• English
  • Deutsch
Subscribe to PBN News Germany feed
Updated: 1 hour 4 min ago

UN Migration Agency, Indonesian Government Plan Mentoring Programme to Prosecute, Convict More Human Traffickers

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 09:17

Jakarta IOM and the Indonesian Attorney General’s Office are planning a mentoring scheme to pair prosecutors throughout Indonesia with senior officials who have experience in conducting successful investigations and pursuing criminal proceedings against human traffickers. 

The design of the programme was discussed last week at a two-day meeting in Yogyakarta, Central Java, which brought together experts from law enforcement agencies, social protection bodies and the judiciary.

“According to data from the Anti-Trafficking Task Force and the Attorney General’s Office, only 160 of 214 trafficking cases in 2016 led to convictions,” said Rudi Prabowo Aji, head of the Attorney General’s Training Centre. 

“The response to trafficking is not optimal due to a lack of common understanding about what constitutes ‘trafficking in persons’ among law enforcement officials, as well as a lack of knowledge about gender sensitivity and how to apply a victim-centred approach. This prosecution gap indicates the importance of this mentoring programme.”   

During the meeting, which was sponsored by the Australian Department of Home Affairs, the Attorney General’s Office announced that it would launch a pilot programme later this year.

“Moving beyond conventional classroom methods, the mentoring programme will combine online platforms and face-to-face coaching to allow the sharing of knowledge between law enforcement officers,” said Among Resi, head of IOM Indonesia’s Counter Trafficking and Labour Migration Unit.

“This innovative effort shows the government’s commitment to improve the successful prosecution of human trafficking cases in Indonesia.”

Indonesia remains a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking.  Since 2007 it has been rated Tier 2 by the US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report. Tier 2 is applied to countries that do not fully comply with the US Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance.

IOM programmes in Indonesia support the effective prosecution of individuals and transnational networks engaged in human trafficking. Since 2017, IOM has trained 125 prosecutors from provincial and district attorney offices on handling trafficking cases under Indonesian law, with a particular focus on the protection of victims and witnesses. The trainings use recently completed guidelines for law enforcement and prosecutors that were also developed with the support of the Australian Department of Home Affairs. 

“Working alongside law enforcement is just one way IOM improves protection for victims of trafficking and facilitates their access to justice.  We also collaborate with local partners throughout Indonesia to provide legal support to victims, to connect them with lawyers, and to support their rehabilitation,” said Resi.

Since 2005, IOM Indonesia has identified and assisted over 9,000 victims of trafficking.  The majority were Indonesian nationals exploited in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Middle East and other migrant destination countries. Many were also foreigners, including hundreds of Cambodian and Myanmar nationals enslaved aboard Thai fishing boats operating in Indonesian waters.

For more information please contact Among Resi at IOM Indonesia, Tel. +62 215 7951275,

Language English Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 - 15:10Image: Region-Country: IndonesiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Indonesian law enforcement officials meeting in Yogyakarta plan to use a mentoring scheme to successfully prosecute more human trafficking cases. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

More than 13,000 Internally Displaced Persons Benefit from Environmental Clean-up Campaign in Somalia

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 09:16

Baidoa On Saturday (04/08) more than 13,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) participated in an environmental clean-up campaign organized by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in coordination with the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) outreach team in Baidoa, Somalia.

As part of efforts to bridge divisions and unite the diverse community groups to work toward the common goals of peace, development and reconciliation, the clean-up exercise focused on voluntarism among the IDPs and the host community.  

“Heaps of garbage covered the few available roads in the IDP sites. The lack of accessible roads greatly undermined social development and recovery efforts; however, with today’s clean up, accessibility to our sites will be easier,” said Adan Ahmed, an IDP leader in Baidoa.

IOM provided sanitation materials to 270 IDP sites for the clean-up exercise. The volunteers began their clean-up activities in the IDP sites, swarming over the narrow dirt lanes to remove large volumes of refuse that lay in front of residents’ shelters.

“I never had such a proud moment as when we cleaned our own houses and street,” said Habibo, one of the participants. “Today the streets are clean, our environment welcoming and our morale high.”

The environmental clean-up campaign in Baidoa is funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). To date, over 19,600 IDPs have benefited from the programme which IOM hopes to expand across the different sites in Baidoa.

For more information, please contact Hannah Curweh at IOM Somalia, Tel: 254 796 163 358 (Kenya), +252 612 470 027 (Somalia), Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 - 15:08Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Beneficiaries of IOM’s environmental clean-up exercise in Baidoa, Somalia. Photo: IOM 2018/Ahmed Mohamed Ali

Beneficiaries of IOM’s environmental clean-up exercise in Baidoa, Somalia. Photo: IOM 2018/Ahmed Mohamed Ali

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Switzerland Funds UN Migration Agency to Expand Migrant Presence, Flow Monitoring in Turkey

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 04:39

Ankara – Istanbul has increasingly become a destination city for migrants and refugees from countries such as Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. According to the latest available figures from the Turkish Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM), these nationalities make up a majority of the over 500,000 registered foreign nationals in Istanbul and the 3,9 million registered nationwide. Many migrants and refugees from these countries are vulnerable and in need of assistance.

Over the next year, with support from the Swiss Secretariat for Migration, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, will expand its Migrant Presence Monitoring (MPM) Programme to include Istanbul province. MPM is an important tool developed by IOM to support DGMM and the humanitarian community track migratory flows in Turkey to better manage migration and address issues of integration, registration and service provision of and for migrants and refugees.

Results from MPM flow monitoring surveys conducted with migrants in 15 provinces found that Istanbul was the first destination city of choice among the 42 per cent of respondents, a majority of whom cited opportunities for employment as their reason for choosing to move. With large flows to Istanbul, Government and non-governmental service providers often face challenges tracking migrant and refugee families and their needs. The expansion of MPM to Istanbul will better enable them to identify and assist particularly vulnerable individuals.

“It is crucial to better understand the challenges faced by refugees and migrants, as well as by the host communities, to enable better policy decisions and improve humanitarian response,” said Tiziano Balmelli, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Swiss Embassy in Ankara. “With its expansion, MPM will be able to cover 80 per cent of the areas in Turkey where vulnerable migrants and refugees reside. The Swiss Government values the contributions of IOM’s MPM programme, the only comprehensive programme of its kind in Turkey,” added Balmelli.

IOM Turkey has implemented MPM since May 2016 to monitor the movement and intentions of migrants and refugees around the country. With this one-year grant from the Swiss, the addition of Istanbul will bring the total number of provinces where MPM operates to 26.

MPM data highlights migration trends, informs national policies, and helps identify vulnerable migrants and refugees in order to provide them with essential support. For example, IOM and humanitarian partners use MPM data each year to provide migrant and refugee families with relief items during the cold winter months across south-eastern Turkey.

The expansion of the programme will also establish five new key flow monitoring points in Edirne, Gaziantep, Izmir, Istanbul and Agri provinces which have dynamic internal and external migratory flows. 

“We are filling a crucial need for migration data that gives us insight into migrants and refugees on the move in Turkey,” said Lado Gvilava, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Turkey. “Without it, we would not be able to help provide basic needs and improve their quality of life,” said Gvilava. 

For more information, please contact Lanna Walsh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email:

Language English Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2018 - 10:24Image: Region-Country: TurkeyDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Turkey Chief of Mission Lado Gvilava and Swiss Embassy First Secretary Tobias Schäpfer sign the new project agreement to expand MPM. © IOM/Emrah Ozesen

A member of IOM Turkey’s MPM team conducts an interview for MPM reporting.  ©IOM Turkey 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM: USD 45 Million Needed for 2018-2020 Migrant Response in Horn of Africa, Yemen

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:06

Nairobi – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and its partners launched, on 6 August, a Regional Migrant Response Plan (RMRP) for the Horn of Africa and Yemen through which they are appealing to the international community for USD 45 million. The plan details support to migrants on the move in the Horn of Africa and Yemen from 2018 to 2020.

The response plan, developed in coordination with regional and country level non-governmental and intergovernmental partners, is a migrant-focused humanitarian and development strategy for vulnerable migrants from the Horn of Africa, specifically those from Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia, moving to and from Yemen. The plan targets some 81,000 people.

Irregular migration from the Horn of Africa to the Gulf countries has been steadily increasing over the past few years, with approximately 100,000 people entering Yemen, a major transit point on this route, in 2017. Often, migrants and refugees cross the Gulf of Aden from Djibouti or Somalia, arriving in Yemen with the support of smugglers.

The countries on this route are beset with humanitarian challenges. In Yemen, partners estimate that more than 20 million people need humanitarian assistance, while Somalia and Ethiopia are also in the grip of complex emergencies because of conflict and recurrent disasters. 

The plan estimates that, like in 2017, up to 100,000 new arrivals from the Horn of Africa will reach Yemen in 2018, while 200,000 migrants and refugees will return from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Yemen to the Horn of Africa countries in the same period. Of these, 150,000 and 50,000 will return to Ethiopia and Somalia, respectively.

“This Regional Migrant Response Plan will guide IOM and its partners in addressing the growing needs of irregular migrants moving between the Horn of Africa and Yemen,” said Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM Regional Director for the East and Horn of Africa. “The humanitarian needs in the region remain immense, which leave migrants and host communities in a vulnerable situation,” he added.

The three-year plan includes urgent humanitarian interventions. It also details longer term actions to address the drivers of migration, build local migration management capacity and provide sustainable socioeconomic infrastructure to support communities of origin, transit and destination. The objectives of the plan are in keeping with the Sustainable Development Goals, connecting humanitarian and development field work.

For more information, please contact IOM’s Regional Office in Nairobi:

Salvatore Sortino (programmatic enquiries) Tel: +254 20 4221 171 or +254 700 638 444, Email:
Kenneth Odiwuor (media enquiries), Tel: +254 722 560363, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 7, 2018 - 15:00Image: Region-Country: KenyaDefault: Multimedia: 

Ethiopian migrants in Obock, Djibouti, walk to a shaded area to await smugglers to bring them to Yemen. Photo: Olivia Headon/IOM 2018

Horn of Africa and Yemen migrant flows.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Call for Applications: ‘Start and Scale-Up for SDGs’ at Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:03

Geneva IOM, the UN Migration Agency, joins the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and partners in announcing a call for applications to participate in the prestigious youth entrepreneurship pitching event entitled Start and Scale-up for SDGs. The event will take place in Geneva, Switzerland on 15 November 2018 as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (12-16 November 2018).

Young entrepreneurs from around the world are invited to pitch business ideas that contribute to at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Experts will then provide comprehensive feedback on the submissions, and how businesses can promote sustainable and inclusive growth through entrepreneurship in line with the UN Agenda on Sustainable Development.

A selected panel of impact investors, sustainable finance specialists and other experts will provide feedback on how to promote sustainable and inclusive growth through entrepreneurship in line with the UN Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development.

Applications from young entrepreneurs with migrant backgrounds including returning migrants; businesses or business ideas which partner with migrants; as well as businesses which offer migration related solutions, are particularly encouraged.

Following a rigorous evaluation of submitted applications according to a predefined eligibility and selection criteria, 10 selected candidates will be invited to visit Geneva during the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). They will be invited to showcase their business ideas to impact investors and sustainable finance partners.

Participants will receive individual feedback from experts; attend a customized workshop on intellectual property led by WIPO; benefit from coaching sessions on resilience and leadership skills provided by FlowInAction; and attend a wide variety of events organized in Geneva during the GEW.

In addition, the candidates in the ‘Scale-Up’ competition will have an opportunity to win an equity fund of USD 15,000. Candidates in the ‘Start-Up’ competition will have an opportunity to win a grant of USD 5,000. The prizes are sponsored by ONE CREATION, a Swiss Investment cooperative whose commitments reflect the combination of social, economic and environmental priorities.

To participate in the Youth Entrepreneurship Pitching Event ‘Start and Scale-up for SDGs’, applicants are invited to fill in the attached application form below, include a picture of themselves and provide relevant attachments that give the review committee a better understanding of their businesses.

The application form is available here and must be submitted electronically before 1 September 2018 at the following email address:


Eligibility criteria for applications
  • Candidates must be aged between 15 and 34 as of 1 September 2018.
  • Candidates may apply to the start-up or the scale-up competition, based on the following criteria:
  • Start-up competition: Business ideas, concepts and/or prototypes must be at the very initial stages of development or at early operational stage (1-12 months)
  • Scale-up competition: Established businesses must have been at least one year in operation or more (12 months+).
  • All ideas, concepts and/or businesses must aim to contribute to at least one of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals. More specifically, ideas, concepts and/or businesses must embed elements of social, economic or environmental sustainability, either in the resulting final product or service of the business, or in the process used to make the product or deliver the service.
  • All applications must only be submitted using the application form and should include a picture of the applicant and any eventual attachments.
  • Applicants must disclose any start or scale-up funding already received at the time of applying.
Selection criteria
  • Ideas, concepts and/or businesses with clear elements of sustainability will be valued the most. The ideas and concepts for products, services or value propositions need to make an obvious contribution to achieving one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. What will the impact on society be?
  • Besides the main aforementioned aspect of sustainability, the following criteria will be used to select the applicants invited to the pitching event.
    • Customer needs to be clearly identified (needs)
      • How is the product or service going to add value for customers? Which of the customers’ problems is the product/service going to solve?
    • Business model (approach)
      • How will the product or service generate revenue (sales, subscription, advertisement, etc.)? How much does it expect to sell in the first year of business?
    • Differentiators identified (differentiation)
      • How is the product or service different from or better than the existing products or services offered by other, competing businesses for the same customers? What is the competitive advantage that allows the business to outperform / do better than competitors (patent, algorithm, unique service model, etc.)?
    • Initial market identified, and sufficiently large and growing (competition)
      • Who will be buying the product or service? How big is the existing market? What is the potential scalability of the business?
  • Two kinds of entrepreneurship ideas are particularly encouraged (i) proposals from young entrepreneurs with migrant background or those offering migration related solutions, and (ii) proposals that provide specific attention to climate change solutions, sustainable environmental management and solutions for sustainable natural resource use.

For more information please contact IOM Headquarters:
Vanessa Okoth-Obbo, Tel: +41 22 717 9366, Email:
Deepali Fernandes, Tel: +41 22 717 9547, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 7, 2018 - 14:55Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018 themes, announced this week, are recognizing women, youth and inclusion in entrepreneurship and connecting ecosystems around the world. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 59,271 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,504

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:02

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 59,271 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 5 August 2018. That total compares to 117,102 at this time last year, and over 263,436 at this time in 2016.

Arrivals to Spain (see chart below) lead all countries with 23,741, or just over 40 per cent of all Mediterranean irregular migrants, who this year have surpassed those coming on competing routes. Their migration volume has nearly tripled the number of those registered at this time last year, when some 8,677 had arrived through 31 July. 

Arrivals to Italy trail Spain by almost 5,000. Two weeks ago, the gap between those two destination points was just under 200 individuals – an indicator of how quickly the Spanish route has surged. Italy now reports receiving less than a third of all irregular sea arrivals (around 32 per cent), while Greece continues to receive about 28 per cent, an amount that has remained steady throughout the year.

Significantly, Greece’s arrivals thus far in 2018 are running nearly 5,000 ahead of last year’s totals on this date, an increase of almost 50 per cent.  Arrivals to Italy, on the other hand, are down over 80 per cent compared to 2017 data.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 1,514 men, women and children seeking to cross the Mediterranean in 2018 – the same number IOM reported last week. Despite the smaller volumes overall, migrants’ Mediterranean passages remains among the deadliest on earth. On a per capita basis, 2 per cent of all migrant attempts last year ended in fatality, compared with 2.5 per cent in 2018. That amounts to twenty deaths per thousand crossers in 2017, rising to twenty-five per thousand reported lost in 2018.

Also notable are the relative differences in lethality between Mediterranean routes in 2018. Despite accounting for fewer than a third of all arrivals to Europe, migration originating in Libya accounts this year for almost three-quarters of all deaths in sea passage. Adding 1,111 fatalities to 18,872 arrivals to Italy yields a total of just under 20,000 crossers on this Central Mediterranean route—and over 55 deaths per thousand crossing attempts, more than double the regional average. In comparison, fatalities for the Western Mediterranean route are about 13 per thousand in 2018; for the Eastern Mediterranean route linking Turkey to Greece and Cyprus the death rate this year is less than six drowning victims per thousand.

IOM Madrid’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that during this past weekend, a total of 610 individuals were rescued by the patrol boats of Salvamento Maritimo and the Spanish Guardia Civil (395 on Saturday, 4 August; another 215 on Sunday, 5 August).

With those rescues, total 2018 arrivals through 5 August have reached 23,741 men, women and children – irregular migrants who have entered Europe through Western Mediterranean waters. Additionally, according to Spanish authorities, some 3,725 migrants have attempted to enter Spain irregularly via its African enclaves at Melilla and Ceuta.
Over the year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. In the 66 days since 31 May, a total of 15,591 have arrived –or just over 235 migrants per day.
IOM Athens’ Antigone Avgeropoulou said Monday that IOM has learned from the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) of at least one incident between the four days (2-5 August) requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Psara. The HCG rescued a total of 96 migrants and transferred them to Psara and Chios. Another 96 landed without intervention on Lesvos, Samos and Kos – bringing to 16,307 the total number arrivals this year through 5 August (see chart below).

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 2,346 people during migration to international destinations in 2018 (see chart below). 

While no new deaths were reported over the weekend on any of the three Mediterranean Sea routes, reports of migrant deaths in other regions have emerged since Friday. In Europe, a young Pakistani migrant was killed during the last week of July while trying to reach the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia from Greece. Greek authorities arrested eight people – with whom the victim reportedly was travelling – in relation to the crime. In North Africa, the remains of three Egyptian men, who were migrating likely with the help of smugglers, were found 100km west of Al Jaghbub, in Libya.

In the Americas, records were added for nine people who were found dead after crossing from Mexico into Pima County, Arizona in the month of July. Their identities, let alone their causes of death, will likely remain unknown because of the fast rate of decomposition in the desert heat. In Texas, US Border Patrol officers found the body of a man near the town of Pharr, in Hidalgo County, who reportedly died of dehydration and heat exhaustion. 

On the US-Mexico border, three people died in recent days while trying to cross into the United States. On 24 July, US Border Patrol officers responded to a distress call regarding two Mexican nationals, a father and son, who were lost in a ranch near Sullivan City, Texas. When they found them, they were taken to the local hospital, where the father died of cardiac arrest. On the same day, Mexican civil protection authorities recovered the body of a young man from the Río Bravo/Grande, near the first international bridge in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.

A fourth victim, a man, also was killed on his way through Mexico when he was hit by a train in Colonia Pascualitos, Mexicali, Mexico on 21 July.

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

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

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 7, 2018 - 14:50Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Netherlands, IOM Partner to Provide Opportunities for Youth in Conflict-Affected Areas of Iraq

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:01

Baghdad – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Government of the Netherlands have signed a strategic partnership agreement this past week to provide livelihood and psychosocial support to Iraqi youth in crisis-affected areas and to assist the Government of Iraq in addressing challenges related to migration management.

Funded by the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the EUR 3.5 million, 18-month project aims to support the Iraqi Government to manage migration in a safe and orderly manner and to promote durable solutions for internally displaced persons and communities of return, through improved standards of living, sustainable livelihoods and employment, and cohesive communities.

“Through this partnership with IOM, we are pleased to support the Government of Iraq in their effort to enhance stabilization and social cohesion in conflict-affected territories and to tackle the root causes of irregular migration,” said Marielle Geraedts, Chargé d’Affairs from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Baghdad.

“By helping Iraq on these issues, we hope that young Iraqis will see a brighter future in Iraq,” added Geraedts. The new partnership fits within the designation of Iraq as a focus country for Dutch foreign policy assistance.

The project, which is part of a larger partnership between IOM in Iraq and the Government of the Netherlands, will provide young Iraqis with opportunities to play a stabilizing role in their communities, enhancing their economical capacities as well as their role as peace and confidence builders. This will be achieved through psychosocial and livelihood support, including vocational training, job placement and business development support.

Livelihood and psychosocial support go hand-in-hand in achieving durable solutions to displacement, including return and reintegration in Iraq’s post-conflict era.

In addition to this, IOM and the Netherlands will support the Government of Iraq to analyse the migration context in Iraq and identify gaps and recommendations, which could inform the further development of evidence-based migration policies.

While the project’s geographical coverage will be nation-wide, including the Kurdistan Region, the governorates of Anbar, Baghdad, and Kirkuk will receive special focus as they were heavily affected by the conflict, and subsequent displacement and return.

“As displaced families continue to return to their cities and villages, it is now more crucial than ever to support and facilitate the livelihood of young men and women, as they are the backbone of Iraqi families,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Iraq Chief of Mission.

Following the eruption of conflict in Iraq in 2014 in which ISIL seized a vast swath of Iraq, around six million people were displaced, while more than 1.9 million Iraqis are still living in displacement, according to IOM Iraq’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).

For more information, please contact Sandra Black in IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 7, 2018 - 14:45Image: Region-Country: IraqDefault: Multimedia: 

Marielle Geraedts, Chargé d’Affairs, Embassy of the Netherlands in Baghdad and IOM Chief of Mission in Iraq, Gerard Waite sign agreement. Photo: IOM

Some of the participants in livelihoods / job training programmes in Iraq. Photo: IOM 

Some of the participants in livelihoods / job training programmes in Iraq. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Completes First Road to Massive Displacement Settlement in Haiti

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 08:51

Port-au-Prince – IOM, the UN Migration Agency in Haiti has completed the first road to Canaan, a fringe, partial internally displaced persons community that formed after the 2010 earthquake. The road will benefit approximately 200,000 Haitians currently living in Canaan, most of them with no access to electricity, toilets, essential amenities or state services. This new infrastructure will facilitate access to jobs, schools, and hospitals located outside the community.

Canaan is a tree-less district located on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. The community is situated off a national highway, Route 1, wedged between salt flats, dry mountains, and the country’s largest waste transformation plant.

In February 2015, USAID and its funding partners embarked on a two-year long, approximately USD 14 million programme aimed at upgrading conditions for the Canaan community. They consulted with the Unité de Construction de Logements et de Bâtiments Publics (UCLBP, Office of the Prime Minister) to support the Government of Haiti’s vision to promote equitable and resilient urban development in the Canaan zone and funded IOM to assist in programme implementation.

IOM Haiti was funded to oversee the construction of 1.3 km of concrete roadway, and the work was completed in the last week of July 2018. Handover to the Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Communication (MPTPC) with IOM and the construction firm for the road occurred on 27 July 2018, and the formal inauguration will be scheduled in the upcoming weeks. The road was designed for a 20-year lifespan with a significant drainage system following UN-Habitat hydraulic studies for the Canaan area.

“Beyond the objectives of improving and contributing to the development of the Canaan area, this successful project will re-connect and integrate the communities affected by displacement to the urban and social environment and finally make the population ‘visible’ and recognizable,” said Bernard Lami,  IOM Haiti Acting Chief of Mission.

The 1.3 km of the Canaan 3 road starts at the Boukambou canal (Bon Repos Community Hospital) and connects with a segment of path paved by the non-profit organization Global Communities. It now stretches all the way down to National Road 3. The complete loop built by IOM and Global Communities with co-funding from the American Red Cross and USAID creates a strategic roadway connecting Canaan to National Roads 1 and 3.

This segment was identified as a strategic entryway into a densely populated part of Canaan by both the UCLBP and UN-Habitat in their Urban Plan of the Canaan area which was also funded by USAID. The design of this intervention has required close technical coordination between multiple stakeholders including Global Communities, the American Red Cross, MTPTC and the Municipality of Croix-des-Bouquets.

“One kilometre might seem not significant until you observe the impact this road has had on changing people’s lives by providing them dignity and hope for the revitalization of Canaan – their neighbourhood,” said project manager Maria Oliveira Ramos, Head of IOM Haiti’s Urban Development and Engineering Unit.

For more information, please contact Emily Bauman at IOM Haiti, Tel: +509 3783 5424, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 7, 2018 - 14:40Image: Region-Country: HaitiDefault: Multimedia: 

The road will benefit approx. 200,000 Haitians currently living in Canaan, most of them with no access to electricity, toilets, essential amenities or state services. Photo: IOM/Emily Bauman 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Helps Ethiopian Migrants, Somali Refugees Return Home from War-torn Yemen

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 08:50
Language English

Yemen – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, continues to help migrants, including refugees, stranded in Yemen return home, with its latest voluntary humanitarian return support taking place this week (04-05/08). One movement left from Hudaydah with 132 Ethiopian migrants and the second from Aden with 116 Somali refugees.

For three years, the conflict in Yemen has been taking a toll on both Yemenis and migrants. For migrants, the escalation of violence in Hudaydah in June meant being stranded in Yemen longer than they wanted as IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programming was temporarily stopped from the city’s port. However, improvement in the security situation allowed movements from Hudaydah to resume in mid-July.

IOM transported the 132 Ethiopian migrants – 96 men, 19 women and 17 unaccompanied children, of which 10 were boys and seven girls – by bus from Sana’a to Hudaydah city, where they spent the night in a secure location. The next day (04/08), IOM brought the migrants to the port from which they left to voluntarily return home to Ethiopia via Djibouti.

Nearly 100,000 Yemenis have been displaced by the ongoing instability in Hudaydah. To support the displaced community, IOM is providing food to 500 people a day and medical assistance to 200 people a day.

“Despite the difficult environment in Hudaydah, IOM has been assisting migrants and the internally displaced population,” said Sarat Dash, IOM Chief of Mission in Yemen. “IOM is distributing food and water and providing medical assistance. Meals are being provided at IOM’s Migrants Response Point and in four schools in Al Marawa. We are also providing food baskets and materials to build shelters to displaced people not lucky enough to be hosted in a school,” said Dash.

The day after the Ethiopian movement (05/08), IOM in coordination with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, helped 116 Somalis refugees depart from Aden to return home. The group comprised 48 men, 29 women, 19 boys and 20 girls. This group was assisted through the Assisted Spontaneous Return programme (ASR) for Somali refugees in Yemen, which is carried out in close collaboration with the Yemeni Authority, Somali National Commission for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (NCRI) and the Somali Consulate.

So far in 2018, IOM has helped 615 stranded migrants return home from Yemen on IOM’s voluntary humanitarian return (VHR) programme, and 1,321 refugees out of Aden were helped under the Assisted Spontaneous Return (ASR) programme.

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

Posted: Tuesday, August 7, 2018 - 14:36Image: Region-Country: YemenDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 58,158 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,514

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 09:20

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 58,158 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 1 August 2018. That total compares to 113,283 at this time last year, and over 261,228 at this time in 2016.

Arrivals to Spain (see chart below) in July overtook those to Italy and have surpassed the total number of arrivals (22,108) recorded in Spanish waters during all of 2017. This year almost 40 per cent of all Mediterranean irregular migrants have come via the Western Mediterranean route, whose irregular migration volume has more than tripled that registered on the route by this time last year. 

Mediterranean Developments

As remarkable as Spain’s rise in irregular migration activity has been through 2018, more significant is this summer surge. Over the year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. In the 62 days since May 31, a total of 14,898 have arrived – or over 240 migrants per day (see chart below).

The Western route also extremely deadly, with over 300 fatalities recorded through 1 August – a nearly 50 per cent increase over all of last year’s total: 224.

Most recently, IOM’s Missing Migrant Project recorded a young man drowned off the coast of Tangiers, Morocco on 30 July. He was travelling with two other friends on a small inflatable raft when it capsized off Achakkar, near Tangiers. The two friends survived and were taken by local civil protection authorities to the hospital.

IOM Athens’ Antigoni Avgeropoulou said Thursday that in the three days from 30 July through 1 August, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least two incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Kos and Samos. The HCG rescued a total of 55 migrants and transferred them to those respective islands.  Additionally, arrivals to Rhodes and Lesvos this week bring the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory since 1 January to 16,114.

April remains the busiest month for irregular migration by land and sea to Greece, with a total of 7,009 men, women and children arriving. February was the lowest with 1,610 (see charts below).

IOM’s Ivona Zakoska reported that arrivals to Bosnia and Herzegovina between January and end of July 2018 reached a total of 10,023, ten times more than the 1,116 reported for the whole of 2017. One third of all registered migrants were of Pakistani origin, followed by 16 per cent of those who declared Syrian nationality and 13 per cent of those who declared Iranian origin.

According to the information received from IOM field staff present in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are an estimated 4,500 migrants present in the country, mainly in Velika Kladusa (Una Sana canton) close to the border with Croatia. IOM is supporting the Government to increase the accommodation capacities of the official reception centres in the country by refurbishing and preparing the infrastructure to add additional 1,200 places to the existing capacity which is currently less than 600.
Increase in arrivals has been observed also in Albania and Montenegro. An estimated 1,358 irregular migrants attempting to cross the Albanian-Greek border were registered in Albania so far this year, four times the 354 reported in the same period in 2016 and almost ten times more than the 178 reported between January and July 2017.

Moreover, arrivals to Albania at the end of July 2018 exceeded the 752 registered in the whole of 2017. More than half of migrants who arrived this year are from Syrian Arab Republic (55%). Pakistani (10%), Iraqi (8%), Algerian (6%) and Moroccan (5%) are the remaining nationalities registered among the top five nationality groups this year. Similar nationality breakdown is registered also among the 740 migrants who are apprehended on exit from Albania to Montenegro (top five nationalities – 43% Syrian, 25% Pakistani, 7% Iraqi, 4% Libyan and 3% Palestinian).

In Montenegro, authorities registered 2,473 arrivals between January and July 2018, ten times more than 266 registered in the same period last year and 20 times more than 125 reported at the end of July 2016. Further on, arrivals this year are already triple the 807 registered in the whole of 2017. As in Albania, Syrian Arab Republic is the first registered nationality in Montenegro this year (42%), followed by migrants from Pakistan (18%), Algeria (11%), Iraq (8%), Morocco (6%) and Libya (4%).
Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 2,332 people during migration to international destinations in 2018 (see chart below).

In Europe, the remains of a 14-year-old boy were recovered by Greek authorities from the Evros river on the Greece-Turkey border on 29 July. According to a forensic expert, it is likely the boy died three months before. In Serbia, two migrants were shot near the town of Dobrinci, 45km northwest of Belgrade, on 1 August, according to Serbian police.

On the US-Mexico border, the remains of five migrants were recovered in the last few days, two of them in Texas and three in California. On 21 July, the remains of a 27-year-old woman from Guatemala were retrieved near Laredo, Texas. According to her family, she left her hometown in Guatemala’s department of Sololá in late May, with the aim of crossing the border into the US. The last time they heard from her was on 7 July, the day she left Mexico to cross the border.

Additionally, remains of a young man from El Salvador were found in an irrigation canal in El Paso County, Texas on 30 July. In California, remains of three migrants were retrieved over a period of four days last month. One young man died of dehydration after crossing the US-Mexico border near Calexico. His remains were recovered in a remote area on 21 July. Three days later (24 July), the remains of another migrant were found in a ranch in Imperial County, California. On 25 July, US Border Patrol officers found the body of the third migrant 17km east of the USBP East Port of Entry in Calexico, California.

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

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

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

Language English Posted: Friday, August 3, 2018 - 15:40Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Yemenis Displaced by Hudaydah Offensive in Need of Greater Lifesaving Support

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 09:20

Yemen – The world’s worst humanitarian crisis deteriorated even further in June 2018 when a military offensive on Hudaydah led to the displacement of nearly half of the city’s 600,000 population. Nearly two months later, the situation remains unstable and the displaced communities in and near Hudaydah are in desperate need of humanitarian aid.  

In Hudaydah, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, provides assistance to displaced communities where they are temporarily residing.

Since 13 June, IOM has provided 4,680 medical consultations, antenatal care to 337 pregnant women, reproductive health consultations to 531 individuals and psychosocial support to 500 people, as well as conducting health promotion activities that have reached over 1,600 people.

IOM distributed food rations, basic hygiene items and other essential to over 3,300 displaced people. Shelters materials and other essential aid were provided to 1,400 families, as well as 20,850 hot meals in various areas of displacement.

To ensure their safety and access to humanitarian services, IOM has helped transport over 1,000 displaced people to various locations.   

Having to flee for their lives, the displaced community have very little to support themselves in the places where they are sheltering. From July to the start of August, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), airlifted, through seven flights, roughly 368 tonnes of aid to Yemen.

IOM received them and will ensure the delivery of the goods, which include blankets, kitchen sets, water buckets, sleeping mats, solar lanterns and family size tents, through humanitarian partners to internally displaced Yemenis forced from their homes by the Hudaydah offensive.  

Although health needs are high, the conflict has collapsed Yemen’s health care infrastructure, which was barely coping before the fighting began. Through IOM, the United States’ Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has provided the people of Yemen with 1,800,000 bags of Intravenous fluid from April to July. 

Many of Yemen’s hospitals have closed due to lack of funding – medical staff have not been paid for nearly two years now. Providing medical supplies is a lifeline in a spiralling situation.   

“We are grateful to our donors for their support – it is vital but the displaced communities in Yemen are in need of much more assistance and protection,” said Sarat Dash, IOM Yemen Chief of Mission.  

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

Language English Posted: Friday, August 3, 2018 - 15:35Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Aid from the United Kingdom arriving in Yemen in response to the Hudaydah crisis. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Ghana Completes Renovations to Government Shelter for Child Victims of Trafficking

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 09:20

Accra – Last weekend (28/07) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, joined Ghana’s Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection and Interior; the US Ambassador; the UN Resident Coordinator; key government officials involved in anti-trafficking response; and civil society actors to celebrate the reopening of the only Government-owned shelter dedicated to child victims of trafficking in Ghana.

The renovated shelter will be a safe and secure environment for children recently removed from human trafficking situations. Trained social workers can provide comprehensive and trauma-informed services and assistance, including psychosocial counselling, family tracing, and nutritional feeding.

“For the past eight years, this shelter has not been able to welcome children. This is a rebirth; it’s a new beginning for our children,” said the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba. “Indeed, it’s a renascence in Ghana’s efforts to combat human trafficking. Today’s commissioning is a huge milestone that demonstrates Ghana’s commitment to operationalize this facility and end human trafficking.”

In total, IOM has provided over USD 50,000 to refurbish and refurnish the shelter. Through a regional initiative funded by the Kingdom of Sweden to improve direct assistance to child migrants, IOM supported the installation of a new septic tank and compound lighting, as well as funding renovations to the dayroom block, including two classrooms, an office, two staff toilets, a library and a storage room. Through funding from the the United States, IOM oversaw the renovation of two dormitory blocks and their adjacent bathrooms, as well as a dining hall and storage area. The organization also donated tables, benches, cabinets, mattresses, stoves, a freezer, a refrigerator, a television, mosquito nets and lamps.

Support from the United States of America is part of the Child Protection Compact (CPC) Partnership between the Governments of Ghana and the United States, with funding from the US Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office). As an implementing partner of the CPC, IOM provides technical support to Government stakeholders responsible for protecting victims of trafficking and prosecuting perpetrators.

“What matters most is that we take a stand on behalf of survivors of trafficking, who have suffered so much as a result of this crime,” said US Ambassador Robert Jackson. “For this reason, I’m very happy that the shelter is almost ready to reopen. In 2015 the reopening of this facility seemed like a dream. I really want to thank IOM and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection for turning this facility into what we see today. I saw it over a year ago, and there is no comparison. Today is really a transformation.”

Since 2016, IOM has trained 150 social welfare officers from the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) on direct assistance to child victims of trafficking. The reopening of a dedicated shelter for child victims of trafficking provides a place for trained social welfare officers to provide assistance that aligns with the recently launched Standard Operating Procedures to Combat Human Trafficking in Ghana. Through US government funding provided through the CPC partnership, IOM plans to support 140 child victims of trafficking while at the shelter, by offering return and reintegration support amongst other initiatives

“As we celebrate this important achievement, we should not lose sight of the fact that the maintenance of the premises and of the new furniture, the scrupulous selection of the staff and above all, the quality of the care that is going to be provided to children in the shelter will be the real indicators of success,” said Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, IOM Chief of Mission in Ghana.

Through the CPC partnership, IOM also collaborates with the Government of Ghana to provide logistical support to law enforcement for operations involving child victims of trafficking and will assist those children who participate as witnesses in criminal proceedings.

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

Language English Posted: Friday, August 3, 2018 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

Ghana's Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba addresses delegates. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, UNHCR Visit Migrant Transit Centres in Algeria

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 09:19

Algiers – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) delegations in Algeria were invited to participate as observers in visits to the transit centres of Zéralda (Algiers) and Tamanrasset (South of Algeria). This mission observed the conditions under which a group of 297 Nigerien nationals was transferred from the cities Algiers to Tamanrasset. This return convoy was organized by the Algerian authorities from 28 June to 3 July 2018.

As a follow-up to this transfer, IOM and UNHCR were informed about the onward transportation of 355 Nigeriens to in Ghezzam for their return to Niger in cooperation with the Government of Niger.

The mission provided an opportunity for UNHCR and IOM teams to visit these two centres for the first time, as well as other transit facilities along the Trans Saharan route in Laghouat, Ghardaïa, and Ain Salah. Both agencies received detailed information from the Algerian authorities on services provided in these centres and witnessed the Algerian coordination mechanisms amongst the various services and Ministries involved.

The mission also served as a framework for dialogue with the authorities.

UNHCR noted the need for enhanced cooperation in the South of Algeria and for the setting up of procedures for the identification and referral of persons in need of international protection.

IOM highlighted its readiness to further support the Algerian authorities to set up of identification and referral mechanisms for migrants in particularly vulnerable situations or with specific needs requesting assistance throughout the country with a specific focus on the Southern border areas.

IOM and UNHCR believe it is crucial to keep a positive dialogue and call for enhanced coordinated efforts with the Algerian authorities to address the acute challenges and constraints in the management of mixed flows in Algeria.

UNHCR reaffirmed the need to strengthen the asylum system and the protection environment for asylum-seekers and refugees in Algeria in line with applicable international refugee and human rights principles and standards.

IOM is committed to further supporting coordinated efforts in view of providing direct assistance to migrants, including via its Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration framework, and the promotion and facilitation of international and regional dialogue on migration governance.

Both agencies remain confident that this dialogue will help move towards enhanced concerted efforts on migration and asylum issues in Algeria.

For more information please contact:
Pascal Reyntjens at IOM Algeria, Tel: +213559570592, Email:
Russell Fraser at UNHCR, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, August 3, 2018 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: AlgeriaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

UNHCR and IOM representatives in Algeria with Algerian authorities in Tamanrasset. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Safe Migration Systems: IOM, Viber Team Up in Belarus

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 09:19

Minsk – More than half of Belarus’ 9.5 million people use the global messenger service Viber, which was created in Minsk more than seven years ago, to quickly exchange messages, receive information, and make phone calls at home and abroad. Now, a new IOM Belarus Viber community has been established to share travel information and inform people about the potential risks they face, including human trafficking.

IOM Belarus and Viber signed the partnership agreement on 30 July, symbolically launching the new relationship on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, to disseminate information and tips about safe migration.

The partnership involves the creation of an IOM Belarus Viber community and the development of promotional activities to reach the target audience.

"The partnership with Viber will be a significant contribution to preventing human trafficking in Belarus," said IOM Belarus Chief of Mission Zeynal Hajiyev.

“The IOM/Viber community will be an innovative supplement to the work of the existing hotlines supported by IOM and run by NGO partners. It will make information available 24/7 in any place in the world.”

Veronika Kesova, Head of Viber’s development centre stressed that safety is one of Viber's major priorities. “To be the partner of an organization like IOM, which takes care of human health and (migration) interests is extremely important for us. We want to help IOM help people to consider all the risks, including the risk of human trafficking when planning to travel. We hope that the new community will help users avoid crisis situations.”

The community is expected to help reach people who don’t feel comfortable calling hotlines and telling operators their problems. According to the hotline statistics, women call the hotline more often, suggesting that men may not feel comfortable receiving consultations in this manner.

Join the IOM Belarus Viber community:

For more information please contact Olga Borzenkova at IOM Belarus, Tel: +375 17 2882742, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, August 3, 2018 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: BelarusThemes: Counter-TraffickingPrivate Sector PartnershipsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Belarus and Viber sign the partnership agreement in Minsk, Belarus. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Iraqi Government Inaugurate Community Resource Centres in Mosul, Anbar

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 09:18

Erbil – In the year since Mosul was liberated from Daesh in July 2017, around 870,000 people have returned to the city, according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). 

As part of the effort to support displaced persons returning home and other vulnerable populations in Daesh occupation-affected areas in Iraq, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Government of Iraq’s Joint Coordination and Monitoring Centre (JCMC) launched two Community Resource Centres in Mosul, which suffered widespread destruction at the hands of Daesh and during the military operations to liberate the area. Through the partnership, IOM and JCMC established a third centre in Fallujah, Anbar Governorate.

In many neighbourhoods of West Mosul, homes and shops have been reduced to rubble. Even those citizens with the resources to rehabilitate their property are unable to do so due to fears it has been booby-trapped by Daesh or is contaminated with explosive remnants of war.

The official ceremony to inaugurate the centres took place on Wednesday, 25 July, in west Mosul. The two centres are located in Al-Jadeda, a severely affected neighbourhood in West Mosul, and in Tahrir, a neighbourhood of east Mosul where returnees live alongside internally displaced persons from other parts of Ninewa. The ceremony brought together representatives from the Government of Iraq, international humanitarian agencies and the local community.

“While the Government of Iraq, the UN and NGOs continue to scale up their support to Mosul, we know that returnee families often struggle to find out what services are available, or how these services can be accessed,” said Siobhan Simojoki, the Head of IOM Iraq’s Mosul Office.

“These Community Resource Centres will help to address this issue and provide information, referral, and a priority set of centralized services. The centres will be open to all people in need – whether returnees, host communities or internally displaced,” added Simojoki.

“The road to recovery in Iraq is long and challenging,” said Marwan Hadi Ahmed, assistant director of the JCMC representational office in Ninewa.

“The community-based services that Community Resource Centres are providing will support communities to recover from the consequences of Daesh,” he added.

In addition to the two centres in Mosul, IOM and JCMC have opened another in Fallujah, Anbar Governorate. Fallujah was also on a major fault line in the battle against Daesh and suffered widespread destruction and displacement. Since June 2016, when the city was liberated from Daesh, more than 500,000 people have returned.

Over the coming months, a network of partners will collaborate with the JCMC to establish Community Resource Centres in other areas with a high number of returns. These partners are the ACTED, Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Terre des hommes (TDH) Lausanne and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Since Mosul was liberated in July 2017, IOM has implemented 18 community service projects in the city’s most affected neighbourhoods, rehabilitating essential services and infrastructure such as water networks, garbage collection, factories, schools and parks. IOM is also rehabilitating two youth centres in Mosul, supporting families to repair damaged homes, and providing essential medical supplies and health services through two mobile clinics and a specialized ophthalmology unit at Wadi Hajar General Hospital.

“IOM is the first to acknowledge that current support falls short of needs, and that families who have suffered for years in exile or under Daesh occupation need more,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Iraq Chief of Mission. “Despite the significant efforts of the government of Iraq and the generosity of donors however, Mosul’s recovery remains underfunded, and more needs to be done to close the gap.”

For more information please contact:
JCMC: Sadiq Jawad al-Zubaidi,, +964 770 725 4998
IOM: Sandra Black,, +964 751 234 2550

Language English Posted: Friday, August 3, 2018 - 15:15Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

One of the recently opened Community Resource Centres in Mosul, Iraq. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Nigerian Returnees Turn to Peer-to-Peer Advocacy to Address Pitfalls of Irregular Migration

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 09:18

Lagos – A group of 18 Nigerian migrant returnees, comprised of five females and 13 males from Edo, Delta, and Lagos States, recently gathered in Lagos for a workshop organized by IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

The two-day workshop (24-25/07) aimed to enhance the communication skills of returned migrants under the awareness-raising project Migrants as Messengers, by giving them information gathering, content production, videography and storytelling skills needed to alert potential migrants and their communities to the dangers of irregular migration.

“Migrants as Messengers will enlighten Nigerians on the dangers of irregular migration,” said Mary Owolabi, a returnee from Libya who attended the workshop. “The platform will help a lot of people, particularly the youth, to shift their focus away from dangerous journey,” she added. 

Owolabi travelled to Libya on 23 August 2016 and was among those helped by IOM to return home on 20 June 2017. “I was working with Diamond Bank PLC at Victoria Island Lagos when a friend introduced the idea of travelling abroad to me,” she recalled.

Mary intended to travel to London. She paid 600,000 Naira to fly to London but was tricked into going by road; she ended up in Libya where she was sold into slavery. To regain her freedom, Mary’s mother had to sell all of her properties, including land Mary bought while she was still working in the bank. “I am going to do my best using this platform to ensure that more youth are persuaded against this risky and regrettable journey,” she promised.

“We are using testimonies from returnees to make people who are active on social media aware of the dangers associated with irregular migration. Traffickers and bogas (smugglers) use social media to influence people to embark on the dangerous journey and we want to counter their narratives,” said Marshall Patsanza, IOM Digital Engagement Officer. “We want to ensure that we have an authentic narrative that provides factual first-hand information on the irregular migration journey. Based on their experiences during the journey, the returnees are the most credible voices and they are best fit to be advocates for regular safe migration.”

For Ikuenobe Jude, another participant at the training, Migrants as Messengers is a tool to fight against irregular migration and human trafficking. “We will use the App to discourage our people from this idea of travelling to Europe through the Sahara Desert because the world knows it is not safe, the Mediterranean Sea is not safe, Libya is not safe,” he lamented. “In fact, there is no hope in the sea, no hope in the desert, no hope in Libya. As messengers we will put in more effort to convince vulnerable potential irregular migrants of the danger inherent in the journey.”

The participants also took part in a practical exercise with their smart phones and recording kits; they recorded video interviews amongst themselves. They were taught how to create and produce advocacy material and how to help in the distribution of advocacy material via their social media platforms, online chat platforms and other offline channels.

The Migrants as Messengers project is targeted at potential migrants, community leaders, parents and relatives of aspiring migrants as well as returned migrants. It is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and it is currently being rolled out in Nigeria, Senegal and Guinea Conakry.

For more information, please contact IOM Nigeria:
Ikechukwu Attah, Tel: +234 903 889 1136, Email:
Jorge Galindo, Tel: +234 906 273 9168, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, August 3, 2018 - 15:10Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Capacity BuildingOthersDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants in the Migrants as Messengers training take part in a practical exercise. Photo: IOM/Julia Burpee 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Chile, UN Migration Agency to Facilitate Family Reunification for Haitians

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 09:17

Santiago – IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate family reunification visas in Haiti to relatives of Haitian nationals residing in Chile.

According to data released this year by Chile's government, Haitians represent the largest group of foreigners residing in the country, with Venezuelans the second largest group. The Haitian population appears to be growing; one government official recently noted the need to regularize this flow more efficiently citing a statistic that in 2017 over 120,000 Haitian nationals entered Chile as tourists while only 4,000 of those were recorded as leaving the country.

The MoU signed this week (31 July) specifies that IOM will collaborate by providing support in visa management in Haiti and will provide assistance to the Consular Section of the Embassy of Chile in Haiti to assist visa applicants through the establishment of a Visa Assistance Centre managed by the IOM Office in Haiti.

The main support services that IOM will provide are: design and equipment of facilities for visa-related processing; customized development of secure computing solutions that include tools for applicants such as scheduling online appointments and monitoring and updating of visa applications, distribution of contact information and requirements for the granting of visas by the consular authority of Chile in Haiti, in Spanish, Creole and French; assistance, reception and review of visa applications, and return of documents to the applicants, among others.

Norberto Girón, IOM Chile Chief of Mission, said: "This MoU is happening at a moment when the Migrant Regularization Process led by the Government of Chile has confirmed the large number of Haitians who remain irregular in the country; thus, the opportunity for them to meet with their relatives in Chile is enormous."

Girón added: "I reiterate IOM's commitment to collaborate with both governments, Chile and Haiti, to support a safe, orderly and regular migration between both countries.”

At the signing of the MoU, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, Roberto Ampuero, highlighted that the MoU will allow a better service provision to visa applicants and thanked IOM for the technical support which will strengthen the Chilean consular services in Haiti.

This agreement is in line with Article 44 of the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, which establishes that States must adopt "the appropriate measures to ensure the protection of the migrant worker's family unit to facilitate the reunification of migrant workers with their spouses or with those persons who maintain with the migrant worker a relationship that, in accordance with the applicable law, produces effects equivalent to marriage, as with their unmarried children under age that they are in charge of, and with other relatives, for humanitarian reasons, if the host State considers it.”

For more information, please contact José Estay, IOM Chile, Tel. + (56) 2 2963 3710, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, August 3, 2018 - 15:06Image: Region-Country: ChileDefault: Multimedia: 

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, Roberto Ampuero (r) and IOM Chile Chief of Mission Norberto Giron signed a MoU to support family reunification of Haitians.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN in Afghanistan Statement on Death of IOM Colleague

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 09:50

Kabul  It is with profound sadness that the United Nations family in Afghanistan confirms that an employee of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) was killed in yesterday’s attack on the Department of Refugees and Returnees in Jalalabad.

Our immediate thoughts are with her family and friends.

The United Nations expresses its deep sense of revulsion at this senseless attack that claimed the lives of at least 13 civilians. Among the 20 others injured was another IOM colleague. The UN wishes him and all the injured a speedy and full recovery.

“I condemn this heinous crime which has already taken the life of one of our brave IOM colleagues  in Jalalabad yesterday and left another grievously injured. It is a loss for IOM, our partners and Afghanistan," said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. 

"Equally tragically the attack claimed the lives of  at least 13 civilians, including an IRC colleague. My heart goes out to the families of all the victims. Everyone in IOM is thinking of our colleagues working in difficult conditions across the country on behalf of the Afghan people in the aftermath of this senseless attack,” added DG Swing.

Our colleague’s life was taken while she was working in the noble cause of assisting some of the most vulnerable communities in Afghanistan. There is no justification for such acts of terror. She is one of thousands of Afghans who form the backbone of the daily work of the United Nations in the country to help the most in need, supporting development and contributing to the restoration of peace and stability.

This young woman, who was 22, lost her husband in a bombing in Kabul three years ago. She leaves behind a six-year old daughter, now an orphan.

“We mourn the loss of our colleague and, in tribute, commit ourselves to re-double our work to serve Afghanistan and its peoples,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

The deliberate targeting of civilians and the places where they work, such as the department in Jalalabad, is an appalling crime. The architects of this crime must be brought to justice.

Language English Posted: Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - 15:49Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 57,571 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,514

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 10:49

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 57,571 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 29 July 2018. That total compares to 112,375 at this time last year.

Spain is currently the main arrival-by-sea country in the Mediterranean with 22,858 migrants arriving since the beginning of the year and 1,866 of them arriving since 25 July alone. This is approximately 16,345 more migrants than arrived in Spain in the same period in 2017. 

Some 18,392 migrants arrived by sea in Italy so far this year, which is 80.6 per cent less than the same period last year.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 2,323 people while migrating to international destinations in 2018. In the Mediterranean alone, 1,514 people have lost their lives at sea since the beginning of the year.

Most recently, six people died and one went missing in the Eastern Mediterranean. On 29 July, a boat in which 16 people were trying to reach the Greek island of Lesvos capsized off the coast of Ayvalik, Turkey. The Turkish Coast Guard rescued nine survivors but tragically, six people drowned, including three babies. One person is still missing. In the first seven months of 2018, an estimated 96 people have lost their lives in the Eastern Mediterranean.

In the Western Mediterranean, three Algerian nationals went missing off the coast of Cherchell, Algeria, when the boat in which they were trying to reach Spain capsized on 20 July. Ten survivors were rescued by local civil protection authorities. On the United States-Mexico border, US Border Patrol agents retrieved the remains of a person in a ranch near Falfurrias, Texas on 26 July.

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrant deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

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

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Solomon Islands Government Hosts High-level Roundtable Discussion on Trafficking in Persons

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 10:39

Honiara — In the lead up to World Trafficking Day, the Immigration Division of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration of the Solomon Islands hosted a high-level roundtable discussion on trafficking in persons in Solomon Islands on Friday (27/07).

The goal of the roundtable was to discuss key issues and priorities for responding to trafficking in persons (TiP) in Solomon Islands, and to gather inputs from a wide range of government stakeholders on the remaining priorities for the National Action Plan against Human Trafficking and People Smuggling 2015 – 2020. The roundtable was organized in partnership with IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and Save the Children, with support from the European Union.

The Solomon Islands Director of Immigration Mason Fugui opened the roundtable and highlighted that “trafficking in persons is a global issue affecting vulnerable people around the world, including people in Solomon Islands.” At the roundtable, participants agreed that different types of trafficking are present in the Solomon Islands and increased coordination is needed to respond to the challenges raised by trafficking in persons.

The roundtable was preceded by a three-day workshop for service providers and law enforcement, also organized by IOM, Save the Children and the Immigration Division, with support from the European Union. At the opening of the workshop, Chief Immigration Officer Enforcement and Human Trafficking Christopher Akosawa said “trends of child trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation in Solomon Islands are at an alarming rate. This workshop is an opportunity to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to combat trafficking.”

IOM Senior Migrant Protection Specialist Jonathan Martens from the IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific delivered sessions on identifying victims of trafficking; interviewing survivors of trafficking; protecting victims of trafficking; and workshop facilitation. Representatives of Save the Children took the lead on sessions related to child trafficking with focus on understanding how children can become victims, understanding the indicators of exploitation and the skills and qualities required for working with children.

For more information, please contact Angelica Neville at IOM Solomon Islands, Tel: +677 22536, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - 16:22Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants attending the World Day Against Human Trafficking event in the Solomon Islands. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN