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Updated: 1 hour 58 min ago

One Child Every Day: Lack of Data Leaves Most Vulnerable Group at Risk – UN Migration Report

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:54

Berlin – A new report from the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) highlights the need for better data on migrant deaths and disappearances, particularly those of missing migrant children. 

This year’s Fatal Journeys 4 report focuses on the theme of missing migrant children, given the growing number embarking on dangerous migrant journeys. According to IOM data, nearly 1,600 children – an average of almost one every day – were reported dead or missing between 2014 and 2018, though many more go unrecorded. 

“Tragically, we have been reminded in recent days that children are among the most vulnerable groups of migrants,” said Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s GMDAC.  

“The lack of data on the ages, characteristics and vulnerabilities of missing migrant children creates serious protection gaps; it makes it very difficult to create programmes and policies designed to protect them.” 

UNICEF contributed a chapter to this latest report, and IOM looks forward to working closely with them in the future. 

Five years of Missing Migrants Project data: Other key findings   

  • Since 2014, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded globally the deaths of more than 32,000 people.   
  • Between 2014 and 2018, more than 17,900 people died or went missing in the Mediterranean – the remains of almost two thirds of those victims have not been recovered.  
  • Despite the conflict in Yemen, people continue to attempt the sea crossing from the Horn of Africa across the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden: at least 125 people drowned off the shores of Yemen in 2018, compared with 53 in 2017. 
  • Of almost 2,200 deaths recorded during migration in South-East Asia between 2014 and 2018, at least 1,723 were Rohingya.  
  • Most of the 288 deaths recorded in South Asia since 2014 were of Afghan migrants.    
  • In the Middle East, 421 deaths were recorded between 2014 and 2018; the largest number (145) in 2018.  
  • An increasing number of deaths on the United States–Mexico border have been recorded each year since 2014, totalling 1,907 over five years.

The timely focus on children is part of IOM’s contribution to a recent call to action launched by UNICEF, UNHCR, IOM, Eurostat and OECD to improve data on migrant and refugee children. 

“Children dying or disappearing during migration should be a concern to everyone,” said Ann Singleton, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol and co-editor of the report. “There is an urgent need for better policies and action, informed by better data, to prevent these deaths and protect children.”  

Contents 

The report includes chapters highlighting the vulnerabilities of children on the move, the legal obligations of States regarding the death and disappearance of children on the move, and the ethical considerations of research on this sensitive subject.  

On the growing number of children at risk globally, the report notes that it is often difficult to find data on missing migrants disaggregated by age. The report also notes measures to be taken to improve data on missing migrant children to help prevent future tragedies. Fatal Journeys 4’s concluding chapter discusses IOM plans to improve data on missing migrant children.  

“Action is urgently needed to improve the public and policymakers’ understanding of the vulnerabilities of children and migrants,” said Julia Black, Project Coordinator of IOM’s Missing Migrants Project and co-editor of the report. 

Estimates Low  

IOM researchers explain that the global figure of deaths likely is a low estimate, given that many deaths are never reported nor remains found. Similarly, research indicates that the sharp drop in deaths between 2017 and 2018 – to 4,734 from 6,280 – stems largely from a drop in the number of migrants using the Central Mediterranean route to Europe, when the number of recorded crossings from North Africa to Italy fell to less than 46,000 from over 144,000. 

Increased Risk 

Nonetheless, the risk of death along this route increased. As explained in the report, death rates can be calculated several ways. Yet even the most conservative estimates suggest that 1 in 35 people crossing the Central Mediterranean perished in 2018, compared with 1 in 50 in 2017. Moreover, the number of migrant deaths recorded along the Western Mediterranean route to Spain rose sharply from 224 in 2017 to 811 in 2018, as increasing numbers of migrants used this route to reach Europe. 

For more information, please contact: 
Frank Laczko at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), Tel: +49 30 278 778 20, Mobile: +49 151 1167 6795, Email: flaczko@iom.int 

Julia Black at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int  

Ann Singleton at the University of Bristol, Tel: +44 772 097 9932, Email: Ann.Singleton@bristol.ac.uk 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:51Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: IOMMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Marking a Milestone: 100,000 Refugees Resettled from Lebanon Since Eruption of Syrian Crisis

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:50

Beirut – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) this month (June) noted its 100,000th resettlement of a refugee residing in Lebanon assisted in beginning a new life in a third country since fleeing the crisis in neighbouring Syria. This marks a significant milestone in IOM Lebanon’s resettlement efforts since the Syrian crisis first erupted in 2011. 

Lebanon, a country of nearly six million, is home to an additional one million UN-registered refugees, mainly Syrian, although others hail from Iraq, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan. 

For these eight years, IOM in Lebanon has worked alongside the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to resettle refugees to 25 countries, including Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and European Member States, among others. These efforts accelerated in 2014, and then again at the end of 2015, when the Government of Canada made its commitment to admit 25,000 Syrian refugees from the three Middle Eastern countries of Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.  

One was “Kasem,” a Syrian refugee father of three who was recently resettled from Lebanon to Canada, who said: “When we were first told we would be resettled to Canada I was so happy. I know that we can get better services for my son’s medical condition, because we are moving to London in Ontario where they have the best hospitals. My children are going to get better education. We are going to be safe and get back all we have lost in our country.”  

In Lebanon, IOM conducts health assessments for refugees prior to their departure to ensure that their health needs are addressed, they are fit to travel and to ensure continuity of care for those with existing health conditions.  

During Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) Sessions, trainers provide vital information about the social services and opportunities refugees will find upon arrival. Refugees also learn about customs, laws and rights in their new countries.  

In some cases, IOM also facilitates the selection missions for immigration interviews in partnership with governments of receiving countries. Finally, IOM teams organize all land and air travel, ensuring movements from Lebanon are organized in a safe, timely and efficient manner. 

Around the world, IOM assists refugees selected for resettlement to complete their journeys to their new countries. In 2018, the Organization’s largest resettlement mission – in terms of the number of beneficiaries who have travelled under IOM auspices for resettlement or humanitarian admission – was Lebanon, where one in six residents is a refugee.  

“Despite the significant progress made to offer a substantial number of people the opportunity to start a new chapter of their lives, IOM remains concerned for the hundreds of thousands or more refugees and migrants in Lebanon who also need dignified solutions,” explained Fawzi Al Zioud, Head of Office for IOM Lebanon.  

In addition to traditional resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes, IOM facilitates other pathways for refugees, including family reunification and medical evacuation.  

According to UNHCR’s Global Trends Report, only 92,400 refugees were resettled globally in 2018, less than 7 per cent of those awaiting resettlement. In 2019, it is estimated that 1.4 million refugees who are currently residing in 65 refugee hosting countries worldwide will need resettlement. 

For more information, please contact Angela Wells, IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 7940 35365, Email: awells@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:49Image: Region-Country: LebanonThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

Jasem, 24, and Jumana, 25, are starting the next phase of their life in France with their son and newborn twins. Photo: IOM/Muse Mohammed

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, WFP Conduct First Beneficiary Data Exchange in South Sudan

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:48

Juba – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) recently completed the first functional data exchange between their own beneficiary management systems to provide updated information on tens of thousands of people receiving assistance in Upper Nile and Jonglei regions.   

The data exchange, the first of its kind, involves IOM’s BRaVE, a biometric beneficiary data management system used to strengthen humanitarian responses, and WFP’s SCOPE system, a beneficiary information and transfer management platform that helps WFP know better the people it serves. 

Under an agreement signed in 2018, the two agencies will share biometric data of individuals registered in each of their systems. The exercise aims to harmonize and synchronize the information in the two management systems to enhance efficiency in the delivery of assistance.  

As part of the first phase of the data sharing arrangement, IOM and WFP have so far exchanged the data of more than 100,000 people in Upper Nile and Jonglei states.  

As part of WFP and IOM’s duty of care to people they serve, data privacy and protection is a fundamental part of the agreement. The use of data is overseen by a corporate data governance mechanism that provides rigorous safeguards to mitigate against risk of leakage and ensure data privacy.  

In line with industry standards, the cyber and data security framework follows UN rules on data privacy and human rights and is consistently upgraded as technology and systems advance.  

The exercise in South Sudan, which involved upgrading both systems to ensure the inter-operability, compatibility and accuracy of beneficiary data to enable bulk data migration, will reduce duplication and cut down on redundant manual data collection. 

“As humanitarian needs continue to rise in South Sudan, outstripping available resources, innovative approaches are urgently required to help us meet needs,” says Ronald Sibanda, WFP’s Country Director in South Sudan. 

“The data sharing initiative with IOM will not only help us provide assistance better by cutting duplication and redundant processes but helps us track population movements in case of further displacement.” 

In South Sudan, WFP uses SCOPE to biometrically register people across all locations, throughout its food and cash programmes. Once registered, people redeem their food or cash assistance through fingerprint authentication and their household SCOPE card. WFP has now registered 1 million people on the SCOPE system in South Sudan and plans are underway to register five million people on the system by 2020. 

Through its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), IOM conducts registration – biometric and non-biometric – at the request of governments or other humanitarian partners to support the targeting and delivery of humanitarian assistance and services.  

“The successful development of interoperability between SCOPE and BRaVe for data exchange of beneficiary information is a remarkable achievement in harmonizing  beneficiaries’ personnel data management and improving the efficiency of aid delivery for humanitarian response since WFP is the largest food assistance provider and IOM is the key data provider through the DTM programmes,” said Jean-Philippe Chauzy, IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission, after the completion of the exercise. 

BRaVe is the standard application used for IOM’s biometric registration activities and beneficiary data management. Since its rollout in 2014, the system currently supports humanitarian operations in South Sudan, Nigeria, Ethiopia and the Philippines. 

By late 2019, IOM and WFP plan to have exchanged data for more than 700,000 people across the country.  

As the leading international organization for migration, IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. IOM acts with governments and partners to assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management; advance understanding of migration issues; encourage social and economic development through migration; and uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants.  

The United Nations World Food Programme – saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future. 

Follow us on Twitter: @IOMSouthSudan, @WFP_SouthSudan, @WFP_Africa  

For more information please contact: 
Nabie Loyce, IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 912380115, Email: nloyce@iom.int 
Tomson Phiri, WFP South Sudan, Tel: +211 922 465 247, Email: Tomson.Phiri@wfp.org 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:47Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

A little girl participates in IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix biometric registration of internally displaced persons in Unity State, South Sudan. Photo: IOM/Jean-Philippe Chauzy

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Cambodian Labour Migrants in Thailand: IOM Study

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:46

Bangkok – Labour migration to Thailand has a significant impact on the socioeconomic well-being of Cambodian migrants and their families, according to a new study conducted by IOM and Chulalongkorn University’s Asian Research Centre for Migration (ARCM).  

“Assessing Potential Changes in the Migration Patterns of Cambodian Migrants and their Impacts on Thailand and Cambodia” investigates the situation of the estimated 650,000 Cambodians who work in Thailand. It is among the most comprehensive research studies ever conducted on this often poorly understood group. 

Surveying over 900 Cambodian migrant workers in six Thai provinces, researchers also interviewed some 122 key stakeholders including government officials, employers and NGO staff using quantitative and qualitative methods. 

Among their findings: Most Cambodian migrants in Thailand were relatively poor before they migrated and chose to leave because of better job opportunities and higher wages across the border. A majority now work in relatively low-wage jobs, concentrated in labour-intensive economic sectors including agriculture, construction, fishing and manufacturing.  

While 97 per cent of Cambodian migrants reported that their working conditions were “good” or “satisfactory,” the survey found that one third received less than the minimum wage of the Thai province in which they worked. Documented migrants received higher wages than those who worked on a day pass or those who were undocumented. 

Despite the low wages, Cambodian migrants remit an average of THB 39,312 (USD 1,228) per year. Interviewees said that remittances are crucial in maintaining or improving living conditions for their families back in Cambodia.  

Other benefits from migration included increased savings and developing new skills, which interviewees said they expected would help them secure better jobs with higher wages either in Thailand or Cambodia. 

Cambodian migrants tend to migrate with their spouses, despite Thai regulations making no provision for family migration. Three-quarters of respondents were married and 85 per cent of those surveyed were living with their spouse in Thailand. Over half of all respondents had children, children often left behind in Cambodia with relatives. 

In addition, Cambodian migrants tend to re-migrate to Thailand multiple times. Almost three-quarters of respondents had worked in Thailand previously. Although most plan to return to Cambodia, few intend to do so soon, often preferring to stay six years or more before returning home.  

The report concludes with tailored recommendations for the Thai and Cambodian governments – and development partners – to create evidence-based policies, strategies and interventions to maximize developmental benefits of safe, orderly and regular migration. 

“For over five decades, Cambodian workers have migrated to Thailand in high numbers for employment, contributing to Thailand's economy and playing a critical role in filling labour shortages in key economic sectors. This study acts as a good starting point for all migration practitioners to better understand the nature of Cambodian migration to Thailand,” said IOM project manager Nathan Webb, who oversaw the report.  

The study, which was funded by the IOM Development Fund, builds on the success of two previous IOM reports on Lao and Myanmar migrants in Thailand, also in collaboration with Chulalongkorn University.  

Cambodian study: https://thailand.iom.int/assessing-potential-changes-migration-patterns-cambodian-migrants-and-their-impacts-thailand-and 

Previous Lao study: https://thailand.iom.int/assessing-potential-changes-migration-patterns-laotian-migrants-and-their-impacts-thailand-and-lao 

Previous Myanmar study: https://thailand.iom.int/supplementary-report-assessing-potential-changes-migration-patterns-myanmar-migrants-and-their 

For further information, please contact please contact IOM Thailand. Nathan Webb, Email: nwebb@iom.int, Tel: +66 2 343 9383 or Reuben Lim, Email: rlim@iom.int, Tel: +66 2 343 9370. 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:45Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Cambodians migrate to Thailand through the border town of Poipet. Photo: IOM/Muse Mohammed

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM – UN Migration Lauds Kuwait for Upgrade to Tier 2

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:44

Kuwait – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Kuwait praised the Government of Kuwait for its upgrade to Tier 2 on the US Department of State’s 2019 Report on Trafficking in Persons (TIP).  

