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Updated: 28 min 33 sec ago

UN Migration Agency, FXcompared to Launch Money Transfer Comparison Tool

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 11:56

Denmark – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is partnering with FXcompared, a money transfer comparison website, to build its money transfer comparison tool. The new partnership aims to help migrants find the best money transfer options when sending money home.

FXcompared is an independent online service that enables individuals and SMEs to compare international money transfer companies.

This tool will be integrated into the MigApp, the new mobile phone application under development by IOM, as well as across IOM’s websites. By adding this new feature to its app, IOM hopes to give migrants access to relevant, secure, and trusted information during their journey.

Every year migrants send over 400 billion dollars in remittances to developing countries, far exceeding the amount of overseas development assistance (ODA). These remittances contribute to basic needs such as food, health care, education and housing in migrants’ countries of origin. However, remittance transfer costs remain high for many migrants sending money to certain parts of the world.

“IOM sees this partnership as a key to the success of MigApp since it will provide MigApp users with the best information on remitting money back home, saving on the transactions and making sure more money is sent home," said Grant Robertshaw, ICT Business Relationship Manager at IOM. "Additionally, their data and intelligence arm, FXCintel, provides an unmatched level of market understanding and research supporting their overall product,” he added.

MigApp aims to offset the enormous amount of misleading and unreliable information available to people on the move by providing a central and accessible source of reliable and accurate migration information and services.

“At FXcompared, we have a strong belief in the need for transparency of information and ease of use for migrants around the world to find the best ways to send money," said Daniel Webber, FXcompared CEO. "The remittances sent often support critical family or development goals. We are delighted to be supporting the UN Migration Agency with our technology platform to help improve the lives of the billion migrants worldwide.”

The Money Transfer Comparison tool will be presented at Stand M50 at the Money 20/20, Europe’s largest FinTech event held in Copenhagen on 26-28 June.

For further information, please contact Leonard Doyle at IOM HQ: Tel. +41 79 285 7123, Email: or Andrea Barnes at FXcompared: Tel: +1 212 600 8556, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 17:01Image: Region-Country: DenmarkThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Ukraine Business Fair Showcases UN Migration Agency Support to Conflict-affected and Trafficking Survivors

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 11:56

Ukraine – Over the weekend, a market sprung up in the centre of Ukraine’s capital city. Traders came to Kyiv from all over the country. Their wares ranged from soap to honey, from toys to furniture – but everyone had one thing in common. They had all experienced unexpected journeys, whether fleeing the conflict that has cost 10,000 lives in the east, surviving human trafficking, or simply failing to find work and ending up in a difficult situation.

The 100 traders at this weekend's Business Fair on St. Sophia Square represented over 5,500 people who have been assisted by the UN Migration Agency’s Economic Empowerment Programme over the past ten years. Each has submitted a business proposal and received a small grant to bring their ideas into reality.

“Anybody can run into some bad luck and might need assistance to get back on their feed, to get shelter and a little bit of training, and look what people have been able to accomplish with just a little help from IOM and USAID. It’s really inspiring,” said US Ambassador Marie Yovanovich, touring the Fair. “Today’s event shows in very concrete ways that individuals who suffer unexpected and tragic consequences as they try to get ahead economically can and do find their way back, and even prosper.”

Originally developed to assist survivors of human trafficking, the programme was expanded to assist conflict-affected and displaced Ukrainians like Oksana, who proudly showed her traditional Ukrainian handicrafts at BizFair.

“Life has been very tough since we left our home in Luhansk,” Oksana reflected. “We left without our coats, without even a pillow and now we have to survive. We really appreciate this programme which gives us a chance to do something for ourselves.”

Manfred Profazi, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission, explained that the Organization has been helping people not only to become more self-reliant and economically independent, “but also contribute to the life of their communities through the creation of additional work places and provision of services and goods their communities need and appreciate.”

Support for the programme over the past 10 years has come from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, the Government of Canada, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the European Union, and the Government of Japan.

For further information, please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 17:00Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Counter-TraffickingInternally Displaced PersonsMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and IOM Ukraine's Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi at IOM's Business Forum and Fair in Kyiv. "Panda" is a beneficiary of IOM's Economic Empowerment Programme for former victims of trafficking, IDPs and conflict-affected people.

Over 100 micro-entrepreneurs representing a variety of business spheres from different regions of Ukraine gathered in Kyiv for a Business Fair and Forum organized by IOM, and funded by USAID. 

Over 100 micro-entrepreneurs representing a variety of business spheres from different regions of Ukraine gathered in Kyiv for a Business Fair and Forum organized by IOM, and funded by USAID. 

Over 100 micro-entrepreneurs representing a variety of business spheres from different regions of Ukraine gathered in Kyiv for a Business Fair and Forum organized by IOM, and funded by USAID.

Categories: PBN

Portraits of Welcome: Londoners Reflect on ‘Our Shared Future’ for Refugee Week

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 11:56

United Kingdom – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) explored the theme of “Our Shared Future” through two art projects – Portraits of Welcome and Building Tomorrow Together – as part of the 2017 Refugee Week celebrations in the United Kingdom (UK) at the Southbank Centre in London, on 24 June 2017.

IOM UK ran the second edition of it participatory arts project creating visual messages, Portraits of Welcome, by inviting members of the public to reflect on what the future may hold for our shared community. Photographer Marcia Chandra captured engaging portraits to put public faces to their thoughts for the future. Portraits and accompanying quotes were printed on the spot for participants to take away with them, and to add to a growing exhibition for the public.

“We are all wired for connection,” said Dipti Pardeshi, IOM UK Chief of Mission, when reflecting on Our Shared Future. “A shared future is a connected one. One where we value diversity as an important ingredient in a recipe that, when mixed well, makes our society richer and more satisfying.”

To further illustrate the theme of Our Shared Future, IOM UK also displayed an art installation in the shape of a tree, with materials produced by children in Lebanon and the UK, as part of the Building Tomorrow Together project.

Children from Globe Primary School, Bethnal Green, held the first UK workshop for the project in tandem with Syrian refugee children in Beirut, who were participating in an IOM Cultural Orientation session before they were relocated to the UK. All the children were encouraged to think about their identity and what a positive shared future could look like. Working thousands of miles apart, both UK and Syrian children created an inspiring collaborative tree installation, with their thoughts and messages appearing as leaves sprouting from the tree, which will continue to grow as more children in Beirut and London contribute their messages, ideas and thoughts.

“I hope to live in a house and go to school, with a playground where I can play in. I hope I can study to become a doctor, but if I can’t, I would like to be a princess,” said Lana, eight years old, at the Lebanon workshop.

For further information, please contact Christopher Gaul at IOM UK, Tel: +44 207 811 60, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 16:59Image: Region-Country: United KingdomThemes: Diversity and IntegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Photo: © Marcia Chandra

Photo: © Marcia Chandra

Photo: © Marcia Chandra

Photo: © Marcia Chandra

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency in Egypt Launches ‘Aware Migrants’ Info-Campaign

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 11:56

Egypt – Last week, in Egypt, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) launched “Aware Migrants”, a multicultural information sharing campaign focusing on migration and awareness raising. The campaign is supported by the Egyptian National Coordinating Committee on Combating and Preventing Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons (NCCPIM&TIP) and funded by the Italian Ministry of Interior.

The campaign aims to sensitize potential migrants to the dangers of irregular journeys across the desert and the Mediterranean Sea. The campaign features the real risks through powerful video testimonials from migrants who have made it to Europe, having endured abuse from smugglers, and sometimes traffickers, along the way.

"We have a duty to inform our African sisters and brothers about the risks and dangers of the trip to the unknown," said Ambassador Naela Gabr, Chairperson of NCCPIM&TIP. "This campaign is an important tool highlighting the different forms of exploitation they could face. We must work together to stop irregular migration and smugglers."

The campaign, which will be largely disseminated through social media, will be complemented by awareness raising activities in cooperation with African embassies in Egypt. The aim is to provide the opportunity for migrants to exchange opinions and experiences.

The campaign is in line with NCCPIM&TIP's “National Strategy on Combating and Preventing Illegal Migration 2016-2026, which provides the overall institutional framework for the Egyptian Government to counter the smuggling of migrants and to ensure the protection of vulnerable migrants in Egypt.

In recent years, the number of migrants arriving to Italy from Egypt has increased. In 2016, IOM estimates that up to 10 per cent of all arrivals to Italy using the Central Mediterranean Route left from Egypt, while the remaining 90 per cent left from Libya.

“In light of the increased numbers, IOM has been working closely with NCCPIM&TIP and other stakeholders to raise awareness about the dangers of irregular migration," said Andrea Dabizzi, Head of the Migrant Assistance Unit in IOM Egypt. "Meanwhile, IOM and its partners have been promoting the provision of alternatives, including employment and skill enhancement programmes within Egyptian communities that generate high rates of irregular migrants."

Dabizzi also added that in 2016, more than 3,400 Egyptian youth benefited from IOM’s employability interventions including job fairs, technical and entrepreneurship trainings, as well as soft skills enhancements programmes in six Egyptian Governorates.

For further information, please contact Andrea Dabizzi, at IOM Egypt, Tel: +202 27365140, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 16:58Image: Region-Country: EgyptThemes: Counter-TraffickingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

New Registration Centre Provides Essential Services for Irregular Migrants in Albania

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 11:56

Albania – A new centre for Registration and Temporary Accommodation for irregular migrants was opened last week, in Gerhot, Albania, close to Kakavija Border Crossing Point with Greece. The new facility was established by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in coordination with Albania's Directorate for Border and Migration Police.

The facility will be able to host 60 people and comprises 15 fully equipped units. One is for registration, 10 for accommodation, two sanitary blocks (one each for men and women), and two bathrooms. All units are equipped with fire extinguishers, and two fire hydrants are installed at the centre. Four minivans have been provided by IOM in order to facilitate the transfer of migrants to and from the centre for any additional services.

“The overall objective of the project is to ensure that migrants and refugees entering Albania have access to shelter, medical support and assistance, and all the services they need,” explained Alma Jani, IOM’s representative in Albania, at the official opening ceremony. “Irregular migration is never ideal, nor easy, and this new facility will help the authorities to do their work, and give those passing through a measure of comfort and dignity.”

The centre was developed with funding from a Migrant and Refugee Fund grant received through the Council of Europe Development Bank, under the project “Improving Reception Capacities and Access to Services for Migrants and Refugees Entering Albania”, implemented over the past year with a total budget of EUR 400,000.

The project also increased registration capacities of the Border and Migration Police in Kakavija Border Crossing Point through the provision of computers, printers and passport readers. For the migrants, 4,000 leaflets about the migration process were printed in eight languages (English, Russian, French, Arabic, Pashtu, Dari, Farsi, Urdu) as well as 3,000 mini-dictionaries in six languages (English, Russian, French, Arabic, Farsi, Urdu). Trainings on Humanitarian Border Management and Migration Crisis Management were also provided for border officials and other interested groups.

For further information, please contact Alma Jani at IOM Albania, Tel: +355692023251, Email

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 16:57Image: Region-Country: AlbaniaThemes: Integrated Border ManagementMigrant AssistanceMigrants RightsDefault: Multimedia: 

Rebani Jaupi, Deputy Director, Albanian State Police (left) and IOM’s Alma Jani officially open the registration centre. Photo: IOM

The new registration centre.

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Central, South Asian Civil Society Groups Meet to Combat Human Trafficking

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 11:56

Afghanistan – A two-day regional counter-trafficking forum bringing together civil society representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan was hosted last week by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in the Tajikistan capital Dushanbe.

The forum brought together civil society organizations working in the field of counter-trafficking to promote cross-border and regional cooperation, and to strengthen protection and reintegration mechanisms for victims of human trafficking and other vulnerable groups.

“Trafficking in persons is a serious concern in Afghanistan and its neighboring countries,” said Laurence Hart, IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission. “By bringing together organizations that have been on the frontline of fighting trafficking in the region, this forum provides a valuable opportunity for exchange of ideas and improved cooperation.”

While usually the source country for victims of human trafficking, the participating countries have also been identified as transit and destination countries for men, women, and children subject to forced labour and sexual exploitation. An increase in the number of young female victims of trafficking arriving in Afghanistan from neighboring countries has also been observed in recent years.

Civil society organizations play an important role in reaching victims and survivors of human trafficking, to provide them with legal, social and psychological assistance, and to reintegrate them back to society.

At the forum, the participants presented the unique human trafficking situation in their respective countries, and discussed the efforts being made to combat the crime and assist survivors. Emphasis was placed on sharing best practices and exploring opportunities for joint programming and advocacy to implement regional initiatives.

“Civil society organizations are the eyes, ears and hands of the international community in the field,” said IOM Tajikistan Chief of Mission Dragan Aleksoski. “Civil society is an agent of change helping us to understand the needs of vulnerable people and plan our activities accordingly. This event will serve as a starting point for fruitful cooperation between civil society organizations from all of the participating countries.”  

In 2016 IOM Afghanistan launched a multi-year counter-trafficking project funded by USAID which aims to improve regional cooperation and strengthen the prevention of human trafficking, protect victims and improve response through a more holistic approach.

This week’s forum is the first major regional cooperation initiative under the project, which will continue to foster networking and advocacy on human trafficking in south and central Asia.

For further information please contact Nasir Ahmad Haidarzai at IOM Afghanistan, Tel: +93 794 100 542, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 16:56Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

 NGO delegates from south and central Asia in Dushanbe. Photo: IOM

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UN Migration Agency Opens Haiti's First Border Resource Centre to Help Returning Haitians

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 11:42

Haiti – On 20 June, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) opened Haiti's first Border Resource Centre (BRC), in coordination with the Mayor of Anse-à-Pîtres and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour. The BRC is the first State institution tasked with ensuring the safe and respectable return of Haitian migrants to their country of origin. Three additional BRCs are in the process of being built at the remaining three official border sites: Malpasse, Belladère, and Ouanaminthe.

These centres will allow local protection agencies to better identify, orient, and assist vulnerable migrants – all while creating a space where the agencies can collaborate with each other and provide psycho-social counselling. The project also seeks to put in place referral mechanisms in order to facilitate greater access to basic services and support the sustainable reintegration of vulnerable migrants in Haiti. 

“Migrants are human beings beyond all else. Opening a centre where we can welcome migrants and provide them with psychological counseling to heal their wounds is a strong symbolic and humane gesture. This important initiative is supported and encouraged by the Haitian government,” said Roosevelt Bellevue, Minister of Social Affairs and Labour, during the opening of the BRC.  

A sizeable number of Haitians irregularly cross the border into the Dominican Republic in search of services and opportunities. The absence of documentation only worsens their vulnerabilities and exposes them to different forms of abuse and ill-treatment, such as human trafficking, including forced labour and sexual exploitation, among others.  

“Since the expiration of the registration period to the National Regularization Plan of Foreigners (NRPF) in June 2015, IOM has recorded that more than 202,252 Haitian migrants have spontaneously returned or were deported to Haiti," explained Fabien Sambussy, IOM Haiti Chief of Mission. "This figure shows that assistance is needed throughout the border region in order to help vulnerable migrants returning home, particularly women and children. Many arrive in precarious conditions. They might have no access to resources, have been separated from their family, are undernourished or exhausted from having spent several days in Dominican detention centres.”  

IOM, with financial support from the Canadian Government, has implemented an assistance project for migrants: “To Help Vulnerable Children and Women in the Border Regions of Haiti.” 

“Canada is proud to help ameliorate the protection and the promotion of the fundamental rights of women and children. This initiative is well aligned with the new feminist policy of development assistance of Canada,” said Ivan Roberts, Head of the Haiti-Canada Cooperation. 

“Respecting human dignity remains an unbroken part of the history in the fight for women’s rights. In every circumstance the rights of women must be respected,” said Eunide Innocent, Haiti's Minister of the Status of Women and Women’s Rights. 

For further information, please contact Julie Harlet in Haiti, Tel: +509 46388051, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 17:03Image: Region-Country: HaitiThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationIntegrated Border ManagementMigrant AssistanceMigrants RightsDefault: Multimedia: 

Ivan Roberts, Head of Canadian Cooperation in Haiti; Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Roosevelt Bellevue; and Fabien Sambussy, IOM Head of Mission in Haiti.

The Border Resource Centre of Anse-a-Pitre at its inauguration.

The Minister of Social Affairs and Labor,  Roosevelt Bellevue, and the Head of Canadian Cooperation in Haiti, Ivan Roberts.

Categories: PBN

52 Dead in Niger as UN Migration Agency Search and Rescue Operation Saves 600 Stranded Migrants in Sahara Desert

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 11:37

Niger – Sunday morning (25/06), 24 migrants alerted authorities in Niger that they had been stranded in the desert. It is not clear for how long they had been walking in the deserts of central Niger, near Seguedine. The 24 were taken to Seguedine, where one died on arrival, making the total number of survivors, 23. Among the survivors, there are migrants from Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire.

They had been in a group of 75 migrants in three different cars, eventually abandoned by smugglers during the journey north. The authorities went back to where they had found the survivors to look for the other 51 who had been in the group, but they could not be found due to a sand storm. The migrants were presumed dead and search missions resumed once the sand storm ended – the bodies have yet to be found. IOM teams on the ground in Dirkou went this morning to pick up the 23 survivors and take them to IOM's transit centre in Dirkou.

At IOM's transit centres across Niger migrants receive direct assistance including water, food, shelter, and medical and psychological assistance. They are also assisted with voluntary return and reintegration upon their return.

More than 600 lives have been saved since April 2017 through a new search and rescue operation run by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Niger. The operation is financed by the Government of the Netherlands and the European Union (EU) Trust Fund.

Smugglers are exploring new migratory routes along the Northern Corridor, the busiest and most important transport route in East and Central Africa. IOM's new operation provides life-saving assistance to migrants in distress in areas where there is limited humanitarian presence.

In April 2017, IOM launched a new project financed by the Government of the Netherlands: “Migrants Rescue and Assistance in Agadez Region” (MIRAA). The MIRAA project will last for 12 months, and aims to ensure the protection of migrants in hard-to-reach areas while also strengthening the management of migration by the Government of Niger.

“We are enhancing our capacity to assist vulnerable migrants stranded in Northern Agadez, towards the Niger-Libya border,” said Giuseppe Loprete, IOM Niger Chief of Mission. “Saving lives in the desert is becoming more urgent than ever. Since the beginning of the year we have been receiving frequent calls to rescue victims who embark on this route‎,” Loprete adds.

MIRAA is complementary to the larger initiative “Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism” (MRRM), developed by IOM Niger and financed by the EU Trust Fund. It aims to bring together in one mechanism a wide range of services and assistance for migrants, including assisted voluntary return to their countries of origin and reintegration once they return.

Adaora*, 22 years old, is one of the survivors of a rescue mission on 28 May, and the only woman to have survived from her group. Adaora left Nigeria in early April hoping for a better future in Europe. There were 50 migrants on the pick-up truck when it left Agadez for Libya, but only six are still alive today.

“We were in the desert for ten days. After five days, the driver abandoned us. He left with all of our belongings, saying he was going to pick us up in a couple of hours, but he never did,” Adaora recalls.

Adaora had left Nigeria with two close female friends, who both died in the desert. “They were too weak to keep going,” she sadly remembers. “We buried a few, but there were just too many to bury and we didn’t have the strength to do it,” Adaora adds.

During the next two days, 44 of the migrants died which persuaded the six left to start walking to look for help. “We had to drink our own pee to survive,” she says.

“I couldn’t walk anymore. I wanted to give up,” she recalls. Two other migrants carried her until a truck driver picked them up and took them to local authorities who then alerted IOM staff in Dirkou in the Agadez Region of north-eastern Niger.

By the time the six survivors reached IOM’s transit centre in Dirkou, Adaora was unconscious. She received medical assistance, and once recovered, she gave a detailed account of her experience to both the authorities and IOM staff. Two of the other migrants from the group went back with IOM staff and the authorities to find the bodies and identify the victims.

After having received medical assistance at IOM’s transit centres in both Dirkou and Agadez, Adaora is currently recovering at IOM’s transit centre for migrants in Niamey, awaiting her imminent voluntary return to Nigeria.

Adaora says she had no idea what the route was going to be like, otherwise she would have never left Nigeria. Going back, she wants to continue her work as a nurse. “I think it’s important we all assist each other when we are in need,” she says.

On 9 June, another 92 migrants were also rescued through an IOM search and rescue operation; among them were 30 women and children.

*Adaora's name has been changed to protect her identity

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 17:04Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

A migrant being assisted by an IOM staff member in Seguedine. Photo: IOM 2017

Adoara, one of the 23 survivors found stranded in the desert in Niger. Photo: IOM 2017

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UN Migration Agency Publishes In-depth Investigation of Obstacles to IDP Returns in Iraq

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:36

Iraq – Three million Iraqis remain internally displaced across the country, despite numerous successes by military forces in dislodging and reclaiming much of the territory once occupied by ISIL.

 As chair of the United Nations Returns Working Group – established last year by the UN coordinator in Iraq – the UN Migration Agency (IOM) commissioned the report Obstacles to Return. Financed by European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the IOM study delves into the principal push and pull factors limiting the willingness of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to return to their place of origin.

Nonetheless, the IOM report also highlights the fact that, through April 2017, an estimated 1.7 million Iraqis displaced across the country have returned to their homes.

According to the Government of Iraq's Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD), some 694,231 people have fled west Mosul since the start of the operations on 19 February. Cumulatively, over 870,000 people have been displaced since the start of the military operations to retake Mosul city.

From 18 October 2016 to 8 June 2017, IOM Iraq’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has tracked and confirmed the location of more than 626,600 displaced individuals from Mosul. Of these, more than 432,700 individuals (or 72,121 families) are currently still displaced but nearly 194,000 IDPs have returned.

IOM’s DTM surveyed more than 1.7 million Iraqis who opted to return, raising questions as to the factors that motivate, or inhibit, Iraqis from returning to their areas of origin.

The qualitative and quantitative data collection was carried out in eight recently retaken sub-districts through interviews with IDPs. Data retrieved in these surveys show that security in the areas of origin topped all other factors in influencing IDPs’ decision to return or remain displaced.

Proximity to the frontline – and perceived instability in the place of origin – remains the most relevant obstacle for return.

Feelings of trust towards the security actors in control of the areas of origin promotes a higher number of returns, while fear of security actors in the place origin is a strong drawback and reinforces the perceived advantage of staying in displacement.

Fear of reprisal back home is a concern for over 30 per cent of all IDPs interviewed. However, this perception is much lower among interviewed returnees (10 per cent).

The data suggest that damage to housing does not constitute an obstacle to return, although the presence of actors whom IDPs hold responsible for the damage inflicted in a given location is.

Livelihood options and previous or current employment status also play an important role in influencing the decision to return. IDPs who have jobs in the location of displacement are less inclined to return home. By contrast, those who are unemployed appear to be more likely to return to seek new opportunities.

The study shows that almost a quarter of interviewed IDPs who decided to return were prevented from doing so, mostly by delays in processing their documentation, or by being stopped at checkpoints on the way back to their place of origin.

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said: “IOM Iraq remains committed to supporting the delivery of durable solutions in safety and with dignity. This includes assistance to families returning voluntarily, who may face significant challenges in order to rebuild their homes and livelihoods and regain their standard of living. It also includes families who consider displacement a better alternative and continue to try to rebuild their lives away from their homes and communities while they wait for an opportunity to return. And it includes those who have decided to integrate locally.”

IOM’s DTM actively monitors displacement across Iraq. The latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures on displacement across Iraq are available at:

The Obstacle of Return study is available at:

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq:
Hala Jaber, Tel: +964 751 740 1654, Email:
Raber Aziz, Tel: +964 750 465 9204 Email:


Language English Posted: Friday, June 23, 2017 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Over 870,000 people have been displaced since the start of the military operations to retake Mosul city. Photo: IOM 2017

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Australia Backs UN Migration Agency Assistance to Undocumented Afghans in Pakistan

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:30

Pakistan – The Government of Australia and the UN Migration Agency (IOM) have launched a two-year, AUD 4 million (USD 3 million) project to assist undocumented Afghans in their host communities in Pakistan, as well as those who wish to return to Afghanistan.

In 2016, an unprecedented number of Afghans returned to Afghanistan, mainly from Pakistan and Iran. They included over 250,000 undocumented returnees and over 380,000 registered refugees. This year, as of 20 June, over 100,000 Afghans have returned home, including almost 70,000 undocumented returnees from Pakistan. This is a 250 per cent increase over the number of returnees during the first six months of 2016.

Australia’s contribution will enable IOM and its partners to help the Government of Pakistan develop sustainable solutions for the estimated 500,000–600,000 Afghan nationals still living in Pakistan.

This new Australian funding will also help IOM and its partners monitor migration flows and conduct host community surveys. The resulting data will in turn aid the Pakistani and Afghan Governments, humanitarian stakeholders and returning communities to make better informed decisions relating to safe and humane migration.

IOM Pakistan will also use the funding to provide primary health care services and vocational business training for undocumented Afghans and host communities in Pakistan. This will enable them to start new livelihoods and reintegrate when they return to Afghanistan, as well as provide new economic opportunities for host communities.

The funding will also help IOM support the Government of Pakistan to implement its Repatriation and Management Policy for Afghan Refugees, which includes the registration of undocumented Afghans living in Pakistan.

“IOM is fully committed to support tailored solutions for undocumented Afghans in Pakistan,” said Davide Terzi, IOM Pakistan Chief of Mission. “Pakistan has been host to millions of Afghans for over 30 years, and it is imperative to devise comprehensive programmes that facilitate returns, create viable options for those who decide to stay, and support the Pakistani host communities.”

As part of the IOM Regional Response Strategy, IOM Pakistan is seeking USD 21 million to support the most vulnerable undocumented Afghans during 2017–2018.

For further information, please contact Ammarah Mubarak at IOM Pakistan, Tel: +92 51 230 7843-51, Email:


Language English Posted: Friday, June 23, 2017 - 16:24Image: Region-Country: PakistanThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationHumanitarian EmergenciesIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

An Afghan family leave Pakistan aboard a truck loaded with their possessions. Photo: IOM 2017

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Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 83,928 in 2017; 2,108 Deaths

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:24

Switzerland – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) reports that 83,928 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through June 21, with almost 85 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 215,997 arrivals across the region through 21 June 2016.


IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported that some 180 migrants were rescued yesterday on the open sea and are being brought to land in Italy. He added more than 2,500 migrants who had been rescued in the past few days (including last weekend) arrived safely and have been transferred to different locations in Italy.

The roughly 72,000 migrants recorded so far this year by Italy’s Ministry of the Interior compares with January-through-June figures of 70,222 men, women and children in 2016 and 70,329 in 2015 (See chart below).

IOM Italy also reported this week that the total number of Syrian migrants registered as having arrived by sea is 1,164 – making Syrians the fourteenth most common nationality. In 2016 1,200 Syrians landed by sea in Italy.

IOM Libya Christine Petré reported Thursday (22 June) that the remains of 18 migrants found in Garaboli were retrieved and buried by local citizens. Two migrants were reportedly found alive and were transferred to Trig al Seka detention centre in Tripoli. On the same day, the remains of five men were found in Tajoura, west of the Libyan capital Tripoli.

As of 22 June, 10,034 migrants were rescued in Libyan waters and the remains of 303 women, men and children have been found along the Libyan coast.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) notes total deaths on the Mediterranean this year now stand at 2,108. Although that total is more than 800 fewer than the number of deaths that were recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,000 and brings the total number of deaths on the Mediterranean since early 2013 to nearly 15,000 – or a daily average of 10 men, women and children since this current emergency began.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 2,848 fatalities through 21 June (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – over 70 per cent of the global total.

MMP regional figures for today reflect the following inclusions since Tuesday (20 June): two incidents on the US/Mexico border; a train accident in Central America; 110 missing off the coast of Zuwarah, Libya, as reported by survivors rescued by Libyan fishermen last Saturday; seven missing in the Central Mediterranean as reported by survivors taken to Messina, Italy; and five dead off the coast of Sabratha, Libya.  These data do not include the 23 victims newly reported in Libya on Thursday, nor reports of three bodies discovered this week near Falfurrias, Texas.

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit:
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:

For further information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Kelly Namia at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Berlin, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:


Language English Posted: Friday, June 23, 2017 - 16:16Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Supports Korean Efforts to Help Prepare Migrants for Disasters

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:16

Republic of Korea – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Ministry of Public Safety and Security have organized a series of disaster preparedness trainings for migrants living in seven Korean cities. The trainings, which took place between 13 and 21 June, attracted over 230 participants.

“Today over two million migrants live in the Korean society,” said Miah Park, IOM ROK Head of Office. “Factors such as language and culture can impact their capacity to protect themselves and their families during emergencies. It is important for the government to recognize this and introduce measures to improve their preparedness,” she added.

The training introduced the basic concepts of emergency response management following natural disasters, information on the health risks associated with poor sanitation and details about evacuation zones. Local emergency management agencies also conducted cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) simulation training. 

“When thinking of my children, I am always concerned about their safety, especially during emergencies here in Korea,” said one Vietnamese mother of four who took part. “The training was a good opportunity to learn practical skills that I could apply for my family and myself,” she added.

Recognizing the importance of preparedness training, the ROK Ministry of Justice has decided to include the subject in their Korea Immigration and Integration Programme (KIIP). IOM and the Ministry of Public Safety and Security have also developed a Disaster Preparedness Handbook in five languages: Korean, English, Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai.

For further information, please contact IOM ROK:
Jumi Kim, Tel: +827048200292, Email:
Seonyoung Lee, Tel: +827048202751, Email:


Language English Posted: Friday, June 23, 2017 - 16:10Image: Region-Country: Republic of KoreaThemes: Capacity BuildingDisaster Risk ReductionDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM project coordinator Seonyoung Lee demonstrates the use of a fire extinguisher during the disaster preparedness training for migrants living in Korea. Photo: IOM 2017

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Trains Judges on Adjudication of Human Trafficking in Ghana

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:10

Ghana – The UN Migration Agency (IOM), in partnership with the United States Government and the Government of Ghana, hosted a three-day training for 14 Ghanaian judges on “Adjudication of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Cases”, especially those involving children.

For the second year in a row, Ghana has been ranked as Tier 2 on the watch list in the Trafficking in Persons Report, released annually by the United States Department of State Office to Combat TIP. That designation indicates that Ghana is not meeting the minimum standards for the elimination of TIP – especially when it comes to the number of prosecutions and convictions in TIP cases.

As such, Ghana risks an automatic downgrade to Tier 3 in 2017. Justice Elizabeth Ankumah commented: “This training is illuminating and all encompassing. I find the training very practical. The participants’ minds are drawn to the challenges faced by prosecutors and investigators, as well as to deeper insights into trauma and how it may affect the victim’s behaviour and testimony. A new addition, which the court may use in criminal trials, is the use of case management, after the trail investigation within the Ghanaian law. I think it should be extended to other judges and we are grateful to the organizers.”

The IOM training aims to ensure TIP cases are adjudicated with a greater understanding of trauma while also emphasizing victim safety during the judicial process. In addition, the training seeks to strengthen the integrity of a criminal justice system that will hold offenders accountable for the full extent of their criminal behaviour.

Topics include the dynamics of human trafficking, recognizing and minimizing trauma, recognition and prevention of victim intimidation, consideration of expert testimony and sentencing considerations.

As part of the Child Protection Compact (CPC) partnership between the governments of the United States and Ghana, IOM Ghana is training 14 judges from both the Circuit and High Courts of the Volta, Central, and Greater Accra regions. The CPC partnership focuses on internal trafficking of children, largely for the purpose of labour exploitation.

The workshop was inaugurated by the United States Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Robert P. Jackson.

“Human trafficking is not just about studying and applying the law, it is about human beings,” said H.E. Ambassador Jackson. “If we look at human trafficking cases as about real people who have suffered, it will make us more focused.

“Victims are all people with rights. As judges, you have been entrusted with administrating justice on behalf of all Ghanaians, including victims of trafficking. When victims are unable or afraid to participate in their court cases, the traffickers win,” he added.

High Court Justice Dennis Dominic Adjei, Director of the Judicial Training Institute, said to the trainees: “Human trafficking has become a canker which needs to be addressed. We are urging you to understand the laws, understand how evidence can be used, and come up with a good judgement.”

IOM-organized training is being led by AEquitas – a United States-based organization of former prosecutors who specialize in training related to the prosecution of human trafficking. Delivered in an interactive manner, the training engages participants in group exercises, brainstorming sessions, demonstrations and role playing.

IOM will monitor the impact of the trainings through regular data collection of prosecutions and convictions of human trafficking to inform future trainings.

For further information, please contact Alex Billings at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233 302 742 930, Email:


Language English Posted: Friday, June 23, 2017 - 16:05Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM conducts a three-day training for Ghanaian judges on “Adjudication of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Cases” especially those involving children. Photo: IOM 2017

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Government Partners Discuss Good Migration Governance Practices

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:03

Switzerland - On 20 June 2017, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Governments of Australia, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) co-hosted an event exploring good practices on migration governance at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

The discussions were held as a side event of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration’s thematic consultation, which centred on issues of international cooperation and governance of migration in all its dimensions, including at borders, on transit, entry, return, readmission, integration and reintegration. The Global Compact is an inter-governmental process that presents an historical opportunity for achieving a world in which migrants move as a matter of choice rather than necessity, through safe, orderly and regular channels, and in which migration is well governed and able to act as a positive force for individuals, societies and states.

“There are good practices pursued by national governments and inter-state consultation mechanisms that should be replicated at the global level,” said Jill Helke, the UN Migration Agency’s Director for International Cooperation and Partnerships. “This event illustrated examples of useful tools and good practices, which can inform governments’ and international organizations’ preparation of the process leading to the Global Compact.”

Presentations on migration governance at the national level were made at the event, as well as presentations of two examples of inter-regional governance of migration by inter-state consultation mechanisms on migration. 

The Governments of Australia, Mexico and Peru presented their respective migration governance policies highlighting the importance of adopting national whole-of-government approaches, highlighting tools that can assist governments in developing, adapting and assessing their migration policies, in particular IOM’s Migration Governance Framework and the Migration Governance Index (developed jointly by IOM and the Economist Intelligence Unit).

Inter-state consultation mechanisms on migration are state-led, regular information-sharing and policy dialogues on migration among several states and were organized to consider specific migration issues of common interest within a particular region or along a specific migration corridor. Throughout the past 35 years, they have contributed to the emergence of converging policy approaches, and regional and inter-regional governance of migration. 

Both the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC) and the Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) presented good practices and achievements. They also explored the contribution each can make to the Global Compact.

For further information, please contact IOM HQ:
Nicoletta Giordano, Tel: +41 22 717 9416, Email:
Maurizio Busatti, Tel: 41227179581, Email:


Language English Posted: Friday, June 23, 2017 - 15:55Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: OthersDefault: Multimedia: 

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Governments of Australia, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) co-hosted an event exploring good practices on migration governance at the United Nations Office in Geneva. Photo: IOM 2017

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Governments of Australia, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) co-hosted an event exploring good practices on migration governance at the United Nations Office in Geneva. Photo: IOM 2017

Categories: PBN

IOM Emergency Assistance Brings Physical and Psychological Relief to Earthquake Victims in Kagera Region

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 09:58

Case Study: “I’m still afraid when big trucks pass near my house.”

Tanzania – “I was on my way home from my duty the day I saw my house was half collapsed. When I approached it, I was shocked, as all my family members were in the house and neighbors were running for their lives in different directions.” Mr. Gerevaz remembers the day when the Kagera earthquake hit the area where he was living: 10 September 2016.

“I am still afraid when big trucks pass near my house, as the slight tremor of the ground reminds me of the earthquake that damaged my house,” he said, telling us about the trauma he and his family have had since the earthquake.

Mr. Gerevaz lives in Ibaraizibu village in Karabagaine ward of Bukoba rural district, which was among the areas hit hardest by the earthquake that affected over 100,000 persons in Kagera Region. He heads a family of five, including three children, and survives by farming near their home.

Since the earthquake struck, the family had been living in their partially damaged house –  which was very risky –  for nearly eight months, until IOM and the Tanzanian Red Cross (TRC) constructed temporary shelters for his family and others in similar situations.

“I am now feeling protected and safe. I will continue repairing my former house while peacefully staying in my temporary shelter,” he says, showing us the progress he has made in repairing his former house using locally produced bricks. “I would like to thank IOM and TRC for this vital support,” he adds.

With funding from the United Nations Central Emergency Relief Funding (UN CERF), IOM, in collaboration with the TRC, constructed temporary shelters for more than 1,250 vulnerable families and distributed Non Food Item (NFI) relief kits to over 2,500 beneficiaries in three districts of Kagera Region. The humanitarian assistance provided the affected individuals and families better protection and prevented both physical and psychological harm.

For additional information, please contact Dinka Hayleyesus at or Hashim Ally at

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 12:47Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Mr. Gerevaz and his family, with IOM and the Tanzanian Red Cross team, stand outside the family’s temporary shelter; their former house is under repair.

Categories: PBN

One Third of Iraqis Displaced from Gwer Return as Mosul Displacement Continues

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 11:14

Iraq - As the battle officially began his week to retake the last few neighbourhoods of West Mosul’s old city from ISIL, about 50 kilometres away people have started returning to the increasingly bustling riverside town of Gwer.

About 11,200 of Gwer’s population of 65,000 initially fled after ISIL briefly took control of the town in 2014. Gwer was retaken by the Peshmerga forces a few days later, but the city remained a volatile frontline with ISIL. Only when the militant group was pushed back, in the lead up to Mosul’s liberation in July 2016, did displaced families feel safe enough to return. Nearly a third of those displaced have now returned.

Last week, the city of Gwer hosted a ceremony attended by the Governor of Erbil, dignitaries from Gwer and beneficiaries from the community to celebrate the opening of the primary health care centre which was rehabilitated and refurnished by IOM with financial support from Canada and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

The care centre aims to provide primary and emergency health services for about 7,000 people inside Gwer and 50,000 individuals in 30 surrounding villages.

Much of Gwer’s infrastructure and its primary health care centre was damaged and looted when ISIL first took and entrenched itself there during the summer of 2014. Although the building itself was not massively damaged, doors and windows were broken, toilets, wash basins and generators destroyed, and electricity cables, health equipment and furniture stolen. 

In August 2016, IOM joined the Erbil Governorate’s Refugee Council for an initial assessment in Gwer, which identified the priority needs for rebuilding the city. After careful consultations with key community stakeholders, IOM decided to rehabilitate critical community infrastructure.

The rehabilitation of the health centre was started in February this year by a contractor, under IOM’s supervision, who used local labourers to complete the three-month work by May.

While the facility was damaged, IOM was providing primary health care to residents of Gwer by regularly sending mobile medical teams to the town. By the time the health centre was ready, IOM mobile medical teams had logged an average of 90 consultations a day and a total of 12,036 during the course of the previous six months.

With all the work completed and equipment installed, IOM handed the health centre back to Iraq’s Ministry of Health. The centre is now up and running and taking in between 100 and 150 cases a day.

Funding from the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) helped IOM rehabilitate four school buildings, two Arabic and two Kurdish, in Gwer. The two-month work, carried out by local Gwer labourers and contractors, was completed in April.

To support the livelihoods of people in Gwer, 99 beneficiaries were provided with 74 business support packages and 25 business enhancement packages by IOM, funded by Canada and PRM, which will benefit 594 returnees in total.

“Our house was still standing but it was empty. Our furniture was looted and some parts [of the building] were damaged. Although we were disappointed, we were determined to overcome the situation,” said Zubaida, who was displaced to Kirkuk in 2014 when ISIL overran Gwer, and a member of one of the hundreds of families who have since returned to the town. Zubaida received support from IOM to set up a hairdressing business. “It brought back hope. I have new and more advanced hairdressing tools now. Working is honourable and there should be no difference between men and women,” she said.

From the rehabilitation of community infrastructure, to community engagement and livelihoods, IOM’s involvement has played a major factor in encouraging many of Gwer’s displaced families to return.

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said: “Schools, homes and businesses have been destroyed by ISIL over the last four years. Yet, there is nothing more that IDPs would like than to return to their homes and neighbourhoods. To do so, many need support to rebuild their properties and restart their lives. IOM is resolved, together with our humanitarian partners and the Government of Iraq, to provide what assistance it can to help and encourage Iraqis, displaced by war, embark on the next phase of rebuilding their homes and country.” 

Latest on Mosul Displacement

Both the UN and Iraqi government are working on the assumption that between 100,000 to 150,000 individuals remain entrapped in the western sector of the old city of Mosul.

IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Emergency Tracking shows a drop in the number of those fleeing western Mosul in the last week with only 15,000 individuals registered between 11 to 18 June. But the last few days saw an increase in the flow of injured civilians out of Mosul, many of them displaying wounds from gunshot, bombs and shelling.

According to the Government of Iraq’s Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD), a total of 694,231 people have fled west Mosul since the start of the operations on 19 February. Cumulatively, 870,381 people have been displaced since the start of the military operations to retake Mosul city.

IOM’s DTM actively monitors displacement across Iraq, with the latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures available at

Cumulatively, from 18 October 2016 to 8 June 2017, IOM Iraq’s DTM has tracked and confirmed the location of more than 609,612 displaced individuals (101,602 families) from Mosul. Of these, more than 417,000 are currently displaced and more than 190,000 have returned.

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq: Hala Jaber, Tel: +964 751 740 1654, Email:, or Raber Aziz, Tel: +964 750 465 9204, Email: Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 17:05Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

An IOM rehabilitated and refurnished primary health center in Gwer which is equiped with a laboratory, medical test devices and staff to provide services to the town and surrounding villages. Photo: Raber Aziz / IOM 2017

IOM distributes business support packages to support the livelihood of Gwer returnees. Photo: Raber Aziz / IOM 2017

IOM distributes business support packages to support the livelihood of Gwer returnees. Photo: Raber Aziz / IOM 2017

Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 81,292 in 2017; 1,985 Deaths

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 11:04

Switzerland - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) reports that 81,292 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 18 June, with 85 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided among Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 215,702 arrivals across the region through 18 June 2016.

IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported that at least 4,860 migrants have been rescued off the North African coast since Friday. Some of them were being brought to shore on Monday (19 June), and therefore have not been included in the table above.

Di Giacomo also reported that IOM staff in Palermo recorded the following testimony from survivors of this latest shipwreck on Monday: A dinghy carrying 130 migrants sailed from Libya on Thursday. After several hours at sea, the survivors say a group of Libyan smugglers (survivors called them “pirates,” Di Giacomo said) reached the dinghy and stole the craft’s engine. After drifting for a while, the boat capsized. Some Libyan fishermen were able to rescue only four survivors (two Sudanese nationals, two Nigerians) and put them on another dinghy bound for Italy which was in the same area.

This second dinghy then was rescued by European patrol ships and brought to Palermo by the Italian Coast Guard ship CP941, which brought a total of 1,096 migrants to shore. According to survivors, the overwhelming majority of missing migrants was made up of Sudanese nationals.

Late Monday, IOM Rome reported news that seven more migrants were feared missing and that the Italian coast guard was bringing survivors to Messina. Another landing of survivors in Reggio Calabria brought news that one boat with approximately 85 men, women and children on board was spotted by others who managed to tread water. It is believed some survived and were rescued by the Libyan coast guard. The victims are said to be families with children whose nationalities include Moroccan and Syrian.

With these latest reports, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) notes total deaths on the Mediterranean this year are now approaching 2,000, and will have passed that mark if reports from Libya confirm a second or third shipwreck. Although 2,000 is fewer than the number of deaths that were recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,000.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported Monday that on 16 June, 775 migrants (678 men, 82 women and 15 children) were rescued by the Azzawya branch of the Libyan Coast Guard off Sabrath. The remains of eight men and women were retrieved in the Al Mutred area, west of Azzawya. One of the bodies was retrieved by citizens of the town and the rest by the Libyan Red Crescent.

On 17 June, 25 migrants (all men) were rescued off Zwara by local fishermen; 110 migrants are believed to be missing from that incident. On the same day, the remains of one man and one woman were retrieved in Sabratha by the locals. IOM currently is investigating whether these victims may be among the mainly Sudanese passengers who are missing from the incident reported by survivors arriving this week in Palermo (see above).

IOM Libya also reports that on 18 June, 123 migrants (including children) were rescued northwest of Azzawya’s shore by local fishermen and the remains of seven men and women were retrieved in the same area. Remains of a further nine men and women were retrieved in Tajoura east of Tripoli by the Libyan Red Crescent.

Considering the past days’ rescue missions, the total number of people rescued has exceeded 10,000, bringing the total to 10,034.

This year, 277 bodies have been retrieved from the Libyan shores while 10,034 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 2,718 fatalities through 18 June (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – over 70 per cent of the global total.

In the past few days MMP regional figures have added: one incident from May in which eight Ethiopians were found suffocated inside a truck in the Ruvuma region in Tanzania (they are believed to have been en route to South Africa); five bodies recovered in a boat off the coast of Murcia, Spain; one migrant who reportedly died after falling from a truck in Azzawya, Libya; 26 bodies recovered off the coast of Libya during this past weekend; and 126 missing in a shipwreck off the coast of Libya (as reported by survivors taken to Palermo). MMP also added drowning deaths in the river along the US-Mexico border, as well as several deaths within Mexican borders of US-bound migrants.

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:

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

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:

For further information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Kelly Namia at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 16:55Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Launches Detention Centre Mapping in Libya

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 10:54

Libya - In the latest expansion to its activities, Libya’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) launched a Detention Centre Profile component on 14 June 2017.

The first round of assessments profiled 13 detention centres across the East, West and South of Libya, and more centres will be added in future data collection rounds.

DTM’s newly launched Detention Centre Profiles collect information from across detention centres managed by Libya’s Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM).

Three of the 13 centres held over 500 migrants present at the day of assessment: Trig al Shook, Gharyan Al Hamra and Trig al Seka.

Seven had health services available and nearly all of them had referral services to hospital for ill migrants.

Using a standard set of indicators DTM provides baseline assessments into the facilities and infrastructure of certain detention centres, including the functionality of electricity, lighting, latrines, the ventilation system, and laundry facilities.

Simultaneously, DTM aims to provide all partners with a snapshot of the demographic characteristics and health conditions of migrants in detention centres on the day of assessment.

In nine centres, three had either no ventilation system or only ones working irregularly. In nine of 13 centres migrants enjoyed access to outdoor spaces less than half the day. Migrants also were reported to have irregular access to drinking water in three centres: Benghazi al Wafiah, Salah Aldin and Tobruk.

Other indicators focus on migrants’ level of access to various types of services, including legal, medical, health, psychosocial and family tracing services. They also gather information on migrants’ ability to access outdoor spaces, on the frequency of meal provision in the centre, and on the types of illnesses, if any, that migrants had been recently affected by.

“IOM’s DTM programme is a suite of tools that constantly seek new and innovative ways to share information for the benefit of all humanitarian actors,” explained DTM Programme Coordinator Daniel Salmon. “Libya’s latest initiative is drawn from similar exercises rolled out in countries such as South Sudan to provide better and more routine data on internally displaced person (IDP) sites. Libya’s Detention Centre Profiles is a new initiative that aims to deliver routine and reliable data on Libya’s DCIM detention centres.”   

The detention centre assessment will be conducted on a monthly basis, with more centres to be added in future rounds. The detention centre profiles are available on the Libya DTM website.

Composed of Mobility Tracking, Flow Monitoring, Event Tracker and Detention Centre modules, Libya’s Displacement Tracking Matrix collects data on mobile populations in Libya to facilitate evidence-based humanitarian and policy interventions. All reports, methodologies and datasets are available at:

Libya’s Detention Centre profiling assessments were funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

For further information, please contact Daniel Salmon at IOM Libya, Tel: +21629235097, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 16:49Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Photo of a detention center in Libya. IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) launched a Detention Centre Profile component on 14 June 2017. Photo: IOM 2017

Categories: PBN

Australia Announces New Funding for Undocumented Afghan Returnees on World Refugee Day

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 10:49

Afghanistan - Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) today (20/06) announced AUD 4 million (USD 3 million) in funding to support IOM Afghanistan’s assistance to vulnerable undocumented Afghan returnees.

In 2016 Afghanistan experienced unprecedented inflows of returning refugees and undocumented migrants. Over 620,000 people returned from Pakistan and 440,000 from Iran. Another 670,000 people were internally displaced inside the country.

This year, as of 10 June, over 100,000 Afghans, including over 68,000 undocumented returnees, have returned from Pakistan.  This figures represents a 250 per cent increase over the first six months of 2016.

In 2017 IOM Afghanistan has already assisted over 63,000 Afghans returning from Pakistan and Iran. It expects to help nearly 293,000 undocumented Afghan returnees with immediate humanitarian assistance this year.

Australia’s contribution to IOM Afghanistan will include accommodation for families at IOM’s transit centres located at major border crossing points, provision of medical screening, hot meals, household and kitchen items, petty cash for transportation, food rations, and referral services for special needs cases including single women and unaccompanied migrant children.

“Australia’s humanitarian assistance focuses on supporting the most vulnerable, with a particular focus on women, children and people with a disability,” said Australia’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Richard Feakes, announcing the funding. “Australia’s support to IOM will help ensure those Afghans returning from Pakistan without documentation receive critical protection and health support to enable them to rebuild their lives in Afghanistan.”

Many returning families have lived outside Afghanistan for three decades and need support from the government and humanitarian actors both on arrival and as they seek to reintegrate into a country struggling with widespread conflict and displacement.

“Support to Afghan returnees is now more critical than ever,” said IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission and Special Envoy Laurence Hart. “As numbers continue to increase with nearly one million people returning to Afghanistan since last year, this new funding from Australia highlights the pressing needs of Afghans returning home in difficult circumstances.”

Under the Humanitarian Response Plan for Afghanistan, IOM is appealing for USD 52.8 million to provide post-arrival assistance to the most vulnerable undocumented Afghan families returning from Pakistan and Iran in 2017.

For further information please contact Sarah Craggs at IOM Afghanistan, Tel. +93.729228556, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 16:47Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanAustraliaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Undocumented Afghan families returning from Pakistan arrive at IOM’s Spin Boldak transit center in November 2016. Photo: Matthew Graydon / IOM 2016

Categories: PBN

‘Prioritize Migrants Rights,’ UN Migration Agency Tells Government, Employers in Kazakhstan

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 10:31

Kazakhstan - The Central Asian country of Kazakhstan is seeing a rapid rise in inward migration, and interested parties have been urged to ensure respect for migrants’ rights at an early stage, rather than be faced with an expensive fix further down the line.

The spike in migration into Kazakhstan is largely due to a booming economy fuelled by construction projects, mainly in the oil sector. Unfortunately, migrants are particularly vulnerable to labour and human rights abuses when they arrive in a new country, desperate for work regardless of the conditions.

To help ensure that migrants’ rights are protected in Kazakhstan, the USAID Dignity and Rights Project, implemented by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, organized a workshop on human rights and ethical employment recruitment this week in the city of Almaty.  Employers, academics, government representatives, trade unions, NGOs and UN agencies gathered to discuss migrant rights against the backdrop of the recent increase in inward migration.

Tatiana Hadjiemmanuel, IOM Head of Office in Almaty, noted that there are currently more than 10 million migrant workers in Central Asia, regular and irregular, of which close to two million are registered for employment in Kazakhstan.

“The majority of the movements in Central Asia are for work purposes and are mostly irregular,” she said. “The economic slowdown in Russia, together with controls preventing migrants trying to re-enter the country, has made Kazakhstan more attractive, particularly for semi-skilled workers.”

Some 300,000 Uzbek, Tajik and Kyrgyz migrants arrived last year alone, and the numbers are predicted to increase.

“As Kazakhstan continues to grow as a destination country for migrant workers, we would encourage all stakeholders to develop policies and programmes that ensure not only that the economy and the labour market benefit from these flows, but also that the rights of these people are protected from the outset,” cautioned Michael Newson, IOM Regional Labour Migration and Development Specialist. “It becomes much more difficult and costly to correct mistakes in the future.”

Vassiliy Yuzhanin, IOM Regional Project Development Officer in Vienna, led a discussion on international law relating to human and labour rights of migrant workers and its application. States' regulatory frameworks were discussed, as well as the responsibility of employers to respect the rights of migrant workers.   

For further information, please contact Tatiana Hadjiemmanuel at IOM Almaty, Tel: +7 7272582240/2581031, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 16:28Image: Region-Country: KazakhstanThemes: Labour MigrationMigrants RightsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Labour Migration Specialist Michael Newsom speaking to Kazakh government civil society representatives in Almaty. Photo: IOM 2017

Categories: PBN