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Updated: 18 min 40 sec ago

Maldives Migration Profile Highlights Key Role of Foreign Migrant Workers

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:42

Male – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has handed over the first Migration Profile of the Maldives to the government of the Indian Ocean island nation. “Migration in Maldives: A Country Profile 2018” examines all aspects of migration in the Maldives, a major tourist destination.  

The 240-page report is the product of a two-year research project launched in 2016 in partnership with Maldives Immigration, under the supervision of the Ministry of Economic Development. It builds on data collected by the government – notably through the Maldives Population and Housing Census 2014 – and key international organizations, including the ILO, UN, World Bank, OECD and the European Union.  

The profile highlights the key role of migration in the Maldives economy, where migrants mainly from South Asia, but also from the Philippines, Egypt, Iran and the Russian Federation, represent nearly a third of the country’s population of 378,000.  

Migrants – an estimated 63,000 of whom are believed to be undocumented – are particularly dominant in the tourism, construction, health and education sectors. In construction, one of the key engines of Maldivian economic growth, migrant workers, primarily from Bangladesh, account for about 88 per cent of the workforce.  

The report, which includes policy recommendations for the government in the areas of migration governance and data management, also addresses internal migration, noting that nearly half of the country’s population has moved to Male – the capital – from outlying islands within the last few decades.  

It identifies key migration trends and reviews the country’s migration governance, including laws and policies that touch on migration and migrants’ rights. It also provides an overview of the wide array of national institutions involved in migration management and data collection. 

The profile also addresses concerns relating to excessive recruitment fees, migrants’ misconceptions about working and living conditions, a lack of pre-departure employment information, unlawful subcontracting of workers, unsafe working conditions, ineffective monitoring of recruitment and employment practices, and weak sanctions for labour law violations.  

“Migration is a key ingredient towards achieving sustainable development. To ensure safe, regular and managed migration, governments must analyze existing policies, data and trends. This profile will serve as a point of reference and will provide the government with valuable insights into the benefits and some of the challenges posed by migration,” said IOM Sri Lanka and Maldives Chief of Mission Sarat Dash. 

The research contained in the report, which with published the support of the IOM Development Fund, was carried out in partnership with Maldives Immigration, the Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Tourism, Labour Relations Authority, National Bureau of Statistics and The Maldives National University. 

“Migration in Maldives: A Country Profile 2018” can be downloaded from: https://publications.iom.int/books/migration-maldives-country-profile-2018. To watch the video please go to: https://youtu.be/bFmCTkbzYhY

For more information, please contact Sarat Dash at IOM Colombo, Tel: +94 11 211 2600, Email: sdas@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:39Image: Region-Country: MaldivesThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

To successfully integrate an evidence-based policy approach to migration management, the Government of the Maldives with IOM Development Fund’s support, has launched the Maldives Migration Profile.

The Maldives’ tourism, construction, health and education sectors all rely heavily on foreign migrant workers. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Brings Mobility Perspectives to Humanitarian Discourse at 2019 ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:39

Geneva – This week’s United Nations Economic and Social Council Humanitarian Affairs Segment (ECOSCO HAS) in Geneva brought together hundreds of policy makers and practitioners to discuss some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges – particularly on the devastating impact climate change is likely to have in provoking crises in the next decades. 

This year’s event focused on the theme of “Promoting action to save lives, reach those in need and reduce humanitarian risk, vulnerability and need: Looking towards the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the climate summit called for by the Secretary-General.”  

Through a series of discussions and side-events, Member States engaged with humanitarian and development communities, the private sector, affected people and other actors.   

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) participates in the event annually, incorporating migration and displacement perspectives in contemporary humanitarian discourse. 

“There are few personal tragedies worse than having to flee for one’s life. And the tragedy deepens for every day that there is no solution in sight. Or when movement results in heightened vulnerability, rights violations, arbitrary detention or death along dangerous migration routes,” said Kerry Maze, IOM Senior Migration Crisis Analyst, speaking on behalf of Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s Director of Operations and Emergencies. 

Maze further emphasized that more than 32,000 migrants have perished along migration routes since 2014, including 1,200 reported in the first half of 2019 alone. She also underlined recent World Bank Groundswell report estimates that, absent of urgent climate action, more than 143 million individuals could be forced to leave their homes by 2050. 

“Addressing mobility dimensions of crises is central to saving lives, reaching those in need and reducing humanitarian risk, vulnerability and need. More than a humanitarian imperative, it is critical for the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Maze continued.   

To address some of these challenges, IOM co-sponsored two side-events on addressing internal displacement in protracted contexts and the assisting persons with disabilities in humanitarian action. 

This first event, “Addressing internal displacement associated with disasters and conflict: Planning for the long haul”, was organized by the GP20 Coordinator, UN OCHA and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). Panelists offered examples of good national practices for reducing displacement risk, outlined evidence on internal displacement trends and proposed measures to secure durable solutions.  

Considering the extreme marginalization of crisis-affected people with disabilities, IOM also co-sponsored the side event: “From global policies and guidelines to local engagement: including persons with disabilities in humanitarian action”, in which experts shared inclusive practices for persons with disabilities in humanitarian action, as well as gaps and challenges.  

Other topics covered in the ECOSOC HAS included: humanitarian funding trends and gaps, gender equality, the ongoing needs following Cyclone Idai, preparedness and response to weather-related disasters and community engagement in humanitarian crises. 

At a marketplace of interactive exhibits, IOM brought its “Holding On” Virtual Reality Exhibition, as well as a DTM exhibit showcasing practices that contribute to ensuring the safety, dignity and well-being of women and girls on the move. 

To know more about Humanitarian Affairs Segment 2019, click here

For more information, please contact: Angela Staiger at IOM Headquarters, Email: astaiger@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:35Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsMigration and Climate ChangeDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

China, UN’s Migration Agency Advance Sustainable Development Agenda

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:35

Beijing – China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) this week co-hosted a National Workshop on Migration and the 2030 Agenda in Beijing.  

Representatives from government ministries and departments, UN agencies and academia examined the nexus between migration and development, the role of migration in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ways to enhance collaboration between stakeholders. 

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for the SDGs in September 2015. It consists of 17 SDGs, one of which – Goal 10, and its accompanying target 10.7 – refers specifically to facilitating orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies. Other goals and targets reference migration, directly or as a cross-cutting aspect. 

In his opening remarks, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Counselor Zhang Yi said: “Migration is evidence of our interconnected world in the global era and is inherently tied to the SDGs. Today nations are interlinked more than ever before and initiatives such as China’s One Belt One Road are particularly relevant for safe and orderly movement of people.” 

UN Resident Coordinator in China Nicholas Rossellini noted: “IOM is a significant actor in the implementation of migration-related SDG objectives, especially in its capacity as the Coordinator of the newly created UN Network on Migration. The Network brings greater efficiency and coherence to the UN system’s work on migration and better supports Member States in the implementation of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.” 

