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Updated: 1 hour 30 min ago

Heavy Flooding Causes Extreme Destruction and Ongoing Displacement in South Sudan

Fri, 12/06/2019 - 08:18

Juba – Nearly one million people have been drastically affected by flash floods following unprecedented rainfall in South Sudan.  Thousands have been displaced from their homes and seen their livelihoods destroyed; many towns are completely submerged. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and partners are ramping up their humanitarian response to affected communities in counties declared to be in a “state of emergency” by the Government of South Sudan.   

“The level of destruction caused by the floods is unfathomable. People have nowhere to sleep, children are  sick, there is no food to eat,” said IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission, Jean-Philippe Chauzy. 

Many people in affected areas are unable to access to health care facilities, nutrition centres and other basic services. While impassible roads and waterlogged airstrips have put some interventions on hold, IOM has made significant progress to provide lifesaving assistance. 

“IOM stands with the Government of South Sudan and its people during these trying times,” said Chauzy. “We have rolled up our sleeves and we will continue to do everything we can to help alleviate the misery caused by these floods.” 

In Unity region’s Mankien and Bentiu towns, IOM Shelter and Non-Food Item (S/NFI) teams distributed emergency items – such blankets, mosquito nets and plastic sheeting for temporary shelters – to 3,000 households. The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) team also distributed aqua tabs and filter cloths used to treat the water consumed by 3,000 households.  

 Another 6,000 households received similar relief items in Jonglei region’s Ulang and Gumruk towns.  

Through the Rapid Response Fund, an additional 140,000 people have received water treatment and emergency items, as well as emergency mobile health services, from local organizations supported by IOM. 

 In parallel to the delivery of relief assistance, IOM is helping mitigate the potential abuse of at-risk groups.   

“We cannot forget that in crises, vulnerable populations, especially women and children, are more likely to face gender-based-violence and other kinds of abuse,” said Chauzy. 

“Protection and safeguarding are at the cornerstone of all of our activities and it is important that as we provide immediate emergency relief we also tackle protection issues,” he continued. 

 Even when the rains stop, the need for continued assistance will remain. Inevitable outbreaks of waterborne diseases, destruction of homes and lost livelihoods will require sustained support so that families can live in dignity as they rebuild.   

IOM flood response in South Sudan is supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).  

For more information, please contact: Liatile Putsoa at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211912380104, Email: or Loyce Nabie at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211912380115, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM responds to communities affected by the floods in hard-hit Ulang in Jonglei region of South Sudan. IOM /Olam Amum 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches Return and Reintegration Platform

Fri, 12/06/2019 - 08:17

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) with support from the European Union, today (06/12) launched the Return and Reintegration Platform, a global tool that aims at disseminating knowledge and good practices in the field of migrant return and reintegration. 

The platform is intended to share knowledge, expertise and lessons learnt among practitioners in host, transit and origin countries. Through this unique community of practice, users will be able to take part in online discussions with peers through thematic groups, attend online courses and webinars, share resources and publications and showcase flagship initiatives.

The platform will also act as a depository of knowledge, gathering relevant publications and resources on return and reintegration in one place.  

“Strengthening information sharing and disseminating knowledge and lessons learnt is key to promoting multi-stakeholder cooperation towards dignified return and sustainable reintegration,” explained Renate Held, Director of Migration Management Department at IOM.  

“The Return and Reintegration Platform contributes to this objective by fostering continuous learning, encouraging evidence-based programming, and reinforcing cross-regional cooperation among key stakeholders.” 

The platform has been developed by the Knowledge Management Hub, established by IOM in late 2017 and funded by the European Union under its Pilot Action for Voluntary Return and Sustainable, Community-Based Reintegration. The Knowledge Management Hub aims at assisting the implementation of the EU-IOM Actions in support of migrant protection and reintegration. These knowledge management activities are further supported by workshops and a small-scale research fund to respond to knowledge gaps in the field of return and reintegration.  

The platform is accessible here.  

For more information please contact Nazanine Nozarian, Knowledge Management and Data Officer, at Tel: +41 22 717 93 14, Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 - 15:04Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

A father and son reunion in Oromia, Ethiopia. Photo: IOM

Sali, returned to Ethiopia with IOM’s support, happily embraces his aunt. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Responds as Deep Winter Compounds Hardship of Conflict-Affected in Ukraine

Fri, 12/06/2019 - 05:45

Kramatorsk – Temperatures have started plummeting in eastern Ukraine, once again imperiling hundreds of thousands of forgotten people affected by the conflict largely forgotten by the world.  

In government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, in settlements close to the contact line separating two conflicting sides, 70,000 people are effectively marooned. Over 40 per cent of them are elderly, and 13 per cent of the families residing in these areas have a member with a disability.   

Take 82-year-old Vira Semenivna. She, her son Ivan and great-grandson Yaroslav live in a village 70 kilometres from Donetsk. Yaroslav’s parents left the village in search for employment, and now the boy gives purpose to both Vira and Ivan.  

“It is good to see that elderly people are not completely abandoned,” said Ivan as IOM delivered coal to heat their house.    

This winter IOM is striving to provide humanitarian assistance to over 40,000 vulnerable conflict-affected people like Vira and her family, on both sides of the contact line.  

Over 12,000 people in the non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions will get enough coal to keep their homes heated to a tolerable 18 °C when it is minus 20 °C outside. On the open market, that would cost them USD 119, way beyond the reach of most vulnerable households, whose monthly income is a maximum of USD 77. 

Another 6,000 people in non-government-controlled areas will receive winter kits that include warm blankets, bed linen, pillows and towels. One thousand households in the remote areas without access to gas will get electric heaters. 

IOM will also conduct rehabilitation works at over 30 centres for the elderly, people with disabilities, hospitals and other institutions in the non-government-controlled areas to improve insulation, roofing and heating, sanitation and water supply systems.  

Two thousand people with disabilities, the elderly, single parents and families with three and more children close to the contact line in government-controlled areas will be given cash assistance equivalent to USD 40 per month for three months. This will allow them to buy winter clothing, footwear, hygiene items, medicine and food, or pay for heating and utilities.  

“IOM is a first-line provider of support to those most deeply affected by the crisis both sides of the contact line,” said Anh Nguyen, Chief of Mission at IOM Ukraine. 

Since the outbreak of the conflict in 2014, we have provided humanitarian aid to over 160,000 people in eastern Ukraine, and we are committed to continue our life-saving operations. The needs are, quite simply, dire,” continued Nguyen. 

IOM’s interventions are funded by the EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, the U.S. Department of State Bureau on Population, Refugees, and Migration, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and by the UN Central Emergency Response Fund.   

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

Language English Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 - 12:18Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: IOMMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Elderly resident of Ukraine’s Eastern Conflict Area about to receive coal from IOM. Photo: IOM/Polina Perfilieva 

Opytne settlement at the contact line, where only several dozen residents remain. They have been living without electricity for over five years. Photo: IOM/Volodymyr Shuvayev 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

At Least 58 Migrants Dead after Boat Capsizes Near Coast of Mauritania

Thu, 12/05/2019 - 02:21

Nouadhibou –  At least 58 people are confirmed dead after a vessel carrying migrants sank as it approached the coast of Mauritania today.

Eighty-three others swam to shore and are receiving assistance from Mauritanian authorities, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR.

Survivors told IOM staff in Nouadhibou, the second largest city in northern Mauritania, that at least 150 people including women and children were aboard the vessel, which they said began its journey last Wednesday (27/11) in The Gambia.

They said the vessel was running low on fuel when it approached the northwest African nation.

“The Mauritanian authorities are very efficiently coordinating the response with the agencies currently present in Nouadhibou,” said Laura Lungarotti, IOM Chief of Mission in Mauritania.

“Our common priority is to take care of all those who survived and bring them the support they need.”

The injured have been transferred to the city hospital; IOM is deploying a medical doctor to support the local response. The Mauritanian authorities are coordinating with the Gambian consular services to ensure that the necessary support is provided to the migrants while in Nouadhibou and the Gambian Ambassador will travel to the city.

For more information, please contact Laura Lungarotti at IOM Mauritania: Tel: +222 42 42 00 43, Email: 

Language English Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 - 09:17Image: Region-Country: MauritaniaThemes: Missing Migrantsmigrants in vulnerable situationsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Reforestation, Solar Power, LPG Distribution Anchor IOM’s Green Actions in Humanitarian Response

Tue, 12/03/2019 - 13:07

COX’S BAZAR: IOM welcomes the 25th Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Spain and highlights our increasing efforts in Bangladesh to promote green energy in Rohingya refugee camps and the Bangladeshi host community. Since the refugee crisis erupted in August 2017, IOM has launched ambitious environmentally sustainable actions in its humanitarian portfolio, actions that both improve services to beneficiaries and reduce its carbon footprint.  

These include: 

  • A comprehensive programme to limit heavy deforestation by distributing Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) to Rohingya refugees and the Bangladeshi host community. Launched in 2018, this has seen 111,542 canisters given to families. LPG eliminates the need for wood burning and has set the stage for a reforestation effort. This initiative also improves indoor air quality in shelters, protecting the health of women and girls and other family members from smoke-induced illnesses.  
  • A reforestation drive has already planted 775,000 trees on 778 hectares (the equivalent of 1,089 football pitches), in and around the refugee camps. In addition to absorbing carbon dioxide – trees reduce landslide risk by increasing soil retention.   
  • 1,889 solar lamps have been distributed to households and placed in public areas in and around the Rohingya refugee camps. In addition to increasing protection and safety, residents are less reliant on wood fires or oil lamps.  
  • IOM is installing solar electricity systems and battery storage at most of its 23 local health clinics to provide clean, reliable electricity. We aim to increase this green electrification effort in other facilities. 
  • The humanitarian world’s largest solar-powered well system was launched this year, bringing over 20,000 litres of clean water to beneficiaries daily, supplied by a 60 KVa solar park. 

IOM’s tree-planting initiative could lead up to 37 million pounds of C02 emissions reduction since 2018.  

Deputy Chief of Mission Manuel Pereira said that the efforts have both local and global significance: “Bangladesh is a climate vulnerable country and one that is on the forefront of migration. We urge other partners, donors and governments to stand with us on this fight. The lessons learned from our host community and government support projects are significant to other parts of Bangladesh and to its objectives for the 2030 Agenda and SDGs.” 

For more information, please contact George McLeod at IOM Bangladesh at Tel: + 880 1870 71 8078, Email: 


Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 12:52Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Women Migrants in Niger Use Slam Poetry to Voice Their Experiences

Tue, 12/03/2019 - 12:50

Niamey – “This training has been both a challenge and a relief,” said Adaora, a Nigerian woman staying at IOM’s transit centre in Niamey. “It’s inspiring to see women who have been through worse things than I have, opening up and talking about their experiences. Abuse makes you feel very alone, but if we speak up, we can join forces and make a difference.” 

Adaora is one of the 40 women who participated in a 100 per cent female slam poetry workshop organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the local collective Plumes du Sahel to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25/11).  

“We know that women have important things to say about society and the way society sees them, but we also know that women's voices are often silenced,” explained Isaac Oumarou Manan, president of Plumes du Sahel.  

“By initiating women in the art of slam, we are campaigning for their empowerment through freedom of expression.” 

This 10-day workshop called upon 30 young female artists from two high schools in Niamey – Lycée Mariama and Lycée Korombé and ten women migrants currently staying at IOM transit center to share their thoughts on gender equality, domestic violence and other forms of violence towards women, and to promote women’s rights, through spoken word performances.  

“As women, we don’t often get the chance to get on stage and say what is on our minds,” said Nafissa, one of the youngest participants. “I think I have a lot to say and expressing my feelings through slam poetry has taken away much of the fear I had of public speaking and opening up.” 

Like Adaora, many of the women migrants embarking on this migration journey experience various forms of gender-based violence and abuse during their trip, such as rape, most often at the hands of traffickers and smugglers. In 2019 alone, IOM’s mission in Niger assisted 85 victims of trafficking, who were tricked into leaving their countries of origin with false promises of better lives abroad.  

“Migrant women are particularly vulnerable to violence and abuse, so it is important for IOM not only to sensitize migrants and the general public on this issue, but to also give these women a platform to speak their minds,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. “The workshop has given this vulnerable group a platform to talk about things they wouldn’t normally share without fear of retaliation.” 

The workshop will conclude with a slam poetry show on December 5 at the Centre Culturel Franco-Nigérien (CCFN) in Niamey when all the participants will perform live in front of an audience.  

The event is organized under IOM’s fourth edition of the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) with support from the European Union, within the framework of the Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism.   

The association Plumes du Sahel is a collective of young slammers and poets created in 2015 by the group ART PLURIEL. Its mission is to promote public speaking in all its forms, in the media and in schools, while actively involving women in the process. 

For more information, please contact Monica Chiriac at IOM Niger at Tel: +227 8931 8764, Email:  


Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 12:42Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

More than 40 women are participating in IOM’s slam poetry workshop this week. Photo: IOM/Daniel Kisito Kouawo 

More than 40 women are participating in IOM’s slam poetry workshop this week. Photo: IOM/Daniel Kisito Kouawo 

More than 40 women are participating in IOM’s slam poetry workshop this week. Photo: IOM/Daniel Kisito Kouawo 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support Project Phase II Launched

Tue, 12/03/2019 - 09:53

Beijing –  IOM in China has officially launched the European Union (EU)-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support Project (MMSP) Phase II – a three-year initiative funded by the EU Partnership Instrument* and implemented by IOM. 
Building on the achievements of its first phase conducted between 2015 and 2018, the second phase of the project is designed to continue to provide support and technical assistance to Chinese and EU partners on matters of mutual interest to the EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility, covering topics including regular migration, irregular migration, migration policy and research.
The launch brought together 43 European and Chinese participants, including representatives of the EU, EU Member States and other Schengen Area Embassies in China, as well as the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), National Immigration Administration (NIA), Ministry of Public Security (MPS), Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Senior officials of the EU Foreign Policy Instruments from Brussels and Bangkok also attended the event.
At the opening, Ambassador Nicolas Chapuis, Head of the EU Delegation to China and Yang Tao of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs made strong commitments to support the new project. They respectively emphasized that MMSP serves as a very good platform to jointly face the challenge of realizing safe, orderly and regular migration and stressed the vital role that migration plays in promoting socio-economic development.
IOM China Chief of Mission Giuseppe Crocetti noted that international migration is a top priority for both China and the European Union, as it touches on a multiplicity of economic, social and security aspects that affect our daily lives in an increasingly interconnected world. MMSP Programme Manager Laura Scoretti provided a brief introduction to its objectives, framework, main focus areas and proposed work plan.
The representatives of China’s NIA, the Office to Combat Trafficking at MPS and MFA stressed their interest and willingness to continue implementing the second phase of project, which is expected to result in stronger cooperation in areas including information sharing, border management and development of capacities to promote regular migration, while curbing irregular flows and jointly combatting trans-border organized crime, in particular human trafficking. They also highlighted that the project will play a significant role in promoting mutual understanding and trust to facilitate mobility between the EU and China.
Nona Deprez, Head of the Partnership Instrument Unit at the European Commission in Brussels, emphasized that expectations for the project are high, as its first phase achieved important results and supported the successful implementation of all chapters of the Roadmap of the EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility.
All stakeholders recognized that the project provides a good platform to facilitate the EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility by enhancing capacity and transfer of knowledge at relevant levels, fostering inter-agency cooperation within Chinese institutions and with European partners, and promoting the use of best international practices and standards, while strengthening the technical cooperation between EU and Chinese stakeholders.
*The EU Partnership Instrument is managed by the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) of the European Commission. It is one of the funding instruments that enable the EU to take part in shaping global change and promote its core values.
For further information please contact Laura  Scoretti at IOM China, Tel. + 86 185 1300 5506, Email:

Language English Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 - 16:47Image: Region-Country: ChinaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support Project, Phase II, Launch event. Beijing, 26 November 2019

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Iraq Launches Countrywide Strategy for Disability Inclusion

Tue, 12/03/2019 - 08:43

Erbil — The International Organization for Migration’s Iraq mission marked International Day of Persons with Disabilities by launching the Organization’s first countrywide disability inclusion strategy to help the government develop programmes that support the needs of migrants with disabilities. 

The two-year strategy will also guide the mission in supporting the Government of Iraq with data collection and policy design that are inclusive of persons with disabilities.  

“This document is an essential supplement to IOM Iraq’s strategic priorities,” said Chief of Mission Gerard Waite.   

“It will guide us as we improve our programming approach to support the Government in addressing the needs of Iraqis, including migrants and internally displaced persons with disabilities.”   

The presence of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) between 2014 and 2017 led to increased levels of violence and economic destabilisation in the country. Persons with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by conflict, violence and economic hardship in Iraq; it is also understood that the rate of disability is expected to rise in a country during and after conflict.   

The Government of Iraq, UN, international NGOs and civil society actors are making efforts towards addressing the multiple and intersecting barriers faced by persons with disabilities. Unfortunately, at a national level these efforts have been hampered by a lack of resources and insufficient institutional capacity, rather than a rights-based model of disability inclusion and mainstreaming.  

The 2019-2021 Disability Inclusion Strategy will work to better include the needs of persons with disabilities across internal policies, projects and programming, and leverage attention and funding to support quality disability inclusion across its work.  

The strategy draws from the accountability framework of the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy (UNDIS) launched in June 2019 — and prioritizes input from IOM Iraq staff and Iraqi persons with disabilities. The UNDIS is a five-year policy, action plan and accountability framework designed to increase accessibility and mainstreaming across the UN. 

IOM Iraq’s Disability Inclusion Strategy is available here

For more information please contact IOM Iraq’s Public Information Unit, Tel: +964 751 402 2811, Email: 


Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Iraq has launched a countrywide strategy to support the Government in addressing the needs of migrants and IDPs with disabilities. Photo: IOM/Anjam Rasool 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Powerful New Exhibition Launches Results of Artisanal Gold Mining Research in West Africa

Tue, 12/03/2019 - 08:42

Dakar – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for West and Central Africa, today unveils a powerful exhibition, Pour Tout l’Or du Monde (‘For All the Gold in the World’), documenting the plight of artisanal gold miners in West Africa. 

The exhibition, which showcases the harsh living and working conditions for gold miners along the so-called gold-belt in Senegal, Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso, coincides with the unveiling of IOM’s research on migration dynamics and profiles around artisanal gold mining sites in the region. 

Pour Tout l’Or du Monde includes testimonials and photographs collected by IOM, drawing attention to the vulnerability and protection needs of all those impacted by gold mining including female sex workers and unaccompanied minors working at the sites.  

Earlier this year, a young man named Famoro Sidibé died after the pit he was digging in collapsed on top of him. His death was as painful as it was inevitable, his friends say.  

“It doesn’t surprise us when we see what state the pits are in,” says Idrissa Traoré, a pit leading hand, as he watches young men dig without helmets or regular access to water. “We are scared of dying here.” 

Using Kintsukuroi, the traditional Japanese art of mending broken pottery using resin laced with gold or silver, as the guideline for the exhibition, attendees will be able to see the strength, resilience and incredible courage of all those who are broken and destroyed by this dangerous activity. 

Experts attending the event will present the key findings of the research conducted by IOM this year in the four target countries and will discuss the main recommendations to improve the living conditions in the sites including: develop accessible health facilities, including drinking water supply and the establishment of a toxic waste treatment system; support the government in developing awareness programmes on minors’ school drop-out and dangers of artisanal gold mining among minors and their families; and raise awareness among migrant gold miners on the dangers associated with gold mining and the need to use protective equipment. 

Two panels will also discuss other research topics including the feminization of migration in Côte d’Ivoire and the re-opening of the Western Mediterranean route from Senegal. 

The exhibition launch will be held between 15:00 and 18:00 GMT at the Ancien Palais de Justice in Dakar, Senegal.  

Find the exhibition guides here in French and English. Watch here the live painting performance of Senegalese artist Boubou Design at 16:00 GMT.  

For more on the plight of artisanal gold miners in West Africa, read this

The United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) funded the research in Guinea and Senegal as part of the Africa Regional Migration Programme and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) funded research in Mali and Burkina Faso as part of the Safety, Support and Solutions across the Central Mediterranean Route programme. 

For more information, please contact Florence Kim at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa: Tel: +221 78 620 62 13; Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: SenegalThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

One of the portraits at IOM’s exhibition, Pour Tout l’Or du Monde (“For All the Gold in the World”) in Dakar. Photo: IOM 

“To survive, we manage. You can dig a year and find nothing, while your opposite neighbour can dig 5 metres deep and become a millionaire.” Success on the sites is first and foremost a matter of luck. Centre-East region, Burkina Faso 2019. Photo: IOM/Alexander Bee 

“To search for gold, you need no training. All you need is equipment, courage, and patience to get started.” Metal detectors, jackhammers, ropes, picks, shovels, compressors are enough to start operations. Mandiana, Guinea 2019. Photo: IOM/Aïssata Fofana 

Being a gold miner and a mother is not always easy. There are no childcare services on the sites. In addition to the equipment, women bring their children to the work place. Mandiana, Guinea 2019. Photo: IOM/Aïssata Fofana 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

East Europeans Easy Prey for Traffickers Despite High Level of Knowledge: IOM Survey

Tue, 12/03/2019 - 08:42

Kyiv – High levels of knowledge about human trafficking do not translate into lower vulnerability, a new IOM survey* in Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine has revealed.   

The survey was presented in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv yesterday, (02/12), the International Day for Abolition of Slavery. It revealed that while 86 per cent of Ukrainians are aware of human trafficking, 13 per cent would cross the border irregularly, work without official employment status, in exploitive conditions without freedom of movement, or hand over their passport to an employer.  

The figures were 81 per cent and 24 per cent in Georgia, 85 and 11 per cent in Belarus, and 75 and 17 per cent in Moldova. Men are identified as most vulnerable to trafficking in Belarus, Ukraine and Georgia, while in Moldova the risks of falling prey to traffickers are equal for both sexes.  

“IOM is the leading provider of assistance to vulnerable migrants and victims of trafficking in the region, with more than 16,000 trafficking survivors assisted since 2000 in Ukraine,” said Anh Nguyen, Chief of Mission at IOM Ukraine.  

“The latest survey findings about high levels of irregular employment among migrant workers from Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Georgia, as well as our empirical knowledge that Ukrainians prefer to look for jobs abroad through informal channels, show the high need for intensified trafficking prevention affords in the region,” he added.  

Over one million Ukrainians now work abroad, representing nine per cent of households. In Moldova the figure is 542,000: 41 per cent of people report an extended family member is working abroad. The level of irregular employment was the highest among Ukrainian external labour migrants (30%), and the lowest among the migrant workers from Moldova (19%). Among migrant workers from Belarus and Georgia, 28 and 23 per cent worked without regularizing their status.  

The survey also assessed the number of people from the four countries who suffered from trafficking over the last three years: 49,000 people in Ukraine, 23,000 in Moldova, 11,000 in Belarus and 2,000 in Georgia.  

Germany and Poland are the most attractive destination countries for labour migration for Ukrainians and Belarusians. Most surveyed Moldovans would prefer to work in Germany and Italy. Among the Georgians interested in labour migration, top destination countries are Poland and the United States.  

*The study was conducted based on nationwide representative surveys using personal home interviews in June–August 2019. Some 2,000 people were surveyed in Ukraine, 1,041 in Belarus, 1,106 in Moldova and 1,001 in Georgia.  

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 15:11Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Anti-Trafficking art installation in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Photo: IOM 

Cover of new IOM Ukraine survey of trafficking. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Women and Young People Crucial to Successful Migration

Fri, 11/29/2019 - 09:18

Tashkent – There are two keys to the success of global migration: youth and women. That was the crux of a keynote speech delivered by Argentina Szabados, Director of IOM’s Vienna Regional Office, at a high-level conference in the Uzbek capital Tashkent yesterday (28 November). 

“Migrants are overwhelmingly young, chasing their dreams, determined to make a difference,” Ms Szabados told an audience of politicians, diplomats and activists at the Tashkent International Forum on Enhancement of Partnership on Gender and Youth Issues in the 21st Century. 

“And migrants are not only young; more and more they are women,” she added, citing the fact that over half of migrants from the Central Asian region are female. 

Underpinning action on migration is the 2018 Global Compact for Migration which Ms Szabados said will allow for a “gender responsive, child-sensitive perspective” as part of the key principles needed for managing migration.  

Ms Szabados listed the challenges facing young people and women during the migration cycle, including the challenges of finding work, administrative bottlenecks, lack of legal information on their opportunities, rights, as well as marginalization and discrimination on account of their age, gender and migration status. 

“But it’s far from all doom and gloom”, she stressed. “Youth are rising up worldwide for their rights and better opportunities and demanding a seat at the table in decision-making processes, and IOM supports them in every step as they become the next generation of leaders.” 

The addition of Uzbekistan to the IOM family last year was a highly welcome development, Ms Szabados told her hosts. “You are already a fond family member and your ambition to empower migrants is already keenly felt. “Where we gather today is just one of the spaces where this participation is being ensured, and where women and youth can voice their vision for the remainder of the twenty-first century”, Ms Szabados concluded.   

These sentiments were echoed in the address of Tanzila Narbaeva, Chairperson of the Oliy Majlis Senate of the Republic of  Uzbekistan. "Youth and women are an important part of our society. Their power, including their migratory routes are influencing policies, and their voices should be acknowledged and promoted", she said. 

For further information please contact Joe Lowry at Tel: +43660 3776404, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, November 29, 2019 - 16:14Image: Region-Country: UzbekistanThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Regional Director Argentina Szabados interviewed by local and regional media at the Tashkent International Forum on Enhancement of Partnership on Gender and Youth Issues in the 21st Century yesterday. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

After ISIL, Agricultural Production Struggles to Recover in Parts of Iraq

Fri, 11/29/2019 - 07:06

Erbil — The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) occupied large swathes of Iraqi territory between 2014 and 2017. The consequences of this occupation are still being felt in many rural areas where agricultural production was used as both a source of political propaganda and income, or destroyed as the group was forced out, a new IOM report says. 

It is estimated that the group’s brutal three-year occupation reduced Iraq’s agricultural capacity by 40 per cent. 

“It is necessary to prioritize the recovery and development of rural areas as part of our reconstruction and stabilization efforts,” said Siobhan Simojoki, Head of IOM Iraq’s Community Stabilization Unit. 

“Agriculture should be considered as an essential facet of the stabilization process and focus on this area can help balance out longstanding rural-urban economic inequalities.” 

The report, Rural Areas in Ninewa: Legacies of Conflict on Rural Economies and Communities in Sinjar and Ninewa Plains, published on 28 November focuses on agricultural output in Iraq’s third-largest governorate. Ninewa, in north-western Iraq, is also one of the country’s most fertile areas and has historically been the source of much of its grain and produce. 

ISIL benefitted from the 2014 harvest completed in the months before taking over Ninewa; the group then profited from sales of the harvest and rain-fed crops, while forcing workers to continue operating agricultural infrastructure. Finally, as ISIL was being pushed out, fighting, abuse, and revenge destruction caused severe lasting damage to the agricultural sector in the governorate. 

ISIL purposely targeted rural areas for strategic purposes, i.e., access to their own steady food supply and the option to sell off agricultural produce for financial gain, but their overuse and, in some cases, deliberate destruction of agricultural land has had long-term consequences on many rural areas. Almost two years after the military defeat of ISIL in Iraq, livestock are still missing in Ninewa, agricultural lands remain contaminated with explosives, and necessary machinery is lost or destroyed. 

To date, many stabilization and post-crisis development efforts have targeted urban areas. Ninewa’s role in Iraq’s agricultural industry suggests that rebuilding agricultural livelihoods is an essential component to achieving successful stabilization in Iraq.  

The presence of historically marginalized minorities in Ninewa’s rural areas is also of great importance, given the sensitivities of ethno-religious tensions related to land ownership; Ninewa Governorate is one of the most diverse in Iraq in terms of the number and prevalence of minorities. The new also report considers tensions in rural areas that have been worsened or ignited due to land and water policies, and agricultural decline under ISIL.  

The studies conducted for this report were funded by USAID, within the framework of the project Supporting the Return of Displaced Populations in the Ninewa Plains and Western Ninewa. 

For more information please contact IOM Iraq’s Public Information Unit, Tel: +964 751 402 2811, Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, November 29, 2019 - 13:55Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Migration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

It is estimated that agricultural capacity in Iraq was reduced by 40 per cent because of the ISIL crisis. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Flies Bangladeshi Migrants Home from Libya 

Fri, 11/29/2019 - 07:03

Dhaka – More than 150 Bangladeshi migrants including conflict wounded, survivors of failed sea crossings to Europe and former detainees returned home from Libya Thursday morning with the assistance of the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme.

The flight with 152 men aboard left Misrata on Wednesday bound for Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport where they were met by IOM Bangladesh staff. The Organization worked closely with the Government of Bangladesh and the Libyan authorities to facilitate their safe return.

Mohammed Akmal, 38, who suffered shrapnel wounds during an airstrike on the factory where he worked earlier this month, told IOM staff that he wanted to thank his former employer for paying his hospital bills and IOM for getting him home.

“When I woke up in the hospital, I could not believe I was still alive. I could only think about my wife and children in Bangladesh,” he said.

The IOM team in Dhaka provided food, health screenings, psychosocial support, information and cash assistance for onward travel from the airport.

Supported by the European Union Trust Fund, returnees will also receive reintegration assistance to help them restart their lives. Since 2015, over 1,400 Bangladeshi migrants have returned home through the VHR programme.

Mohammed Rahman, a former student who quit his studies in Bangladesh to find work in Libya, said friends persuaded him to try and reach Europe. After surviving freezing temperatures and the terrors of the open sea, their vessel was returned to Libya by the coast guard where he and others were sent to a detention centre.

“I had no money, so I decided to return home,” he said. “I am happy that I am still alive and excited to return. I will complete my studies, graduate within a year and then start working.”

IOM Bangladesh Chief of Mission Giorgi Gigauri described voluntary humanitarian return and reintegration as “one of the most important services provided globally by IOM” adding that the stories told by the two men were not exceptional.

“These migrants found themselves in perilous conditions in Libya and desperate to get back home. We supported their return, ensuring their safety and dignity. We will also extend our support to help them achieve sustainable reintegration.”

For further information please contact Md. Sariful Islam at IOM Bangladesh, Tel. +880.1915631608, Email:


Language English Posted: Friday, November 29, 2019 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationEUTFDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM in close coordination with the Government of Bangladesh has organized the voluntary return home of 152 Bangladeshi migrants from Libya. Photo: IOM 

IOM in close coordination with the Government of Bangladesh has organized the voluntary return home of 152 Bangladeshi migrants from Libya. Photo: IOM 

IOM in close coordination with the Government of Bangladesh has organized the voluntary return home of 152 Bangladeshi migrants from Libya. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Ecuador, IOM, EU Pilot Scheme to Improve Sustainable Development through Migration

Fri, 11/29/2019 - 07:00

Quito – Ecuador has a rich migration experience as a country of origin, destination and transit for migrants in the Americas and other regions. It is recognized as a global pioneer in adopting a human rights-based approach to human mobility owing to its recognition of the importance of including migration and migrants into efforts to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.   

This week the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the European Union (EU) launched a pilot initiative with Ecuadorian partners to capitalize on the momentum behind the country’s efforts to work migration into development policies, plans and programmes with a special focus on employment and urban development.   

Ecuadorian Vice Minister for Human Mobility, Ambassador Carlos Velástegui, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility said that one of the main reasons to include migration considerations in government policy is to generate employment opportunities.  

“This is fundamental to achieving success in integrating migrant groups,” he said in Quito this week at an IOM and EU-organized workshop that officially launched the project in Ecuador.  

The pilot aims to test the practical guidelines and training materials developed to better integrate migration into key development sectors. A programme of assessments, trainings, technical assistance and exchanges of practice with development partners will also be carried out.   

EU Ambassador to Ecuador, Marianne Van Steen, stressed the importance of the programme’s focus on inclusiveness, linking migrants and the larger community in a dynamic of mutually beneficial development.  

“The integration of migration into development programmes not only supports migrants but also improves cooperation interventions for inclusive development,” she said.  

“These dynamics are important to consider because the relationship between migration and sustainable development is a two-way street,” says IOM Chief of Mission in Ecuador, José Iván Dávalos. “Mainstreaming migration can improve sustainable development outcomes when opportunities are capitalized on, challenges are addressed or mitigated, and the rights of migrants and their families are protected,” he continued. 

The pilot is part of a larger EU-supported IOM programme called Mainstreaming Migration into Cooperation and Development (MMICD) project to integrate migration into and across key development sector plans, programmes, and policies in a bid to improve policy coherence and achieve effective, more sustainable development results.   

Language English Posted: Friday, November 29, 2019 - 13:45Image: Region-Country: EcuadorThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

MMICD pilot workshop in Quito, Ecuador on November 26 and November 27, 2019. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mobile Cinema Initiative Starts Tour in West Africa

Fri, 11/29/2019 - 07:00

Dakar – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) this week launched its mobile cinema caravan CinemArena which will tour across West Africa for five months highlighting the risks of irregular migration. 

The caravan started its regional tour in Tambacounda, Southern Senegal, one of the main source regions for irregular migration. It aims to inform Senegalese youth about the risks of irregular migration by bringing outdoor cinema events to more than 25 villages, reaching at least 8,000 people through 22 December. 

The activities include screenings of awareness-raising films on irregular migration, followed by workshops, Q&A sessions, theatre performances and other activities. 

“Returned migrants, local partners and artists have been working closely with IOM for a month to bring people together around cinema,” said Laurence Hart, Director of the IOM coordination office for the Mediterranean. 

“Some of the migrants who arrived in Italy told us they left without being fully aware of the difficulties of the journey and the violence they would be subjected to.” 

While Senegal is a key transit country for many West Africans traveling to Europe, it is also a sending country. In the past years, almost 20,000 Senegalese migrants reached Italy by sea (over 10,000 in 2016 and 6,000 in 2017) in search of better economic opportunities. 

In 2018, the route from West Africa to Spain became the most frequently used route into Europe: Senegal was ranked fifth in the total number of West African arrivals after Guinea, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and The Gambia. 

“I saved 500,000 FCFA (USD 1,000) to leave but after tonight, I’m so scared that I am going to tell everyone in my family what is happening outside of Senegal,” said Khady, after the debate organized the first evening. 

Getting clear, reliable information out to remote areas is a challenge, said Mia Barrett, Head of IOM’s Awareness Raising Unit at IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa. 

“Some of the key migration-prone areas in West Africa are so remote that information on the risks of irregular migration don’t reach those that need it most,” Barrett said. 

“Through movies, people can emotionally connect to the experiences of others – whether it be happiness or sadness. Community screenings are an effective way to bring important messages to rural areas.” 

After its stops in Senegal, CinemArena will travel onwards across Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea. 

The campaign is creating synergies with IOM’s Global Migration Film Festival and with other grassroots awareness-raising initiatives implemented in West Africa. Last year, the caravan visited five countries, reaching over 75,000 participants during 135 events. 

This caravan is organized in the framework of the CinemArena project – the mobile cinema initiative launched in 2002 by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and funded by the MAECI’s Africa Fund. It is implemented in partnership with Italy’s Ministry of Interior and IOM. 

For more information, please contact Florence Kim at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +221 786206213, Email:; or Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996,  Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, November 29, 2019 - 13:37Image: Region-Country: SenegalThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the CinemArena participants in 2018. IOM/Laura Di Castro 

Some of the CinemArena participants in 2018. IOM/Laura Di Castro 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Samsung Electronics, IOM Expand Efforts to Eradicate Forced Labour

Thu, 11/28/2019 - 04:00

Budapest – Samsung Electronics and IOM have hosted a workshop for Samsung’s Hungarian business partners on “Modern Slavery and Ethical Recruitment.” Samsung is the world's largest manufacturer of consumer electronics and semiconductors by revenue.

The workshop, on 26th November 2019, was attended by 35 participants from Samsung Hungary, local suppliers and other business partners, and was designed to raise awareness of how to reduce the business risks associated with modern slavery.

Globally, around 40 million people are the victims of modern slavery. According to IOM, Walk Free Foundation and the International Labour Organization (ILO), of these an estimated 25 million are victims of forced labor - often hidden in plain sight, yet working across all kinds of industries and geographies.

In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which have the highest rates of modern slavery, there are an estimated 3.6 million victims. Some 91 percent are believed to be victims of forced labour.

The Budapest workshop is the second workshop held by Samsung Electronics and IOM as part of an ongoing effort to address modern slavery in the electronics industry. It follows an earlier workshop held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in June 2019.

Both workshops aimed to raise awareness within the company and its business partners of the labour rights of migrant workers in its supply chains. Samsung’s commitment to prevent, identify and mitigate unethical recruitment practices is laid out in its Migrant Worker Guidelines.

The workshop included presentations by Samsung on its Migrant Worker Guidelines and basic workers’ rights, and by IOM on the characteristics, industry specific risks of modern slavery and Hungary’s legal frameworks to prevent forced labour. Business cases for taking action to counter modern slavery and strategies for ethical recruitment were also discussed.

Mitigating the risks of modern slavery in supply chains varies in different contexts. IOM’s global presence allows it to partner with the private sector to promote ethical recruitment for effective human rights management. Samsung Electronics will continue its efforts to tackle modern slavery and promote workers’ rights in its global supply chain with IOM support.

For more information please contact Youlan No at IOM ROK. Email:

Language English Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2019 - 10:57Image: Region-Country: HungaryThemes: Private Sector PartnershipsDefault: Multimedia: 

Samsung Electronics staff and partners work with IOM to promote ethical recruitment in Hungary. Photo: IOM

Samsung Electronics and IOM hosted a workshop on Modern Slavery and Ethical Recruitment. Photo: Samsung Electronics

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Focus on Social Cohesion at IOM Co-Hosted Global Municipal Forum in Turkey

Thu, 11/28/2019 - 02:22

Gaziantep – Leaders from four continents gathered in Gaziantep, Turkey, this week (26-27/11) to share local solutions for achieving social and economic inclusion of migrants and refugees.

The Municipal Forum on Local Solutions to Migration and Displacement builds on the principles outlined in the Marrakesh Mayors Declaration and the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) adopted by the UN General Assembly last year.

Turkey’s place as the largest refugee-hosting country in the world for five consecutive years puts it at the centre of the migration debate. The southern city of Gaziantep, a fitting location for the Forum, hosts half a million Syrian refugees and has been recognized as a model city for its success at actively integrating refugees and migrants.

The Forum was opened by Fuat Oktay, Vice President of the Republic of Turkey, and Fatma Sahin, Mayor of Gaziantep. They emphasized Turkey’s commitment to refugees, with the Vice President noting “we have always walked next to refugees and the international community should walk with us”.

The 300 participants included mayors from 25 cities, municipal officials, civil society and NGO leaders, local governance associations and members of the UN community.

IOM, co-host of the Municipal Forum and the largest UN agency in Turkey, has actively supported municipalities across the country to run programmes that enhance social and economic inclusion of migrants.

Jill Helke, IOM’s Director of International Cooperation and Partnerships stressed that mayors “have a key role to play as leaders in their communities, in defending social cohesion, and pushing back against negative narratives around migrants and migration.”

Participants such as Dusanka Golubovi, the Mayor of Sombor, Serbia, and Dr. Rouba Mhaissen, a  Syrian-Lebanese economist and community mobilizer, shared examples of what works in their cities. Dr. Mhaissen reflected on her work to create space for more dialogue and debate on migration issues as a way to work towards changing attitudes and perceptions. Both commented on the power of local networks at the community level to foster greater acceptance of migrants.

IOM Turkey’s Chief of Mission Lado Gvilava closed the Forum by commending the role local communities play as first responders in providing assistance to the displaced. “Their work is crucial in developing inclusive, safe, and resilient cities around the world. Let’s focus on replicating local solutions that bring us closer together and make life better for everyone.”

The Forum concluded with the signing of the Gaziantep Declaration which consolidates global good practices from a Mayor’s perspective in responding to migration and displacement. It will inform the upcoming Global Refugee Forum to be co-hosted by Turkey in Geneva during 17-18 December 2019.

For more information please contact Lanna Walsh, IOM Turkey Public Information Officer, at Tel +90 533 698 7285, Email:  

Language English Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2019 - 09:02Image: Region-Country: TurkeyThemes: Diversity and IntegrationIntegrationInternational and Regional CooperationDefault: Multimedia: 

Closing session of the Municipal Forum in Gaziantep, Turkey. Photo: IOM

Jill Helke, IOM's Director of International Cooperation and Partnerships speaks at the Municipal Forum in Gaziantep, Turkey. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

 World Migration Report 2020 Launched

Wed, 11/27/2019 - 09:26

Geneva – In a global media environment highly interested in the issue of migration, the need for verified, evidence-based analysis on this defining issue of our time has never been more urgent. As the UN-related agency responsible for migration, it has long been IOM’s imperative to promote a balanced understanding of migration across the world.

Launched today at the 2019 IOM Council meeting by IOM’s Director General, António Vitorino, the latest edition of its flagship publication, the World Migration Report 2020 (WMR 2020), continues the organization’s commitment to providing information on migration that is well-researched, rigorous and accessible.

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"IOM has an obligation to demystify the complexity and diversity of human mobility,” Director General Vitorino told representatives of IOM's member states.

"As this report shows, we have a continuously growing and improving body of data and information that can help us ‘make better sense’ of the basic features of migration in increasingly uncertain times,” he said.

First published twenty years ago, this tenth edition in the World Migration Report series provides the latest data and information on migration as well as analysis of complex and emerging migration issues. WMR 2018 was downloaded over 400,000 times.

Topics covered in the report include human mobility and environmental change, migrants’ contributions in an era of disinformation, children and unsafe migration, migration and health (among others), which are not only timely, but are also highly relevant for both specialist and general audiences.

Ambassador Doreen Debrum, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, who also spoke at the launch, welcomed the report, stressing that “the Republic of the Marshall Islands is now at the brink. Each scientific report brings home a more profound and serious expose of the imminent risks, threats and dangers posed by climate change; this would put the entire Marshallese population at risk, and most likely result in the forced relocation of our people, and the loss of our homeland.”

German Ambassador Michael von Ungern-Sternberg pointed out that migration has become an intensely debated issue in societies around the globe.

“This is a good development. However, we have to face the risk of undue politization and misrepresentation of facts," he said. "The World Migration Report will contribute to a constructive discussion of this highly sensitive issue and lay the ground for much needed international cooperation”.
The report builds on the critical success of WMR 2018, with various chapters written in collaboration between IOM experts, migration practitioners and some of the leading migration researchers in the world.

Marie McAuliffe, co-editor of the WMR 2020, stressed the significance of partnerships.

“To capture the latest evidence on migration, the thematic chapters are authored by some of the leading researchers in the field, and the report was co-edited with the istinguished scholar, Professor Binod Khadria, of Jawaharlal Nehru University in India," she said.

"To ensure WMR 2020 provides a high-quality contribution as a major reference report on migration, the draft report was peer-reviewed by leading migration academics and IOM thematic specialists prior to finalization."

The WMR 2020 is the first to be published in a digital-only format, a measure taken in recognition of the need for environmentally sustainable material in both process and content. Readers from around the world, including policymakers, academics, migration practitioners, journalists, students and the general public, will be able to download the publication for free in English and Spanish, while work on other translations continues.

If the positive critical reception of prior editions is any indication, the publication of the WMR 2020 will mark another step forward in the global understanding of migration. In academic literature, researchers have cited the WMR 2018 in more than 550 peer-reviewed publications, theses or dissertations. Blogs have utilized the WMR as the primary document to fact-check unfounded claims about migration, while the figures and infographics help users across various areas of work to quickly digest the data and information in the report.

As just one example of the WMR in action, Jacqueline Bhabha, Professor at the University of Harvard, said, “several chapters of the report are perfect for introducing my students to new topics. The report is very well-written and nicely researched.”

As migration continues to be an issue of heightened interest, the WMR 2020 is key to meeting the growing demand for evidence-based, high-quality research on this issue, while also helping to debunk the ‘fake news’ and misinformation designed to influence public and political discourse.

For more information, please contact Marie McAuliffe at IOM Geneva: Tel:+41796599940; Email:

Language English Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - 09:23Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: World Migration ReportDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Promoting Youth Employment in Kinshasa

Tue, 11/26/2019 - 12:24

Kinshasa – Millions of young people in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) live in precarious situations, often forced to leave the country because of the lack of stable jobs. 

Brunelle Maluka was one of 40 recipients of small business funding from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in June after having been selected and trained as part of a project to promote youth employment. 

Brunelle built a brick company, selling her product to construction projects. Her successful business has expanded to hire six laborers. 

"My business is evolving so well, that I could open a cement store, thanks to the profits I made,” said Brunelle, who dropped out of a university she could not afford. “It is a small business where I sell bags of cements and raw materials that are used for manufacturing bricks.” 

Seventy-five young people, including five returnees from Switzerland, also received financial support through the first phase of the same Swiss-funded project that targets disadvantaged youth in the capital. 

According to Kinshasa's Social Affairs Division chief, Franklin Kinsweme Bilenga, 70 per cent of Kinshasa’s 15 million inhabitants are under the age of 18. The lack of employment leads to increased criminality and irregular migration, the government says. 

It is in this context that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) offers financial support to young people like Brunelle from disadvantaged backgrounds to launch small businesses and create jobs.  

Since 2005, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been taking actions against irregular migration from the DRC by implementing, with the support of donors, prevention projects against irregular migration and its risks, by financing hundreds of income-generating activities, mainly in the city of Kinshasa.  

During his address on the occasion of the presentation of the activities carried out as part of the implementation of this second phase, on Friday 8 November in Kinshasa, Ambassador of Switzerland to the DRC Mr Roger Denser congratulated the beneficiaries and called on the city to support this project "by exempting for one year or more the 40 beneficiaries the levies and taxes imposed on small businesses operating in the city.” 

 “I was very touched by the testimonies I heard. I hope that this project will multiply with the efforts of all the actors involved in this project,” he said.  

For more information, please contact Daco Tambilika at IOM DRC, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - 12:20Image: Region-Country: Republic of the CongoThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Brunelle Maluka is one of 40 recipients of IOM funding last June for the creation of small businesses. Her brick company now employs six people.   Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Undoing Decades of Environmental Harm in Azerbaijan

Tue, 11/26/2019 - 10:07

Baku – A part of the Soviet Union until 1991, Azerbaijan has since independence experienced rapid economic growth. The new wealth has come with an environmental cost, adding to decades of pollution from petrochemical industries and poor agricultural practices of Soviet times. 

Now the government has made environmental protection an issue, and has begun incorporatingsustainable development principles into state policies. 

“Azerbaijan is already experiencing the negative impacts of climate change as witnessed by the increased number of natural phenomena which, as IOM has seen around the world, can trigger the displacementpeople,” noted IOM Chief of Mission Vladimir Gjorgjiev.  

In a major environmental campaign, the Organization is renovating rural water supply systems known askahrizes, benefitting internally displaced communities, supported by the Korea International Cooperation Agency.  

To call attention to deforestation and environmental degradation, a tree-planting campaign was held in the capital Baku last week.  

Several hundred olive trees were planted, preempting the new National Forestry Programme 2020-2030.  

“It is time to offer trees to Mother Nature, to contribute positively to the problems of the environment and climate change, and to be aware of the consequences that these changes can bring,” Gjorgjiev told attendees. 

The trees were planted by representatives and staff of IOM Azerbaijan, the State Migration Service and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan. Its aim was to raise awareness of and enhance public attention to migration, environment and climate change issues as well to contribution tocontribute to the government’s green and environmental efforts in initiatives that are actively supported by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva. 

For more information, please contact Ilqar Khudiyev at IOM Azerbaijan, Tel: +994 50 319 66 80, 


Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: AzerbaijanThemes: Migration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM and local community volunteers planted hundreds of olive trees in the Azeri capital Baku last week to call attention to deforestation and environmental degradation. Photo: IOM/Ilgar Khudiyev 

IOM and local community volunteers planted hundreds of olive trees in the Azeri capital Baku last week to call attention to deforestation and environmental degradation. Photo: IOM/Ilgar Khudiyev 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN