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Updated: 17 min 15 sec ago

First UN Migration Recipe Book Launched in Vienna As Part of “Together” Campaign

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 03:20

Vienna - To celebrate the benefits of migration in our daily lives IOM, the UN Migration Agency's Regional Office in Vienna has compiled a cookbook with traditional recipes from across much of Southeast and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The recipe book was launched this week at the Vienna International Centre under the umbrella of the UN’s “Together” campaign which aims to promote tolerance towards migrants and refugees.

“Food and our culinary rituals are a strong reflection of our culture, our traditions and our identity”, said Argentina Szabados, IOM Regional Director for Southeast and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, at the launch. “But in reality, the dishes in this book, like most cuisine, are the result of many centuries of human mobility which brings new ingredients, new ideas and new techniques.”

Food also has a unique ability to bring people from different cultures together, she noted. “Breaking bread has a much deeper meaning that just eating, it’s about building trust and friendship. It is not a coincidence that many programmes to support the integration of immigrants in a new community are centered around food and cooking.”

“The Migration of Culinary Traditions in the Region,” features recipes ranging from firm favourites such as apple pie, borscht and stuffed peppers to intricate and lesser-known dishes like Beshbarmak (Kazakh meat noodles), Georgian Badridzhani Nigvsit (eggplant with walnuts) and Tepishte, a syrup-soaked cake from Kosovo.

Samples of many of the recipes were served to ambassadors, dignitaries and top UN officials at the event.

Director of the United Nations Information Service in Vienna, Martin Nesirky, reminded attendees that “each of these recipes has had a journey too”.

Nesirky commended IOM for the initiative as “terrific support for our ‘Together’ campaign which is aimed at changing the narrative about refugees and migrants.

“Now it’s a toxic narrative, but it doesn’t need to be like that, if we can have the right kind of conversations between the host communities, countries of transit and countries of origin.”

Before inviting guests to share samples from the truly international spread, Regional Director Szabados paid tribute to all who had collaborated on the project.

“The recipes in this book were contributed by IOM colleagues in each of our country offices in the region, sometimes with friends and colleagues in government ministries to make sure they were contributing truly authentic recipes. So this cookbook is also a demonstration of the close, positive, and productive relationship we enjoy with our government partners throughout this region”.

“The Migration of Culinary Traditions in the Region,” is available free from the IOM bookstore or here.

For more information, please contact Joe Lowry in IOM RO Vienna, Tel: +43660 3776404, Email:

Language English Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 09:14Image: Region-Country: AustriaDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Regional Director Argentina Szabados launches IOM’s first migration watched by Martin Nesirky. Director of United Nations Information Service, Vienna. Pic Joe Lowry/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Up to Three Quarters of Children and Youth Face Abuse, Exploitation and Trafficking on Mediterranean Migration Routes – IOM, UNICEF

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 08:58

New York/Brussels – Migrant and refugee children and youth trying to reach Europe face appalling levels of human rights abuses, with 77 per cent of those traveling along the Central Mediterranean route reporting direct experiences of abuse, exploitation, and practices which may amount to human trafficking – IOM, the UN Migration Agency and UNICEF said today (12/09) in a new report.

Harrowing Journeys shows that while all migrants and refugees are at high risk, children and youth on the move are far more likely to experience exploitation and trafficking than adults aged 25 years and above: nearly twice as likely on the Eastern Mediterranean route and at a rate 13 per cent higher on the Central Mediterranean route.

Aimamo, a 16-year-old unaccompanied child from the Gambia interviewed at a shelter in Italy, described being forced into months of gruelling manual labour by traffickers upon his arrival in Libya. “If you try to run, they shoot you. If you stop working, they beat you. We were just like slaves. At the end of the day, they just lock you inside.”  

The report is based on the testimonies of some 22,000 migrants and refugees, including some 11,000 children and youth, interviewed by IOM.

“For people who leave their countries to escape violence, instability or poverty, the factors pushing them to migrate are severe and they make perilous journeys knowing that they may be forced to pay with their dignity, their wellbeing or even their lives,” said Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM’s Regional Director for the EU, Norway and Switzerland.

“Without the establishment of more regular migration pathways, other measures will be relatively ineffective. We must also re-invigorate a rights-based approach to migration, improving mechanisms to identify and protect the most vulnerable throughout the migration process, regardless of their legal status.”

“The stark reality is that it is now standard practice that children moving through the Mediterranean are abused, trafficked, beaten and discriminated against,” said Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Director and Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe. “EU leaders should put in place lasting solutions that include safe and legal migration pathways, establishing protection corridors and finding alternatives to the detention of migrant children.”

The report also shows that, while all children on the move are at high risk, those originating from sub-Saharan Africa are far more likely to experience exploitation and trafficking than those from other parts of the world: 65 per cent compared to 15 per cent along the Eastern Mediterranean route, and 83 per cent compared to 56 per cent along the Central Mediterranean route. Racism is likely a major underlying factor behind this discrepancy.

Children and youth traveling alone or over longer periods, along with those possessing lower levels of education, were also found to be highly vulnerable to exploitation at the hands of traffickers and criminal groups over the course of their journeys. According to the report, the Central Mediterranean route is particularly dangerous, with most of the migrants and refugees passing through Libya which remains riven with lawlessness, militias and criminality. On average, young people pay between USD 1,000-5,000 for the journey and often arrive in Europe in debt, which exposes them to further risks.

The report calls on all concerned parties − countries of origin, transit and destination, the African Union, the European Union, international and national organizations with support from the donor community – to prioritize a series of actions.

These include establishing safe and regular pathways for children on the move; strengthening services to protect migrant and refugee children whether in countries of origin, transit or destination; finding alternatives to the detention of children on the move; working across borders to combat trafficking and exploitation; and combating xenophobia, racism and discrimination against all migrants and refugees.

For more information, please contact:

Ryan Schroeder, IOM Brussels, Tel: +32 22 87 71 16, Email:
Harry Cook, IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 798 829 313, Email:
Jorge Galindo, IOM Geneva, Tel:  +41 71 79 205, Email:
Christopher Tidey, UNICEF New York, Tel:  +1 917 340 3017, Email:
Simon Ingram, UNICEF Brussels, Tel: +32 491 90 5118, Email:
Sarah Crowe, UNICEF Geneva, Tel: +41 79 543 80 29, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 14:35Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaBelgiumThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationCounter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingMigrant AssistanceMigration and YouthRelated Documents:  Harrowing Journeys: Children and youth on the move across the Mediterranean Sea, at risk of trafficking and exploitationDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Violence on Rise for Nigerian Migrants Traveling to Italy, UN Migration Agency Report Reveals

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 08:52

Geneva – Findings released by IOM, the UN Migration Agency in its latest thematic Flow Monitoring Survey for the central Mediterranean route provide analysis of Nigerian migrants´ profiles and experiences while en route to Italy (direct or witnessed) with regard to human trafficking indicators in 2016 and 2017.