IOM China Chief of Mission Giuseppe Crocetti added: “It is encouraging to see so many representatives of ministries and departments, academia and UN partner agencies come together to share their sectoral knowledge and experience. Multi-stakeholder partnership is key to address migration as a core enabler of sustainable development.” 

The workshop, which was funded by IOM Development Fund, was part of an IOM project designed to support China’s engagement in the global dialogue on migration. The project aims to introduce stakeholders to key policy instruments and frameworks and to share best practices and tools. 

These include a Chinese edition of Migration and the 2030 Agenda: A Guide for Practitioners, which was officially launched at the workshop in collaboration with the Center for China and Globalization. 

For more information please contact Giuseppe Crocetti at IOM China. Tel: +86(10) 5979-9695; Email: gcrocetti@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:33Image: Region-Country: ChinaThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Counselor Zhang Yi opens the workshop in Beijing. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNHCR Continue to Collaborate on Sustainable Return and Reintegration in Afghanistan

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:33

Kabul – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have launched their annual joint report on returns to Afghanistan from Pakistan and Iran for 2018. It can be downloaded here: English – Dari – Pashto

Each year, registered Afghan refugees and undocumented Afghans make the decision to return home from Iran and Pakistan, notwithstanding the difficult environment in Afghanistan. Over 820,000 returned in 2018 – 94 per cent of them from Iran – the highest number from Iran ever recorded in a single year.  

The primary needs of returning Afghans include food, jobs, access to land, long-term shelter, and access to services including healthcare, education and legal assistance.  Reintegration in Afghan society is difficult for returnees, with the country still mired in conflict and with high levels of internal displacement, limited services and few jobs. When combined with the drought and flooding witnessed across the country in 2018, the high number of returns further burden the already over-stretched absorption capacity of host communities. 

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation coordinates the provision of humanitarian post-arrival and reintegration assistance, in close cooperation with UNHCR and IOM. UNHCR coordinates efforts to help returning registered refugees, while IOM coordinates assistance to undocumented returnees. 

“Afghan returnees face many challenges upon returning to Afghanistan,” said IOM Chief of Mission, Laurence Hart. “IOM and UNHCR are committed to working toward sustainable solutions for Afghan returnees, regardless of their status.”  

The two organizations have further enhanced their cooperation in Afghanistan with the signing of a Data Sharing Agreement earlier this week, and they are also exploring the potential for co-location of return facilities in Kandahar province.  

“UNHCR and IOM continue to work together to assist in the return of tens of thousands of Afghans each year. As our joint report details, the true challenge lies in a whole-of-community response that leaves no one behind,” UNHCR’s Country Representative, Caroline Van Buren, said. “Through commitment to the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework there is an opportunity to not only address the impact of returns on host communities, but to ensure that development programmes and policies are focused on successful reintegration.” 

UNHCR and IOM appreciate the continued support of their donors, including Australian Aid, Belgium, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States. 

For further information please contact Eva Schwoerer at IOM Afghanistan. Tel.: +93 729 229 129; Email: eschwoerer@iom.int 

Or Mohammad Nader Farhad at UNHCR Afghanistan. Tel.: +93 791 990 018; Email: farhadm@unhcr.org 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:31Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Afghan refugee families waiting to return home from Peshawar in Pakistan. Photo: UNHCR/S. Rich

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 27,834 in 2019; Deaths Reach 597

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 10:30

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 27,834 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 1 May, roughly a 35 per cent decrease from the 42,274 arriving during the same period last year. Arrivals this year to Spain and Greece combine to account for 82 per cent of the region’s irregular sea landings, with the balance arriving in much smaller proportions to Italy, Malta and Cyprus.  

Arrivals to Greece have surpassed in 2019 those at this time last year. Arrivals to Spain are lower, with Spain’s totals having fallen considerably since the surge of January and early February (see charts below). 

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through 177 days of 2019 are at 597 individuals – or about half the 1,189 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018.
 

MEDITERRANEAN DEVELOPMENTS

IOM ITALY 

According to IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo, the migrant rescue ship “Sea-Watch 3” defied this week an order not to enter Italian waters. Captain Carola Rackete reportedly decided to defy a ban, saying she had no choice because 42 migrants on board – who have been at sea since they were rescued off Libya two weeks ago – could no longer withstand their condition. 

As of late Thursday, the “Sea-Watch 3” remained anchored outside the port of Lampedusa. 

Di Giacomo also cited official Ministry of Interior figures of 2,544 migrants who have arrived by sea to Italy in 2019.  That total, through almost six months, is less than the total recorded for all all but two single months between January 2016 and (see chart below) and June 2018, as well as during all months during the years 2014-2015.  

IOM Spain 

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported on Thursday sea arrivals to Spain, through 26 June have reached 9,478 men, women and children.  That’s an average of almost 54 persons per day, compare to last year, through June 30, of just over 83 people per day. While monthly arrivals to Spain are lower this year over all (see chart below), fatalities on the Western Mediterranean route remain high – with 201 deaths reported through nearly six months of this year.  

See chart here

The distribution of arrivals per entry point (January – 26 June 2019) is as shown in the chart below

IOM Greece 

IOM Greece’s Christine  Nikolaidou reported on Thursday that over the past week, since 25 June, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) was involved in at least nine incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Samothraki, Farmakonisi, Symi, Chios, Leros and Kos. The HCG rescued a total of 182 migrants and transferred them to the respective ports. 

Those arrivals, plus another 208 arrivals IOM recorded during the three days ending 26 June, bring to 13,383 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year (see chart below). 

Missing Migrants Project 

2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project. Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 32,199 individuals, including 1,242 in 2019 (see chart below). 

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

This past week the Missing Migrants Project recorded the deaths of 26 people: 14 in the US-Mexico border, 10 in Turkey, and two women in Mexico hit by a train.  
 
In the Mexican State of Hidalgo, a Honduran migrant woman was hit by a train, and another woman, who is yet to be identified was killed by a train further south, in the state of Tabasco.  
 
On the US-Mexico border, four of the deaths recorded this week were people who drowned trying to cross the river that divides the two countries, the Rio Grande, including Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, the 25-year-old Salvadoran, and Valeria, his 23-month-old daughter. Their story has highlighted the perils of migration around the globe this week.  

In total, at least 416 people have lost their lives in the Americas in 2019, compared with 265 recorded through this point in 2018.  

In Edrine Province Turkey, on the border of Greece, a van crashed resulting in 30 injured and 10 dead Pakistani and Indian migrants. Gendarmerie troops who were patrolling the area requested the driver to stop the vehicle, but he tried to escape and lost control of the van. The injured were taken to local hospitals, and the driver was detained after receiving medical treatment. 

