• English
  • Deutsch
Subscribe to PBN News Germany feed
Updated: 53 min 40 sec ago

International Organization for Migration to Open 110th Council Session Tuesday

Tue, 11/26/2019 - 10:06

Geneva – IOM Director General António Vitorino this week (26-29/11) will address a gathering of the Organization’s 173 member states while presiding over a range of panels and programmes at the annual IOM Council Session beginning in Geneva this week. A 174th member, Lebanon, has its application for membership pending.  

“It is a privilege to lead this Organization into its next phase of consolidation, development and success at a time when our work is ever more important and central to our collective endeavour to ensure that migration is safe, well-managed and for the benefit of all,” DG Vitorino said. “I count on your support for this.” 

The three-day Council Session will include panels on three topics, including Wednesday's launch of IOM’s World Migration Report 2020, a discussion on Building Peace and Creating Conditions for Development: Internal Displacement Stabilization and Reintegration of Migrants, and another, Mobility Dynamics in the Sahel. 

110th IOM Council Playlist - IOM YouTube channel 

For more information, please contact Leonard Doyle at IOM Headquarters in Geneva, Tel: +41 79 285 7123, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMIOM Governing BodiesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Director General António Vitorino, 110th IOM Council.  Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Deaths Rise on Central Mediterranean with Latest Lampedusa Tragedy

Tue, 11/26/2019 - 10:06

Rome – Twenty-one people lost their lives in a shipwreck off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy, on Saturday (23/11) when a boat, carrying 170 Europe-bound migrants, capsized 1.6km from the island as it was being escorted by the coast guard. 

Five bodies have so far been recovered, and at least 16 others remain missing. The process of victim identification has begun. Recovery efforts have been hampered by poor weather, IOM officials said today.  

Among the 149 survivors are 26 minors, some of whom lost their parents in Saturday’s tragedy. They spoke to IOM staff about the dire conditions and abuse they experienced in Libya.  

This tragedy comes during an apparent spike in departures from Libya. In the past week, at least 12 boats were either intercepted or rescued in the central Mediterranean. IOM Missing Migrants Project recorded 45 deaths in the central Mediterranean route on 22 and 23 November.   

IOM provided assistance to the survivors, as well as 213 other people rescued by the NGO vessel Ocean Viking and brought to Messina, Sicily.  

"Events of the past few days prove once more that crossing the Mediterranean is still extremely dangerous,” said Laurence Hart, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean. 

“On the other hand, migrants' testimonies confirm that the situation in Libya is critical and that many are victims of abuse and violence. Saving lives at sea must still be the number one priority, and now more than ever, it is important to bring rescued migrants to a safe port."  

The latest tragedy brings the total number of deaths recorded in the Mediterranean in 2019 to 1,136, including 740 in the central Mediterranean route alone, which remains the planet’s deadliest sea crossing.  

According to official figures provided by the Ministry of the Interior, 610 migrants arrived by sea to Italy in four days, between Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 November. The total number of arrivals by sea registered so far is 10,566. 

For more information, please contact Safa Msehli at IOM Geneva: Tel: +41794035526, Email: or Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Rome, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:   


Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - 16:45Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Burundi Broaden Cooperation on Negotiating Bilateral Labour Migration Agreements

Tue, 11/26/2019 - 10:06

Bujumbura – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Burundi is strengthening the capacity of Burundian authorities as they prepare to negotiate bilateral labour migration agreements with Gulf States and other destination countries that receive Burundian migrant workers. 

The signing of these agreements will help to strengthen the protection of migrant workers in destination countries and combat human trafficking: Burundian migrant workers, especially women, are often discriminated against and vulnerable to exploitation. Since 2018, IOM and partners have identified nearly 400 cases of women recruited for domestic work in the Gulf countries who suffered physical, psychological and sexual abuse, and often lacked the means to return home. 

A two-day training last week in Gitega funded by the IOM Development Fund allowed national authorities to become familiar with the concepts, terminology and tools needed to negotiate bilateral labour migration agreements. The project targets national partners in key ministries, trade unions, employers' associations, private recruitment agencies and civil society organizations.   

