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Updated: 1 hour 57 min ago

UN Migration Agency Brings Ukrainian Businesses Together through Interactive Platform

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 10:13

Kyiv – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, launched an online business exchange platform in Kyiv today (10/11) to foster networking and cooperation among self-employed persons and owners of small businesses. The platform, funded by the Government of the United Kingdom and run by a partner NGO, contains a directory of established entrepreneurs from all the regions of Ukraine, educational materials, as well as business-related news and opportunities.

IOM started its economic empowerment programme in Ukraine to help reintegrate victims of trafficking over ten years ago. In 2014, with the outbreak of the conflict in the East of the country, the programme was expanded to respond to the needs of conflict-affected people.

“IOM has supported over 6,500 people, including trafficking survivors and internally displaced persons (IDPs), with grants for self-employment, micro-enterprise and vocational trainings,” said Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission. “We wanted to further support our beneficiaries in their business activities and so we created a space where they could connect, communicate and unite with other entrepreneurs to develop, grow and expand their businesses,” he added.

With its economic empowerment programme and the newly established Business Exchange Platform, IOM aims to support more people like Oleksandr. He arrived in the city of Vinnytsia in winter 2015 with only two bags after having been forced to leave his native Luhansk. With money borrowed from his family, he bought a compressor and two staplers to start a furniture upholstery business in a garage. Later he took part in an IOM-supported business training, successfully defended his business plan and received equipment enabling him to expand his business and hire employees.

Oleksandr eventually opened a furniture production company, and despite being busy with his business, regularly volunteered at IOM’s local partner NGO. At one of the events, he met Viktor, an IDP from Donetsk Region and another IOM-supported beneficiary, who had an eco-wood furniture business near Vinnytsia. The men decided to join forces and create aesthetically pleasing high-quality furniture.

“Co-sharing equipment is a great opportunity for any business, but for IDPs who often lack resources in a new community it is especially relevant,” said Oleksandr. “And of course, learning from each other and new ideas born in partnership are often even more important than funds,” he added.

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

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 17:06Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Community StabilizationInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM facilitates opportunities online and offline. Pictured: IOM-supported IDP entrepreneur showcasing his products at a fair in Kyiv. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Ghana Holds Counter-Trafficking Workshops for Communities in Volta Region

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 10:06

Ghana – IOM Ghana held a closing workshop (2/11) for its project: Increasing Child Protection and Combatting Child Trafficking in 8 Districts of the Volta Region through Community Child Rights Education.

Under this two-year project, supported by UNICEF, a toolkit on child protection and counter trafficking titled Free to Be Me was developed in 2013. The toolkit was distributed in 43 selected communities within eight districts of the Volta Region, with an additional six communities reached through the project’s pilot phase which began in November 2012.

The toolkit aims to build the capacity of local communities to address and prevent child trafficking and protection violations by engaging community members, parents, and children. Over 127 volunteers and district officials were trained to implement the toolkit, and over 5,000 community members were reached.

The dissemination of the toolkit also resulted in the parent-led return of 43 children to eight communities. Additionally, there was a decrease in cases of child trafficking in the targeted communities and an improvement in children’s achievement at school, as well as improved relationships between parents and children.

According to the US State Department’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report (2017 TIP Report), Ghana is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. The exploitation of Ghanaians within the country – particularly children in the fishing and domestic service industries – is more prevalent compared with the average cases of transnational trafficking of foreigners worldwide. The project targeted the Volta Region, which has the highest incidences of child trafficking in Ghana due to the region’s growing fishing industry.

The IOM Ghana workshops provide an opportunity to share project methodology, lessons learned, and testimonials from community members and district officials. Additionally, participants can engage in a question-and-answer session and watch a summary video about the project.

A major component of the project included the drawing of the Tree of Life within communities by parents and their children, during which parents made a commitment to nurture their children appropriately. This public drawing exercise has been used in various communities to educate visitors, and even potential traffickers, on the community’s commitment to support its children so as to prevent trafficking.

The closing workshop was attended by delegations from over 29 organizations including the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection; the Department of Social Welfare; the Volta Regional Coordinating Council; and Parliamentarians without Borders for Children’s Rights.

John Terkpetey, Volta Regional Labour Officer said, “IOM and UNICEF need to be commended for this project in reducing the human trafficking menace through the use of the toolkit. The methodology used was solid.”

Community members and volunteers also shared their optimism about the future of preventing child trafficking in their communities, using the skills and tools they had learned over the course of the campaign. A community leader from Toklosu Community stated: “We the leaders will make sure that children in our community are well protected, and enjoy their basic human rights.”

“This project has demonstrated the tremendous impact that community human rights education can have on child protection,” said Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, IOM Ghana Chief of Mission. “We hope that the Trees of Life that have sprung across the Volta Region will prevent the trafficking of any more children in the communities where we’ve worked.”

Though this particular partnership project has come to a close, IOM Ghana remains committed to child protection and counter-trafficking initiatives and to continued collaboration with the Ghana Child Protection Compact Partnership (CPC).

For more information please contact Alexander Billings at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233 302 742 930 ext. 2413, Email: abillings@iom.int  

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 16:52Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

A major component of the project included the drawing of the Tree of Life within communities by parents and their children, during which parents made a commitment to nurture their children appropriately. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

The dissemination of the toolkit also resulted in the parent-led return of 43 children to eight communities. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Gambia, EU, IOM Launch Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 04:43

Banjul – IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the Government of The Gambia last week (03/11) officially launched the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration: The Gambia at a ceremony in the capital Banjul, attended by the EU Ambassador to The Gambia, Attila Lajos and the country’s Minister of Interior, Mai Ahmed Fatty.  The launch was also attended by representatives from Government, the diplomatic community, civil society, the UN system and the media.

The three-year project is funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) for a total of EUR 3.9 million.

The initiative comes at a crucial time as a significant number of Gambians who have left the country become stranded on the migration routes to North Africa and Europe, with no means to continue their journeys. With little hope of reaching their intended destinations, many of them decide to return home but lack resources to do so.

The new project, part of a regional initiative addressing 14 countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad region as well as Libya, proposes to contribute to strengthening migration governance and to the sustainable reintegration of returning migrants in The Gambia, with the following three objectives:

To support 1,500 migrants returning to the Gambia to reintegrate into their communities of origin and to contribute to the strengthening of the Government of The Gambia’s capacity to provide sustainable reintegration support, including specialized assistance for vulnerable migrants;
To raise awareness of 250 communities and 2,500 potential migrants of safe migration options and alternatives to irregular migration;
To support national and local authorities and development partners in having access to data on migration factors, flows and trends to support evidence-based policy development and programmes.

IOM Chief of Mission in The Gambia, Fumiko Nagano, noted that the Joint initiative “aims to ensure that migrant rights are respected, that returning migrants are able to contribute positively to their communities, and that the migration process is safer and better managed. At the core, the Joint Initiative’s aim is to respond to migrant needs.” 

The Joint Initiative’s inclusive approach will involve key stakeholders, such as migrants’ associations, community based organizations, and local communities to ensure the sustainability of reintegration and that Gambian migrants in the future will be opting to migrate via regular means as a matter of choice, rather than necessity.

IOM will be working very closely with the Government of The Gambia, particularly the Ministry of Interior, which has the mandate to lead on migration governance and management in the country.

In a separate but closely related event, IOM supported the government in holding the validation workshop in Banjul (02-03/11), on the country’s national migration policy, the first of its kind in The Gambia. This was part of IOM’s ongoing collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, financially supported by the EU-funded regional project, Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa (FMM West Africa). Once approved by the Cabinet, the policy will ensure that the Gambian Government has a comprehensive approach to migration management and governance.