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

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

See contacts here

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 16:16Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

One Child Every Day: Lack of Data Leaves Most Vulnerable Group At Risk – UN Migration Report

Thu, 06/27/2019 - 18:27

Berlin – A new report from the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) highlights the need for better data on migrant deaths and disappearances, particularly those of missing migrant children.

This year’s Fatal Journeys 4 report focuses on the theme of missing migrant children, given the growing number embarking on dangerous migrant journeys. According to IOM data, nearly 1,600 children – an average of almost one every day – were reported dead or missing between 2014 and 2018, though many more go unrecorded.

“Tragically, we have been reminded in recent days that children are among the most vulnerable groups of migrants,” said Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s GMDAC.

 “The lack of data on the ages, characteristics and vulnerabilities of missing migrant children creates serious protection gaps; it makes it very difficult to create programs and policies designed to protect them.”

UNICEF contributed a chapter to this latest report, and IOM looks forward to working closely with them in the future.

Five years of Missing Migrants Project data: Other key findings

  • Since 2014, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded globally the deaths of more than 32,000 people. 
  • Between 2014 and 2018, more than 17,900 people died or went missing in the Mediterranean—the remains of almost two thirds of those victims have not been recovered.
  • Despite the conflict in Yemen, people continue to attempt the sea crossing from the Horn of Africa across the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden: at least 125 people drowned off the shores of Yemen in 2018, compared with 53 in 2017.
  • Of almost 2,200 deaths recorded during migration in South-East Asia between 2014 and 2018, at least 1,723 were Rohingya.
  • Most of the 288 deaths recorded in South Asia since 2014 were of Afghan migrants.   
  • In the Middle East, 421 deaths were recorded between 2014 and 2018; the largest number (145) in 2018.
  • An increasing number of deaths on the United States–Mexico border have been recorded each year since 2014, totalling 1,907 over five years.

The timely focus on children is part of IOM’s contribution to a recent call to action launched by UNICEF, UNHCR, IOM, Eurostat and OECD to improve data on migrant and refugee children.

“Children dying or disappearing during migration should be a concern to everyone,” said Ann Singleton, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol and co-editor of the report. “There is an urgent need for better policies and action, informed by better data, to prevent these deaths and protect children.”

Contents

The report includes chapters highlighting the vulnerabilities of children on the move, the legal obligations of States regarding the death and disappearance of children on the move, and the ethical considerations of research on this sensitive subject.

On the growing number of children at risk globally, the report notes that it is often difficult to find data on missing migrants disaggregated by age. The report also notes measures to be taken to improve data on missing migrant children to help prevent future tragedies.  Fatal Journeys 4’s concluding chapter discusses IOM plans to improve data on missing migrant children.

“Action is urgently needed to improve the public and policymakers’ understanding of the vulnerabilities of children and migrants,” said Julia Black, Project Coordinator of IOM’s Missing Migrants Project and co-editor of the report.

Estimates Low

IOM researchers explain that the global figure of deaths likely is a low estimate, given that many deaths are never reported nor remains found. Similarly, research indicates that the sharp drop in deaths between 2017 and 2018—to 4,734 from 6,280—stems largely from a drop in the number of migrants using the Central Mediterranean route to Europe, when the number of recorded crossings from North Africa to Italy fell to less than 46,000 from over 144,000.

Increased Risk

Nonetheless, the risk of death along this route increased. As explained in the report, death rates can be calculated several ways. Yet even the most conservative estimates suggest that 1 in 35 people crossing the Central Mediterranean perished in 2018, compared with 1 in 50 in 2017. Moreover, the number of migrant deaths recorded along the Western Mediterranean route to Spain rose sharply from 224 in 2017 to 811 in 2018, as increasing numbers of migrants used this route to reach Europe.

For more information, please contact:
Frank Laczko at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), Tel: +49 30 278 778 20 Mobile: +49 151 1167 6795, Email: flaczko@iom.int

Julia Black at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int

Ann Singleton at the University of Bristol, Tel. +44 772 097 9932 Email: Ann.Singleton@bristol.ac.uk

Language English Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 18:20Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

The International Organization for Migration Agrees to Extend the Mandate of Deputy Director General Laura Thompson Pending Successor Selection Next Spring

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 15:25

Geneva—On Wednesday, 26 June 2019, the Council of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), decided by acclamation to extend the tenure of IOM’s Deputy Director General Laura Thompson pending a new selection process scheduled for Spring 2020. Ms. Thompson had been scheduled to finish her second of two five year-terms this coming September.

Member states—of which nearly 150 participated in the voting process—on Friday had begun the process of selecting a new Deputy Director General from among five candidates, each nominated by the home governments of Sudan, Bangladesh, The Philippines, Afghanistan and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. That process did not reach an agreement to select a winner under IOM’s required two-thirds majority of all votes cast.

Therefore, and to ensure continuity for this important role, the IOM Council decided to extend Ms. Thompson’s current mandate pending another election.

Established in 1951, IOM has over 11,000 staff and over 400 offices in more than 150 countries. IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration. It is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.

IOM works with its partners in the international community to assist in meeting the operational challenges of migration, advance understanding of migration issues, encourage social and economic development through migration and to uphold the well-being and human rights of all migrants.

IOM was granted permanent observer status to the UN General Assembly in 1992. A cooperation agreement between IOM and the UN was signed in 1996. IOM joined the UN system as a related organization in September 2016, when the agreement outlined in GA res.70/296 (2016) was signed during the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants.

For further information please contact Leonard Doyle at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 792857123, Email:ldoyle@iom.int

Language English Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: OthersDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Close to 20,000 Migrants Rescued in Sahara Desert Since Beginning of Operations

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 12:01

Niamey – The June 15 rescue of 406 migrants including seven women and four children stranded in the Sahara Desert brings to nearly 20,000, the number of people the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has rescued there since April 2016.

“We walked for hours under the scorching desert sun with no water or idea where we were heading,” said 27-year-old Amadou from Mali.

“Suddenly, I saw the IOM truck coming our way. They gave us food and water and brought us to Assamaka, and then Arlit the following day.”
 

Video of the Rescue English | French

The latest rescues included people from 14 West African countries, mainly Guinea-Conakry, Mali and Côte d’Ivoire bound for north Africa. They were transported to the town of Assamaka where IOM’s team, one Focal Point, four community mobilizers (MobComs), two nurses and one driver, are based.

“Despite having assisted so many groups of migrants, I still find it difficult every time a new group arrives, with newborns in their arms, faces covered in sand and their clothes ripped apart,” said IOM’s local Focal Point Alhassane Adouel.

“After so many arrivals, it still breaks my heart to see what they have to go through.”  

The latest operation was IOM’s 189th humanitarian mission into Niger’s Ténéré desert. Trucks carrying migrants north frequently break-down in the desert; in other cases, they become lost or the smugglers simply abandon people to their fates.

No one knows how many migrants have died attempting to cross the Sahara.

IOM’s operations are supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the European Union, within the framework of the Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism.

Rescued migrants are often mentally and physically drained, injured and dehydrated. 

They receive emergency humanitarian assistance from IOM including food, water, medical first aid and psychosocial support at the Organization’s emergency shelter. Migrants are then sensitized by the MobComs about available assistance and are offered transportation to Arlit, a large urban centre 235km away.

Once at IOM’s transit centre there, migrants who wish to return to their country of origin can join the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.

Nighty-eight per cent of rescued migrants, including Amadou have chosen to do so.  

“Many people struggle or die along the way: men, pregnant women, children. I don’t want to become one more body buried in the desert. I’m going home now,” he explained.

These humanitarian operations are performed both proactively and reactively in the areas of Agadez, Arlit and Dirkou. IOM and the Direction Générale de la Protection Civile (DGPC) have conducted joint search and rescue (SAR) missions in Dirkou since 2017. For proactive missions, teams are dispatched on current migration routes to search for migrants in distress. 

“The challenging operating environment, the dangerous security situation and sudden large influxes of migrants continuously test IOM staff’s rescue efforts. But our team here in Niger has so far always managed to adapt to surprise changes, and we are monitoring the situation closely with our partners to ensure migrants in distress are assisted and protected before it is too late,” said Martin Wyss, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. 

“We are more than satisfied that we have prevented countless deaths and proud to have been able to provide safety and at least some comfort to thousands,” he continued. 

Download IOM Niger Humanitarian Rescue Operations/Search and Rescue Operations May 2019

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 17:57Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

An average of 1,200 migrants per month are rescued through IOM’s humanitarian operations in Niger in 2019. Photo: IOM 

An average of 1,200 migrants per month are rescued through IOM’s humanitarian operations in Niger in 2019. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Congratulates Bahrain for Maintaining US TIP “Tier 1” Status for Second Consecutive Year

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 10:27

Manama – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) commends the Government of Bahrain for maintaining the highest classification on the four-tier list reported by the US State Department’s 2019 Report on Trafficking in Persons (TiP).

Bahrain is the only country in the Middle East and Africa to have reached Tier 1 ranking in the annual TiP Report from Washington. The 2019 TiP Report placed Bahrain in the Tier 1 classification for the second consecutive year, hailing its efforts in combating trafficking in persons as a noteworthy achievement in the field.

“Maintaining Tier 1 status in the US State Department TiP Report is not an easy task and must be seen as a recognition of Bahrain’s remarkable journey to becoming a model for tackling human trafficking in the region,” said Mohamed El Zarkani, IOM Bahrain Chief of Mission, who described the Kingdom’s efforts to mitigate human trafficking as stemming from the pro-active approach adopted by the government in protecting human rights and creating a fair and safe working and living environment in Bahrain.

El Zarkani explained that IOM is currently supporting the Bahrain National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons to develop a National Trafficking in Persons Strategy and a four-year action plan. In addition, IOM continues to provide capacity building for a broad spectrum of national stakeholders mandated with combating human trafficking in Bahrain. 

“The second consecutive year at Tier 1 as the only Arab country in the MENA region comes as a welcomed confirmation that we are moving in the right direction,” added Ausamah Al Absi, Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain’s Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) and Chairman of the National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons.

“However, being a cross-border crime, combating trafficking at the national level only is not enough. The Middle East has sending, transit, and receiving countries with unique characteristics that require their own home-grown solutions. Therefore, Bahrain aspires to act as a catalyst for a region-wide movement to eradicate trafficking though institutionalized efforts with the help of UN specialized agencies such as IOM,”  Ausamah Al Absi explained.

IOM and the Government of Bahrain have a long history of joint collaborative efforts in the field of protecting victims of trafficking and the development of skills and capacities of national cadres including the development of a National Referral Mechanism for migrants who are subjected to vulnerability and exploitation as well as establishing an assistance fund for Victims of Trafficking.

To read the full report, click here

For more information please contact Mohamed El Zarkani at IOM Bahrain, Tel: +973 172 78 320, Email: melzarkani@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 16:10Image: Region-Country: BahrainThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

In Somalia, IOM Begins Relocating Families at Risk of Eviction

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 10:24

Baidoa – IOM has started the relocation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who were at risk of eviction to the newly developed public site in Baidoa.

Some 682 households, consisting of 3,914 individuals drawn from 12 out of 15 targeted IDP sites have been relocated to the new Baidoa public site as of 23 June, one week after relocation began. The effort will support internally displaced persons with better living conditions and sustainable land tenure. The relocation, expected to continue until July, will benefit over 1,000 households from 15 IDP sites.

In the months leading up to the relocation, IOM had developed the new public site together with the South West State authorities, the Baidoa municipality and the community.

“We recognize the rights of IDPs and Displacement Affected Communities (DACs) to own land and solve recurring problems such as evictions,” said Abdullahi Ali Watiin, the Mayor of Baidoa.

He added: “Our vision is to make sure that all our community members, regardless of their status, live on a decent protected land, without discrimination or fear of eviction.”

The city of Baidoa, in Somalia’s southwestern Bay region, hosts an estimated 323,000 displaced people, many of whom live on private land without secure tenure agreements. They are at constant risk of forced evictions.

The relocation project is a multi-sectoral integrated response from IOM’s emergency and durable solutions divisions. This approach focuses on addressing the immediate needs of the vulnerable IDPs at risk of eviction through solutions that are integrated in the long-term urban expansion plan of Baidoa City. Among others, the site planning has been coordinated with UN-Habitat to ensure that future and under-construction roads are incorporated and that the land allocated to IDPs meets long-term standards rather than recreating a camp-like setting.

To date, IOM has constructed 500 latrines and a sustainable water supply system including two elevated water tanks that will provide clean and safe water to the nearly 1,000 households.

In addition, two police stations have been constructed along with solar streetlights to enhance safety and security. Main roads leading to the nearest markets were also cleared for easy access and linkage with the host communities. The site plan also allows space for markets, community centres, and common service areas.

Aside from being provided with plots, the households also received vouchers to help them construct shelters of their choice. Through these vouchers, they can acquire the shelter materials that they need from selected vendors. The relocating households also received training from IOM on how to construct shelters, as well as to build shelters for 40 vulnerable households.

Rainer Palau Gonzalez, IOM’s Senior Programme Coordinator said, “The relocation is going according to schedule after months of preparation with the government and other partners. We will monitor the coming months carefully to ensure that the needs of the relocated households are met.”

“This has been a critical project in line with the Humanitarian-Development Nexus, which combines emergency humanitarian response with laying the foundations for durable solutions and development. Our partners, DFID, ECHO, JSB and OFDA, have been essential in supporting our project activities. We are very happy to finally be able to welcome the IDPs, especially those at risk of eviction, to this new site,” Gonzalez added.

In the coming weeks, IOM and other stakeholders will continue the relocation of the families at risk of eviction and provide them with all the support they need.

For more information, please contact the IOM Somalia Programme Support Unit, Tel: +254 705 832 020, Email: iomsomaliapsu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 16:20Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff assisting at the Baidoa Relocation site © IOM Somalia 2019

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Helps nearly 30,000 People in Yemen Rebuild Shelters Destroyed by Floods

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 10:19

Sana’a – Over 80,000 people in Yemen have been impacted by heavy rains and floods, since late May. Among those most affected are displaced communities whose makeshift shelters have failed to weather the storm, exposing them to the elements.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is distributing emergency aid items to flood survivors, particularly displaced families, in the worst-affected governorates: Aden, Abyan, Hajjah, Ibb and Taizz.

The world’s largest humanitarian crisis has been compounded by severe natural hazards. Every year, the people of Yemen feel the full force of extreme weather, including floods and cyclones. Over 1.1 million of the 3.65 million people displaced across Yemen are living in the five governorates, which experienced the heaviest rains this year.

As an initial response in all five governorates, IOM is distributing emergency shelter kits, which include wood, plastic sheeting, rope and tools, to nearly 30,000 people with damaged or destroyed temporary shelters. IOM is also distributing blankets, mattresses, buckets, kitchen sets and sleeping mats to help these families set up their shelters. The vast majority of those receiving emergency shelter and household kits are living in displacement sites due to the conflict.

Eight months ago, the conflict forced thirty-six-year-old father of seven, Abdullah Al-Jumai, from his home in Haradh to Shafer within Hajjah governorate. He and his family were displaced again within the Shafer locality by heavy rainfall a few weeks ago. Describing it as a tragedy, Abdullah said: “We were sleeping under trees during the rain.” He went on to say that proper shelter was all the family hoped for currently. IOM started an aid distribution to flood survivors in Hajjah on Sunday, 23 June.

A woman at an IOM distribution in Hajjah, 60-year-old Namja Isaa, described how for the past year her family, displaced to Shafer, lived in a shelter made of plastic sheets and grass. “In Yemen, we call them Aushash [hut] but it could not withstand the rain, so we became homeless,” said Namja.

Aden and Abyan governorates also experienced some of the heaviest rainfall in years. Displaced people’s shelters were destroyed, and flooding meant that what little belongings displaced families had were damaged.

IOM will continue to support flood-affected families beyond the current ongoing emergency shelter and household kits distribution, based on the needs of flood-affected communities, as assessed by the Shelter and Non-food Items (S-NFI) Cluster.

IOM is also supporting the S-NFI Cluster Common Pipeline, in partnership with the Cluster, to pre-position emergency shelter and household kits, which will enable cluster partners to support 5,780 flood-affected families across Yemen.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Yemen, Tel: +967730552233, Email: oheadon@iom.int   

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsMigrant AssistanceShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

60-year-old Najma’s makeshift shelter in Hajjah was completed destroyed by the rains; she received materials from IOM to rebuild it. Photo: IOM

IOM prepares to distribute emergency shelter and household kits in Abyan. Photo: IOM

In Hajjah, a displaced man’s identify is verified before receiving items to help rebuild his destroyed shelter. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Floods and Intercommunal Violence in Central Mali: Thousands of Displaced Persons Await Humanitarian Assistance

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 10:16

Mopti  –  Recent heavy rains in the Mopti region of Mali have caused floods, aggravating the already precarious situation of the 50,254 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region. Humanitarian assistance now is on its way to help the most vulnerable households.

Since last week, more than 800 IDPs have already been provided with tents, while 70 kits including mosquito nets, clothing, shoes, hygiene products and other items have been distributed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Mali.

In a region where more than 210,000 persons are considered as facing food insecurity and only 2 per cent of the communities have access to safe drinking water, the increasing presence of IDPs may undermine the existing resources and increase the need for basic social services.

Within a fragile security context, it is urgent to take the necessary measures, secure and rehabilitate existing IDP sites to address rainy season and flooding problems, which pose an additional threat to these displaced persons.

“We are afraid to face another flood. I get scared when I see a storm coming. I lost the little I had managed to keep. We spent the night in the cold before being transferred the next day to another temporary site,” said Aminata Bolli, one of the victims of the floods at the Soukara site. Originally from Bankass, she has stayed in the site for two months with five children.

The heavy rains have also destroyed the tents that sheltered 304 IDPs at the Koro and Bankass IDP sites in Mopti, Soukoura. Host families have joined forces and the adjoining classrooms of the Amadoun Dicko High School in Sévaré have been requisitioned to shelter the affected IDPs.

In the Mopti region, the number of IDPs increased from 2,000 in late 2017 (Source: OCHA) to 50,254 (including 5,254 children) as of 18 June.

Already facing increasing communal violence and the presence of armed groups, the most affected communities in the Mopti region continue to seek refuge among the host populations. The day after the attacks on the Gangafani and Yoro villages (Tuesday, 18 June) the Mopti Regional Directorate of Social Development had already registered 750 refugees in Dinangourou schools and reported the movement of 2,545 new IDPs from Bodel, Dianta, Yoro, Kangafandé, Korimataga to the Dinangourou district, in the Mopti region.

Government authorities, civil society organizations and United Nations agencies (UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, OCHA, WHO, UNFPA, FAO, and IOM) are working together in Bamako as well as in Mopti to address the most urgent needs of the more than 120,000 IDPs currently registered in the country (including accommodation, profiling, food, shelter, non-food items, and health care).

Watch the video in English | French

For more information, please contact Seydou Tangara, IOM Mali, Tel: +223 76 42 63 59, Email: stangara@iom.int or Florence Kim, IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +221 78 620 62 13, Email: fkim@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 16:40Image: Region-Country: MaliThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Screengrab from video footage showing the flood affecting the IDPs in Soukoura camp. Photo: IOM

Screengrab from video footage showing the flood affecting the IDPs in Soukoura camp. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Designing for Humanity at New York Summit

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 04:41

New York – The longstanding commitment by the humanitarian community to assist vulnerable migrants and displaced persons with dignity was underscored in New York on Friday (21 June) at the second Design for Humanity Summit at Fordham University, co-organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA).

Subtitled “Design in a Time of Displacement”, the Summit brought together leading experts and professionals in humanitarian design from the United Nations, NGOs, academia, design firms and the private sector.

Keynote speaker Argentina Szabados, Director of IOM’s Regional Office for Southeastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia told a packed lecture hall, and hundreds joining the live-stream, that the consistent rise of people on the move challenges the international humanitarian system to devise more sustainable solutions with “vision, humility and dialogue.”