“These agreements would work well for both the migrants and the employers; it would regulate the period before, during and after employment,” Benjamin Nkeshimana, Director General of Labour and Employment within the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Employment told attendees. 

“Work conditions should be decent during the period of activity, but also in retirement. By this, I mean the provision of social security and its transferability to their country of origin so that they can continue their well-being when they return to Burundi and during retirement.”  

IOM has been working with the Government of Burundi since 2007 to support effective, efficient and responsible migration governance, as well as the safe, orderly and dignified migration and mobility of people. 

“At IOM, we aim to contribute to the development of comprehensive guidance for safe, orderly and dignified labour migration through bilateral labour migration agreements, among others,” said IOM Burundi Chief of Mission AJ Morgen.  

“This is a tangible step towards the effective implementation of the GCM and targets 8.8 and 10.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals.”  

This project will enable the Government of Burundi to implement one of the recommendations of the comparative study validated in March 2019 on the free movement of workers in the East African Community (EAC). The study, covering Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania, recommends that all partner countries develop and adopt open and transparent labour migration policies and laws, based on the best practices of the African Union framework, and recommendations from ILO and the United Nations.  

“If we can offer [the youth] possibilities to find paid employment in a well-structured environment abroad, it would be great,” said Chantal Ntima, Director of the Entrepreneurship Department at ADISCO, a local non-governmental organization which helps Burundian youth to enter the job market.  

“It would be a new opportunity that I could offer to young people, if the legal framework exists and has been well negotiated and validated by the Government of Burundi,” she added.  

For more information, please contact Odette Bolly, IOM Burundi, Tel: +257 75400221, Email: 


Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: BurundiThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants at the two-day training held in Gitega from 21-22 November. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Presents Guide on Safe Management of Transhumance Flows in Chad

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 09:34

N’Djamena — ‘Transhumance movements’ is a modern term for a very old tradition: the foraging of scarce pasturage by traditional herders. In the region between Southern Chad and the Central African Republic, such activities are considered in the modern age among the largest on the planet in the world, according to the International Crisis Group.  

Herders are moving cyclically along traditional transhumance corridors, both within the country's boundaries and across borders, in search of fodder for their livestock. These movements have been a source of clashes between the agro-pastoral communities, particularly in Moyen Chari, a province in Southern Chad. 

Across the region, herders and farmers communities are greatly affected by a mismanagement of pastures and transhumant cross-border movements which is causing significant disputes, with regular casualties, mainly due to a mutual misunderstanding. In addition, climate change and ongoing intercommunal conflicts disrupt the traditional patterns of agro-pastoral communities, prompting new challenges for nomadic herders and host communities. 

As part of its efforts to support the Government of Chad to improve border management and resolve conflicts linked to transhumance, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Chad presented on 19 November its new guide for practitioners on the safe and orderly management of transhumance flows and cross-border information exchange. 

Designed together with an international human rights expert and in conjunction with the Government of Chad, the guide covers topics including the identification, referral and protection of vulnerable pastoralists; the best methods to combat trafficking in persons; management of tension linked to cross-border movements and profiling techniques. 

Commending the project, said Benguela Guidjinga, the deputy Director of the National Police General Directorate, “Border management has improved and the dialogue around transhumance between the two countries, Chad and the Central African Republic has helped addressing difficulties created by weak institutional and political dialogue on transhumance issues.” 

The project Restoration of Peace and Dialogue between Communities Affected by Transboundary Transhumance aims to strengthen dialogue and peace through data collection of pastoral mobility.  This cross-border project, funded by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), implemented by IOM and FAO  in Chad and the Central African Republic, and aims to strengthen dialogue and peace at the community level for the prevention and management of conflicts between agro-pastoral communities.  

The 19 November event gathered representatives of the Government, UN agencies, local NGOs, members of the transhumance community and traditional authorities who shared their feedback and inputs. The finalized guide is expected to be made available in the beginning of 2020.  

For more information, please contact Alassane Dembele, Peacebuilding Program Officer at Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, November 22, 2019 - 16:05Image: Region-Country: ChadThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Hanagamba Nomadic People have fled the conflict in Central African Republic and are now settled in Kobiteye returnees site in Chad. IOM/Amanda Nero 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Film Caravan Sets Off for Month-long Tour Around Niger for Fourth Consecutive Year

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 09:34

Niamey – In what has become a popular annual event in Niger, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched this past Monday (18/11) its fourth month-long film caravan, starting with the screening of the feature Issalam Taret: Any News from the Road? in the Talladjé neighbourhood in the capital, Niamey. 

This and at least 10 more screenings are being conducted under IOM’s Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF), a tradition launched in Geneva in 2016. For the GMFF’s fourth year, a film caravan will travel throughout the country for one month, coursing over nearly to 3,000 kilometres, to screen films in cities and migrant transit centres, in multiple locations, including Tahoua, Maradi, Zinder, Séguédine, Bilma, Dirkou and Arlit. The caravan’s last stop will be in Agadez, on December 18, International Migrants Day. 

All the screenings are free to the public and will be followed by concerts and other activities, including a public debate animated by IOM’s community mobilizers or ‘MobComs.’ In addition, Q&A sessions aimed at further exploring the films’ subject matter and testing the newly acquired knowledge will be organized. 

The vastness of the country, the difficult roads and unstable security situation have often presented challenges for the caravan. However, the GMFF team has largely succeeded in reaching even Niger’s most remote communities, including Assamaka, on the border with Algeria. 

Often deceived by smugglers and traffickers, close to 70 per cent of migrants on this route said in a recent survey they felt misinformed about the dangers that lie ahead on migratory routes. Many of them do not have access to reliable sources of information prior to their departure and are misled by the information found on social media. This misinformation leaves them vulnerable to different types of abuse during their migratory journey, from theft or confiscation of documents, to torture, rape or slavery. 

“The film we watched tonight made me question my future. People don’t talk enough about how hard this journey actually is, and information sometimes makes the difference between life and death,” said Ali a 32-year-old Malian migrant hoping to reach Algeria. Ali was one of the more than 200 people who attended the caravan’s first screening in Niamey. 

IOM partnered with local record label Art-Disc Records earlier this year for the awareness-raising caravan called In da na sa’ni (“If only I had known” in Hausa) which travelled for a month across Niger and sensitized more than 15,000 migrants and community members on the risks of irregular migration and its alternatives. 

“This is the second time we are on the road organizing a caravan for IOM. We have met many migrants along the way and have heard many stories. The situations they find themselves in are hard to ignore.  

People are drawn to stories so we hope we can make a difference though the various screenings and events we have planned,” explained Abderahmane Harouna Koudou, coordinator for Art-Disc Records. 

“I learned a lot tonight about the pains and difficulties of my different African brothers and sisters,” said Ibrahim, 32, from Niger. “Migrants are often portrayed as thieves or beggars, but in the end, we have a lot in common. I could have easily made some of the same choices, the same mistakes and find myself where they are now. It's important to never forget that.” 

As part of IOM’s awareness-raising strategy in Niger, regular outreach activities — such as film screenings and debates — have proven to be effective ways to help disseminate messages on the dangers of irregular migration while also raising awareness about the alternatives and ways of accessing regular migration channels. 

“The Global Migration Film Festival has become a pillar of our awareness-raising activities in Niger over the course of the last few years,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. “Regardless of socio-economic background, films provide an accessible platform for information for everyone. We hope that through the over 30 projections we have scheduled this month, we can further strengthen the social cohesion between host communities and migrants,” she concluded. 

The activities organized for the GMFF in 2018 and 2019 are supported by the European Union, within the framework of the Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism.  

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

For more information about the GMFF in West and Central Africa, please contact Florence Kim at IOM Regional Office in Dakar at Tel: +221 78 6206213; Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, November 22, 2019 - 16:00Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Global Migration Film FestivalDefault: Multimedia: 

More than 500 migrants in transit and community members have already attended the screenings in Niamey this week. Photo: IOM/Daniel Kisito Kouawo 

More than 500 migrants in transit and community members have already attended the screenings in Niamey this week. Photo: IOM/Daniel Kisito Kouawo 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Paraguay Sign Agreement to Improve Migration Management in the Country

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 09:32

Asunción – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the General Directorate of Migration (DGM by its Spanish acronym) and the Ministry of Interior (MDI by its Spanish acronym) of Paraguay signed an agreement for the implementation of a project that seeks to improve the production, management and use of information to improve migration management through information and communication technologies (ICT).  

With the signing of this agreement, there will be continuity in joint projects that have been carried out since 2015, when Paraguay put in place the IOM Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS). This migration management biometric system is currently used in nine border control posts in the country, reaching 80 per cent of the country's migratory flow. 

This new project will allow the installation of MIDAS in three additional border control posts, located in the cities of Carmelo Peralta, Itá Enramada and Alberdi. 

The implementation of MIDAS in Paraguay has contributed to strengthening the capacity of the DGM in migration management, and increase the capacity for migratory registration through the generation of reports on movements, as well as the incorporation of biometric information, online supervision, access to national and INTERPOL alert lists, and the obtention of the travel history of those entering and leaving the country. 

“IOM recognizes and values the commitment of the Republic of Paraguay in the process of updating migration management processes in the country, in accordance with the highest standards of security and management of migratory information at the national level,” said Richard Velázquez, IOM Paraguay Head of Office. 

In the last years, and in addition to the signing of this agreement, the Government of Paraguay has invested around USD 2.1 million in MIDAS System, which has been managed by IOM Paraguay, and complemented with funding from the IOM Development Fund (IDF). 

The new project also aims to modernize the migrant assistance area at DGM, in order to improve the capacity and quality of the response to the documentation processing needs. 

In May 2018, IOM and the DGM of Paraguay signed a cooperation agreement for the expansion of the Personal Information and Registration System (PIRS) and MIDAS in the country, which allows to have more detailed and complete information on passengers that cross the borders.  

The inclusion of peripheral computer equipment, such as passport readers, fingerprint readers and webcams, has allowed to gather useful data to manage adequate migration policies, based on complete information.  

For more information, please contact Chiara Masi, at IOM Paraguay. E-mail:; tel.: +595 985 43 03 46 


Language English Posted: Friday, November 22, 2019 - 15:55Image: Region-Country: ParaguayThemes: Migration GovernanceDefault: Multimedia: 

The IOM MIDAS System is currently used in nine border control posts in Paraguay. Photo: Nicolás Sosa/DGM 

The IOM MIDAS System is currently used in nine border control posts in Paraguay. Photo: Nicolás Sosa/DGM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 95,600 in 2019; Deaths Reach 1,091

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 09:31

Geneva – IOM reports that 95,600 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 20 November, roughly an 8 per cent decrease from the 104,535 arriving during the same period last year.  

Arrivals this year to Greece and Spain are at 53,163and 22,544, respectively, (75,707 combined) accounting for about 79 per cent of the regional total, with the balance arriving in much smaller numbers to Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Arrivals to Greece are running approximately 84 per cent ahead of 2018’s totals from this time. Arrivals to Spain are more than 55 per cent lower.  

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through 20 November stand at 1,091 individuals—or about 51 per cent of the 2,137 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018. (see chart below).  

IOM Italy 

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo cited official Ministry of Interior figures of 10,030 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea this year through 20 November, compared to 22,5412 at this same time in 2018. IOM Libya has reported that through 15 November 8.309 migrants have been intercepted at sea and returned to Libya in 2019. 

IOM Greece 

IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou reported on Thursday (21/11) the arrival of nearly 3,000 (12,792) irregular migrants through the Aegean between the days 13-19 November, an average of nearly 400 per day.  

Through all of November daily arrivals have run to just over 280 individuals, making this the year’s third busiest month behind September (345/day) and October (297/day).  Through the first half of 2019, daily arrivals topped 125 only once, in June (126/day), and remained relatively low through the months of July and August.  (see chart below). 

IOM Greece further reported that from Friday (15/11) up to date, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least 39 incidents requiring search and rescue operation off the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Kos, Chios, Samothrace and the port of Alexandroupoli. The HCG rescued a total of 1,374 migrants and transferred them to the respective ports during these dates. 

Those arrivals, plus another 1,418 since 13 November, bring to 53,163, 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 34,028 people, including 2,866 in 2019 (see chart further 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. 

South Asia has within the past few days recorded a high number of deaths linked to migration and mobility in the region. On Thursday 14 November, 33 people of Afghan nationality reportedly died in a vehicle accident—a collision of two vans—on a highway near the town of Khash, in Sistan and Baluchistan, Iran. Six people were reported to have survived this tragic incident with injuries. The remains of the 33 people from this fatal incident were repatriated to Afghanistan via the Nimroz border crossing point.   

Within Europe, fatalities linked to border crossings are estimated at 113 in 2019. The remains of an unidentified man believed to be from the Middle East/Southeast Asia, were found along train tracks in the Evros region, northern Greece on 16 November. The individual was reportedly hit by a train near to the town of Soufli. Investigations regarding the specific circumstances of this tragic incident were launched.  

Migrant deaths in the Americas continue during what may be the deadliest year MMP has recorded in the past six years. In total, at least 644 people have lost their lives in the Americas in 2019, compared with the 528 that were recorded through this point in 2018.  

As always, the US-México border continues to witness fatalities, several in recent days. 

The remains of a man reportedly of Mexican origin were recovered on 10 November on a ranch in eastern Brooks County, Texas, about 80 miles north of the US-Mexican border. A few days later (12 November), the body of a 29-year-old man was found by Border Patrol agents in a bush along the road in Maverick County, Texas on 12 November. That individual is believed to have died from dehydration while crossing the border into the United States from México.  

This is the second reported death linked to a border crossing in Texas that has occurred in a less than a week. The remains of an unidentified male adult person, believed to be from Latin America, were recovered besides Inspiration Road in Hidalgo County, Texas on 14 November. These tragic incidents bring the total number of fatalities on the US-Mexican border to 348 and reflects how unsafe migration continues to be across this international crossing point. 

Further south, on 19 November, the remains of a man believed to be from Latin America, were recovered along train tracks in San Juan de la Vega, Celaya, Guanajuato, México. He is believed to have fallen from a train. 

This week marked the 15th anniversary of the Central American mothers’ annual search caravan. A group of about 50 mothers and other family members from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua arrived in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, México on Tuesday in search of information about their missing children and relatives.  

From its inception 15 years ago, over 310 previously reported missing individuals have been successfully located by the caravans and reunited with their families. The Caravan will proceed through the Mexican cities of Tabasco, Veracruz, Puebla and Oaxaca, México City in their search for missing family members. 

In the Caribbean, three persons reportedly from the Dominican Republic remain missing since 18 November and are feared to have drowned in an unspecified location in the Mona Passage, off Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico. A group of thirteen persons rescued by a fishing vessel operator reported that the three men reported missing jumped into the water and attempted to swim to the shore upon seeing land a few days prior to their arrival on land.  

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. The report Fatal Journey Volume 4, published 28 June, includes an overview of five years of Missing Migrants Project data (2014-2018) and an update on what is known about deaths during migration in 2019.  


For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, click here. Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project.  

See contacts here

Language English Posted: Friday, November 22, 2019 - 15:47Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches Voluntary Return Programme for Migrants Stranded in Guatemala

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 09:24

Guatemala – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched a new programme of humanitarian assistance and Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) in Guatemala that will benefit migrants who voluntarily request to return to their country but do not have the means to do so. The initiative is part of IOM’s response to humanitarian needs of migrants in the region.  

“We are opening this opportunity so that migrants can access a voluntary, safe and dignified return based on an informed decision,” said Jorge Peraza, IOM Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. “The programme will also provide humanitarian assistance during their return to their countries of origin.”  

“The initiative ensures the realization of the human right every person has the right to return to his/her country in dignity. The programme operates in strict accordance with the principle of voluntary consent, since the validity of the right to make a free and informed decision of each migrant person is essential for IOM,” Peraza added.  

The AVR programme is based on international human rights standards and the fundamental principles of IOM which include: ensuring the migrant’s informed decision is voluntary; responses centred on migrants’ needs; maintaining confidentiality; promoting intergovernmental and intersectoral alliances and dialogue and the creation of evidence to strengthen decision making.  

IOM will maintain close collaboration with the United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) and its implementing partners for the referral and counter-referral of cases of asylum seekers, as well as people who are presumed to have international protection needs. In addition, it will provide humanitarian assistance, including accommodation, food and medical care among others, to the beneficiaries of the AVR programme, with a focus on respect for fundamental rights.  

IOM will also coordinate closely with governments and partners in the countries of origin to ensure a dignified and adequate reception, which includes post-arrival humanitarian assistance and referral to reintegration services. Likewise, it will periodically monitor the cases after return in order to be aware of any possible assistance needs that may arise.  

The initiative will contribute to the wider response to the humanitarian needs of hundreds of migrants who have mobilized in the region in mixed flows since October 2018. It will be implemented in Guatemala and Belize until October 2020 and has a funding of USD 10.3 million, granted by the Government of the United States of America.  

The AVR programme is part of the IOM's overall objective of upholding and maintiaining the human right of every person to a humane, safe and dignified return to their country of origin. The programme also promotes orderly and regular migration, while also complementing the efforts of different sectors and governments in the areas of return, reintegration, prevention of irregular migration, combating trafficking in persons, illegal trafficking of migrants, and the prevention and elimination of discrimination and xenophobia. 

For more information, please contact Melissa Vega, at IOM Guatemala, Email:, Tel: +502 2414 7410 


Language English Posted: Friday, November 22, 2019 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: GuatemalaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

This initiative will contribute to the wider response to the humanitarian needs of hundreds of migrants who have mobilized in the region in mixed flows since October 2018. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM: Urgent Shift Needed in Approach to the Situation in Libya

Thu, 11/21/2019 - 18:27

TRIPOLI - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is alarmed by the latest developments in Libya where, in the span of 48 hours, at least nine boats carrying more than 600 migrants have been discovered on the central Mediterranean route. A tenth boat arrived today in Lampedusa, Italy. 
This apparent spike in departures from Libya comes at a time when the capital, Tripoli, and surrounding areas are witnessing some of the heaviest shelling since the conflict erupted in April.
“IOM is deeply concerned about the safety of migrants who are vulnerable to clashes, human trafficking and abuse as the security situation further deteriorates,” said Federico Soda, IOM Libya Chief of Mission.

“Libya is not a safe port; there is a need for a predictable and safe disembarkation mechanism for migrants fleeing violence and abuse.”
IOM renews its call to the European Union and the African Union, for an urgent shift in approach to the situation in Libya. Immediate action must be taken to dismantle the detention system and find alternative solutions to safeguard lives.

Between Tuesday (29/11) and Thursday (21/11), operators of the Ocean Viking and Open Arms NGO vessels reported rescuing 287 migrants. IOM Libya confirms that the Libyan Coast Guard returned 289 others to shore including 14 children and 33 women; they were transferred to a detention centre. IOM staff who provided emergency assistance at the disembarkation point described the migrants as “vulnerable and scared”.

Forty-three others were picked up by the Tunisian authorities off the coast of Djerba on Thursday morning. A further 74 migrants also arrived at Lampedusa today. According to IOM Staff in both locations, the boats departed from Zwara, Libya.

IOM Libya is unable to verify reports Wednesday night that another vessel sank with a significant loss of life.
Since the beginning of the year, more than 8,600 migrants have been returned to often overcrowded Libyan detention centres where the United Nations has documented unacceptable conditions, violations of human rights and disappearances.

The Latest

• Early Thursday morning Tunisia authorities discovered 43 people in a boat off the coast of Djerba.
• The NGO rescue vessel Open Arms rescued 73 people and, Ocean Viking a further 90.
• IOM staff in Lampedusa reported the arrival of a wooden boat carrying 74 migrants.
• On Wednesday, Ocean Viking rescued a further 30 people and the Libyan Coast Guard returned 289 people from four boats.
• On Tuesday, Ocean Viking NGO vessel rescued 94 people.