“This policy is anchored on the ideals of African solidarity as well as shared values as informed by existing African Union frameworks including the AU Migration Policy Framework for Africa, the African Common Position on Migration and Development of 2006, the Common African Perspective for Valetta Summit on Migration of 2015, and Agenda 2063,” Minister Mai Fatty noted, as he urged EU and other stakeholders to act in partnership to address the root causes of irregular migration.

The FMM West Africa project, jointly funded by the European Union and the ECOWAS Commission, covers the 15 ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania on different thematic areas of migration, such as, trafficking in persons, border management, migration policy development and labour migration.

The FMM West Africa project is driven by the ECOWAS Commission and implemented jointly by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

For more information please contact Fumiko Nagano, IOM The Gambia, Tel: +220 232 0060, Email: fnagano@iom.int

 

 

Language English Posted: Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 11:27Image: Region-Country: SenegalDefault: Multimedia: 

From left to right, holding the banner: Fumiko Nagano, IOM The Gambia Chief of Mission; Mai Ahmed Fatty, Minister of Interior; Attila Lajos, EU Ambassador and Bulli Dibba, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

‘A Theater against Human Trafficking’ Project Launched in Peru

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 09:46

Lima – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Perú, this week (6 November) launched in Lima, A Theater against Trafficking project that seeks to prevent human trafficking for sexual exploitation in the travel and tourism sectors in Perú.

Perú, like many other countries, has identified cases of sexual exploitation of children in the context of the tourism industry, some believed to be actual trafficking victims.

"Through this project, we want to engage the educational community to develop preventive actions in their schools and contribute to the reduction of social tolerance and the normalization of exploitation," said the IOM Perú Chief of Mission, José Iván Dávalos.

This project will impact more than 5,000 schoolchildren and tour operators, as well as teachers of the selected schools of the mentioned regions.

At a national level between 2009 and 2016, according to the Crime Observatory of the Public Ministry of Perú, 4,274 alleged victims of trafficking were registered and the most vulnerable age range was between 13 and 17 years old.

The project will be taken to ten schools in Piura, La Libertad, Ica, Loreto, Puno, Arequipa, Cusco, Junín, Lima and Callao. These regions were prioritized both for the high numbers of cases of trafficking identified as well as for being important tourist destinations.

Two main activities will be implemented:  the presentation of the play Angel without wings (Angel sin alas) and “awareness raising workshops,” in which, trafficking specialists—through an approach based on play and art—will inform audiences of students in the third, fourth and fifth year of high-school about the risks of human trafficking.

The play Angel Without Wings represents a common reality in the country and communicates very closely the risks that young people can face.

This project is based on the pilot that IOM developed in 2016 and on the various initiatives carried out in recent years, such as the presentation of the plays Lita’s Nightmare and Prison of Angels. These  the theatrical plays were presented in several districts of Lima as well as Puerto Maldonado, the capital of the Madre de Dios region, one of the regions with highest number of trafficking cases linked to illegal mining, logging and tourism. 

For more information please contact Inés Calderón at IOM Perú, +511 6330000, icalderon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 16:42Image: Region-Country: PeruDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Corpses of 26 Trafficked Women Arrive in Italy, as Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 154,609 in 2017; Deaths Reach 2,925

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:56

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 154,609 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 5 November, with about 75 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder arriving in Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 337,773 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.


IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean reported Monday (6 November) on operations that saved over 2,560 migrants in just four days. Those same operations resulted in 34 recovered bodies and an estimated 50 more missing at sea, at the very least.

“This is the outcome of one of the toughest weeks that rescue workers in the central Mediterranean route have experienced in the past for four months up to Monday,” said IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo.

The overall majority of migrants rescued during these days were West African nationals, but there were also some other nationalities: Bangladeshis, Eritreans, Egyptians, Sudanese, Moroccans, Syrians and Libyans. IOM staff also met an 89-year-old Syrian man, rescued at sea and brought to Taranto by the German ship "Mecklenburg", and a Nigerian girl who gave birth on board the Spanish Navy Ship “Cantabria,” soon after being rescued.

The most dramatic instance came Sunday morning, when the Spanish Navy’s “Cantabria” – operating under the EunavforMed’s Operation Sophia – brought to Salerno (Campania) the remains of dozens of women, along with 402 migrants rescued in four different operations.

Faced with the remains of only women and girls, the prefect of Salerno decided to open an investigation to clarify the circumstances of these deaths, not excluding the possibility of it being a case of homicide. Autopsies will determine the women’s actual causes of death. From the earliest information gathered during landing, IOM has learned that the bodies were recovered in two distinct operations.

On Friday (3 November), the “Cantabria” rescued a sunken rubber dinghy, saving 64 people and recovering the bodies of 23 Nigerian girls. It is estimated that there were about 140 people on board, and – if this proves to have been the case – then the true number of those still missing would be close to 50. On the sunken vessel, there were several very young Nigerian girls.

During another operation, the "Bergamini" ship of the Italian Navy retrieved corpses of three women on an inflatable boat that was transporting some 139 migrants. These were transferred to the “Cantabria”.

Just days earlier, at least eight bodies were found by the Italian Coast Guard on a rubber dinghy with 150 people aboard.

“This tragedy affects a group of people particularly at-risk.” said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean. "It is very likely that these girls were, in fact, victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. A recent IOM report has estimated that 80 per cent of Nigerian girls arriving in Italy by sea may be victims of trafficking.”

Soda added, “We’ve observed an alarming, notable increase in the number of Nigerian women and girls arriving in Italy over the last three years, from 1,500 in 2014, to over 11,000 in 2016. The most disturbing trend is that these women are younger and often under the age of 18. IOM is present at the landing points in Italy where we offer specific assistance to victims of trafficking after informing them about the risks they are running and the possibility of being protected by Italian law.”

The migrants from these rescue operations have already been transferred to reception centres throughout Italy: in Lombardy, Apulia, Tuscany, Veneto, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna and Lazio.

Survivors arriving in Salerno offered many dramatic stories: a girl claimed she was raped, another reported that she had seen her three children die at sea.

The 2,560 migrants rescued in these days may represent an inversion of trend, compared to the arrivals from Libya registered in recent months. Starting in August, arrivals by sea averaged between 4,000 and 6,000 per month, a sharp decrease compared to earlier this year.

“It is more difficult than ever to forecast the trend right now,” noted Soda. “The number of departures from Libya has slowed in the last four months, but we are still seeing large numbers being rescued and brought to Italy in relatively short periods of time. We are also heading into a season of the year when the weather will be less predictable and the seas more dangerous. Historically, we have seen the highest number of fatalities during the winter months. This year, this coincides with fewer active rescue operations in the Mediterranean, as many NGOs have suspended their operations.”

In 2016, the number of migrants and refugees perishing at sea between North Africa, the Middle East and Europe totalled 718, with another 386 reported drowned during September.

Concluded Soda: “We must keep in mind that during all this activity, at the same time, migrants’ conditions in Libya continue to be dramatic: in the past weeks, there have been military clashes in the country and migrants are the most vulnerable subjects in these situations. Finally, the conditions of detention centres, even those where we have access as IOM staff, are wholly inadequate.”

IOM Libya's Christine Petré reported Monday 48 migrants (35 men and 13 women) were rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard. According to their testimony as many as 82 migrants may remain missing since the vessel's capsizing. Among the rescued, nine reportedly suffered from burn injuries with two transferred to hospital. IOM assisted the migrants at the disembarkation point including with health assessments.

She added that on 4 November, 151 migrants (137 men, one woman and 13 minors) were rescued at sea off Tripoli. All migrants were found in relatively stable health condition. So far in 2017, 19,333 migrants have been rescued or intercepted in Libyan waters.

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Monday (6 November) news of at least five incidents off the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Kalymnos that required search and rescue operations in which the Hellenic Coast Guard rescued 234 migrants and transferred them to those respective islands.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reported that Greek authorities recovered the body of a woman and were searching for six people missing after a wooden boat carrying migrants sank off Kalymnos Island, near Turkey’s coast, on Friday (3 November). The Turkish Coast Guard recovered two bodies from the same incident.

Nearly 13,000 (12,967) men, women and children have entered Greece by sea from waters of the Eastern Mediterranean since 1 August, or more migrants (11,405) than entered during all of 2017’s first seven months. Namia further reported that nearly 550 migrants or refugees entered Greece by sea during the first four days on November, bringing migrant sea arrivals to Greek territory to 24,372 for the year so far. (See chart below.) 

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded the deaths of 4,955 people migrating in 2017. In the Central Mediterranean, the remains of 26 women and girls were recovered over the weekend during rescue operations off the coast of Libya. On 3 November, the bodies of 23 Nigerian girls were recovered from a sunken rubber dinghy off the coast of Libya. Sixty-four people were rescued from this boat – according to survivors’ testimonies, there were about 140 people on board, so an estimated 50 migrants are still missing. During another rescue operation, the bodies of three women were recovered on an inflatable boat that was transporting 139 migrants.

In the Western Mediterranean, one woman that was rescued from a sinking dinghy on 29 October died from severe fuel burns in a hospital in Tangiers, Morocco, on 4 November. In the Eastern Mediterranean, Greek and Turkish authorities together confirmed as many as eight dead or missing people.

These deaths bring the total number of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,925. At this time last year deaths on the three Mediterranean Sea routes totalled 4,305 – or nearly 1,400 more than 2017’s total thus far.
Additionally, two deaths were recorded on the US/Mexico border: the skeletal remains of one migrant were recovered on 24 October in a ranch near Sarita, in Kenedy County (Texas), while another body was recovered near Falfurrias in Brooks County on 1 November.

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

 

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/171107_Mediterranean_Update.pdf 

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

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Abby Dwommoh, IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email: MediaIOMTurkey@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel:  +216 28 78 78 05, Mobile: +216 71 860 312 ext. 109, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 17:38Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Rolls Out Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Services in South Sudan Displacement Sites

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:54

Juba – Thousands now have access to HIV/AIDS counselling, testing, and treatment in South Sudan since the International Organization for Migration (IOM) completed the roll out of comprehensive services at the Bentiu, Malakal and Wau Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites in October 2017, benefiting an estimated population of 171,000 people, as well as the host community.

In 2016, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis were the leading causes of mortality in the PoC sites, where people are often unable to access health facilities outside the sites due to protection concerns or destruction of public infrastructure.

“The expansion of services is a crucial development in South Sudan, where internally displaced persons, such as those living in the PoC sites, are among key populations that are considered to be at higher-risk of contracting HIV/AIDS,” explained Salma Taher, IOM Global Fund Project Officer.

Since 2014, IOM has been providing HIV/AIDS services to pregnant mothers at the PoC sites through Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programme. Through the advocacy of IOM and the UN Development Fund, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculous and Malaria expanded funding to enable the start-up and roll out of services for the general population visiting the clinics in the PoC sites, not only pregnant mothers.

Since the roll out began in July, IOM has tested 213 people, with 16 testing positive and enrolling in antiretroviral treatment.

With timely diagnosis and initiation of antiretroviral medication, the life expectancy of HIV-positive patients has been proven to improve substantially – 10 years for men and 9 years for women, as evidenced in a recent analysis of cohort studies.

A core component to comprehensive services is awareness raising and sensitization to both encourage testing and destigmatize the disease among the displaced population. Through the Global Fund support, IOM has trained over 450 peer counselors across the country, including 51 at the Bentiu and Malakal PoC sites.

Martha (name changed to protect her identity) and her husband are both HIV-positive and enrolled in antiretroviral treatment at the Bentiu PoC site. When Martha first arrived at the site in 2014, she was pregnant and tested positive for HIV. She immediately enrolled in the PMTCT programme and her child, who is now three years old, is HIV-free. Martha is an active member of PMTCT support groups and was trained as a peer counselor. With the knowledge and confidence she gained in these programmes, she was able to convince her husband to pursue treatment when he, too, tested positive for the disease.

The programme is complemented with services from IOM’s mental health and psychosocial support team, which provides peer support through family support groups, counseling for people living with HIV/AIDS and those affected by gender-based violence.

The expansion of services is funded through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria with the support of the UN Development Fund. Migration health and psychosocial support services are funded by the USAID Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the Government of Japan, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Government of the Republic of Korea, and the Government of Canada.

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 17:36Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

An HIV support group meets in the Bentiu PoC site. Photo: Amanda Nero / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Supports Dominica Rebuilding Post-Hurricane Maria

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:46

Dominica – Twenty teams of local tradesmen, carpenters, and assistants, all trained by IOM, the UN Migration Agency on safe construction skills, are rebuilding homes destroyed by hurricane Maria in Dominica. The teams are deployed in Wesley, Calibishi and Woodford Hill, three of the hardest-hit communities on the Caribbean island.

Dominica was hit on 18 September by the Category Five Hurricane Maria that devastated the island with winds of nearly 250 km per hour. It has been estimated that 23 per cent of buildings were destroyed, 39 per cent of the houses sustained severe damage, and further 28 per cent were affected to some degree.

As a response to the destruction left by the hurricane, and with funding from the UK government and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), IOM procured building materials in the Dominican Republic in record time and brought it to Dominica with the cooperation of the Dutch Navy.

IOM trained the local workforce on safe construction skills and these teams are using the building materials to repair roofs of moderately and heavily damaged homes of 400 vulnerable households.

One of the first beneficiaries was Tessa Williams, a 31-year-old Dominican mother of three. Her house was badly damaged by the hurricane, and she had to raise a makeshift hut with tarpaulins and salvaged material scattered by the storm. With the oldest of her three children in a wheelchair and the youngest still an infant, the situation for Williams was desperate. Her own community chose her to be one of the first recipients of IOM support.

“With this house, we have ensured that Tessa and her children have a safe home. The community sees there is actually something happening and we have completed the training of our carpenters on safe construction skills,” said Jan-Willem Wegdam, IOM’s team leader in Dominica.

According to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), almost 2,000 persons (roughly 360 families) are still living in shelters due to destruction or severe damage to their homes. “Many of them are elderly citizens, single-female heads of households and persons with chronic diseases,” says Wegdam.

“However, most of the families who lost their homes are staying with relatives or friends and we have heard that, after almost two months of close coexistence, tensions in these households are increasing, potentially leading to a second wave of displacement.”

With the decrease or loss of income-generating activities and destruction of their homes, Dominica locals are increasingly leaving the island in search of better opportunities in neighboring countries. IOM has set up a Flow Monitoring process at the ferry port in Roseau to understand the motivations for the departure of Dominica nationals. A quarter of respondents indicated that they would not return to Dominica and 22 per cent have left in search of employment abroad.

“Housing projects are a great way to keep locals from leaving the island, but we need stronger funding to create as many employment opportunities as possible and to rebuild the lost dwellings. It’s not only about having a roof over their heads but about creating the conditions for a full recovery after a huge disaster,” concluded Wegdam.

For more information, please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212-5300, Email: jgallo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 17:35Image: Region-Country: DominicaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

 IOM trained teams are using building materials donated by UKAid and UNCERF to repair roofs of moderately and heavily damaged homes of 400 vulnerable households. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM trained local workforce on safe construction skills. Their last lessons was to help Tessa to rebuild her home. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Asia-Pacific States Prepare for Global Compact for Migration

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:43

Bangkok – Asia-Pacific nations met in Bangkok yesterday (6/11) to begin three days of regional consultations on the creation of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).

The meeting, hosted by Thailand and the UN Regional Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), with support from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and UN partners, including UNHCR, ILO, UNFPA and UN Women, will provide regional input to inform the Global Compact – the first intergovernmental effort to comprehensively improve the management of international migration.

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing welcomed high level delegates from governments and civil society across the Asia-Pacific region, noting that a balanced and workable GCM would need to reflect the views and perspectives of all regions to ensure that it is owned and implemented by all governments and regional actors alike.

“IOM believes that the Global Compact presents an invaluable opportunity for the international community to work in a dedicated manner towards a common vision of a world in which migrants move as a matter of choice and not necessity, and in which their rights are protected throughout their migratory cycle; a world in which migration is well governed, leading to positive effects for all peoples and societies, and where any negative effects of migration are limited,” he said.

“Migration has tremendous potential to contribute to sustainable development for all people in Asia and the Pacific – migrants, those they leave behind, and their countries of destination,” said UNESCAP Executive Director Dr. Shamshad Akhtar.

“However, this potential can only be reached if we address the common problems all stakeholders face, the difficulties faced by migrants in accessing regular migration channels, the abuses migrants suffer at the hands of unscrupulous employers, and the lack of social protection of migrants,” she added.

International migration is a major phenomenon in the Asia-Pacific region, with over 62 million migrants living in the region, and almost 102 million claiming it as their region of origin.

Most are engaged in labour migration, taking up low-skilled work in developing countries, and many face human rights abuses because of their race, gender, ethnicity of cultural background. This exploitation not only affect people’s human rights. It also impacts on the contributions they make both at home and abroad.

On September 19, 2016 the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, a landmark political declaration aimed at improving the way in which the international community responds to large movements of refugees and migrants, as well as to protracted refugee situations.

It paved the way for the expected adoption in late 2018 of two new Global Compacts – one on refugees and one for safe, orderly and regular migration. The Global Compact is a significant opportunity to improve governance, and address the challenges associated with today’s migration. It will also help to strengthen the contribution of migrants and migration to sustainable development.

IOM provides policy and technical expertise to the Offices of the President of the UN General Assembly and the Special Representative for the UN Secretary-General on International Migration, Canadian jurist Louise Arbour, who serves as the Secretary-General for the intergovernmental process to adopt the GCM.

For media enquiries, please contact Chris Lom at the IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Email: clom@iom.int, Tel. +66.626028752.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 17:34Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Capacity BuildingGlobal CompactGlobal Compact on MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM DG Swing addresses UNESCAP member states in Bangkok. Photo: Chris Lom / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Ghana, Partners Hold Photo Exhibit on Migrants and Refugees

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:42

Accra – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and the Embassy of Mexico recently partnered to hold a photo exhibit in Ghana, entitled A Day in the Life of Migrants and Refugees, a subject of high interest in two countries whose citizens are among the planet’s most active migrants.

The exhibit and its associated events were co-sponsored by IOM Ghana, UNHCR Ghana, the Embassy of Mexico in Ghana, the Nubuke Foundation, AMEXCID, and the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

Mexico, the country with more migrants than any other residing in the US, and Ghana – with growing diaspora communities across North America, Europe and Africa – share a tradition and many migration stories.

Just in 2017, Ghanaians have made up 3,719 of the registered arrivals in Italy, making it the seventh source of arrivals from West Africa and eleventh largest in the world. In 2016, 5,636 registered Ghanaians reached Italy.

On 31 October, the partnering agencies hosted a cocktail reception for ambassadors, government officials, and civil society organizations in order to educate stakeholders on the impact of irregular migration and promote IOM’s support to vulnerable migrants.

In 2016 alone, approximately 30,000 migrants including men, women and children refugees, survivors of trafficking (internal and cross-border), smuggled migrants, diaspora and returnees have benefited from IOM staff’s dedication and hard work.

Photos exhibited by IOM included images of migrants along the migratory routes from Sub-Saharan Africa to Europe, highlighting the challenges of traveling through the desert and the Mediterranean.

Photos exhibited by UNHCR were captured from visits to Egyekrom and Ampain Refugee Camps and were donated by Pedro Jardim De Mattos, a renowned Brazilian photographer and lawyer, and Marcos Moreno Baez, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Mexican Embassy in Ghana. Photos displayed by UNHCR were made available for purchase with proceeds going to serving refugees in Ghana.

The exhibit ran from October 28th – November 3rd and included 49 pictures providing a snapshot into the lives of irregular migrants and refugees.

IOM Ghana’s involvement was generously sponsored by the Aware Migrants Information Campaign – Engaging West African Communities (EWAC) which includes Ghana, Senegal and Niger, and is funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

The project aims to address irregular migration along the main routes from Western Africa across the desert and the Mediterranean, by empowering migrants to make informed decisions and informing public opinion in target countries on the extreme risks of irregular migration.

A Day in the Life of Migrants and Refugees provided a considerable opportunity to educate both the public and key stakeholders on the impacts of irregular migration and the human stories behind mass migration statistics.

To learn more about IOM’s Mission in Ghana, please visit www.iom.int/countries/Ghana

For further information, please contact Olivia S. Matthews at IOM Ghana; Tel: +233 302 742 930 ext. 2414. Email: omatthews@iom.int.  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 17:33Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: OthersUNDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

East African Officials Trained in International Migration Law, Migration and Development

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:39

Moshi – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in cooperation with the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), organized a capacity building training from 30 October to 3 November at IOM’s African Capacity Building Centre (ACBC) in Moshi, Tanzania. The training aimed at enhancing the understanding of international migration law and migration and development, as well as building the capacity within the IGAD region, including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.

The first two-week training took place from 18 to 29 September also at the ACBC. Thirty-three trainees were selected from institutions belonging to the National Coordination Mechanisms (NCMs) with diverse backgrounds including Ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Labour, Members of Parliament (MPs), and Immigration and Police Services from IGAD Member States.

“We believe that it is important to have a holistic approach to migration management with the aim of emphasizing the positive contribution that well-managed migration can bring to the development of the IGAD region, ‘’ said Aaron Tekelegzi, IOM Special Liaison Office (SLO) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“Sound policy and integrated approaches to migrant assistance during crisis situations, well supported regional labour policies, and cohesive free movement frameworks are of paramount importance to the development of the region,” added Marcellino Ramkishun, IOM ACBC Senior Migration Specialist.

“Effective participation and valuable proposals are needed to improve migration management, maximize the benefits of migration and strengthen the cooperation among the IGAD countries,’’ stressed Dr. Khalid A.A. Lord, Director of the Sudan Centre for Migration and Development Studies.

The recommendations to IGAD countries emerging from the training included better diaspora mapping and closer collaboration with financial institutions and private sector to encourage diaspora investment in their home countries. The training also led to recommendations to establish closer collaboration on bilateral labour agreements with host countries, as well as the development and adoption of migration policies and their fast-tracking at national levels. 

“This second training represents an important step in achieving the project’s objectives, building predominantly on capacity building of the NCMs from the IGAD Member States,” said Qasim Sufi, IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission. “The practical recommendations made by participants are also clear indicators of the success of the Regional Migration Policy Framework project,” he added.

The training was held under the auspices of a joint regional migration project that is being co-implemented by IOM and IGAD to build regional and national capacities and implement the Regional Migration Policy Framework (RMPF). The RMPF aims at empowering the NCMs on migration through trainings, seminars and advocacy activities that help address mixed migration in the region and mainstream migration into development planning and programming by Member States.

For more information please contact:

Aaron Tekelegzi, IOM SLO Addis Ababa, Tel:+251 11 661 1197, Email: atekelegzi@iom.int

Marcellino Ramkishun, IOM ACBC, Tel: +255 2727 53 488, Email: mramkishun@iom.int

Catherine Matasha, IOM Tanzania, Tel: +255 22 260 2913, Email: cmatasha@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 17:32Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration LawMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants of the ACBC training. Photo: Melissa Tui/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM ACBC Expert delivering session on labour migration. Photo: Melissa Tui/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Dr. Qasim Sufi, IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission delivers training certificate. Photo: Melissa Tui/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Gambia, IOM Launch EU Funded Migrant Protection Project

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:37

Dakar - In the presence of the EU Ambassador to The Gambia, His Excellency Attila Lajos, a local signing of the Agreement to implement the project, “EUTF-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration: The Gambia,” took place at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Banjul on 3 November 2017 and was chaired by the Honorable Minister of Interior, Mai Ahmed Fatty.

The three-year project is funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) for a total of 3.9 million Euros.

A significant number of Gambians leaving the country often become stranded on the migration routes to North Africa and Europe, with no means to continue their journeys. With little hope of reaching their intended destinations, many of them decide to return home.

This new project, part of a regional initiative addressing 14 countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad region as well as Libya, proposes to contribute to strengthening migration governance and to the sustainable reintegration of returning migrants in The Gambia, with the following three objectives:

•          To support 1,500 migrants returning to the Gambia to reintegrate into their communities of origin and to contribute to the strengthening of the Government of The Gambia’s capacity to provide sustainable reintegration support, including specialized assistance for vulnerable migrants;

•          To raise awareness of 250 communities and 2,500 potential migrants of safe migration options and alternatives to irregular migration;

•          To support national and local authorities and development partners in having access to data on migration factors, flows and trends to support evidence-based policy development and programmes.

IOM Chief of Mission, Ms. Fumiko Nagano, noted that the Joint initiative “aims to ensure that migrant rights are respected, that returning migrants are able to contribute positively to their communities, and that the migration process is safer and better managed. At the core of the Initiative’s aim is to respond to migrant needs.”

The Initiative’s inclusive approach will involve key stakeholders, such as migrants associations, community based organizations, and local communities to ensure the sustainability of reintegration and that Gambian migrants in the future will be opting to migrate via regular means as a matter of choice, rather than necessity. IOM will be working very closely with the Government of The Gambia, in particular the Ministry of Interior, which has the mandate to lead on migration governance and management in the country.

On 2-3 November 2017, as part of its ongoing collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, IOM Gambia, with financial support from the EU-funded regional project, “Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration (FMM) in West Africa,” held a validation workshop on the country’s national migration policy, the first of its kind in The Gambia. Once validated, the policy will ensure that the Gambian Government has a comprehensive approach to migration management and governance. “This policy should be anchored on the ideals of African solidarity as well as shared values as informed by existing African Union frameworks including the AU Migration Policy Framework for Africa, the African Common Position on Migration and Development of 2006, the Common African Perspective for Valetta Summit on Migration of 2015, and Agenda 2063,” Minister Mai Fatty noted, as he urged EU and other stakeholders to act in partnership to address the root causes of irregular migration.

For more information, please contact Tijs Magagi Hoornaert, IOM Dakar, Tel: + 00221785891456 Email: tmhoornaert@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 17:31Image: Region-Country: SenegalThemes: Migrant AssistanceMigrants RightsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Arts, Culture and Talent Show Promotes Peaceful Coexistence in Baidoa, Somalia

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:45

Baidoa – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in partnership with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), supported an arts, culture and talent event in Baidoa, Somalia, on 26 October 2017. The event promoted social cohesion and common identity among communities from locations impacted by displacement and returns. Baidoa is currently hosting the highest number of drought-displaced people in Somalia.

The event attracted nearly 240 people and was planned and organized by a Core-Facilitation Team comprising local government authorities and line ministries working with representatives of displaced families and host communities living in villages around Baidoa. The event was made possible with funding from the Peace Building Fund, and was graced by Baidoa’s Youth Chairman, village leaders, religious leaders and representatives from women groups.

“Today is a historic day for South West communities gathered here to present their talents and culture. This event has the power to transform entire societies, strengthen integration between communities and show a sense of identity and belonging for people of all ages,” said Aden Ali, Deputy Mayor of Baidoa. “Such activities play a very essential role in promoting sustainable social and economic development for future generations as youth can act as a bridge between cultures and serve as key agents in promoting peace and intercultural understanding,” he added.

Different clan-based groups will continue to migrate from one place to another in order to manage risks related to armed conflict and other drivers of displacement. Refugee returnees and internally displaced persons are also expected to return to areas such as Baidoa that have been recovered from armed groups. Against this backdrop, communities will continue to face resource-based conflicts and be divided, particularly along clan lines, with weak social capital and latent conflicts that could easily resurface if they remain unaddressed.

While Somalia has made progress towards recovery, stability and the return of legitimate authority since 2012, major drivers of instability and conflict remain present, resulting in complex mobility patterns.

Baidoa is home to many internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees whose social bonds can be improved greatly through art, cultural and recreational activities. Social interaction through such events have been proven to break down unfamiliarity, fear and isolation, all of which are factors associated with clan-based conflicts. They also promote social cohesion and peaceful coexistence amongst diverse community groups, including IDPs, returnees and host communities.

Eight teams participated in the event and the winning performances were determined by a committee of four people selected by the Core-Facilitation Team.

 “We are not the only group who won today. By choosing peace, the rest of my brothers and sisters from other groups who participated and showed their beautiful talents are also today’s winners,” Said Aliow Mad, a member of the winning team.

For more information, please contact: Ben Mbaura at IOM Somalia, Email: bmbaura@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 - 17:29Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Community StabilizationInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Representatives from Horseed village and Cadado village perform a Riibay dance during the talent show. Photo: Hilowle Hassan / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Eight teams participated in the arts, culture and talent show in Baidoa, Somalia. Photo: Hassan Hussein / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Participants were drawn from villages around Baidoa, Somalia. Photo: Hassan Hussein / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The Deputy Mayor of Kismayo, Somalia, Mr. Aden Ali, delivers his opening remarks. Photo: Hilowle Hassan / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Delivers Fraud Detection Equipment to Government of Nicaragua

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:44

Managua – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, made a donation this week of technical equipment to Nicaragua’s General Directorate of Migration (DGME) to improve capacity for fraud detection of false and forged documents among immigration officials of the National School of Migration “Comandante Ricardo Morales Avilés.”

Said IOM Nicaragua Chief of Mission, Paola Zepeda, “With the provision of these equipment, the National School will be able to complete the training programme immigration officials, both of first line and second line, from headquarters and border posts,” adding that one of the main challenges to the prevention of risks associated with smuggling of migrants and their vulnerabilities, is to have on board the best staff and equipment for the identification of forged travel documents.

The donated equipment includes a digital microscope, a scanner for alteration detection, magnifying glasses and devices for forensic analysis, UV lights, and computers.

“In the past, we have been already supportive with the delivery of 100 copies of the Passport Examination Procedure Manual, as well as the printing of supporting documents such as Ethical Codes of Conduct and Guidelines for public employees of the executive branch, the CA-4 Regional Agreement, and documents of operational and gender psychology,” Zepeda noted.

This donation was delivered by the IOM Development Fund to strengthen the institutional capabilities of DGME staff. The contribution fits in the tenth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), which proposes to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.

To assure the continuation of this support, it is planned to promote an exchange of experiences and provide training to the headquarters and border posts staff on inspection and detection of false documents, based on IOM Procedure Guidelines.

For more information, please contact: Anabell Cruz at IOM Nicaragua, Tel: +505 22789569 Ext. 110, Email: amcruz@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 - 17:30Image: Region-Country: NicaraguaThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Immigration Officer working at the Passport Issuance Office in Managua, Nicaragua. Photo: Charles Porcel / UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Launches Study on Migration, Environment and Climate Change in South America

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:43

Buenos Aires – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, launched a study on Migration, Environment and Climate Change this week (1/11). The research was carried out in selected communities within Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador.

This study aims to generate substantial evidence that will contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between migration, the environment and climate change, through the collection of conceptual and empirical knowledge.

“This study is an important contribution to move towards a better understanding of the link between migration, environment and climate change in the region, and a fundamental step for the development of policies, strategies and programs at the local and national level,” said the IOM Regional Director for South America, Diego Beltrand.

Lujan Province, Buenos Aires (Argentina); Community Rumo Certo, Presidente Figueiredo Municipality, Amazonas (Brazil); Monte Patria Municipality of Coquimbo, IV Region (Chile); Tacamocho Municipality of Cordoba, Department of Bolivar (Colombia); and Santa Lucia de Chuquipogyo, Canton of Guano, Province of Chimborazo (Ecuador) are the locations targeted in this study.

The research concluded that in these five communities, there are permanent and/or transitory migratory movements due to the intensification of extreme events caused by climate change. The study also confirmed an important deficit in the information available about the causes and the magnitude of population movements caused by extreme climate changes in South America.

According to the study, there is a very limited coordination between the research and scientific knowledge generated by academics, and the decisions made by public institutions linked to the management of migration and environmental topics.

A fundamental aspect observed during the field work is the active participation of women, at the same level as men, in the identification of needs, and in the search for collective solutions to the problems linked to extreme climate events, as well as the potential displacements arising from these situations. 

The research proposes several recommendations, including the creation of a Regional Committee on Migration and Climate Change to develop policies on risk management, and adaptation and mitigation measures with a gender perspective in South America, designed to implement early warning programs and to assist displaced population groups in situations of extreme climatic events.

The study also recommends the generation and consolidation of multilateral and/or bilateral legislation and agreements that safeguard the rights of environmental migrants, as well as the provision of support for research that continues to provide evidence on the effects of migration, environment and climate change factors on the region.

South America is considered one of the most vulnerable regions to the effects of climate change due to its biodiversity, rapid urban development, inequality in income distribution and the stark division between rural and urban centers.

Download the study: http://bit.ly/2z57OI2

For more information, please contact Juliana Quintero at the IOM Regional Office in Buenos Aires, Tel. + (54) 11 32488134, Email: juquintero@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 - 17:31Image: Region-Country: ArgentinaThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

Erosion of the land boundaries of the Magdalena River in Tacamocho, Colombia caused by the flooding. File photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2016

IOM Staff meeting with the local community in Tacamocho. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 150,982 in 2017; Deaths Reach 2,839

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:42

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 150,982 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 1 November, with about 75 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 335,158 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

2017 marks the fourth straight year migrant arrivals to Europe by sea reached the 150,000-person benchmark, but it is not the earliest time in the year that threshold was reached. In 2016 the Mediterranean region hit that benchmark in early March, and in July in 2015.

During the calendar year 2015, there were single months when as many as 150,000 migrants entered by sea, principally through Greece.

Nonetheless, this year may shape up as the first year since 2013 that Mediterranean sea crossings by migrants fell short of the 200,000 threshold. Just counting arrivals in Italy and Greece, totals were around 204,000 in 2014 and doubling to 355,000 in 2016 after cresting past one million (1,007,000) in 2015. (See chart below.)

IOM Rome reported Thursday (2 November) that 260 migrants were rescued on Tuesday, 31 October, in five different rescue operations, while another 975 were rescued the following day (1 November) in 12 separate rescue operations carried out by Italian and international ships. The remains of eight victims were recovered in waters north of the Libyan coast.

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Thursday (2 November) of at least two incidents this week off the islands of Lesvos requiring search and rescue operations. The Hellenic Coast Guard rescued 147 migrants and transferred them to the two islands.
Over 12,400 men, women and children have entered Greece by sea from waters of the Eastern Mediterranean since 1 August, or more migrants than entered during all of 2017’s first seven months. Namia further reported that nearly 800 migrants or refugees entered Greece by sea during the last week of October, bringing migrant sea arrivals to Greek territory to 23,826 for the year so far. (See chart below.) 

IOM Cyprus’ Dimitrios Tsagalas reported that 34 migrants of Arab origin were picked up in the village of Pyla at Larnaca District this past weekend, in what appears to be growing use of a new pathway into Europe. Cyprus media reported these migrants departed Turkey’s Mersin port by boat Saturday (28 October), reaching Cyprus without detection and travelling by truck to Pyla, a village in the UN Buffer Zone, before crossing into the Republic. All migrants have since been transferred to Purnara’s Reception Centre.

According to Republic of Cyprus authorities, this is the seventh recorded incident of crossing via the UN Buffer Zone in 2017. Authorities have recorded 105 migrants using this route to enter the Republic this year. IOM Cyprus notes that the National Plan “NAFKRATIS” – which deals with the management and provision of help to persons in need – has been activated 15 times in 2017, and that a total of 850 migrants have arrived in Cyprus by boat, nearly three times 2016’s total of 345 migrants (through nine months).

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported Thursday that on 31 October, 299 migrants (231 men, 30 women and 29 children) were rescued from one rubber dinghy off the Libyan capital, Tripoli. IOM assisted at the disembarkation point. She reported one woman had to be transferred to a hospital for further medical assistance. The majority of the migrants came from Guinea Conakry, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Senegal.
So far in 2017, 19,134 migrants have been rescued or intercepted in Libyan waters, Petré reported.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded the deaths of 4,866 people migrating in 2017 – 16 persons per day – with just over eight weeks remaining in the year.

Deaths in the Mediterranean Sea continue to account for a majority of the world’s migrant fatalities – now up to 2,839 for the year, or nearly 60 per cent of the 2017 total. Last year at this time the region recorded deaths of 4,150 migrants (see chart below).

In the Central Mediterranean this past week, the remains of eight people were recovered Wednesday (1 November) during rescue operations off the coast of Libya. In the Western Mediterranean on Monday (30 October), two young men died after their boat capsized off the coast of Mostaganem in Algeria. The three migrants listed as missing from a shipwreck of 29 October off Tangiers are being counted now as fatalities.

Two accidents were recorded in Europe, near the Italian-Austrian border: one migrant lost his life on 30 October in a vehicle accident on the A23 motorway near Udine, in Italy; and another migrant was hit by a train in Bolzano, Italy, on 1 November. Additionally, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project recorded the first death this year off the coast of the Canary Islands: the remains of one man were recovered near Morro Jable in Fuerteventura on 31 October.

In Southeast Asia, six Rohingya died and one went missing after two boats carrying dozens of people fleeing violence in Myanmar capsized off the coast of Bangladesh over two days: on 31 October, four Rohingya (a woman and three children), drowned when a small wooden fishing boat capsized off Jaliapalong Union, Ukhiya sub-district. This tragedy came a day after (30 October) a boat carrying approximately 30 Rohingya capsized at Sabrang Union, Teknaf sub-district. Two people died and one remains missing.

Since 31 August, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded the deaths of 249 Rohingya on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

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

 

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/171103_Mediterranean_Update.pdf

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

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

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Abby Dwommoh, IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email: MediaIOMTurkey@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel:  +216 28 78 78 05, Mobile: +216 71 860 312 Ext. 109, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 - 17:32Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, ICIMOD Renew Ongoing Collaboration on Labour Migration, Remittances, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:41

Kathmandu – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) have renewed an agreement to collaborate in the areas of labour migration, remittances and climate change, and expanded their collaboration to include disaster risk reduction in the Hindu Kush Himalaya region.

The six-year Memorandum of Understanding signed today (3/11) in Kathmandu by IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Paul Norton and ICIMOD Director General David Molden follows an earlier agreement signed in November 2014. 

It ensures that IOM and ICIMOD will continue to work together through capacity building and awareness-raising to share information and develop migration management tools.

The agreement highlights the importance of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the efforts that the two organizations will make to complement and promote the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, while forging a closer partnership in areas of shared interest.

 “One billion people are on the move today, which is more than at any other time in recorded history. Forces driving such large scale of migration include climate change, natural and man-made catastrophes, conflict, demographic trends of an ageing industrialized population, jobless youth population in the developing world and widening economic disparities,” said IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Paul Norton.

 “IOM is committed to addressing the links between migration, environment and climate change on all fronts – research, policy and operational – and, at all levels – global, regional and national,” he said, noting that IOM is a member of the Taskforce on Displacement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is implementing the Sendai Framework and the SDGs, as well as playing a leading role in the development of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

“IOM will continue to work towards mainstreaming human mobility, disaster risk reduction and climate change in diverse areas, building collaboration and breaking down silos,” he added.

ICIMOD Director General Dr. David Molden said, “Policymakers in Hindu Kush Himalayan countries should seek ways to mainstream human mobility into national processes associated with the SDGs, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the UNFCCC. ICIMOD will continue to work closely with its regional member countries to facilitate exchange of good practices to govern mobility and help countries to harness opportunities arising out of human mobility.”

There are nearly 250 million international migrants, and some 750 million domestic migrants. In other words, there are a billion migrants among the world’s seven billion people. One in every seven people on the globe is a migrant. In Nepal, over half of all households now have at least one migrant family member currently abroad or living in Nepal as a returnee. Nepal ranks 23rd among the world’s remittance-receiving countries; in terms of the contribution of remittances to GDP, it ranks third after Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic.

For more information, please contact Paul I. Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel: +97714426250, Email: iomnepal@iom.int. Or Sudina Shakya, ICIMOD, Tel: +97715003222, Email: Sudina.Shakya@icimod.org

Language English Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 - 17:33Image: Region-Country: NepalThemes: IOMMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

ICIMOD Director General Dr. David Molden (left) and IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Paul Norton sign the six-year memorandum of understanding in the areas of labour migration, remittances and climate change, and expanded their collaboration to include disaster risk reduction in the Hindu Kush Himalaya region. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Rohingya Entry Continues in Cox’s Bazar; at Least 2,000 New Arrivals Overnight

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:40

Cox’s Bazar - Over the last 48 hours some 4,000 Rohingya refugees crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar at the Anjumanpara border crossing point. Traumatized, hungry and fearing for their lives, the refugees had camped out in the open in an area of no-man’s land between the two countries. They crossed at low tide where they were met by Bangladeshi border guards.

Early Thursday morning, the refugees, many of them vulnerable women and children who had been walking for days crossed into Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district assisted by the border authorities. Some 1,400 crossed to a transit area to be registered.

The refugees are fleeing the violence, which has convulsed their communities in Northern Rakhine State since late August. The refugees join over 820,000 already living in some safety in Cox’s Bazar, where over 607,000 have arrived since 25 August.

Overnight, a further 2,000 fleeing Rohingya reached the crossing point and were assisted by the Bangladeshi authorities. They were being assisted by local authorities and medical services, including vaccinations, were being provided, along with screening by humanitarian organizations for those refugees judged to be extremely vulnerable so that they could receive timely specialized assistance.

The UN Migration Agency, IOM runs a reception area at Balukhali in the Bangladeshi city of Cox’s Bazar. There, emergency assistance was being provided in cooperation with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and UNWOMEN along with various local volunteer organizations and members of the local community.

Upon entering Balukhali, the refugees received emergency shelter materials, dignity kits, sandbags to support self-settlement and mitigate the impact of heavy rainfall and flash flooding as well as to create retaining walls meant to reduce the risk of landslides. The IOM site development unit had already prepared this zone for the relocation of refugees from high density areas.

“Most people I talked to have walked for eight to ten days, getting to the border,” said IOM press officer Olivia Headon, “where they have waited up to four days to cross. They said they had nothing to eat or drink after the first few days.”

She added some arrivals expressed their desire to find family members who had already crossed into Bangladesh, where first responders from various humanitarian agencies provided food and water.

Several Rohingya explained they had hoped to leave Myanmar sooner, but had to wait to harvest and sell their grain to raise funds for their journey, Headon explained. “One man told me he had to pay someone to carry his elderly mother.”

Others continue to arrive in the southern Cox’s Bazar district. On Wednesday a group of 42 traveling by boat – mostly women and children – capsized. Four persons including a minor perished, having been caught by the boat propeller and died from their injuries and drowning.

IOM, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and other responding organizations are actively working with to improve living conditions in existing settlements and advocating for alternative solutions to accommodate the influx of refugees.

For more information, please contact IOM Cox’s Bazar:

Olivia Headon, Tel: +8801733335221, Email: oheadon@iom.int
Shirin Akhter, Tel: +8801711187499, Email: sakhter@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 - 17:34Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Rohingya refugees crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar at the Anjumanpara border crossing point. Photo: Olivia Headon / UN Migration Agency 2017

Rohingya refugees crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar at the Anjumanpara border crossing point. Photo: Olivia Headon / UN Migration Agency 2017

Rohingya refugees crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar at the Anjumanpara border crossing point. Photo: Olivia Headon / UN Migration Agency 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Provides Medical Care to Newly Displaced Persons from West Anbar

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 02:26

West Anbar – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, medical teams are providing assistance to nearly 1,000 primary health care beneficiaries, including displaced persons, returnees and host communities, per week in Anbar Governorate.

In anticipation of military operations, and due to recent military operations in remaining ISIL held areas, more than 6,800 individuals (over 1,100 households) have been displaced from west Anbar between the 12­–31 October, mostly from the districts of al-Kai’m and Rau’a. Since January 2017, nearly 64,750 individuals have been displaced by military operations in West Anbar. Of these, more than 18,000 have been displaced since 20 September following the intensification of the Iraqi Forces’ offensive against ISIL in the west Anbar districts of Ana, Al Ka’im and Ru’a.

IOM staff spoke with Noriah, a mother of seven children recently displaced from Al-Qaim, at an IOM mobile medical team clinic. “We have been displaced because of the very bad situation and the lack of food. Our lives used to be normal. After ISIL entered the city, my children stopped studying and our lives became very difficult. We got to a stage at which I could not always afford to feed my children,” said Noriah.

“We decided to move at night; we borrowed money from our relatives to pay the smugglers. We fled only in the clothes that we were wearing. We walked with other families who were also trying to get out of the city. Our journey lasted for three days via the Trabeal road and then to Kilo 160 until we reached the camp of Amiriyat Fallujah.”

IOM medical teams provide primary health care consultations, obstetric and gynecological consultations, and referral of emergency cases. The most common ailments reported include upper respiratory tract infections, diarrhea, leishmaniasis, scabies and chronic diseases, including hypertension and diabetes. Some trauma patients present injuries sustained during the conflict. IOM medical teams are also providing awareness raising sessions on prevention of communicable diseases and good health practices.

The locations for the mobile medical teams are determined according to the needs of the population and in coordination with Anbar’s Department of Health. Current locations include Amriyat Al-Falluja, Falluja, Heet, Kubbaissa, and two locations in Garma. These medical services are life saving for many newly displaced people who suffer from health conditions that were complicated by insufficient access to health assistance in ISIL-held areas.

In addition, IOM medical teams are running a tuberculosis response and prevention project in several governorates, funded by the Global Fund. In Anbar, this project provides support to the National Tuberculosis Programme centres in Anbar; conducts screening for suspected cases and awareness sessions on tuberculosis symptoms and prevention; follow-ups on tuberculosis patients and provides them with transportation and high-protein foods; as well as training sessions for staff members of Anbar’s Department of Health.

IOM Iraq Displacement Tracking Matrix has been monitoring the West Anbar crisis since January 2017, when significant displacement movements were already taking place due to hostilities in the area and in anticipation of major military operations. Of the total displaced, 42,600 are registered in camps, and more than 22,100 are in out-of-camp locations (over 21,500 in private settings, and 570 in critical shelter arrangements, including unfinished buildings). The majority of the displaced from West Anbar are within Anbar Governorate; more than 28,400 have been displaced to the district of Falluja, and over 2,800 to Ramadi. Others have fled to Baghdad governorate (over 4,100) and Erbil governorate (4,300).

West Anbar displacement data can be found at: http://iomiraq.net/article/0/west-anbar-crisis-displacement-overview-31-...

Iraq displacement data can be accessed at: http://iraqdtm.iom.int  

Click here to read Zahraa’s story of displacement: https://medium.com/@UNmigration/hope-during-displacement-b344c8fd9e12

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

Language English Posted: Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 09:24Image: Region-Country: IraqDefault: Multimedia: 

42,600 displaced Iraqis are registered in camps, and more than 22,100 are in out-of-camp locations. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Four Die, Survivors in Critical Condition as Boat Carrying 40 Rohingya Refugees Capsizes

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 14:41

Cox’s Bazar - Around 2.00 am last night (30/10), approximately 40 Rohingya refugees left Gorgondia, Myanmar, for Bangladesh on a small fishing boat. Early this morning (31/10) around 8.00 am, the boat capsized off Baillakhali Sea Point in Jaliapalong Union, Ukhiya sub-district. It had just crossed the Bangladesh border and was trying to reach Shamlapur in Teknaf sub-district. They were 10 kilometres away from their destination.

Four refugees died in the tragedy, while 36 people were rescued by the local community - local authorities, members of local Union Parishad, fire service, police and local people, including fishermen. The remains of four people were recovered - one woman and three children, including Juhora Begum, a 60-year-old woman, Monira, a four and a half-year-old girl, Anamul Hasan, a 6-year-old boy, and another ten-year-old boy. The boy’s body was buried on the beach by people living nearby.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, learned of the incident immediately and deployed a mobile medical team of a doctor and a nurse with two ambulances. The team checked all the survivors. Five were referred to Cox’s Bazar General Hospital, two to the Ukhiya Upazila Health Complex, four to the MOAS Hospital in Shamlapur, and two to the IOM Centre at the Baharchara Family Welfare Clinic.

IOM spoke to two of the survivors at the government-run Upazila Health Complex, which is supported by IOM.

 "There were 40 people on the boat - 19 women and seven men, the rest were children. The weather deteriorated early in the morning and the boat capsized. We did not have enough money to make the journey on foot. So, with relatives living abroad, we arranged for a boat to take us across the border [into Bangladesh]. I have lost one child and my mother-in-law,” said a woman, whose one-year-old daughter is in critical condition and having difficulty breathing.

"When the boat capsized, I fell into the water and lost hold of my child. After a few seconds, a man helped me get her back…. When we were rescued, the doctors found that my baby was near death and an ambulance took us to this hospital,” she added. Her husband also survived, but at the time of the interview was arranging the burial of their other child, who survived the crossing, but died on arrival at the IOM-supported clinic at Shamlapur.

Gulbahar, a woman in her late twenties, was also in poor condition, having swallowed sea water. “When the boat came close to Bangladesh coast, two or three people jumped off when they saw land. The boat then lost balance in the stormy weather and capsized. As soon as that happened, I was in the water and didn’t know where my children were. A man grabbed my hair and pulled me up from the sea and suddenly I could breath again. Everyone in the boat was carrying all the valuables they owned – they were all lost," she said, still gasping for breath. 

But her whole family – her husband and three children – survived. "We were freezing. Some people gave us blankets and then the doctors arrived to help,” she said. Two of her children are now with her in the Ukhiya Upazila Health Complex and her husband is with the other child in another hospital. 

IOM doctor Raisul Islam, who was the first IOM doctor on the scene, said that scene on the beach was deeply distressing. “They were sitting on the beach under a plastic sheet. The dead body of a child was laid out nearby. It was freezing cold and people were coughing. I checked everyone to see who was most urgently in need of medical care and identified two patients - a child and a woman – who were in critical condition. I travelled here with them in one of the ambulances.”

“The other ambulance brought other survivors in need of treatment to other health facilities, including the IOM-supported clinic in Shamlapur. Some families were split up and brought to different facilities based on their condition. Once the patients are stable, we will be able to reunite the families - hopefully, this afternoon.”

 

For more information, please contact IOM Cox’s Bazar: 

Olivia Headon, Tel: +8801733335221, Email: oheadon@iom.int  

Shirin Akhter, Tel: +8801711187499, Email: sakhter@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - 14:27Image: Region-Country: BangladeshDefault: Multimedia: 

Caption for the photo: Survivor of today's Rohingya refugee boat capsize off the coast of Bangladesh, with her one year old daughter, who is in critical condition, in Ukhiya Upazila Health Complex. Photo: Olivia Headon/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM nurse Rubel Hossain examines a child survivor on the beach. Photo: Doctor Raisul Islam/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Clean Water, Sanitation Vast Challenges as Bangladesh Copes with 607,000 New Refugees

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:04

Cox’s Bazar - Since 25 August, over 607,000 Rohingya refugees have crossed the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar.

Although the number of new arrivals is now slowing, people continue to arrive in the makeshift settlements of Cox’s Bazar every day, bringing the total Rohingya population of the district to over 820,000.

 The settlements are dangerously congested and overcrowded and the pressure on sources of clean drinking water and basic sanitation are enormous. Having walked for days without water and food, the refugees arrive to the settlements exhausted and thirsty. Many are ill.

 “All of the spontaneous and makeshift sites where the Rohingya have sought shelter are in urgent need of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support to prevent diseases and to restore basic human dignity,” says IOM WASH expert Antonio Torres. "Existing WASH facilities are not yet sufficient to cope with this number of people,” he notes.

The Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG), which coordinates the work of aid agencies in Cox’s Bazar and is hosted by IOM, estimates that of 750,000 people initially targeted for WASH assistance, some 530,000 have now been reached. The UN Humanitarian Response Plan estimates that over the next six months, some 1.166 million people in the Cox’s Bazar settlements and host communities will need WASH assistance.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is providing vital WASH services to both the Rohingya and the communities hosting them, while scaling up its work to meet the needs of new arrivals.

In total, some 100,000 people already directly benefit from IOM’s WASH activities in the makeshift settlements. Since early September, it has constructed around 785 latrines for the refugees. It has also constructed 14 wells with hand pumps providing over 14,000 people with clean drinking water. It also puts in place systems to manage and maintain the facilities.

Before the crisis, IOM installed a total of 241 hand pump wells and 1,882 latrines in the settlements. All the wells have to be drilled by hand as the terrain is too inaccessible to bring in machinery. The wells have to be drilled to depths of over 150 meters to reach aquifers free of contamination.

IOM also operates and maintains water treatment and supply systems that provide the refugees with over 240,000 liters of safe drinking water every day. It has also trucked in over 741,000 liters of drinking water to remote settlements.

In addition it has built small dams and reservoirs to ensure that sites with limited access to groundwater have enough clean water to make it through the upcoming dry season.

Although, many thousands of refugees now have access to water and sanitation, far more remains to be done to prevent disease outbreaks. Poor road access and insufficient drainage in the displacement sites also make it difficult to reach new arrivals with the urgent support and services they need, including WASH.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Cox's Bazar, Tel: +8801733335221, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - 16:51Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM has drilled 14 hand pump wells in Cox’s Bazar settlements since August 25th. They provide some 14,000 people with clean water. File photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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