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Updated: 26 min 52 sec ago

UN Agencies Join Up to Provide Opportunities in Turkey

Wed, 11/21/2018 - 04:23

Istanbul – “Opportunities for Lives” was launched on Monday in Instanbul, aiming to provide greater entrepreneurship opportunities for Syrians under temporary protection and Turkish citizens in nine Turkish provinces.

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) will work closely as an implementing partner on this two-year project, led by the International Labour Organization (ILO) under the general coordination of the Turkish Directorate-General for International Labour Force.

Funded by the European Union, “Opportunities for Lives” or “Hayata Fırsat” in Turkish, includes activities to increase economic and social resilience of both groups by strengthening opportunities for labour market integration. IOM Turkey’s Chief of Mission Lado Gvilava, said at the launch, “By creating greater opportunities for business development and supporting labour market integration of Syrians, we are helping build a cohesive society that benefits both migrants and host communities. We hope that this project will help move forward and positively influence labour migration policy in Turkey.”

IOM will play a main role in delivering vocational, entrepreneurship and awareness trainings and provide business start-up grants and competitions. The nine target provinces include Ankara, Istanbul, Bursa, Konya, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Adana, Mersin and Hatay. With a particular focus on youth and women, the project will partner with public agencies at the central and provincial level, municipalities, workers’ and employers’ organizations.

The Head of the EU Delegation to Turkey, Ambassador Christian Berger, added, "Refugees are development and economic actors that, through their skills and talents, can positively contribute to the Turkish economy. For this reason, the EU has supported and will continue to support Turkey in its efforts to enhance refugees' skills such as entrepreneurship and improve the employability, labour market access and integration of both refugees and vulnerable Turkish citizens in communities with a high presence of refugees”.  

The launch event provided an opportunity for practitioners at national and local levels to share experiences and lessons learned. They included representatives from business associations such as the Gaziantep Chamber of Industry, the Istanbul Chamber of Small Hotels, and a board member of the Syrian Businessman Association. 

Hayata Fırsat will reach out 13,000 Syrians, 5,000 Turkish citizens, 350 public officials from relevant agencies, 500 representatives and 500 businesses from workers’ and employers’ organizations.

For more information, please contact Lanna Walsh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email: lwalsh@iom.int

Language English Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - 11:19Image: Region-Country: TurkeyThemes: Capacity BuildingMigrant AssistanceMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

A group of young Syrian students attending  a consultancy session to support their entrepreneurship project at Gaziantep University. Photo: Nadine Nallaham

Turkish and Syrian students working together on their entrepreneurship project during training held by IOM in Harran University, Sanliurfa province, Turkey. Photo: Nadine Nallaham

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

US Airlift Targets 70,000 Afghans Displaced by Drought

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:23

Herat – Afghanistan is currently facing its worst drought in decades. The Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) and humanitarian partners have so far identified 35,549 families (223,100 individuals) displaced in the western provinces of Herat, Badghis and Ghor between January and October 2018.

Of these, 44 per cent or close to 100,000 individuals are children below the age of 18, and 19 per cent are below the age of five. More than half of the displaced have settled in Herat city, 39 per cent are in and around Qala-e-Naw, the provincial capital of Badghis, and the remaining two per cent in other provinces.

The displaced population is desperately poor and lack access to food, water, shelter and health services. Many are living in tents or in the open air with the onset of freezing winter temperatures. 

USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is responding to the crisis with a major airlift of aid, including plastic sheeting, blankets and kitchen sets, to help 10,000 families or 70,000 individuals. IOM is organizing warehousing of the aid and its distribution in Herat and Badghis over the next three weeks.

The first of three C-17 aircraft carrying the aid landed in Herat on Saturday (17/11). Two more aircraft are scheduled to arrive in the coming days.

Ambassador John Bass, speaking at Herat airport, welcomed the airlift. “The United States confirms its continuous support to the Afghan people, and we thank IOM for cooperating with USAID/OFDA in helping thousands of displaced Afghan families,” he said. 

Deputy Governor of Badghis Malikzada also welcomed the aid but said that more would need to be done to alleviate suffering caused by the drought. “Assistance also needs to be provided in places of origin through investment in the agricultural sector, so that people can sustain themselves in their places of origin. We do not want to establish camps in urban centres and create subsidized communities that permanently rely on aid for survival,” he said.

So far, 8,341 families have received non-food relief items, including blankets and household items, and 5,031 have received emergency shelter. The assistance was distributed by IOM, UNHCR, IFRC, DRC, IRC and NRC. UNICEF has committed to cover the needs of an additional 3,000 families. 

 3.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in 20 of the most drought-affected provinces in Afghanistan, UN World Food Programme reported last week.

More information on IOM assistance to Afghans affected and displaced by natural disasters, including drought, can be found here

Watch this IOM Reporter video from Chief of Mission Laurence Hart in Herat, Afghanistan.

For further information please contact Eva Schwoerer at IOM Afghanistan. Tel:  +93 729229129. Email: eschwoerer@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:23Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

US Ambassador John Bass, Afghan and IOM officials welcome the first of three flights carrying US aid to drought victims in Herat, western Afghanistan. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Real-time IOM Crisis Communications System Deployed to Help Save Lives During Ebola Response in DR Congo

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:23

Geneva – The World Health Organization is now using IOM’s innovative Security Communications and Analysis Network (SCAAN) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to support the security of its staff fighting the Ebola epidemic. The effectiveness of this innovative crisis communications system was demonstrated almost immediately.

With the latest Ebola outbreak spreading in the country, health workers are responding to the emergency in remote parts of north-eastern DRC which are prone to rebel violence. In October 2018, containment efforts in Beni city had to be suspended after a deadly rebel attack killed 21 people. Last week seven UN peacekeepers were killed in a military attack on rebel forces.

On Friday evening, just after the SCAAN system was activated, a WHO residence came under attack in Beni and IOM’s 24/7 Operations Centre in Manila began receiving alerts via the dashboard. Support calls were made to the WHO staff in question. Shortly thereafter the WHO security focal point in DRC sent a message to all staff advising them to take steps for their own safety – particularly to stay away from windows and seek cover.

IOM developed SCAAN, a security mobile app and digital platform to enhance the safety of its own and other UN staff who so often are exposed to danger during their work, in collaboration with CENTRIC, a research and innovation centre at Sheffield Hallam University. Over the past year, IOM has field-tested the security communications system that includes a dashboard for security professionals to monitor global risks to staff and a mobile app to enable staff to send alerts and receive push notifications on developing threats to ensure a rapid and well-directed response for those in danger.   

This communications network connects end users with a network of field security officers who can bring their expertise and aid to assist staff in urgent situations. All these functionalities can provide urgently needed and potentially life-saving support, as they did to WHO staff working in the DRC.

On their mobile devices, staff are equipped with: 

  • Easily installed app to provide emergency alerts, receive warning information, and crowd-source reports about incidents in their vicinity.
  • One-touch contact with security professionals to get help and respond to requests for accountability and status.
  • Geo-location which can provide critical information in case of hostage taking or security incident.
  • Live interface with the UN TRIP system so that travel notifications can be input and received on the go.

On the live dashboard, security professionals are equipped with:

  • A map-based security dashboard for monitoring the status, safety and location of all enrolled staff.  
  • Graphical visualization of the number of staff members on the system, current location, and any indicating a “NOT OK” status.
  • Ability to push warnings of specific or general nature to all staff or targeted groups based on location.
  • Interactive analysis of security trends and threats by region, type and risk level.

SCAAN was born in the aftermath of the 2008 terror attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai during which tourists holed up in hotel rooms took to social media as the situation unfolded.

The telephones were disconnected and the only means of communication they had were mobile phones and social media – so people started using social media, sending messages about gunshots, asking what they should do.

SCAAN is also being rolled out to IOM’s 11,000 staff worldwide to enhance their security as they work in challenging contexts. Currently, as the rollout continues, SCAAN is being used by more than 3300 IOM staff based in 130 countries.

For further information, please contact Leonard Doyle, IOM Geneva. Tel: +41 79 285 7123, Email: ldoyle@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:22Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

The WHO SCAAN dashboard, onscreen at IOM’s 24/7 operations centre in Manila. Photo: IOM

The WHO SCAAN dashboard, onscreen at IOM’s 24/7 operations centre in Manila. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Creates Emergency Safe Havens for Bangladesh’s Rohingya Refugees

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:21

Cox’s Bazar – Dozens of community buildings in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps have been upgraded by shelter teams from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, to provide temporary accommodation for refugees in emergency situations.

Seventy buildings have now been completed under the first phase of the project, supported by the European Union (EU), offering temporary shelter space for over 4,500 people.

The upgraded structures will allow IOM shelter and site management teams to provide better protection for refugees if they are affected by landslides, floods, bad weather or other unexpected events that force them to leave their own shelters.

Mohammed Nur, 36, a maji or community representative, said: “If weather conditions turn bad and storms destroy our shelters, people from our area will be able to stay here safely for a few days. It is a relief for all of us.”

In a second phase of community shelter upgrade work, to be funded by the United Kingdom, a further 100 buildings will undergo improvements. Once completed, the 170 strengthened structures will be able to accommodate 10,000 people with urgent shelter needs.

The facilities will also serve as a temporary accommodation for families whose shelters need to be repaired or completely re-built in the coming months, as the dry season offers a window of opportunity to tackle damage inflicted during the monsoon season.

“IOM and partners have provided over 100,000 households with materials to help them upgrade their own shelters. But weather and environmental conditions in the camps mean tens of thousands of families live with the knowledge that their shelters could be damaged or destroyed at any time,” said Manuel Pereira, IOM’s Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.

“Ensuring we have secure and stable buildings in which people can safely take shelter if disaster strikes is hugely important under such circumstances. This project means that even though people are living in very uncertain conditions, if the worst happens, we are still able to offer them a safe haven.”

The EU funding was provided by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) under a consortium project implemented by IOM, the German Red Cross, and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The Disaster Risk Reduction consortium was established to mitigate against disasters among refugee and local communities affected by the Rohingya refugee crisis.

Almost a million Rohingya are currently living in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, after escaping violence in Myanmar, which surged in late August 2017 sending over 500,000 people fleeing across the border in just a few weeks. The region is prone to some of the worst monsoon conditions on earth and undergoes two cyclone seasons each year.

Most Rohingya live in what has become the largest refugee settlement in the world – a desperately overcrowded environment on ground prone to landslides and flooding. People living in local villages, where infrastructure has been severely overstretched since the arrival of so many people in a very short period, also face ongoing risk of environmental and other disasters.

For more information please contact Fiona MacGregor at IOM Cox’s Bazar. Email: fmacgregor@iom.int, Tel: +88 0 1733 33522

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:21Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Rohingya CrisisShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

The block M24 (Camp 20) mosque is one of the community structures upgraded by IOM, with funding from ECHO, to provide temporary shelter for Rohingya refugees during emergencies. Photo: IOM 

The block M24 (Camp 20) mosque is one of the community structures upgraded by IOM, with funding from ECHO, to provide temporary shelter for Rohingya refugees during emergencies. Photo: IOM 

The block M24 (Camp 20) mosque is one of the community structures upgraded by IOM, with funding from ECHO, to provide temporary shelter for Rohingya refugees during emergencies. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Government of Chile Promote Employability for Venezuelans

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:20

Santiago – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Government of Chile held two events this month in Santiago, Chile’s capital, and the northern city of Antofogasta with the aim of informing refugees and migrants arriving in Chile from Venezuela about its process of labour certification, access to government training and financial literacy orientation. 

These seminars are part of the new collaborative partnership between institutions whose intent is to jointly coordinate certification of labour competencies of refugees and migrants from Venezuela, strengthen access to information and provide leads to labour opportunities.

“This partnership is strategic, as it benefits people to find a job in Chile through proper certification, and protects employers to have a certified labour force,” said IOM Chile Chief of Mission Norberto Girón. “This synergy is an important step in the construction of a more inclusive country where employment conditions for refugees and migrants from Venezuela are improved."

ChileValora is also lending its expertise to the agenda.  The Commission of the National Certification System of Labour Competencies is a public service agency related to the Presidency of the Republic through the state’s Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. It operates jointly operating with CUT (Labour Union) and CPC (Confederation of Production and Commerce).

“Through this initiative, ChileValora contributes to the process of integrating the Venezuelans into the country, and hand in hand with IOM, it strengthens the employability of those seeking a new life and enables them to be a contribution to our society,” explained the Executive Secretary of ChileValora, Francisco Silva.

Added Silva: “In the fulfilment of this project, the certification of labour competencies, aligned with the needs of the national productive sectors, is key for all because it also means contributing to the growth of the country,” he added.

Nationals from Haiti, Peru and Colombia also participated in the seminars. The sessions included a presentation by ChileValora experts on the importance of the certification of labour competencies to develop a business and ways to gain access to it. It also included a presentation on alternatives to access training and financing through the National Training and Employment Service (SENCE), in addition to a presentation on ways to integrate into the Chilean banking system, delivered by professionals from BancoEstado.

These initiatives are part of the IOM Regional Action Plan launched in April this year to support governments hosting nationals from Venezuela in the Americas and the Caribbean. The Action Plan aims at strengthening the regional response to flows of Venezuelans, supporting the efforts that governments have initiated across the region.

Both seminars were funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) from the United States Department of State.

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:19Image: Region-Country: ChileThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Djibouti Hosts Forum on African Migration

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:19

Djibouti City – The Fourth Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFoM IV) began yesterday (19/11) in Djibouti City under the theme, Harnessing the Benefits of Free Movement of Persons Regime for Sustainable Development in Africa.

The Government of Djibouti is hosting the three-day conference in collaboration with the UN Migration Agency (IOM), the African Union Commission (AUC) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

Held annually since 2014, the Forum aims to provide more focused engagement with all relevant migration stakeholders on the African continent. Dozens of delegates are gathered representing 34 African Union member states, Regional Economic Commissions (RECs), international organizations, private sector, trade unions, academia, parliamentarians, African diaspora community and civil society organizations working on migration issues.

Opening the deliberations, Prime Minister of Djibouti, Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed urged African member states to foster dialogue “because migration transcends across borders, it requires enhanced cooperation and coordination.”

The conference covers a myriad of topics related to migration in Africa, including: a coordinated human mobility agenda for Africa: the benefits and challenges of free movement; the continental free trade area; accurate data for evidence-based policy making; and fostering social cohesion, integration and security cooperation.

The event complements efforts being made by the African Union (AU) and respective RECs to increase the capacity of member states as well as consolidate instruments, policies, laws and other commitments that facilitate the free movement of people, goods and services on the continent.

A recent study commissioned by the AU and IOM revealed that more than 80 per cent of African migration today occurs within Africa itself, either intra-regionally (particularly within the West, East and Southern African regions) or inter-regionally (from West Africa to Southern Africa, from East/Horn of Africa to Southern Africa and from Central Africa to Southern Africa and West Africa).

It is thus becoming increasingly important for the AU to guide renewed policies of free movement of persons on the continent.

Free movement of African populations is one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063, the blueprint to propel the continent to prosperity within the next 50 years, which emphasizes “a continent with seamless borders”. However, the Africa Visa Openness Index, a guide by the African Development Bank (AfDB), reveals that African countries remain largely closed off to African citizens.

Consequently, in January this year, Heads of States and Government of the African Union adopted the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, the Right of Residence and the Right of Establishment in Addis Ababa. The Protocol is one of the pillars of the integration process of the continent, along with the Agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Single African Air Transport Market.

The Protocol includes an Implementation Roadmap in which people can move freely within the continent with clear pathways for regularizing their stay and businesses in countries of destination. It will also enhance collection of reliable data on such movements, promote portability of skills and social protection among labour migrants, hence ensuring their effective participation in building the economies of the host community.

For more information: Lalini Veerassamy, IOM Djibouti, Tel: +216-2959 8604, Email: lveerassamy@iom.int. Or Eric Mazango, IOM Ethiopia Special Liaison Office, Tel: +251 904645879, Email: emazango@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:18Image: Region-Country: DjiboutiThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Prime Minister of Djibouti, Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed speaking at the opening of the Fourth Pan African Forum on Migration. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Study Identifies Reasons for Continued Displacement of Iraqi IDPs

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:18

Erbil – In April 2016, Iraq experienced its peak of displacement with approximately 3.42 million individuals forced to flee their homes. Two and half years later, in November 2018, this number has nearly halved to 1.87 million individuals, and most of these remaining internally displaced persons (IDPs) report planning to stay where they are over the next 12 months.

Protracted displacement is generally described as a condition in which internally displaced persons are unable to reduce the vulnerability, impoverishment and marginalization that may be caused by displacement.

Protracted displacement in Iraq is described in the study released today (20/11), Reasons to Remain: Categorizing Protracted Displacement in Iraq, conducted jointly by IOM Iraq; the Returns Working Group, an operational and multi-stakeholder platform on returns; and Social Inquiry, an Iraq-based research institute; and with input and support from the Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD) within the Federal Government of Iraq.

“Being stuck in protracted displacement, a situation that is characterized by long periods of exile and longing for home while a state of emergency no longer exists, is very challenging for the displaced and their families,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Iraq Chief of Mission.

“Finding durable solutions to displacement is a long-term process requiring close cooperation between the government and a range of humanitarian actors. Such support includes helping IDPs improve their coping capacities and self-reliance as well as facilitating environments to absorb displaced and returning populations in host communities,” Waite added.

In Iraq, there are many reasons why IDPs remain displaced. The study seeks to classify these reasons into five categories: obstacles relating to housing; livelihoods and basic services; social cohesion; security; and mental health issues and psycho-social distress.

The study found that destruction of houses in areas of origin is the most prevalent self-reported reason for prolonged displacement in addition to a lack of livelihood opportunities and perceptions of insecurity.

This report is the first step in a process to provide a comprehensive, geography-based analysis of remaining IDPs and obstacles to return.

The report can be accessed here.

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:17Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the buildings and homes damaged during conflict in West Mosul, Ninewa governorate, Iraq. Photo: IOM/Nima Tamaddon

Some of the buildings and homes damaged during conflict in West Mosul, Ninewa governorate, Iraq. Photo: IOM/Nima Tamaddon

Some of the buildings and homes damaged during conflict in West Mosul, Ninewa governorate, Iraq. Photo: IOM/Nima Tamaddon

Some of the buildings and homes damaged during conflict in West Mosul, Ninewa governorate, Iraq. Photo: IOM/Nima Tamaddon

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches Online Counter-Trafficking Course in Ukraine

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:17

Kyiv – A car accident ruined Taras’* life. He spent several months in hospital and lost his job. In desperate need of income, he came across a job advertisement from a farm owner who was looking for a cowherd. He took the job and stayed at the farm for 16 years, during which he was regularly beaten and humiliated, and only occasionally received his paltry salary.

After the farm owner died, Taras was finally given his passport back and told that he was free to go. He no longer had a home to return to, so a local IOM partner NGO provided him with shelter, where he had to learn basic life skills again. Taras received clothing, medical and psychological assistance from the UN Migration Agency.

To identify and assist more people like Taras, IOM and the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine developed a counter-trafficking e-course for government officials and NGO practitioners. The course, funded by USAID and Global Affairs Canada, was officially presented in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on 20 November.

“Unfortunately, in many cases victims of trafficking prefer not to ask for help and remain invisible. That is why there is a constant need to reach out to more frontline practitioners – central and local social services, law enforcement officials, the State Migration Service and the State Employment Service, NGOs, teachers, medical staff and others who might help identify trafficking survivors,” said Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission.

“The newly developed online course serves this goal, providing modern and cost-effective alternatives to traditional seminars and workshops,” he added.

The IOM Mission in Ukraine has been countering trafficking in human beings for 20 years. In addition to direct assistance provided to almost 15,000 trafficking survivors, the UN Migration Agency supports government efforts, including training for the stakeholders of the National Referral Mechanism for Assisting Victims of Trafficking, established in Ukraine in 2012.

Taras was officially granted victim of trafficking status by the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine in June 2017. As IOM, its local partner NGO and state social services joined their efforts to help Taras, he received further assistance, including a complex ophthalmologic surgery. Now he earns a living as a handyman and is well respected by his colleagues. The NGO also helped to find his family, who had thought Taras had died long ago, and he finally met the grandchildren he had never seen.

*Name has been changed to protect privacy

For more information please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel. +38 044 568 50 15 or +38 067 447 97 92, Email: vzhluktenko@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:17Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM reintegration assistance to victims of trafficking in Ukraine (2000-2018) 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 104,029 in 2018; Deaths Reach 2,063

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:17

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 104,029 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 18 November. Spain topped 50,911 – more irregular arrivals to Spain through 45 weeks of 2018 than all arrivals during the past three years combined (See Table 6).

This marks the fifth straight year arrivals of irregular migrants and refugees have topped the 100,000 mark, although this year’s totals are low compared to those at this time in 2017 (157,261) and 2016 (345,544).

As colder weather conditions arrive, sea passage to Europe grows ever deadlier. IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) in Berlin noted this week that at least 22 people went missing in the Atlantic Ocean off Morocco’s southern province of Tiznit on 18 November. Three survivors managed to swim to shore and alert the authorities that the boat in which they were trying to reach Spain’s Canary Islands had capsized. A search and rescue operation was underway on Monday. But, due to the difficult weather conditions, no trace of the boat or its occupants had been found.

On 16 November, the remains of a migrant were recovered near Caños de Meca, Cádiz, Spain, while the body of another man was recovered in the same area on 18 November. They are the 20th and 21st victims of the shipwreck that took place on 5 November off the coast of Barbate. In the last two weeks, the remains of 21 people have been located at sea or have washed up on the shore of Caños de Meca.

Since the beginning of 2018, at least 655 people have lost their lives trying to reach Spain: 620 of those deaths happened in the Western Mediterranean, while at least 35 deaths were recorded between the shores of North and West Africa and the Canary Islands. A recent report by a Spanish foundation for investigative journalism, porCausa.org, found that more than 6,700 people have died or disappeared while trying to reach Spain since 1988.

In the Central Mediterranean, MMP reported that a boat capsized off the coast of Sardinia on 15 November. Three young men of Algerian nationality were rescued from the small island of Toro, and they reported to Italian authorities that 12 of them had departed a few days before from Annaba, Algeria. A search and rescue operation that was launched was able to retrieve the bodies of two men. Tragically, seven migrants remain missing.

IOM Greece

Antigoni Avgeropoulou reported Monday (19 November) that since the start of last weekend the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) was involved in at least two incidents requiring search and rescue operations off islands of Samos and Kos. The HCG rescued a total of 92 migrants and transferred them to those respective islands.

Another 96 arrivals between Thursday and Sunday to Samos as well as to Chios, Lesvos and Kalymnos bring to 28,649 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year through 18 November. That is just short of the total (29,501) arriving through all of last year, a total that appears will be surpassed in 2018 (See Table 8.b).

IOM Libya

Maya Abu Ata reported through the first half of November nearly 15,000 stranded migrants have left Libya for their home countries under IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme. The total departure number is 14,905 since 1 January 2018. During the first two weeks of November a total of 713 men and women were returned under VHR. They went home to Niger, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia and Pakistan. About a quarter of these November beneficiaries of VHR had been taken from detention centres. The rest were living at large in Libyan urban areas.

IOM Italy

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

IOM Spain

Ana Dodevska reported Monday irregular migrants to Spain continue to arrive at a rate of almost 140 per day during the month of November, almost the rate they arrived this year during the summer months and in much heavier daily averages than were seen in the spring months of March, April and May. October was Spain’s busiest month for sea arrivals on month on record, with migrants or refugees entering by sea at a rate of over 350 people per day (See Table 2).

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 3,242 people who have died or gone missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018 (See Table 3).

Beyond the Mediterranean’s sea routes, MMP this week recorded three deaths along land routes in Europe. UNHCR reported the deaths of two people on the Serbia-Bosnia and Herzegovina border in early November. On 11 November, the remains of a young man of Iranian nationality were recovered from the banks of the Drina river, which runs along a 200km stretch of the border between the two countries. He is believed to have been part of a group of migrants and refugees who crossed the river into Bosnia ten days earlier, when the disappearance of two Iranian men were reported. The body of the other man has not been recovered. In the UK, the body of an individual was found underneath a bus at the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone, Kent on 18 November.

On the US-Mexico border, three men who had left their homes in Mexico to migrate north lost their lives while attempting to cross the border. The MMP team recorded the death of a man who drowned in the Río Bravo on 2 November. He had been deported from the US a few days earlier and was undertaking the dangerous crossing with the hope of reuniting with his daughter, who lives in Florida. His body was recovered near Matamoros, Tamaulipas, by Mexican civil protection authorities.

Another man drowned in this same stretch of the river a few days later, on 16 November and has yet to be identified. On 14 November, US Border Patrol officers in Texas found the remains of a man on ranch land south of Laredo. Additionally, the MMP team recorded the violent death of a migrant in Mexico’s southern state of Veracruz, near Las Mojarras on 16 November.

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

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:16Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

National Committee on Migration Management Introduced in Namibia

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:16

Swakopmund – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) began a three-day National Migration Workshop on 19 November in Namibia, in partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration. The programme continues through Wednesday, 21 November.

The main objective of the workshop is to launch the National Committee on Migration Management (NCBMM), a coordinating body comprised of government institutions, UN agencies, civil society and non-governmental organizations. The Committee will be responsible for overseeing development of the Namibian Comprehensive National Migration Management Policy and providing a roadmap for its implementation.

This initiative follows the 18-month IOM Development Fund project that aims to strengthen migration management mechanisms of the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN).

Addressing the participants during the opening session, Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Hon. Frans Kapofi affirmed, “Migration is a topic close to all our hearts.” He added that migration wil continue for years to come and emphasized the need for government to put in place a strategy for improved migration management.

IOM Namibia’s Head of Office, Jeremias Mendes, referred to the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) as one of the key instruments that will guide the management of migration globally. The GCM will be essential in helping Namibia align its migration management policy to the global standards of migration governance, he said.

Mendes stressed that “there is a growing need to strengthen the migration management to better protect national borders but also to ensure that migrants’ rights are protected.”

The workshop marks the beginning of a process that will continue through 2019 with the submission of the draft migration policy to the GRN cabinet for final endorsement and implementation.

For more, please contact Jeremias Mendes at IOM Namibia, Tel: +264 61 231 639, Email: jmendes@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: NamibiaThemes: Migration GovernanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants at IOM's Migration Management Development policy workshop in Swakopmund, Namibia (19 - 21 November). Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Boosts Capacity of Tanzanian Immigration Officials to Train Colleagues

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:15

Moshi – IOM’s African Capacity Building Centre (IOM ACBC) in coordination with the Tanzania Regional Immigration Training Academy (TRITA), conducted a two-week training on curriculum development for Tanzanian Immigration Officials in Moshi from 5 to 19 November 2018.

The training, which gathered 25 participants from different regions in the country, sought to strengthen the expertise of trainers from the Immigration Department on the development of training curriculum and material. Experts from the Tanzanian National Council for Technical Education (NACTE), which is the national agency that oversees and coordinates the provision of technical education and curriculum development, provided technical support on the subject.

Topics addressed during the two-week training period covered, amongst others, curriculum development procedures and processes such as situational and operational analysis, learning assessment methods and training skills with the aim of developing skilled trainers and ensure sustainable training programs. 

IOM ACBC Senior Migration Management Specialist, Marcellino Ramkishun stated that “with the advancement of technology and ever-changing migration trends, a training institution that offers an innovative curriculum that meets the aspirations and interests of trainees is a key foundation for a strong training institution such as TRITA.”

IOM Chief of Mission in Tanzania, Dr Qasim Sufi attended the closing event together with Hans Christiaan Faber, the Deputy Director General, of the Netherlands’ Ministry of Justice and Security, Repatriation and Departure Services and Jan Willem Konig, Advisor to the Minister of Justice and Security, Repatriation and Departure Services.

Dr Sufi thanked the Government of the Netherlands for supporting the training, adding that “This first training of its kind will for sure boost the knowledge and capacity of immigration officers to develop their knowledge and skills as trainers in TRITA.”

The key expected outcome of this training is that the participants will become qualified trainers who will conduct and develop training for the Tanzanian Immigration Department.

The training was held under the auspices of the project Enhancing Migration Management in African States through Training and Capacity Building on Integrated Border Management and Countering Irregular Migration, funded by the Government of the Netherlands through the Repatriation and Departure Services. 

For more information, please contact the African Capacity Building Centre: Marcellino Ramkishun, Mobile: +255 769954181, Email: mramkishun@iom.int; or Pamela Kyando, Mobile: +255 686950768, Email : pkyando@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 16:13Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Chief of Mission in Tanzania, Dr Qasim Sufi presents a certificate to one of the training participants. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches ‘Holding On’ Campaign: A Virtual Reality Experience of Internal Displacement

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 10:09

Geneva – Marking the 20th anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) launched the ‘Holding On’ digital campaign yesterday (15/11) to raise awareness of the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and celebrate their courage and resilience.

Holding On showcases the stories of internally displaced persons by asking them to reflect on their most cherished possessions. Global audiences can now share these stories on social media via the #HoldingOn hashtag.  They can also sign a petition that calls on states to respect and advance the Guiding Principles, which Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of IDPs, will use in her work.

The Guiding Principles serve as the global standard for States regarding the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons. Displaced within the borders of their own countries, IDPs are among the world’s most neglected – often denied access to education, employment, safe accommodation and other human rights.

Twenty years on, internal displacement continues unabated around the world with 40 million people displaced in their own countries by conflict and violence as of December 2017, which accounts for 62 per cent of all conflict-induced displacement. The number of IDPs has nearly doubled since 2000, increasing sharply over the last five years. In addition, a further estimated 26 million people are displaced annually due to natural disasters.

“Internally displaced people have left their homes on their own. They don’t have anything other than what they’re carrying. Our exhibition shows people who just walked out with a t-shirt or only holding their children in their arms…That’s all they have,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Director of Operations and Emergencies in the United Nations podcast, A Way Home Together: Stories of the Human Journey.

The items IDPs carry with them when they flee often become physical representations of a world that has since disappeared. As simple as a camera, t-shirt or small bird, these items represent symbols of struggle and hope.

“This camera carries a lot of memories. I used it to take pictures of my children at home. We used to go north to picnic and these cameras were always with us. We took pictures and video footage that I still keep as memories,” said Moafaq, displaced in an emergency site in Iraq.

Tetiana and Volodymyr Ziangirov, internally displaced in Ukraine, reminisced, “The crib is 23+ years old now. My two elder daughters grew up in it. My best memories are associated with this crib.”

The exhibition’s virtual reality (VR) films reanimate the lives of IDPs in Colombia, Iraq, Nigeria, the Philippines and Ukraine. Since July 2018, IOM has held ten exhibitions around the world including in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Djibouti.

Conventional videos that do not require VR glasses, as well as feature and photo stories, are now available on the campaign’s website, allowing people an intimate view into the lives of others who remain displaced.

Upcoming exhibitions will be held during the IOM Council in Geneva between 27-30 November, the opening ceremony of the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) in Geneva on 28 November, and on International Migrants Day in Cairo on 18 December.

For more information please contact Angela Wells at IOM Headquarters in Geneva, Tel: +41 22 717 9 435, Email: awells@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 16, 2018 - 16:57Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Holding On VR exhibitions have been held in ten locations around the world since July. The Holding On digital campaign launched yesterday. Photos: IOM

Holding On VR exhibitions have been held in ten locations around the world since July. The Holding On digital campaign launched yesterday. Photos: IOM

Holding On | It is time to listen to the stories of internally displaced persons. Learn more about this campaign at holding-on.iom.int
 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

First IOM Member State Forum on Comprehensive Approach to Resettlement and Complementary Pathways to Europe

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 09:56

Brussels – The need for a comprehensive approach, a continuum of care in resettlement, and complementary protection pathways to Europe for refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations was the focus of the IOM Member State Forum – the first of its kind held by the UN Migration Agency – and co-hosted with the Government of Belgium in Brussels this week (12-14/11). 

“The availability of humane solutions to forced displacement pales in comparison to the scale and scope of this phenomenon, with 68.5 million forcibly displaced persons across the globe,” said IOM Director General António Vitorino, in his opening message to the three-day event on Monday.

“IOM is convinced that more can be done on resettlement and complementary protection pathways in partnership and coordination with our Member States and partners to help refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations.”

Director General Vitorino stressed that the continued success and enlargement of these schemes rely on strong partnerships with all stakeholders. The Forum serves as a catalyst for this, he said.

IOM noted that countries such as Canada, the EU and Associated States, Argentina and Chile have significantly expanded resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes in recent years and are exploring other protection pathways for refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations. Complementary protection pathways such as family reunification and humanitarian visas, in addition to resettlement, also provide tailored responses in support of safe, orderly and regular migration.

“Ultimately, resettlement and complementary protection avenues are not about processes or procedures alone; they provide life-changing protection to fellow human beings in need,” said Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM Chief of Staff and Regional Director for the EU, Norway and Switzerland.  “As resettlement actors, we need to do our best to help their lives change for the better.”

The first day focused on the need for coordinated approaches in often complex environments, and the essential components of successful resettlement programmes, namely the interdependencies of case management, pre-departure health assessments, pre-departure orientation, movement management and post-arrival integration support, along with immigration and visa solutions.

Representatives of 25 European countries alongside their peers from Australia, Asia, North and South America attended the Forum together with partners and officials from European institutions. They learned about migrant-centric family reunification support as well as humanitarian and other visa processing operations through a series of presentations and panel discussions.

Operational solutions, they affirmed, must emphasize rights and needs, whether by protecting migrants from smugglers, unscrupulous visa brokers, excessive fees, or other factors that may cause them to seek unsafe and irregular migration channels.

An exhibition showcased the close cooperation with partners and the comprehensive set of activities in support of safe and dignified migration that IOM has developed over the years in collaboration with its Member States. The highly interactive exhibition included IOM's Holding On campaign, a virtual reality experience that places the viewer inside the makeshift homes and campsites of internally displaced persons as they reflect on their most cherished possessions.

The second and third days covered the area of health, reviewing the evidence and cost effectiveness of pre-departure health assessments (PDHA) through plenary sessions, thematic workshops and group discussions that enabled participants to exchange experiences and share evidence. Participants roundly assessed that PDHA is an important tool that can improve integration efforts in receiving communities, supported by the secure transfer of health information.

 “A rich amount of information was shared by a variety of experts from IOM, resettlement countries and other partners,” said Paul Desautels, Director, Resettlement Operations, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). “Numerous complex issues were raised in the sessions which ‎were provocative and allowed the countries to explore future programme enhancements in the areas of health, movement and integration.”

IOM’s protection-oriented approach and duty to ensure a continuum of care to its beneficiaries, leading to sustainable integration, is centered around working with governments and partners to tailor programmes to specific contexts whilst ensuring adherence to principles and standards of assistance for refugees and migrants.

This short animated video showcases the resettlement process, from selection to reception, for one refugee family. It highlights the plight of refugees and IOM’s role in essential aspects of resettlement, from health and integration, to ensuring safe and dignified movements.

For more information contact: Craig Murphy, IOM HQ, Geneva, Email: cmurphy@iom.int, Tel: +41 22 717 9183; Paul Douglas, IOM HQ, Geneva, Email: pdouglas@iom.int, Tel: +41 44 717 9538; or Jo De Backer, IOM Regional Office, Brussels, Email: jdebacker@iom.int, Tel: +32 2 287 71 15, +32 470 13 10 28; Patrick Corcoran, IOM HQ Geneva, Email: pcorcoran@iom.int, Tel: +41 22 717 9174

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 16, 2018 - 16:52Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration PolicyResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants at the first IOM Member State Forum on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways to Europe, in Brussels, earlier this week (12-14/11).  Photo: IOM / Vasiliki Polychronopoulou

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Asian Labour Sending Countries Meet on Migrant Workers’ Rights, Global Compact on Migration

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 09:52

Kathmandu – Senior officials and ministers from the 12 Colombo Process (CP) member states are meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal this week (15-16/11) to discuss the rights of migrant workers and implementation of the upcoming Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).

The CP is a regional consultative process that brings together Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Viet Nam to address issues of regional migration governance, notably the management of overseas employment and contractual labour. It is currently chaired by Nepal. IOM, which provides technical and policy support, serves as its secretariat. 

CP member states, which account for about 30 per cent of the world’s estimated 150 million international labour migrants, played a key role in drafting the GCM. Many of their joint recommendations were incorporated in the final draft, which is due to be adopted by the United Nations in Marrakesh, Morocco, next month. 

These recommendations focus on following themes: remittances, recognition of skills and qualifications, international labour market analysis, fostering ethical recruitment, pre-departure orientation and empowerment. 

“We believe that formal adoption of the GCM in December is going to add importance to regional consultative processes like the Colombo Process. They will play a key role in implementing GCM objectives and actions underlying the global framework,” said IOM Regional Director for IOM Asia and the Pacific Dr. Nenette Motus, who is leading the IOM delegation in Kathmandu.

“We are confident that the Colombo Process will further develop concrete plans to implement this historic undertaking, the aim of which is to manage migration for the benefit of all,” she added.

“Migration is an increasingly important vehicle for the development of both the host and sending countries,” said Nepali Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista. “In this context, ensuring the human rights and well-being of the migrant workers has become a shared priority. This presents the Colombo Process with immense opportunities to facilitate strategic partnerships and collective efforts to address the existing challenges.”

For more information please contact Paul Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel: +977 1 4426250, Email: iomnepal@iom.int or Government of Nepal, Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security, Tel: +977 1 4211963, Email: info@mole.gov.np

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 16, 2018 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: NepalThemes: Global Compact on MigrationLabour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Senior officials from Colombo Process countries meet in Kathmandu. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

First Lao National Workshop on Migration Discusses Sustainable Development Goals, Global Compact on Migration

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 09:50

Vientiane – IOM and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic organized the country’s first National Workshop on Migration and Cooperation at the National Convention Centre in Vientiane on November 15th.

The event, designed to better understand the cross-cutting nature of migration and its impact on sustainable development in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, follows the Southeast Asian nation’s accession to IOM membership in June 2018, when it became the 171st member state of the UN Migration Agency.

The National Workshop brought together key ministries and stakeholders including development partners, UN agencies, civil society organizations and the private sector. It also featured a keynote presentation by the Lao National Institute for Economic Research.

In her opening remarks, Lao Deputy Foreign Minister Khamphao Ernthavanh said: “The Lao People’s Democratic Republic, as a full member of IOM, will fulfill its obligations by continuing to strengthen cooperation with IOM in addressing the comprehensive development needs and challenges related to migration management to bring about tangible benefits for both society and migrants.”

IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson recognized the efforts being made by the Lao government to optimize the overall benefits of migration for individuals and communities. “Only collective efforts can deliver results and ensure that the risks and vulnerabilities faced by migrants are significantly reduced…. A whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach is needed to address migration challenges and harness opportunities,” she said.

The workshop shared information on existing migration initiatives in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and addressed the migration impacts of the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan. It also examined the role of migration in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

Under the leadership of the Lao Government, IOM Lao People’s Democratic Republic and development partners have joined hands in providing technical support to contribute to safe, orderly and regular migration in areas including counter trafficking, protection, immigration and border management, migration health, labour migration and disaster response.

For more information please contact Misato Yuasa at IOM Vientiane. Tel. +856.21267730, Email: myuasa@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 16, 2018 - 16:47Image: Region-Country: Lao People’s Democratic RepublicThemes: Capacity BuildingGlobal Compact on MigrationMigration PolicyDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson (right) addresses the workshop in Vientiane. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Anti-Trafficking Hotline Goes Online in Kenya

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 09:47

Nairobi – The fight against human trafficking in Kenya has taken on a new dimension. This month, plans were announced to set up a hotline that will hasten the response by the local authorities and the Counter Trafficking in Persons (CTiP) Secretariat to reports of trafficking and lead to the arrest of offenders. The hotline is the first of its kind in Kenya and will build on the existing child abuse helpline currently operated by the department of children and social protection which hosts the CTiP Secretariat.

The proposed hotline is the brainchild of the Department of Children’s Services and CTiP, which co-organized a workshop with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and IOM, the UN Migration Agency (7-8/11) where the plans were unveiled. The hotline’s operations will largely focus on hotspot districts like Kakamega County, located in Western Kenya, on the border with Uganda.

Kakamega is a county of origin and transit for trafficking victims; hence, there is a strong need to create awareness and foster cooperation to address the issue. CTiP Secretariat Chairperson Carren Ogoti said the counties prioritised for National Referral Mechanism (NRM) activities were those that reported a high number of cases in human and child trafficking.

“In Kakamega, it is sometimes difficult to prove a case as trafficking. In the rural setting, the incidents reported are thought to be ‘child stealing’ instead of trafficking,” said Benta Ochieng, a participant representing Probation and Aftercare Service.

Esther Wasige, the County Children Coordinator from Busia, said traffickers have found new ways of operating, making it hard to track them for prosecution.

The workshop thus focused on activating the National Referral Mechanism for assisting victims of human trafficking. It brought together 31 participants (18 male and 13 female). It was part of the Better Migration Management (BMM) Programme which aims to improve migration management in the region, and in particular to address the trafficking and smuggling of migrants within and from the Horn of Africa.  

BMM is a regional programme funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It is coordinated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and implemented through its partners including IOM, UNODC, Expertise France, Italian Department of Public Security, CIVIPOL and the British Council.

Apart from Kenya, BMM is active in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and South Sudan. In Kenya, BMM has been actively supporting the government in strengthening its capacities in the implementation of both the National Plan of Action (NPA) on countering human trafficking and the National Referral Mechanism.

CTiP has taken steps to put structures in place to counter human trafficking, among them the gradual delegation of more work to the counties in identifying, reporting, assisting and protecting victims of trafficking.

For more information please contact Etsuko Inoue at IOM Nairobi, Tel: +254204221000, Email: einoue@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 16, 2018 - 16:44Image: Region-Country: KenyaThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

Group discussion during the National Referral Mechanism workshop in Nairobi. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 103,347 in 2018; Deaths Reach 2,054

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 09:42

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 103,347 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 14 November. Spain topped 50,440—more irregular arrivals to Spain through 45 weeks of 2018 than all arrivals during the past three years combined (see chart below) 

This marks the fifth straight year arrivals of irregular migrants and refugees have topped the 100,000 mark, although this year’s totals are low compared to those at this time in 2017 (156,708) and 2016 (343,158). 

For these first two weeks of November irregular sea arrivals to Spain (2,039) continue to at least double the pace of those to Greece (958) and Italy (487). While flows from Africa to Italy remain low by recent standards, irregular sea migration between Turkey and Greece has been getting busier. 

IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou reported Thursday (15 November) that since Tuesday the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported there was at least one incident requiring search and rescue operations off island of Lesvos. The HCG rescued a total of 15 migrants and transferred them to that island. 

Another 64 arrivals Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to Lesvos as well as Kos and other islands brings to 28,461 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year through 14 November. That is just short of the total (29,595) arriving through all last year, a total that appears will be surpassed in 2018. (see chart below) 

  * Unofficial data collected by IOM Greece and the Greek authorities of arrivals by sea. 

IOM Greece also notes October arrivals—by land and sea—reached 6,010, making October this year’s second busiest month, after April, with 7,009.  (see charts below). 

 Christine Nikolaidou also shared new data from Greece’s Hellenic Coast Guard concerning the countries with the largest arrival numbers of irregular sea arrivals in October. 

As IOM has reported before, a handful of Caribbean migrants again were detected on this sea route in October. According to the Hellenic Coast Guard, five migrants were detected from the Dominican Republic and one from Haiti. 

The Eastern Mediterranean route has been the scene this year of 166 fatalities by drowning, compared with 60 at this point last year.  Most recently, ten people lost their lives in a shipwreck off the coast of Dikili, Turkey on 12 November. The Turkish Coast Guard has recovered the remains of six people, including three children, all of Afghan nationality, while four people (one Iranian man and three Afghans) remain missing.  

A search and rescue operation was launched after two men who survived the shipwreck managed to swim to shore and alert Turkish authorities. Fortunately, three survivors (including two women) were found alive, floating in the sea.  

Tracking migrants northward, IOM’s Western Balkans team reported this week that, based on available data, 28,914 irregular migrants were registered in Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina between January and 12 November 2018.  

Around 75 per cent of the overall migrants registered this year in the above listed countries were registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where since the beginning of the year, authorities reported 21,584 new irregular migrants – 19 times more than the 1,166 registered in the whole of 2017.  

According to the available information on nationalities, one third of migrants registered in Bosnia are Pakistani nationals (34%), followed by those from the Islamic Republic of Iran (16%), the Syrian Arab Republic (12%), Afghanistan (12%) and Iraq. A decrease in arrivals of Iranian nationals is observed, potentially as an aftermath of the cancelation of the visa free regime between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Serbia. In the first two weeks of November, authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina registered 72 Iranian nationals compared to 440 registered in the first two weeks of October. In contrast to that, presence of Afghan nationals is on rise since September leading to them being the second most commonly reported nationality by migrants registered in November so far.  

Based on the cumulative data on nationalities of migrants who arrived in Greece, Afghanistan has replaced the Syrian Arab Republic in first place among origin countries reported by migrants arriving into the country.  Available data from IOM field colleagues indicates that there were estimated 3,286 migrants and refugees residing in different official and unofficial reception centers in the country in the first week of November, mainly in Una-Sana Canton near the border with Croatia.  

In Albania and Montenegro, Syrian nationals comprised the majority (51% and 45% respectively), followed by those who arrived from Pakistan (13% and 17% respectively), Algeria and Iraq (both 8%) in Montenegro, and Iraq (10%) in Albania. As of 12 November, 3,113 migrants were apprehended in Albania on both entry and exit in the Gjirokastra and Shkodra regions respectively. 

The monthly data indicates that outgoing flows exceeded registered incoming flows by 30 percent for the period between March (the start of DTM monitoring in the Shkodra region) and November. During this period a total of 1,179 migrants were registered on entry and 1,547 on exit from the country: In Montenegro, 4,217 migrants were registered as of 12 November – 6 times more than the 669 registered between January and November 2017. According to available data, 148 201 migrants and asylum seekers were accommodated in official reception centers in Montenegro on 11 November. 

Between January and 13 November 2018, there were 7,453 newly registered migrants in the reception centers across Serbia. This is a 31 per cent increase from the 5,676 registered in the whole of 2017. Further on, arrivals in Serbia almost doubled in October when compared to September – 1,662 vs. 920 respectively. Almost half of all registered migrants in Serbia as of 31 October declared Pakistani origin (46%), another 30 per cent were from Afghanistan followed by 14 per cent from the Islamic Republic of Iran, 5 per cent from Bangladesh, and 2 per cent from Iraq.  

On 7 November, 3,307 migrants and asylum seekers were reported to reside in different accommodation centers across the country. In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia authorities reported the arrival of 3,015 irregular migrants as of 13 November, six times the 547 reported in the whole of 2017.  

Available information on nationalities as of end of October indicates that the Islamic Republic of Iran is the most commonly reported origin country declared by 60 per cent of the registered migrants. Iraqi nationals comprise another 18 per cent, Pakistani nationals 8 per cent and Afghanis 8 per cent. Some 51 migrants and asylum seekers were residing in official reception centers in the country on 7 November. 

Based on the data on irregular entries to Croatia, an 88 per cent increase is observed between September and October (885 vs. 1,667 respectively). Since the beginning of 2018, Croatian authorities registered a total of 6,160 irregular entries, almost three times more than the 2,137 reported for the same period last year. 64 per cent of migrants registered this year were detected in counties near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Serbia. Majority of migrants were from Afghanistan (21%), Pakistan (16%), Turkey (13%) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (12%) 

IOM’s Missing Migrants Projected note that this week marks the death, just over 30 years ago, of a Moroccan man whose body washed up on the beaches of Tarifa.  That victim today is considered to be the first person to die while trying to migrate across “El Estrecho”, from North Africa to Spain.   

So far in 2018, at least 617 people have lost their lives in this same crossing.  This week alone, at least 52 people died or were lost at sea in the Western Mediterranean.  In the early hours of Monday, an unidentified man's body was found on Los Caños beach in Barbate, in southern Spain.  Since then, the bodies of six more men have been recovered in the area by Spain’s Coast Guard, Salvamento Marítimo, and at least 14 remain missing.  All those on this boat are thought to be from North Africa.  

Also, on Monday, another two boats of people trying to reach Spanish territory of Melilla sank off the coast. In total, 80 people (75 men and 5 women), mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa, were rescued and brought to Melilla, along with the remains of 13 of their fellow passengers.  Based on testimonies of survivors, at least 31 remain missing.   

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 50,440 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 14 November (see charts below).  

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project noted that this week a total of 620 men, women and children have perished thus far in the Western Mediterranean in 2018, compared with 224 though all of 2017. 

On 13 November, the remains of one migrant were recovered near Cape Trafalgar, in Cádiz, Spain. He is the 19th victim of the shipwreck that took place on 5 November off the coast of Barbate. Between 5-13 November, the remains of 19 people have been located at sea or have washed up on the shore of Caños de Meca. The remains of two others haven’t been recovered. All victims came from the same town in north-western Morocco, Salé, a commuter town near the capital Rabat.  

In the Central Mediterranean, a boat carrying 41 people capsized in the Channel of Sicily on 10 November. The migrants were rescued by a fishing boat, which took them to the island of Lampedusa. According to survivors’ testimonies, the boat left Libya on 8 November and went adrift two days later, when its engine stopped working. The passengers managed to attract the attention of an Italian fishing boat, and many people on board jumped into the water, trying to reach the boat’s fishing nets. Tragically, one man drowned before he could be rescued. 

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 3,204 people who have died or gone missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018 (see chart below). 

Beyond the Mediterranean’s sea routes, MMP this week recorded these fatalities: In northern Greece, a woman was killed, and 9 others were injured in a car crash east of Thessaloniki, Greece on 12 November. This accident took place just days after a 4-year-old Iraqi boy was killed in another vehicle accident in the same area. Since the beginning of the year, at least 26 people have died in vehicle accidents in Greece.   

In Iran, two men who had left their homes in Pakistan to migrate west lost their lives while crossing the Iran-Pakistan border on 12 November. They were killed in Iran’s south-eastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan, as they tried to cross the border in a van with five others from Panjgur district, Pakistan. One of the young men came from Pakistan’s north-western province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while the other was from Kech, in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.  

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

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

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

For more information, please contact: 

Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int 
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: MMOCANU@iom.int 
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int 
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int 
Massaia Meryem IOM Morocco, Email: mmassaia@iom.int 
or Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int 
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: ADODEVSKA@iom.int   
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int 
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel :   +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 166; M. +30 69 48 92 98 09 Email: Aavgeropoulou@iom.int 
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 248, Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int 
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM officer, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@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 
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 28 78 78 05 (mobile) office: +216 71 860 312 EXT. 109  Email: mchabbi@iom.int 
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 16, 2018 - 16:29Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

First IOM Member State Forum on a Comprehensive Approach to Resettlement and Complementary Pathways to Europe

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 12:48

Brussels – The need for a comprehensive approach; a continuum of care in resettlement; and complementary protection pathways to Europe for refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations was the focus of the IOM Member State Forum, the first of its kind held by the UN Migration Agency, and co-hosted with the Government of Belgium in Brussels this week. 

“The availability of humane solutions to forced displacement pales in comparison to the scale and scope of this phenomenon, with 68.5 million forcibly displaced persons across the globe,” said IOM Director General António Vitorino, in his opening message to the three-day event on Monday.

“IOM is convinced that more can be done on resettlement and complementary protection pathways in partnership and coordination with our Member States and partners to help refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations.”

Director General Vitorino stressed that the continued success and enlargement of these schemes rely on strong partnerships with all stakeholders. The Forum serves as a catalyst for this, he said.

IOM noted that countries such as Canada, the EU and Associated States, Argentina and Chile have significantly expanded resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes in recent years and are exploring other protection pathways for refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations. Complementary protection pathways such as family reunification and humanitarian visas, in addition to resettlement, also provide tailored responses in support of safe, orderly and regular migration.

“Ultimately, resettlement and complementary protection avenues are not about processes or procedures alone; they provide life-changing protection to fellow human beings in need,” said Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM Chief of Staff and Regional Director for the EU, Norway and Switzerland.  “As resettlement actors, we need to do our best to help their lives change for the better.”

The first day focused on the need for coordinated approaches in often complex environments, and the essential components of successful resettlement programmes, namely the interdependencies of case management, pre-departure health assessments, pre-departure orientation, movement management and post-arrival integration support, along with immigration and visa solutions.

Representatives of 25 European countries alongside their peers from Australia, Asia, North- and South America attended the Forum together with partners and officials from European institutions. They learned about migrant-centric family reunification support as well as humanitarian and other visa processing operations through a series of presentations and panel discussions.

Operational solutions, they affirmed, must emphasize rights and needs, whether by protecting migrants from smugglers, unscrupulous visa brokers, excessive fees, or other factors that may cause them to seek unsafe and irregular migration channels.

An exhibition showcased the close cooperation with partners and the comprehensive set of activities in support of safe and dignified migration that IOM has developed over the years in collaboration with its Member States. The highly interactive exhibition included IOM's Holding On campaign, a virtual reality experience that places the viewer inside the makeshift homes and campsites of internally displaced persons as they reflect on their most cherished possessions.

The second and third days covered the area of health, reviewing the evidence and cost effectiveness of pre-departure health assessments (PDHA) through plenary sessions, thematic workshops and group discussions that enabled participants to exchange experiences and share evidence. Participants roundly assessed that PDHA is an important tool that can improve integration efforts in receiving communities, supported by the secure transfer of health information.

 “A rich amount of information was shared by a variety of experts from the IOM, resettlement countries and other partners,” said Paul Desautels, Director, Resettlement Operations, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). “Numerous complex issues were raised in the sessions which ‎were provocative and allowed the countries to explore future program enhancements in the areas of health, movement and integration.”

IOM’s protection-oriented approach and duty to ensure a continuum of care to its beneficiaries, leading to sustainable integration, is centered around working with governments and partners to tailor programmes to specific contexts whilst ensuring adherence to principles and standards of assistance for refugees and migrants.

This short animated video showcases the resettlement process, from selection to reception, for one refugee family. It highlights the plight of refugees and IOM’s role in essential aspects of resettlement, from health and integration, to ensuring safe and dignified movements.

For more information contact: Craig Murphy, IOM HQ, Geneva, Email: cmurphy@iom.int,Tel: +41 22 717 9183; Paul Douglas, IOM HQ, Geneva, Email: pdouglas@iom.int, Tel: +41 44 717 9538; or Jo De Backer, IOM Regional Office, Brussels, Email: jdebacker@iom.int, Tel: +32 2 287 71 15, +32 470 13 10 28

Language English Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 12:15Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: ResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

The first IOM Member State Forum on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways to Europe was held in Brussels, 12-14 November 2018. Participants gathered to discuss more comprehensive approaches.  Photo: IOM / Vasiliki Polychronopoulou 

The first IOM Member State Forum on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways to Europe was held in Brussels, 12-14 November 2018. Participants gathered to discuss more comprehensive approaches.  Photo Credits: IOM / Vasiliki Polychronopoulou

The first IOM Member State Forum on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways to Europe was held in Brussels, 12-14 November 2018. Participants gathered to discuss more comprehensive approaches.  Photo: IOM / Vasiliki Polychronopoulou 

The first IOM Member State Forum on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways to Europe was held in Brussels, 12-14 November 2018. Participants gathered to discuss more comprehensive approaches.  Photo: IOM / Vasiliki Polychronopoulou 

 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Provides Mental Health Services and Safe Spaces for Vulnerable Yemeni Families

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 10:24

Sana’a – The conflict in Yemen – raging since March 2015 and recently intensified by clashes in and around Al-Hudaydah over the weekend – has disrupted the lives of millions of Yemenis. Nearly ten per cent of the population, or 2.3 million people, are displaced as of June, according to the UN Migration Agency’s (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix.

The devastation of essential infrastructure has exacerbated struggles faced by the Yemeni population to find livelihood opportunities and provide for their families. As a result, an estimated 22 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian assistance and almost 18 million are food insecure, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The protracted conflict and subsequent displacement has also halted the education of nearly two million children, that the Ministry of Education  and UNICEF estimate, are not attending school. Recognising the need for children to have a safe place to play, IOM has established 31 Child Friendly Spaces in Yemen.

IOM safe spaces allow children a respite from conflict – a place to play, learn and regain a sense of normalcy. Children participate in a variety of activities including games, artwork, puppet theatre, and storytelling. More than 170,000 girls and 230,000 boys have been served in centres operating in Aden and Sana’a to date.

Since March 2016, IOM has provided community based psychosocial support to nearly 400,000 children that utilize these spaces. More than half of these children have been displaced from their homes and live in informal sites throughout the country.

According to Anwar Al- Shami from IOM Yemen, “Our teams have learned of several incidents of child suicide, sexual and labour exploitation, family separation and recruitment since the war broke out in Yemen. We are striving to provide a safe place where children and families feel supported.”  

IOM staff psychologists have provided more than 100,000 psychosocial consultations for children and their guardians the CFSs since 2016. IOM also provides MHPSS in 61 health facilities across the country.

Mental Health and Psychosocial programming (MHPSS) is part of IOM’s integrated multisector humanitarian response inside Yemen. IOM also provides shelter, health, water and sanitation and displacement tracking and site level support to displaced and vulnerable Yemeni communities.

For more information, please contact Angela Wells, IOM Public Information Officer for the Department of Operations and Emergencies, Tel: +41 79 403 53 65, Email: awells@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 15:37Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Since March 2016, IOM has provided community based psychosocial support to nearly 400,000 Yemeni children in child friendly spaces. Photo: Eman Al Awami

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Presents Study Findings on Ethiopian Diaspora Mapping in the United States

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 10:14

Addis Ababa – The UN Migration Agency (IOM), in collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and the Federal and Regional Diaspora Affairs Coordination Offices, presented the findings of a study on the mapping of Ethiopian Diasporas in the USA. During a two-day workshop (5-6 November) held in Addis Ababa, an assessment of skills or knowledge gaps and investment opportunities within Ethiopia was also presented.

The study of sample populations of the Ethiopian Diaspora based in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, District of Columbia (DC), indicated that the mobilized diaspora possesses substantial and diverse human capital, robust middle-class income levels and some limited available wealth for investment. The mobilized diaspora is also particularly interested in contribution to and investment in the education, healthcare and agriculture sectors, as well Ethiopia’s general infrastructure and business-enabling environment. Most Ethiopian diaspora members are motivated by a combination of emotional and financial investment concerns.

However, diaspora engagement is currently impeded by numerous perceived obstacles to investment, particularly issues related to government policy and practice; financial concerns; and some local human capital challenges. Despite these challenges, the study indicated that there is a significant level of engagement with Ethiopia through remittances, investments and charitable donations. In the past three years, over half (56%) of respondents have sent remittances annually to friends and/or family members in Ethiopia. On average, respondents sent USD 6,998 in remittances to Ethiopia annually over the past three years.

The Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has always been keen to engage the Ethiopian diaspora in developing the country and has requested IOM, a leading UN organization in the field of migration, to provide support by formulating and implementing diaspora mapping exercises.

The study’s primary objective was to assess knowledge and skills gaps in Ethiopia’s health and education systems, and also indicate investment opportunities for Ethiopian diaspora in these two sectors. The project covered selected teaching hospitals and universities located in four regional states – Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples – as well as one administrative city (Addis Ababa).

Fifty-six participants from the MoFA, IOM, the Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund Advisory Council, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, relevant ministries and various Ethiopian diaspora associations attended the presentation of the study.

Following the diaspora mapping assessment, a roadmap for short-term and long-term knowledge and skill transfer programmes will be developed. Programme introduction and diaspora mobilization workshops have also been conducted with embassies, diaspora associations as well as professional and business networks to encourage diaspora members to take part in the process as well.

For more information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Addis Ababa, Tel: +251 911 63 90 82, Email: salemayehu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 15:00Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Migration ResearchMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Moonga Malambo from IOM Ethiopia’s Migration Management Unit giving opening remarks as the Diaspora Mapping Study is presented in Addis Ababa.

Gillian Williams presenting the findings of the Diaspora Mapping Study in Addis Ababa.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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