“We are providing a unique and essential platform where experts can celebrate the interaction of diverse design solutions, and explore innovative ideas and projects that foster inclusion, dignity, beauty, and integration for people uprooted by emergencies as they rebuild their lives after crises,” added Brendan Cahill, Director of the IIHA, in his Welcome Remarks.

“The dwelling places we provide ought not be ‘just good enough’ to keep people alive in a miserable twilight of half-existence. They must also give people an opportunity to develop, to be healthy, to learn,” she said.

In the first Design Dialogue, From Camps to Communities, Italian architect Raul Pantaleo stressed that good design can make a massive difference in “grey, horrible refugee camps.”

“Good design doesn’t cost a lot of money, but it makes a big difference for the people who are using that space. It’s a matter of care,” he said.

The Summit also focused on data and storytelling in the second Design Dialogue, From Data to Stories, examining how data-driven storytelling can promote human rights and amplify voices of people on the move.

Describing data as “the fuel that powers the information revolution” Ms. Szabados stressed in her keynote that “we can no longer have a paternalistic relationship with our clients, the end users of humanitarian services. They have the means to communicate with us – and with each other - directly. We now have evidence that backs up what we do, and we can be instantly responsive as new data comes in.”

Interactive design workshops in the afternoon showcased several new design solutions that aim to improve the lives of millions of people forcibly displaced by disasters, conflicts or the consequences of climate change.

IOM Media and Communications teams shared Holding On with summit participants – a virtual reality exhibition showcases the stories of internally displaced people (IDPs) by asking them to reflect on their most cherished possessions – in addition to an IOM VR film about the realities facing Rohingya refugees, particularly women, in camps in Cox’s Bazar.

To learn more visit www.design4humanity.org.

Language English Posted: Monday, June 24, 2019 - 09:56Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: IOMInternally Displaced PersonsUNDefault: Multimedia: 

Attendees at the Design for Humanity Summit were able to view the Holding On VR exhibition on displacement

Attendees at the Design for Humanity Summit were able to view the Holding On VR exhibition on displacement

IOM  Regional Director Argentina Szabados addresses the Summit during her keynote speech
 

IOM Regional Director Argentina Szabados with fellow keynote speaker Richard Blewitt of IFRC and Brian Kelly from IOM Washington
 

  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Appeals for Urgent, Safe Disembarkation for Migrants on Sea-Watch 3

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:22

Rome – The International Organization for Migration today (21/06) is launching an appeal to guarantee, as soon as possible, a safe disembarkation point for migrants rescued on 12 June in the Mediterranean by the ship Sea-Watch 3. 

On Saturday, 10 medical cases were disembarked in Lampedusa, but 43 people remain in limbo at sea. 

In recent days, the Sea-Watch 3 had been invited to bring migrants to Tripoli. Yet, in the eyes of the international community, Libya is still considered an unsafe port to disembark migrants. 

“The situation in the country remains extremely dangerous due to the continuous and heavy military clashes around the capital that, since the beginning of April, have displaced over 90,000 persons,” said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean. “It is a very dramatic context, also confirmed by migrants recently landed in Italy.” 

IOM wishes to emphasize that migrants (including children), after being returned to the Libyan coasts, are sent to detention centres where conditions are considered unacceptable and inhumane. It remains impossible to guarantee the protection of the rights of migrants once they are transferred into these centres.  

To IOM, it remains of serious concern that in the absence of state-led approaches to reduce loss of life at sea, rescue operations of non-government organizations are deliberately discouraged.  

The Central Mediterranean route continues to be the deadliest route for migrants in the world. As data show, over the past 12 months – from 12 June 2018 to 11 June 2019 – 1,151 people lost their lives along this route, or an average of just over three people per day.  During the first five and a half months of 2019, 343 have died. 

During summer months departures generally increase. IOM, therefore, considers it imperative to give absolute priority to preserving lives and strengthening an international rescue system that can effectively help boats in distress. This is the humane response, much preferred over penalizing commanders who rescue people at sea, or who refuse to take migrants and refugees to unsafe ports in Libya. 

It is crucial, today more than ever, that Member States of the European Union make a shared effort to find adequate solutions to what cannot be considered as an emergency in terms of numbers, but as a humanitarian emergency. 

For more information, please contact: Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int 

 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 - 17:18Image: Region-Country: ItalyThemes: Missing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

The Sea Watch 3 vessel in the Sicilian port of Catania on 31 January 2019.  Photo: UNHCR/Alessio Mamo

Some of the 43 migrants still on board the Sea Watch 3. Photo: Sea-Watch.org

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Over 2,100 Ethiopian Migrants Return Home from Yemen with IOM Support

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:17

Aden – Yesterday (20/06), a flight chartered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with 96 migrants on board took off from Yemen, headed for Ethiopia. This movement was the 18th flight from Aden to Addis Ababa under IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme since 28 May, helping a total of 2,133 stranded migrants, including 570 children, return home.  

On 21 April, the authorities in Aden began detaining irregular migrants in large numbers. At the peak (between 27 April to 03 May), IOM estimates that over 5,000 people were held across three sites.  The majority of the returning migrants were detained, many for nearly two months, in a makeshift migrant detention site at the 22nd of May Stadium in Aden city.  

Since April, IOM has been coordinating partners’ response to this acute humanitarian situation. IOM is providing emergency food, water, sanitation and 24-hour health services to migrants in the stadium. IOM also established a diarrhoea treatment centre (DTC) in Ibn Khaldoon Hospital to help those migrants suffering from acute watery diarrhoea (AWD). 

While IOM has supported over 2,000 people to return home so far, an additional 2,000 migrants are still in the stadium, many of whom are children. In the coming week, IOM will support the voluntary return of the remaining children.  

“IOM provides voluntary humanitarian return assistance to detained migrants, as a last resort, and does not support the further detention of migrants, especially children, women and vulnerable groups,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Director of Operations of Emergencies.  

“All governments are obliged to provide protection for all people within their borders, regardless of immigration status. This protection is extended to detained migrants, including access to food, water, sanitation, health services and safe accommodation,” he added. 

Despite the conflict in Yemen, migrants seeking opportunities in Gulf countries continue to make the treacherous journey by land and sea to the Arabian Peninsula. All along the route, migrants face many challenges in accessing protection and assistance.  

Abdiker reaffirmed IOM’s commitment to supporting Yemen and other governments in the region to better manage migration, ensuring the safety and dignity of migrants. 

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Yemen, Tel: +967730552233, Email: oheadon@iom.int  

 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 - 17:14Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM supported nearly 150 women and girls in returning home to Ethiopia from Yemen. Photo: IOM/K. Baker

Migrants wait to board their flight home from Aden to Addis Ababa with IOM's support. Photo: IOM/K. Baker

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Provides Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees Access to Health Services in Brazil

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:13

Boa Vista – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), working with the Brazilian Federal Government, is increasing its support to Venezuelans newly arrived in the country by facilitating their access to medical services.   

Twice this month IOM has assisted in the relocation of families in need of specialized medical attention. On June 3rd, Venezuelan ‘Yosmary’ (32) travelled with her family to the city of Tubarão, in southern Brazil, to receive medical treatment.  

At the same time, ‘María Luisa’ (56), who came with her family from Cumaná, in the State of Sucre, were among the 1,340 families relocated with IOM support, a process that guaranteed her access to health services in Brazil.    

Suffering from a disability, María Luisa arrived in Brazil in April 2019, accompanied by her sister and a nephew. They came to Brazil looking for better medical conditions but because access to public health services in Roraima, the state of their arrival, was difficult for them, IOM relocated them to Goiânia and provided medical assistance.  

“We came to Brazil with the intention of traveling to Goiânia, as we have family there,” María Luisa’s sister, Rosalinda, explained. “We believed she could continue her treatment, but we didn't have enough money to continue the trip. Now, thanks to the relocation and the medical treatment, I'm sure Maria will be in a better condition,” said Rosalinda, who is also María Luisa’s legal guardian. 

It was the second time in less than a month that IOM has supported the relocation of families in need of specialized medical attention. Earlier in June, Venezuelan Yosmary (32) travelled with her family to the city of Tubarão, in the south of the country, where she also received medical treatment. 

Yosmary lived with her husband and three children in one of the shelters for Venezuelans in Boa Vista. “Since the discovery of her disease we had a challenging time; my children and I were still living in the shelter, and my wife was hospitalized without treatment,” said Ali, Yosmary's husband.  

Yosmary discovered she had a brain tumour, a condition that requires immediate assistance.  

Due to the difficult access to this kind of procedure in Roraima, the Brazilian Armed Forces and civil society organizations found a hospital in Tubarão, where Yosmary could receive adequate treatment.  

To facilitate their access to the hospital, IOM provided airplane tickets to the family so that they could travel to Tubarão. An IOM official accompanied the family from Boa Vista to Tubarão’s shelter in the city. A non-governmental organization was waiting for them and will provide accommodation for the family.  

Such assistance is possible through the relocation process, thanks to a strategy created by the Brazilian Government – with the support of IOM, other UN agencies and civil society members – that has been implemented since April 2018. The plan is to bring together work relocation, family reunion, temporary shelters, medical care, and the support of civil society to provide accommodation across Brazil. By the end of May, over 8,000 people had already been relocated from Roraima to 17 Brazilian states through this strategy. 

This support was possible with the financial support of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) of the United States Department of State. 

In Tubarão, Yosmary is receiving appropriate treatment for her disease and is waiting for surgery. Yosmary’s husband hopes to get a job soon to settle down and start a new life in Tubarão. 

“In the relocation process, people with disabilities or serious illnesses have priority on the waiting list. The list of priorities also includes other situations such as people experiencing homelessness and people who must travel to provide support to a family member with a disability or terminal illness in the destination city,” explained Yssyssay Rodrigues, Project Coordinator at IOM Brazil. 

For more information, please contact Vitoria Souza, IOM Brasilia, Tel.: + 55 61 3771 3772 Email: vsouza@iom.int 

 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 - 17:09Image: Region-Country: BrazilThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Maria Luisa and her family during the pre-departure visit, Boa Vista - Brazil. Photo: IOM/Fábio Fonseca

Maria Luisa and her family during the pre-departure visit, Boa Vista - Brazil. Photo: IOM/Fábio Fonseca

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UN Hand Over Border Management Coordination Centre in Madagascar

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:08

Antananarivo – Border management remains an important topic in Madagascar, a country with more than 5,000 km of coastline and a strategic location, just across the Mozambique Channel in the Western Indian Ocean.  

Still recovering from cycles of political crisis that significantly degraded the capacity of the State to police its borders, Madagascar recognizes that its porous borders have been conducive to forms of transnational and national criminal and illegal activities. 

Today (21/06), during a ceremony at the capital’s Ivato International Airport, IOM handed over to national authorities a Coordination Centre equipped with customized technology solutions and guided by the concepts of Integrated Border Management practice. The event brought together Ministers and senior Government officials.  

As the UN agency for migration, IOM is increasingly called upon by States to assist in addressing complex border management challenges. The Immigration and Border Management (IBM) Division supports Member States in improving the policy, legislation, operational systems, human resources and administrative and technical structures required to respond more effectively to diverse migration and border management challenges. 

The Coordination Centre provides a work platform for the country’s five key border management and security agencies – immigration police, customs, intelligence, health, and Gendarmerie – and gives them a forum to exchange data and monitor border risks and threats in real time.  

In comments to the press during the handover ceremony, IOM Madagascar Chief of Mission Daniel Silva y Poveda noted that “the challenge today is not the quantity of information. There is more information than ever before. The challenge is actionable information.”  

He added, “The Centre provides an interface for various border agencies to share information they collect primarily in the own interest, and through which you can connect the dots and detect patterns of risks or illegal and criminal activities with regards to the crossing of Madagascar’s borders.” 

Images from the Airport’s security cameras, customs scanners, and flight schedules are displayed on screens at the Centre. Through a customized application, the agencies now can share and request data amongst the databases of each entity, thereby crossing and leveraging information.  

The Centre is also interconnected with various existing immigration information and data systems, including IOM’s MIDAS (Migration Information and Data Analysis System), already operational as pilot projects at two airports in Madagascar. 

The setting up of the coordination centre was implemented under IOM’s broader Support to the Security Sector Reform in Madagascar project. Under this initiative – funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund (UN-PBF) – IOM has been designated lead implementor of a multifaceted border management component.  

For more information please contact Daniel Silva y Poveda, IOM Madagascar, Tel: +261 32 56 54 954, Email: dsilva@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 - 17:06Image: Region-Country: MadagascarThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Bristol Mayor, IOM Hold Refugee Week Discussion on Inclusion

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:06

Bristol – Cities are at the forefront in managing the benefits and the challenges migration and inclusion can bring. In Bristol, one of the UK’s most diverse cities, nearly 200 migrant, refugee and local community members shared their experiences and perspectives in an event – One City, Many Stories – marking Refugee Week in the UK. 

“As the first European elected Mayor of African descent, I’m proud to lead a city that strives to be inclusive and welcoming for all its residents,” said Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees. 

The 19 June event hosted by Mayor Marvin Rees partnered the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Bristol Refugee Festival.   

“Inclusion is not something that happens quickly or easily, and it can’t be ‘delivered’ by the Local Authority. It required a constant dialogue and collaboration between communities and organisations across the city, and that’s why this event is so important,” Rees continued.   

“How newcomers – migrants, refugees or anyone – perceive a new community can influence their own willingness to participate in society once they arrive,” said Dipti Pardeshi, IOM UK Chief of Mission. 

A recent study by The Challenge found that 44 per cent of British people report that none of the contacts they spend time with socially are from a different ethnic background. 

With 16 per cent of its population born outside the UK and over 91 languages spoken on its streets, Bristol is one of the UK’s most multi-cultural cities. Over 6,000 people attended a recent Grand Iftar street party in East Bristol.  

Pardeshi explained that people who engage in social interactions with people of different backgrounds often have a more positive view and greater empathy towards them.  

“With the right policies and structures in place, migrants and refugees can bring fresh ideas, resources and perspectives that contribute economically, socially and culturally to local communities,” Pardeshi continued.    

“Creating a variety of spaces for incoming and host communities to come together is a key part of our Festival,” says Jules Olsen, Bristol Refugee Festival Director.  “We are extremely pleased to have this conversation around inclusion within our programme as the more that we talk and listen the more we can understand and value one another to create strong cohesive communities.” 

The One City, Many Stories event also featured the personal stories of Bristol community members: Amira Cole (a Windrush generation community activist), Sara Sharfaldeen (a Sudanese refugee and journalist) and Mark Pepper (a local community integration activist). 

The event informs research and initiatives like Inclusive Cities initiative run by Oxford University, and a research project run by Bristol University called ‘Everyday Integration’.  

To mark Refugee Week, IOM also exhibited Holding On virtual reality at London’s iconic Victoria and Albert museum on 16 June and will partner with Together Productions in the third Singing Our Lives concert at London’s Southbank Centre on Sunday, 23 June as a final event to Refugee Week.  

For further information, please contact: 

IOM UK: Abby Dwommoh, Tel: +44 (0) 020 7811 6060, Email: adwommoh@iom.int 

Bristol Mayor’s Office: David Barclay, Mayor’s Advisor on Inclusion, Mobile: +44 779-1633-117, Email:  david.barclay@bristol.gov.uk  

Language English Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 - 17:02Image: Region-Country: United KingdomThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees hosted the One City, Many Stories event in Bristol. Photo: IOM/AbbyDwommoh

The event saw an active discussion among attendees about inclusion. Photo: IOM/AbbyDwommoh

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Quality, Reliable and Comparable Data Critical for Migration Management and Governance: IOM Zimbabwe

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:02

Harare – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) this week (19-20 June) supported the Government of Zimbabwe in holding a two-day consultative workshop on migration data collection, analysis and management.  

The workshop, in the capital Harare, provided key national migration stakeholders from Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT), Midlands State University and civil society actors space to have a deeper understanding of the existing data-related dynamics, gaps and, most importantly, what is needed by national actors to overcome such gaps.  

The workshop also aimed at strengthening the knowledge and skills of migration policy-makers and stakeholders to implement the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The ZIMSTAT Director for Population Censuses and Surveys, Aluwisio Mukavhi noted that institutions such as ZIMSTAT require capacity strengthening on migration data management to support effective planning and policy making. “There is need to consider undertaking a dedicated migration survey since data collected through sources such as population censuses have their limitations, we need capacity to come up with such surveys to inform the country’s migration policies,” he said. 

IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Mario Lito Malanca echoed the same sentiments in his remarks, stating that “It is becoming increasingly evident that capacity development is necessary to collect and analyze migration data to strengthen evidence-based policy making. Those policies will effectively address challenges faced by migrants regionally and internationally.”  

On the other hand, SADC Member States in the context of the 2017 Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA) expressed that the availability of reliable, comparable and sex-disaggregated data would contribute to their capacity to design better policies and frameworks. This would in turn contribute to a better management of population movements in the region.  In this year’s edition of MIDSA to be held at ministerial level in Namibia 25-28 June, migration data will feature prominently in the discussions to be held by heads of National Statistical Offices.  

Capitalizing on the need for better migration data expressed by SADC Member States, IOM strives to contribute to the enhancement of relevant national institutions’ capacities in the areas of data collection and management. In this light, IOM is implementing the pilot project Strengthening Migration Data Collection and Analysis in Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Malawi and Zimbabwe through the IOM Development Fund. 

For more information please contact Varaidzo Mudombi at IOM Zimbabwe, Tel: +263242704285, Email: vmudombi@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 - 16:58Image: Region-Country: ZimbabweThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Consultant John Mushomi Atwebembeire  taking participants through aspects of migration data and development. Photo: IOM

Participants at the Migration Data Consultative workshop in Harare. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Social Work Society Celebrate International Domestic Workers Day in Kuwait

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 10:58

Kuwait City — On the occasion of this week’s International Domestic Workers Day (16 June), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Kuwait marked the day with a series of events managed in cooperation with the Social Work Society (SWS).  

Approximately 660,000 women work as cleaners, nannies, cooks and laundresses for Kuwaiti households. Most come from Southeast Asian states such as the Philippines and Indonesia. A growing number are labour migrants from Sub Saharan Africa. 

IOM began its outreach to households and household workers two days before the date’s “official” observance at Kuwait’s Avenues Mall on 14-15 June. IOM staff distributed cards reading “Thank You” to employers of domestic workers, with the encouragement to offer those cards to domestic employees in their households as a token of the family’s appreciation. 

Domestic workers were also encouraged to visit an information booth manned by IOM staff to receive flowers and colourful frames where they may keep their Thank You cards. This outreach activity was the first of its kind and was well received by the public. 

A second event took place on the day of International Domestic Workers Day (June 16) at the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM), which is the Kuwait Government Shelter for Female Migrant Workers. Activities organized for shelter residents there included group motivational sessions, yoga classes, art classes and two types of dance classes. 

In tandem with both events, IOM undertook a social media rollout to highlight Kuwait’s domestic workers law 68/2015, adopted in 2015, which specifies the rights and obligations of employer and employee in household work. Four years later, there continue to be common misconceptions about the law, regarding such areas as withholding documents and transferring employment of domestic workers. The social media rollout targeted households, with an aim to raise awareness about the domestic workers law so that households respect its regulations when recruiting domestic help. 

An integral part of IOM’s mission is to provide services and advice concerning good migration governance and to support migrant workers. IOM’s mission in Kuwait continues to provide any needed support to the government shelter by providing assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) to vulnerable migrants and organizing entertainment events which aim to provide positive support for their emotional wellbeing. 

The State of Kuwait is committed to protecting the rights of domestic workers, IOM believes. In 2013, an anti-trafficking law was officially established, which ensures that the rights of domestic workers are fully protected.  

For more information please contact: Dana Al-Othman, IOM Kuwait, Tel: + 965 9726 7680, Email: dalothman@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 - 16:55Image: Region-Country: KuwaitThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

An employer with her family passed by the IOM booth with her 6 domestic workers to give them thank you cards and gifts. Photo: IOM

Residents at the Shelter for Female Migrant Workers during a Latin dance class on the International Domestic Workers Day. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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