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Updated: 23 min 14 sec ago

Despite Ongoing Conflict Al-Hudaydah Port Remains Lifeline of Yemen

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:01

Al-Hudaydah — Despite renewed and ongoing clashes in the city of Al-Hudaydah, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is continuing its support to displaced persons in the city and across Yemen.

Since March 2015, consistent insecurity in Yemen has ravaged the country causing subsequent collapse of the infrastructure, economy, health services and livelihoods with 22.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

The military offensive to seize control of the Al-Hudaydah port and surrounding areas that began in June has exacerbated the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen, leading to the large-scale internal displacement of two million people. IOM reports that since June 2018 some 78,400 households fled their homes in Al-Hudaydah to seek temporary shelter in public schools in San’a.

The fragile health system in Yemen is also under immense pressure to sustain the growing medical needs of the population. Limited numbers of health professionals, shortages of medical supplies and restricted access to healthcare for civilians due to unrelenting fighting have increased the severity of disease outbreaks such as cholera.

The Al-Hudaydah port remains a vital conduit and lifeline for the delivery of humanitarian aid to those desperately in need. Eighty per cent of Yemen’s imports, including food and basic commodities, enter the country through the Al-Hudaydah port. Twenty-eight million Yemenis, especially the eight million people at risk of starvation, rely on this port as a lifeline. 

“Any blockade or destruction of the port risks toppling the country into a full-blown famine with inevitably devastating consequences,” said Maysa Khalil, IOM Head of Sub-Office in Al-Hudaydah.

Thus far in 2018, IOM facilitated the return of 615 migrants via the Al-Hudaydah port. However, unpredictable access to the port has resulted in the cancellation of multiple voluntary humanitarian return missions, with no movements in the past two months.

As the humanitarian situation worsens, IOM remains committed to providing assistance to displaced communities in districts across the Al-Hudaydah Governate. In the last two months, IOM supplied 1,788 shelter kits and 2,450 non-food item (NFI) kits to families in Bayt Al-Faqiah district. In Al-Qatee’e and Al-Marawi’ah districts, IOM established four kitchens and served 2,000 meals daily. IOM also provides food baskets through the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) in Al-Qanawis, Ad-Durayhimi, Az-Zaydiyah, Al-Munirah and Bayt Al-Faqiah districts. In addition, IOM supported 946 displaced families with cash and rental subsidies assistance in Al-Garrahi, Zabid and Jabal Ra’s districts.

Across Al-Hudaydah, IOM also offers emergency medical services including vaccinations, reproductive healthcare, mental health and psychosocial support in coordination with partner agencies such as the World Health Organization.

IOM remains committed to ensuring the provision of medical equipment, ambulances, emergency assistance, child protection services, water, sanitation, and hygiene services, and other lifesaving assistance to conflict-affected populations across the country.

For more information please contact: Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329; Email: smalme@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 17:05Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

A shelter and relief items distribution in Yemen. Photo: IOM

An internally displaced Yemeni child receives treatment. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNICEF Identify Challenges Faced by Venezuelan Children and Adolescents, Newly Arrived in Brazil

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:01

Brasilia – Who are the Venezuelan children and adolescents who have arrived in Brazil in recent months? What are the needs and vulnerabilities of these girls and boys?

Answers to these and other questions were provided by IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) when they published this week (02/10), results of a new survey completed by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DMT) unit focusing on children and adolescents.

The survey, which was financially supported by the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), was conducted in the municipalities of Pacaraima and Boa Vista, in Roraima state in May and June 2018.

IOM and UNICEF identifiedthe challenges faced by Venezuelans upon arrival in Brazil, especially by children and adolescents. Almost 4,000 people were interviewed, 425 of whom were with their children under the age of 18.

Data of approximately 726 children and adolescents was also collected. The majority of the interviews were conducted in the neighbourhoods of Boa Vista and Pacaraima (426), 171 were on the border between Pacaraima and Venezuela, and 76 were in the bus station of Boa Vista.

The data show that many of the girls and boys who arrive in the country find it difficult to attend school. A considerable number of them report having access to health care but are at health risk due to problems with hygiene and food insecurity. There are also reports of children being exposed to violence. The main findings of the survey are:

Education

  • 63.5 per cent of the children and adolescents do not attend school.
  • Considering only compulsory school age, more than half (59 per cent) of the children and adolescents aged 5-17 years in the neighbourhoods do not attend school. In the age group of 15-17 years, 76 per cent are out of school.

Health

  • Most children and adolescents (87.1 per cent) were up-to-date on their vaccines. Among the general population interviewed, 70 per cent reported having had access to health services.
  • Nonetheless, poor sanitary conditions can impact their health; Some 60 per cent of the survey respondents reported having no access to filtered drinking water; 45 per cent lacked regular access to water for cooking and for personal hygiene.
  • 28 per cent of the people under the age of 18 had diarrhea in the past month.

Food security

  • Since arriving in Brazil, 115 children and adolescents (16 per cent) experienced a period during which they did not have enough food.
  • 128 had to reduce the number of meals.
  • 93 felt hungry and were not able to eat.
  • 84 ate only once or did not eat for some days.

Child labour

  • 16 of the respondents indicated that, at some point after arriving in Brazil, a child or adolescent under their responsibility had worked or performed some activity in exchange for payment.

Sexual violence

  • 14 people gave a positive answer to the question, “Since you arrived in Brazil, have you ever met a child or adolescent who was at risk of sexual violence?”

See the complete survey in Spanish and Portuguese.

About DTM
Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) is a tool that captures and monitors information on human mobility and displacement. One of its methods are the Flow Monitoring Surveys (FMS).

The first round of the survey, which focused on the situation of Venezuelan immigrants in Brazil, was carried out between January and March 2018 by IOM upon the request of the Brazilian Ministry of Human Rights. The second round, conducted between May and June and supported by UNICEF, focused on children and adolescents.

The first survey was carried out in transit sites and settlements in Boa Vista and Pacaraima. Homeless people and people living in abandoned properties and houses were interviewed. The team interviewed 3,785 people – a majority of them over 18 years old. Additionally, 27 unaccompanied minors (over 15 years old) also were interviewed.

The results only reveal the characteristics of the population surveyed. Therefore, it is not possible to make a probabilistic generalization of the entire Venezuelan migrant population either present or in transit between May and June 2018 in Boa Vista and Pacaraima.

 

For more information please contact Stéphane Rostiaux at IOM Brazil, Tel: +55 61 3038 9065, Email: srostiaux@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 16:58Image: Region-Country: BrazilThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Partners Train Nepal National Security Forces in Emergency Response

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:01

Kathmandu – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) this week (3-5/10) organized a three-day simulation exercise with Nepal’s Department of Urban Development and Building Construction  (DUDBC) under the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), the Nepal Police and Armed Police Force, and Nepal Army to provide the country’s National Security Forces with hands-on experience in emergency response and management of camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

“Lessons learned from the devastating floods in 2008 and 2017, and the earthquakes in 2015 highlighted the importance of a rapid and coordinated response and the need to manage displacement through the rapid establishment of standardized sites. This exercise is designed to help keep disaster response units, their skills and equipment intact in a highly disaster-prone country,” said IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Paul Norton. 

Under Nepal’s new Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act 2017, the country’s National Security Forces are responsible for search, rescue, and other relief work following any natural disaster. The DUDBC under the MoUD co-leads the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) cluster, which is responsible for managing camps for internally displaced people, with IOM.

“Nepal is rated among the 20 most disaster-prone countries in the world and this simulation exercise will help to identify gaps in camp coordination and management and feed our future response plans,” said DUDBC Director General Mani Ram Gelal. “As the CCCM lead, DUDBC needs to ensure that camps and services are in line with SPHERE (Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response) standards in any future emergency.”

Over 100 participants from federal and provincial governments, National Security Forces, United Nations, International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) took part in the simulation exercise, which was the first of its kind.

The exercise was part of a USAID-funded IOM project Capacity Building of National Security Forces in Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), implemented in coordination with DUDBC and Nepal’s National Security Forces.

For more information please contact Paul Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel: +97714426250, Email: mailto:iomnepal@iom.int. Or Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, Tel: +977-1-4211673, Email: mailto:info@moud.gov.np

Language English Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 16:53Image: Region-Country: NepalThemes: Capacity BuildingInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Nepal’s National Security Forces now play a central role in the country’s disaster response planning. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

António Vitorino Begins Term as IOM Director General

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Geneva – On Monday (01/10), António Vitorino of Portugal became the latest Director General of IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency. Mr. Vitorino succeeds veteran United States diplomat William Lacy Swing, who served two five-year terms as Director General.

IOM Director General António Vitorino, 61 (DOB 12 January 1957), is a former European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs (1999-2004) and Portugal’s former Minister of the Presidency and National Defence (1995-1997). He has also enjoyed a distinguished career in Portugal as a lawyer as well as in electoral politics.

Mr. Vitorino was elected to Portugal’s Parliament in 1980. In 1983 he became Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs. He later served as Deputy Secretary for the Governor of Macau until 1989, when he returned to Lisbon to become a judge of the Constitutional Court, a term that ended in 1994. He subsequently served as Minister for National Defence and Deputy Prime Minister within the government of António Guterres, now the United Nations’ Secretary General.

From 1999 to 2004, Mr. Vitorino served as the European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs. During his tenure, Mr. Vitorino participated in conversations that led to the drawing of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Convention on the Future of Europe.

Since exiting politics in 2005, Mr. Vitorino has returned to law, serving as a partner with the firm of Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira & Associados. Mr. Vitorino has been President of the think tank Notre Europe since June 2011 and for many years enjoyed an ongoing role as commentator for the leading Portuguese television channel RTP 1.

Mr. Vitorino earned a degree from the University of Lisbon’s School of Law in 1981, as well as a Master’s Degree in Legal and Political Science. He has authored works on Constitutional Law, Political Science, European Community Law, and was also a member of the Drafting Committee of the Portuguese White Book on Corporate Governance.

Upon taking charge Monday morning, Director General Vitorino offered this message to the IOM staff:

“Today it is my first day in office as your new Director General and I want you all to know how fortunate I feel to be joining the IOM family, roughly 11,000 men and women, the majority of whom are scattered around the globe.

“With this brief message, let me, first and foremost, praise the remarkable work of my predecessor Bill Swing. He has consolidated IOM’s reputation as a principled, accountable, transparent organization with an enviable track record of efficiency and effectiveness.

“Thank you, Bill.

“Let me also be very direct with you in this first message to tell you what especially appeals about IOM, in my view, is its commitment to be simultaneously at the service of migrants and of our member states alike. Thanks to IOM’s membership in the UN family, we are also, I believe, reaching an inflection point in the life of our organization.

“We are about to see, hopefully, the Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration being endorsed in Marrakech in December. And the Secretary General of the United Nations has asked IOM to play a coordinating and supporting role of the newly created UN migration network, therefore, being in charge of supporting member states in the implementation of the objectives of the global compact.

“I believe that IOM is fortunate with the fact that these new tasks largely align with our work that we already develop daily. And, the advantages of IOM, that you know so well: its flexibility, its effectiveness, its decentralized nature and being a cost-effective organization make IOM prepared for this new challenge and to adapt, change and grow.

“Of course, there we will also need to be very clear on one point: we stick to our very nature. We are an organization very much close to migrants, especially those who are more vulnerable and those who are in need of humanitarian assistance. And, we will stick to our very nature, to our DNA, being capable to respond to the requests of our member states, being flexible in providing tailor-made solutions and being effective in contributing to the management of migratory flows, linking together countries of origin, of transit and of destination.

“Above all, I think that these new tasks correspond to the recognition of the unique role that IOM plays as a proximity organization to the migrants that we serve in particular, and our key roles to guarantee their human rights, their human dignity, their wellbeing, irrespective of their legal status.

“Therefore, IOM’s new role in the UN system and in the implementation of the Global Compact should not be seen as a job just for the headquarters or for the central departments. Not at all. It is a task which involves the entire organization and doing that, we will do it in an inclusive way, from the smallest missions to my office in headquarters, including the country and the regional offices.

“We will also deepen our partnership with UN agencies and other stakeholders from the civil society at the local, at the regional and global level.

“And, of course, for that purpose some organizational and funding adjustments will have to be made in due course.

“I’m fully aware that today in different parts of the world, the political landscape on migration is overheated. But the paradox is that at the same time as there are signs of retrenchment, that’s the moment when the global compact is adopted.

“That’s the moment when the UN Migration Network is created and therefore those two instruments, fully aligned with the sustainable development goals, will be the leverage to put migration on the international agenda, and to guarantee its advancement worldwide.

“Therefore, I must say to you very frankly, I believe that there has never been a more exciting or challenging time to work in the field of migration. I’m counting on the professionalism, commitment and full engagement of all who work in IOM. Our future success depends as much on the service of the countless men and women of IOM, as it does on the leadership.

“I know for my personal experience that you, the staff of IOM, whether in headquarters or in the field are totally committed to the values of our constitution and to our unique mission.

“As we take on these new challenges, I am counting on all of you.

“Thank you.”

Watch the statement here: https://youtu.be/sGlFMoPv2sQ

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

New IOM Director General, António Vitorino. Photo: IOM /M. Mohammed

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Allocates USD 200,000 to Aid Victims of Indonesian Earthquake, Tsunami

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Jakarta – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has allocated USD 200,000 from its emergency funds to kickstart an emergency response operation following the powerful earthquake and ensuing tsunami that hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday.

“IOM has been meeting with government counterparts, including the Ministry of Social Affairs, and UN partner agencies to discuss the immediate priorities and needs identified by the government. We want to target areas where our intervention can have the greatest positive impact and offer the most support to the government’s ongoing efforts. We will be putting forward proposals which may include deployment of our displacement tracking matrix (DTM) - a tool that maps how many people have been displaced, where they are and their immediate needs, to inform the humanitarian response,” said IOM Indonesia Chief of Mission Mark Getchell.

Other areas in which IOM may be able to help could include the establishment of a “humanitarian bridge” by which non-food relief items from IOM stockpiles in the region can be delivered to government staging points in the affected areas. Evacuees can then be transported out of the affected areas on the returning empty vehicles/vessels. The deployment of shelter and camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) experts could be another possible area of assistance, Getchell added.

IOM Jakarta is today convening a meeting of the IOM-supported Indonesian National Cluster on Protection and Displaced Persons to further discuss the best ways forward in response to the disaster. According to the Indonesian authorities, immediate needs in addition to evacuation, include health, fresh water, food, hygiene and shelter.

An IOM disaster response expert will tomorrow join other UN Humanitarian Country Team members on an assessment mission to the affected area led by the Jakarta-based ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre.)

The 7.4 magnitude earthquake and the wall of water that crashed into Palu, a city of 350,000, has claimed at least 1,234 lives and injured hundreds more. Many outlying areas close to the quake’s epicentre in Donggala remain cut off due to landslides and infrastructure damage, and there are fears the casualty toll will rise sharply in the coming days. More than 200 aftershocks have hit the area since Friday.

Earthquakes are common in Indonesia, one of the most seismically active countries on earth. On 5 August, a 6.9 magnitude quake and a series of strong aftershocks struck the island of Lombok, 1,700km from Palu, killing at least 430 people and injuring 1,300 more. Tens of thousands remain displaced and more than 67,000 houses are reported to have been damaged.

A 9.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Sumatra on Boxing Day 2004 triggered a tsunami that killed an estimated 220,000 people, including more than 160,000 Indonesians. IOM was a key government partner in the emergency response and reconstruction, creating the logistics train that supplied the response and building thousands of homes, clinics, schools and government buildings.

Since that time Indonesia has invested considerably in its emergency response systems. IOM has worked closely with the national disaster planning agency on trainings and simulations over the years, particularly in Aceh province, the area hardest hit in 2004.

IOM has worked in Indonesia since 1979 and now has 16 established offices and 11 project sites across the country. These include two long-established offices in Sulawesi. For more about IOM’s work in Indonesia, please go to: http://indonesia.iom.int/

For more information please contact Mark Getchell at IOM Indonesia, Tel:  +62 8111092582, Email: mgetchell@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:40Image: Region-Country: IndonesiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

The earthquake and tsunami that hit Central Sulawesi on 28 September 2018 left hundreds dead and tens of thousands displaced. Photo: Indonesian Red Cross/IFRC

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 82,100 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,741

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 82,100 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 30 September, with 36,654 to Spain, the leading destination this year. (Spain’s arrivals include over 600 migrants sailing to Las Canarias in the Atlantic Ocean – see more below.)

The region’s total arrivals through the recent weekend compare with 136,313 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 304,933 at this same point in 2016. Deaths on the Mediterranean remain high, at 1,741. However, that figure is well below fatalities recorded at this time last year (2,676) or 2016 (3,602).

Spain, with nearly 45 per cent of all arrivals through the year, continued to receive seaborne migrants in September at a volume nearly twice that of Greece and more than seven times that of Italy. Italy’s arrivals through late September are the lowest recorded at this point – the end of a normally busy summer sailing season – in almost five years (see chart below).

 

 

Arrivals to Italy – just 964 in September – marked what appears to be the first time in over four years that fewer than 1,000 migrants or refugees landed in Italy (see chart below). Almost as few arrived in February and March this year, traditionally the slowest period of the season, yet even in those winter months at least 1,000 arrivals were recorded. The sharp drop that began over a year ago has continued throughout this year.

 

IOM Libya reported Monday total departures of stranded migrants this year under IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme have reached 12,544 with 172 leaving last week. Since 1 January 2017, IOM has returned 31,915 under VHR, either via commercial airliners or charters. The top four countries of return are Nigeria, Niger, Mali and Guinea. Last week’s returnees went home to The Gambia, Bangladesh, Guinea and Cameroon.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that IOM estimates that data provided by Spain’s Ministry of Interior indicate the total number of arrivals to Spain is 41,474, of which 36,654 are registered as arrivals by sea and at least 4,820 as land arrivals to the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. From the total number of sea arrivals, 36,015 were registered on the Western Mediterranean Route (Peninsular Coast, Balearic Islands and sea arrivals to Ceuta and Melilla) and the remaining 639 were registered on the Western African Route linking the African continent to the Canary Islands (see chart below).

Compared to the same period last year, sea arrivals have increased 196 per cent. 


IOM’s Missing Migrants Project notes that at least 2,756 people died or went missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018, and the Mediterranean region continues to outweigh all others in terms of recorded migrant deaths, with 1,741 losing their lives at sea in the first nine months of 2018.

Most recently, seven people drowned when crossing the Aegean Sea from the Turkish province of Edirne to Greece.
On 30 September, three people were rescued and the remains of five Syrian nationals were recovered by the Turkish Coast Guard off the coast of Enez. Survivors reported that two people (a man and a woman, also of Syrian origin) were missing. A search-and-rescue operation is still underway.

In the Western Mediterranean, the body of a woman was found in Herradura Bay, near Almuñécar in Spain’s province of Granada on 28 September. Just ten days earlier, another body was recovered in the same area. In the past two weeks, the remains of 12 migrants have washed up at different locations on the shores of Morocco and Spain. These cases are not connected to any known shipwreck, an alarming trend indicating that some boats may sink without the knowledge of any authorities. If there are no survivors, an incident may go entirely unrecorded.

On Monday, IOM Greece reported that over the last four days of September (27-30), the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Samos and Chios. The HCG rescued a total 97 migrants and transferred them to those two islands.

Those and other arrivals over these four days brings to 23,240 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 30 September (see chart below).

 
IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou said that on Saturday a Syrian man, 31 years old, was found dead in the Malakasa open accommodation site, after an altercation between Syrian refugees and Afghans. An investigation by the Hellenic Police is ongoing. Police were still present outside the Malakasa open accommodation site on Monday.
Eight people – all Arabs – were reported injured, none in critical condition.

The victim was said to be a husband and father to five children. His family has been relocated to an apartment in Athens, where other family members are currently living. Psychological support has also been provided and IOM is taking care of funeral arrangements. IOM has Site Management support in Malakasa assisting the Greek Government; however, IOM staff is not present there during weekends.

Nikolaidou added IOM is supporting the Greek authorities in the emergency response to the increased migration flows and the decongestion of the Greek islands. From 20 September to the present IOM has welcomed 732 vulnerable refugees and migrants from the islands of Lesvos and Samos. That total of 732 people has been allocated to the open accommodation facilities in Vagiochori, Kato Milia and Volvi in Northern Greece, where IOM is the official site management support agency (SMS).

IOM is also present at the port of Piraeus, supporting the Greek authorities in the transportation of refugees and migrants to the selected accommodation facilities. Nikolaidou said today (2 October) that 203 refugees and migrants are scheduled to be transferred to the Volvi open accommodation facility.

IOM Cyprus’ Dimitrios Tsgalas reported there has been a new arrival on Sunday (30 September) of 34 migrants to the Limnitis area—in the Northern section of the island—coming from Turkey. According to local media reports, there were 26 males, two females and six children (aged 1 to 7) of Syrian nationality who entered the Republic of Cyprus through the UN buffer zone. According to statements, migrants and refugees each paid 2300 USD for their journey from Turkey to Cyprus.  The newly arrived were transferred to Pournara temporary reception centre.

IOM Cyprus said with this latest arrival the total number of confirmed landings by irregular migrants to Cyprus in 2018 is 485.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) estimates that at least 2,756 people died or went missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018 (see chart below).

Besides those lost on the Mediterranean, several deaths in other regions have been recorded since Friday’s update. In North Africa, the body of a Nigerian migrant was found on the side of the road in Bani Walid, Libya on 28 September. On the US-Mexico border, US Border Patrol officers found the remains of a man in a ranch near Laredo, Texas on 26 September. Identification documents found in the same spot indicate that the man may have begun his journey in India.

Additionally, the Missing Migrants Project team recorded the deaths of two people in Imperial County, California in September. In the first nine months of 2018, the remains of 15 people were found in this county in California, according to the Mexican Consulate in Calexico. These recent deaths bring to 299 the total number of deaths confirmed along the border corridor, which for MMP data collection purposes includes both countries’ territory. With three months remaining in 2018, it is a virtual certainty that this will be the fifth straight year that border deaths exceeded 300 migrants. In 2016 the MMP data indicate the 300 deaths benchmark was reached on 22 September. In 2017, MMP had recorded 300 deaths on the border by 6 November.

Including all migrant deaths of men, women and children believed to be en route to the US-Mexico border via Central America and Mexico’s interior, IOM estimates at least 2,306 fatalities have been recorded since January 2014 – a fatality rate well over one migrant per day (see charts below) through nearly five years. Last year remains the deadliest during this period, with at least 508 recorded fatalities.

At 355 deaths through three quarters of this current year, 2018’s count so far may be higher, as some US border counties release fatality figures and MMP researchers expect September numbers to increase slightly when those data are released in the coming days.

US Mexico Border Deaths (full year)
2014 – 306 deaths
2015 – 339 deaths
2016 – 401 deaths
2017 – 415 deaths
2018 – 299 deaths*
TOTAL:  1,760
Mexico/Central America deaths (full year)
2014 – 116 deaths
2015 – 101 deaths
2016 – 180 deaths
2017 – 93 deaths
2018 – 56 deaths*
TOTAL: 546
*as of 30 September

 

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, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 166); Mobile: +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email: aavgeropoulou@iom.int
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 248), Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel. +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel:  +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Email: mchabbi@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Updates on Migration Flows to Spain

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Madrid – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reported that as of Friday (28/09), total land and sea arrivals in the first nine months of this year have surpassed the arrival totals of 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined, but signalled that despite the higher number of arrivals the situation remains manageable.

Migrant arrivals to Spain via the Western Mediterranean and Western African routes have reached a total of 36,654 this year. Another 4,820 migrants reached the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla by land. 

Sea arrivals to Spain currently account for 45 per cent of all Mediterranean arrivals this year given the reduced numbers of migrants arriving in Italy and Greece by sea.

Arrivals to the Canary Islands have also increased this year (611) over last year (144). However, IOM does not assess that this indicates a significant re-activation of the old route.  In 2006, over 35,000 migrants arrived at the Canary Islands by sea.

Noting the dynamic migration context, IOM Chief of Mission in Spain Maria Jesus Herrera remarked that the Spanish authorities and partners on the ground have made strides to improve the reception and management of arriving migrants. “We are not seeing an emergency unfolding in Spain. The situation – while prone to pressures in instances when arrivals are larger than usual – remains under control,” said Herrera.

“As always, the focus should not be on numbers, but on individual needs and the reasons why migrants continue to be driven to migrate irregularly. With more adequate channels for legal migration and complementary pathways for refugees, there would be fewer irregular crossings, fatalities and smuggling operations,” she added.

This summer, Spanish authorities established two temporary centres in the southern region of Andalucía, which are now operational. The centres were set up to improve management of the inflows, allowing authorities to register the newly arrived migrants before referring them to reception centres for further care.

While Spain is now handling the majority of migrants arriving to Europe, there has been a steep overall decline of arrivals across the Mediterranean, especially to Italy which has registered the largest decrease.

IOM Regional Director for the EU, Norway and Switzerland, Eugenio Ambrosi, urges the European Union (EU) to seize this opportunity of lower overall arrivals to move beyond a ‘crisis’ approach and work together across borders and political lines.

“Numbers are down but the needs are still high – not only because of those who die and face increasing risks of dying at sea, but also for the situation within the EU. Migrants, refugees, and the communities they arrive in need equal attention,” said Ambrosi. “We need to work for cohesion, cooperation, and solidarity at all levels, from the moment a boat is in distress, all the way through to disembarkation, reception, relocation, return, integration and social cohesion.”
  
IOM in Spain is currently conducting interviews with newly arrived migrants as part of IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) to gain better understanding of the movements, profiles and needs of those arriving to Spain. IOM is also implementing the EU-funded TANDEM migrant youth empowerment and mentorship project, migrant integration projects, and work in the fields of counter-trafficking, relocation and refugee resettlement.
 
For more information please contact:
Oussama Elbaroudi at IOM Spain, Tel: +34 665 046 539, Email: ouelbaroudi@iom.int
Ryan Schroeder at IOM’s Regional Office in Brussels, Tel: +32 492 25 034, Email: rschroeder@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: SpainThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Migrants at the temporary hosting center in Ceuta, Spain. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Helps 67 Ethiopian Stranded Migrants Return from Tanzania

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Dar es Salaam – Last Friday (28/09) the UN Migration Agency (IOM) office in Tanzania successfully secured the release and return of 67 Ethiopian irregular migrants who were detained in Tanzanian prisons.

All 67 irregular migrants were escorted from different prisons in Tanzania to Dar es Salaam by IOM staff who assisted with the issuance of travel documents and other preparations for their return. During their trip from Dar es Salaam to Addis Ababa, the migrants were accompanied by delegates from the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Immigration Department, as well as staff from IOM Ethiopia.

Prior to their departure and in line with IOM’s voluntary return procedures, all 67 migrants underwent fit-to-travel medical examinations. They were provided with non-food items including clothes and toiletries and received departure assistance at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam.

Upon their arrival at Addis Ababa, they were received by the IOM Ethiopia team, which provided post-arrival support in the form of psycho-social and medical assistance as well as an orientation session.

IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission Dr. Qasim Sufi expressed his appreciation for the collaboration between the Governments of Tanzania and Ethiopia, and for the IOM staff efforts in securing the release of all 67 irregular migrants who had been detained for several months in various prisons throughout Tanzania. He further thanked the representative of the newly opened Ethiopian Embassy in Tanzania for facilitating the issuance of travel documents for the returning migrants and applauded the presence of an Ethiopian embassy in Tanzania that will speed up the process of migrant returns back to Ethiopia.

Gerald Kihinga, acting Commissioner General of Immigration, thanked IOM for the continuous support that it provides to the Government of Tanzania to manage migration in the country. He further added that more collaboration and coordination between the Governments of Tanzania and Ethiopia is needed to address the increasing number of Ethiopian migrants irregularly entering Tanzania.

The return of the 67 migrants was made possible with generous financial support from the project Improving Protection of Migrants, Horn/Gulf of Aden/Yemen, Phase VIII. The project is funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and managed by IOM Ethiopia.

Heba Abdel Latif, the IOM Coordinator for the project, was delighted to see that the IOM joint-country efforts had a successful outcome. She further added that the returnees will receive personalized reintegration assistance in Ethiopia based on their identified vulnerabilities, which will facilitate their long-term reintegration into their communities of return.

The Horn/Gulf of Aden/Yemen: Improving Protection of Migrants, Phase VIII project aims to enhance the management of mixed migration flows in the Horn of Africa and Yemen by supporting governments and protecting the rights of migrants.

The project also focuses on ensuring that vulnerable migrants benefit from improved protection, assistance at Migration Response Centres and protection services, aligned to international standards and provision of direct assistance (this includes assisted voluntary returns, non-food items, and medical supplies to assist vulnerable migrants). 

For more information please contact:
Gracia Anthony at IOM Tanzania, Tel: +255 716 204156, Email: ganthony@iom.int
Heba Abdel Latif at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 983 85 86 55, Email: habdellatif@iom.int
Yves Hatungimana at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 989 82 28 87, Email: yhatungimana@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:25Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Ethiopian migrants boarding the flight at the Julius Nyerere International Airport, Dar Es Salaam. Photo: IOM

Ethiopian migrants at the Julius Nyerere International Airport, Dar Es Salaam. Photo: IOM

Migrants at the Immigration Department in Dar Es Salaam. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, FAO Re-Plant Bangladesh Forest to Repair Environmental Damage Caused by Refugee Influx

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Cox’s Bazar  In just two weeks over 45,000 trees and around 700,000 grass cuttings have been planted by Rohingya refugees and local villagers in Cox’s Bazar to help reverse environmental damage caused by the arrival of some 730,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in the area over the past year.

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and UN Food and Agriculture Agency (FAO) project will plant a further 36,500 trees and million grass cuttings over the coming days.

Bangladesh’s Forest Department, in coordination the Office of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC), UN agencies and NGO partners, is leading the way in the effort to stabilize soil and replant in the area, which was previously national forest land.

In total around 200,000 saplings have now been planted by humanitarian agencies over recent weeks, according to the Energy and Environment Technical Working Group (EETWG), the inter-agency group which coordinates energy and environment activities for the humanitarian response in Cox’s Bazar.

The ongoing and planned replanting projects will also provide livelihood opportunities for thousands of refugees and members of the local community as they work together to improve the environment.

Almost half a million Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar arrived over just a few weeks in late August and September 2017. The sudden influx had a significant impact on the environment as once-green hills were stripped bare of trees and shrubbery to make way for desperately needed shelters - leaving the slopes at serious risk of landslides and flooding.

In total there are now almost one million refugees in the area. This has led to rapid deforestation as demand for firewood saw woodland stripped bare – devastating important habitats, endangering women and children who are often tasked with collecting wood and creating health problems due to smoke inhalation.

According to the Bangladesh Forest Department around 7,000 hectares (2,800 acres) of forest has been heavily damaged as a result of the refugee influx – an issue which has provoked tensions in the local community.

To reduce a reliance on firewood for fuel, prevent further deforestation and allow forest rehabilitation to be carried out, humanitarian agencies are simultaneously providing LPG stoves to refugee and local families in the area. This innovative action has been recognized as a key step in creating a more sustainable environmental response and improving living conditions in the camps, particularly for women.

In total 240,000 stoves will be distributed – enough to reach all refugee families and a significant number of vulnerable people in heavily impacted communities. The recently launched SAFE Plus (Safe Approaches to Fuel and Energy Plus Landscape Restoration and Livelihoods) project- a partnership between IOM, FAO and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) – began the distribution of LPG stoves to 125,000 families in September.

With these alternative fuel options in place, work on reforestation can be ramped up, saving the remaining topsoil and stabilizing slopes, according to FAO Emergency Program Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar Peter Agnew. “The disaster risk reduction element of reforestation work, mitigating landslides and flashfloods caused by deforestation, is key objective of the project,” he said.

“A year after this crisis began, it is heartening to see authorities, agencies, and of course refugees and local villagers, come together to work to support forest regeneration and create a healthier environment and better future for all,” said Manuel Pereira, IOM’s Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.

“Redressing environmental damage on this scale will take time, but the speed and immense hard work of all those involved in replanting projects over the past weeks are already having a positive impact, as can be seen by the vast increase in greenery across the camps,” he added.

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:20Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Bangladesh’s Forest Department and UN agencies are reversing deforestation in Cox’s Bazar with a massive replanting programme. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Partners Hold Regional Maritime Security Conference in Madagascar

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Antananarivo – Ninety-five percent of all trade in East, Horn and Southern African countries passes through seaports and other maritime routes. Due to the high amount of incoming traffic, seaports across Africa are vulnerable to transnational crime and smuggling. In order to better secure sea borders on Africa's vast coastline, 40 technical experts from 12 countries – including officials from entities responsible for migration management and maritime security – are gathered in Madagascar for a three-day regional conference to identify priority actions to support continental and regional solutions in this field. The event, which started yesterday (01/10), is jointly organized by the UN Migration Agency (IOM), the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and Interpol.

The conference is organized under the Better Migration Management (BMM) programme – a regional, multi-year, multi-partner programme funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The overall objective of this programme is to improve migration management in the Horn of Africa region, and in particular to address the trafficking of human beings and the smuggling of migrants within and from the Horn of Africa while taking into consideration the country-specific migration dynamics. IOM is one of the main implementing partners for the BMM programme along with UNODC, GIZ, Expertise France, Italian State Police, CIVIPOL and the British Council.

The conference gathers representatives of BMM partner countries from the Horn of Africa region (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan) as well as from the Indian Ocean (Comoros, France [Réunion], Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles and Tanzania). The focus is on maritime security and transnational organized crime including common threats such as piracy, terrorism, arms smuggling, corruption, human trafficking and smuggling of persons, drug trafficking, and other illegal acts.

In his welcome remarks Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM’s Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa, emphasised that “facilitating the safe and orderly movement of goods and persons remains a priority concern at ports and along sea borders.” He added that “this Regional Conference provides a unique opportunity to strengthen regional collaborative approaches related to maritime security threats and challenges, among them trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants.”

Hamada Madi, the IOC’s Secretary General, welcomed this initiative and stressed the importance of establishing formal regional mechanisms for the exchange of maritime information and the coordination of joint operations at sea to enhance maritime governance. “The two MASE (Maritime Security Programme) regional agreements set the base for these regional maritime security mechanisms, which are in line with the needs of the region. Five countries signed these agreements but, it is of utmost importance that other States join and sign them to ensure a more sustainable and stronger maritime security and safety architecture in the Western Indian Ocean,” Madi noted.

The conference builds on the IOC’s Ministerial Conference on maritime security issues held in April 2018 in Mauritius, where ministers in charge of security and representatives of regional organizations adopted a Declaration on Maritime Security in the Western Indian Ocean. Member States had also reiterated the need to continue their commitment and that of regional organizations towards the sharing and exchange of maritime information and the coordination of action at sea through dedicated regional Centres.

For more information please contact:
Daniel Silva y Poveda at IOM Madagascar, Tel: +261 32 56 54 954, Email: dsilva@iom.int
Pascaline Alexandre at the Indian Ocean Commission, Tel: +230 402 61 00, Email: Pascaline.alexandre@coi-ioc.org
Or visit the website of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa: https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/node/162

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: MadagascarThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Technical experts in migration and maritime security from twelve countries during the opening session of the Conference. Photo: IOM

Madagascar’s Minister of Defense proceeding with the opening of the regional conference on behalf of the host Government. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Airport Welfare Desks Aim to Aid Bangladeshi Migrants

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Dhaka – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has re-established five migrant welfare desks at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport to serve as information and documentation points for outbound and returning Bangladeshi migrants. The desks will provide the migrants with better access to reliable information, documentation and pre-departure and post-arrival services.
 
Bangladeshi migrant workers play a key role in the nation’s economy, which has seen an average annual growth rate of 6 percent over the past decade. Migrant workers, who have sent home an estimated USD 138 billion in remittances since 2008, have played a major role in this success story.

But while many migrants have successfully migrated and returned home, others have opted for irregular channels and become victims of smugglers and traffickers. Bangladeshis travelling irregularly through Libya and across the Mediterranean to reach Europe have become a major concern for both European Union (EU) member states and the Government of Bangladesh. Many have died on the dangerous route and others have become stranded in Europe. 

According to the Bangladeshi government, reestablishing reliable information centers and improving service standards will help migrants to make informed choices and encourage them to take regular pathways. “Services need to be made more accessible and effective and there is no room for compromise,” said the Bangladesh Expat Secretary Rownaq Jahan.

IOM re-established the welfare desks at Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport’s arrival and departure lounges as part of an EU-funded project: Prottasha – Bangladesh: Sustainable Reintegration and Improved Migration Governance.

"The EU supports initiatives in partner countries to strengthen their capacity in all relevant areas of migration management. These desks can play a vital role to facilitate safe migration and sustainable reintegration,” said EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Rensje Teernik.

According to Bangladesh’s Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), an estimated one million Bangladeshis migrated for work in 2017. This number is likely to increase with the government targeting economic growth of 8 percent by 2020. 

“Access to accurate and timely information at all stages of migration is a basic right for migrants,” said IOM Bangladesh Chief of Mission Giorgi Gigauri. “That means mainstreaming rights-based policies and having the right kind of infrastructure – like these desks - to meet adequate service delivery standards.”

For more information please contact Chowdhury Asif Mahmud Bin Harun at IOM Bangladesh, Email: mbinharun@iom.int, Tel. +880.1755509476.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:10Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Integrated Border ManagementMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Migrants verify their documents at a migrant welfare desk in Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport. Photo: IOM 2018

One of the four migrant welfare desks during its construction. Photo: IOM 2018

Migrants verify their documents at a migrant welfare desk in Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport. Photo: IOM 2018

Migrants verify their documents at a migrant welfare desk in Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Organizes Regional Seminar on Mixed Migration in West Africa

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Dakar – On 27 September IOM, the UN Migration Agency, organized a regional seminar on mixed migration and the protection of vulnerable migrants in the regional economic union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Dakar, Senegal.

In the West African context, mixed migration refers to complex population movements driven by multiple factors, comprising economic migration, human trafficking and forced displacement. Mixed migration flows present different, but not exclusive, protection needs during migrants’ journeys.

The seminar, bringing together 35 participants from, amongst others, ECOWAS Member States, international donor partners, and international governmental and non-governmental agencies from the region, aimed to promote a common understanding of both the challenges and opportunities in improving migrant protection in the ECOWAS space and to identify protection gaps existing in the region.

Originating from West Africa, the Central Mediterranean Route (CMR) is the most dangerous migration flow in the world. The route is used every year by thousands of mostly West African migrants trying to reach North Africa and Europe. In 2016, eight in 10 adolescents with secondary education and nine in 10 adolescents with no education reported exploitation during their journey. Ensuring the protection of people on the move through a coordinated approach is therefore essential for a comprehensive and efficient migration management strategy.

“Harrowing tales of West African migrants trying to reach Europe through the Central Mediterranean Route shed light on an unacceptable situation and protection gaps facing the most vulnerable persons along the routes,” said Michele Bombassei, IOM Regional Thematic Specialist on Migrant Assistance in West and Central Africa.

“It is time to develop transnational protection systems to ensure basic rights for vulnerable persons regardless of their nationality or migratory status,” he added.

Protection of migrants refers to all activities aimed at respecting the human rights of migrants and ensuring that vulnerable persons have access to shelter, health care and education, among other services.

During the seminar, the latest research findings on protection were presented to the audience. IOM and Altai Consulting presented their latest report on the existing protection systems in four countries (Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, and Senegal) and the challenges in their service provision to migrants. Save the Children together with the Mixed Migration Hub presented its study exploring the vulnerability of children on the move and the legal frameworks affecting child mobility in the region. Research presented by Migration Hub analyzed recent youth reintegration efforts in Nigeria and the Regional Working Group on Child Protection presented the recently adopted ECOWAS Strategic Framework on Child Protection.

“Developing protection systems in the region that provide migrants access to justice and lifesaving assistance is essential,” said Marie-Eve Boyer Friedrich, Human Rights Officer at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The project Protecting Vulnerable Migrants in West and Central Africa, funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) of the State Department of the Government of the United States, aims to reinforce the capacities of regional institutions, national governments and international bodies in managing mixed migration and ensuring the respect of migrants’ rights in West and Central Africa.

For more information, please contact Florence Kim at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +22178 620 62 13, Email: fkim@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:05Image: Region-Country: SenegalThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

“Be brave, brother” written by a migrant in a transit center in Northern Niger, along the Central Mediterranean Route. Photo: IOM/Michele Bombassei

Entrance of a protection center in Niger, one of the main transit countries along the Central Mediterranean Route. Photo: IOM/Amanda Nero

Truck carrying irregular migrants in Niger, one of the main transit countries along the Central Mediterranean Route. Photo: IOM/Amanda Nero

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Ghana Trains Community-Based Surveillance Volunteers to Prevent Spread of Diseases Across Borders

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:58

Accra – In September 2018, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Ghana trained 317 Community-Based Surveillance (CBS) Volunteers in the Northern Region of Ghana to identify and promptly report specific health risks in their communities that could spread as a result of human mobility.

By notifying local health authorities when outbreaks of disease occur, CBS Volunteers (CBSVs) play a strategic role in Ghana Health Service’s Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response Strategy. While CBS has been employed in Ghana since the late 1980s, IOM has modified its trainings in response to the recent West African Ebola epidemic. The volunteers are now encouraged to shift from case-based monitoring and reporting to events-based reporting.

Rather than focusing on individual cases of illness, events-based reporting targets patterns of events that may indicate proneness to future epidemics in a community. IOM’s revised module is thus an early warning system to situations when two or more members of a household or neighbours begin to display similar symptoms.

In total, since July 2017, 930 CBSVs and 163 supervisors have been trained across five regions of Ghana. Training locations were selected based on proximity to borders – either international borders or those between regions in Ghana.

The most recent trainings took place in Yagaba, the capital of Mamprugu Moagduri district in the Northern Region. Mamprugu Moagduri shares borders with the Upper East and Upper West Regions of Ghana.

Abdulai S. Abukari has been serving as CBSV for years in this district.

In 1998, he reported a cholera outbreak in his community by cycling 32 miles to the nearest health directorate in Walewale and crossing the White Volta River. Thanks to Abukari’s identification efforts and the subsequent treatment of the cholera patients, his community remained safe. After the new training provided by IOM, Abukari declared, “Now when I go on the street with my card, everyone knows we are also a part of Ghana Health Service.” Providing volunteers with identification improves volunteers’ visibility to members of the community, while also motivating the volunteers by recognizing the important role they play.

IOM Ghana’s CBSV training was piloted in the Ketu South District bordering Togo, in the Volta Region, and the Kassena Nankana West District, bordering Burkina Faso, in the Northern Region. The success of the pilot has resulted in Ghana’s Ministry of Health accepting to roll out the modified CBS module to more than 25 districts across the country. At present, the Jomoro District of the Western Region near Cote d’Ivoire, the Assin North District of the Central Region, and the Tatale Sanguli District of the Northern Region have all benefited from trainings.

IOM Ghana’s modified CBSV trainings are supported by the IOM Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) with funding from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The GHSA was launched in Ghana in 2016 when five West African countries were chosen for its implementation.

For more information, please contact Patrick Avevor at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233 50 320 2803, Email: pavevor@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 16:00Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementMigration HealthDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

New Framework for Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Crises 'Reinforces IOM’s Accountability'

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 10:46

Geneva – Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is prevalent in all the crises where the UN Migration Agency (IOM) operates. Worldwide, IOM camp managers, shelter engineers, and health workers, amongst others, witness every day the unbearable, devastating and often prolonged consequences of crises and displacement. This may include the individual harm and suffering caused by acts of GBV, and its negative impacts on communities the Organization seeks to assist and protect through, for example, stigmatization and ostracism of GBV survivors, lack of social cohesion and even failed peace processes.

Although IOM has addressed GBV within emergency and post-crisis programmes for many years, interventions were largely ad hoc and not systematically integrated into IOM crisis operations.

Four years ago, with the support of the governments of the UK and Canada, IOM embarked on a global, institutional journey to ensure that actions to mitigate, address and ultimately prevent GBV were implemented in a manner commensurate with its prevalence and severity.

Sustainable support through the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration’s ‘Safe from the Start’ funding initiative has enabled IOM to reflect on the best way to strengthen our engagement and contribution towards the collective efforts of the UN system, civil society and partners to address GBV worldwide.  

Building on lessons learned and emerging good practices documented over the course of these years, IOM’s Department of Operations and Emergencies has developed IOM’s first Institutional Framework for Addressing GBV in Crises (GBViC Framework).

On 25 September, the GBViC Framework was launched at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

“This Framework reinforces IOM’s accountability to crisis-affected populations, partners and donors by articulating and advocating for a robust and consistent approach to quality GBV interventions as an essential part of IOM crisis operations,” said IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson, who moderated a high-level panel with representatives from UNFPA, the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), and the governments of Colombia and the United States.

“It also fulfils one of IOM’s important commitments to the global Call to Action on Protection from GBV in Emergencies,” Ambassador Thompson said.

The GBViC Framework is also the result of a fuller understanding of the operational challenges of tackling GBV and the areas where IOM can make the most valuable contribution to the collective efforts of the humanitarian system. The GBViC Framework’s key objective is to ensure that the safety, dignity, well-being, and equitable access to services for all crisis-affected persons, especially women and girls, is prioritized, integrated, and coordinated across all IOM crisis operations.

Emphasizing the need for collective efforts in addressing GBV, the Director of UNFPA Office in Geneva, Monica Ferro, noted that, “we are at the stage of acknowledging that it is the responsibility of all of us, not just GBV specialists, but all of us to take responsibility and address the issue through prevention, mitigation and response. It is time to scale up and to take collective action.”

The GBViC Framework represents a major step for IOM as it seeks to foster a more coherent approach to addressing GBV in humanitarian crises.

“As a leader in mainstreaming gender-based violence prevention and response into the shelter cluster and supporting the Gender-Based Violence Area of Responsibility, people look to IOM for expertise and resources,” said US Humanitarian Counsellor, Tressa R. Finerty.

“This framework will ensure the institution itself is looking at the risks to women and girls in a holistic and consistent way.  IOM has made and continues to make an impact on the ground.”

IOM Director General, Ambassador William Lacy Swing, provided closing remarks through a video message. “I am very pleased with the progress that IOM has made in its institutional and global commitments to address GBV in crises, and I am proud to say that this Framework will be a part of my legacy.”

For more information please contact Victoria Korsnes Nordli at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 92 34, Email: vnordli@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:33Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Gender and MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

A large-scale project was launched to provide equitable access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services for people affected by the crisis in South Sudan while strengthening prevention of gender-based violence (GBV). Photo: IOM 

Female community leaders in South Sudan meet every two weeks to discuss issues about the protection of civilians (PoC), in this case malaria. Photo: Amanda Nero / IOM 

 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Act Now on Migrant Health, IOM Tells UN General Assembly

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

New York – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has added its voice to the call for better healthcare in Europe and Central Asia.

At the first of three IOM side-events on health at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York Thursday (27 September), IOM Regional Director Argentina Szabados noted that diseases like TB, HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis “don’t carry passports but can move from country to country.”

Szabados – whose office covers South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia – spoke at a high-level panel to discuss the UN’s Common Position on combatting the three diseases, which affect millions across the region.

“Four in ten people living with HIV in the European Economic Area are migrants,” she told the expert panel at UN Headquarters. “This region is the only one where new infections of HIV are on the increase, where multi-drug resistant TB is eroding health gains, and where people are more prone to viral hepatitis. This is particularly true of the east of the region, and of all the vulnerable groups, migrants are at highest risk.”

The theme of the discussion centred on leaving no-one behind in access to healthcare. Szabados stated that not only are migrants being left behind, they also leave everything behind when they set out on often-perilous journeys: “They leave their homes, their families, their possessions, their culture, their language. Sometimes they leave their identity, or even their very lives.”

The panel discussion was chaired by WHO’s Dr. Masoud Dara; co-panellists included Dr. Nedret Emiroglu, Director of the Division of Health Emergencies and Communicable Diseases at the WHO, and Prof. Stanislav Špánik, State Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Slovak Republic.

Dr. Emiroglu noted that despite a decline in TB rates, Multi-Drug Resistant TB in on the increase.

“One thousand Europeans fall ill with TB every day,” she said. “This is an unacceptable number. When it comes to HIV, it is of even more concern: two million people are living with HIV, 80 per cent of them in the East of the region and Central Asia. Only one third of them are getting the treatment they need.”

Szabados said the Global Compact for Migration, which will be ratified by Member States at a special session of the UN in Morocco in December, gave the world a migrant-centred approach to the challenges posed by migration, including health challenges, “for the first time in human history.”

Noting that migration was as old as humanity, she stressed that it was neither practical nor desirable to reduce human mobility and Member States must thus work towards eradicating diseases.

“We must not demonize the disease: we must cure, inform and prevent, and we must give migrants, especially the young, tools to protect themselves. Apart from the rights issue, which is the most salient, keeping migrants healthy makes simple economic sense,” she concluded.

The UN Common Position on HIV, TB and Viral Hepatitis: Links to Migration
By Dr Jaime Calderon

Ending tuberculosis (TB), HIV and viral hepatitis by 2030 is part of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on health and well-being but cannot be achieved by the health sector alone. A number of socioeconomic and environmental determinants affect these ongoing epidemics in European and central Asian countries, which can only be addressed through action across sectors.

Within the UN Issue-based Coalition on Health and Well-being in Europe and Central Asia, WHO/Europe, together with sister UN agencies, has developed a UN common position paper on ending TB, HIV and viral hepatitis in Europe and central Asia through intersectoral collaboration.

It recognises that despite the  substantial health improvements that have been reached in the WHO European Region, with life expectancy has been steadily growing, not all are benefiting from this trend, in particular the marginalized and vulnerable parts of society including prisoners, homeless people, injectable drug users, victims of human trafficking and of gender based violence, children, youth, migrants and refugees, sex workers and men who have sex with men.

Despite the fastest decline in TB incidence in the world, by an average of 5.3 per cent a year since 2006, this region bears the highest proportion of multi drug-resistant TB globally, with only about half of these patients successfully treated. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing concern also for HIV and viral hepatitis, threatening the effective prevention and treatment of the conditions and increasing healthcare costs. The WHO European Region is the only region with increasing number of new HIV infection with a staggering 75 per cent since 2006, also increasing the number of deaths due to AIDS-related causes.

The Common Position supports links between services for the three diseases and other sectors, including alcohol and substance dependence, mental health, gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health, food insecurity and nutrition, taking also into consideration migration patterns and urbanization dynamics.

The migration process can expose migrants, particularly those in situations of vulnerability, to health risks associated with perilous journeys, including exposure to infectious and communicable diseases, severe psycho-social stressors, violence and abuses.

Migrants may also suffer from limited access to continuity and quality of health care, and from structural exclusion and marginalization, discrimination and many other forms of inequities.

IOM advocates for, and implements, comprehensive programmes with its partners that look at preventive and curative initiatives to benefit mobile populations as well as their host communities. Migrant-sensitive and migrant-inclusive healthcare systems are high on IOM’s agenda, and “Healthy migrants in healthy communities” marks IOM’s activities as contribution towards the physical, mental and social well-being of migrants.

The UN Issue-based Coalition is a regional partnership initiative led by WHO/Europe to support the achievement of SDG 3 on health and well-being for all at all ages as well as the health-related targets present in other SDGs. It reports to the United Nations Regional Coordination Mechanism for Europe and Central Asia. One of the Issue-based Coalition’s 4 workstreams focuses on TB and HIV.

Dr Jaime Calderon is Senior Migration Health Advisor at IOM’s Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia

For more information please contact Joe Lowry at IOM’s Vienna Regional Office at Tel: +43660 37765404, Email: jlowry@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration HealthMigration PolicyUNDefault: Multimedia: 

Argentina Szabados, IOM Regional Director for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia addresses the UN high level side event on HIV, TB and Viral Hepatitis in New York yesterday (27/09). Photo: IOM

Participants hold copies of the UN Common Position paper. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Supports UNAIDS ‘Right to Health’ Campaign in South Sudan

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

Bor – Earlier this month, UNAIDS launched the ‘Right to Health’ campaign on HIV testing and treatment for uniformed forces in Jonglei, South Sudan. Already supporting this group to know their status and access HIV/AIDS treatment, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is a key operational partner in the campaign.

Five years of conflict in South Sudan has massively halted the development of the young country’s health system. Access to services has been interrupted for those who had been lucky enough to receive them in the first place. Due to lack of information on HIV in the country, the stigma against those who test positive is high.

The joint UN campaign is carried out in coordination with the Government of South Sudan, including the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior and the South Sudan AIDS Commission (SSAC).

The campaign targets 100,000 people in the South Sudanese armed and uniformed forces and Ministry of Interior – which includes the military, police and prisons, fire brigade and wild life services – as well as their families and communities living near military barracks in Jonglei.

Prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, is much higher among uniformed forces than the South Sudanese public, as is also seen in other sub-Saharan African countries. For HIV specifically, the rate is nearly twice the national average, according to a 2015 Modes of Transmission study carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO).

IOM kicked off the campaign this week in Bor, Jonglei, supporting outreach teams from within the uniformed forces and Ministry of Health. Jointly trained by the Ministry of Health, WHO and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) HIV Department, these teams will set up temporary voluntary and counselling sites throughout Jonglei over the next few months. They will provide pre- and post-counselling and referrals for HIV positive cases to nearest Ante-retroviral Therapy (ART) facility.

On the first day of the campaign (26/09), some 60 personnel in the military forces (55 men and 5 women) were tested.

In collaboration with the gender-based violence sub-cluster, IOM will ensure the integration of referral pathways within the outreach teams through a partnership with Intersos. Following a decision from the Ministry of Health, the ‘Right to Health’ campaign has also been expanded to include people living with disabilities in South Sudan. 

“The ‘Right to Health’ campaign will support the Government of South Sudan in reaching uniformed forces and ensure that they get to know their HIV status and can access treatment, if positive,” said Salma Taher, IOM South Sudan Project Officer, Migration Health Unit. “The integration of referral pathways in this campaign is crucial so that survivors can access services,” Taher added.

Last year, IOM conducted a gender-based violence knowledge, attitudes and practices survey in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare and gender-based violence sub-cluster and supported by the Global Fund. It found that “survivors are not aware of health services; nor of importance of seeking medical services in 72 hours of a rape.”

Since 2014, IOM has been providing HIV/AIDS services to vulnerable groups in South Sudan such as displaced people, female sexual workers and their clients, “boda-boda” (motorbike taxi) and truck drivers and men who have sex with men. The Organization began working with uniformed forces in 2016.

IOM’s support to the ‘Right to Health’ campaign is currently funded through the UNAIDS Unified Budget Review and Accountability Framework (UBRAF) and the Organization’s wider work in HIV and AIDS sensitization, testing and treatment is also funded by the UNDP as the Principal Recipient of the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculous and Malaria.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon in Juba, Tel: +211912379843, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) get tested for HIV during UNAIDS 'Right to Health' campaign in Bor, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/O. Headon 2018

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) get tested for HIV during UNAIDS 'Right to Health' campaign in Bor, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/O. Headon 2018

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) get tested for HIV during UNAIDS 'Right to Health' campaign in Bor, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/O. Headon 2018

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) get tested for HIV during UNAIDS 'Right to Health' campaign in Bor, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/O. Headon 2018

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) get tested for HIV during UNAIDS 'Right to Health' campaign in Bor, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/O. Headon 2018

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) get tested for HIV during UNAIDS 'Right to Health' campaign in Bor, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/O. Headon 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Vanuatu Launches National Policy on Climate Change and Disaster-Induced Displacement

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

Port Vila – Vanuatu this week (26 September) launched a National Policy on Climate Change and Disaster-Induced Displacement with support from the IOM Development Fund (IDF).

Sudden and slow-onset disasters are increasing features of life in the Pacific island nation. In the last two months alone, 11,000 people have been displaced from Ambae island due to an eruption of its Manaro volcano, triggering a whole-of-government response to meet their needs and the needs of the neighbouring island communities now supporting them.

As the cyclone season approaches – and many families remain displaced – the importance of a coordinated response, with national standards related to displacement, that is outlined in the new policy is even more pronounced, according to Vanuatu Minister of Climate Change Adaptation Ham Lini Vanuaroroa.

“This policy is…a national roadmap towards mitigating challenges that have and will arise, but with strategic focus and clear plans,” he said. “By focusing on systems level areas such as institutions and governance – as well as sectoral areas such as housing, education and nutrition – the policy has the potential…to guide us as and when disaster strikes. We can prepare, plan, and respond to the short term and longer term needs of displacement.”

The development of the policy was supported by the IDF through a project entitled Development of a National Framework for Durable Solutions in Vanuatu.

IOM worked with Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office and Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation in a participatory process to develop the policy, based on the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, which this year marks their 20th anniversary.

“IOM, as the UN Migration Agency, is committed to helping governments build capacity and ensure that displaced people and affected communities are protected from and are resilient to the impacts of natural disasters,” said IOM Australia Chief of Mission Pär Liljert, who coordinates the work of IOM missions in the South Pacific.

“IOM will continue to provide technical assistance to the Vanuatu government to implement the policy,” he added.

The launch in Port Vila was attended by representatives of the government, donor countries, local and international NGOs, UN agencies, academia and media.

For more information please contact Caroline Logan at IOM Port Vila, Tel.+678 26994.  Email: clogan@iom.int,

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: VanuatuThemes: Migration ResearchMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Volunteers from the Community Disaster and Climate Change Committee on Maewo island help load relief supplies and household items during the Ambae island relocation in August 2018. Photo: Caroline Logan/IOM

Vanuatu Minister of Climate Change and Acting Prime Minister Ham Lini Vanuaroroa presents the new policy. Photo: Adorina M/IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 81,207 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,733

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 81,207 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 26 September, with 35,859 to Spain – an increase of 600 to this destination since IOM’s last report on 23 September.

The region’s total arrivals through the recent weekend compare with 134,614 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 302,803 at a similar point in 2016.

Spain, with 44 per cent of all arrivals through the year, continues to receive seaborne migrants in September at a volume nearly twice that of Greece and nearly seven times that of Italy. Italy’s arrivals through late September are the lowest recorded at this point – the end of a normally busy summer sailing season – in almost five years (see chart below).

IOM Libya this week reported that on Monday, 24 September, the UN Migration Agency organized its first charter to Ethiopia from Libya’s Zintan airport, with a stopover in Egypt. A total of 137 stranded migrants were on board.

With the current volatile security situation and limited international flights due to the closure of Tripoli’s Mitiga airport, IOM managed a stopover for this charter in Alexandria, in coordination with IOM in Egypt and with the support of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This was done to enable an additional 60 Egyptian migrants stranded in Libya to return home. 

The stranded migrants included 12 women, six children, one infant and seven medical cases. Special assistance was also provided to four unaccompanied migrant children, to enable their reunification with their families. Of the total number, 111 migrants returned from detention centres in Tripoli and Zintan while 24 had been living in urban areas.

IOM organized land and air movements for the stranded Ethiopian and Egyptian migrants in coordination with the Libyan Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM), respective consulates and IOM’s receiving missions.

Despite the fact that Mitiga airport in the capital has remained closed since last month due to the eruption of violence and fighting between the different parties to the conflict, IOM has managed to find alternative pathways to continue its return assistance via other cities such as Misrata, Zwara and Zintan.

“It would have been otherwise a challenging mission to assist a smaller group via commercial flights in light of the conflict in and around Tripoli and the closure of Mitiga International Airport,” said Ashraf Hassan, Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) Programme Coordinator. “This charter was made possible thanks to the efforts of the local authorities at Zintan’s airport. The smooth collaboration between the authorities and ourselves ensured a well-coordinated, successful and safe return for the stranded migrants in Libya.”

Before departure, IOM staff conducted proper vulnerability screening, medical assessment and fit for travel check-ups, while facilitating exit visas for the waiting passengers. The migrants at the detention centres received food, non-food items (NFIs) and shoes prior to their final departure. IOM also provided both medical and additional operation escorts to further support vulnerable migrants on logistical matters on their journey.

Fathi was among the Egyptian migrants onboard Monday’s charter flight. After having spent seven months at a detention centre in Misrata and then transferred to Tariq Al Sekka detention centre in Tripoli, he decided to seek IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance, as he felt homesick and wanted to reunite with his family. “I was thinking about my life back home with my family, when I saw IOM staff visiting the detention centre. I was very happy, and I immediately signed up to go home.’’

The flight departed Zintan airport and headed to Alexandria for the transfer of the 60 Egyptian migrants onboard before continuing towards Addis Ababa. Upon their arrival, all returnees would receive immediate assistance such as food and pocket money to cover their immediate needs including in-country onward transportation cost. The migrants are also eligible for further reintegration support, to start a new chapter back home.

This charter was funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Through the current year IOM has overseen the voluntary humanitarian return of 12,372 stranded migrants who have left Libya for their countries of origin. Since 1January 2017 IOM has assisted a total of 31,743 stranded migrants wishing to leave Libya to almost three dozen countries in Africa and Asia.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 35,859 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 26 September (see chart below).

IOM notes that over this year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. In the 118 days since May 31, a total of 27,709 have arrived – an average of some 235 migrants per day. The months of June-September 2018 already have seen a total of 31,232 irregular migrants arriving by sea, with September not yet finished. This is the busiest four-month period recorded for Spain since IOM began tallying arrival statistics on irregular migrant arrivals by sea.

Land arrivals to Ceuta and Melilla, Spain’s two enclaves on the African continent, have totalled almost 4,800 this year; however, after peaking in the month of July, those numbers have dropped significantly over the past 57 days (see chart below).

As IOM reported earlier this week, Spain in 2018 has now received via the Mediterranean more irregular migrants than it did throughout all the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined (see chart below).

 

On Thursday IOM researchers in the Western Balkans reported their latest Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) flow monitoring data that show more than 3,289 new migrants have been registered as arriving in Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1 and 25 September 2018. That is about thirteen times more than the average of 220 monthly arrivals reported in the countries concerned in 2017.
Between January and September 2018, authorities in these countries registered a total of 20,415 irregular entries. According to the available information on nationalities: Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq are the most commonly reported origin countries. The distribution of migrants by nationality varies between the three countries on the route. Almost half (42%) of the 15,537 irregular migrants registered in Bosnia were registered as Pakistani nationals. Another 41% of the overall registered caseload were nationals of the Islamic Republic of Iran (13%), the Syrian Arab Republic (12%), Iraq (8%) and Afghanistan (8%).

In Montenegro and Albania, Syrian nationals comprised the majority (44% and 52% respectively), followed by those who arrived from Pakistan (19% and 15% respectively), Algeria (19%) in Montenegro and Iraq (15%) in Albania. Such differences in the nationality structure of registered migrants are explained by the fact that migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina also enter from Serbia and that certain groups of migrants from Montenegro continue not only toward Bosnia and Herzegovina but toward Serbia as well.

Moreover, since March 2018, DTM has been monitoring outgoing flows from Albania to Montenegro in the Shkoder region. According to the available data there were 1,044 migrants apprehended while attempting to exit Albania irregularly. Similarly, to the nationality breakdown of registered arrivals, outgoing flows were predominantly composed of migrants from the Syrian Arab Republic (39%) and Pakistan (34%).

The increase in arrivals is also observed in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, where authorities registered a total of 2,361 irregular migrants between January and September, six times more than the 383 registered in the same period 2017 and four times the 547 registered in the whole of 2017. More than a half of all registered irregular migrants were from the Islamic Republic of Iran (54%). The remaining nationality groups in the top five are Afghanistan (11%), Pakistan (10%), Iraq (8%) and Libya (6%).

On Thursday, IOM Greece reported that over three days (24-26 September) this week the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) units managed three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Samos and Rhodes. The HCG rescued a total 118 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands.

Additional arrivals of some 241 individuals to Lesvos and Kos and some of other islands over these past three days bring to 23,180 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 26 September (see chart below).

Land arrivals to Greece this year by irregular migrants appeared to have peaked in daily volume in April, when they averaged over 130 per day. That volume dipped through the following five months. Sea arrivals are peaking in September – already this year’s busiest month, with five days remaining – to 3,985 through 26 days, or 150 per day. The combined total of land and sea through August was 31,361 (Sea: 19,195;  Land: 12,166) or 130 per day (see charts below).

IOM Cyprus’ Dimitrios Tsagalas reported this week that 428 irregular migrants and refugees have made their way by sea to the island, over 120 of them during the period of 17-25 September. The migrants and refugees have been variously identified as Syrian, Kurdish and Cameroonian. The largest group – 65 men, women and more than two dozen children – arrived after being spotted on a boat on 20 September off Cape Greco.

Others have arrived via the Ledra Palace checkpoint in the UN buffer zone in Nicosia. On 25 September 18 people, all believed to be Syrian nationals, arrived in a boat spotted off Ayia Thekla, in the Sotira region. According to media reports, the boat left Tartus in Syria on 24 September. There also have been media reports about a boat with 14 Syrian nationals spotted in the Apostle Andreas region in the northern part of the island. These refugees reportedly were turned back to Turkey.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 1,733 people on the Mediterranean in 2018. Most recently, three people died trying to cross the Western Mediterranean to reach Spain. A 19-year-old Moroccan woman was shot, and three others were injured on 25 September, after they departed by sea from the Moroccan city of Fnideq with 20 others. Local NGOs have confirmed her death and provided more details about her identity. Hayat (which means “life” in Arabic) was born in Tetouan and was studying law at the University of Martil. She leaves behind her parents, two brothers and a sister.

On the same day, Spanish authorities recovered the body of an unidentified man of Sub-Saharan African origin on Alboran Island, around 90km south of the Spanish province of Almería. A few days earlier, the body of a woman was recovered 1.5 nautical miles north of Punta Almina, Ceuta. This is the second body recovered at sea near the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in recent days. In the past two weeks, the remains of 11 migrants were recovered at various locations on the coasts of Morocco and Spain.

These cases are not connected to any known shipwreck, an alarming trend indicating that shipwrecks may occur undetected and that still more bodies will be found.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 2,744 deaths and disappearances during migration so far in 2018 (see chart below). Beyond the Mediterranean, several deaths in other regions have been recorded since Monday’s update.

In Europe, one migrant drowned in the Port of Calais as he was trying to board a ferry bound for the UK on 23 September. In the United States, the remains of four migrants were recovered in the past week. On 20 September, US Border Patrol officers recovered the remains of two migrants in less than 24 hours on ranch lands near Falfurrias, Texas. A man drowned on the Río Bravo on 25 September; his body was recovered near Peñitas, Texas. On the same day, a 39-year-old man from El Salvador was found dead on the side of a road in Donna, Texas.

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, 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
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Othman BelbeisiI, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 60 03 89, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int
Ashraf Hassan, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 79 47 07, Email:  ashassan@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 166); Mobile: +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email: aavgeropoulou@iom.int
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 248, Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel. +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 28 78 78 05 (mobile) office: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email: mchabbi@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Workshop for Community Mobilizers Strengthens IOM’s Outreach Activities for Migrants in Niger

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

Agadez – Fifty community mobilizers, or ‘MobCom’ for IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in Niger, from Arlit, Dirkou, Niamey and Assamaka, recently (17/09) participated in a one-week workshop in Agadez, which focused on building their capacities as communicators.

IOM has been implementing outreach activities in Niger since 2016 when the first orientation office opened in Agadez. Prior to opening the office, the informal discussions held with migrants at the transit centres and in the ghettos showed a lack of knowledge and misinformation about the length, conditions and risks of the route to Libya and Algeria, and further, to Europe.

“It has been quite a journey since then. We have improved both our techniques and our presence. People know us and trust us now,” said Azaoua Mahaman, from IOM’s Orientation Office in the Agadez region.

The four orientation offices in Niger in Agadez, Arlit, Dirkou and Niamey, together with their over 50 community mobilizers, are responsible for implementing the national awareness strategy developed by the mission, through various outreach activities.

More than 170,000 people have been sensitized regarding irregular migration and its alternatives since 2016, with close to 100,000 in 2018 alone.

The orientation offices provide access to objective information on safe migration, including individual counselling, to both migrants in transit and host communities. The MobComs, both Nigerien and third-country nationals, often migrants like Hadiza themselves, build trust with local communities and migrants through their regular sensitization sessions.

“Awareness is a somewhat broad term, yet intuitively widely understood,” said Stephanie Eeckman, Community Outreach Officer at IOM Niger. “As part of a continuous and interactive communication flow, awareness-raising is a process that opens up opportunities for information exchange and develops the skills and abilities needed to enable change,” Eeckman added.

To achieve a change that can effectively influence migration decisions, IOM Niger developed a participatory approach to awareness-raising based on behaviour change communications (BCC), which in turn is based on interpersonal communication (IPC) that can ultimately contribute to social change.

The MobComs inform migrants about the risks of irregular migration and its alternatives, and IOM’s mandate and its assistance. Ultimately, the MobComs seek to ensure that migrants and community members can make informed decisions. A whopping 83 per cent of migrants at IOM’s transit centres have heard about IOM’s mandate and assistance through a community mobilizer carrying out a sensitization session.

If referred to one of IOM’s six transit centres in Niger, the migrants are assisted with meals, shelter, medical and psychosocial assistance, assistance with their travel documents and transportation to their countries of origin. Fifty-five per cent of the migrants sensitized in 2018 decided to join IOM’s assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) programme.

Recently, IOM deployed two MobComs to Assamaka, from where most distress calls took place in 2018. The MobComs play a pivotal role in search and rescue operations as first responders for distress calls.

The two days of theoretical training were followed by two days of basic participatory theatre techniques. The workshop ended with practical sessions in the ghettos in Agadez, where the MobComs put to practice their newly learned skills.

The retreat was also an opportunity for the community mobilizers to exchange and learn from each other about their respective contexts as well as to take advantage of these exchanges to develop new and innovative approaches.

“Before, I could go to Niamey and meet a community mobilizer and not recognize him. Now we know each other, so we can work well together. We are ready to go back and use the skills we have acquired here in our day to day outreach activities for migrants,” said Dan Ballan Mahamn Sani, a Community Mobilizer in Arlit.

IOM’s outreach activities through the four orientation offices in Niger are supported by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), and the EU-IOM joint initiative for migrant protection and reintegration which, together with the Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM) programme, is funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

For more information, please contact Monica Chiriac at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8931 8764, Email: mchiriac@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:15Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Community StabilizationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM’s community mobilizers from across Niger, at the workshop in Agadez, in September 2018. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Central and North American Countries Promote Information Exchange to Aid Searches for Missing Migrants

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

San José — The Regional Conference on Migration (CRM), with the support of the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), held a workshop in Costa Rica this week (25-26/09) to promote guidelines for the coordination and exchange of information for searches of missing migrants. 

According to data from IOM´s Missing Migrants Project, so far in 2018, around 374 migrants have died during their passage through the Americas and the Caribbean, while many others remain missing.

“Migrants escape contexts of violence and insecurity and undertake long and dangerous journeys in search of better opportunities,” said Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director of IOM for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. “The loss of many of these lives is a truly a tragedy. IOM is ready to support the efforts carried out by countries of the CRM and our partners at the Red Cross to enhance their visibility and bring comfort to their families.”

Through a participative methodology, the workshop addressed challenges and existing good practices for finding missing migrants, with the aim of increasing collaboration between CRM member states and other regional and national organizations through agreed guidelines.

Raquel Vargas, General Director of Migration of Costa Rica, highlighted the relevance of the event to complement ongoing national and international initiatives. “Participating in this first effort of coordination and experience exchange strengthens the actions that the institutions are conducting to generate a safe, regular and orderly migration, not only in Costa Rica but in all the region,” Vargas said.

The workshop Guidelines about Regional Mechanisms for Coordination and Exchange of Information for the Search of Missing Migrants in Contexts of Migration included the participation of governmental institutions from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, the United States, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.

Representatives of the Red Cross, the Regional Network of Civil Society Organizations for Migration, UN agencies and the CRM Technical Secretariat also participated in the event.

For further information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean; Tel: +506 2212 5352, Email: jgallo@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:10Image: Region-Country: Costa RicaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration ResearchMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Officials from 9 Central American and North American countries met to find ways to facilitate the searches for missing migrants trough information sharing. Photo: CRM / Renan Rodas

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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