The share of positive responses to the human trafficking indicators is higher in 2017 than in 2016 – 84 per cent and 77  per cent, respectively. Male migrants reported more frequently, instances of working without receiving expected payment (60 per cent male compared with 18 per cent female).  Approximately 83.5 per cent of Nigerian migrants interviewed in 2017 reported to have suffered from physical violence during their journey.

Forty-two per cent of adult female respondents declared travelling without paying, while 32 per cent did not know the total cost of their journey to Italy. Not knowing the total cost of the journey is generally associated with the difficulty of summing up the costs of bribes, ransoms, multiple transport and smuggling services, etc., while travelling for free is likely to be reported when the travel was paid by someone else or where the migrant has incurred (explicitly or not) debt to be repaid through trafficking.

Overall, Nigerian migrants originate from the states of the southern part of the country: 80 per cent of all respondents were reported to have come from Edo, Delta or Lagos States. The most common route for all Nigerian migrants passes through Niger and Libya (94 per cent), while fewer migrants passed through Benin to reach Niger or through Algeria before entering Libya. Nigerian migrants reported to have travelled alone in the vast majority of cases (80 per cent in 2016 and 85 per cent in 2017), while the rest travelled with a group of non-family persons (9 per cent in 2016 and 7 per cent in 2017) or with at least one family member (11 per cent in 2016 and 8 per cent in 2017).

Longer journeys and a higher number of transited countries increases migrants’ risks to multiple vulnerabilities. Migrants reported that the reasons for long stops at each transit locations (of more than five days) were due to episodes of detention or kidnapping for the purpose of obtaining a ransom, to the need of work or to the fact of having being forced to work by those organizing their transfers, mainly by pick-ups, buses or other vehicles.

Meanwhile, IOM reports that 128,012 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 10 September. This compares with 293,806 arrivals across the region through 10 September 2016. According to official figures of the Italian Ministry of Interior, 100,304 migrants arrived by sea to Italy this year: 19.53 per cent less than last year in the same period.

So far in 2017, 13,826 migrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast but none in September. According to the Libyan Coast Guard, the remains of one African man was retrieved by local police on the shores of Al Khums.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,741 fatalities in 2017 through 10 September (see chart below). Since last week, MMP recorded 16 migrant deaths in North Africa and four deaths in the Americas – two migrants died after falling from a freight train in Zacatecas, Mexico, and the remains of two Mexican nationals were found in the desert in Texas. Additionally, MMP received data from Pima County, Arizona, for the month of August: the remains of 10 migrants who lost their lives crossing the US/Mexico border were recovered at different locations.

For more information, please contact: Olivia Headon, IOM HQ in Geneva, Tel: +41 79 403 5365, Email:; Julia Black, IOM GMDAC in Berlin, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 14:34Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingMigration ResearchMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Italian Coast Guard rescues migrants and refugees bound for Italy. © IOM/Francesco Malavolta 2014

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

New Arrivals in Bangladesh from Myanmar Reach 313,000: IOM Seeks USD 26.1 Million to Address Lifesaving Needs

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 10:54

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has appealed for USD 26.1 million to meet the immediate needs of some 313,000 newly-arrived Undocumented Myanmar Nationals (UMNs) now sheltering in seven sites in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district. 

The Flash Appeal, covering the next three months, seeks USD 15 million for shelter and essential non-food relief items, together with management of the sites. Another USD 5 million will go towards water, sanitation and hygiene, and USD 3 million towards health care. Another  USD 3 million will provide protection for people living in the camps and the remaining USD 100,000 will pay for to coordination by the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG). The IOM appeal is part of a broader appeal (ISCG Preliminary Response Plan) by all ISCG agencies operating in Cox’s Bazar USD 77.1 million.  

Yesterday IOM recognized the urgency of the relief operations in Cox’s Bazar by adding another USD 1.5 million from its revolving Migration Emergency Funding Mechanism (MEFM) to the USD 1 million already allocated last week. The mechanism allows IOM to respond to humanitarian emergencies as quickly as possible, before international donors agree to fund them. 

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has already allocated USD 7 million across multiple agencies in response to the ISCG appeal. But the funding shortfall remains significant and is likely to increase as people continue to arrive from Myanmar. 

“The number of arrivals and the speed at which they are coming – averaging 20,000 day for the past 16 days – is extremely challenging. The MEFM is allowing us to bring in the technical experts and the supplies that we need to save lives immediately, and to plan ahead,” said IOM Bangladesh Chief of Mission Sarat Dash.  

To date (10/09), 313,000 people are estimated to have crossed the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar since the latest outbreak of violence on 25 August. Large numbers of people are still arriving every day in densely packed sites, looking for space, and there are clear signs that more will cross before the situation stabilizes.

New arrivals in all locations are in urgent need of life-saving assistance , including food, water and sanitation, health and protection. According to planners, a rapid, comprehensive multi-sector response is now needed, including 60,000 shelters, 4.5 million litres of water per day, 15,000 latrines, and 1.5 million kilograms of rice per month.

“With the movement of people showing no signs of stopping, it is vital that agencies working in Cox’s Bazar have the resources they need to provide emergency assistance to incredibly vulnerable people who have been forced to flee their homes and have arrived in Bangladesh with nothing,” said Robert Watkins, the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh. “Before this latest crisis, agencies were already working on the ground, but the influx has overwhelmed the services that were in place,” he added.

ISCG agencies conducted a joint rapid assessment last week and the ISCG is expected to develop a full operational plan incorporating the needs of all UMNs and registered refugees in Cox’s Bazar to the end of 2018.

Prior to the latest influx, IOM Bangladesh was coordinating humanitarian assistance to some 200,000 UMNs living in makeshift settlements and host communities in Cox’s Bazar. Lifesaving services delivered by IOM and its partner agencies include clean water and sanitation, shelter, food security, health care, education, and psychosocial support for the most vulnerable individuals, many whom are suffering from acute mental trauma or are survivors of sexual violence.

Most of the people crossing the border are women, children and the elderly, many of whom are vulnerable and lack the ability to take care of themselves.

For more information, please contact Peppi Siddiq at IOM Bangladesh. Email:, Tel. +8801755568894  


Language English Posted: Monday, September 11, 2017 - 15:52Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigrants RightsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Only Global Database on Migrant Deaths Releases 3rd Volume of Fatal Journeys Report

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 07:53

Berlin - IOM, the UN Migration Agency has released a new report on migrant deaths and disappearances worldwide through its Berlin-based Global Migration Data Analysis Centre.

Since 2014, more than 23,000 migrant deaths and disappearances have been recorded globally by the IOM. The real number is likely to be much higher as many deaths are never recorded.

The report is the third volume in IOM’s Fatal Journeys series. This volume focuses on how to improve data on missing migrants in order to prevent further deaths, and to enable the families left behind to learn more about the fate of their relatives. Many families continue to spend years living in limbo, not knowing whether a loved one is alive or dead as so few bodies of missing migrants are identified.    

Fatal Journeys Volume 3: Improving Data on Missing Migrants is published in two parts. Part one of the report, released today, examines the challenges of collecting data on missing migrants. Part two of the report, to be released in November, provides in-depth regional analysis of the data currently available.

The first chapter of Fatal Journeys Volume 3 – Part 1 provides an update of data on global migrant fatalities since 2014, and highlights the risks faced by migrant women and children. Data collected by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, the only existing database on migrant deaths at the global level, are used to present the known number and profile of dead and missing migrants in different regions of the world.

A growing number of innovative sources of data on missing migrants could be used to improve data on migrant fatalities. One chapter of the report shows, for example, that the analysis of “big data” can provide a better understanding of the context of search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean. Other approaches, such as surveying migrants who may have witnessed a death, can improve data in regions where few deaths are currently recorded.

The report stresses that much more could be done to gather data to increase identification rates, such as developing intraregional mechanisms to share data more effectively. One approach highlighted in the report is the work of forensic teams in Latin America, which have been working together with NGOs and governments to promote the sharing of data to facilitate the identification of missing migrants.

Improving data on missing migrants also requires more thought and improved practice in the use and communication of such data. It is not sufficient to collect data on missing migrants if they are not interpreted and presented accurately and in a balanced manner.

The report underlines that the problems in communicating data can also be observed in global media coverage of migrant deaths and disappearances. Current standards of media coverage vary widely, and the tone of the content ranges from humanitarian concern to reproduction of negative narratives about migration.

The inclusion of migration in the United Nations’ 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the commitment of States to promote safe, orderly and regular migration, require improved data on indicators of “unsafe migration”. Improving information and reporting on who these missing migrants are, where they come from, and above all, when they are most at risk, is crucial to building a holistic response to reduce the number of migrant deaths.

Fatal Journeys Volume 3 was funded by the UK’s Department for International Development and can be found here:

For more information, please contact Julia Black, Missing Migrants Project, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: 


Language English Posted: Monday, September 11, 2017 - 13:47Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: Migration ResearchMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

SADC Officials Deliberate on Migration in the Southern Africa Region

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 11:27

Swaziland – Member States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have agreed to strengthen regional and inter-ministerial cooperation in tackling migration management challenges. Senior Officials meeting at the recently concluded 2017 Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA) conference also recommended the formulation of a comprehensive Regional Migration Policy Framework.

The conference, hosted by the Government of Swaziland from 2-4 September and held in collaboration with the Southern African Development Community (SADC), IOM, the UN Migration Agency, UNHCR, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), UNICEF and Save the Children focused on the theme Addressing Mixed and Irregular Migration in Southern Africa: Linking Protection, Immigration, Border Management and Labour Migration.   

In a region which continues to witness increasing mixed migration flows, irregular migration is intertwined with a number of other related challenges including: limited options for legal channels of labour mobility; increase in human trafficking and smuggling; xenophobia, unaccompanied and separated migrant children; protection of vulnerable migrants, statelessness, detention of children and limited capacities to effectively manage porous borders.  

The complexity of cross-border human mobility across the Southern Africa Region is increasingly making governments and member states question whether existing approaches and strategies to migration and border management, immigration and refugee policies are adequate to address such complex and mixed migratory flows across their borders. 

IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa, Charles Kwenin, noted: “In the last 16 years, MIDSA has contributed to shaping the migration discourse in the region which has resulted into concrete outcomes, such as the adoption of various regional frameworks, including the Regional Action Plan on Mixed and Irregular Migration as well as the SADC Labour Migration Action Plan.” 

The 2017 MIDSA also provided SADC member states with a platform to share regional perspectives on the draft Outcome document towards an African Common Position as Africa’s inputs and contribute to the Global Compact on Migration which intends to provide a range of principles, commitments and understandings among governments regarding international migration in all its dimensions, including the humanitarian, developmental and human rights aspects of the phenomenon.  

These efforts are in line with the Sustainable Development targets which governments globally have set for themselves to ensure safe, regular and responsible migration. 

MIDSA is supported by the US Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and the government of the Republic of South Africa with the overall objective of facilitating inter-state dialogue on migration in the Southern African region in an informal and non-binding setting.

For more information, please contact Sikhulile Dhlamini, IOM Botswana at Tel: +267 77866993, Email:


Language English Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017 - 17:06Image: Region-Country: SwazilandThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementLabour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Senior officials meeting at the recently concluded 2017 Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA) conference. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, China’s Bureau of Exit and Entry Administration, Ministry of Public Security, Organize International Migration Law and International Standards Training

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 11:26

Hangzhou – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Bureau of Exit and Entry Administration of China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) is today (8/9) holding a joint training on ‘International Migration Law and International Standards’ for 33 Chinese officials from the MPS and Provincial Security Bureaus.

Organized under the framework of the European Union-funded EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support Project, the training in Hangzhou is being conducted by IOM international migration law, identity management and biometrics experts, together with European experts on migration law and China from the University of Cologne and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.

"China continues to work with IOM and all parties to actively participate in international cooperation in the field of international migration, to better protect the well-being of migrants, to achieve global orderly population mobility, and to contribute in promoting global prosperity and stability," said Deputy Director General of the Bureau of Exit and Entry Administration Liu Liu.  

“This specific training for immigration officials from the Ministry of Public Security at national and provincial levels is important, given the multi-layered migration landscape in China, where authorities interact and share responsibility for complementary areas of migration management,” said IOM China Chief of Mission Pär Liljert.

The training aims to help participants to better understand the changing global frameworks for cooperative migration governance, and to provide an opportunity for them to discuss ways of improving migration management in China.

For further information please contact Etienne Micallef at the IOM Office in China. Tel: +861381120 9875, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017 - 17:07Image: Region-Country: ChinaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Delegates at the international migration law and standards training in Hangzhou, China. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Holds Regional Seminar on Mixed Migration in Africa

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 11:25

Dakar – IOM, the UN Migration Agency yesterday (07/09) hosted a one-day regional seminar for the West and Central Africa region with the aim of fostering enhanced coordination and promoting a common understanding amongst key stakeholders on the scope of mixed migration, as well as the management of migration in general.

The seminar featured studies of different elements of mixed migration carried out in East, West, Central and North Africa explored various themes, including the vulnerability of migrants, their migratory experience amongst some of the most utilized irregular routes, and the gaps in providing adequate protection to them along these routes.
Speaking at the seminar, Olatunde Olayemi, Head of the Trafficking in Persons Unit of the ECOWAS Commission, said,

“The concept of mixed migration highlights the contemporary complexity of migratory movements today. Different categories of migrants and refugees on similar routes share similar vulnerabilities in countries of transit and destination.”
Richard Danziger, West and Central Africa Regional Director, added, “In addition, migrants move for different reasons and these reasons can change multiple times during the journey. This also holds true for refugees and asylum seekers who, due to different motivations, might embark on secondary movements.”  

Another speaker, Thomas Munsch, West Africa Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat Coordinator, said, “This increasing fluidity of migratory movements poses a challenge to actors mandated to ensure the protection of migrants and refugees. There is a need to improve understanding of migration and the vulnerabilities that migrants and refugees face.”
“It is necessary to increase knowledge on the strengths and weaknesses of current institutional structures at national and transnational levels to adequately manage contemporary migration and to ensure the protection of people on the move,” said Amanuel Mehari, North Africa Mixed Migration Hub Coordinator. 