From 2016 until 2018, Kuwait has maintained its status on Tier 2 Watch List on the annual trafficking report. During those years, the State of Kuwait’s efforts in complying with international laws and standards to combat Trafficking in Persons have significantly and consistently increased.  

Iman Ereiqat, IOM Kuwait’s Chief of Mission, said: “This development is in line with the pioneering humanitarian leadership and efforts made by Kuwait, not only locally but also regionally and globally at all levels to contribute to the alleviation of the suffering of those affected by crises regardless of gender, race, nationality, religion or political affiliation.” 

More potential victims of trafficking are provided with several protective services including the Public Authority for Manpower’s (PAM) Shelter for Female Migrant Workers. The shelter is a haven for workers who have been exploited or trafficked, whether from their country of origin or in Kuwait.  A hotline for the shelter has recently been established to process any complaints at all hours of the day.  

The State of Kuwait exemplifies its continuous commitment towards the protection of the rights of some 600,000 domestic workers. An anti-trafficking law established in 2013 ensures that the rights of domestic workers are fully protected. Domestic workers law no. 68/2015m, passed two years later, provides legal entitlements to protect the rights of both the worker and the employer. Reported potential trafficking cases undergo thorough investigation by the Ministry of Interior’s specialized trafficking unit where criminals are then penalized based on the crimes committed.  

IOM’s mission in Kuwait maintains its strong ties with the State of Kuwait and the Government shelter to by providing technical advice when needed and providing vulnerable migrants with assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR). IOM works in close coordination with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Justice and the Public Authority for Manpower. It is important to note that for the first time IOM nominated a Goodwill Ambassador, Sheikha Bibi Nasser Al Sabah, for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) based on her admirable efforts in advocating for the rights of migrant workers for the past decade. 

To read the full report, click here 

For more information please contact: Dana Al-Othman at IOM Kuwait, Email: dalothman@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:42Image: Region-Country: KuwaitThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Maldives Migration Profile Highlights Key Role of Foreign Migrant Workers

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:42

Male – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has handed over the first Migration Profile of the Maldives to the government of the Indian Ocean island nation. “Migration in Maldives: A Country Profile 2018” examines all aspects of migration in the Maldives, a major tourist destination.  

The 240-page report is the product of a two-year research project launched in 2016 in partnership with Maldives Immigration, under the supervision of the Ministry of Economic Development. It builds on data collected by the government – notably through the Maldives Population and Housing Census 2014 – and key international organizations, including the ILO, UN, World Bank, OECD and the European Union.  

The profile highlights the key role of migration in the Maldives economy, where migrants mainly from South Asia, but also from the Philippines, Egypt, Iran and the Russian Federation, represent nearly a third of the country’s population of 378,000.  

Migrants – an estimated 63,000 of whom are believed to be undocumented – are particularly dominant in the tourism, construction, health and education sectors. In construction, one of the key engines of Maldivian economic growth, migrant workers, primarily from Bangladesh, account for about 88 per cent of the workforce.  

The report, which includes policy recommendations for the government in the areas of migration governance and data management, also addresses internal migration, noting that nearly half of the country’s population has moved to Male – the capital – from outlying islands within the last few decades.  

It identifies key migration trends and reviews the country’s migration governance, including laws and policies that touch on migration and migrants’ rights. It also provides an overview of the wide array of national institutions involved in migration management and data collection. 

The profile also addresses concerns relating to excessive recruitment fees, migrants’ misconceptions about working and living conditions, a lack of pre-departure employment information, unlawful subcontracting of workers, unsafe working conditions, ineffective monitoring of recruitment and employment practices, and weak sanctions for labour law violations.  

“Migration is a key ingredient towards achieving sustainable development. To ensure safe, regular and managed migration, governments must analyze existing policies, data and trends. This profile will serve as a point of reference and will provide the government with valuable insights into the benefits and some of the challenges posed by migration,” said IOM Sri Lanka and Maldives Chief of Mission Sarat Dash. 

The research contained in the report, which with published the support of the IOM Development Fund, was carried out in partnership with Maldives Immigration, the Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Tourism, Labour Relations Authority, National Bureau of Statistics and The Maldives National University. 

“Migration in Maldives: A Country Profile 2018” can be downloaded from: https://publications.iom.int/books/migration-maldives-country-profile-2018. To watch the video please go to: https://youtu.be/bFmCTkbzYhY

For more information, please contact Sarat Dash at IOM Colombo, Tel: +94 11 211 2600, Email: sdas@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:39Image: Region-Country: MaldivesThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

To successfully integrate an evidence-based policy approach to migration management, the Government of the Maldives with IOM Development Fund’s support, has launched the Maldives Migration Profile.

The Maldives’ tourism, construction, health and education sectors all rely heavily on foreign migrant workers. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Brings Mobility Perspectives to Humanitarian Discourse at 2019 ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:39

Geneva – This week’s United Nations Economic and Social Council Humanitarian Affairs Segment (ECOSCO HAS) in Geneva brought together hundreds of policy makers and practitioners to discuss some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges – particularly on the devastating impact climate change is likely to have in provoking crises in the next decades. 

This year’s event focused on the theme of “Promoting action to save lives, reach those in need and reduce humanitarian risk, vulnerability and need: Looking towards the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the climate summit called for by the Secretary-General.”  

Through a series of discussions and side-events, Member States engaged with humanitarian and development communities, the private sector, affected people and other actors.   

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) participates in the event annually, incorporating migration and displacement perspectives in contemporary humanitarian discourse. 

“There are few personal tragedies worse than having to flee for one’s life. And the tragedy deepens for every day that there is no solution in sight. Or when movement results in heightened vulnerability, rights violations, arbitrary detention or death along dangerous migration routes,” said Kerry Maze, IOM Senior Migration Crisis Analyst, speaking on behalf of Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s Director of Operations and Emergencies. 

Maze further emphasized that more than 32,000 migrants have perished along migration routes since 2014, including 1,200 reported in the first half of 2019 alone. She also underlined recent World Bank Groundswell report estimates that, absent of urgent climate action, more than 143 million individuals could be forced to leave their homes by 2050. 

“Addressing mobility dimensions of crises is central to saving lives, reaching those in need and reducing humanitarian risk, vulnerability and need. More than a humanitarian imperative, it is critical for the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Maze continued.   

To address some of these challenges, IOM co-sponsored two side-events on addressing internal displacement in protracted contexts and the assisting persons with disabilities in humanitarian action. 

This first event, “Addressing internal displacement associated with disasters and conflict: Planning for the long haul”, was organized by the GP20 Coordinator, UN OCHA and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). Panelists offered examples of good national practices for reducing displacement risk, outlined evidence on internal displacement trends and proposed measures to secure durable solutions.  

Considering the extreme marginalization of crisis-affected people with disabilities, IOM also co-sponsored the side event: “From global policies and guidelines to local engagement: including persons with disabilities in humanitarian action”, in which experts shared inclusive practices for persons with disabilities in humanitarian action, as well as gaps and challenges.  

