooding, IOM immediately deployed its Rapid Assessment and Response Team and assessed the damage and needs in the camps. The Organization employed over 600 camp residents to clear the drainage channels, ensuring the flow of water out of the camp, and to repair the damaged road to restore access to camps, thereby allowing humanitarian assistance to reach the most vulnerable displaced persons.

IOM, in coordination with camp management entities, Representative for Ninewa Voluntary Displaced Organization (RNVDO) and Danish Refugee Council (DRC), immediately began distributing hundreds of kits to the most affected families.

Since Friday, more than 3,150 basic non-food item kits have been delivered to households in Qayarrah Airstrip and Jeddah consisting of mattresses, bedsheets, plastic sheeting, a solar lamp, rechargeable light, gas cooker, jerry can and kitchen set. Support for the kits was provided by the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Government of Germany.

“The rain and subsequent flooding experienced throughout Iraq over the past weekend has worsened the living conditions of the most vulnerable populations, including displaced households residing in camps. The flooding has highlighted the importance of humanitarian actors maintaining operational capacity in Iraq to scale up emergency assistance in the event of disaster,” said Gerard Waite, Chief of Mission of IOM Iraq.

With more rain expected over the coming days, IOM remains ready to respond to the arising needs and will continue to work closely with the Government of Iraq’s Ministry of Migration and Displacement and other humanitarian partners to ensure a timely and effective response to those most affected.

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 14:07Image: Region-Country: IraqDefault: Multimedia: 

Displaced Iraqis in Qayarrah and Jeddah camps are struggling to remove water from their tents and recover following heavy rains and flooding, affecting Ninwa governorate and other areas of Iraq. Photo: IOM/Raber Y. Aziz 

Displaced Iraqis in Qayarrah and Jeddah camps are struggling to remove water from their tents and recover following heavy rains and flooding, affecting Ninwa governorate and other areas of Iraq. Photo: IOM/Raber Y. Aziz 

Displaced Iraqis in Qayarrah and Jeddah camps are struggling to remove water from their tents and recover following heavy rains and flooding, affecting Ninwa governorate and other areas of Iraq. Photo: IOM/Raber Y. Aziz

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Director General Welcomes Uzbekistan as 173rd Member State

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 07:06

Geneva — The 109th Session of the UN Migration Agency’s Council, which opened today in Geneva, has voted to support the application of the Republic of Uzbekistan to join IOM as a Member State, bringing the total membership to 173.

“With profound pleasure I welcome Uzbekistan into the IOM family,” declared new IOM Director General António Vitorino. “Your country is on one of the world’s oldest and most auspicious trade routes, so you have been crisscrossed by migrants since time immemorial. This is the first time I have had the honour to welcome a new Member State and I hope to welcome many more during my tenure.”

The item was included into the Council Session agenda on the request of the Uzbek Government, which is represented by Bahodir Nizomov, Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

Uzbekistan is the most populous of the Central Asian states, and the last to join IOM.

“In migration terms, the region is one of the most dynamic and fast-changing in the world,” commented IOM Regional Director Argentina Szabados, who has just returned from Samarkand, Uzbekistan, where she addressed the first Asian Human Rights forum.

“Based on everything I have seen and learned in Uzbekistan, I am wholly convinced that the partnership between IOM and the Government will bear rich fruit in terms of responding to the challenges and opportunities of migration management. This will be of immense benefit nationally, regionally and globally.”

At last week’s Human Rights forum, safeguarding the rights of migrants was included into the Samarkand Declaration of Human Rights, on IOM’s initiative. The relevant text reads: “States shall strive to ensure the respect, protection and fulfilment of the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their migration status and in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“Our partnership with Uzbekistan started in 2003, when IOM began delivering direct assistance to victims of human trafficking and vulnerable migrants from Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries. Since 2015 the cooperation has been steadily growing, with two joint work-plans accomplished so far, and earlier this year we had a two-year Cooperation Roadmap for 2018-2019 approved by the Uzbek Government,” noted Dejan Keserovic, IOM Sub-regional Coordinator for Central Asia and Chief of Mission.

Uzbekistan borders Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. With a population of almost 33 million, the country is not only the most populous but also the most migrant-sending in the region. Now with opening borders, it is also becoming a transit territory for migrants from neighbouring countries. Its current high growth rates may eventually lead to it becoming a destination country for migrants.

For more information please contact Joe Lowry at the IOM Regional Office in Vienna, Tel: +436603776404, Email jlowry@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 14:06Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

Labour migrants arrive in Moscow by train from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Photo: IOM/Elyor Nematov

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Refugees Plant Mangroves to Protect Indonesian Shoreline

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 07:06

Makassar – Refugees assisted by IOM in Makassar, South Sulawesi, last week volunteered to join a community project to plant over 500 mangrove plants at the Kawasan Ekowisata Mangrove Lantebung in Tamalanrea district.  

The initiative – Together in Action – Loving Nature – Planting Mangroves – brought together 150 volunteers, including families with children. Half of the volunteers were refugees from Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Myanmar living in Makassar.  

“Together we can build a better place for us all – for animals, for plants and for humans. This programme helps us to understand the benefits of planting mangroves, which protect the habitat, produce oxygen, and beautify nature,” said Ichsan Ashari Achmad, a marine and fisheries student at local Universitas Hasanuddin, who explained to the volunteers how to plant mangroves, how they grow, and their essential role in the ecosystem. 

Mohammed*, a 12-year-old refugee from Afghanistan, described the day as “a great moment.” 

“We had a lot of fun outdoors, enjoyed the green of the mangrove forest and the blue of the ocean.  It was the first time for me and my friends to do something like this. We met with local people and got to learn about mangroves,” he said.

Muhammad Kasim, the head of nearby Bira village, also welcomed the project, which was sponsored by IOM and the city of Makassar. “The mangroves are crucial, especially for us living on the shoreline. The local economy in Bira and the surrounding areas depend on fishing and crabbing in the mangroves. We really appreciate the participation of the refugees in this project,” he said. The local community will care for the new mangrove plants until they take root. 

*Name changed.

For more information please contact Patrik Shirak at IOM Indonesia. Tel: +62 87883416027, Email: pshirak@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 14:05Image: Region-Country: IndonesiaDefault: Multimedia: 

Refugees and local volunteers plant mangroves near Makassar to protect Sulawesi’s delicate coastal ecosystem. Photo: IOM 

Refugees and local volunteers plant mangroves near Makassar to protect Sulawesi’s delicate coastal ecosystem. Photo: IOM 

Refugees and local volunteers plant mangroves near Makassar to protect Sulawesi’s delicate coastal ecosystem. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Partners Improve International Money Transfer Service for Burundian Diaspora, Rural Communities

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 07:05

Brussels – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, recently upgraded the Rungika domestic money transfer system in collaboration with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the Burundi National Postal Service (RNP). The system, designed to boost cost-efficient and secure money transfers between the diaspora and the communities of Burundi, is now available at the international level.

In launching its international corridor, in partnership with RIA Money Transfer, Rungika will leverage upon the already operational domestic money transfer service. It follows the completion of a pilot phase that involved the Government of Burundi through its postal network and the UPU.

The Rungika project aims to strengthen the link between migration and development, as well as to support financial education and communication among rural communities in Burundi. It was developed after analysis revealed that Burundi’s rural areas were affected by issues such as expensive informal remittances, financial exclusion, communication difficulties and a lack of economic opportunities – all of which are barriers to the socio-economic development of migrants and rural communities.

With the international money transfer service activated, trends show that affordable money transfer is positioned to grow even further. Via the 144 national Rungika agencies, the RNP has been facilitating domestic money transfers for clients in remote areas across Burundi since 19 June 2017.

As of November 2018, RNP has received nearly 20,000 deposits, amounting to a total of 1,238,284,150 Burundian Francs (approximately USD 695,400). Between October 2017 and March 2018, several road shows took place in Burundi’s major provinces to popularize Rungika, and marketing and communication activities such as radio programmes and TV spots have been rolled out since October 2017.

“Thanks to the support of its partners, IOM, UPU and RIA, this new money transfer corridor will position RNP as a key player in international remittances in Burundi,” said Odette Bolly, Labour Migration and Human Development Officer at IOM Burundi.

Olivier Boussard, Resource Mobilization and Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator for UPU, said: “We are delighted to launch this new international remittance service. It is a very important milestone for us and the result of a very solid and fruitful partnership between the Universal Postal Union and the International Organization for Migration. We are joining forces to support the migration and convinced that we will make an impact, both in fostering financial inclusion and in better serving migrant populations with an affordable and accessible money transfer service through the postal network.”

The Rungika project contributes to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10 Target 10C, which aims to reduce the transaction costs of remittances. In Burundi, IOM continues to support migration for development by facilitating the positive use of remittances in rural areas; promoting investment opportunities for the diaspora; mobilizing the competencies of Burundian diaspora to contribute to the reconstruction, national development and nation-building goals of their country of origin; and building capacities and strategic partnerships with the private sector.

Additionally, IOM is supporting the government in the development of a National Migration Policy that will be coupled with the negotiation of Bilateral Labour Agreements with key destination countries of Burundian migrant workers. All these initiatives are designed to enhance financial inclusion and empowerment, and better protect Burundian migrant workers’ rights.

For more information please contact Odette Bolly at IOM Burundi, Tel +257 75 40 0221, Email: obolly@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 14:04Image: Region-Country: BelgiumDefault: Multimedia: 

Odette Bolly, IOM Burundi, introduces the panel of stakeholders involved in the launch of international money transfer service ‘Rungika’. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 106,269 in 2018; Deaths Reach 2,119

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 07:04

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 106,269 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 25 November. Spain topped 51,984 – more irregular arrivals to Spain through this point in 2018 than all arrivals during the past three years combined (see Table 6)

This year marks the fifth straight during which the arrival of irregular migrants and refugees has topped the 100,000 threshold – although 2018’s total is low compared to those recorded at this time in 2017 (159,996) and 2016 (348,591).

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IOM Italy

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Monday reported that on Saturday evening (24 November), a boat carrying 264 migrants arrived at Pozzallo, Sicily. The migrants remained on board for about three hours before disembarking at the port, where IOM staff provided assistance. Most of these migrants came from the Horn of Africa. Migrants on board told IOM staff of they had left Libya from the port of Misrata on the night of 22-23 November. Their wooden fishing boat was divided into three decks.

These migrants reported they had been stranded in Libya between one and two years. Many insisted they had been kidnapped and then tortured for ransom and sold several times between groups of traffickers.

"Landings with more than 200 people on board have become a rare phenomenon," said Di Giacomo, "and it is extremely unusual that such an unseaworthy boat manages to reach the Italian coasts. These are boats completely unsuited for such travel and could sink at any moment. The rescue operations at the port were in fact particularly complicated because the boat was completely unstable.”

 

IOM Spain

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that through Saturday night (24 November) 3,583 men, women and children have arrived as irregular migrants this month, or slightly more than 1,000 people per week. This is a sharp drop from October (nearly 2,500 per week) or September (almost 1,900) when deaths at sea were lower, despite the higher arrival volume (see Table 5).

As colder weather conditions arrive, sea passage to Europe is expected to grow much deadlier. IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) in Berlin noted this week that since last Friday’s (23 November) update, the Missing Migrants Project team documented the deaths of 44 people in the Western Mediterranean, bringing to 675 the total number of deaths on this route in 2018, and to 2,119 for all three Mediterranean routes.

On 22 November, MMP reported, Spanish rescue services recovered the body of a pregnant woman and rescued 42 survivors from a sinking boat off the coast of Almería. According to the survivors’ testimonies, 13 people had drowned at sea before they were rescued.

During a search and rescue operation conducted on Saturday, 24 November, 13 people were rescued in the Alboran Sea. The survivors reported to Spanish authorities that one person had gone missing during the journey. On that same day, the Moroccan Navy found the remains of 15 people and rescued 68 others from a sinking boat which had been adrift for hours off the coast of Nador, Morocco. Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras stated that 14 people already had gone missing before that rescue operation was launched, according to the testimonies of those on board. Thus, it is estimated that 29 people lost their lives in this single incident.

In total, 110 people are known to have lost their lives in the Western Mediterranean during these 25 days of November. In the 116 days since 1 August, 367 men, women and children have perished in the waters linking North Africa to Spain. That death rate – more than three people every day – is more than double the fatalities on the Central route connecting Tunisia, Algeria and Libya to Italy, and about five times the losses recorded on the Eastern route between Turkey and Greece (see Table 12).

More people have died in the Western Mediterranean during the months of September, October and November through 25 days than died on this route during all of 2017.

 

IOM Libya

IOM Libya’s Maya Abu Ata reported Monday details of three interception/rescue operations that were carried out by Libyan Coast Guard in the Mediterranean that resulted in 203 migrants and refugees being returned to Libya’s shore 23-25 November.

23 November Alkhums:

A total of 27 of migrants (24 men, three women), majority from Sudan and Nigeria, with Egypt, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Senegal also represented. All migrants were transferred to official detention centres. There were no pregnant women or children on board nor any emergency cases. Primary healthcare was provided to the group, and most of them were suffering from stress headache, muscular pain, and fatigue.

24 November Azzawya:

A total of 113 migrants (91 male, 18 female), including three 3 pregnant women and four children. Nationalities included migrants from Sudan, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Gambia, Mali, Benin, and Libya. Primary healthcare was provided; most suffering from general fatigue. A 23-year-old pregnant Nigerian woman suffered from lower abdominal pain and was urgently referred to a private clinic. There were no emergency cases among the migrants. All were transferred to an official detention centre.

25 November Zwara:

A total of 63 migrants returned (57 men, four women, two children), mainly from Sudan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana and Guinea-Bissau. Primary healthcare was provided; most were suffering from general fatigue, and cases of scabies were found. All migrants were automatically transferred to an official detention centre.                                                 

IOM Libya reports the number of people returned to Libyan shores so far in 2018 stands at 15,064.
 

IOM Greece

IOM Greece reported on Monday that from Thursday, 22 November through the end of the weekend, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) was involved in at least four incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Farmakonisi. The HCG rescued a total of 86 migrants and transferred them to those respective islands.

Another 187 arrivals between Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to Samos and elsewhere bring to 29,164 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year through 24 November. That is just short of the total (29,501) arriving through all 2017, a total that appears will be surpassed in 2018 (see Table 8.b).

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 3,308 people who have died or gone missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018 (see Table 3).

Beyond the Mediterranean, the MMP team recorded the deaths of three men on the US-Mexico border. On Sunday (25 November), the remains of a man were recovered from the banks of the Río Bravo near Piedras Negras, Coahuila. In Tijuana, Baja California, three days earlier, a 36-year-old Honduran man was hit by a vehicle and died shortly afterwards in Tijuana’s General Hospital. On the US side of the border, US Border Patrol officers found the remains of a man in a ranch east of Hebbronville, Texas, on 19 November.

In Southern Turkey, a 5-year-old Syrian boy was killed in a vehicle accident in Antalya. This tragic accident injured at least 26 others. It took place on 23 November (see Table 3).

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

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

See contacts here.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 14:04Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Trains Recruiters from the Philippines and Bahrain on Ethical Recruitment

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 07:04

Manama – The UN Migration Agency recently launched its introductory training programme for labour recruiters in the Philippines and Bahrain.  The training, which took place in Manila on 21-22 November and Manama on 25-26 November, is the first step for recruiters who are interested in being certified under the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS). 

IRIS is a global social compliance scheme — developed by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in collaboration with government, civil society and private sector partners — that is designed to promote ethical international recruitment. It works by defining and setting a benchmark for ethical recruitment (the IRIS Standard) and by establishing a voluntary certification scheme for recruiters. IRIS was created in response to the growing demand from the private sector and governments for ethical recruitment services. 

The training course was designed to increase recruiters’ overall awareness of ethical recruitment and to provide practical information on what recruiters need to demonstrate in their management systems in order to be IRIS-certified. 

In particular, the course introduces recruiters to the business case for ethical recruitment, reveals what comprises the IRIS Standard and explains in simple terms what management systems look like in practice. 

“It’s fantastic to see both countries of origin and destination participate in this IRIS training,” said Pawel Szalus, IRIS Programme Manager. “For IRIS to achieve its objective and make recruitment fairer for all involved, it is imperative that we work with, and support, both sides of the supply chain. I commend all of the recruiters who participated in the training this week and demonstrated their commitment to ethical recruitment.” 

IOM first launched the IRIS training course in Nepal in May 2018 and will continue to roll it out to other countries next year. 

For more information, please contact Pawel Szalus at IOM Headquarters, Tel: +41 22 717 7249, Email: pszalus@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 14:01Image: Region-Country: PhilippinesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Global Migration Film Festival Buzz Reaches Kenya

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 07:01

Nairobi – On Wednesday (28/11), the UN Migration Agency’s Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) will kick off at the IMAX 20th Century Theatre in Nairobi with the screening of The Merger, a film by Mark Grentell.

The movie tells the story of a former star footballer turned community outcast who is persuaded to coach a struggling local soccer team in his small Australian town. He recruits refugees to revive the team with hilarious results, and ultimately takes his community on a journey of change.

The GMFF was launched by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in 2016 to showcase films and documentaries that capture the promise and challenges of migration, and the unique contributions that migrants make to their new communities. This year some 30 films will be shown in over 100 countries. The festival will run from 28 November until International Migrants Day on 18 December. In Nairobi, the closing ceremony will be celebrated with a screening at the Alliance Française.

During the festival, other films will also be shown in collaboration with community groups such as PAWA254 and Dandora Hip Hop City, and at venues such as Eastleigh Clinic, located in the predominantly Somali district of the same name.

“IOM hopes to create a deeper empathy for migrants among people reached by the films because they will be gaining a better and deeper understanding of migrant realities, needs, perspectives and capabilities,” said Michael Pillinger, IOM Kenya Chief of Mission. Pillinger added that he expects increased advocacy on migration issues by a larger group of people beyond Non-Governmental Organizations.

Outside of the capital, IOM will screen various films in six sub-Counties of the coastal city of Mombasa: Chanagamwe, Jomvu, Kisauni, Nyali, Likoni and Mvita. This will be done in collaboration with the County government.  Lamu, another coastal town, will host film screenings within the framework of the Better Migration Management (BMM) programme – a regional, multi-partner programme funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) which aims to improve migration management in the region.

On 16 December, the GMFF 2018 will coincide with the second anniversary of the IOM-EU Joint Initiative on Migrant Protection and Reintegration, also known as ‘the Joint Initiative’, which is the first comprehensive programme to save lives, and protect and assist migrants along key migration routes in Africa. The Joint Initiative provides assistance to returning migrants to help them restart their lives in their countries of origin through an integrated approach to reintegration that supports both migrants and their communities; has the potential to complement local development; and mitigates some of the drivers of irregular migration.

As part of the festival, film screenings will also take place in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan under the auspices of the Joint Initiative.

Last year about 6,000 migrants and refugees, alongside 500 students, migration experts, film makers, government officials, and other members of the public attended five major film screenings and public debates held in Nairobi and at the Kakuma/Kalobeyei Refugee Camp, in Turkana County (Northwestern Kenya). The screenings were held in partnership with the Government of Kenya, FilmAid, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat.

For more information please contact Wilson Johwa at the IOM Regional Office in Nairobi, Tel: +254 701 838 029, Email: wjohwa@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 14:00Image: Region-Country: KenyaDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Modern Hospital Replaces Bamboo Clinic in Bangladesh Refugee Camp

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 08:39

Cox’s Bazar – Health services for people affected by the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh received a boost this week, when IOM, the UN Migration Agency, launched two major new health facilities inside the world’s largest refugee settlement.

A new USD 240,000, 20-bed capacity in-patient hospital now stands on the site of what was formerly a small medical post constructed from bamboo and tarpaulins. The hospital in Madhurchara, Ukhiya, is the first to offer in-patient services to refugees and members of the host community living in a particularly densely populated part of the camp.

The facility will also provide maternity services to improve access to sexual and reproductive health services; a specialised paediatric care unit for children up to the age of 12; a specialized unit for the care of new-borns; and complex laboratory services.

According to Dr. Andrew Mbala, IOM Health Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar, the hospital will ease pressure on the Cox’s Bazar district hospital, which was designed to accommodate 250 in-patients, but often must host up to twice that number.

Another new health primary health care facility was also opened by IOM in the camp this week, in close collaboration with the Bangladesh health authorities, who will eventually take over its management and provision of services. The USD 120,000 clinic, which will also provide mental health and psychosocial support, will serve people living in one of the areas of the camp most prone to landslides and flooding.

Together the facilities will serve catchment areas totalling around 73,000 people from the refugee and local communities. Almost a million Rohingya refugees now live in camps, often in very poor conditions. 

“In-patient services and comprehensive primary health care are currently a big gap in the refugee camp and these facilities will allow us to provide comprehensive care,” said Dr. Mbala.

The opening ceremonies this week were attended by senior Bangladeshi officials and representatives of donor governments Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Julia Niblett opened the two facilities.

Prof. A.H.M. Enayet Hossain, Additional Director General of Bangladesh’s Health Department, described trying to meet the health needs of hundreds of thousands of newly arrived Rohingya people at the height of the crisis as “a nightmare.” But more than a year later, “the nightmare was over” and, by working in partnership with organizations such as IOM, “the dream” of providing better healthcare was “step by step” becoming a reality, he noted.

“These inaugurations mark the start of a significant and important new phase in IOM’s long-term commitment to working with the Government of Bangladesh to increase and improve health service provision within the host and refugee communities here in Cox’s Bazar,” said IOM Bangladesh Chief of Mission Giorgi Gigauri.

For more information please contact Fiona MacGregor at IOM Cox’s Bazar. Email: fmacgregor@iom.int, Tel: +88 0 1733 335221.

Language English Posted: Friday, November 23, 2018 - 15:38Image: Region-Country: BangladeshDefault: Multimedia: 

A new 20-bed in-patient hospital (right) now stands on the site of what was formerly a small health clinic (left) built of bamboo and tarpaulin during the height of the Rohingya refugee crisis. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

“Migrants’ Rights are Human Rights” IOM Regional Director Tells Asian Human Rights Forum

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 08:37

Samarkand – Dignity, protection and the promotion of the human rights of all migrants, at all stages of their journeys, were stressed by IOM Regional Director Argentina Szabados at the inaugural Asian Human Rights conference which closes today (23/11) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Speaking to a group of politicians, academics, civil society leaders and diplomats, Szabados reiterated IOM’s belief of the need “to ensure respect, protection and fulfilment of the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their migration status, and – as all countries pledged through the Sustainable Development Goals – ensuring that no one is left behind.”

“We must also reaffirm our commitment to eliminate all forms of discrimination, including racism, xenophobia and intolerance against migrants and their families,” she said.

The event, convened by the Government of Uzbekistan, reaffirmed the commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is 70 years old this year, and its importance in the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in modern-day Asia.

Szabados congratulated the Government of Uzbekistan for submitting a request for the country to become IOM’s 173rd Member State.

“This hugely welcome development will undoubtedly strengthen Uzbekistan’s contribution to the implementation of the forthcoming Global Compact on Migration, expected to be adopted by the United Nations in Morocco next month. It will also help reinforce our joint work in favour of the rights of migrants, which forms a key part of this conference which you are so generously hosting.”

She further commended the government and the United Nations system in Uzbekistan for successfully completing a national plan on implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

On IOM’s initiative, the conference declaration contains the following line: “States shall strive to ensure the respect, protection and fulfilment of the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their migration status and in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.”

For more information please contact Joe Lowry at the IOM Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Tel: +436603776404, Email: jlowry@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 23, 2018 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: UzbekistanDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Vienna Regional Director Tina Szabados at the Samarkand Human Rights Forum. Photo: IOM 

(L to R) Uzbekistan’s Deputy Prime Minister Tanzila Narbaeva, UN Resident Coordinator Helen Fraser, and IOM Regional Director Argentina Szabados at the first Asian Human Rights Forum in Samarkand yesterday. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Receives Human Rights Award for Its Assistance to Venezuelans in Brazil

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 08:35

Brasilia – IOM, the UN Migration Agency on Wednesday (21/11) was awarded the National Human Rights Prize from the Government of Brazil for its humanitarian work assisting Venezuelans in the country’s northern border region.

The country’s acting President Rodrigo Maia presented the award to the IOM Brazil Chief of Mission, Stéphane Rostiaux, at a ceremony also attended by Justice Dias Tofolli, President of the Supreme Court and Raul Jungmann, Minister of Public Safety, among other dignitaries.

Throughout the year, IOM Brazil has supported the Federal Government in the relocation of more than 3,000 Venezuelans, supported the documentation process of more than 15,000 people and distributed aid to more than 6,000 beneficiaries.  IOM has also provided or supported several trainings and data production efforts, including the implementation of three rounds of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).

The IOM activities in support of Venezuelans in Brazil have been possible thanks to the financial contribution from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the European Union, and the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

The Brazilian government estimates more than 85,000 Venezuelans are currently living in the country as part of what is considered the biggest exodus in the recent history of Latin America.

The National Human Rights Prize is a biannual honour awarded by the Government of Brazil to organizations and individuals that have made outstanding contributions to the promotion and protection of human rights.

This year, 48 public persons and organizations were awarded, and these included the Ministry of Defence and other UN agencies dealing with the Venezuelan outflows.

During the award ceremony, Gustavo Rocha, Brazil’s Minister of Human Rights emphasized the challenge of providing assistance to Venezuelans in the State of Roraima, where IOM maintains a field office in the capital city of Boa Vista. IOM also supports the Federal Government’s screening centre in the border city of Pacaraima.

For more information, please contact Marcelo Torelly at IOM Brazil, Tel: +55 61 3038 9065, Email: mtorelly@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 23, 2018 - 15:34Image: Region-Country: BrazilDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Brazil Chief of Mission Stéphane Rostiaux (centre) accepts award from Brazil’s acting President Rodrigo Maia (left) and Minister of Human Rights Gustavo Rocha. Photo: Ministry of Human Rights  

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM’s Three-Week Global Migration Film Festival Kicks Off Next Wednesday in 100 Countries

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 08:34

Geneva – The United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) will next Wednesday (28/11) launch its annual Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF). This will mark IOM´s third year screening documentaries, features and short films that explore the themes of migration and human mobility.

The opening ceremony will take place at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, kicking off 21 days of screenings and expert panels in IOM missions in 100 countries. Events will be hosted in varied locales, from cinemas to impromptu settings along popular migration routes such as the Trans-Saharan corridor.

Opening the programme in Geneva is a German feature: Strange Daughter. The film tells the tale of a young couple destined to be together but stuck between traditions, religion, contradictions and prejudices. Among other films being offered for IOM missions hosting screenings are The Merger (2018), an Australian comedy/drama, and the short drama from Denmark, Adnan’s Father (2017).

(Click here for a complete list of the 2018 official selection).

Some of the filmmakers participating in the Festival have themselves been migrants or refugees. Many will share stories brought forth from their unique experiences and even more unique talent and vision realized via films spanning a wide variety of cinema genres. Many screenings will be presented along with discussion panels comprising filmmakers, migrants and other guests. Several screenings will include side events such as photo exhibitions, children’s activities and programmes targeting university students.

The Film Festival features works that capture the promise and challenges of migration, and the unique contributions that migrants make to their new communities. The goal of the Festival is to open audiences to a larger discussion concerning the mega trend of our time: migration.

“With our Film Festival, we strive to use films as a tool to stimulate conversation around migration and bring attention to social issues affecting migrants through storytelling,” said Leonard Doyle, IOM Spokesperson and head of the Media and Communication Division. “Cinema and migration have a historical bond stretching back over a century when film makers, many of whom were immigrants themselves, began making movies that depicted a world on the move.”

“The Festival is also an advocacy tool. One that can draw attention to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” added Doyle. “Many of the SDGs relate indirectly and directly to migration, including target 10.7, which seeks to facilitate orderly, safe, and responsible migration.”

Beyond stimulating healthy debate, explained Amanda Nero, the GMFF Director, IOM’s Festival amplifies voices, empowers and fosters social cohesion in migrants’ affected communities through IOM’s Participatory Video initiative, where migrants and host communities produce their own movies through a hands-on process. (More information can be found here.)

“It is important for the Festival to not only be a broad platform to inform, educate and promote the debate around migration, but it should also empower and give a voice to affected communities,” said Nero, who is also one of the facilitators of the Participatory Video initiative, adding, “The participatory process is beautiful and challenging.”

A jury of international film professionals and migration specialists will select three standout productions from the Short Films category and two from the Feature Films category. The best film from the Short Films category will receive USD 500 and the best film from the Feature Films category will receive USD 1,000. The award ceremony will take place on International Migrants’ Day (18/12).

IOM’s Holding On virtual reality exhibition will also be featured at the opening and local screenings. Holding On tells the stories of internally displaced persons by asking them to reflect on their most cherished possessions. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the plight of internally displaced persons while celebrating their courage and resilience.

The Global Migration Film Festival is supported by PLURAL+, a youth-produced video festival, and MigApp, IOM’s mobile application for migrants.

View the GMFF 2018 Trailer.

For more information, please contact IOM HQ:
Leonard Doyle, Tel: + 41 22 717 9589, Email: ldoyle@iom.int
Amanda Nero, Tel: +41 22 717 9111, Email: anero@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 23, 2018 - 15:26Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 08:26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 08:24

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IOM Spain

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

IOM Greece

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

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

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

IOM Italy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See contacts here.

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

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

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 08:22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 08:21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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