This challenge is quite important in West Africa which has a long and complex history of intra and extra regional mixed mobility and has seen an increase in the activities of smugglers and traffickers along migratory routes. “In migrating, many migrants in the region face different levels of vulnerability and do not always have access to adequate standards of protection against exploitation, especially women and children,” said Michele Bombassei, West and Central Africa Regional Migrant Assistance Specialist.  

The seminar, which brought together representatives of ECOWAS, the European Union, the Government of the United States, and international governmental and non-governmental agencies was organised as part of activities under the project Protection of Vulnerable Migrants in West and Central Africa, funded by the US Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migrants (PRM), with a particular focus on capacity building on protection to vulnerable migrants.

To ensure strong coordination both at the regional level and at the national level, activities under the project are coordinated with the Regional Working Group on Mixed Migration and the ECOWAS Commission.

For more information please contact Nnamdi Iwuora at the IOM Regional Office in Dakar, Tel: +221 774 526 136, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017 - 17:08Image: Region-Country: SenegalThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

UN Migration Agency holds regional seminar on Mixed Migration in Africa. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Nepal Organizes Stakeholder Consultation on Global Migration Compact

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 11:24

Kathmandu – Nepal hosted a multi-stakeholder consultation in Kathmandu on Wednesday (6/9) to provide inputs for a Nepali national position paper on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).

The GCM, which was announced at the United Nations in September 2016 as part of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, aims to establish an international cooperation framework on migration and human mobility.

The Compact, which will be closely linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is expected to be finalized and adopted by UN Member States at an intergovernmental conference in late 2018.

The Kathmandu meeting identified migration priorities and challenges facing Nepal, where the economy is heavily dependent on labour migration. Remittances sent home by migrant workers account for nearly 30 per cent of GDP.

The consultation was organized by Nepal’s Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) with support from the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Attendees included government officials, development partners, UN agencies, NGOs, CSOs, academia, private sector and media. It followed an earlier consultation held with government stakeholders from sectoral ministries, also supported by IOM and SDC.  

Nepal already plays an active role in regional labour migration processes to achieve a better deal for its migrant workers. It currently chairs the Colombo Process, also known as the Regional Consultative Process on the Management of Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origins in Asia. It also plays a key role in the Abu Dhabi Dialogue – a ministerial level regional consultative process on migration between the Gulf States and the Colombo Process countries.

Speaking at the event, IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Paul I. Norton said that the consultation presented an historic opportunity for Nepalis to participate in a global effort to improve protection for migrants and extend the benefits of migration to everyone through a Global Compact. “Ultimately, migration should be of benefit to all and serve as a means of development that is shared within and across borders,” he said.

Ministry of Labour and Employment Secretary Laxman Mainali congratulated delegates for taking part in a historical process. “The invaluable inputs and recommendations agreed at this joint multi-stakeholder consultation will help Nepal to present its position strongly in various discussions at the regional and global forums,” he said.

For further information please contact Paul I. Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel: +977 1 4426250, Email: Or Nepal’s Ministry of Labour and Employment, Tel: +977 1 4211963, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017 - 17:09Image: Region-Country: NepalThemes: Capacity BuildingGlobal CompactDefault: Multimedia: 

Ministry of Labour and Employment Secretary Laxman Mainali addresses Nepal’s national multi-stakeholder GCM consultation. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Viet Nam and Sweden Partner to Enhance Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking in Asia

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 11:23

Viet Nam – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week signed a partnership agreement with Sweden for a five-year initiative that will seek partnership with the private sector and regional actors in their efforts to better protect the human and labour rights of migrant workers within supply chains across Asia.

The USD 5.8 million agreement was signed by IOM Viet Nam Chief of Mission David Knight and Anne-Charlotte Malm, Head of Development Cooperation for the Asia and Pacific Region at the Swedish Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.

“This partnership agreement with Sweden will help ensure that IOM can continue to build partnerships with the private sector and regional actors to transfer technical expertise that will help enhance the protection of migrant workers and maximize the development impact of migration,” said Knight.

“We are very pleased with this new partnership with IOM focusing on the protection of human and labour rights in global supply chains. In Asia, where people are migrating both for economic reasons, but also increasingly due to climate change, enhancement of decent working conditions and ethical recruitment practices will be increasingly important. It fits well with our goal: to contribute to sustainable development by working regionally, through mutual interaction between human rights, democracy, gender equality, environment and climate change,” said Malm.

In the globalized economy, migrants make up important parts of the labour force in international supply chains. While the migration experience often leads to positive outcomes for workers and their families, many prospective migrants are subjected to unethical recruitment practices that may include excessive fees, low wages, unreasonable physical demands or excessive time spent in remote locations, including at sea.

Migrant workers are therefore vulnerable to abusive and exploitative recruitment and employment practices akin to modern slavery. This places them among the estimated 11.7 million people in the Asia-Pacific subjected to various forms of forced labour.

IOM’s Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking in Asia (CREST) initiative identifies businesses as a critical partner in the fight against modern slavery and forced labour, with the private sector offering unique skills, knowledge and market leverage.

The private sector is also being increasingly held accountable, through legislative frameworks such as the UK Modern Slavery Act and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, for failures to regulate their supply chains at local and global levels.

According to IOM’s Knight, companies who commit to protect workers in their supply chains will have the potential to act as drivers of sustainable change towards a business model for the eradication of modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking in global supply chains, in line with the goals of the UN’s 2030 Agenda and the upcoming Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). Both initiatives recognize migration as an integral part of sustainable development.

“CREST responds to the growing interest from the private sector and regional actors in Asia for practical solutions to protect human and labour rights, which will ultimately help benefit and protect those that need it the most – the migrant workers – that have the least,” he noted.

The agreement with Sweden follows a series of IOM projects with leading international companies to enhance supply chain transparency, strengthen understanding of the journeys of migrant workers and their families, and build the capacities of all actors across the supply chain to adhere to international social and labour standards.

“Collaboration with the private sector to build sustainable business practices is high on the agenda for Sweden. This important initiative can be a game changer for migrant workers’ rights in the region,” said Malm.

For more information please contact David Knight at IOM Viet Nam. Email:, Tel. +84.903.38501810


Language English Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017 - 17:10Image: Region-Country: Viet NamThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

Migrant workers can be vulnerable to abusive and exploitative recruitment and employment practices. Photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Migrant workers can be vulnerable to abusive and exploitative recruitment and employment practices. Photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

A Pro-Migration Lens: Central Asian Art Project Focuses on People on the Move

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 11:23

Almaty – One in four Central Asians are migrants, meaning ten million people are on the move, often irregularly, in search of work. High unemployment, growing populations and low wages propel people from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, who face exploitation, trafficking, and human rights abuses.

In order to raise awareness of migration in the region, and counter the xenophobia and intolerance that feed these abuses, IOM, the UN Migration Agency and partners have organized a photo exhibition in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan.