Other topics covered in the ECOSOC HAS included: humanitarian funding trends and gaps, gender equality, the ongoing needs following Cyclone Idai, preparedness and response to weather-related disasters and community engagement in humanitarian crises. 

At a marketplace of interactive exhibits, IOM brought its “Holding On” Virtual Reality Exhibition, as well as a DTM exhibit showcasing practices that contribute to ensuring the safety, dignity and well-being of women and girls on the move. 

To know more about Humanitarian Affairs Segment 2019, click here

For more information, please contact: Angela Staiger at IOM Headquarters, Email: astaiger@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:35Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsMigration and Climate ChangeDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

China, UN’s Migration Agency Advance Sustainable Development Agenda

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:35

Beijing – China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) this week co-hosted a National Workshop on Migration and the 2030 Agenda in Beijing.  

Representatives from government ministries and departments, UN agencies and academia examined the nexus between migration and development, the role of migration in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ways to enhance collaboration between stakeholders. 

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for the SDGs in September 2015. It consists of 17 SDGs, one of which – Goal 10, and its accompanying target 10.7 – refers specifically to facilitating orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies. Other goals and targets reference migration, directly or as a cross-cutting aspect. 

In his opening remarks, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Counselor Zhang Yi said: “Migration is evidence of our interconnected world in the global era and is inherently tied to the SDGs. Today nations are interlinked more than ever before and initiatives such as China’s One Belt One Road are particularly relevant for safe and orderly movement of people.” 

UN Resident Coordinator in China Nicholas Rossellini noted: “IOM is a significant actor in the implementation of migration-related SDG objectives, especially in its capacity as the Coordinator of the newly created UN Network on Migration. The Network brings greater efficiency and coherence to the UN system’s work on migration and better supports Member States in the implementation of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.” 

IOM China Chief of Mission Giuseppe Crocetti added: “It is encouraging to see so many representatives of ministries and departments, academia and UN partner agencies come together to share their sectoral knowledge and experience. Multi-stakeholder partnership is key to address migration as a core enabler of sustainable development.” 

The workshop, which was funded by IOM Development Fund, was part of an IOM project designed to support China’s engagement in the global dialogue on migration. The project aims to introduce stakeholders to key policy instruments and frameworks and to share best practices and tools. 

These include a Chinese edition of Migration and the 2030 Agenda: A Guide for Practitioners, which was officially launched at the workshop in collaboration with the Center for China and Globalization. 

For more information please contact Giuseppe Crocetti at IOM China. Tel: +86(10) 5979-9695; Email: gcrocetti@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:33Image: Region-Country: ChinaThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Counselor Zhang Yi opens the workshop in Beijing. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNHCR Continue to Collaborate on Sustainable Return and Reintegration in Afghanistan

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:33

Kabul – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have launched their annual joint report on returns to Afghanistan from Pakistan and Iran for 2018. It can be downloaded here: English – Dari – Pashto

Each year, registered Afghan refugees and undocumented Afghans make the decision to return home from Iran and Pakistan, notwithstanding the difficult environment in Afghanistan. Over 820,000 returned in 2018 – 94 per cent of them from Iran – the highest number from Iran ever recorded in a single year.  

The primary needs of returning Afghans include food, jobs, access to land, long-term shelter, and access to services including healthcare, education and legal assistance.  Reintegration in Afghan society is difficult for returnees, with the country still mired in conflict and with high levels of internal displacement, limited services and few jobs. When combined with the drought and flooding witnessed across the country in 2018, the high number of returns further burden the already over-stretched absorption capacity of host communities. 

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation coordinates the provision of humanitarian post-arrival and reintegration assistance, in close cooperation with UNHCR and IOM. UNHCR coordinates efforts to help returning registered refugees, while IOM coordinates assistance to undocumented returnees. 

“Afghan returnees face many challenges upon returning to Afghanistan,” said IOM Chief of Mission, Laurence Hart. “IOM and UNHCR are committed to working toward sustainable solutions for Afghan returnees, regardless of their status.”  

The two organizations have further enhanced their cooperation in Afghanistan with the signing of a Data Sharing Agreement earlier this week, and they are also exploring the potential for co-location of return facilities in Kandahar province.  

“UNHCR and IOM continue to work together to assist in the return of tens of thousands of Afghans each year. As our joint report details, the true challenge lies in a whole-of-community response that leaves no one behind,” UNHCR’s Country Representative, Caroline Van Buren, said. “Through commitment to the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework there is an opportunity to not only address the impact of returns on host communities, but to ensure that development programmes and policies are focused on successful reintegration.” 

UNHCR and IOM appreciate the continued support of their donors, including Australian Aid, Belgium, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States. 

For further information please contact Eva Schwoerer at IOM Afghanistan. Tel.: +93 729 229 129; Email: eschwoerer@iom.int 

Or Mohammad Nader Farhad at UNHCR Afghanistan. Tel.: +93 791 990 018; Email: farhadm@unhcr.org 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 17:31Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Afghan refugee families waiting to return home from Peshawar in Pakistan. Photo: UNHCR/S. Rich

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 27,834 in 2019; Deaths Reach 597

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 10:30

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 27,834 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 1 May, roughly a 35 per cent decrease from the 42,274 arriving during the same period last year. Arrivals this year to Spain and Greece combine to account for 82 per cent of the region’s irregular sea landings, with the balance arriving in much smaller proportions to Italy, Malta and Cyprus.  

Arrivals to Greece have surpassed in 2019 those at this time last year. Arrivals to Spain are lower, with Spain’s totals having fallen considerably since the surge of January and early February (see charts below). 

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through 177 days of 2019 are at 597 individuals – or about half the 1,189 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018.
 

MEDITERRANEAN DEVELOPMENTS

IOM ITALY 

According to IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo, the migrant rescue ship “Sea-Watch 3” defied this week an order not to enter Italian waters. Captain Carola Rackete reportedly decided to defy a ban, saying she had no choice because 42 migrants on board – who have been at sea since they were rescued off Libya two weeks ago – could no longer withstand their condition. 

As of late Thursday, the “Sea-Watch 3” remained anchored outside the port of Lampedusa. 

Di Giacomo also cited official Ministry of Interior figures of 2,544 migrants who have arrived by sea to Italy in 2019.  That total, through almost six months, is less than the total recorded for all all but two single months between January 2016 and (see chart below) and June 2018, as well as during all months during the years 2014-2015.  

IOM Spain 

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported on Thursday sea arrivals to Spain, through 26 June have reached 9,478 men, women and children.  That’s an average of almost 54 persons per day, compare to last year, through June 30, of just over 83 people per day. While monthly arrivals to Spain are lower this year over all (see chart below), fatalities on the Western Mediterranean route remain high – with 201 deaths reported through nearly six months of this year.  

See chart here

The distribution of arrivals per entry point (January – 26 June 2019) is as shown in the chart below

IOM Greece 

IOM Greece’s Christine  Nikolaidou reported on Thursday that over the past week, since 25 June, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) was involved in at least nine incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Samothraki, Farmakonisi, Symi, Chios, Leros and Kos. The HCG rescued a total of 182 migrants and transferred them to the respective ports. 

Those arrivals, plus another 208 arrivals IOM recorded during the three days ending 26 June, bring to 13,383 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year (see chart below). 

Missing Migrants Project 

2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project. Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 32,199 individuals, including 1,242 in 2019 (see chart below). 

Due to the challenges of collecting information about these people and the contexts of their deaths, the true number of lives lost during migration is likely much higher. Missing Migrants Project records should only be viewed as indicative of the risks associated with migration, rather than representative of the true number of deaths across time or geography.   

This past week the Missing Migrants Project recorded the deaths of 26 people: 14 in the US-Mexico border, 10 in Turkey, and two women in Mexico hit by a train.  
 
In the Mexican State of Hidalgo, a Honduran migrant woman was hit by a train, and another woman, who is yet to be identified was killed by a train further south, in the state of Tabasco.  
 
On the US-Mexico border, four of the deaths recorded this week were people who drowned trying to cross the river that divides the two countries, the Rio Grande, including Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, the 25-year-old Salvadoran, and Valeria, his 23-month-old daughter. Their story has highlighted the perils of migration around the globe this week.  

In total, at least 416 people have lost their lives in the Americas in 2019, compared with 265 recorded through this point in 2018.  

In Edrine Province Turkey, on the border of Greece, a van crashed resulting in 30 injured and 10 dead Pakistani and Indian migrants. Gendarmerie troops who were patrolling the area requested the driver to stop the vehicle, but he tried to escape and lost control of the van. The injured were taken to local hospitals, and the driver was detained after receiving medical treatment. 

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre 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, click here. Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project

See contacts here

Language English Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019 - 16:16Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

One Child Every Day: Lack of Data Leaves Most Vulnerable Group At Risk – UN Migration Report

Thu, 06/27/2019 - 18:27

Berlin – A new report from the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) highlights the need for better data on migrant deaths and disappearances, particularly those of missing migrant children.

This year’s Fatal Journeys 4 report focuses on the theme of missing migrant children, given the growing number embarking on dangerous migrant journeys. According to IOM data, nearly 1,600 children – an average of almost one every day – were reported dead or missing between 2014 and 2018, though many more go unrecorded.

“Tragically, we have been reminded in recent days that children are among the most vulnerable groups of migrants,” said Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s GMDAC.

 “The lack of data on the ages, characteristics and vulnerabilities of missing migrant children creates serious protection gaps; it makes it very difficult to create programs and policies designed to protect them.”

UNICEF contributed a chapter to this latest report, and IOM looks forward to working closely with them in the future.

Five years of Missing Migrants Project data: Other key findings

  • Since 2014, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded globally the deaths of more than 32,000 people. 
  • Between 2014 and 2018, more than 17,900 people died or went missing in the Mediterranean—the remains of almost two thirds of those victims have not been recovered.
  • Despite the conflict in Yemen, people continue to attempt the sea crossing from the Horn of Africa across the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden: at least 125 people drowned off the shores of Yemen in 2018, compared with 53 in 2017.
  • Of almost 2,200 deaths recorded during migration in South-East Asia between 2014 and 2018, at least 1,723 were Rohingya.
  • Most of the 288 deaths recorded in South Asia since 2014 were of Afghan migrants.   
  • In the Middle East, 421 deaths were recorded between 2014 and 2018; the largest number (145) in 2018.
  • An increasing number of deaths on the United States–Mexico border have been recorded each year since 2014, totalling 1,907 over five years.

The timely focus on children is part of IOM’s contribution to a recent call to action launched by UNICEF, UNHCR, IOM, Eurostat and OECD to improve data on migrant and refugee children.

“Children dying or disappearing during migration should be a concern to everyone,” said Ann Singleton, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol and co-editor of the report. “There is an urgent need for better policies and action, informed by better data, to prevent these deaths and protect children.”

Contents

The report includes chapters highlighting the vulnerabilities of children on the move, the legal obligations of States regarding the death and disappearance of children on the move, and the ethical considerations of research on this sensitive subject.

On the growing number of children at risk globally, the report notes that it is often difficult to find data on missing migrants disaggregated by age. The report also notes measures to be taken to improve data on missing migrant children to help prevent future tragedies.  Fatal Journeys 4’s concluding chapter discusses IOM plans to improve data on missing migrant children.

“Action is urgently needed to improve the public and policymakers’ understanding of the vulnerabilities of children and migrants,” said Julia Black, Project Coordinator of IOM’s Missing Migrants Project and co-editor of the report.

Estimates Low

IOM researchers explain that the global figure of deaths likely is a low estimate, given that many deaths are never reported nor remains found. Similarly, research indicates that the sharp drop in deaths between 2017 and 2018—to 4,734 from 6,280—stems largely from a drop in the number of migrants using the Central Mediterranean route to Europe, when the number of recorded crossings from North Africa to Italy fell to less than 46,000 from over 144,000.

Increased Risk

Nonetheless, the risk of death along this route increased. As explained in the report, death rates can be calculated several ways. Yet even the most conservative estimates suggest that 1 in 35 people crossing the Central Mediterranean perished in 2018, compared with 1 in 50 in 2017. Moreover, the number of migrant deaths recorded along the Western Mediterranean route to Spain rose sharply from 224 in 2017 to 811 in 2018, as increasing numbers of migrants used this route to reach Europe.

For more information, please contact:
Frank Laczko at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), Tel: +49 30 278 778 20 Mobile: +49 151 1167 6795, Email: flaczko@iom.int

Julia Black at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int

Ann Singleton at the University of Bristol, Tel. +44 772 097 9932 Email: Ann.Singleton@bristol.ac.uk

Language English Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 18:20Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

The International Organization for Migration Agrees to Extend the Mandate of Deputy Director General Laura Thompson Pending Successor Selection Next Spring

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 15:25

Geneva—On Wednesday, 26 June 2019, the Council of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), decided by acclamation to extend the tenure of IOM’s Deputy Director General Laura Thompson pending a new selection process scheduled for Spring 2020. Ms. Thompson had been scheduled to finish her second of two five year-terms this coming September.

Member states—of which nearly 150 participated in the voting process—on Friday had begun the process of selecting a new Deputy Director General from among five candidates, each nominated by the home governments of Sudan, Bangladesh, The Philippines, Afghanistan and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. That process did not reach an agreement to select a winner under IOM’s required two-thirds majority of all votes cast.

Therefore, and to ensure continuity for this important role, the IOM Council decided to extend Ms. Thompson’s current mandate pending another election.

Established in 1951, IOM has over 11,000 staff and over 400 offices in more than 150 countries. IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration. It is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.

IOM works with its partners in the international community to assist in meeting the operational challenges of migration, advance understanding of migration issues, encourage social and economic development through migration and to uphold the well-being and human rights of all migrants.

IOM was granted permanent observer status to the UN General Assembly in 1992. A cooperation agreement between IOM and the UN was signed in 1996. IOM joined the UN system as a related organization in September 2016, when the agreement outlined in GA res.70/296 (2016) was signed during the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants.

For further information please contact Leonard Doyle at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 792857123, Email:ldoyle@iom.int

Language English Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: OthersDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Close to 20,000 Migrants Rescued in Sahara Desert Since Beginning of Operations

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 12:01

Niamey – The June 15 rescue of 406 migrants including seven women and four children stranded in the Sahara Desert brings to nearly 20,000, the number of people the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has rescued there since April 2016.

“We walked for hours under the scorching desert sun with no water or idea where we were heading,” said 27-year-old Amadou from Mali.

“Suddenly, I saw the IOM truck coming our way. They gave us food and water and brought us to Assamaka, and then Arlit the following day.”
 

Video of the Rescue English | French

The latest rescues included people from 14 West African countries, mainly Guinea-Conakry, Mali and Côte d’Ivoire bound for north Africa. They were transported to the town of Assamaka where IOM’s team, one Focal Point, four community mobilizers (MobComs), two nurses and one driver, are based.

“Despite having assisted so many groups of migrants, I still find it difficult every time a new group arrives, with newborns in their arms, faces covered in sand and their clothes ripped apart,” said IOM’s local Focal Point Alhassane Adouel.

“After so many arrivals, it still breaks my heart to see what they have to go through.”  

The latest operation was IOM’s 189th humanitarian mission into Niger’s Ténéré desert. Trucks carrying migrants north frequently break-down in the desert; in other cases, they become lost or the smugglers simply abandon people to their fates.

No one knows how many migrants have died attempting to cross the Sahara.

IOM’s operations are supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the European Union, within the framework of the Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism.

Rescued migrants are often mentally and physically drained, injured and dehydrated. 

They receive emergency humanitarian assistance from IOM including food, water, medical first aid and psychosocial support at the Organization’s emergency shelter. Migrants are then sensitized by the MobComs about available assistance and are offered transportation to Arlit, a large urban centre 235km away.

Once at IOM’s transit centre there, migrants who wish to return to their country of origin can join the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.

Nighty-eight per cent of rescued migrants, including Amadou have chosen to do so.  

“Many people struggle or die along the way: men, pregnant women, children. I don’t want to become one more body buried in the desert. I’m going home now,” he explained.

These humanitarian operations are performed both proactively and reactively in the areas of Agadez, Arlit and Dirkou. IOM and the Direction Générale de la Protection Civile (DGPC) have conducted joint search and rescue (SAR) missions in Dirkou since 2017. For proactive missions, teams are dispatched on current migration routes to search for migrants in distress. 

“The challenging operating environment, the dangerous security situation and sudden large influxes of migrants continuously test IOM staff’s rescue efforts. But our team here in Niger has so far always managed to adapt to surprise changes, and we are monitoring the situation closely with our partners to ensure migrants in distress are assisted and protected before it is too late,” said Martin Wyss, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. 

“We are more than satisfied that we have prevented countless deaths and proud to have been able to provide safety and at least some comfort to thousands,” he continued. 

Download IOM Niger Humanitarian Rescue Operations/Search and Rescue Operations May 2019

For more information, please contact Monica Chiriac at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8931 8764, Email: mchiriac@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 17:57Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

An average of 1,200 migrants per month are rescued through IOM’s humanitarian operations in Niger in 2019. Photo: IOM 

An average of 1,200 migrants per month are rescued through IOM’s humanitarian operations in Niger in 2019. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Congratulates Bahrain for Maintaining US TIP “Tier 1” Status for Second Consecutive Year

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 10:27

Manama – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) commends the Government of Bahrain for maintaining the highest classification on the four-tier list reported by the US State Department’s 2019 Report on Trafficking in Persons (TiP).

Bahrain is the only country in the Middle East and Africa to have reached Tier 1 ranking in the annual TiP Report from Washington. The 2019 TiP Report placed Bahrain in the Tier 1 classification for the second consecutive year, hailing its efforts in combating trafficking in persons as a noteworthy achievement in the field.

“Maintaining Tier 1 status in the US State Department TiP Report is not an easy task and must be seen as a recognition of Bahrain’s remarkable journey to becoming a model for tackling human trafficking in the region,” said Mohamed El Zarkani, IOM Bahrain Chief of Mission, who described the Kingdom’s efforts to mitigate human trafficking as stemming from the pro-active approach adopted by the government in protecting human rights and creating a fair and safe working and living environment in Bahrain.

El Zarkani explained that IOM is currently supporting the Bahrain National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons to develop a National Trafficking in Persons Strategy and a four-year action plan. In addition, IOM continues to provide capacity building for a broad spectrum of national stakeholders mandated with combating human trafficking in Bahrain. 

“The second consecutive year at Tier 1 as the only Arab country in the MENA region comes as a welcomed confirmation that we are moving in the right direction,” added Ausamah Al Absi, Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain’s Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) and Chairman of the National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons.

“However, being a cross-border crime, combating trafficking at the national level only is not enough. The Middle East has sending, transit, and receiving countries with unique characteristics that require their own home-grown solutions. Therefore, Bahrain aspires to act as a catalyst for a region-wide movement to eradicate trafficking though institutionalized efforts with the help of UN specialized agencies such as IOM,”  Ausamah Al Absi explained.

IOM and the Government of Bahrain have a long history of joint collaborative efforts in the field of protecting victims of trafficking and the development of skills and capacities of national cadres including the development of a National Referral Mechanism for migrants who are subjected to vulnerability and exploitation as well as establishing an assistance fund for Victims of Trafficking.

To read the full report, click here

For more information please contact Mohamed El Zarkani at IOM Bahrain, Tel: +973 172 78 320, Email: melzarkani@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 16:10Image: Region-Country: BahrainThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

In Somalia, IOM Begins Relocating Families at Risk of Eviction

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 10:24

Baidoa – IOM has started the relocation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who were at risk of eviction to the newly developed public site in Baidoa.

Some 682 households, consisting of 3,914 individuals drawn from 12 out of 15 targeted IDP sites have been relocated to the new Baidoa public site as of 23 June, one week after relocation began. The effort will support internally displaced persons with better living conditions and sustainable land tenure. The relocation, expected to continue until July, will benefit over 1,000 households from 15 IDP sites.

In the months leading up to the relocation, IOM had developed the new public site together with the South West State authorities, the Baidoa municipality and the community.

“We recognize the rights of IDPs and Displacement Affected Communities (DACs) to own land and solve recurring problems such as evictions,” said Abdullahi Ali Watiin, the Mayor of Baidoa.

He added: “Our vision is to make sure that all our community members, regardless of their status, live on a decent protected land, without discrimination or fear of eviction.”

The city of Baidoa, in Somalia’s southwestern Bay region, hosts an estimated 323,000 displaced people, many of whom live on private land without secure tenure agreements. They are at constant risk of forced evictions.

The relocation project is a multi-sectoral integrated response from IOM’s emergency and durable solutions divisions. This approach focuses on addressing the immediate needs of the vulnerable IDPs at risk of eviction through solutions that are integrated in the long-term urban expansion plan of Baidoa City. Among others, the site planning has been coordinated with UN-Habitat to ensure that future and under-construction roads are incorporated and that the land allocated to IDPs meets long-term standards rather than recreating a camp-like setting.

To date, IOM has constructed 500 latrines and a sustainable water supply system including two elevated water tanks that will provide clean and safe water to the nearly 1,000 households.

In addition, two police stations have been constructed along with solar streetlights to enhance safety and security. Main roads leading to the nearest markets were also cleared for easy access and linkage with the host communities. The site plan also allows space for markets, community centres, and common service areas.

Aside from being provided with plots, the households also received vouchers to help them construct shelters of their choice. Through these vouchers, they can acquire the shelter materials that they need from selected vendors. The relocating households also received training from IOM on how to construct shelters, as well as to build shelters for 40 vulnerable households.

Rainer Palau Gonzalez, IOM’s Senior Programme Coordinator said, “The relocation is going according to schedule after months of preparation with the government and other partners. We will monitor the coming months carefully to ensure that the needs of the relocated households are met.”

“This has been a critical project in line with the Humanitarian-Development Nexus, which combines emergency humanitarian response with laying the foundations for durable solutions and development. Our partners, DFID, ECHO, JSB and OFDA, have been essential in supporting our project activities. We are very happy to finally be able to welcome the IDPs, especially those at risk of eviction, to this new site,” Gonzalez added.

In the coming weeks, IOM and other stakeholders will continue the relocation of the families at risk of eviction and provide them with all the support they need.

For more information, please contact the IOM Somalia Programme Support Unit, Tel: +254 705 832 020, Email: iomsomaliapsu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 16:20Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff assisting at the Baidoa Relocation site © IOM Somalia 2019

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Helps nearly 30,000 People in Yemen Rebuild Shelters Destroyed by Floods

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 10:19

Sana’a – Over 80,000 people in Yemen have been impacted by heavy rains and floods, since late May. Among those most affected are displaced communities whose makeshift shelters have failed to weather the storm, exposing them to the elements.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is distributing emergency aid items to flood survivors, particularly displaced families, in the worst-affected governorates: Aden, Abyan, Hajjah, Ibb and Taizz.

The world’s largest humanitarian crisis has been compounded by severe natural hazards. Every year, the people of Yemen feel the full force of extreme weather, including floods and cyclones. Over 1.1 million of the 3.65 million people displaced across Yemen are living in the five governorates, which experienced the heaviest rains this year.

As an initial response in all five governorates, IOM is distributing emergency shelter kits, which include wood, plastic sheeting, rope and tools, to nearly 30,000 people with damaged or destroyed temporary shelters. IOM is also distributing blankets, mattresses, buckets, kitchen sets and sleeping mats to help these families set up their shelters. The vast majority of those receiving emergency shelter and household kits are living in displacement sites due to the conflict.

Eight months ago, the conflict forced thirty-six-year-old father of seven, Abdullah Al-Jumai, from his home in Haradh to Shafer within Hajjah governorate. He and his family were displaced again within the Shafer locality by heavy rainfall a few weeks ago. Describing it as a tragedy, Abdullah said: “We were sleeping under trees during the rain.” He went on to say that proper shelter was all the family hoped for currently. IOM started an aid distribution to flood survivors in Hajjah on Sunday, 23 June.

A woman at an IOM distribution in Hajjah, 60-year-old Namja Isaa, described how for the past year her family, displaced to Shafer, lived in a shelter made of plastic sheets and grass. “In Yemen, we call them Aushash [hut] but it could not withstand the rain, so we became homeless,” said Namja.

Aden and Abyan governorates also experienced some of the heaviest rainfall in years. Displaced people’s shelters were destroyed, and flooding meant that what little belongings displaced families had were damaged.

IOM will continue to support flood-affected families beyond the current ongoing emergency shelter and household kits distribution, based on the needs of flood-affected communities, as assessed by the Shelter and Non-food Items (S-NFI) Cluster.

IOM is also supporting the S-NFI Cluster Common Pipeline, in partnership with the Cluster, to pre-position emergency shelter and household kits, which will enable cluster partners to support 5,780 flood-affected families across Yemen.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Yemen, Tel: +967730552233, Email: oheadon@iom.int   

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsMigrant AssistanceShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

60-year-old Najma’s makeshift shelter in Hajjah was completed destroyed by the rains; she received materials from IOM to rebuild it. Photo: IOM

IOM prepares to distribute emergency shelter and household kits in Abyan. Photo: IOM

In Hajjah, a displaced man’s identify is verified before receiving items to help rebuild his destroyed shelter. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Floods and Intercommunal Violence in Central Mali: Thousands of Displaced Persons Await Humanitarian Assistance

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 10:16

Mopti  –  Recent heavy rains in the Mopti region of Mali have caused floods, aggravating the already precarious situation of the 50,254 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region. Humanitarian assistance now is on its way to help the most vulnerable households.

Since last week, more than 800 IDPs have already been provided with tents, while 70 kits including mosquito nets, clothing, shoes, hygiene products and other items have been distributed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Mali.

In a region where more than 210,000 persons are considered as facing food insecurity and only 2 per cent of the communities have access to safe drinking water, the increasing presence of IDPs may undermine the existing resources and increase the need for basic social services.

Within a fragile security context, it is urgent to take the necessary measures, secure and rehabilitate existing IDP sites to address rainy season and flooding problems, which pose an additional threat to these displaced persons.

“We are afraid to face another flood. I get scared when I see a storm coming. I lost the little I had managed to keep. We spent the night in the cold before being transferred the next day to another temporary site,” said Aminata Bolli, one of the victims of the floods at the Soukara site. Originally from Bankass, she has stayed in the site for two months with five children.

The heavy rains have also destroyed the tents that sheltered 304 IDPs at the Koro and Bankass IDP sites in Mopti, Soukoura. Host families have joined forces and the adjoining classrooms of the Amadoun Dicko High School in Sévaré have been requisitioned to shelter the affected IDPs.

In the Mopti region, the number of IDPs increased from 2,000 in late 2017 (Source: OCHA) to 50,254 (including 5,254 children) as of 18 June.

Already facing increasing communal violence and the presence of armed groups, the most affected communities in the Mopti region continue to seek refuge among the host populations. The day after the attacks on the Gangafani and Yoro villages (Tuesday, 18 June) the Mopti Regional Directorate of Social Development had already registered 750 refugees in Dinangourou schools and reported the movement of 2,545 new IDPs from Bodel, Dianta, Yoro, Kangafandé, Korimataga to the Dinangourou district, in the Mopti region.

Government authorities, civil society organizations and United Nations agencies (UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, OCHA, WHO, UNFPA, FAO, and IOM) are working together in Bamako as well as in Mopti to address the most urgent needs of the more than 120,000 IDPs currently registered in the country (including accommodation, profiling, food, shelter, non-food items, and health care).

Watch the video in English | French

For more information, please contact Seydou Tangara, IOM Mali, Tel: +223 76 42 63 59, Email: stangara@iom.int or Florence Kim, IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +221 78 620 62 13, Email: fkim@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 16:40Image: Region-Country: MaliThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Screengrab from video footage showing the flood affecting the IDPs in Soukoura camp. Photo: IOM

Screengrab from video footage showing the flood affecting the IDPs in Soukoura camp. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Designing for Humanity at New York Summit

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 04:41

New York – The longstanding commitment by the humanitarian community to assist vulnerable migrants and displaced persons with dignity was underscored in New York on Friday (21 June) at the second Design for Humanity Summit at Fordham University, co-organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA).

Subtitled “Design in a Time of Displacement”, the Summit brought together leading experts and professionals in humanitarian design from the United Nations, NGOs, academia, design firms and the private sector.

Keynote speaker Argentina Szabados, Director of IOM’s Regional Office for Southeastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia told a packed lecture hall, and hundreds joining the live-stream, that the consistent rise of people on the move challenges the international humanitarian system to devise more sustainable solutions with “vision, humility and dialogue.”

“We are providing a unique and essential platform where experts can celebrate the interaction of diverse design solutions, and explore innovative ideas and projects that foster inclusion, dignity, beauty, and integration for people uprooted by emergencies as they rebuild their lives after crises,” added Brendan Cahill, Director of the IIHA, in his Welcome Remarks.

“The dwelling places we provide ought not be ‘just good enough’ to keep people alive in a miserable twilight of half-existence. They must also give people an opportunity to develop, to be healthy, to learn,” she said.

In the first Design Dialogue, From Camps to Communities, Italian architect Raul Pantaleo stressed that good design can make a massive difference in “grey, horrible refugee camps.”

“Good design doesn’t cost a lot of money, but it makes a big difference for the people who are using that space. It’s a matter of care,” he said.

The Summit also focused on data and storytelling in the second Design Dialogue, From Data to Stories, examining how data-driven storytelling can promote human rights and amplify voices of people on the move.

Describing data as “the fuel that powers the information revolution” Ms. Szabados stressed in her keynote that “we can no longer have a paternalistic relationship with our clients, the end users of humanitarian services. They have the means to communicate with us – and with each other - directly. We now have evidence that backs up what we do, and we can be instantly responsive as new data comes in.”

Interactive design workshops in the afternoon showcased several new design solutions that aim to improve the lives of millions of people forcibly displaced by disasters, conflicts or the consequences of climate change.

IOM Media and Communications teams shared Holding On with summit participants – a virtual reality exhibition showcases the stories of internally displaced people (IDPs) by asking them to reflect on their most cherished possessions – in addition to an IOM VR film about the realities facing Rohingya refugees, particularly women, in camps in Cox’s Bazar.

To learn more visit www.design4humanity.org.

Language English Posted: Monday, June 24, 2019 - 09:56Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: IOMInternally Displaced PersonsUNDefault: Multimedia: 

Attendees at the Design for Humanity Summit were able to view the Holding On VR exhibition on displacement

Attendees at the Design for Humanity Summit were able to view the Holding On VR exhibition on displacement

IOM  Regional Director Argentina Szabados addresses the Summit during her keynote speech
 

IOM Regional Director Argentina Szabados with fellow keynote speaker Richard Blewitt of IFRC and Brian Kelly from IOM Washington
 

  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Appeals for Urgent, Safe Disembarkation for Migrants on Sea-Watch 3

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:22

Rome – The International Organization for Migration today (21/06) is launching an appeal to guarantee, as soon as possible, a safe disembarkation point for migrants rescued on 12 June in the Mediterranean by the ship Sea-Watch 3. 

On Saturday, 10 medical cases were disembarked in Lampedusa, but 43 people remain in limbo at sea. 

In recent days, the Sea-Watch 3 had been invited to bring migrants to Tripoli. Yet, in the eyes of the international community, Libya is still considered an unsafe port to disembark migrants. 

“The situation in the country remains extremely dangerous due to the continuous and heavy military clashes around the capital that, since the beginning of April, have displaced over 90,000 persons,” said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean. “It is a very dramatic context, also confirmed by migrants recently landed in Italy.” 

IOM wishes to emphasize that migrants (including children), after being returned to the Libyan coasts, are sent to detention centres where conditions are considered unacceptable and inhumane. It remains impossible to guarantee the protection of the rights of migrants once they are transferred into these centres.  

To IOM, it remains of serious concern that in the absence of state-led approaches to reduce loss of life at sea, rescue operations of non-government organizations are deliberately discouraged.  

The Central Mediterranean route continues to be the deadliest route for migrants in the world. As data show, over the past 12 months – from 12 June 2018 to 11 June 2019 – 1,151 people lost their lives along this route, or an average of just over three people per day.  During the first five and a half months of 2019, 343 have died. 

During summer months departures generally increase. IOM, therefore, considers it imperative to give absolute priority to preserving lives and strengthening an international rescue system that can effectively help boats in distress. This is the humane response, much preferred over penalizing commanders who rescue people at sea, or who refuse to take migrants and refugees to unsafe ports in Libya. 

It is crucial, today more than ever, that Member States of the European Union make a shared effort to find adequate solutions to what cannot be considered as an emergency in terms of numbers, but as a humanitarian emergency. 

For more information, please contact: Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int 

 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 - 17:18Image: Region-Country: ItalyThemes: Missing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

The Sea Watch 3 vessel in the Sicilian port of Catania on 31 January 2019.  Photo: UNHCR/Alessio Mamo

Some of the 43 migrants still on board the Sea Watch 3. Photo: Sea-Watch.org

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Over 2,100 Ethiopian Migrants Return Home from Yemen with IOM Support

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:17

Aden – Yesterday (20/06), a flight chartered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with 96 migrants on board took off from Yemen, headed for Ethiopia. This movement was the 18th flight from Aden to Addis Ababa under IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme since 28 May, helping a total of 2,133 stranded migrants, including 570 children, return home.  

On 21 April, the authorities in Aden began detaining irregular migrants in large numbers. At the peak (between 27 April to 03 May), IOM estimates that over 5,000 people were held across three sites.  The majority of the returning migrants were detained, many for nearly two months, in a makeshift migrant detention site at the 22nd of May Stadium in Aden city.  

Since April, IOM has been coordinating partners’ response to this acute humanitarian situation. IOM is providing emergency food, water, sanitation and 24-hour health services to migrants in the stadium. IOM also established a diarrhoea treatment centre (DTC) in Ibn Khaldoon Hospital to help those migrants suffering from acute watery diarrhoea (AWD). 

While IOM has supported over 2,000 people to return home so far, an additional 2,000 migrants are still in the stadium, many of whom are children. In the coming week, IOM will support the voluntary return of the remaining children.  

“IOM provides voluntary humanitarian return assistance to detained migrants, as a last resort, and does not support the further detention of migrants, especially children, women and vulnerable groups,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Director of Operations of Emergencies.  

“All governments are obliged to provide protection for all people within their borders, regardless of immigration status. This protection is extended to detained migrants, including access to food, water, sanitation, health services and safe accommodation,” he added. 

Despite the conflict in Yemen, migrants seeking opportunities in Gulf countries continue to make the treacherous journey by land and sea to the Arabian Peninsula. All along the route, migrants face many challenges in accessing protection and assistance.  

Abdiker reaffirmed IOM’s commitment to supporting Yemen and other governments in the region to better manage migration, ensuring the safety and dignity of migrants. 

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Yemen, Tel: +967730552233, Email: oheadon@iom.int  

 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 - 17:14Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM supported nearly 150 women and girls in returning home to Ethiopia from Yemen. Photo: IOM/K. Baker

Migrants wait to board their flight home from Aden to Addis Ababa with IOM's support. Photo: IOM/K. Baker

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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