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Updated: 56 min 29 sec ago

On International Day of the Disappeared: IOM Notes Plight of Families of Disappeared

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 10:09

Geneva – On International Day of the Disappeared, IOM pays tribute to the families and loved ones of each person included in the Missing Migrants Project records – a total that today approaches 33,000 men, women and children.

No matter the context of the disappearance, the agony of even one disappearance can have deep effects on those left behind. Families missing a loved one are relentless in their faith that they will return someday, and unless they have certainty of the fate of that person, their lives become defined by an ambiguous loss between hope and grief.

“My two children left and never came back,” said Maman Dior, from east Dakar, Senegal, a district where hundreds have left and later went missing. “It's been 13 years that day and night, I wonder if they are dead or in prison, or if they will come back one day. At one point, we simply have to resign ourselves to the fact that our children stop being part of our daily lives even if we have no proof of their death."

In the context of migration, disappearance can occur in many ways.
     
People may lose touch voluntarily when they move to a new place and in that sense, they “disappear.” Others fall out of touch involuntarily, without access to communication or contact information, especially if they find themselves in situations of detention or forced labour.

It is nonetheless possible that these people will regain contact with their families in the future.           

Then there are people who disappear during migration and will never be in contact again. 

Since 2014, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded worldwide over 32,700 people who have died or gone missing and are presumed to be dead. Historical records suggest that since 1996, this number is approximately 75,000, although this is just as likely to be an undercount of the true number of fatalities: as not all deaths and disappearances are reported.

It may be impossible at times to determine if someone died in the context of migration. People’s remains may never be found or identified. For instance, since the Project started documenting deaths during migration, the remains of over 12,000 people have yet to be recovered from the Mediterranean Sea. At the same time the majority of those found will never be formally identified. Or buried.

“The rights of migrants, including the right to life, must be protected in order to ensure that migration is safe, orderly, dignified and humane and so disappearances in the course of migration do not occur,” says Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, where the Missing Migrants Project is based. “In cases when people do go missing or die, they and their families have rights, regardless of nationality or legal status.”

In 2019 and 2020, IOM is carrying out a pilot research project with families searching for missing migrants along the Western and Central Mediterranean routes towards Europe. The hope is that the findings will result in recommendations for how IOM and other actors can better address their needs.

For the latest data on deaths and disappearances on migration routes worldwide, visit the Missing Migrants Project website here.

For more information. please contact Marta Sánchez Dionis, IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre. Tel: + 49 30 278 778 43,Email: msanchez@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 30, 2019 - 15:45Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

On International Day of the Disappeared, IOM remembers those who have tragically lost their lives or gone missing on migration routes worldwide and those who they have left behind. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

First Database on Migrant Deaths and Disappearances in Sub-Saharan Africa Helps Families Heal

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 10:09

Dakar – To mark the International Day of the Disappeared (30/08), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for West and Central Africa pays tribute to all those who lost their lives or their loved ones during their journeys across the region and beyond.

Those like the traveling companions of ‘Favour’, a Nigerian who witnessed several deaths attempting to cross North Africa.

“The journey to Libya was very tough as we drove past many dead bodies and a lot of people fell ill on the way,” said Favour, now returned to Nigeria. She added: “Whenever someone was too sick to continue the journey, the driver would just leave them in the desert and keep on driving.”

Since January 2019, it is estimated that 253 [1] migrants have died or gone missing along the migration routes in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, these statistics are incomplete and most likely to be underestimated in one of the main irregular migration-prone regions in the world.

In a bid to provide more comprehensive data on migrant deaths and disappearances, IOM for West and Central Africa set up the regional Missing Migrants Project (MMP) to collect and centralize data on migrant fatalities in West and Central Africa.

The project helps identify the most dangerous routes across the region, as well as the most vulnerable groups to these dangers, and helps assess the impact of immigration and border policies on migrants’ safety. Moreover, the project enables IOM to build on reliable data to raise awareness on the risks of irregular migration and advocate for policies that facilitate access to regular migration.

Through this project, IOM is also able to locate incidents and refer migrants’ families in search of their close relatives identified to inform them about their relatives’ fate [2].

In Niger, IOM conducts humanitarian search and rescue operations for migrants stranded in the country’s northern regions. Since April 2016, over 20,000 individuals stranded in the Sahara Desert have been rescued through these operations.

Watch the video of migrants rescued in the desert.

“This new IOM project is an important first step, but additional measures need to be taken to protect migrants in the region. The data collected shows the need to strengthen policies on mixed migration to protect every single person on the move in the region,” says Damien Jusselme, Regional Information Management Officer for IOM in West and Central Africa.

Another migrant, Ousmane, a Gambian in a transit centre in Niger, explained what happened to him. “They managed to call my uncle and he asked me how much he had to pay. I told him to forget about it, to take care of my mom, to buy medicine and not to pay. I never thought I would make it out alive. I was supposed to die there. Many people don’t even know I am alive,” he added.

The Missing Migrants Project, a joint initiative of the Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) and IOM's Media and Communications Department, is funded by GMDAC as part of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) programme to set up data on “missing migrants” in West and Central Africa in a similar way as what is currently being implemented in Europe.

[1] This figure is from IOM's partner, Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism Initiative (4Mi). The Missing Migrants Project's aggregate data from previous years for the Sub-Saharan African region take into account this partner's data. However, for the 2019 exercise, 4Mi data have not yet been included in the IOM database as data sources are under review.

[2] Please refer to IOM’s Fatal Journeys Volume 3 Part 1 report for more information.

For more information, please contact Florence Kim at IOM’s Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +221786206213, Email: fkim@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 30, 2019 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: SenegalThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

 ‘Favour’ witnessed several deaths while attempting to cross North Africa.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Despite Obstacles, Committees Give Rohingya Women Their First Say in Bangladesh Refugee Camps

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 10:09

Cox’s Bazar – Morium Khatun recalls the past when fear kept her friends silent about sensitive issues like childbirth, security and health – even when the challenges were life threatening.

“Women didn’t feel comfortable going to a male committee or local leader, and when they did – their concerns were often ignored,” she said. The lack of representation left illnesses untreated, violence unreported and confined many women to their homes.

So, when Khatun heard about an IOM-backed initiative to form women’s committees in her community, one of thousands in the teeming Rohingya refugee camps of south-eastern Bangladesh, she decided to take matters into her own hands by stepping up as a possible leader.

“I have always been active in trying to help friends and neighbours. But this was new. It gave us a formal group to meet and attract members,” she said.

The women’s committees were launched as a pilot project supported by IOM in September 2018 to provide a forum for Rohingya refugee women to voice their concerns, access information and obtain referrals for services.

The response from women was immediate and positive as community members came forward with a mixture of comments and complaints ranging from local issues of sanitation and lighting to cases of kidnapping and domestic abuse.

A total of 110 women are now active in the committees, including 10 with disabilities.

According to Megan Denise Smith, who leads IOM’s Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Unit in Cox’s Bazar, women pointed to four key barriers preventing them from being represented in community decision-making: access to information, participation in camp activities, safety and membership of institutions. 

“Many of the public spaces where decisions were being made – such as mosques – were closed to women,” she said.  Rather than attempting to gain entry into exclusively male-dominated structures, the women’s committees were formed from scratch as something new.

Designed to include women in local decision-making, each committee also designated focal points who became ‘specialists’ in a given area, such as health, GBV, water, sanitation or combatting human trafficking.

Specialists were trained in their given areas and liaised with humanitarian organizations. Slowly, word got out about the group and more women came forward as volunteers. 

Despite their growing traction with women, the reaction to the committees from men was mixed at first. According to Khatun, some male leaders and husbands were mistrustful or openly hostile to the groups. As the community benefits became clearer, men took to the idea and many now support the committees.

Rumpa Dey, an IOM GBV coordinator, pointed to a recent example as evidence. “A woman was recently having trouble in a conflict involving her husband and another male member of the community. She came to the women’s committee and asked them to intervene. That demonstrates a degree of acceptance that would have been unheard of a few months ago,” she noted.

In a conservative culture where women are expected to remain home, the women’s committees also offer a rare opportunity to leave the house. “Many Rohingya families are very traditional and some women basically never leave home. The women’s committees gave them a reason to become active in their community and become involved in issues other than those directly related to their household and family,” Dey added.

According to Khatun, security is also becoming an increasingly pressing issue for Rohingya women in a community wracked by unemployment. A local syndicate recently attempted to kidnap her son. The women’s committee is helping to institute patrols to improve security and prevent crime, she said. 

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

Language English Posted: Friday, August 30, 2019 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Women’s committees are giving a voice to Rohingya women refugees – often for the first time. Photo: IOM. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Nearly 17,000 Migrants Returned Voluntarily from Greece in Past 3 Years

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 10:09

Athens –The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported today (30/08) that 16,954 third country nationals chose to return voluntarily from Greece to their country of origin over a three-year period from June 2016 through 28 August 2019.

Migrants from Pakistan (4,292) topped the list of 83 nationalities returning voluntarily with IOM assistance, followed by those from Iraq (4,187), Georgia (1,972), Algeria (1,308) and Afghanistan (1,295) (see chart below).

There were 12,017 male voluntary returnees, 2,817 female, and 2,120 children. IOM assisted the voluntary return of 3,666 migrants who were residing on the North-Eastern Aegean islands.

Some 4,270 of the returning migrants also received assistance to support a more sustainable reintegration into their local communities. Priority for the reintegration assistance was given to candidates in situations of vulnerability, while other factors were taken into consideration like work experience, skills and willingness of the candidate to develop a sustainable reintegration plan.

“I returned to Georgia in 2018 after four years of emigration in Greece. In Greece I worked in the construction sector. This programme enabled me to do the same work at home. I purchased tools for reconstruction work, I have my own business and I have a stable income. I have an opportunity to do a job I am good at,” said Giorgi Ormotsadze from Georgia, who now works as a constructor in Georgia and has implemented his reintegration plan under the project The Implementation of Assisted Voluntary Returns, including Reintegration Measures (AVRR).

Prior to departure and with the assistance of cultural mediators and AVRR officers, beneficiaries received return counselling during which they were provided crucial information as well as administrative assistance for acquiring travel documents. IOM then provided flight tickets, assistance at the airport and financial support to cover immediate expenses.

Extensive reintegration counselling sessions were conducted by IOM officers for the 4,270 eligible beneficiaries and through cooperation with IOM offices in the countries of origin. Their reintegration plans were developed in the interest of safeguarding their wellbeing and helping to ensure that they reintegrate into the local community in a sustainable way.

The beneficiaries’ work experience, their skills and willingness to follow through were key considerations in tailoring their reintegration plans. Following these counselling sessions, 3,751 returnees received in-kind reintegration assistance for starting up small businesses.

“As I am getting older, I prefer to be with my people in my hometown. I approached IOM in Athens and received information for the in-kind reintegration assistance. One month after my arrival in my country, I managed to set up my own business. It is called ‘Sari-sari store’, a grocery store in the Philippines with local products,” said Juliana Villa Sarile from the Philippines.

Through the duration of the project, IOM provided also tailored assistance for 1,345 migrants in vulnerable situations such as those with health needs (913), unaccompanied migrant children (123), elderly people (190) and pregnant women (97). 

Specialized IOM staff arranged pre-departure and travel assistance appropriate to the nature of pre-existing health conditions, conducted health assessments and referred beneficiaries to adequate medical services, escorted beneficiaries when needed and ensured continuity of treatment and requirements for specific arrangements during the return journey.

An Open Centre for migrants registered for assisted voluntary return and reintegration (OCAVRR) is also established near the centre of Athens to provide shelter and pre-departure care to particularly vulnerable migrants in Greece who have registered for the AVRR programme and have no place to stay until their departure. The purpose of the Open Centre is to ensure that migrants in vulnerable situations are enabled to prepare their return in safe conditions.

From June 2016 to the present, the open centre has provided shelter to 4,434 migrants, 4,170 of whom have departed for their country of origin.

The AVRR project has been co-funded 75 per cent by EU funds and 25 per cent by Greek national funds.

For more information, please contact Christine Nikolaidou at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 2109919040 (Ext. 248), Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 30, 2019 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: GreeceThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Juliana returned to set up a ‘Sari-sari store’, a grocery store in the Philippines. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 46,521 in 2019; Deaths Reach 909

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 10:09

Geneva – IOM reports that 46,521migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 28 August, roughly a 32 per cent decrease from the 68,029 arriving during the same period last year.

Arrivals this year to Greece and Spain are at 23,193 and 14,969, respectively (38,162 combined), accounting for 82 per cent of the regional total, with the balance arriving in much smaller numbers to Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Arrivals to Greece are running approximately 23 per cent ahead of 2018’s totals from this time. Arrivals to Spain are almost 50 per cent lower.

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost eight months of 2019 are at 909 individuals – or about 58 per cent of the 1,562 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018. (see chart below).

The 909 deaths include several deaths recorded in the Central Mediterranean route this past week.

On 27 August, a boat carrying more than a hundred migrants capsized off the coast of Al-Khums, Libya. The Libyan Coast Guard intercepted those on board and brought to shore 64 survivors, who reported that several people had drowned before the rescue took place. The remains of 10 people later were recovered from the sea, including those of a Moroccan family (mother, father, and two children aged 4 and 12) and a Somali man. At least 30 people remain missing, according to the testimonies of survivors.

Just a day later, the ship Mare Jonio, from the NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans, rescued nearly 100 people from a deflating boat off the coast of Libya, including 22 children under the age of 10 and eight pregnant women. According to survivors interviewed by NGO staff, six people had drowned before they were rescued. Their bodies were not recovered.

In the Western Mediterranean, police authorities in Gibraltar recovered the remains of a young North African man off the coast of Punta Europa, in the Gibraltar Strait, on 28 August. He is believed to be one of the four people who went missing last week, when a boat carrying 11 migrants capsized off the coast of La Línea de la Concepción, Cádiz, Spain. Three others remain missing.

Missing Migrants Project
2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project. Since January 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 32,741 people, including 1,781 in 2019 through 28 August (see chart further below).

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

Most recently, several tragic deaths were recorded in the European continent linked to vehicle accidents. On 23 August, a Bangladeshi man died in a vehicle accident in North Macedonia on the Gevgelija-Skopje highway near Negotino. Authorities reported that a vehicle transporting migrants crashed into a truck on the highway. The driver of the vehicle managed to flee but many of the migrant passengers remained, some severely injured. Unfortunately, one died in an ambulance, while 13 others survived.

Just two days later, on 25 August, an Afghan woman died in the Kupa river in Croatia when a van in which she was travelling with 11 others fell into the river during a police chase. Authorities report that police officers tried to stop the van around 3:00 AM near Slatina Pokupska. Instead of stopping, the driver sped away.

According to police, the driver fled, leaving the van to sink into the river with 12 people inside. All but one survived, with one woman dying shortly after being rescued. She was reportedly part of a family of six traveling together – spouses and four children between the ages of three and nine. Authorities confirmed all are Afghan nationals who had been staying in a refugee camp in Bosnia and Herzegovina before continuing their journey.

On Tuesday, 27 August, six men were killed and 10 were injured in a car crash on a road near Loutra, a village close to Alexandroupoli, Greece. According to authorities, survivors are from Egypt and Pakistan. They crossed the Turkey-Greece border via the Evros river and were planning to reach the city of Thessaloniki.

The MMP team also received reports of a van accident that took place in Thailand in early August and claimed the lives of two migrants. On 6 August, a minivan with 9 migrants on board (eight men and one woman, all from Myanmar) was passing through Ko Kha district. The driver, a Thai, fell asleep. The vehicle ran off the road, hitting a tree. Tragically, two men lost their lives, while the other seven passengers and the driver were injured.

On the US-Mexico border, eight deaths were recorded since last week’s update.

In Brooks County, Texas, authorities reported recovering on 20 and 21 August the remains of three young men – two Hondurans, one Guatemalan – on ranch lands near the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint.

In a statement, the US Border Patrol (USBP) said that agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector on 22 and 24 August recovered the remains of two people from the banks of the Río Bravo/Rio Grande in Hidalgo County, Texas.

Also, on 24 August, USBP agents found the remains of an unidentified person on a ranch in Texas’ Kenedy County. That same day, the Mexican Consulate in Eagle Pass reported an 18-year-old woman from Puebla died in Dimmit County from dehydration, shortly after crossing the border with her cousin, who alerted authorities. Most recently, on 28 August the remains of a 21-year-old Honduran man were found in the Río Bravo near Piedras Negras, in Mexico’s state of Coahuila. 

In total, at least 529 people have lost their lives in the Americas in 2019, compared with 413 recorded through this point in 2018 – an increase of roughly 28 per cent.

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

The report Fatal Journey Volume 4, published 28 June, includes an overview of five years of Missing Migrants Project data (2014-2018) and an update on what is known about deaths during migration in 2019.
 

 

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

See contacts here.

Language English Posted: Friday, August 30, 2019 - 15:18Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Situation of Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants Needs Greater Global Attention

Thu, 08/29/2019 - 16:06

Statement by Eduardo Stein, Joint UNHCR-IOM Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants

Geneva - The number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela has now reached 4.3 million and is growing by the day. As of today, there is no end in sight to this massive population movement, which includes an increasing number of people with vulnerabilities, many of them in need of international protection, as well as a large group seeking access to basic services and employment opportunities.
 
The countries most affected by this population movement are in Latin America and the Caribbean, in particular in the Andean Region, where the socio-economic impact of the outflow from Venezuela has been the most extensive and far-reaching.
 
Despite strained budgets, diminishing resources, social tensions and overwhelmed institutions, countries in Latin America and the Caribbean continue to make commendable efforts to give protection and assistance and to promote the social and economic inclusion of Venezuelans in their territory. However, there is little doubt that the situation of Venezuelan refugees and migrants is surpassing the capacities of individual countries and of the region as a whole.
 
It is only through a coherent, predictable and harmonized regional response that countries in the region will be able to meet the unprecedented humanitarian challenge of responding to the needs of a growing number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants.
 
As Joint UNHCR-IOM Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the region, I am concerned that limits on Venezuelans in accessing the territory of receiving countries may force them into making irregular journeys, leading to trafficking and smuggling, and exacerbating their vulnerabilities.
 
While recognizing the sovereign right of States to decide what measures to take in order to allow access to their territories, I call upon countries in the region to preserve access to asylum and to strengthen the mechanisms that allow the identification of people in need of international protection. Likewise, I respectfully urge States to maintain flexible entry policies, given that many Venezuelans face considerable difficulties in complying with entry requirements, and to continue regularizing and documenting Venezuelan refugees and migrants, as well as facilitating family reunification.
 
Furthermore, I respectfully exhort countries in the region to continue to articulate, coordinate and harmonize their policies and to exchange information and good practices through the Quito Process, which as a non-binding group has brought together Latin American and Caribbean countries affected by the outflow of Venezuelan refugees and migrants. I encourage them to continue to seek cooperation and responsibility-sharing in the spirit of the Quito process, the next meeting of which is scheduled on 5 and 6 December in Bogota, Colombia.

I also appeal to the international community, including bilateral and multilateral cooperation agencies, financial institutions and development actors, to reinforce their support, including financial, to the Venezuelan population, as well as to the receiving countries and local communities hosting Venezuelans.

Media contacts:
For IOM
In Geneva: Joel Millman, jmillman@iom.int, +41 79 103 8720
In Buenos Aires: Juliana Quintero, juquintero@iom.int, +54 11 32488134
 
For UNHCR
In Geneva: Liz Throssell, throssel@unhcr.org, + 41 79 33 77 591
In Panama, William Spindler, spindler@unhcr.org, +507 638 278 15

Language English Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Eduardo Stein, Joint UNHCR-IOM Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Venezuelan Health Professionals Strengthen Public Health System in Argentina: IOM Study

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 09:38

Buenos Aires – A new report by International Organization for Migration demonstrates that Venezuelan migration is helping relieve the health professional shortages Argentina is facing.
Many of the 145,000 Venezuelans currently living in Argentina are trained as nurses and doctors. In fact, there are 16 Argentine provinces where Venezuelan physicians already are certified to work, with more than 200 medical professionals, just in the province of Buenos Aires alone, and smaller numbers in Jujuy, Chubut, and Córdoba. There even are Venezuelans working in the public health system as far south as Tierra del Fuego.

IOM has released these and other findings of the study Labour Integration in the Health Sector of the Venezuelan Population in Argentina, carried out in the framework of the response to the flows of refugees and migrants from Venezuela in the country.

The study was recently launched (23/08) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the participation of the National Directorate for Migration (DNM, Spanish acronym), senior officials from the provinces of Catamarca and Salta and organizations of Venezuelan health professionals.

The research aims to characterize the Venezuelan health professionals living in Argentina, both in terms of their labour qualifications and those much sought after by the local job market. By means of this study, IOM hopes to contribute to decision-making by migration, sanitary and educational authorities, regarding the promotion of the labour integration of the Venezuelan population residing in the country.

According to the study, in order to fully comply with international standards, Argentina should triple the number of nurses to properly meet the requirements of the health system.

The report also highlights that there is an unequal distribution of health professionals throughout the country, with high percentages in capital cities and urban centres, thus generating shortages in other places, especially in the countryside.

The study notes that Argentina has already adopted measures to facilitate the recognition of the degrees obtained by Venezuelan health professionals. In this sense, the settlement of newly arrived doctors from Venezuela, as well as their relocation to areas in need of medical skills, has been supported and these actions have generated great benefits for the public health systems of the provinces with less human resources. That, in turn, leads to the labour insertion of Venezuelan doctors in their fields, promoting quality work for them, the study found.

Yang Álvarez, a Venezuelan doctor living in Argentina and the director of Inter-institutional Relations of the Association of Venezuelan Doctors in Argentina (ASOMEVENAR), explained: “The province with the highest number of Venezuelan doctors is Buenos Aires, with more than 200 professionals; followed by Jujuy with 50, Chubut with 40, and Córdoba, with 15. From Jujuy to Tierra del Fuego, there are already Venezuelan physicians working in the public health system.”

Watch the interview with Yang Álvarez here.

Gabriela Fernández, IOM Argentina Head of Office, listed several measures that the Government of Argentina has taken to make possible the inclusion of the Venezuelan population and emphasizing that “at every governmental level, efforts are undertaken so that the integration of this population is successful.”

Fernández added: “The profile of the Venezuelan population in Argentina is highly professional. Almost 50 per cent have a university degree and nine per cent have completed postgraduate courses. We are talking about a human capital that should be taken into consideration and aided towards their labour inclusion.”

She also thanked the provinces that are helping Venezuelan health professionals to join their hospitals, as well as the Venezuelan associations operating as support networks for those that have arrived recently.

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

Download the study here.

Watch an interview about the report here

For more information please contact Juan Pablo Schneider at IOM Argentina, Tel: +54 11 48151035, Email: jschneider@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: ArgentinaThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM launched a study on how Venezuelan health professionals strengthen the public health system in Argentina.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Brings Cultural Leaders to Peacebuilding Talks in Ethiopia

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 09:31

Addis Ababa – Aba Gedas are highly respected “cultural leaders” in the Oromia region and Gedeo Zone in Ethiopia. IOM brought them together with officials from the country’s Gedeo and West Guji Zones for a discussion on statutory peace building. The talks focused on how future conflicts could be prevented and improving social cohesion in Gedeo-West Guji and familiarizing community actors with components of statutory peacebuilding.

Following a 2018 spate of inter-communal violence, some 800,000 people have been displaced in Ethiopia in Gedeo-West Guji Zones. After the situation improved, and some peace was restored, both were due to cultural reconciliation led by the Aba Gedas. Many of the displaced returned to their hometowns.

However, despite the peace and reconciliation process, concerns remain over how to prevent such displacement from recurring.

IOM’s peacebuilding meeting took place on 24 August in Shashemene, Ethiopia, funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF). The event may be considered historic as it brought together both sides, with six Aba Gedas (three from each zone) alongside four Hadha Siqes (respected peacemaker mothers) who sat at one table to discuss ways to strengthen the peace initiatives that began five months ago.

“This workshop is a platform that has brought children of the same father under one tree for discussion,” said Denbobe Mare, the head of Aba Gedas from Gedeo Zone, speaking on the timeliness and significance of the meeting. “Such initiatives could help us to iron out challenges which could prevent our peacebuilding efforts,” Mare added.

Challenges discussed were highlighted by the Aba Gedas from both sides, while emphasizing the need for integrated efforts from both Aba Gedas and the Zonal Attorney Offices. The Aba Gedas confirmed that they are willing to counsel one another on mutual issues, and co-chair meetings when conflicts arise.

“What we agreed here together should be followed through by the Aba Gedas when our eight years of leadership are over, and we are replaced by our successors,” said one of the Aba Gedas, affirming their continuous commitment to this, even after their terms end. 

The Government of Ethiopia requested IOM’s participation through the Ministry of Peace to support peacebuilding initiatives. IOM organized these talks through a project known as Inclusive Governance and Conflict Management Support to Ethiopia. Traditional conflict resolution involving respected community figures is one approach the organization is actively supporting within the two Zones.

IOM continues to support affected populations in both areas with humanitarian assistance. Such assistance includes the construction of transitional shelters, the distribution of reintegration kits, improving water and sanitation facilities, alongside the provision of health services.

For more information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 11 6611117 (Ext. 1455), Mobile: +251 91 163 9082, Email: salemayehu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

August 24 marked a historic day as it brought six Aba Gedas (community leaders) from Gedeo and Guji as well as six Hadha Siqes (respected peacemaker mothers) together to discuss how to strengthen the peace initiatives in their region.

IOM facilitated the peacebuilding talk which brought community leaders from Gedeo and Guji as well as six Hadha Siqes (respected peacemaker mothers) and Attorney officers together. IOM continues to support the affected population in both zones with humanitarian assistance as well.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNHCR Promote Child and Youth Wellbeing with The Ball Has No Flags Initiative

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 09:28

San Jose – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is currently launching five campaigns to prevent the risks of irregular migration and encourage informed decision making among potential young Central American migrants.

Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras have already presented their campaigns Migrar Informados, Échale ganas and Ponele plan a tu vida. El Salvador is currently preparing to launch the Conectá con tu futuro campaign for the month of September. That same month, Nicaragua and UNICEF will present the #YoCamino campaign.

All campaigns are based on IOM's experience in Asia with the hugely successful IOMX project, which used the Communication for Development (C4D) methodology.

The five campaigns were developed based on the results of more than 2,800 interviews, coordination spaces with more than 100 local partners and the validation of the audience to which the campaigns are directed.

In Mexico, results showed that 97 per cent of migrants in transit would make a great effort to obtain the documents needed to regulate their stay in the country, but 59 per cent do not know which documents they need.

In addition, 49 per cent mentioned not knowing where to look for information to migrate in a regular way. In response to these needs, the Migrar Informados campaign seeks to raise awareness about the existence and benefits of migration regularization routes in Mexico.

In the three countries of the Northern Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador), initial research showed that more than 80 per cent of people wish to receive information on regular migration channels and most would make an effort to get their documents for regular migration. In addition, between 59 per cent and 70 per cent of people interviewed would be willing to engage in local education, employment or entrepreneurship opportunities as an alternative to irregular migration.

The campaigns Ponele plan a tu vida in Honduras, Échale ganas in Guatemala and Conectá con tu futuro in El Salvador, aim to make young people reflect on their life plans and consider information on alternatives to irregular migration.

Esteban Martínez Segovia, Head of Communications of El Salvador’s General Directorate of Migration stressed that “under this approach, more strategic communication plans can be promoted and aimed at achieving better results. Empathy with the communities is key to understanding the causes of migration, which, as we know, is evolving and adopting new forms.”

Data from the interviews in Nicaragua showed that 60 per cent of adolescents are unaware of the difference between traveling regularly and doing it irregularly. Responding to the needs shown in the diagnosis, the #YoCamino campaign, which will be launched in September, focuses on making the processes of regular migration known. In Nicaragua, the campaign is funded and supported by UNICEF.

The campaigns are strengthened at a local level with a network of information points formed by organizations and institutions trained by IOM and government counterparts. This network will provide personalized information on regular migration and local development opportunities. The percentages of people interviewed willing to visit a Migration Information Centre range from 81 per cent to 89 per cent per country.

The campaigns promote the use of https://migrantinfo.iom.int/es, where users can find information about regular migration channels and opportunities for local learning, work and entrepreneurship. Internet use in the target audience of the campaigns range from 52 to 87 per cent. In addition, the campaigns have created a digital community around information on migration on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@enlacolmena)

The campaigns in Mexico and the Northern Triangle are being implemented within the framework of the Regional Migration Program: Mesoamerica-Caribbean, with funding from the Office of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the US State Department and UNICEF is funding the campaign in Nicaragua.

For more information, please contact Tatiana Chacón, at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 8632 8527, Email: tchacon@iom.int, or Anabell Cruz at IOM Nicaragua, Tel: +505 7764 0424, Email:amcruz@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: NicaraguaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Peruvian and Venezuelan children have fun during the launch of “The Ball Has No Flags”. Photo: IOM Peru

Peruvian and Venezuelan children have fun during the launch of “The Ball Has No Flags”. Photo: IOM Peru

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNHCR Launch The Ball Has No Flags Initiative in Perú

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 09:24

Lima – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, this week (24/08) launched The Ball Has No Flags (El Balón no tiene banderas) initiative, focused on promoting the well-being of children and youth in communities in Perú with high concentrations of refugees and migrants.

The objective is to strengthen values such as resilience, integration and community cohesion through Latin America’s most popular sport: football.

In this first stage, the project is being developed in the districts of San Juan de Lurigancho and San Juan de Miraflores, both located in Lima, Perú’s capital.

Two popular athletes participated at the launch past Saturday: Itzel Delgado, winner of a medal in Paddle Surf at the recent Lima 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, and Yuliana Bolívar, who medalled in judo at the same games. Yuliana was born in Venezuela, but now is a Peruvian citizen.

IOM Perú Programme Coordinator, Rogelio Quintero explained: “The proper integration of girls, boys and adolescents always contributes to the future of a country. Sport is characterized by bringing people together regardless of conditions or flags. For this reason, The Ball Has No Flags will support the integration and development of strengths and abilities.”

Through sport, Quintero added, about 200 children and adolescents between 6 and 18 years old – mostly Peruvian or Venezuelan – learn leadership and cooperation through the prism of equality and inclusion.

The activity is supported by the Fútbol Más Foundation, an organization that promotes community cohesion through play and sport as well as the well-being of children and youth.

 “The ball invites us to share, meet and celebrate. We want children, regardless of their nationality, to feel part of the cultural life in their community,” said Jimena Chavez, Social Director of Fundación Fútbol Más Perú. “We celebrate this initiative, where Peruvian and Venezuelan families will gather to start the sports partner program and demonstrate together that the ball has no flags.”

Federico Agusti, UNHCR Representative in Perú, said, “Football is the same anywhere in the world. It has the same rules, the same language and the same joys. It is a refuge for those who have had to leave everything and a meeting point to celebrate something we all understand, a goal. There are more than 30 Peruvians playing abroad, including Paolo Guerrero, and when he scores for Perú or Brazil, there are no differences, we celebrate the same. This project allows Peruvians and Venezuelans to start from a common point to learn to take advantage of their differences.”

The Ball Has No Flags project is part of the integration and solidarity campaign between Peruvians and Venezuelans known as Tu Causa Es Mi Causa. That campaign has been implemented by the UN System in Perú, with the leadership of IOM and UNHCR.

Watch video of the launch.

Join the campaign by sharing the hashtags #ElBalónNoTieneBanderas #TuCausaEsMiCausa and visiting the website www.tucausaesmicausa.pe.

For more information, please contact Ines Calderon at IOM Perú, Tel: +51 997580915, Email: icalderon@iom.int or Regina de la Portilla at UNHCR Perú, Tel. +51 959908967 Email: DELAPORT@unhcr.org

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 15:19Image: Region-Country: PeruThemes: Migration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

All campaigns are based on IOM's experience in Asia with the IOMX project, which uses the Communication for Development (C4D) methodology. Photo: IOM.

The five campaigns were developed based on the results of more than 2,800 interviews, coordination spaces with more than 100 local partners and the validation of the audience to which the campaigns are directed. Photo: IOM.

The campaigns promote the use of https://migrantinfo.iom.int/es, where users can find information about regular migration channels and opportunities for local learning, work and entrepreneurship. Photo: IOM.

Internet use in the target audience of the campaigns range from 52 to 87 per cent. In addition, the campaigns have created a digital community around information on migration on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@enlacolmena). Photo: IOM.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Innovative Inclusive Approach to Strengthen Community Cohesion in Chad

Fri, 08/23/2019 - 09:01

Doba – A robust flow of refugees and returnees from the Central African Republic to Chad has increased pressure on host communities, often leading to clashes over access to limited livelihood resources.  

From March to July 2019, IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) identified 69,343 returnees in the provinces of Logone Oriental and Moyen-Chari, in Southern Chad. 

To address this issue, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Chad – in conjunction with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – has implemented the Emergency Food and Livestock Crisis Response project (PURCAE II) which aims to increase social cohesion, peaceful co-habitation and intercommunity dialogue between refugees, returnees and host communities, through the development of Project Implementation Teams (PITs). 

PITs are composed of seven to nine men and women volunteers from these communities, refugees and returnees. The team members are trained in project implementation, community mobilization, conflict management and resolution.  

Once formed, PIT teams work within their local community, holding focus groups, community meetings and other platforms of exchange, to identify and inform on community assets related to agriculture and livestock activities to be rehabilitated, as well as identify community members who could benefit from cash-for-work activities.  

This week, IOM organized the ninth project management and implementation training for community members which has led to the creation of the ninth PIT in Chad’s southern regions of Logone Orientale, Mandoul and Moyen-Chari. 

Through the Project Implementation Teams, IOM adopts an innovative mechanism for community stabilization based on the participation of project beneficiaries and host communities. Community members are involved from the beginning in the development and implementation of humanitarian assistance activities, enabling them to take ownership of activities, a crucial element to ensure the sustainability of the assistance. 

“Through this project, our goal is to strengthen the resilience of populations in Southern Chad through an innovative approach to project implementation which brings together beneficiaries and host communities,” explained Moussa Soro, Project Manager at IOM Chad.  

The project focuses on activities that will improve social cohesion and dialogue between communities, enhancing purchasing power of the most vulnerable households, rehabilitating productive assets to build resilience and increasing household management capacities.  

Since the beginning of the project, 71 individuals have been trained and nine PITs have been formed in the communities of Kobiteye, Danamadja, Nagkasse, Beraba, Kemdere, Doyaba, Maigama, Dilingala and Silambi, in Southern Chad. Cash-for-work activities have also been established in these communities. In the coming months, new PITs will be established and functional in the regions of Doba, Moissala, Sarh and Sido in addition to the commencement of the next cash-for-work rotations.  

The 18-month project, beginning in early 2019, hopes to aid over 24,100 beneficiaries through cash-for-work rotations, trainings and infrastructure rehabilitation, made possible by The World Bank Group.   

For more information, please contact Moussa Soro at IOM Chad, msoro@iom.int or visit www.rodakar.iom.int 

 

Language English Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 14:50Image: Region-Country: ChadThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Training of seven community members, including refugees and returnees, on project implementation. Photo: IOM

Training of seven community members, including refugees and returnees, on project implementation. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Alternatives to Irregular Migration: IOM Launches Vocational Training Programme for Gambians

Fri, 08/23/2019 - 09:01

Banjul – The lack of access to employment opportunities among Gambian youth is widely cited as a major contributing factor to irregular migration. According to the 2018 Gambia Labour Force Survey, 95 per cent of Gambian irregular migrants surveyed cited “lack of work” as their primary reason for migrating. 

In response to this, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched a vocational training programme aimed at equipping Gambian youth with the skills to engage in entrepreneurial ventures or seek employment. 

“If I equip myself with skills in information technology, I can open my own company and employ Gambians. There would be no need for me to consider the backway (irregular migration),” said trainee Sidia Hydara. 

The programme was designed after a baseline assessment to identify market gaps, demands and opportunities in the West Coast and Upper River Regions – which represent the first and third highest, respectively, origin of Gambian migrants. While laptops and satellites are more widely used in the peri-urban West Coast Region, the demand for mobile phone repairs and solar panels was higher in the Upper River Region. 

Sidia joins a total of 100 youth who will participate in four separate vocational training courses at the Gambia Telecommunications and Multimedia Institute (GTMI): satellite installation and laptop repairs in the West Coast Region; and solar panel installation and mobile phone repairs in the Upper River Region. Lasting 6 to 12 weeks each, the courses will see 50 young men and 50 young women learn both technical and entrepreneurial skills, including business administration, financial management and customer service. 

After completing their courses, each of the students will receive a toolbox to enhance their ability to engage in income-generating activities. In addition, with the support of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), IOM will establish a revolving micro-credit fund which the students who develop viable business proposals after the training will have the opportunity to access. 

“Many youths embark on irregular migration journeys because they have no hope. They can’t find employment,” said Malick Bah, GTMI Director. “With an increasingly digitized Gambia and with training opportunities like this, there is renewed hope.” 

“Since 2017, IOM has assisted in the voluntary return and reintegration of over 4,000 stranded Gambians,” says Fumiko Nagano, IOM Chief of Mission in The Gambia. “We recognize that many youths without economic opportunities are still tempted to engage in irregular migration. So, the launch of this inaugural vocational training is aimed at addressing the root causes of irregular migration.” 

Following this, IOM will establish a training programme in the North Bank Region, the fourth highest origin for Gambian migrants, based on the identified market opportunities. 

This initiative forms part of a larger IOM project, funded by the AICS, aiming to bridge together youth, diaspora and local authorities to promote employment and address irregular migration in The Gambia. 

Watch training here https://youtu.be/NFgcWwgR75w 

For more information, please contact Miko Alazas, at IOM The Gambia; Tel: +220 330 3168, Email: aalazas@iom.int 

 

Language English Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 14:45Image: Region-Country: GambiaThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

25 youth are being trained on satellite installation. Photo: IOM/Miko Alazas

Sidia Hydara believes that being equipped with employable skills is a viable alternative to irregular migration. Photo: IOM/Miko Alazas

''Nowadays, technology is advancing, so we need to learn many skills,'' said Mam Jarra Bossou (left) on the value of the training. Photo: IOM/Miko Alazas

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Arrivals Reach 45,505 in 2019; Deaths, 859

Fri, 08/23/2019 - 09:01

Geneva – IOM reports that 45,505 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 13 August, roughly a 30 per cent decrease from the 64,836 arriving during a similar period last year.

Arrivals this year to Greece and Spain are at 23,193 and 14,680, respectively, (37,873 combined) accounting for about 83 per cent of the regional total, with the balance arriving in much smaller numbers to Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Arrivals to Greece are running ahead of 2018’s totals from this time. Arrivals to Spain are lower.

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost seven months of 2019 are at 859 individuals – or about 55 per cent of the 1,558 deaths confirmed during a similar period in 2018.  (see chart below).

Mediterranean Sea deaths this year account for exactly 50 per cent of all global deaths recorded of migrants in transit by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP). Most of the Mediterranean deaths – nearly 600 in almost eight months – have been recorded on the Central Mediterranean route, where another 15 individuals were reported dead this past week.

An Ethiopian man recovered in Maltese waters last Tuesday reported that he was the sole survivor of a boat of 15 people. He reported that his fellow travellers had slowly succumbed to the elements and a lack of food and water and that their bodies were lost before their boat was rescued.

A Libyan Coast Guard unit also recovered the body of an unidentified man during a large-scale rescue operation on Saturday. Several of the 278 survivors reported that another man remains missing and is presumed to be lost at sea.

Missing Migrants Project

2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project. Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 32,669 individuals, including 1,709 in 2019 as of 22 August (see chart below).

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

The number of migrant deaths recorded in the Americas overall in 2019 is now 518, compared to 397 recorded at the same point in 2018, an increase of 30 per cent.

On the US-Mexico border, IOM recorded four deaths within 24 hours this past week starting Monday (19 August). All were also within the same general area.

On Monday, the body of an unidentified man was found in the Rio Bravo/Grande near El Saucito, not far from the city Piedras Negras, Mexico. In the early hours of the next day, a young woman and her three-year-old daughter were witnessed being swept away while attempting to cross the river at Piedras Negras. A search for the two have yet to discover their ultimate whereabouts. Later that same day, the body of a man who was presumed to have drowned was found on a ranch also near El Saucito.

In another unusual coincidence two van accidents on the opposite sides of the Asian continent claimed the lives of 15 migrants within two days: on Sunday, 10 Laotian migrants – including six women and four men – died in a crash in Thailand while travelling in a van to the border region of the country. On Monday, five Syrians were killed also while travelling in a van in Turkey, including three adult men, a 45-year-old woman and a 15-year-old boy. Two other Turkish men were killed in the accident while 11 of the van’s passengers survived.

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

The report Fatal Journey Volume 4, published 28 June, includes an overview of five years of Missing Migrants Project data (2014-2018) and an update on what is known about deaths during migration in 2019.

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

Language English Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 14:38Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Director General Visits Cyclone Affected Areas in Mozambique

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 10:48

Maputo – IOM Director General António Vitorino is currently on a two-day visit to Mozambique to assess and support the humanitarian response after the country was devastated by two catastrophic storms earlier this year. Cyclone Idai (March) and Cyclone Kenneth (April) affected 1.8 million people and caused hundreds of deaths.

Several months later, 500,000 people continue to live in destroyed or damaged homes and over 77,000 now live in new resettlement sites.

In Maputo yesterday (19/08), DG Vitorino met with the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi; they discussed continued cooperation between IOM and the Government of Mozambique to support affected populations. DG Vitorino also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Condugua Pacheco and the Vice Minister of the Interior, Helena Mateus Khida.

Today (20/08) in Beira, Sofala Province – one of the areas heavily affected by Cyclone Idai – DG Vitorino will meet with the Governor of Sofala Province, Alberto Mondlane and the Mayor of Beira City, Daviz Simango.

DG Vitorino is also scheduled to visit Mandruzi, a resettlement site for displaced families, accompanied by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“There is still a lot to do, and urgent humanitarian needs to be met, in the reconstruction of the lives of people affected by Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, especially in regard to food, shelter and livelihoods,” said DG Vitorino.

“IOM is committed to supporting the people of Mozambique, and to work together with Mozambican authorities and humanitarian partners in the recovery process following these disasters.”

“We thank the Government of Mozambique for their collaboration and for taking the lead in the emergency response to Cyclones Idai and Kenneth,” said IOM Chief of Mission Katharina Schnoering. “We salute the courage of the affected populations who are, step-by-step, rebuilding their homes, livelihoods and communities.”

Since March 2019, IOM has assisted over 280,000 cyclone affected persons with critical shelter materials and relief supplies. IOM is co-leading the Shelter Cluster with IFRC and is the lead of the CCCM Cluster working in close partnership with the Government of Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Management, IOM’s core government partner.

IOM is providing support to most vulnerable population through the provision of shelter and distribution of NFIs, Camp Coordination and Camp Management, Provision of Health and Protection services and Mental Health and Psychosocial support in both regions.

For more information, please contact IOM Mozambique, Katharina Schnoering, Tel: +258 863 511806, Email: kschnoering@iom.int or Sandra Black, Email: sblack@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 16:55Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueThemes: Community StabilizationInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Director General António Vitorino speaks to the media in Maputo, Mozambique, Monday 19 August 2019. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Partners with Save the Children to Assist 600 Children in Ethiopia

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 10:48

Addis Ababa – Six hundred vulnerable children in Ethiopia are the target of a new partnership between the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Save the Children.

Over the next 18 months 400 migrant returnees and 200 other vulnerable children will be earmarked for assistance in eight sub-regions in East Hararghe, Oromia and Amhara’s North Wollo Zones.

This is the fourth such partnership under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration targeting minors in migration-prone regional states in Ethiopia.

IOM already is collaborating with three other local organizations to reach vulnerable children: the Mary Joy Development Association, Facilitator for Change and the Forum on Sustainable Child Empowerment.

Ultimately over 1000 children will be reached through these four partnerships.

To date, IOM has voluntary returned and provided reintegration assistance to 5,000 Ethiopian migrants under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative, out of whom 20 per cent are children. Some 1300 children have received needs-based reintegration assistance since 2017.

Under EU-IOM Joint Initiative assistance is tailor-made for returning migrants seeking to restart their lives in their countries of origin. This is done through an integrated approach that supports both migrants and their communities have the potential to complement local development and mitigate some of the drivers of irregular migration.

Children on the move are a particularly vulnerable group, with the Horn of Africa experiencing significant numbers. Ethiopia, which is Africa’s second most populous country, accounts for the largest migrant movements in the region that also incorporates Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan.

Unaccompanied children are among those traversing key migration routes in search of opportunities in other countries, with Saudi Arabia, Europe and South Africa being key destinations favoured by Ethiopians. 

Figures are few and far between, especially on the routes to Europe and South Africa, with an IOM report observing that over 6000 child migrants lost their lives in Africa between 2014 and 2018. Worldwide, nearly 1,600 children – an average of almost one every day – were reported dead or missing over the same period, although many more go unrecorded.

Unicef said in 2017 that the number of children travelling alone had increased five-fold since 2010, warning that many young refugees and migrants were taking highly dangerous routes, often at the mercy of traffickers.

From January to July 2019, IOM’s drop-in facilities for stranded migrants in the Horn of Africa – also known as Migrant Response Centres - registered 1,224 minors, amounting to 18% of all registrations. Fifty-nine percent of these children were unaccompanied and 41% accompanied (unaccompanied minors are usually between 15-17, while younger children are usually accompanied).

Between May 2017 and July 2019, IOM recorded 21,657 Ethiopian minors returning to Ethiopia from Saudi Arabia - mostly involuntarily) - making it around the 8% of the total number of returnees from Saudi Arabia to the Horn of Africa. In June and July 2019 IOM registered 1,869 minors as having returned from Saudi Arabia.

Since May 2019, IOM assisted the voluntary humanitarian return of 2742 migrants who were detained in a stadium in Yemen. 22 chartered flights brought the returnees to Ethiopia of which 1180 are minors.

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused procedures and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. The project, funded under the European Union Trust Fund for Africa covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries.

According to Sara Basha, the coordinator of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative in Ethiopia, establishing collaboration is among the programme’s strengths. “Addressing the needs of vulnerable population especially migrant children is a complex undertaking which requires strong partnership with various stakeholders across the board,” Basha said.

For more information, please contact Helina Mengistu at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 11 5571707 (Ext. 1109), Email: hmengistu@iom.int    

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: EUTFMigrant AssistanceMigration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

Supporting children is among the priorities of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative

Child migrant returnees at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa.

Minors returning to Ethiopia from Djibouti

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Guatemala Launches Two Migration Data Platforms in Spanish

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 10:48

Guatemala City – Today (20/08) in Guatemala City, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) presents two migration data platforms in Spanish. The first is the Regional Migration Information Platform (PRIMI, by its Spanish acronym), which will offer official migration data from the countries of Central America and the Caribbean. The second release is the Spanish version of the World Migration Data Portal, managed from Germany by IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC).

PRIMI, a platform financed by the IOM Development Fund, will make data on migration generated by the governments of the region and disaggregated by sex, age and nationality available to decision makers and the general public. PRIMI will offer data through visual representations (infographics, interactive maps, dynamic graphs, tables) and interactive databases, which will allow the crossing of variables to facilitate their analysis.

For the management of the migratory information that will be available in PRIMI, a regional network of officials from national migration directorates was formed. This network will allow the sharing of records of international entrances and exits, residences, returns and other administrative data, which will strengthen coordination and information flows between governments.

“PRIMI aims to consolidate the information produced by IOM tools and other data provided by governments to facilitate the comprehension of migratory flows in the region, as well as the design of migration programmes and policies,” said Gabriela Rodríguez, project coordinator. “We also hope to carry out continuous work to strengthen the capacities of national migration offices in the region,” she said.

IOM also launches the Global Migration Data Portal in Guatemala today, which will be available in Spanish for the first time since its launch in 2017. The Portal aims to serve as a single point of access to complete and timely migration statistics and reliable information on global migration data.

The site is designed to help policy makers, national statistics officers, journalists and the general public interested in the field of migration navigate the increasingly complex landscape of international migration data, currently dispersed in different organizations and agencies.

“Migration is a cross-cutting phenomenon that concerns each and every one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and most of the 169 goals of the 2030 Agenda,” said Susanne Melde, Senior Analyst with GMDAC. “Since the SDGs are a country-led process, the responsibility to measure progress towards the SDG targets lies with the national governments. The Portal is a tool to strengthen the capacities in migratory data and information to fulfil this responsibility.”

The launch event of these two platforms takes place today at 6:30 pm at the Hotel Clarion Suites Guatemala.

You can access the Global Migration Data Portal at www.migrationdataportal.org, and PRIMI at www.primi.iom.int

For more information please contact Gabriela Rodríguez at the IOM Regional Office for Central and North America and the Caribbean, Email: grodriguez@iom.int, or Susanne Melde at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, Email: smelde@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 16:45Image: Region-Country: GuatemalaThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

PRIMI enables one to explore and analyze data on migration from 12 countries of Central America and the Caribbean. 

PRIMI enables one to explore and analyze data on migration from 12 countries of Central America and the Caribbean. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Model of Migration Law Approved for Central America and the Caribbean

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 10:48

Mexico City – The Forum of Presiding Officers of Legislative Assemblies of Central America and the Caribbean Basin (FOPREL) yesterday (19/08) approved the Regional Framework Law on Migration, with a Human Rights Approach at its XXII Special Meeting.

The Framework Law was developed with the support of the International Organization for Migration and other multilateral and civil society organizations and will have an impact throughout the region. It will serve as a reference for strengthening the already existing regulatory frameworks in each country. That strengthening process will be carried out by the sovereign legislative body of each of the countries represented in the FOPREL.

According to IOM figures, at least 21 million Central Americans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans live outside their countries. Another three million people live as migrants in the same region. The framework law was developed for safeguarding these people's human rights, along with the welfare of the communities that saw them leave and those that host them.

“The framework law on migration matters is due to a mandate from the presidents of the member parliaments of our organization,” said Santiago Rivas, Executive Secretary of FOPREL. “It is transcendental for us since it compiles all the international treaties that the member countries of FOPREL have ratified and places a special emphasis on the human rights of migrants.”

The Framework Law was signed by the presiding officers of the legislative powers of Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico at the headquarters of the Congress of the United Mexican States and has become the first instrument approved at a regional level as a model to develop national standards for migration governance.

“In the region we have at least four challenges in this field: addressing the causes of irregular migration, generating conditions for return, creating regular migration channels and fighting xenophobic discourse,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean. “This Framework Law will help participating states face these challenges and will contribute to harmonizing their legislative frameworks.”

International organizations such as the Gilberto Bosques International Studies Centre, the Senate of the United Mexican States, UNICEF, UN Women, the Organization of American States (OAS), and civil society organizations such as Save the Children participated in the drafting of this framework law, led by FOPREL and IOM.

For more information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 7203 6536, Email: jgallo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 16:38Image: Region-Country: MexicoThemes: Migration LawDefault: Multimedia: 

Marcelo Pisani (right), IOM Regional Director, highlighted the importance of the Regional Framework Law on Migration, before the presiding officers of legislative assemblies of Central America and the Caribbean Basin. Photo: IOM / Cesia Chavarria 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 43,584 in 2019; Deaths Reach 844

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 10:48

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 43,584 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 13 August, roughly a 31 per cent decrease from the 63,142 that arrived during the same period last year.  

Arrivals this year to Greece and Spain are at 22,283 and 14,168, respectively, (36,451 combined) accounting for almost 84 per cent of the regional total, with the balance arriving in much smaller numbers to Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Arrivals to Greece are running approximately 30 per cent ahead of 2018’s totals from this time. Arrivals to Spain are about 46 per cent lower.  

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost eight months of 2019 are at 844 individuals — or about 55 per cent of the 1,541 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018. (see chart below).   

Most recently, one man was found dead in a boat recovered by the Maltese Armed Forces. Three survivors were rescued in the operation; however, one other man is now in critical condition in hospital.  

IOM Spain 

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported on Monday sea arrivals to Spain, through 11 August have reached 14,168 men, women and children, with July producing the largest number of new arrivals since January (see chart below). 

IOM Greece 

IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou reported on Wednesday (14/08) that over eight days (07-14/08), the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) confirmed at least eighteen incidents requiring search and rescue operation off the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Kos, Leros and the port of Alexandroupolis. The HCG rescued a total of 643 migrants and transferred them to those respective ports.  

Those arrivals, plus another 1,499 at various islands and ports arriving during the days 8-12 August brings to 22,283 the total number of irregular migrants and refugees IOM has recorded arriving by sea to Greece this year (see chart below). 

IOM’s Nikolaidou also shared new data on arrivals to Greece through the month of July. In descending order, the top ten arrivals to Greece of irregular migrants via sea from Turkey are Afghanistan, Syria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Palestinian Territories, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Somalia, Congo, Cameroon and Ghana (see chart below).  

Missing Migrants Project 

2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project (MMP). Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 32,629 individuals, including 1,675 in 2019, as of 14 August (see chart below). 

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

In Europe, the first known death has occurred of someone trying to reach the UK across the English Channel irregularly. On 9 August, an Iranian woman was tragically lost at sea. Nineteen others, including 4 children, were travelling on the same rubber boat and were rescued by authorities.  

Since the start of the year, at least 251 people have died while attempting to cross the US-México border. MMP recorded 291 deaths on this border in the same period in 2018. However, it is important to note that deaths along this border often are recorded retroactively, largely because remains may not be found until long after people die due to the vast and harsh terrain.  

Since MMP’s last update, on 4 August, the remains of 15 people were recovered in inland Texas, and three were recovered after they drowned crossing the Río Bravo, which follows virtually the entire border between México and the US state of Texas. So far, the identities of only six of these victims are known, including Yessica Carolina Castillo Buezo, a 35-year-old Honduran woman, who was found on a ranch northeast of the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint in Brooks County, Texas.  

In California, the death of a young man was recorded after his remains were found on 20 July near El Centro, Imperial County, where he is believed to have died from hypothermia.  The deaths of four more people were recorded in California since the last update.  All were drowned while trying to cross into the All-American Canal into Imperial County since the beginning of the year.    

In Central America, at least two people died while migrating on 4 August: an unidentified man who fell from a train that was travelling through Veracruz México, and Braudilio Acosta Gutierrez, from Honduras, who was shot in the municipality of El Progreso, in Guatemala when he intervened during a robbery.  He was travelling with his 19-year-old son, who survived him.  

Further south, on 8 August, a Venezuelan man died when he fell from the truck on which he was riding near Calarcá, east of Bogota, Colombia.  

Americas’ Migratory Routes Reach Grim Milestone: Over 500 Deaths so far in 2019 

In total, at least 514 people have lost their lives in the Americas in 2019, compared with 384 recorded through this point in 2018 – an increase of just over one-third.  

This is the earliest point in any of the past six years that IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has reached a threshold of 500 or more deaths in the Americas. In prior years, the 500-death mark was reached in either September (2016), October (2017, 2018) or December (2015), or, in the case of 2014, not at all, as only 495 deaths were recorded of migrants in transit in the Americas that year. 

Women (67 deaths) and children (40) made up just over one-fifth of all deaths recorded in the Americas in 2019, although remains also were recovered from 137 sites where the age and gender of the deceased has yet to be determined. 

Nearly half of all deaths – 247 through 15 August – have been recorded on the US-México border. The rest were reported either further south, in Central America (which for the MMP project includes much of México and the isthmus lying between Panamá and Guatemala), or near Caribbean Sea islands or South America. Deaths counted in those three regions were, respectively, 80, 151 and 30. 

The turmoil in Venezuela – where over four million migrants have left the country since 2015 – may account for much of 2019’s fatalities surge in recorded fatalities.  

This year IOM has reported 89 confirmed fatalities of Venezuelan nationals, whose deaths were recorded across South and Central America as well as in the Caribbean Sea.  

Venezuelans are second only to “Unknown” as the most counted nationality, which has 178 victims –many of which were found this year as remains in the desert long after their deaths or lost at sea, meaning that their identities and nationalities may never be confirmed.  

Those nationalities that have been confirmed include Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, México, Nicaragua and Ukraine (see chart below). 

The Missing Migrants Project counted deaths so far in 2019 in the following states: Bahamas (31), Dominican Republic (17), Turks and Caicos (19), Trinidad and Tobago (52) and Curacao (32) in the Caribbean. In México (76), Guatemala (2) and Panamá (2) in Central America; in Colombia (27), Brazil (2) and Perú (1) in South America. 

MMP also chronicled a wide range of causes of death of these many migrant men, women and children. 

Drowning – with 259 victims – was the leader, accounting for just over half of all deceased. More victims appear to have drowned at sea than along any of the treacherous river crossings many migrants risk, not only along the US-México border, but also along borders in Central and South America.  

Highway accidents (65) also has been a very common cause of death this year, while and mishaps along railway routes (21) are blamed for almost as many deaths as dehydration or exposure (22). Crimes of violence – including homicide – are linked to 19 deaths, with about the same number of fatalities in 2019 attributed to sickness or lack of medical attention. Over 100 cases note a cause of death as “unknown”, also linked to the fact that many migrants’ bodies are not found for weeks or months after their death. 

This total, does not include at least 11 deaths in custody in the Americas—either in US detention centres or in México. Because some of these victims were long-term residents of these centres, these cases are counted separately from the Missing Migrants totals.  

MMP is also aware of at least 50 cases in México and in Panamá’s Darién jungle where credible reports of deaths have yet to be corroborated. Some of these cases involve eyewitnesses who report they have seen bodies that have yet to be recovered.  

In other cases, bodies have been found, but it is not yet known whether these victims are properly categorized as migrants in transit, or migrants settled in the area, or nationals of the country who were not migrants at all. 

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial.  

To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here. The report Fatal Journey Volume 4, published 28 June, includes an overview of five years of Missing Migrants Project data (2014-2018) and an update on what is known about deaths during migration in 2019.  

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

See contacts here

Language English Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 - 16:25Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

First Yazidi Family Arrives in Germany Under New Humanitarian Admission Programme

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 10:38

Berlin – A family of eight Yazidis arrived in Berlin on Wednesday (14/08), in the latest effort by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to assist vulnerable Yazidis with their admission to Europe. Their arrival was made possible through the German Federal State of Brandenburg’s new regional Humanitarian Admission Programme (HAP).  

The family was accompanied by IOM staff during their journey from Erbil to Berlin, where they were welcomed at Berlin’s airport by specially trained staff before travelling onwards to their accommodation in Brandenburg. 

“It is crucial that we continue to assist this vulnerable group, who have suffered immeasurably at the hands of ISIL,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite.  

“We are grateful that, with Brandenburg, another German Federal State has stepped up to support vulnerable Yazidis, as they recover from their horrific ordeal and rebuild their lives,” said IOM Germany Chief of Mission Monica Goracci. 

Between 2015 and 2016, IOM supported over 1,000 Yazidi women to come to the German Federal State of Baden-Württemberg, among them 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad.  

In total, since 2015, IOM has assisted 1,327 Yazidis who have been granted humanitarian admission to European countries. In May 2019 alone, IOM assisted 130 Yazidis to travel to France as part of the Humanitarian Admissions Programme launched by President Emmanuel Macron. 

The current round of humanitarian admissions comes five years after ISIL swept through predominately Yazidi Sinjar, executing thousands of men, sexually enslaving large number of women and girls, and displacing thousands of people. Today, a significant portion of the community remains displaced, including hundreds of families who fled to Mount Sinjar in 2014.  

In Iraq, IOM supports the selection mission, assists with visa document processing, conducts health assessments and provides pre-departure orientation sessions. The HAP foresees the admission of 71 Yazidis from Iraq through the end of 2019. 

For more information please contact: 
Sabine Lehmann at IOM Germany, Tel: +49 3027877817, Email: slehmann@iom.int 
IOM Iraq Public Information Unit, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: iraqpublicinfo@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 - 16:33Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: ResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

Staff of local partner NGO welcomes the Yazidi family at Berlin airport on 14 August. Photo: IOM 

A Yazidi family of eight arrives in Berlin on 14 August. Photo: IOM 

IOM staff with the Yazidi family after their arrival in Germany on 14 August. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Nepali Media Commits to Disaster Preparedness Advocacy

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 10:33

Kathmandu – Media should play a more proactive role in educating the general public about disaster preparedness, rather than simply reporting the aftermath of crises, according to journalists attending a workshop organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ).  

The event, which was supported by USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), brought together leading Nepali journalists to discuss how media can contribute to building a more disaster-resilient society through advocacy, awareness raising and improved accountability at all levels of government.   

Nepal is among the 20 most disaster-prone countries in the world. In 2015 earthquakes displaced some 2.8 million people. Over 117,000 people in the 14 worst-affected districts were forced to find shelter in makeshift camps. 2017 also saw heavy rains resulting in flooding across 35 of Nepal’s 77 districts. Over 190,000 houses were destroyed or partially damaged, displacing tens of thousands of people and leaving many homeless.   

The country’s new federal structure created under its new 2015 Constitution has seen a shift of power from the centre to provincial and municipal levels of government. Disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) is among 22 areas of government that are now the responsibility of devolved provincial and municipal authorities.  

The government is also re-organizing its disaster management agencies based on a new DRRM Act 2017. This also involves a significant decentralization of decision making, resources management and service delivery systems. 

Nepali media is already engaged in advocacy to raise awareness of disaster risk reduction. Nepal TV’s Talk of the Town programme has screened 52 episodes on DRRM issues to date, creating a nationwide forum designed to bring together stakeholders from different fields to achieve a common goal of building a more disaster-resilient nation. DRRM is also a national priority for members of parliament and the Government.  

The Kathmandu workshop was attended by some 30 journalists from News Agency Nepal (NAN) the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters Nepal (ACORAB) and other media outlets. It was facilitated by DRM expert and former Education Minister Dr. Gangalal Tuladhar.   

For more information please contact Paul Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel: +97714426250 (Ext. 194), Email: iomnepal@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: NepalThemes: Capacity BuildingDisaster Risk ReductionDefault: Multimedia: 

Nepali journalists see a greater role for media in advocating for more disaster-resilient communities. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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