The opening of “Migrants: An Invisible Force in Central Asia” took place on Tuesday, 5 September, in the Kasteyev Museum in Almaty, supported by the Library of the First President of Kazakhstan.

The exhibition showcases more than 40 photographs and texts, submitted by Central Asian artists, photographers and university students, as well as stories shared by two Central Asian writers, Dr. Nafisa Abdullaeva and Yermek Tursunov.

"Kazakhstan is the most economically developed country in the region and is a host country for citizens of some republics of the region; therefore, our task is to draw the attention of the society to the fact that migrants are not just a labour force. They are not some measurable economic unit but primarily are human beings that have rights and need be treated with dignity,” noted Timur Shaymergenov, Deputy Director, Library of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Head of the Nazarbayev Analytical Center, Astana.

The IOM exhibition is the outcome of an Open Call to Artists, Photographers and University Students from Central Asia earlier this year. A five-member jury convened decided on three winners from the Artists/Photographers’ category (Elyor Nematov, Didor Sadulloev, Diana Mindubayeva) and two winners from the University Students category (Almazbek Duyishebaev and Rakhat Sagynbek Kyzy).

One of the judges, Alimzhan Zhoroboev, remarked: "Sending your relative for labour migration is almost the same fear and anxiety as sending a child to war. You never know whether a person will return healthy, or whether they will return alive at all.”

Meanwhile, Gulmira Isabaeva, Director of the Kasteyev Museum, reflected: "The problems that the photographers show in their work are understandable and familiar to us. We selected the winners based on the depth of reflection on the problem, the aesthetic approach, and the professionalism."

The exhibition is at the Kasteyev Museum in Almaty, until 19 September. See brochure at

The Photo Story project is supported under IOM’s Central Asia regional migration project Addressing Migration Movements in Central Asia through Capacity Building, funded by the Government of the United States (PRM-PIM) and the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

For further information please contact, IOM Almaty, Sub-Regional Coordination Office for Central Asia, Email or Tel: +7 727 258 22 40 /291 90 30.

Language English Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017 - 17:11Image: Region-Country: KazakhstanThemes: Capacity BuildingIOMOthersDefault: Multimedia: 

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and partners organized a photo exhibition in Almaty to raise awareness of migration in the region. Photo: Elyor Nematov 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Seoul Conference Highlights Working Conditions of Migrant Fishermen on Korean Fishing Boats

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 11:21

Seoul – The Republic of Korea (ROK) is the world’s 12th largest fishing nation. In 2015, its fishery and aquaculture production, at 1.64 million tons, was worth USD 4.4 billion. But while the industry continues to grow, the number of Korean fishermen has decreased due to difficult working conditions and low pay.

In the early 1990s, the industry started to employ migrant workers, mainly from Viet Nam, Indonesia and the Philippines. By 2015 they accounted for 40 per cent of the industry’s total workforce. Reports of human rights abuses in the industry triggered a two-year investigation between 2014 – 2016 by IOM ROK and Advocates for Public Interest Law (APIL).

The IOM / APIL team conducted research in the ROK and the countries of origin and uncovered various human rights violations detailed in their report: Tied at Sea: Human Rights Violations of Migrant Workers on Korean Fishing Vessels (

This week (5/9) three members of the Korean National Assembly co-hosted a conference in Seoul organized by IOM ROK, APIL and the Human Rights Network for Migrant Fishermen to discuss the report’s recommendations.

The conference on Working Conditions of Migrant Fishermen on Korean Fishing Vessels attracted 110 delegates including government officials from relevant ministries, representatives of fisheries associations, labour unions, civil society organizations, the private sector, media and the general public.

The report recommended that officials from the Ministries of Oceans and Fisheries, Employment and Labour, Justice, and National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives, should improve coordination and work together to ensure an ethical recruitment process to improve working conditions for migrant fishermen.

“Despite existing national efforts in building measures to protect migrant workers, migrant fishermen on Korean-flagged fishing vessels are especially vulnerable to labour exploitation as their working conditions often fall outside the scope of the Labour Standards Act,” said IOM ROK Head of Office Miah Park.

“This event raised public awareness of the situation of migrant seafarers and hopefully encouraged policymakers to take action to improve it. IOM plans to continue to support responsible stakeholders in establishing fair and ethical recruitment practices in Korean fishing industry,” she added.

The conference followed an earlier Regional Conference on Ethical Recruitment of Migrant Fishermen Working in Fishing Industry organized by IOM ROK in 2016, which brought together government officials from Indonesia, Viet Nam, the Philippines and South Korea to discuss policy gaps and gather recommendations.

For more information, please contact IOM ROK. Jumi Kim, Tel: +82 70 4820 0292, Email: or Doyen Yun, Tel: +82 70 4820 2324, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017 - 17:12Image: Region-Country: Republic of KoreaThemes: Migrants RightsMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

Indonesian seamen aboard a Korean-flagged fishing vessel. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) / APIL

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

132 Guinean Migrants Return Home from Libya with UN Migration Agency Help

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 11:20

Conakry – IOM, the UN Migration Agency this week (05/09) assisted 132 Guinean migrants to return home from Libya. The migrants, including 10 women, 1 infant, 2 children and 1 unaccompanied child, had requested assistance from IOM to return voluntarily to Guinea after living in Libya as irregular migrants in often daunting circumstances.

IOM Libya and the Embassy of Guinea in Tripoli assisted the migrants in obtaining the required travel documents for the voluntary assisted humanitarian return. Before the charter flight flew out of Mitiga airport in Tripoli, the IOM team in Libya conducted pre-departure interviews, medical examinations and facilitated the issuance of exit visas for all passengers. Migrants also received additional assistance in the form of clothing, footwear and other essentials.

The group also included two patients who received medical assistance from the Red Cross upon arrival at Conakry prior to being handed over to the Ministry of Social Affairs who transferred them by ambulance to a special unit prepared for returning migrants at the John Paul II clinic.

The migrants were met at Conakry-Gbessia Airport by teams from IOM Guinea, SENAH (National Service for Humanitarian Actions), the Red Cross, representatives of the Ministry in charge of Guineans Living Abroad and the Ministry of Social Affairs. They were accommodated by IOM Guinea, which gave each migrant a kit containing toiletries and food. The migrants were then registered and profiled. The data from this exercise is expected to provide IOM with deeper insight into the profile of irregular migrants, why they left their country, their migratory pathway and living conditions in Libya.

The more vulnerable in the group were provided with immediate psycho-social support by IOM, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Red Cross. Where needed, additional assistance will be provided to address their immediate needs.

IOM also provided each migrant EUR 50 for their transportation to their final destinations. Those from Conakry went home directly, while others from the various regions of the country were hosted for one night by SENAH at the Matam Transit Center from where they will travel to their final destinations.

The migrants will be provided with access to reintegration support within three months of their return. This support is part of the project, Enhancement of Migration Governance and Support for the Sustainable Reintegration of Migrants in the Republic of Guinea funded by the European Union Trust Fund.

Some of the returning migrants spoke to IOM staff.

Habib*, a carpenter, said he had worked for more than three years in Tripoli. Everything was going well for him when in 2016, he asked his wife Mariam* to join him. After the birth of their baby, they decided to go home as business was becoming very difficult for him.

Djibril*, who had worked as an accountant in Guinea, lost his job in 2014 when the country was affected by the Ebola virus epidemic. He then chose to go to Europe with his younger brother. They were arrested and imprisoned soon after their arrival in Libya. Although relieved to be back home, Djibril is distressed that his brother is still detained in Libya. He showed IOM staff a wound in his shoulder, which he says was inflicted by caused by a guard with a knife, testifying of the much-documented difficult conditions in Libyan detention centers.

This week’s flight from Libya was the seventh since January 2017 organized by IOM for Guinean migrants from Libya with a total of 859 migrants assisted so far. This adds to other Guinean returnees from Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco and Niger who decided to return home.

Between 1 January and 28 August 2017, IOM Libya helped repatriate 6,946 stranded migrants (18 per cent of them women) back to their countries of origin. Three-quarters of this population were held in detention centers and 3,473 were eligible for reintegration assistance.

Launched in April 2017, Enhancement of Migration Governance and Support for the Sustainable Reintegration of Migrants in the Republic of Guinea is a joint initiative between the European Union Trust Fund and IOM which is being implemented over a three-year period and covers six administrative regions of Guinea, namely: Conakry, Boké, Mamou, Labé, Kankan and N’Zérékoré.

“Under the project, IOM Guinea supports returning migrants, depending on their profiles and needs, by facilitating the creation of a small business, involving them in a collective and/or community business initiative, or providing them with vocational training.

*The names of the migrants have been changed to protect their privacy.

For more information, contact: Lucas Chandellier at IOM Guinea, Tel: +224 628 33 86 53, E-mail:

Language English Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017 - 17:13Image: Region-Country: Guinea-BissauThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

This week’s flight from Libya was the seventh since January 2017 organized by IOM for Guinean migrants from Libya with a total of 859 migrants assisted so far.  Above is a photo of Guinean migrants assisted by IOM last August. File photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

270,000 Flee Myanmar in Two Weeks: UN Migration Agency in Bangladesh Scales Up Emergency Response

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 11:19

Bangladesh - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, today (8/9) confirmed that 270,000 people have fled violence in Myanmar to seek safety in Bangladesh since 25 August.

IOM, which yesterday allocated USD 1 million from its emergency funds to boost the humanitarian response in Cox’s Bazar, is working with the government and partners to scale up its delivery of lifesaving aid to those most in need. Immediate priorities have been identified as shelter, drinking water, food and medical assistance.

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund yesterday also announced a further USD 7 million to help the thousands of destitute people who continue to flood into Bangladesh.   

“I came here three days back along with my husband and four children. It took us six days to walk here, and we had very little to eat. I couldn’t bring anything with me. Even the clothes we had with us, we lost on the way. We now desperately need food and shelter. We need materials to cook with and a place to wash. We haven’t been able to get anything yet, except this meal today,” said Najuma Begum, speaking to IOM staff collecting needs data at a food distribution centre near the Kutupalong makeshift settlement.

While Najuma’s family managed to get a ready cooked meal at the food distribution centre, many people have now set up camp in areas which are too far from established support centres to receive help. Most families are living in the open, in the rain, with children and the elderly at particularly high risk of getting sick.

The number of new arrivals has increased considerably in part due to the joint needs assessment carried out on 6 September, when inter-agency teams visited more host community locations. Arrivals identified in previously unvisited host community settings tally 75,000 in 9 locations visited. At the same time, arrival numbers in the previously known makeshift locations also continue to increase, and over 10,000 are staying in Teknaf Municipality area.

An estimated 130,000 of the new arrivals are now living in the registered refugee camps and three makeshift settlements of Kutupalong, Leda and Balukhali. Another estimated 90,000 people are sheltering in host communities, and nearly 50,000 have settled in new spontaneous settlements which are expanding quickly with people still searching for space to make temporary shelters.
Safety has been a major concern for the new arrivals, especially girls. “I’ve two young daughters with me and I fear for their safety. We have no latrines and we’re scared at night to go out into the fields (to defecate). We go in groups if we have to,” said Ajumar Begum, who is sheltering near the Balukhali makeshift settlement.  

Healthcare facilities are also struggling to provide adequate services as the number of people in need of emergency and basic health care continue to grow. Seven mobile health teams have been deployed to the spontaneous settlement areas, and IOM and partners are recruiting more doctors, nurses and midwives to increase the reach of the teams. People are too scared and exhausted to travel long distances to seek health care, so it is imperative that it as close to the settlements as possible.

There are also a number of pregnant and lactating women among the new arrivals.
Eight months pregnant Halima Khanam in Balukhali is expecting her first child. “I have been here three days with my mother and younger brother. I’m scared. I don’t know where my husband is. We are depending on the family we’re living with here. I don’t know how long we can survive,” she told an IOM staffer.
According to the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) in Cox’s Bazar, which is convened by IOM, the number of new arrivals continues to increase (

On Wednesday (6/9) there was a sharp increase in arrivals as at least 300 boats arrived in Cox’s Bazar from Myanmar. Sea routes are particularly dangerous at this time of year, when boats are known to frequently capsize in rough seas.

New arrivals usually start by looking for space in the established makeshift settlements, where there are some services. But these are already full to capacity in terms of space. As a result, three new spontaneous settlements have sprung up in areas which still have very little by way of services.

“Humanitarian agencies are deploying mobile medical teams, installing emergency latrines, providing water, and are distributing tarpaulins for basic shelter and food rations to new arrivals. But much more is needed and we are fast running out of stock,” said ISCG coordinator Margo Baars.

To date, IOM has distributed 6,957 plastic tarpaulins (with 3,479 kgs of ropes), 300 sleeping mats, and 600 non-food item kits containing essentials such as cooking sets, clothes, bedding and mosquito nets, to the new arrivals.

Before the latest influx, IOM Bangladesh was coordinating humanitarian assistance to some 200,000 Undocumented Myanmar Nationals living in makeshift settlements in Cox’s Bazar.

Lifesaving services delivered by IOM and its partner agencies include clean water and sanitation, shelter, food security, health care, education, and psychosocial support for the most vulnerable individuals, many of whom are suffering from acute mental trauma or are survivors of sexual violence.

Most of the people now crossing the border are women, children and the elderly, many of whom are vulnerable and lack the ability to take care of themselves.

For more information, please contact Peppi Siddiq at IOM Bangladesh. Email:, Tel. +8801755568894.

Language English Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017 - 17:14Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM is distributing basic essentials including cooking sets, bedding and mosquito nets to new arrivals. Photo: Md. Asadur Rahman / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Many of the new arrivals are injured and in need of medical help. Photo: Md. Asadur Rahman / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Launches New Missing Migrants Website

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 05:50

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency has launched its new Missing Migrants Project website: The Missing Migrants Project tracks migrants, including refugees and asylum-seekers, who have died or gone missing while migrating to an international destination.

The site has been redesigned to be more user-friendly. New functions include:

Interactive graphics

New informative graphs, maps, and charts are featured to make understanding Missing Migrants Project data even easier. Users can view individual data points by zooming in on the maps at the top of each page, and can filter the charts by month, year and region by clicking on each graphic.

Regional pages

In addition to the page highlighting migrant fatalities data in the Mediterranean, the new website features graphics on different regions and hotspots across the world, including the Mediterranean and Middle East. Users can explore trends in Missing Migrants Project data on Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas by selecting an option from the drop-down menu titled ‘Regions,’ or by selecting a region at the bottom of the home page.

Easy-access data

Missing Migrants Project’s full dataset is now available for download as either an Excel or .CSV file. The dataset contains information on each incident in which a migrant death was recorded, and includes data on the circumstances of the death as well as the profile of the migrants involved, where available.


Not interested in data and graphs? In-depth analysis of Missing Migrants Project data and other topics relating to migrant fatalities can be found on the new publications page.

For more information, please contact Julia Black, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:

Language English Posted: Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 11:49Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Signs Agreement with Korean Province to Support Integration and Inclusion

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 05:44

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency yesterday (05/09) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chungcheongnam-do Provincial Government of the Republic of Korea (CPG). The agreement was signed by IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson and An Heejung, Governor of CPG, and aims to enhance knowledge sharing on integration and inclusion of migrants in the province.

DDG Thompson welcomed the Korean delegation at IOM Headquarters in Geneva. In her initial remarks, she mentioned that IOM has experienced substantial growth over the last 20 years, increasing the list of Member States from 65 to 166. She further highlighted IOM’s engagement with local authorities around the world, as illustrated by the Conference on Migrants and Cities held in 2015.

"If national governments are interested in integration, local authorities are even more so because they are often the ones dealing with migrants directly," said Thompson.

Chungcheongnam-do, located 150 kilometres south of Seoul, has a total population of 2.1 million, of which 90,000 are migrants. Governor Heejung commended IOM for its expansion, which he recognized as a key factor for the safety and sustainable migration of people. He mentioned that most migrants in Chungcheongnam-do come for marriage, work and study opportunities. He mentioned that the main challenges in his province relate to three areas: migrants’ safety, access to education, and the creation of enabling environments for migrant workers.

“We want to learn about the positive experiences and programmes from other countries who have worked with IOM. We made the right decision to sign this partnership, and I hope it will lead to the implementation of projects,” said Heejung.

In this respect, DDG Thompson stressed that access to education is one of the main obstacles to integration, and that the provision of free language courses for migrants is essential for guaranteeing their access to services. She complimented the Governor for being able to tailor education programmes in the province according to the needs of migrants.

“Integration is one of the major challenges of migration, and it is a two-way process that requires societies’ openness to newcomers. It is an effort from both sides,” added Thompson. She cautioned, however, that integration projects are not universally applicable, and that they should focus on the specific contexts in which they are implemented.

“In general, there needs to be systems that allow the participation of migrants in decision-making processes, so that they feel that their opinions matter,” she added.

With the cooperation agreement entering into force on the day of its signing, DDG Thompson said "We hope that this is the beginning of a long-term relationship, not only in your governorate but also expanding to the entire Republic of Korea."

She concluded by calling attention to the 2030 Agenda and the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), two recent developments that have helped to recognize migration as an integral component to sustainable development.

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM HQ, Tel: +417179205, Email:

Language English Posted: Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 11:32Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

DDG Laura Thompson and the Governor of Chungcheongnam-do signed the MoU at IOM headquarters. Photo: Muse Mohammed/UN Migration Agency 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Polaris to Launch Global Data Repository on Human Trafficking

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 05:35

Vienna – Counter-trafficking specialists yesterday (05/09) announced the pre-launch of the Counter-Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC) at the 5th Global Compact for Migration (GCM) consultations in Vienna. The CTDC is the result of a joint initiative led by IOM, the UN Migration Agency and Polaris, an independent organization combatting modern slavery. Its online portal will consist of a global repository of data on human trafficking that protects the identities of victims, and uses a new international standard.

The announcement took place at a parallel event during the GCM consultations. At the pre-launch, IOM stressed the important role of the CTDC to fill the gap in terms of publicly-available data on human trafficking. Harry Cook, IOM Data Management and Research Specialist stressed that the lack of data on human trafficking and the hurdles to collect it in a harmonized manner are two main problems for the counter-trafficking movement.

The CTDC will be the first global repository of its kind and will host primary data from counter-trafficking organizations around the world, helping deepen the understanding of vulnerability-producing contexts that migrants encounter during their migration process.

“We all want counter trafficking efforts to be as effective and efficient as possible, and in order to do that, they need to be based on real information about the problem,” said Sara Crowe, Polaris’ Associate Director in charge of data systems.

The CTDC will combine datasets including over 45,000 victim records from IOM and more than 31,000 cases of human trafficking from Polaris. Global data from other organizations is expected to enrich the current repository, which will facilitate an unparalleled level of cross border, trans-agency analysis and provide the counter-trafficking movement with a comprehensive understanding of the issue.

“We must examine how to harness the data revolution and modern technology in the fight against human trafficking. Modern technology is allowing us to make data accessible to external stakeholders through sophisticated anonymization, data protection, and data sharing techniques,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

Following the pre-launch event, the CTDC teams will focus on increasing promotion and awareness of the CTDC as a resource for relevant academics and actors within the counter-trafficking community.

Combatting trafficking in persons, as well as smuggling of migrants and contemporary forms of slavery play a pivotal role in the consultations leading up to the GCM negotiations in 2018.

The GCM thematic consultations in Vienna (4-5/09) focused on smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons and contemporary forms of slavery, including appropriate identification, protection and assistance to migrants and trafficking victims.

The next and final thematic session to be held in Geneva on 12-13 October, will address irregular migration and regular pathways, including decent work, labor mobility, recognition of skills and qualifications, and other relevant measures.

For more information please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM HQ, Tel: +417179205, Email:

Language English Posted: Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 11:31Image: Region-Country: AustriaDefault: Multimedia: 

The data collaborative will aim to build the evidence base on trafficking in persons without disclosing the identity of the victims. Photo: UN Migration Agency/Polaris 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Global Compact for Migration "Our Rendezvous with History," says UN Migration Director General at Vienna Discussions

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 17:44

“This is our rendezvous with history,” said IOM, UN Migration Agency’s Director General William Lacy Swing during an address to UN Member States today (05/09).

Referring to the intergovernmental process to adopt a global compact for migration, Director General Swing stated that “we have been building up to this moment for three decades and we must not miss this opportunity.”

Director General Swing was speaking at the fifth thematic session of the global compact discussions, which focused on combating migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons. He called on States to implement the commitments made through several declarations and dialogues, as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustain Development.

“There is no lack of political will or legal protection for migrants,” said Director General Swing. “The gap is in implementation.”

Legal protection must be underpinned by “a fundamental shift in public perception of migrants and migration,” said Director General Swing, “putting respect for the human rights of migrants at the core of all our action.”

He encouraged States and the public to work together to expand migration channels and fight trafficking, with a greater focus on social justice issues.

“Xenophobia and hate speech put migrants at risk and deprive them of their rights and their dignity,” he noted.

“I have personally witnessed the appalling plight of thousands of migrants languishing in detention centers across the world,” Director General Swing continued. “More needs to be done to open regular and safe migration routes and to prevent migrants from falling into the hands of smugglers who will violate their human rights.”

In September 2016 the UN General Assembly adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, through, which its Member States committed themselves to developing a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.

The development of the global compact for migration presents the international community with a watershed opportunity to make a crucial contribution to global migration governance.  It is expected to provide a unifying framework of common principles, commitments and understandings amongst Member States on all aspects of international migration, including the humanitarian, development and human rights-related dimensions.  

It encompasses protecting the rights of migrants, facilitating safe, orderly and regular migration, reducing the incidence and impacts of forced and irregular migration; and addressing mobility consequences of natural and human-induced disasters.

It is being developed through an open, transparent and inclusive process of consultations and negotiations and the effective participation of civil society, the private sector, academic institutions, parliaments, diaspora communities, and migrant organizations.

IOM is extending technical and policy expertise to the global compact process as requested by Member States until its culmination in September 2018.

For more information please contact:

In Vienna: Joe Lowry, Tel +43660 3776404, Email

In Geneva: Olivia Headon, Tel: +41227179435, Email:

In New York: Lanna Walsh, Tel +1929 9201127, Email

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 23:42Image: Region-Country: AustriaThemes: Global Compact on MigrationHuman SmugglingDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Partners Seek USD 18 Million for Immediate Relief as Over 123,000 Rohingya Enter Bangladesh in Last 11 Days

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 10:33

Dhaka – IOM, the UN Migration Agency in Bangladesh today said that humanitarian assistance in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh must be urgently scaled up as tens of thousands of newly arrived Undocumented Myanmar Nationals (UMNs) continue to stream into the district’s makeshift settlements in search of help.

IOM and partner agencies operating in the district, which borders Myanmar, have identified an immediate funding gap of USD 18 million over the next three months to allow lifesaving services to be scaled up to cope with the new arrivals. This appeal will be followed by a more comprehensive needs assessment and response plan.

Today (06/09), the IOM convened Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) ( of humanitarian agencies working in Cox’s Bazar announced that an estimated 123,600 people have crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar since the latest outbreak of violence on 25 August. (ISCG estimates are based on observations compiled by ISCG agencies and may be inaccurate. There is no formal registration of the new arrivals.)

Thousands of people are still arriving daily, looking for space to settle down in, and there are clear signs that more will cross before the situation stabilizes.

Prior to the latest influx, IOM Bangladesh was coordinating humanitarian assistance to some 200,000 UMNs living in makeshift settlements in Cox’s Bazar.

Lifesaving services delivered by IOM and its partner agencies include clean water and sanitation, shelter, food security, health care, education, and psychosocial support for the most vulnerable individuals, many whom are suffering from acute mental trauma or are survivors of sexual violence.

“The new arrivals are putting immense strain on the existing support structures. These need to be immediately scaled up to ensure lives are not put at risk,” said Sarat Dash, IOM Bangladesh Chief of Mission.

“We are running out of space in the existing settlements and new arrivals are pitching camp wherever they can erect some plastic sheeting to protect themselves from the elements. They have very limited understanding of the available services. We need to urgently look at their shelter needs and make sure people have safe spaces in which to stay,” he added.

Most of the people crossing the border are women, children and the elderly, many of whom are vulnerable and lack the ability to take care of themselves.

Bangladesh already hosts an estimated 400,000 UMNs, most of whom are living in the greater Chittagong area, which is extremely vulnerable to external shocks, including cyclones. 

For more information, please contact Peppi Siddiq at IOM Bangladesh. Email:, Tel. +8801755568894  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 16:03Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Members of the Rohingya community crossing the border into Bangladesh. Photo:  Azam Sheikh Ali Haider / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Members of the Rohingya community crossing the border into Bangladesh. Photo:  Azam Sheikh Ali Haider / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Members of the Rohingya community crossing the border into Bangladesh. Photo:  Azam Sheikh Ali Haider / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Reinforces Commitment to Displaced People through Enhanced Framework on Internal Displacement

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 10:31

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency has launched an enhanced framework for addressing internal displacement, a challenge which has risen to unprecedented levels. Over 40 million people are currently displaced by conflict within the borders of their own country – this represents 62 per cent of the total number of people displaced globally. In addition, disasters displace an average of 26 million people every year.

Given the increased frequency, intensity and duration of contemporary conflicts, lack of political solutions to resolve the drivers of displacement, and the rising risks associated with environmental degradation, climate change and other sudden-impact or slow-onset disasters, addressing internal displacement must be a global priority.

“There are few personal tragedies worse than having to flee for your life. The hardship only deepens when there are no solutions in sight,” said William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, from the Organization’s Headquarters. “Addressing internal displacement is a global humanitarian imperative. Internally displaced people are among the world’s most vulnerable; facing poverty, loss of education, unemployment, marginalization and insecurity, to name only a few. At the same time, I have witnessed the courage, tenacity and resilience of these people – and the generosity of host communities – under some of the harshest conditions imaginable.”

The enhanced framework responds to changes in and the expansion of IOM’s policies and operations over the years. In 2016, IOM’s operations reached more than 19 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and provided over 6 million host community members with support across 31 countries. This makes IOM one of the largest actors on internal displacement issues globally. The Framework lays out IOM’s strategic role in the current global humanitarian and development landscape.

“This category of ‘displaced persons’ are not just a statistic. They represent a formidable source of untapped positive potential and agency, and this framework fully recognizes that. It makes good economic sense, and is socially advantageous, to empower people to develop their own responses and solutions to displacement. It is equally essential to foster economic growth and opportunities in host communities,” Ambassador Swing said.

He concluded, “Ultimately, though, we will not be able to adequately resolve the global crisis of internal displacement until durable solutions are found, and States and communities are united in sharing responsibility in responding to displacement, in preventing and reducing the risks of crises, and in resolving conflicts as urgently as possible.”

The principles of engagement, commitments, approach and operational objectives contained in the Framework set the foundation and direction for all aspects of IOM’s work on internal displacement. The goal of the Framework is to support operational effectiveness across the Organization in the identification and implementation of responses to internal displacement and as part of its coordinated partnerships.

The people-centred framework is guided by the fact that States have a primary responsibility for internally displaced persons. It is grounded in prevailing principles, policies and practices relating to internal displacement like the Guiding Principles for Internal Displacement. The Framework also reinforces IOM’s commitment to protecting the dignity and well-being of all people on the move, a cost-effective operation model and transparency.

The framework can be downloaded here.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ in Geneva, Tel: +41 79 403 5365, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 16:02Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Children carrying IOM shelter kits following floods in Kayin State, Myanmar, File photo: IOM 2015

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN