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Updated: 2 hours 12 min ago

Kuwait Provides USD 10 Million to UN Migration Agency for Operations in Yemen 

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 09:26

Geneva  On Monday, 9 July, the State of Kuwait donated USD 10 million in support of the UN Migration Agency (IOM)’s humanitarian work in Yemen.

“Given the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen, the State of Kuwait is determined to support the humanitarian needs of the Yemeni people through its collaboration with the international humanitarian organizations,” Ambassador Jamal Al-Ghunaim, Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, told IOM’s Director General William Lacy Swing, during their meeting.

“The State of Kuwait would like to reiterate its firm intention of further strengthening the longstanding and fruitful relations with the International Organization for Migration, in the ultimate service of international humanitarian work,” the ambassador added.

Director General Swing called Kuwait “a reliable source of support” for many years and observed that the emirate is IOM’s oldest collaborator among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

In February this year, IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, launched a USD 96.2 million appeal to support Yemenis and migrants impacted by the three-year old conflict.

The appeal comes under the USD 2.96 billion Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) which covers the entire humanitarian community.

Due to a protracted economic crisis, intermittent conflict, and weak rule of law, Yemen was already facing chronic vulnerabilities even prior to the escalation of conflict on 25 March 2015. This has led to a system-wide failure in the health and education sector, as well as a shutdown of governmental services and mass unemployment. Some 22.2 million Yemenis – more than 2 out of 3 people – will need humanitarian aid in 2018, with half of the population living in areas directly affected by conflict.

“Three years of conflict have inflicted suffering on millions, affecting every Yemeni – man, woman or child,” said DG Swing.  “With armed conflict ongoing, a stalled peace process and an economic blockade, Yemen is in the grips of a devastating protracted humanitarian and developmental crisis,” he added.

The conflict has also displaced some two million Yemenis within their own country, according to the Task Force on Population Movement. Nearly 90 per cent of internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been displaced for one year or more, including 69 per cent who have been displaced for over two years. The protracted nature of the displacement is straining IDPs’ and host communities’ ability to cope.

A further one million IDPs have returned to their area of origin but are in dire need of aid. Their homes have been severely damaged by the fighting and urgently require rehabilitation assistance.

For more information, please contact Saba Malme at IOM Sana’a, Tel: + 967 736 800 329; Email:, or Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 14:55Image: Region-Country: KuwaitThemes: IOMOthersDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 47,637 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,422

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 09:24

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 47,637 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 8 July 2018. That total compares to 101,392 at this time last year, and over 239,492 at this time in 2016.
Arrivals to Italy, Greece and Spain are about even through 14 weeks. Italy, with 35 per cent of arrivals, remains the busiest destination, barely edging out Spain (34%) and Greece (30%). If these trends persist, Spain looks likely to have had the largest number of arrivals before summer’s end. 

IOM Rome reported Monday that arrivals of irregular migrants to Italy thus far in 2018 are at 16,933, less than one-fifth (19%) the total arriving through mid-year 2017 and mid-year 2016. The downward trend appears to be accelerating (see chart below): monthly arrivals to Italy this year have topped the 4,000-person mark just once, in January. For the previous two years, monthly arrival totals to Italy regularly exceeded 10,000 and 20,000 during summer months.

Nonetheless, irregular sea passage across the Mediterranean’s central route remains treacherous. IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has now recorded 1,422 people who have lost their lives at sea in the Mediterranean since the beginning of the year. 
Most recently, a young man drowned in the Western Mediterranean between Morocco and Spain. The online mapping platform Alarm Phone reported that on 3 July, the group was in contact with a boat in distress which was trying to reach Spain from Morocco. Tragically, a young man lost his life before the boat was returned to Morocco. He was 19 years old and from Senegal.
IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported Monday that since 5 July, the remains of eight migrants were found along the Libyan shore in Tajoura, Garaboli and Suq al Juma. She added that so far this year, 11,311 migrants have been returned to Libyan shore by the Libyan Coast Guard. 
IOM Madrid’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 16,295 men, women and children, irregular migrants who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 8 July.
Just about half of all landings – 8,145 people – occurred just in the past 38 days. Moreover, sea arrivals to Spain by irregular migrants already are almost 75 per cent of all of 2017 arrivals, and exceed the arrivals of 2015 and 2016, combined (see charts below).

IOM Athens’ Antigoni Avgeropoulou said Monday IOM has learned that from last Thursday through Sunday (5-8 July) the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least six incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Samos and Chios. The HCG rescued a total of 228 migrants and transferred them to those islands.
Another 57 migrants were reported landing at Kos and elsewhere, bringing to 319 the total number of arrivals between those four days. Through that date the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory since 1 January is 14,119 (see charts below).


Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 2,138 people while migrating in 2018 (see chart below). Besides those on the Mediterranean, there were two more additions to the Missing Migrants Project database since Thursday’s update.
In Mexico, a 28-year-old man from El Salvador died after falling from a freight train near Cañada Morelos, in Mexico’s Puebla state on 5 July. At least 17 people have lost their lives while transiting through Mexico due to rail accidents in 2018. In Europe, a 22-year-old Pakistani man drowned in the Uni River near Bihac, in Una-Sana Canton, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 5 July.

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

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit:

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email:
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel:   +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 166; M. +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email:
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email:
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel:  +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 14:50Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Third Group of Syrian Refugees Resettled to Croatia

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 09:18

Zagreb – A third group of 24 Syrian refugees landed in Zagreb after leaving Turkey today (10/07) with the support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in a continuation of the first ever resettlement programme initiated last year by the Republic of Croatia. 

The new arrivals included five families, 13 adults and 11 children, of which there were 15 males and 9 females.  Four persons have been assisted with special travel and transport arrangements based on their specific needs, including wheelchairs and care for a pregnant passenger.

After leaving the airport, the new arrivals were taken to the Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers in Kutina.

To date, three groups totalling 105 refugees have resettled to Croatia from the 150 planned through the pilot programme.

A total of three selection missions to interview potential beneficiaries under the programme have been carried out in Turkey so far.  

The first and the second group of 40 and 41 Syrian refugees arrived in Croatia on 28 November 2017 and 25-26 January 2018, respectively.

As was done with the two groups of Syrian refugees who were resettled earlier this year, IOM staff will provide Croatian language and Socio-Economic Orientation courses on topics such as living and working in Croatia, building social networks, getting familiarized with the institutions and organizations, and rights and obligations in education, housing, health, social welfare and employment.

Since the start of the programme, a total of 69 beneficiaries above 6 years of age have participated in an 80-hour beginner Croatian language course organized by IOM, and 62 resettled persons took part in an 18-hour Socio-Economic Orientation. IOM also conducted skills and education assessments for 57 individuals.

Since the arrival of both groups, IOM has assisted 75 persons who have been transferred to individual accommodation in Zadar, Slavonski Brod and the Zagreb County.

The protection and humanitarian character of the pilot resettlement project continues to ensure the availability of a much needed safe and legal channel for the most vulnerable refugees, in which IOM coordinates all activities with the Ministry of the Interior and other stakeholders.

For more information please contact IOM Croatia. Igor Aničić, Email:, Tel: +385 64 63 885 or Ivan Piteša, Email:, Tel: +385 48 16 885


Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 14:40Image: Region-Country: CroatiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

Latest group of Syrian refugees from Turkey arrive in Zagreb, Croatia. Photo: IOM

Latest group of Syrian refugees from Turkey arrive in Zagreb, Croatia. Photo: IOM

Latest group of Syrian refugees from Turkey arrive in Zagreb, Croatia. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Helps More than 70,000 Migrants Return Voluntarily and Reintegrate in 2017

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 09:18

Geneva  Today (10/07), IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reported that 72,176 migrants returned home voluntarily in 2017 with the organization’s support, through Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programmes. Key trends and figures are highlighted in IOM’s latest report: Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration 2017 Key Highlights. 

The number of migrants assisted in their voluntary returns represents a 27 per cent decrease as compared to 2016, when 98,403 migrants were provided with return and reintegration support. This decrease was mainly due to a lower volume of voluntary returns from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, which nevertheless remained the region from which the largest proportion of beneficiaries returned.

It should be noted, however, that the number of AVRR beneficiaries in 2017 remained significantly higher than those recorded in the 2005-2015 period and should therefore be regarded as having gone “back to normal” after an exceptional year.

AVRR beneficiaries in 2017 returned from 124 countries to 165 countries and territories of origin. Germany remained the top host country (41 per cent of the total) and Albania remained the top country of origin, despite a 54 per cent decrease and a 60 per cent decrease respectively.

Nearly one third of the migrants assisted by IOM’s AVRR programmes were female; a quarter of them were children.

Of the total assisted, 3,331 were identified as being in vulnerable situations, namely: migrants with health-related needs (48 per cent), victims of trafficking (34 per cent) and unaccompanied migrant children (18 per cent).

Some trends observed in 2016 were also confirmed last year, such as the increasing number of voluntary returns from transit countries (for instance, from Greece or Niger) and the increasing number of intraregional returns, particularly within the Middle East and the African continent.

The AVRR 2017 Key Highlights report also showcases some of IOM’s most significant global initiatives for the year 2017. These include the recent conceptualization of IOM’s integrated approach to reintegration in the context of return and the development of indicators to better measure reintegration outcomes, which are finding concrete application within the framework of the EU-IOM External Actions in Support of Migrant Protection and Reintegration.

The report also shows that in 2017, IOM continued to make returnees’ voices better heard, by promoting avenues and tools for returnees and their communities to share their stories.

“The initiatives put in place last year illustrate IOM’s commitment towards further enhancing the nature and the quality of voluntary return and reintegration support provided to returnees,” said Anh Nguyen, Head of IOM’s Migrant Protection and Assistance Division. “As underlined in recent discussions on the upcoming Global Compact for Migration, there is a need to facilitate voluntary return and foster sustainable reintegration of returnees in their communities through the creation of conditions for personal safety, economic empowerment, inclusion and social cohesion.”

To read IOM’s AVRR 2017 Key Highlights report, please click here. For further information on IOM’s AVRR programmes, please click here.

For more information, please contact Nicola Graviano at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 94 72 or Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 14:45Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Global Migration Film Festival Empowers Women Victims of Human Trafficking in Madagascar

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 09:01

Antananarivo – A group of Malagasy women who were victims of human trafficking overcame their fear of speaking out and last week spent four days directing and filming their own stories of forced marriage and domestic slavery for a counter-trafficking documentary.

The initiative, which took place between 2 and 6 July, is part of this year’s Global Migration Film Festival, a demonstration of the festival’s commitment to enable and engage communities in filming migration narratives from their own perspectives.

Madagascar is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour, and women and children subjected to sex trafficking. Malagasy children, mostly from rural areas, are subjected to prostitution, domestic servitude, and forced labour in mining, fishing, and agriculture within the country.

Moreover, it is estimated that thousands of Malagasy women are employed as domestic workers in Lebanon, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia; a smaller number of workers seek employment in Jordan, Mauritius, and Seychelles.

Trafficking victims returning from Gulf countries report various forms of abuse and exploitation. Reports suggest Malagasy men in the Middle East also endure exploitation through forced labour in the service and construction sectors.

Both realities of national and transnational trafficking have been raised during the week-long workshop, which is based on peer-to-peer learning and includes editorial discussions, photography and framing techniques as well as participatory filming and editing. One of the exercises is storytelling amongst the participants to help create bonds, empathy and find commonalities between the different narratives.

For the first time in Madagascar, victims were empowered by IOM to become the filmmakers of a counter-trafficking film to help raise awareness of a subject that, in many communities, remains hidden or treated as taboo. The Festival’s team of facilitators trained the participants using Participatory Video (PV) methodology that, beyond creating a final product, is a process that catalyses self-reflection, self-recognition, transformation and change. 

In order for the women to portray themselves with dignity – but without running the risk of revealing their identities – the majority opted for protecting their faces either using counter-light techniques or covering up with locally made tissues. 

They also embraced a creative solution: presenting themselves without revealing their real names, but names of flowers grown in Madagascar instead.  “Dalia,” “Ovy Ala,” “Menakely,” “Mavo Adala” “Rose” and all the other members became the “Flora filmmakers” group and produced the short film Fleurs de l’Espoir (Flowers of Hope) – a 15-minute collage of testimonials portrayed via seven themes: Poverty; Lies and Frauds; Slavery and Abuse; Violence; Forced Marriage; Search for Freedom, and Hope.

“After the process I was proud because I could not imagine we could produce a film like this, especially after all we’ve been through,” affirmed Lilas. She also claims to have learned many lessons “because we shared a lot of things amongst ourselves.” 

On Friday, 6 July, a special Avant-première was organized by IOM and the participants to present the film exclusively to their close friends, family members and selected partnering authorities. Blondine R., 55, the mother of “Mavo Adala,” believes the film is very useful to help prevent other young women from falling into the trap of human trafficking like her daughter. When asked which part mostly touched her, she exudes a sense of pride and said, “I liked when my daughter said women must be strong, confident and help empower themselves. This really inspired me.”

The awareness-raising component of the film was also mentioned by one of the participants, who stated: “It has shocked me and my friends. We did not know about this problem. It has brought many questions: What can we do about this? How can we help?”

In the coming months, the film produced in the local language (Malagasy) will be disseminated by IOM and the Government of Madagascar to communities and villages across the country.

“This is a great film to raise awareness because it can really touch people as it was made by human trafficking victims themselves and not by actors. There are very few women who would agree to share their stories so gathering all these video testimonials is a crucial step. But this is not enough because there are still people inciting others to go. We need more consistent initiatives from all stakeholders,” said Jeannie Rafalimanana, from the Diaspora Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At the end of the year, during the 3rd edition of the Global Migration Film Festival, an international version will be screened around the world.

Amanda Nero, the Festival Director and one of the facilitators of the Participatory Video initiative said, “For the Festival, it is important not only to be a broad platform to inform, educate and promote the debate around migration but to enable affected communities that usually don’t have such a chance, to film and share their own stories. That can create change.”

Fernanda Baumhardt, Norwegian Refugee Council's expert deployment capacity (NORCAP) and participatory video expert supporting IOM, said this initiative is far from a traditional communications activity. “This is about communication for social change. It helps migrants' affected communities heal and recover,” Baumhardt said. 

“For the first time, we inverted the way of communicating about trafficking in persons: instead of us talking, we sat, observed and heard the victims of trafficking putting across in their own words and with their own means, their experiences. With that, we want to put emphasis on the individuals’ agency to overcome their trauma, and show that if you have been a victim at some point of your life, you are – as a human being – deserving of so much more, and we will not let you be catalogued as a victim for the rest of your life,” said Clara Perez, Counter-Trafficking Project Coordinator.

IOM’s GMFF Participatory Video Project is an initiative to amplify voices, empower and foster social cohesion in migrants’ affected communities.

The workshop tour kicked off in Amman, Jordan, in October 2017. In November, it reached Malakal, South Sudan, to work with communities that have fled war and violence and in December last year, the workshop was held for a group of migrants living in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2018, it was held at an indigenous shelter for Venezuelan migrants in the North of Brazil.

After Madagascar the project’s next stop will be Afghanistan to facilitate returnees telling their stories of reintegration and hope. The initiative is funded by the IOM Development Fund (IDF) and supported by NORCAP.

Watch Behind the Scenes: Participatory Video Workshop on Human Trafficking in Madagascar.


For more information please contact:Amanda Nero, Media and Communications Division, IOM HQ, Mobile: +41 767 883 785. Tel: +41 227 179 482, Email: or Daniel Silva y Poveda, IOM Madagascar, Tel: +261.32 56 54 954, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 14:35Image: Region-Country: MadagascarThemes: Global Migration Film FestivalDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants in IOM’s GMFF Participatory Video Project in Madagascar. Photo: IOM

Participants in IOM’s GMFF Participatory Video Project in Madagascar. Photo: IOM

Participants in IOM’s GMFF Participatory Video Project in Madagascar. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Unveils Part Two of Its Global Review of Migrant Smuggling Data and Research

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 08:55

Geneva – The 2018 International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion (IMISCOE) Conference in Barcelona this month (2-7 July) was also the site of IOM’s launch of its newest publication Migrant Smuggling Data and Research: A Global Review of the Emerging Evidence Base – Volume 2.

The UN Migration Agency notes that this report picks up where the first volume left off, building on a review of current migrant smuggling data and research by covering additional geographic areas that could not be included in the first volume. Volume 2 also delves into migrant smuggling in specific countries seriously affected by this transnational phenomenon, such as Ecuador and Mexico.

Marie McAuliffe, IOM’s Head of Migration Policy Research, organized and co-edited the report.
Volume 2 highlights several aspects that are common to migrant smuggling in various locations, namely its clandestine and hidden character; the agility and dynamism of smugglers, facilitators, networks and migrants; and the variable impacts on people, most apparent when things go wrong and people are harmed or die en route.

The report is part of a broader project to counter migrant smuggling, of which research is one key pillar. In her speech to launch the publication, McAuliffe noted that “Just as responding to migrant smuggling is challenging for all these reasons, researching migrant smuggling is also challenging. It can be demanding and at times dangerous but it is also important.”

She went on to stress that research and critical enquiry can help us learn from migrants by documenting their experiences, recognizing their circumstances and better understanding their decisions so as to help amplify the voices of those use or are exploited by smugglers.

Florian G. Forster, who leads IOM’s Immigration and Border Management (IBM) Division, said the report was financially supported by the Republic of Turkey. 

Forster, who is coordinating IOM’s efforts in the field of counter migrant smuggling, underlined the importance of partnerships and close cooperation among the relevant agencies within the United Nations system: “IOM notably cooperates very closely with UNODC, the recently launched initiative by the two UN bodies for a Joint Platform on Counter Migrant Smuggling being another important element of this coordinated UN system-wide effort.”       

Three research-specific  recommendations for countering smuggling were issued based on the two volumes of the report: partnerships between policymakers and researchers on aspects of migrant smuggling should be strengthened; research capacity and institutions within regions should be built up in regions and countries where smuggling is prevalent; and emerging and priority topics for research and data collection should be points of focus in the development of global, regional, and national policies that are better able to respond to migrant smuggling effectively. 

The full report is available here.

For more information, please contact Vanessa Okoth-Obbo at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 93 66, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 14:30Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Human SmugglingMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

European, Chinese Experts Meet to Discuss Automated Border Control Systems

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 08:55

Shanghai – Over 140 million people crossed China’s borders between 2015 and 2016 – six per cent more than the previous year.  Managing this huge volume of people requires sophisticated information technology (IT) systems to facilitate the work of border and migration agencies.  

Like other countries across the globe, China is successfully implementing IT-based border management tools to manage growing numbers of travellers in order to reduce the time spent clearing immigration, improve security, and facilitate seamless cross-border travel.   

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is today organizing a two-day seminar in Shanghai on IT systems for border management, bringing together officials from the central and provincial levels of China's National Immigration Administration, and experts from European Union (EU) Member States and IOM to showcase various systems and identify best practices. 

The Chinese government at national and regional levels is already running pilot programmes for IT systems in border management. These include fingerprint scanning of all foreign travellers in Guangdong province, which was introduced in February 2017, and the use of e-gates for Chinese citizens and permanent residence card holders.  

IOM border management specialist Dr. Erik Slavenas told seminar participants that international cooperation will play a key role in the adoption of the new technologies. “To achieve the full potential of the use of automated border controls, we need to intensify the role of UN agencies in international cooperation and information sharing,” he said. 

The seminar, which included a field visit to Shanghai’s Pudong airport, is part of a series of technical exchanges under the framework of the EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support project, funded by the European Union Partnership Instrument. 

For further information please contact Etienne Micallef at IOM China. , Tel:+86105 979 9695. Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 14:26Image: Region-Country: ChinaThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

China is adopting automated border controls to process rapidly growing numbers of international travelers. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Addresses the Migration Dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals at the 2018 High-level Political Forum

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 10:24

New York – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, participates in the 2018 High-level Political Forum (HLPF), which is underway from 9-18 July, by co-organizing three events to address the migration related aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the UN Headquarters in New York.  

Under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the HLPF is the principal UN body mandated to review implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs. Each year, the HLPF reviews several SDGs and discusses progress towards the 2030 Agenda under an overarching theme.  

This year, the theme of the HLPF “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies” and the SDGs in review are of relevance to migration: SDG 6 (clean water and safe sanitation), SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 11 (inclusive and sustainable cities), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 15 (life on land) and SDG 17 (partnerships for the global goals).  

The first event “Vanishing Waters and Drying Lands: Impacts on Migration” will take place on 9 July at 6:30 pm and will focus on two dimensions of the migration, environment and climate change nexus, bringing together two of the SDGs under discussion at the 2018 HLPF: water (SDG6) and land (SDG15). Furthermore, it will identify the linkages between water, land and migration and explore potential policy responses under the SDGs framework.  

In partnership with the Permanent Mission of the Federal Government of Somalia to the UN, IOM is co-organizing the event with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Geneva Water Hub, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the United Nations University- Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), and UN-Water. 

The second event "Migration Governance in the GCC: Towards Inclusive, Safe and Resilient Societies” will take place on 16 July and will feature an interactive discussion as well as presentations from a high-level panel. Co-hosted by the Philippines and Bahrain Permanent Missions at the UN, and Migrant Forum of Asia, the event will examine some of the areas where the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the SDGs intersect, from the perspectives of a sending country (the Philippines), a receiving country (Bahrain), a United Nations Agency (the IOM), and an NGO (Migrant Forum of Asia).  

In addition, IOM is one of the partners of the Launch of the Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement (GPA), taking place in the margins of the HLPF on 11 July. Today, over 130 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance due to conflict, natural disasters, and other complex global challenges.  For many of these people, access to energy sources is critical for survival. In this context, the GPA was initiated in January 2018. It is a non-binding framework that entails concrete recommendations for accelerated progress towards the vision of safe access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy services for all displaced people by 2030. 

The HLPF brings more than a thousand government, business and civil society leaders to highlight the efforts they are taking to achieve the SDGs. This year, 47 countries, both developed and developing, will be presenting their voluntary national reviews (VNRs). Civil society, the private sector, academia and other stakeholders will attend and provide major inputs at a 3-day ministerial meeting from 16-18 July.  

As part of its commitment to assist Member States achieve the migration objectives of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs for a dignified and humane migration, IOM provided an input to the 2018 HLPF which can be accessed here

The meeting will adopt a ministerial declaration which aims to commit ministers from around the world to leaving no one behind in implementing the SDGs. 

Read more about the HLPF, IOM side events, the SDGs in the review this year and how they relate to migration:  

For more information, please contact the IOM Office in New York: 

Mr. Chris Richter Tel: +1 917 767 0863, Email:  

Ms. Mariam Traore Chazalnoel, Tel: +1 929 343 6001, Email:  

Language English Posted: Monday, July 9, 2018 - 16:19Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: UNDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

DG Swing Asks Libya Not to Send Rescued Migrants Back to Detention

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 10:28

Tripoli — William Lacy Swing, head of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, appealed to the Libyan authorities to stop detaining migrants after they have been intercepted by the Coast Guard after seeking to cross the Mediterranean. IOM also seeks to speed up the process of voluntary return of migrants to their countries of origin.

 “In my meeting with Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj I appealed that migrants brought back to shore or rescued by the Coast Guard not be put into detention centres," said Amb. Swing "Those who wish to go home should be speedily and voluntarily returned to their countries of origin rather than linger in detention.”

 With EU support, Libya has dramatically stepped up its anti-smuggling operations this year. The number of migrants being rescued or intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard while still in Libya’s territorial waters has greatly increased—to almost 4,000 in the past month alone. Yet, because migrants are then sent into detention in often over-crowded, poorly monitored centres, concerns remain for their welfare.

“I hope that this change of policy will now take place as it seems particularly cruel to send migrants heading to Europe back into detention, especially when it is not necessary,” DG Swing added. 

Amb Swing thanked the Prime Minister for considering his proposal to avoid sending migrants back to detention and to set up segregated centers for women and children being detained.

He also thanked the government for establishing a migration working group and attended a meeting of this new body which comprises concerned government ministries and international organizations working in Libya.

On his third visit to Libya since 2017, Swing also requested of the country’s Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj that separate centres be built for women and children, that put in measures in place to keep families together.

On Swing’s two-day visit to the country, he met with rescued migrants in detention. He also had a round of meetings with government ministers to press his case for easing the detention conditions, and to improve access to migrants for IOM’s more than 260 staff who operate across the country. Swing also met with EU and other UN representatives and accredited diplomats who are concerned with the political impact and the great human suffering that results from migrants being smuggled to Europe. 

Although Libya’s oil economy is much diminished, the country attracts migrants from across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, either those looking for jobs or seeking to be smuggled into Europe. 

The numbers of migrants who arrived in Europe via Libya this year is down significantly down (some 16,700 compared to over 85,000 during the first half of last year). At the same time over 1,000 migrants have drowned tragically while attempting to make the crossing to Europe this year. Since mid-June an estimated 489 migrants drowned in a series of tragedies just offshore.

Amb. Swing visited Tajura detention centre where most of those rescued over the weekend are being held. He spoke with several detainees and observed the conditions 

One 25 year-old-man from West Africa, who was rescued at sea on Sunday, lost his wife and three children when their overcrowded craft capsized. The man had spent several years working a as a barber in Libya but decided to try to flee to Europe after he was kidnapped and threatened, he told IOM protection staff.

At the centre two distraught orphaned children, aged 12 and 8, from Sierra Leone approached Amb Swing with tears streaming down their faces. The older girl recounted how their mother had died leaving them to fend for themselves in Libya. IOM staff have contacted family members and are seeking to reunite the children with them.

Swing made repeated calls for leniency towards the migrants while praising the lifesaving actions of the Coast Guard. 

It was Amb. Swing’s third visit to Libya since 2016 and he was the first senior official to visit Libya since the fall of Gadaffi in 2011. The oil-rich country has long depended on the skills of migrants to keep its economy going, although many migrants seeking passage to Europe can be terribly exploited.

Seventeen detention centres scattered around Libya remain operational, down from 54 last year. There is government oversight in some of them, but it is far from comprehensive. In some centres human rights abuses of migrants are reported.

For more information contact: 

Leonard Doyle, IOM Spokesperson: Tel +41 79 2857123, Email

Christine Petre at IOM Libya, Tel: + 216 29 240 448, Email

Language English Posted: Friday, July 6, 2018 - 15:40Image: Region-Country: LibyaDefault: Multimedia: 

Facing the press in Tripoli Amb Swing delivered a powerful message about protecting migrants’ rights

Migrants biding their time in a detention center visited by Amb Swing yesterday

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 46,449 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,412

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 10:27

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 46,449 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first half of 2018. That total compares to 101,213 at this time last year, and over 231,503 at this time in 2016.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported Friday that arrivals of irregular migrants to Italy thus far in 2018 are less than one-fifth (19%) the total arriving through mid-year 2017, and less than one-fourth (24%) the total through mid-year 2016. The downward trend appears to be accelerating (see chart below): monthly arrivals to Italy this year have topped the 4,000-person mark just once, in January. For the previous two years, monthly arrival totals to Italy regularly exceeded 10,000, and 20,000 during summer months.

Nonetheless, irregular sea passage across the Mediterranean’s central route remains treacherous. IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 1,412 people now have lost their lives at sea in the Mediterranean since the beginning of the year. 

Since 18 June, 489 people have tragically died or gone missing in the Central Mediterranean off the coast of Libya. Most recently, the remains of six migrants were recovered by the Libyan Navy from a rubber boat on 3 July, while 125 people who survived the shipwreck were disembarked at the Tripoli Naval Base.
IOM Madrid’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 15,626 men, women and children, irregular migrants who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 4 July.

Nearly half of all landings – 7,476 people – arrived just in the past 34 days. Moreover, sea arrivals to Spain by irregular migrants already are over 70 per cent of all of 2017 arrivals, and exceed the arrivals of 2015 and 2016, combined (see charts below).

*Source: Spanish Ministry of Interior
*The figures for June 2018 include the migrants who disembarked in Valencia from the Aquarius boat – total of 630 migrants  


  • SEA ARRIVALS 2015-2018:


    *Source: Spanish Ministry of Interior
    *The figures for June 2018 include the migrants who disembarked in Valencia from the Aquarius boat – total of 630 migrants  

    *Source: Spanish Ministry of Interior
    *The figures for June 2018 include the migrants who disembarked in Valencia from the Aquarius boat – total of 630 migrants  

    IOM Athens’ Christine Nikolaidou says IOM has learned that that from Monday through Wednesday (2-4 July) the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported there were at least five incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Chios, Lesvos, Samos and Kos. The HCG rescued a total of 144 migrants and transferred them to those respective islands.

    Another 175 migrants were reported landing at Oinouses and elsewhere, bringing to 319 the total number of arrivals between those three days. Through that date the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory since 1 January is 13,826 (see charts below).

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

    IOM Regional Displacement Tracking Matrix researcher Ivona Zakoska reported Thursday that data collected from the Western Balkans indicate a quadrupling of registered irregular entries in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro in the second quarter of 2018 when compared to the same period in 2017.  

    Since the start of the year, authorities in these three countries reported almost 11,000 new migrants entering these respective countries irregularly. The majority of the arrivals – some 70 per cent (a total of 7,548) – were registered by authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Pakistan is the most common country of origin reported in Bosnia and Herzegovina this year, followed by irregular migrants who reported Syrian nationality, with Afghan and Iranian nationals the other large groups. Besides those  from Pakistan, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, some 28 per cent of all individuals registered among these irregular migrants belong to more than 40 different nationality groups.

    Authorities in Montenegro registered a total of 2,000 irregular migrants, more than a ten-fold increase compared to 187 registered at the end of the second quarter of 2017, and 2.5 times more than the yearly total of 807 reported for the whole of 2017. Almost half of all irregular migrants registered this year were of Syrian origin (44%), followed by those from Pakistan (17%) and Algeria (11%).  Available data for the second quarter of 2017 shows a decrease in presence of migrants from Afghanistan (from 17% in 2017 to 2% in 2018) and Cuba (72 people in 2017; four individuals in 2018).

    In Albania, an estimated 1,233 irregular migrants were registered upon entry to the country between January and June 2018, an eight-fold increase compared to 146 registered in the same period last year and almost double the 752 reported for the whole of 2017. More than half of the registered population were of Syrian origin (57%), followed by those from Pakistan (10%) and Iraq (8%). A similar composition of nationalities was registered in the same period last year, with the exception of an increase in the number of Iraqis (2% in 2017 and 8% in 2018) and a decrease in the number of migrants from Afghanistan (18% in 2017 versus 3% in 2018).

    Further on, between March and June DTM field colleagues reported the apprehension of 590 irregular migrants who were trying to exit the country towards Montenegro – mainly Syrian (43%) and Pakistani (30%) nationals.

    In addition to an increase in movements through the Western Balkans, Croatian and Slovenian police reported more than 15 incidents leading to arrest of 15 individuals suspected of smuggling migrants inside the territories of the respective countries. More information is available here.

    Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 2,125 people who died or went missing while migrating in 2018 (see chart below).
    In Southeast Asia, nine people died – including two women – and 12 have gone missing in the waters between Indonesia and Malaysia on 1 July. Twenty-five Indonesian nationals were rescued after the boat in which they were traveling from the Indonesian island of Batam to Tanjung Penawar in Malaysia’s state of Johor capsized. According to survivors’ testimonies, there were 44 people on board. The remains of nine migrants were recovered during a three-day search-and-rescue effort which is still ongoing. Tragically, the 10 people who remain missing are presumed dead.
    Additionally, the Missing Migrants Project team recorded another death on the US/Mexico border, where the remains of a Honduran migrant were recovered from the Río Bravo near Piedras Negras, Coahuila on 3 July.
    Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrant deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

    Download the Latest Mediterranean Update infographic here.
    For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit:
    Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:

    For more information, please contact:
    Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
    Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
    Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email:
    Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
    Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: +43 1 5812222, Email:
    Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
    Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:
    Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:
    Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email:




Language English Posted: Friday, July 6, 2018 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency in Chad Appeals for Funding to Assist Stranded Migrants

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 10:26

N’Djamena – Last Sunday (01/07), 20 Sub-Saharan migrants, including eight potential victims of trafficking, were reportedly stranded in Faya, in Northern Chad. The town of Faya is located on one of the main migration routes in Northern Chad, where the Chadian authorities have repeatedly identified and referred victims of trafficking (VoTs) to IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

IOM in Chad is actively working with the government to bring these vulnerable migrants to N’Djamena for screening and assistance, but resources are needed to ensure that the appropriate medical, psycho-social and voluntary return assistance is provided.

“We know of 395 migrants throughout the three northernmost regions between Niger and Sudan bordering Libya, and of over hundred migrants stranded in N’Djamena, 45 of whom have been counselled and are ready to return to their countries of origin, financial support permitting,” said Anne Kathrin Schaefer, IOM Chief of Mission in Chad. “Migrants are also stranded in and around the Lake Chad area, after they fled the Boko Haram violence from Nigeria. They are now blocked in IDP sites in the lake region. While IOM Chad is ready to support them, our means and resources are extremely limited and we cannot cope with the increasing demands for humanitarian assistance.”

IOM is appealing for at least USD 2.1 million to meet the urgent needs of the migrants stranded and transiting through Chad over the next 24 months. This funding will be directed towards: 

  • Search and Rescue operations in Chad’s northern regions which border Niger and Libya, and where traffickers and smugglers are increasingly moving away from the known migration routes to avoid security controls, thereby exposing migrants to life-threatening conditions;
  • Assisted Voluntary Return of stranded migrants in Chad, including land and air transport to countries of origin;
  • Setting up a migrant reception centre in Faya and a transit centre in N’Djamena where medical, psychosocial, food, shade and water assistance can be provided to migrants;
  • An information campaign on the risks and dangers of irregular migration and human trafficking.


The flow of migrants through Chad has increased the pressure on local actors and international agencies like IOM, which do not have the adequate means to efficiently manage migration flows towards North Africa and provide much needed humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people along migration routes.

Angèle’s Story
I just want to go home. My mother passed away while I was away and since then, I have not heard back from my family,” said Angèle*, one of the 20 migrants stranded in Faya who were referred to IOM for assistance. Angèle left Cameroon in 2013 with her husband and her two-year-old son. They travelled through Nigeria and Niger to finally reach Libya from where they hoped to cross the Mediterranean and enter Italy for a chance at a better life. In Tripoli, Angèle’s husband worked as a builder to make some money for their crossing. When he had saved enough for his journey, he left for Italy, promising to come back for Angèle and their son. She waited for two years without news. Hopeless, she contacted a fellow Cameroonian in Kufra who helped her get on a bus to Chad. “We drove through the desert for five days before reaching Faya. I sold all my expensive things to survive.” Eventually, she found acquaintances who helped her get to N’Djamena. Today, she and her seven-year-old son are hoping to receive voluntary return assistance from IOM. 

Armand’s Story
Armand* left Cameroon in 2016 hoping to get to Libya and to cross to Italy. “On my first day in Libya, they put me in jail. They asked me to pay 450 000 CFA (USD 800) to be released but I had already paid 185 000 CFA (USD 330) from Cameroon to Niger and 300 000 CFA (USD 530) from Niger to Libya,” said Armand. He tried to cross the Mediterranean twice. “The second time we went on the boat, 72 people died,” Armand added. That’s when he decided to go home. He returned by bus from Libya through the desert until he reached Faya. In Faya, he sought help to return to his native Cameroon from a public transporter, who directed him to IOM. 

With funding from the EU Trust Fund for Africa, three Flow Monitoring Points (FMP) were put in place by IOM teams in Zouarke, Kalait and Faya to monitor the movement of migrants through Chad – an average of 428 movements per day. The Tibesti Region in northern Chad, at the border with Libya, in particular continues to attract sub-Saharan workers due to the presence of gold mines throughout the border triangle area in Niger, Libya and Chad, considered by some people as an opportunity to make some money before continuing their journey to Libya. Victims of trafficking were reported by the local authorities who indicated that some of the people transported by traffickers were forced to work in the mines to fully reimburse transportation and “placement” fees.

Last April, 56 Chadians – including 17 unaccompanied children – were rescued from traffickers by police forces at the Libyan border and assisted by IOM. IOM Chad provided emergency assistance with the financial support of the US Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) but additional funds have to be mobilized to ensure that migrants in Chad are provided with adequate assistance, including psychosocial counselling and voluntary return assistance.

*Names have been changed.

For more information please contact Anne Kathrin Schaefer at IOM Chad, Tel: +235 60281778, Email:, or Michele Bombassei at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Email: Language English Posted: Friday, July 6, 2018 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: ChadDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, EU, Greece Help 2,800 Migrant and Refugee Children Go Back to School in 2018

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 10:25

Athens – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, announced today that almost 2,800 children living in Greece in open-accommodation centres for migrants and refugees attended school in 2018, marking the second year when European Union (EU)-funded transportation services enabled these students to return to class.  

IOM – with EU emergency support, together with the participation of the Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs – ensured the safe transportation of students from accommodation centres to nearby schools.

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing praised the outcome of two years of cooperation with the EU and the Government of Greece to give migrant and refugee children a chance to access and continue their education during their time in Greece. DG Swing drew attention to how this programme also has helped to ease children’s integration into Greek society.
“I am pleased to see these children get back into the school system, especially after the hardships and deprivations they have endured,” Director General Swing said, adding, “Gaps in education can be devastating, not only to a child’s development, but also to society in general.” 

“IOM is steadfast in its commitment to supporting the education and the integration of migrant and refugee children in Greece in every way.  Education is priceless in its own right. But less talked about is its power to help the children and their families join in and build links to the local communities,” he concluded. 

EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: “We have a responsibility to act to prevent lost generations and avoid the risk of children growing up without education. The EU is a global leader in bringing children back to school with 8 per cent this year and 10 per cent next year of our humanitarian aid budget dedicated to education. This project is a great example of the fruitful cooperation between the Greek authorities, IOM and the EU. It brought migrant and refugee children back to school. It contributed greatly to the elimination of mental and physical barriers which hamper a child's ability to go back to school.”

According to IOM’s latest figures, 88 school buses with 117 bus escorts carried 2,800 children from 26 accommodation centres to 123 nearby schools daily.  These students also were equipped with school kits – including notebooks, pens, pencils and other necessary supplies.

The vast majority (91%) of migrant and refugee students come from one of three countries: Syria (35%), Iraq (31%) and Afghanistan (25%). These are all places where their education often was severely interrupted, or their schools bombed or destroyed.

About 1,200 students surveyed by IOM found the access and experience overwhelmingly positive.

According to the survey, 92 per cent of the children indicated their satisfaction with transportation, escorting, and safety precautions.  Eighty-nine percent said they appreciated going to school, learning and interacting with other children, which are good indicators for integration into the formal education system.

“The Greek language course is my favourite, and I don’t find it difficult to learn. I have Greek friends at school. When the bell rings and we go outside for a break, we play with the ball in the school yard all together. I like going to school so much! I dream of becoming a doctor when I grow up,” said 10-year-old Younes, from Iraq.
Funded by the European Commission, the project is part of the “Humanitarian and Recovery Support to the Affected Population in Greece” programme.

For more migrants’ stories from Greece, please see:

For more information, please contact Christine Nikolaidou at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 248), Email: or Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordujela at the European Commission, Tel: +32 22 96 53 22, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 6, 2018 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: GreeceDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Provides Five Ambulances to Address Humanitarian Needs in Hudaydah

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 10:12
Language English

Sana’a – IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, provided Yemen’s Ministry of Health with five fully equipped ambulances to be deployed in Hudaydah.

With the intensifying of fighting around Hudaydah city, large scale displacement has taken place in the past four weeks. IOM along with other UN agencies dispatched medical teams, distributed Non-Food Items and shelter kits, as well as food to various locations, and to Migrant Response Points (MRP) servicing stranded migrants.

The intense fighting brought many desperate Yemenis to IOM’s MRP seeking the simplest of needs such as food, water, and medical assistance and a safe exit from Hudaydah.

IOM is also providing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) with psychosocial support. 

According to UN partners, more than 120,000 persons are displaced while 80,000 persons were assisted with food, emergency kits and lifesaving support. Health facilities in Hudaydah governate are closing due to the security situation; others had to suspend operations due to the displacement of many medical staff along with their families and locating to safer areas.

Most stores and shops have closed, leading to scarcity of basic commodities including medical, emergency supplies and ambulances.

Last month, IOM dispatched four medical doctors to three healthcare facilities in Hudaydah and one mobile medical team – consisting of an ambulance and one doctor with three nurses.

The five equipped ambulances arrived on 4 July. Upon receiving requests for aid from the Ministry of Health, IOM was able to quickly procure the vehicles and prepare them for medical operations.

The ambulance hand-overs were supervised by IOM Yemen Officer in Charge, Hazim Torlic, who met Dr. Mohammed Hajar, Director General of Emergency in the Ministry of Health.

“We felt the need to respond to the request of the Ministry of Health and make sure that it can have adequate equipment to help those in needs.” said Hazim Torlic.

Also this week, IOM Yemen Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) and the National Authority for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Response (NAMCHA) entered into a formal cooperation agreement to work towards a systematic approach for assessing and reporting on internally displaced persons, returnees and the presence of migrants.

This agreement opens up data collection coverage countrywide for DTM teams and will contribute to better understanding and regular reporting of the mobility patterns in Yemen, an IOM official said.

For more information, please contact:  IOM Yemen, Saba Malme, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email:

Posted: Friday, July 6, 2018 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: YemenDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

International Experts Meet for Trade and Migration Workshop in Geneva

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 10:11

Geneva — The rapid expansion of a globalized economy supported by a system of rules, processes and institutions seems to be interacting with migration flows in ways that have not been experienced before.

In order to explore the interlinkages between trade and migration, IOM, the UN Migration Agency in collaboration with the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), hosted a brainstorming workshop titled Advancing a Global Agenda on Trade and Migration on Wednesday (04/07) at IOM headquarters in Geneva.

Over 35 international experts from the fields of trade, migration, and economics, as well as representatives of international organisations and relevant actors in the diplomatic community based in Geneva, participated in the interactive brainstorming.

The workshop built on the inaugural Forum on Migration, Trade and the Global Economy, held back to back with the WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina last December.

Opening remarks were delivered by IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson and ICTSD Executive Director Ricardo Melendez-Ortiz.

Ambassador Thompson noted: “We need to do more to understand the linkages between trade and migration — both have been widely recognised in the 2030 Agenda as drivers of development. We need to focus our attention on how migration benefits socio-economic development, through international knowledge transfer, innovation and competitiveness, private sector development and entrepreneurship, to mention just a few.”

Participants examined the multi-faceted economic and development aspects of the trade and migration nexus. They probed key challenges and explored new avenues for coordinated policy actions at national, regional and global levels. Discussions centred around four thematic areas, namely, Trade and Migration: Setting the Scene; Unpacking Linkages between Migration and Trade from the Trade Perspective; Unpacking Linkages between Migration and Trade from the Migration Perspective; and Advancing a Global Agenda on Trade and Migration.

In terms of the way forward, several areas for further research to inform international policy discussions were identified, as were concrete initiatives for potential implementation. The workshop highlighted the need for better data, clearer definitions and conceptual understanding for both the trade and migration spheres. It was also felt that policy makers should interact more with each other, and look at the trade and migration interlinkage in a holistic, multi-stakeholder manner.

‘‘To effectively unpack and act on the nexus between trade and migration, a common conceptual framework, articulated through dialogue between the two epistemic communities, is critical,” said ITCSD Executive Director Melendez-Ortiz. “Furthermore, we need clarity as to: what are the problems the world is seeking solutions for, such that any proposed work to craft policy reform or interventions is specific and meaningful. This includes a clear understanding of the different categories of migrants around which policy will be designed.’’

For more information, please contact IOM HQ: Vanessa Okoth-Obbo, Tel: +41 22 717 93 66, Email:, or Deepali Fernandes, Tel: +41 22 717 95 47, Email:

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

Media+Technology Enables Myanmar Migrants to Access Crucial Information

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 10:11

Yangon - Access to vital information and resources is crucial for Myanmar workers looking for jobs in other cities and countries. And that access is rapidly evolving with the explosion of media and technology in the country.
Speakers at IOM X’s “Media+Tech for Migration” forum in Yangon this week highlighted the role of innovation and how it is reshaping migration throughout the region.
 “The digital landscape in Myanmar has rapidly changed, necessitating the availability of new platforms to effectively communicate with migrants here,” said Tara Dermott, IOM X Programme Leader. “With so many people looking for trustworthy information online or through media via Internet-connected mobile devices, technology-led approaches are being adopted to bridge the resource gap.”

IOM X screened its Make Migration Work video series during the “Media+Tech for Migration” forum. The eight videos, produced with community input over the past nine months, highlight important issues faced by aspiring migrants in Myanmar alongside trusted resources.

These include IOM Myanmar’s Facebook Chat Bot called Miss Migration, which helps process information queries efficiently, and, a website that provides migration tips and official government contacts for migration information.

Since premiering in May of this year, the videos have been viewed over 1.5 million times. Myanmar broadcasters, Democratic Voice of Burma and Mizzima, began regular airings of the videos on television following the forum. These airings are expected to reach millions of people this month.

For further information and to view the Make Migration Work videos, visit (Myanmar language) or To chat with Miss Migration on Facebook, visit

Over 200 people participated in IOM X’s “Media+Tech for Migration” forum, including representatives from the Issara Institute, Myanmar’s ICT4D network and the country’s top media outlets. Myanmar singer Chan Chan performed at the closing.

IOM X is the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s campaign to prevent exploitation and human trafficking in Asia Pacific.

For more information please contact Mia Barrett at IOM X, Email:,Tel: +66847052114

Language English Posted: Friday, July 6, 2018 - 15:10Image: Region-Country: MyanmarDefault: Multimedia: 

Myanmar singer Chan Chan performs at IOM X’s “Media+Tech for Migration” forum in Yangon. Photo: IOM 2018.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Migration Governance Assessment Calls for Better Coordination to Protect Nepali Migrants’ Rights

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 09:50

Kathmandu - A formal inter-ministerial coordination mechanism is needed to address overall migration governance issues in Nepal – stakeholders working in the area of migration agreed at a meeting held this week (4/7) in Kathmandu.

The consultation was organized by Nepal’s Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security with support from IOM – the UN Migration Agency – to validate the findings of a Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) assessment of Nepal.

The assessment looks at areas in which Nepal has a ministerial structure in place and clear mandates to deal with a range of migration management issues. It also examines areas of active engagement with partners to address migration and related issues at national, regional and global levels.

In Nepal the Department of Immigration under the Home Ministry is tasked with monitoring, controlling and regulating entry, exit and stay of immigrants. The Consular Services Department under the Foreign Ministry deals with diaspora-related matters. And the Department of Foreign Employment under the Labour Ministry tracks and maintains data on regular migrants abroad.

The report proposes ways to align and raise standards, increase dialogue and put in place necessary structures. It recommends the development of national programmes to manage labour migration based on international labour market demand, and incentives to attract immigrants with specific skills.

Other recommendations include the development of policies to facilitate the reintegration of returnees and engagement with members of the Nepali diaspora. It calls for more private sector engagement with government on migration-related issues and recommends that Nepal actively participates in regional agreements to promote labour mobility.

“The MGI findings look at best practices in migration governance and where Nepal may be falling short. There is no single solution when it comes to migration governance. But given the challenges and opportunities Nepal faces, I hope that these findings will strengthen migration policy-making and contribute to furthering policy coherence,” said IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Paul Norton.
Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security Joint Secretary Krishna Gnawali noted that the government now requires requests for Nepali workers to be validated by relevant Nepalese embassies in destination countries. The government also now provides legal assistance to Nepali migrant workers in destination countries to ensure migrants’ rights are protected. He added that the government is moving towards decentralizing more services for migrant workers and plans to send more skilled migrants abroad to meet international labour market demand.

The consultation meeting in Kathmandu was attended by representatives of the government, UN agencies, NGOs, media and academics working in the field of migration.

The MGI is a tool based on policy inputs, which looks at the comprehensiveness of national migration policies and offers insights into areas that could be further developed. The initiative is a policy-benchmarking programme, jointly developed by IOM and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which aims to help advance the dialogue on migration governance at national, regional and global levels by outlining what the features of ‘well-governed migration’ are in the context of the implementation of SDG target 10.7. Since its launch in 2016, 39 countries have engaged in the MGI process to assess their migration governance structures and to inform the design and development of their migration policies. The project was launched in Nepal early this year.

For more information please contact Paul I. Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel: +97714426250, Email: Or the Nepal Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security, Tel: +977 1 4211963, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 6, 2018 - 15:00Image: Region-Country: NepalDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants in the Migration Governance Assessment consultation pose outside the meeting in Kathmandu. Photo: IOM 2018.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Two Years After Crisis Erupts, Over 31,500 People Remain Displaced in Wau, South Sudan

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 09:50

Juba – Since conflict broke out in Wau, South Sudan, in June 2016, more than 31,500 people remain displaced from their homes. Together with partners, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) continues to provide support to displaced, host and returnee communities across Wau while extending humanitarian assistance to families affected by recent insecurity in mid-June 2018.

While parts of Wau are gradually seeing communities return, many displaced families remain hesitant to go home permanently, both fearful of insecurity and with little-to-nothing to return to, as many houses have been looted or destroyed during the fighting.
Clashes in June between armed groups in areas south of Wau, including Baggari County and Jur River, prompted additional displacement to Wau, including nearly 2,000 people to collective centres in Hai Masna and Agok. 

Areas of Baggari heavily affected by the fighting are currently inaccessible by humanitarians. Humanitarian partners anticipate that many people likely scattered further into remote areas search of protection. Camp management volunteers in Agok reported that families from Baggari have arrived at the site as recently as 3 July, likely crossing dangerous frontlines between the warring parties to reach Agok.

The fighting in Baggari led to the looting of an IOM mobile primary health care clinic in Farajjalah. Without the clinic, thousands are now unable to access lifesaving primary health care services, which only became available in late December after more than a year of extremely limited humanitarian access in the area.

IOM, as camp management lead in Wau, is supporting coordination of the response to the influx to Hai Masna and Agok. It also distributed soap to 1,170 people and menstrual hygiene kits to 300 women in Agok on 2 July and shelter items, such as blankets and sleeping matts, to 730 people in Hai Masna on 29 June. IOM began building communal shelters on 3 July in Hai Masna for the new arrivals who have been sleeping under trees since arriving.

While responding to the current influx, IOM is also supporting rehabilitation of returnee communities in Jebel Kher in Wau town. Its mobile clinic there is operating from an abandoned and damaged facility, which was once a functioning clinic before the 2016 crisis. IOM is preparing to build a new clinic on neighbouring land, as well as drill a new borehole, and continues to conduct hygiene promotion in nearby communities.

Since opening in March 2018, midwives at the Jebel Kher clinic are seeing an increase in pregnant women visiting for pre-natal care. However, they say that returns in the neighbourhood are slow. Amura, a midwife who returned from the PoC site this March, says “Before the June insecurity, some people were starting to come back, but now many have returned to the PoC site. People are afraid to leave again because of fears of insecurity and looting.”

For more information, please contact Ashley McLaughlin at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 922 405 716, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 6, 2018 - 15:05Image: Region-Country: South SudanDefault: Multimedia: 

Wau: New arrivals shelter under trees and in abandoned buildings in Agok, Wau. IOM/McLaughlin 2018.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Chief Arrives in Libya to Advocate for Migrants’ Rights

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 10:37

BREAKING — Ambassador William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, arrived in Tripoli this morning (04/07) to visit the survivors of the latest migration tragedy off Libya’s shores, and Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj.

Over the weekend more than 200 migrants lost their lives in double tragedies. A boat packed with migrants capsized off Al Khums, east of Tripoli on Sunday (01/07). An estimated 41 people survived after the rescue, but roughly 100 people were reported missing by the Libyan Coast Guard after this shipwreck. On Saturday some 104 lives were lost in another mass drowning, including those of three babies who were being brought to Europe.

“I’ve just returned to Libya after a series of tragedies and the loss of hundreds of migrant lives including several babies,” said Amb. Swing upon arrival. “My message is that all must focus on saving lives and protecting migrant rights.”

This is Amb. Swing’s third visit to Libya in recent months and upon arrival he was due to meet representatives from Prime Minister Sarraj’s government. Tomorrow he will visit migrants held in detention centres - IOM has been advocating for the closure of these centres because of their failure to respect migrants rights. Amb. Swing has also insisted that women and children be separated from the detainees as a minimum first step.

For more information please contact Leonard Doyle, Tel: +41 79 285 71 23, Email:

Language English Posted: Wednesday, July 4, 2018 - 16:33Image: Region-Country: LibyaDefault: Multimedia: 

Director General William Lacy Swing  meets Libya Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Presents Recommendations to Incoming EU Council Presidency, Austria

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 08:30

Brussels – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has put forward three recommendations to the incoming Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union that are based on our view that better migration governance - national, regional and global – benefits the entire migration spectrum: migrants, their home countries and the countries of destination, and requires political courage, evidence-based vision, and a human-centred approach.

Yesterday (02/07) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, presented its migration recommendations to Austria as it took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) on 1 July for a six-month tenure.

IOM is drawing attention to three key areas in its recommendations paper: Africa border and identity management, the EU’s Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF), and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). 

“Austria will be leading the rotating EU Presidency through a critical period in the second half of 2018 when the GCM focus shifts to implementation and the EU agrees its next multi-annual financial framework,” Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM Regional Director for the European Union, Norway and Switzerland, said in Brussels.

“Our recommendations are rooted in IOM’s conviction that better migration governance at all levels – national, regional and global – benefits not only migrants, but also their home countries and the countries of destination, and must be governed with political courage, evidence-based vision, and a human-centred approach,” added Ambrosi.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is meant to address all aspects of migration and will have implications for both the internal and external policies of the EU.

The EU and its Member States should be encouraged to promote a comprehensive approach to migration that would put the rights, needs, capacities and contributions of migrants at its core, with a view to ensuring their safety, dignity and human rights in line with the GCM vision.

The intergovernmental negotiations on the GCM are scheduled to close in July 2018 and the adoption of the Compact is expected to take place at an intergovernmental conference in December 2018. In this interim period between these two milestones, IOM calls on the Austrian EU Presidency to set up a process to prepare for the implementation of the Compact.

Building on the EU’s migration policy commitments to working with partner countries, as well as on its prioritization of Africa as a key region for cooperation on issues around human mobility, IOM recommends that the Austrian Presidency work with African counterparts towards enhancing their border and identity management capacities to benefit African intraregional mobility and to contribute to safe and regular migration to the EU, the latter supported also by EU’s own visa policy reform.

Finally, integration, social cohesion, human rights, humanitarian aid and development cooperation all need sound investment, as successful migration policies are a long-term societal ambition. For these policies to be strategic, results-oriented and long-term, they need to be properly resourced. This year’s consultations for the next EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework offer a unique opportunity for the EU and its Member States to ensure sustainable and ambitious financial commitments to create a Europe that unites and upholds its international commitments.

IOM calls on the Presidency to allocate appropriate resources for a strategic, results-oriented and long-term migration policy.

"IOM stands ready to support the Presidency and EU member states through its global expertise and operational tools to advance our joint commitment to improving global migration governance and ensuring that each and every migrant is assisted, with their fundamental rights upheld," said Ambrosi.

IOM's twice-yearly recommendations to the rotating EU Presidencies are guided by its Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF) which is the first, and so far only global detailed articulation of planned and well-managed migration policies.

The six-month incumbent Presidents of the Council of the EU work together in groups of three in the interest of continuity and coherency. The current Presidential trio comprises Estonia (July/December 2017), Bulgaria (January/June 2018) and Austria (July/December 2018). The presidential representatives chair meetings at every level and propose the guidelines needed for the Council to take decisions.

IOM's recommendations can be downloaded here in PDF.

For more information please contact Melissa Julian at IOM Brussels, Tel: +32 287 7133, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - 14:45Image: Region-Country: AustriaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Photo: Creative Commons

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM to Unveil New Virtual Reality Exhibition about Internal Displacement in Geneva

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 08:30

Geneva – On Friday (06/07), IOM, the UN Migration Agency, will unveil its new exhibition ‘Holding On’ between 13:00 and 14:00 at the Palais des Nations. The exhibition marks the 20th anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (GP20) and features two personal stories from Nigeria. 

’Holding On' exhibition showcases the stories of internally displaced people by asking them to reflect on their most cherished possessions. The items that displaced people carry with them when they have to leave their homes often become physical representations of a world that has since disappeared. For many, they represent a promise of return. A key, a shirt or a photo can now serve both as a symbol of struggle and a beacon of hope. 

Using virtual reality technology, attendees will be able to enter the “makeshift” homes and communities of internally displaced individuals to watch them share their story of displacement and the significance of the possession they are holding on to. 

These stories of people displaced within the borders of their own countries, collected by IOM staff around the world, will serve to raise awareness of the plight of internally displaced persons and celebrate their courage, tenacity and resilience of spirit, while ensuring that their voices are front and centre. 

One example is the story of Hannatu Yusuf, a Nigerian woman who had to leave her home to escape the violence of Boko Haram. When she fled, she couldn’t take much with her and barely had any clothes to wear. Eventually she found a t-shirt that came to represent more in her life than just a simple item of clothing. 

“This t-shirt kept me safe,” said Hannatu. “It’s very valuable to me and I don’t want to lose it. When I pick it up, I remember the difficulties I faced, and tears fall from my eyes. 

Each year millions of men, women, and children are displaced within the borders of their own countries by conflict, violence, disasters, natural hazards and climate stresses. Internally displaced persons are among the world’s most vulnerable people, facing poverty, lost educational opportunities, unemployment, marginalization and insecurity, to name but a few challenges. Generations of internally displaced persons are often the most neglected in many of the world’s crises. 

In 1998, the UN launched the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, which continue to serve as the global standard for States and humanitarian actors for protecting and assisting internally displaced people. Over the last 20 years, the Guiding Principles remain the most important international framework for the protection of internally displaced persons. 

‘Holding On’ will run at the Palais des Nations in Geneva until 19 July. Entry to the exhibition is free of charge. 

For more information, please contact IOM HQ: 

Joel Millman, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: 

Holding on Campaign:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - 14:40Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

’Holding On' exhibition showcases the stories of internally displaced people by asking them to reflect on their most cherished possessions.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN