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IOM Celebrates Migrant Women and Girls—and Values Diversity on the Move

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 04:28
Language English

Switzerland – Women and girls represent a significant proportion of people on the move worldwide, all of whom carry with them a heart full of hope, a mind filled with ideas, and a diverse range of migration experiences.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, stands with each and every one of them on International Women’s Day 2018 and embraces the official United Nations theme: Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives. We stand together with them and raise our voices with and in support of all migrant women and girls.

On this day, we honour the women who have worked tirelessly to make their voices heard and pave the way towards women’s rights and empowerment. Displaying great strength and resilience, these women have highlighted the injustice they and others have experienced simply because of their gender.

Migrant women often play essential roles in sustaining and rebuilding their families and communities. We now know that they send a greater portion of their overseas earnings home than men do. We also know they often take on more caring responsibilities related to family and household than men do – wherever they may be.

More women are in the workforce than ever before – which means that more women are seeking opportunities abroad, and contributing to their home countries by empowering themselves, their homes and communities at large. In crisis situations, women often are among the first responders. Nevertheless, the distinctive voices of women and girls usually go unheard.

We must always remember that women carry with them their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages.  Indeed, their gender shapes every stage of the migration experience, starting with their motivations to migrate and continuing throughout their entire journey and on to their destination and, for some, upon their return home. For example, many women migrate to seek financial independence and empowerment, to escape from poverty, to expand their knowledge or to join loved ones. Unfortunately, many women on the move encounter hardship because of both lack of information and knowledge about information access points.

Violence against women is one all-too-common denominator underlying the distinctive challenges that female migrants face along the migration route. We must not forget that violence against women is a manifestation of deeply-rooted unequal power relations between men and women that we all must condemn.

As we have heard time and time again, many women experience sexual violence, harassment and exploitation inflicted by complete strangers, state officials, fellow migrants and even family members. IOM condemns any form of violence and discrimination against women and girls and calls for its elimination.

Women’s empowerment means emancipation and the freedom to contribute to the community and society at large. Every day IOM works side by side with migrants to prevent and combat all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls, and to address the many different structural issues that fuel this violence and discrimination.

IOM, the agency I am proud to lead, values the diversity of migrant women on the move and recognizes the importance of actively listening to the different voices of these migrant women. We strive for their empowerment, and we endeavour to amplify their voices for better policies, better practices and better programmes designed to protect and assistall.

At IOM, we work together with hundreds of talented women who serve in every one of our 169 member states—and dozens of other locations worldwide where IOM operates, many of whom are fighting tirelessly to further women’s rights and empowerment to make gender equality a reality.

Allow me to mention two of these women here:

Lina is a lawyer who fled from the Syrian Arab Republic and works at a community centre in Turkey that is run by an IOM partner Syrian Social Gathering (SSG). She fights injustice by providing legal advice to disadvantaged women and amplifying their voices via legal representation. “I’ve always felt a powerful need to help those who do not fully know their rights. I have often seen too many women in situations where they feel like they have no legal recourse.”

Thant is a medical doctor who works in Myanmar for IOM to improve maternal and child health by raising awareness of health issues and to build the capacity of midwives in rural communities. "If there are equal rights for all human beings, it will lead to the development of my country." Thant approaches the frontline to empower women by supporting them through health care. The craft that she brings, like many others, is instrumental in assessing the different implications on women and men of planned health policy and action. Such actions on legislation, government programmes, and practices and behaviours can often lead to a positive impact on the individual women and girls.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, IOM stands with all women and pays special homage to the allies who fight to secure the rights of women and girls of all ages. IOM will continue to stand with the many different voices of migrant women, value diversity on the move, strive to meet every migrant’s different needs and give equal opportunities for the benefit of all.

Posted: Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 11:25Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Deputy Director General Addresses Dubai Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 08:47

Dubai – IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson yesterday (05/03) called for improved humanitarian financing structures at the 15th Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD).

Deputy Director General participated in the panel discussion Doing (Even) Better with the Resources in Hand alongside Ursula Mueller, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, OCHA and Mohamed Beavogui, Director-General of the Johannesburg-based Africa Risk Capacity.

During the panel discussion, moderated by Hesham Youssef, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Deputy Director General Thompson highlighted four key areas.

Firstly, she noted that despite reaching more people than ever before, current resources and humanitarian financing structures are no longer able to address the scale and complexity of today’s crises, let alone future needs. Secondly, she highlighted the need to ensure that each aid dollar has the maximum impact possible on saving lives, preventing suffering and helping communities become resilient.

Thirdly, Deputy Director General Thompson said: “We need a new way of working and to strengthen a wider financing architecture, which advances the 2030 Agenda’s commitment to leave no one behind in crisis contexts.”

In her fourth and last point she highlighted the need for a long-term commitment. “IOM, as an agency that works across the humanitarian, transition and development spectrums, promoting humane and orderly migration, recognizes more than ever that meeting immediate needs alone is not enough. The root causes and drivers of vulnerability must be addressed.”

“We need to do things better and smarter,” emphasized Deputy Director General Thompson. “In times of crisis, migration is a life-saving strategy and a coping mechanism, which requires adequate humanitarian protection and assistance and support for recovery, but migration is also a key driver of development towards the 2030 Agenda.”

“IOM is uniquely placed to contribute to the global dialogue on reducing risks, needs and vulnerability,” concluded Deputy Director General Thompson.

The three-day conference and exhibition opened on 5 March under the theme The Sustainability of Emergency Aid: The Intensifying Search for the Appropriate Strategies, Methodologies and Resources to Meet the Global Humanitarian Challenges in the Years Ahead.  

DIHAD, under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, brought together global leaders and representatives from UN agencies, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, NGOs, procurement and logistics officials, researchers and others.

For more information, please contact Christine Petré in Dubai, Tel: 00216 292 40448, Email: cpetre@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 15:24Image: Region-Country: United Arab EmiratesDefault: Multimedia: 

The Deputy Director General called for improved humanitarian financing structures at the Conference. Photo: Christine Petre

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 10,584 in 2018; Deaths Reach 421

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 08:44

Geneva IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 10,584 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first nine weeks of 2018, with just over 50 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (27%), Spain (22%) and Cyprus (less than 1%). This compares with 19,824 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

At this time in February 2016 there already were 116,005 arrivals – roughly 100,000 more than at this point this year and last.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo said Monday that, according to Ministry of Interior figures, 5,331 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy this year – or barely one third the figure at this time last year, when 15,759 migrant men, women and children were brought to Italy after being rescued in the waters north of Africa. Through 4 March Italy arrivals are averaging just under 85 persons per day. This compares with 227 per day in 2017 and 153 per day in 2016 (see chart below).

Di Giacomo on Monday reported that the figures above do not include the 72 survivors of a rescue operation that occurred on Saturday. Rescued by a commercial ship, Cypriot merchant vessel MV Everest, off the coast of North Africa, the survivors were transferred to the NGO Ship Aquarius which landed Tuesday (6 March) in Pozzallo.

Details of the incident are not complete, but it is feared that besides the 72 survivors an equal number of victims may have been lost. IOM expects to learn more after those survivors – believed to be all sub-Saharan Africans – are brought ashore on Tuesday.

Di Giacomo explained that among the 72 survivors there were 42 rescued from a boat, plus another 30 said to have been brought back to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard and who are considered survivors of a shipwreck, the details of which IOM still does not have.  Initial reports are that at least 21 migrants are thought to be missing, although there remains a question as to whether any of the survivors were rescued by Libyans.

"We know there are survivors of a shipwreck. But it seems very strange that the number of missing is only 21," Di Giacomo said Tuesday morning. "We hope there are no more than 21 missing, but we fear that the death toll could be higher. We will know how many more when we gather survivors’ testimonies directly."

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported Monday that deaths on the Central Mediterranean route – 316 as of 2 March – were down almost 30 per cent below their total at this same time in 2017, when 442 migrants had been counted as drowned or missing in the waters between North Africa and Italy. Moreover, the MMP Project had recorded only a single death, on 19 February this year, after a shipwreck took dozens of victims on 2 February.

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia on Monday said that over four days ending 3 March, the Hellenic Coast Guard reported there were at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Farmakonisi and Samos. The Coast Guard rescued 152 migrants and transferred them to those respective islands.
Those rescued, plus another 103 arriving on Samos brings the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory through 3 March February to 2,908 (see chart below) – an average of 47 persons per day.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals by sea in 2018 have reached 2,308 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 4 March.

Through nine weeks on the Mediterranean, 421 migrants are estimated to have died in 2018, compared with 521 at this time last year. Most recently, three deaths were recorded on the Western Mediterranean route between North Africa and Spain. On 3 March, two women died and one person went missing off the coast of Benzú, in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.

This year, 105 people have died in the Mediterranean when trying to reach Spain.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 684 migrant fatalities in 2018, compared with 1,000 at this time last year (see chart below).

Besides those lost on the Mediterranean, MMP recorded several deaths in Mexico. One man was hit by a train near Monterrey, Mexico on 19 February, while on 23 February a young Honduran migrant was shot by armed robbers near Tenosique, Tabasco, close to the border with Guatemala.

Additionally, MMP received data this week from the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner in Arizona, USA for January and February: the remains of 13 migrants who lost their lives crossing the US/Mexico border were recovered at different locations in Pima County in the first two months of 2018.

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

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
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@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
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 15:26Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

40th Inter-American Course on International Migration Gets Underway in Mar del Plata, Argentina

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 08:40
Language English

Mar del Plata – The Inter-American Course on International Migration began yesterday (05/03) in Mar del Plata, Argentina with the participation of 22 representatives from 17 governments of Latin America and the Caribbean. The two-week training, organized by the IOM Regional Office for South America, celebrates this year, its 40th anniversary.

During the opening of the course, the IOM Regional Director for South America Diego Beltrand highlighted the importance of the training as a space for knowledge exchange through which nearly 1,000 government officials from Latin-American and Caribbean countries have been trained throughout the years.

Beltrand said: “This course draws on the successful experiences on migration from Latin-American and Caribbean countries such as the Resident Agreement Mercosur, which have granted nearly 2 million temporary and permanent residences as well as regional dialogues that take place in the framework of the South American Conference of Migration (SACM) and the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM).”

The Director General of Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina Luis María Sobrón said: "This training not only provides tools for the study and interpretation of migration policies through a solid theoretical knowledge, but also constitutes an excellent opportunity to share experiences, good practices in migration and consular matters among the participants from the different countries."

The course consists of different modules including, among others, the understanding of the migration processes, the international protection of migrants, the instruments of migration governance and the policies and the programmes of international migration. It also addresses topics such as international dialogue, regional integration processes, assistance to vulnerable migrants and gender.

This year, thanks to the financial contribution of the IOM Development Fund (IDF), a training module on the challenges and opportunities of the treatment of migration in the media has been included.

The course modules are conducted by IOM specialists as well as visiting experts in the different topics related to migration. The course also includes the participation of experts from IOM partner organizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Institute of Public Policies of Human Rights (IPPDH) of Mercosur.

This year, the course pays tribute to Juan Artola, who recently passed away. Artola worked for IOM between 1988 and 2012 and in his last position, as Regional Director for South America, he was the head of the Mar del Plata course.

For more information, please contact Juliana Quintero at the IOM Regional Office in Buenos Aires, Tel. + (54) 11 5219 2033, Email: juquintero@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 15:22Image: Region-Country: ArgentinaDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Trains Border Control Officials on Search and Rescue in Berbera, Somaliland

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 08:36

Berbera – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, last week (28/02-01/03) trained 29 Somaliland border control officials on search and rescue (SAR).
Facilitated by IOM’s Africa Capacity Building Centre’s (ACBC), the training in Berbera, Somaliland included real life examples and theory relating to the international code for the security of ships and port facilities, international legal obligations, rescue at sea and migrant smuggling by sea.

“Somalia’s expansive coastline is a critical shipping route that remains prone to clandestine activity, people trafficking, smuggling, piracy and exploitation by foreign fishers. Poorly effected border control measures, a lax in inter-agency coordination and corruption are amongst the greatest impediments to addressing irregular migration and smuggling occurring in Somalia’s territorial sea,” said Marcellino Ramkishun, ACBC’s Senior Migration Management Specialist, who facilitated the training.

According to an IOM-commissioned Trafficking in Persons Assessment in South and Central Somalia (Oct 2016), sea transportation is the most utilized form of transport by traffickers to facilitate the irregular movement of victims.

Somaliland is yet to attain international recognition as an independent state which creates a particularly weak spot in terms of international legal frameworks to safeguard Somaliland’s territorial waters. The civil war in Yemen also exposes Somaliland’s shipping line to potential criminal activity hence a much-required balance between security and assistance.

The training’s real-life scenarios benefited from the Ramkishun’s experience as a captain, border coast guard patrol unit in South Africa, complemented by his expertise on organized crime.

Commenting at the end of the training, one participant said, “This is the first time we have had a training like this where real cases and real examples are discussed. I knew very little about the extent of organized crime and how it can negatively impact Somaliland. It’s the first time I feel I have a chance to become a better officer. I do look forward to a possible simulation in future where we can practically learn some of these things.”   

This activity falls under a multi-sectoral response project, funded by the Government of Japan, to contribute to increasing human security and stability in Somalia particularly among vulnerable migrants and mobile populations.

For more information please contact the Programme Support Unit at IOM Somalia, Tel: +254 715 990 600, Email: iomsomaliapsu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 15:19Image: Region-Country: SomaliaDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Joint AU - EU - UN Taskforce Assists 16,000 People

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 11:57

Brussels –  The International Organization for Migration (IOM) assisted 15,000 migrants to return to their homes from Libya through the voluntary humanitarian returns programme, with the support of the European Union and the active cooperation of the African Union. On its side, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has evacuated over 1,300 refugees from Libya. This fulfils the targets announced at the Taskforce meeting by High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini, African Union Commissioner El Fadil, IOM Director General Swing and UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner Türk on 14 December 2017.

Joint work will continue in the weeks to come. The European Union just adopted on 26 February an additional package worth €115 million in support of the work of the Joint Taskforce, which will be implemented by the IOM and the UNHCR. The new programmes aim at providing protection to migrants and refugees in Libya, as well as assist the evacuation of additional 3,800 people in need of international protection. The new measures will further assist the reintegration of migrants in their home countries and improve assistance to migrants in the Sahel region and Lake Chad Basin.

This is in line with the commitments made by the Joint African Union - European Union - United Nations Task Force in Abidjan in November 2017, voluntary humanitarian returns of migrants to their countries of origin, and the resettlement of refugees from Libya have been significantly scaled up.

Today's announcement also follows a recent high-level joint mission of the AU-EU-UN to Tripoli on 22 February, to enhance co-operation on migration and protection issues in Libya.

Background

The Joint Taskforce was established at the margins of the African Union – European Union Summit in Abidjan last November, with the aim to save and protect lives of migrants and refugees along the Central Mediterranean route and in particular inside Libya.

For more information, please contact Ryan Schroeder, IOM Regional Office for the EU,  Tel: +32 2 287 7116, Email: rschroeder@iom.int or Olivia Headon, IOM Libya at Tel: +41794035365, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Monday, March 5, 2018 - 18:51Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Deplores Attack in Nigeria That Has Taken the Lives of Two IColleagues

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 11:51

Geneva - IOM, the United Nations Migration agency, has learned that yesterday (1 March) at about 1710 hours local time, a large number of Boko Haram members armed with automatic weapons, rocket propelled grenades and gun trucks attacked the military base in Rann, in Borno State, northeast Nigeria. Some 55 000 people displaced by the conflict live in a camp near the base, according to a UN spokesperson.

IOM staff reported that during the incident four soldiers, four mobile police and three humanitarian workers lost their lives and another three humanitarian workers were injured.

Two of those killed were IOM field colleagues, Ibrahim Lawan and Yawe Emmanuel.

Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Director of Operations and Emergencies, said: “We are outraged and saddened at the killings of two of our colleagues in an attack by Boko Haram in North East Nigeria last evening.  Ibrahim Lawan and Yawe Emmanuel represented the best in us in assisting displaced civilians.  We will miss them. “

Language English Posted: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 18:44Image: Region-Country: NigeriaDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Japan to Deepen Assistance to Areas of Return in Iraq: IOM

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 10:07

Iraq – As the pace of return of displaced Iraqis to areas of origin has accelerated in recent months, the Government of Japan is supporting IOM, the UN Migration Agency, with new funds to stabilize conflict-affected communities in Iraq and support the sustainable reintegration of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The funding, valued at USD 3.64 million, will support IOM Iraq’s comprehensive response to the needs of conflict-affected people in return areas. The 12-month project aims to assist more than 160,000 people through three components: shelter rehabilitation, enhancing health services and upgrading medical facilities, and supporting social cohesion efforts in vulnerable communities of return.

“It is the fourth year in a row that Japan provided assistance for vulnerable Iraqi/Syrian people affected by ISIL through its Supplementary Budget,” said Fumio Iwai, Ambassador of Japan to Iraq. “This financial support shows Japan’s strong and faithful commitment to addressing basic needs in the camps and the areas of return in Iraq.”

“The assistance to IOM comes as part of the new package of humanitarian and stabilization efforts to Iraq, amounting to approximately USD 100 million. Japan is determined to serve displaced persons, refugees and host communities in Iraq, while supporting Iraq’s efforts for its development,” he added.

The project will mostly focus on Telafar district, approximately 50 km west of the city of Mosul in Ninewa Governorate, which hosts one of the largest concentrations of returnees in Iraq. Telafar was retaken from ISIL late in the summer of 2017, after Mosul.

According to a field assessment conducted by IOM Iraq in Telafar in December 2017, nearly 40 per cent of the district’s houses are completely destroyed or partially damaged. In addition to repairing the damaged houses of dozens of vulnerable families, IOM will rehabilitate a park in the centre of Telafar with landscaping, gardening and a child-friendly area to play.

“Securing shelters and access to basic services is essential for returnees to rebuild their lives and achieve a durable solution to their displacement,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite.

“We are grateful for Japan’s continued support to IOM Iraq, in this crucial period; large-scale military operations have ceased and now our main focus, in cooperation with the Government of Iraq, is on capacity building and repairing the damage left by three years of conflict,” he added.

“The violence perpetrated by ISIL has created deep emotional, psychological and relational fissures in communities, which can hamper peacebuilding, social cohesion and rebuilding of areas of return,” said Gulistan Chalabi, one of IOM Iraq’s psychologists. “Many displaced people have already returned; however, these movements have also created a wide range of new emotional and relational challenges at individual, family, community and societal levels.”

IOM will establish and operate two community centres in Telafar and Mosul districts to promote mediation and conflict resolution skills, women’s leadership and youth empowerment, as well as to provide psychosocial support focused on stress management, resilience building and self-confidence.

Furthermore, to improve access of returnees and IDPs to quality healthcare services, IOM will upgrade and revitalize medical centres including the General Hospital in Telafar and Zaytun Primary Health Care Centre in Erbil.

The funds will also contribute to upgrading an ophthalmological unit in Mosul; several thousand individuals will receive vision screenings, and around 1,500 will receive prescription glasses through a public-private partnership with the Japanese company Fuji Megane.

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

Language English Posted: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 17:00Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Some 1,500 people will receive prescription glasses through a public-private partnership with the Japanese company Fuji Megane. Photo: © IOM

It is the fourth year in a row that Japan provided assistance for vulnerable Iraqi/Syrian people affected by ISIL.  © IOM

 The Government of Japan is supporting IOM with new funds to stabilize conflict-affected communities in Iraq and support the sustainable reintegration of IDPs.  © IOM

© IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Releases Outcomes of Skills2Work Pilot Initiative Integrating Refugees into EU Labour Markets

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 10:06

The Hague/Brussels – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has presented the results of a pilot project that connected thousands of refugees, employers, migrant groups and local authorities and made strides towards integrating beneficiaries of international protection in the EU into the labour market.     

The EU-funded Skills2Work project, which ran from January 2016 and closed on Wednesday (28/02) in nine EU member states, was initiated to address the absence of a coordinated approach to labour market integration both nationally and regionally, particularly with regard to recognizing the skills and qualifications of refugees. 

“We have to act quickly and decisively to build bridges between employers and refugees, because no outcome is worse than long-term unemployment for all: the refugees, host societies and the economy at large. We know that long-term unemployment leads to unemployability and significantly hampers integration. We all must help refugees access the labour market – we have no choice,” said Martin Wyss, Chief of IOM’s Mission for the Netherlands, which managed the project.    

Skills2Work therefore set up a solid information exchange and access to tools that help authorities and employers better coordinate recognition of the skills of refugees and asylum seekers at an early-stage across the nine participating EU member states. 

The Skills2Work pilot project also strengthened IOM’s network of stakeholders in each of the nine EU member states, helping to draw more attention and spur dialogue on the topic of skills recognition.

“Recognition of the skills and qualification of refugees and migrants remains a challenging issue in each of the nine participating countries,” said Geertrui Lanneau, regional thematic specialist for labour migration and human development at IOM’s Regional Office for the EU.    

“Practical information and tools are so important for ensuring good matches between talent and vacancies. Equally important are the personal insights from refugees and their employers, which can go far in changing mind-sets and inspiring other employers to explore alternative talent pools,” she added.

European Commission policy officer for DG Migration and Home Affairs, Laurent Aujean, emphasized the importance of skills recognition for the long-term development of labour markets and societies.  

“It is crucial to intervene early on to build on the motivation of asylum seekers and future refugees. They need information about recognition procedures, and how to document their skills and qualifications,” he said at a regional project conference in Brussels. 

IOM carried out a regional mapping exercise and through hundreds of consultations found that while employers are in general open to recruiting refugees and asylum seekers, they and migrant talent groups need a significant amount of practical information and tailored support.

The project recognized a number of digital tools and personalized mapping initiatives as good practices, as were an encouraging selection of training and mentoring initiatives designed to bridge cultural and linguistic barriers on the work floor.

Progressive steps have been made, particularly in Belgium and the Netherlands, where initiatives have been designed and implemented by refugees themselves.

“I want to be judged on my merits, not on my sad story. I want to be judged as Kiza, the professional, not the refugee,” said Kiza Magendane, an Amsterdam-based writer and opinion maker originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Good practices and FAQs are located on the Skills2Work platform to guide users and connect stakeholders across the region.

Skills2Work also produced a short film, “Recognizing Talent” and a booklet of success stories to give voice to the experiences of refugees and employers across Europe, the challenges and lessons learned, and advice for others who have successfully entered the labour market. 

“Migrants bring new ideas and expertise. They expand the network of organizations and companies and provide employers with a new recruitment pool. We have come across magnificent résumés of engineers, doctors, PhD holders with impressive academic and professional careers who have difficulties finding a job in other sectors,” say Farid and Chloé, Director and Deputy Director of Red Cross Reception Centres in Brussels, Belgium.
The Red Cross centres in Brussels have a long history of hiring staff with migrant backgrounds. They come from various countries and cultures and have experienced different journeys.
“Our advice to other employers would be to rise above names and nationalities … I really hope that employers in Belgium can unlock the potential in newcomers with foreign backgrounds,” say Farid and Chloé.   
Learn more about their experience and those of other migrants and employers at http://www.fromskills2work.eu/   

The knowledge, experience and partnerships acquired through the project’s activities have been incorporated into new initiatives at IOM.  
For more information please contact Marian Lenshoek at IOM Netherlands, Tel:  +31 70 318 1500, email: mlenshoek@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 16:58Image: Region-Country: NetherlandsThemes: Capacity BuildingLabour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Ferry, business owner in the Netherlands, originally from Iran.  © IOM

Alisat, caterer in Amsterdam, originally from Uganda.  © IOM

Maryam, staff supervisor and caterer, the Netherlands.  © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Works with Western Balkan States on Advanced Passenger Information Systems

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 10:05

Budva – Advance Passenger Information systems (API) became mandatory for all 192 International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) member states on 23 February. This means that all ICAO states must be able to collect data about passengers and crew members prior to their arrival, making travel easier for all and improving border controls.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, facilitated an API workshop this week (27-28 February) for IT departments of border and customs authorities from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

During the workshop, held in Budva, Montenegro, best practices and lessons learned were shared by experts from Portugal, Slovenia and the USA, all of whom have successfully established and implemented API Systems.

Representatives of IOM and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe introduced participants to the legislative framework and modalities of the system, as well as briefing them on assistance they could expect from international organizations. 

Radisa Ristovic from Serbia said that the workshop was extremely useful: “The basic values and benefits of the API system were well presented, as well as the road map for its establishment. Getting the opportunity to hear other countries’ experiences was definitely beneficial.”

Dusica Zivkovic, Head of IOM’s Montenegro Office and the regional project manager, added: “We can be confident that the project has been designed in line with the needs of the specific countries that are benefiting, and that it is being implemented at just the right time.

“Without API, a state’s strategy to manage its borders risks becoming largely reactive in nature and the ability to plan for resource requirements, monitor trends, manage risk and to gather and exchange information with national, regional and global partners would be greatly diminished,” Zivkovic continued.

The event was held under the auspices of a project a designed to support Western Balkan states in establishing API systems, financed by the IOM Development Fund.

For more information please contact Dusica Zivkovic, Tel: +382 20447412, Email dzivkovic@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 16:56Image: Region-Country: MontenegroThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Attendees at the IOM-organized Advanced Passenger Information Systems workshop in Montenegro this week.  © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 10,243 in 2018; Deaths Reach 418

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 10:03

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 10,243 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first two months of 2018, with just over 50 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided almost evenly between Greece and Spain. This compares with 17,438 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

At this time in February 2016 there already were 116,005 arrivals – roughly 100,000 more than at this point this year and last.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported Thursday, that IOM has assisted 3,730 vulnerable migrants to return to 26 countries from Libya this year. This week IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance program supervised three flights – two charters and one commercial – allowed 315 migrants to return to the countries of Mali, Benin and Niger.

IOM’s Olivia Headon added that late Wednesday 102 migrants – reportedly including Moroccans, Algerians, Somalis and Eritreans – were returned to shore in Zwara by Libyan Coast Guard. The group included one child, seven women and 94 men. IOM's health team provided emergency medical assistance, including for chemical burns and scabies.

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia on Thursday said that over three days ending 27 February the Hellenic Coast Guard reported at least two incidents requiring search and rescue operation off the islands of Lesbos and Samos. The Coast Guard rescued 83 migrants and transferred them to these islands.

Those rescued, plus another 34 arriving on Kos and Leros brings the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory through 27 February to 2,653 (see chart below) – an average of 45 persons per day.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals by sea in 2018 have reached 2,306 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 1 March (see charts below).

 


(Arrival numbers are as of 01/03/18)
IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo said Monday that, according to Ministry of Interior figures, 5,247 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy this year: or fewer than half the figure at this time last year, when 13,446 migrant men, women and children were brought to Italy after being rescued in the waters north of Africa. This two-month total is the lowest IOM has reported since 2014 (see chart below).

Through two months on the Mediterranean, 418 migrants are estimated to have died in 2018, compared with 485 at this time last year. Most recently, four deaths were recorded on the Western Mediterranean route between North Africa and Spain – which brings to 102 the number on that route, more than twice the total at this time in 2017, when IOM recorded 41 fatalities on the Western Mediterranean route.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) on 21 February recorded that the remains of a man and a woman were recovered 25 nautical miles north of the Béni-Saf beach in Ain Témouchent, Algeria. The remains of one young man were retrieved in La Línea de la Concepción near Cádiz, Spain, on 25 February, and on 26 February, five migrants were rescued from a boat off Cádiz by the Spanish maritime rescue agency Salvamento Marítimo. Tragically one of those rescued died of cardiac arrest upon arriving at the Port of Tarifa.
Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 666 migrant fatalities in 2018, compared with 963 at this time last year.

Besides those lost on the Mediterranean, MMP noted that on the Iraq-Turkey border, six migrants died from the cold weather as they tried to cross into Turkey from the Kurdistan Region through the Mergasur river on 27 February. Five of them, four children and a woman, died on the Iraqi side of the border, while one body was retrieved by Turkish authorities.

Three migrants lost their lives on the US-Mexico border: on 27 February, three migrants drowned when attempting to cross the Río Bravo near Piedras Negras in Coahuila, Mexico. In South America, two stowaway teens fell from a New York-bound plane leaving Ecuador on 26 February. The two boys, aged 16 and 17, were cousins from a province outside Guayaquil. They hid in the plane’s landing gear and likely fell during take-off, according to local authorities.

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

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic 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
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 2878 7805, Tel: +216 71 860 312 Ext. 109, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 16:52Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Engaging the Albanian Diaspora

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 10:02

Tirana – With over 1.4 million Albanians living outside the country, mainly in Italy and Greece, but present all over the world, the Albanian diaspora represents a huge and largely untapped opportunity. The challenge is to create an environment that encourages and supports diaspora members to share good practices, experiences and talents to develop their home country.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency announced today the launch of a programme intended to do just that - enhancing the engagement of Albanian diaspora to the social and economic development of Albania.

The programme is funded by Italian Cooperation, with the political commitment of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) and the operational involvement of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS). It will be implemented by IOM alongside the State Ministry for Diaspora, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finances and Economy.

The three-year programme will support Government of Albania to implement a comprehensive approach towards diaspora engagement. It will focus on Albanian diaspora in Italy, where there are more than 500,000 Albanians. Speaking at the launch of the programme, the Italian Ambassador to Albania Alberto Cutillo emphasized the role that diasporas can play. “Migrants have know-how and talents. They are a fundamental asset for co-development. Both Albania and Italy can benefit from their engagement.”

His sentiments were echoed by Albanian State Minister for Diaspora Pandeli Majko who referred to Albanians living abroad as a precious and an unexplored asset. “This is the reason why this project is so important; it will give us the chance to have a more effective approach towards the immense potential of our diaspora”, he said.

Head of AICS Tirana, Nino Merola noted: “This is an innovative programme. A great opportunity. It will become a model of social and economic development at all levels. It can have a clear and tangible impact on communities, from sustainable tourism to agri-food sector, to mention just two examples.”

Head of IOM Tirana, Alma Jani noted that the programme will encourage the diaspora to transfer their know-how into country development. “The skills and knowledge of the diaspora will be mapped and then matched with the respective local needs, country strategies and action plans” she said. “A fellowship scheme targeting diaspora will be designed and implemented during the program”.

The programme has been designed towards supporting investments as well as business start-ups by diaspora members. An investment-boosting platform named “Connect Albania” will be created along with a Start-up Fund for second-generation migrants in Italy who wish to start businesses in Albania.

For more information, please contact Guri Daco at Tel: +355 4 2257836 ext 206, Email gdaco@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 16:54Image: Region-Country: AlbaniaThemes: OthersDefault: Multimedia: 

The flyer for the new diaspora project shows Cape Rodon, where voyages from Albania have begun for centuries.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Facilitates Shelter Management Workshop on Human Trafficking

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 09:56

Harare – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week (26-28/02) facilitated a training workshop for 30 shelter management staff from various government and non-state protection shelter institutions in the Zimbabwean capital. This is the first of two workshops to be conducted during the first quarter of 2018, aimed at increasing understanding of the rights of trafficked victims and the ways that staff can provide them with specialized, victim-centred services to support their rehabilitation.

In her opening remarks IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Lily Sanya underscored the importance of the training for the shelter management staff, who are the frontline responders to human trafficking.
“It is important for you as field practitioners to familiarize yourselves with the fundamental concepts underlying the stages of human trafficking and particularly the impact on the trafficked persons,” she said. “Victims often require specialized social services for safety and recovery.”

US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Harry K Thomas, said that human trafficking had become a 150 billion dollar industry that touches millions of lives across the globe, and therefore calls for collaborative efforts to stamp out the scourge. “The fight against trafficking demands concerted effort from stakeholders,” Ambassador Thomas said. “That is why the United States has partnered with Zimbabwe and the International Organization for Migration to provide awareness of the risks of trafficking and protection of victims.”

Zimbabwe has seen significant progress in the implementation of its National Trafficking in Persons Action Plan, and according to the Global Trafficking in Persons Report for 2016, the country has moved from Tier 3 (countries whose governments do not fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protect Act’s (TVRA) minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so) to Tier 2 (countries whose governments do not fully meet the TVRA’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to meet them).
Tuso Mapala, Director of Social Welfare, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, alluded to the prosecution of a trafficking perpetrator in 2017; the establishment of Provincial Trafficking in Persons Task Forces; and setting up state-run protection shelters as examples of the government’s achievements.

During the workshop, participants familiarized themselves with the concepts of human trafficking and smuggling, as well as the instruments that international law provides to combat these heinous crimes. Regarding victim protection, participants were trained on techniques to identify and assist victims of trafficking with particular attention to skills for communicating with traumatized victims. The training also emphasized the guiding principles of shelter care and set-up, as well as taking the participants through the various tools for screening victims and capturing trafficking data.

As a way forward, participants pledged to scale up coordination among state and non-state actors involved in counter trafficking. This would be achieved through information sharing on counter trafficking activities and issues. More importantly participants committed to cascading the concepts of human trafficking to colleagues in their organizations and key stakeholders as a way of increasing awareness of it.

The workshop was part of a Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) project funded by the United States Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP).

For more information please contact Gideon Madera, IOM Zimbabwe, Tel: +263 4 704285, Email: gmadera@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: ZimbabweThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants listening to remarks during the opening session. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Football Beats Fighting: Central African League Final Promotes IOM Message of Social Cohesion, Non-Violence

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 09:55

Bambari – Ethnic violence has plagued the Central African Republic (CAR) for decades—but community engagement has done much to soften the tension by bringing former antagonists together in meetings decidedly less lethal. One recent example is football.

In the Ouaka prefect, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has provided financial and technical support to the local football league cup final, a popular event across all ages and communities. Last weekend (25/02), football was used to promote IOM’s work in the city.

During the opening ceremony, the Mayor of Bambari, the Prefect of Ouaka, and IOM Programme Officer Giacomo Gabbrielli highlighted the importance of sports as a means to promote peace and non-violence.

These values were reaffirmed with a theatrical presentation during the half-time break on the risks related to the illegal circulation of arms, and their role in escalating conflicts rather than solving individual and community disputes.

The cup final was also an opportunity to familiarize the supporters in attendance with IOM and its activities. IOM opened its Bambari sub-office in December 2017, and is engaged in the Community Violence Reduction project financed by the Peace Building Support Office (PBSO) of the United Nations and MINUSCA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic).

The project aims to ameliorate the security situation through the reintegration of armed group members who are ineligible for the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration programme or the mechanisms in place for intra- and inter-community dialogue for the prevention of violence and the peaceful resolution of conflicts. Local youth whom are not affiliated with armed groups, but for a lack of employment opportunities or other sources of revenue might resort to violence, are also targeted by the project.

“It was a beautiful event and a great opportunity to raise awareness about peaceful resolutions to conflict and IOM’s work in Bambari,” said IOM’s Gabbrielli. “The fans were terrific and I believe they also enjoyed the half-time play on the detrimental role of illegal arms.”

The game saw the two finalists, Sica Sport of Bambari and Ippy, battle it out at the municipal stadium in front of the local authorities, civil society organizations and 4,000 to 5,000 supporters. The atmosphere of the match was electric and saw Sica Sport of Bambari emerge victorious (final score 3–0).

IOM covered the operational costs of the event and provided financial contributions to both teams during the award ceremony.

The level of violence continues to rise in CAR as the fragmentation of armed groups has created new areas of tension, especially in the Central and North-western regions of the country. This has led to mounting humanitarian needs across the country, with half the population in need of assistance and 1 out of 4 with acute needs due to chronic vulnerability. This forced the humanitarian community to revise its three-year humanitarian plan for CAR in 2018, just one year after its launch.

For the first time since 2014, the number of internally displaced people reached 600,000 last year, after experiencing a 50 per cent increase in 12 months. The number of people internally displaced now surpasses the number of Central African refugees in neighbouring countries.

For more information please contact Giacomo Gabbrielli at IOM CAR, Tel: +23675099176, Email: ggabbrielli@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 16:48Image: Region-Country: Central African RepublicThemes: Community StabilizationDefault: Multimedia: 

The cup final ended with a 3–0 victory for Sica Sport of Bambari. © IOM

A theatrical performance during the half-time break brought attention to the risks related to the illegal circulation of arms. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Dominican Republic Measures Migration Governance Indicators with IOM Support

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 09:54

Santo Domingo – The results of the Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) in the Dominican Republic reveal advances in the legal and institutional capacity of the Dominican Government to guarantee the socioeconomic well-being of migrants. The MGI was implemented with the engagement of 22 public agencies, under the coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX) and the technical support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

According to the MGI results, the Dominican Republic scored above seven points out of ten, in the application of its migration policies. Also, the MGI provides evidence of significant progress in the governance of migration policies with a comprehensive approach towards safe and orderly migration.

The results of the MGI will serve as inputs for the National Action Plan of the Technical Committee on Migration (CTIAM in Spanish). The CTIAM is an inter-agency board created to coordinate the processes related to migration under the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the lines of action established in the country's National Development Strategy (NDT).

"Today, the Dominican Republic promotes its leadership in the Caribbean, Central America, and the entire continent by presenting the Migration Governance Indicators, a statistical instrument that allows us to evaluate, identify and bring out specific aspects of areas to be improved and strengthened," said Miguel Vargas, Foreign Affairs Minister, in the launch event of the MGI and the Action Plan of the CTIAM.

IOM's Head of Mission in the Dominican Republic, Jorge Baca, stated that: "IOM applauds the Dominican Government's willingness to apply the Indicators, as well as the creation of the inter-agency Technical Committee on Migration. Migration is not a problem that needs to be solved, but a reality that needs to be managed."

Some of the benefits of the MGI for the Dominican Republic include 1) providing the country with a framework of reference on how to add value to human mobility processes through cohesive and coherent policies; 2) obtaining an assessment of the country's migration situation that allows obtaining the means to identify and classify areas for improvement; and 3) having a statistical instrument to measure the progress and reach of goals related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) affected, directly or indirectly, by migration.

The MGI is a methodology for monitoring migration policies designed by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) of The Economist, at the request of IOM. The objective of the MGI is to provide a consolidated framework for evaluating specific migration governance structures of each country and act as a source of information in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals related to migration.

The implementation of the MGI in the Dominican Republic was funded by the IOM Development Fund, aimed at supporting developing IOM’s member states in their efforts to strengthen their migration management capacity.

For more information please contact Alicia Sangro at IOM Dominican Republic, Tel: + (809) 688-8174, Email: asangro@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 16:46Image: Region-Country: Dominican RepublicThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM's Head of Mission in the Dominican Republic, Jorge Baca, applauded the Dominican Government's willingness to apply the Migration Governance Index. © IOM

Miguel Vargas, Dominican Republic’s Foreign Affairs Minister, said that the Index will facilitate to evaluate, identify and bring out specific aspects of areas of their migration policy to be improved and strengthened. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Publishes First Profiling Report on Returning Ivorian Migrants

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 09:49

Abidjan — IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has published the first profiling report on returning Ivorian migrants with the aim to establish a demographic, social and economic profile of the Ivorians who embark on the central Mediterranean route towards Europe.

This inventory — the most comprehensive to date — takes into account the age, gender, region of origin and socio-economic background of the migrants, as well as the drivers and arrangements for the departure, the routes followed, the return and prospects for reintegration.

Throughout 2017, IOM collected the testimonies of more than 1,000 Ivorian migrants upon their return to Côte d’Ivoire.

"This analysis will help IOM to better coordinate and target the protection and reintegration activities for returned migrants in Côte d'Ivoire,” explained IOM Côte d'Ivoire Chief of Mission Marina Schramm, on the occasion of report’s publication. “Also, a regular update of the analytical elements will allow for a better understanding of the migratory phenomenon in the country and to find the adequate answers, in terms of awareness raising of the risks of irregular migration and prevention."

According to the study, the "typical” Ivorian is a man (80 per cent), single (75 per cent), young (between 18 and 30 years old), literate (70 per cent) and held a paid job before leaving (over 70 per cent).

The report also reveals that Ivorian migrants have taken a wide variety of migration routes. However, there is a clear tendency for women to first travel by air (70 per cent), particularly on the way to Tunisia and Morocco.
Of the respondents, 80 per cent were assisted in their return from Libya.

In 2017, IOM's Côte d’Ivoiremission assisted more than 1,800 individuals to return voluntarily, most of whom were hosted and assisted under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, funded by the European Union and implemented by IOM.

Read the report in French, here

For more information please contact Marina Schramm, IOM Côte d’Ivoire, Tel: +225 22 52 82 00, Email: mschramm@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 16:44Image: Region-Country: Côte d'IvoireThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

From left to right, Marina Schramm, IOM Chief of mission in Côte d’Ivoire, Issiaka Konaté, Director General of Ivorians abroad and Marie Molinie, EU Delegation representative, during the launch of the report. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches Project to Mainstream Migration-Related Goals into National Development Plans

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 09:45

Accra – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week (26/02) officially launched a two-year project Integrating Migration into National Development Plans: Towards Policy Coherence and the Achievement of SDGs at National and Global Levels, funded by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).

Implemented by IOM Ghana, the project supports the Governments of Ghana and Ethiopia in mainstreaming migration into national development policies and achieving policy coherence in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The reference to migration in the SDGs is made under SDG 10 “Reduce Global Inequalities” (target 10.7), which strives to “facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.”

“Migration is well mainstreamed in the SDGs, which are integrated: progress in one area is linked to progress in all areas, indivisible and universal,” said IOM Ghana Chief of Mission Sylvia Lopez-Ekra. “The 2030 Agenda recognizes, for the first time, migration as a cross-cutting, core development issue; to achieve development, migration must be integrated into national development plans. No ministry can do it alone, success needs partnership.”

UN Resident Coordinator Chris Evans-Klock told the participants who attended the project launch that “the SDGs are ambitious, they require partnership and coordination. Migration is a vital part of development, captured in different SDGs and targets. The ‘leave no one behind’ commitment means leaving no migrant behind, too.”

Lou Danzhu, Chief of Political Section of the Chinese Embassy in Ghana, pledged the support of People’s Republic of China towards the attainment of the Goals and emphasised the importance of migration for development.

In Ghana, the launch of the project coincided with the opening of a two-day capacity-building workshop for 22 members of the inter-agency Technical Working Group (TWG) on migration, co-chaired by the Migration Unit of the Ministry of Interior. The TWG aims to track progress on migration-related SDGs and ensure that migration is mainstreamed in respective national development policies. Based on priorities identified by the TWG, two initiatives will be selected from the 2016 National Migration Policy (NMP) action plan and will be funded and implemented under this project.

Dominic Agyemang, Deputy Director of Ghana’s Ministry of Interior’s Migration Unit, commended IOM for its support and expressed the hope that the project will be useful in the establishment of the Ghana National Commission on Migration (GNCM).

In Ethiopia, a similar capacity-building workshop was conducted in early February (05/02) in close collaboration with the National Anti-Trafficking and Smuggling Taskforce Secretariat under the Attorney General’s Office. The workshop aimed to sensitize 15 representatives of core ministries on the linkages between migration and SDGs and the importance of mainstreaming migration into national development plans.

“I am appreciative that IOM, in collaboration with stakeholders, has helped make migration management a global phenomenon,” said Yusuf Jemaw, Director of the International Cooperation, Human Rights and Anti-Human Trafficking Directorate of the Federal Attorney General Office.

Two initiatives will also be selected from the National Anti-Trafficking and Smuggling Taskforce Secretariat strategic plan in Ethiopia for funding and implementation under this project.

The project is funded by UNDESA through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Sub-Fund for Peace and Development, of which the People’s Republic of China is a major contributor.

 

For more information please contact Eric K. Akomanyi at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233 0302 742 930, ext. 2405, E-mail: eakomanyi@iom.int or Frehiwot Tefera, Tel: +251 1166 111 71, ext. 475, E-mail tfrehiwot@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 16:42Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Yusuf Jemaw, Director of the International Cooperation, Human Rights and Anti-Human Trafficking Directorate of the Federal Attorney General Office during the workshop on Migration and SDGs.  © IOM

Participants of the project launch, including Christine Evans-Klock, UN Resident Coordinator; Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, IOM Ghana Chief of Mission; Dominic Agyemang, Head of the Migration Unit of the Ministry of Interior; Lou Danzhu, Chief of Political Section, Chinese Embassy. © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Publishes Pilot Portfolio in International Aid Transparency Initiative Registry

Wed, 02/28/2018 - 01:17

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, published for the first time today (28/02) a portfolio of financial and project information in the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Registry. IOM joined the IATI in March 2017, and has achieved its commitment to begin publishing information in the IATI standardized format within a year of joining the Initiative.

IATI is a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative working to improve the transparency of aid, development, and humanitarian resources to increase their effectiveness in tackling poverty. It brings together donor and recipient countries, civil society organizations, and other experts who work to increase the transparency and openness of aid.

IOM decided to join the IATI as a result of its institutional commitment to transparency and accountability towards all of its constituents including Member States, beneficiaries, academia, partner organizations and the general public. The publication gives all stakeholders access to IOM data in accordance with the IATI standard.

“Preparing for the publication of this pilot portfolio has allowed us to learn and understand the importance of information shared under the IATI standard and represents a key milestone in IOM’s realization of its commitment to transparency,” said IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing.  “This is a great and necessary start of the process,” he added.

In the coming months, IOM will continue adapting its internal systems to facilitate the publication of larger volumes of data on IATI. IOM is also developing a data visualization web portal, which is expected to be launched later this year.

IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to promote and protect the rights of migrants, as well as to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.

To learn more about IATI, please visit: https://www.aidtransparency.net/

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo, IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179205, Email: jgalindo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 08:14Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 10,114 in 2018; Deaths Reach 414

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 08:50

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 10,114 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first eight weeks of 2018, with just over 50 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided almost evenly between Greece and Spain. This compares with 16,806 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

At this time in February 2016 there already were 116,005 arrivals – roughly 100,000 more than at this point this year and last.

On Monday IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported that over six days (15-20 February) the Hellenic Coast Guard reported there were at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Samos. The Coast Guard rescued 152 migrants and transferred them to that island.

Those rescued, plus another 96 arriving on Lesvos brings the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory through 24 February to 2,536 (see chart below) – an average of 46 persons per day.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals by sea in 2018 have reached 2,306 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 26 February (see charts below).

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo said Monday that, according to Ministry of Interior figures, 5,247 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy this year: or 61 per cent fewer than last year during the same period.  With days remaining in the month, arrivals in Italy are well below those for the previous two Februaries of 2017 and 2016 (see chart below).

On Monday, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported 414 deaths have been registered in the Mediterranean so far this year, fewer than the 483 reported at this time in 2017.
Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 651 migrant fatalities in 2018, compared with 936 at this time last year (see chart below).

 

Over a three-day period (14-16 February), three migrants lost their lives on the Mexico-Texas border: on 14 February, the remains of one migrant were found in a ranch in Brooks County, Texas. The following day, more remains were discovered of a young man from El Salvador, which were recovered from another ranch, also in Brooks County. On 16 February, US Border Patrol agents recovered the body of a Honduran man near Sarita, which is in Kenedy County, Texas.
The following Friday (23 February), a 40-year-old Mexican man was found dead in La Rumorosa mountains near Tecate, Baja California. Authorities believe he had fallen into a canyon while trekking to the US border and may have been part of another migrant group, five of whom were saved from hypothermia while traveling through the zone earlier in the month.
Further south, a 31-year-old man from Guatemala died that same Friday, apparently in a cross-fire between traffickers and law enforcement officials on Mexico’s Federal Highway 185, near Jáltipan, state of Veracruz.
The MMP team also recorded the death of a migrant in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya: the body of a man was found in the undercarriage of an aircraft coming from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo on 11 February.
MMP data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic 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
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 71 860 312 ext. 109, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 15:31Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Rohingya Refugee Camps Brace for Upcoming Monsoon

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 08:38

Cox’s Bazar  – The UN Migration Agency is providing search and rescue training; setting up emergency medical centres; establishing bases for work crews and light machinery; and upgrading shelters to mitigate disasters when the monsoon and cyclone season hits the world’s biggest refugee settlement in the coming weeks. 

As Bangladesh’s annual wet season approaches, IOM is also working to secure infrastructure and boost resilience among Rohingya refugees and the local community. This includes the creation of disaster risk reduction safety committees to warn the refugees of what to expect and how to prepare for the wind and rain that are expected to bring deadly floods and landslides to the Cox’s Bazar camps.

Around 700,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence in Myanmar over the past six months. Most now live in tarpaulin shelters on bare, unstable slopes – ground which will quickly turn to mud when the rains arrive.

Studies prepared by IOM and its partners indicate that at least 100,000 refugees and vulnerable families in the local community face life-threatening risks from landslides and floods. Thousands more refugees are also at risk from disease and may be unable to get aid, if flooding cuts off access to parts of the settlement.

On March 1, IOM will take part in a one day emergency simulation to help develop rapid and coordinated responses to emergency situations. Other participants will include members of the independent,  multi-agency Inter Sector Coordination Group (ICSG), UNHCR, government authorities and local agencies.

“With emergency situations inevitable when the rains hit, it is crucial we work together now to limit disaster as much as possible before it occurs. We need to be able to respond swiftly and effectively during crisis events,” said Manuel Marques Pereira, IOM Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.

“It is also vitally important to support members of the refugee and local communities with training and information in advance, so they are ready to respond and protect themselves and others when the worst conditions arrive,” he added.

Work to improve roads and drainage, stabilize slopes, protect against further erosion, and upgrade 120,000 shelters before the rains arrive is already underway. 

But given the scale of the refugee population, the lack of suitable land, and the challenging  environmental conditions, it will be impossible to move everyone at risk. Rapid emergency response action will be vital to reduce loss of life.

To boost resilience in face of the dangerous conditions ahead, at least 650 people from the refugee and local communities are receiving search and rescue, and first aid training  from IOM, in conjunction with Bangladeshi Fire Service and Civil Protection Department. Those trained will act as community focal points in emergency situations, spreading early warning messages for weather events and assisting in first line emergency response.

With landslides and mud expected to cause road closures and blockages of major drains and waterways, it will be crucial to be able to clear these as quickly as possible.  Light machinery will be installed and work crews established at ten strategic points across the district as part of the Site Maintenance Engineering Project – a joint initiative between IOM, UNHCR and WFP.

These crews and machines will be available to help humanitarian and government agencies to respond to disaster events – particularly in clearing debris from roads to keep vital access routes open.

Five specialist medical centres are also being established across the district to deal with outbreaks of acute diarrhoea, which are expected due to the impact of flooding on water and sanitation in the camps. This can often lead to fatalities, particularly among children.

Meanwhile IOM is working with the local authorities to support early warning systems for refugees and people in host communities. Communities are also being trained in how to shelter and secure potentially deadly flying debris in the event of cyclones and other severe weather conditions.

For more information please contact Fiona MacGregor at IOM Cox’s Bazar, Email: fmacgregor@iom.int, Tel. +8801733335221

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 15:33Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

As Bangladesh’s annual wet season approaches, IOM is working to secure infrastructure and boost resilience among Rohingya refugees and the local community. (Screen capture) © IOM

As Bangladesh’s annual wet season approaches, IOM is also working to secure infrastructure and boost resilience among Rohingya refugees and the local community. (Screen capture) © IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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