For more information, please contact Safa Msehli at IOM Geneva: Tel:+41794035526; Email:

Language English Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 18:24Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Migrants RightsMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

France Welcomes Final Yazidi Families From Iraq Through Humanitarian Admissions Programme

Thu, 11/21/2019 - 16:50

Paris, Erbil – One hundred members of Iraq’s Yazidi community arrived safely in Paris, France, on Wednesday, the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) final operation in support of French President Emmanuel Macron’s 2018 commitment to receive 100 families from the ethno-religious minority group.

“These families have been through unimaginable trials and IOM Iraq has been proud to assist the French authorities with this important initiative,” said Giovanni Cassani, IOM Iraq’s Head of Programmes and Head of the Erbil Office.
“Many more families across Iraq remain in displacement. We will continue to support these populations, as well as host communities and returnees, during the recovery and stabilization process.”
Yazidis are found primarily in northern Iraq. In August 2014 the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) swept through Sinjar, the stronghold of Iraq’s Yazidi community; hundreds of civilians are believed to have died as a consequence. One of the enduring images of that period was the plight of tens of thousands of Yazidis who were forced to flee to Mount Sinjar. Many have yet to return home.

The Humanitarian Admissions Programme (HAP) was launched at the request of the French President in October 2018, with the support of 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad, who has advocated for vulnerable Yazidi women worldwide.
“Less than a year after the first families were welcomed in France, the arrival of 27 Yazidi women and their children in Paris yesterday is a testament to the implementation of the commitment made by President Emmanuel Macron to Nadia Murad,” said Ambassador Eric Chevallier, Director of the French Crisis and Support Centre.
“In France these families receive protection, security and education, as well as medical and social support. Their integration into the host communities is facilitated by local non-governmental organizations, a process that is quite successful so far. Along with the emergency humanitarian assistance and stabilization efforts in Iraq that contribute to preserve the cultural diversity of the country, this programme is part of France’s action to help the victims of ethnic and religious persecution by ISIL in the Middle East.”
Prior to their departure for France, IOM assisted the families with transportation to Erbil, short-term accommodation, and medical check-ups. Along the journey from Duhok Governate to Erbil, the families stopped at Lalish, a Yazidi temple and pilgrimage site.
IOM teams also organized cultural orientation sessions, facilitated their travel to France and were on hand at Charles de Gaulle Airport when they arrived. French NGOs provide the families with housing and provisions for long-term social support to support their path to integration into their host communities and French society.
“Today’s safe arrival of the families is proof that the Humanitarian Admissions Programme is a flexible and responsive tool that offers a safe and legal avenue for people in need,” said Sara Abbas, head of IOM’s office in France. “The programme is designed to complement resettlement in solidarity with them and share responsibility with countries hosting the majority of forcibly displaced persons.”
For more information please contact:
Sara Abbas, IOM France Head of Office, Tel: +33 (0) 1 40 44 06 91, Email: 
IOM Iraq’s Public Information Unit, Tel: +964 751 402 2811, Email:

Language English Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 16:44Image: Region-Country: FranceThemes: ResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

“Today’s safe arrival of the families is proof that the Humanitarian Admissions Programme is a flexible and responsive tool that offers a safe and legal avenue for people in need,” said Sara Abbas, head of IOM’s office in France.  Photo: IOM

In France these families receive protection, security and education, as well as medical and social support.  Photo: IOM

“Less than a year after the first families were welcomed in France, the arrival of 27 Yazidi women and their children in Paris yesterday is a testament to the implementation of the commitment made by President Emmanuel Macron to Nadia Murad,” said Ambassador Eric Chevallier, Director of the French Crisis and Support Centre.  Photo: IOM

The Humanitarian Admissions Programme (HAP) was launched at the request of the French President in October 2018, with the support of 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad, who has advocated for vulnerable Yazidi women worldwide.  Photo: IOM

"Aujourd'hui la France nous a ouvert les bras, nous ne pouvons qu'être reconnaissants" : vingt-sept femmes yazidies et leurs enfants, victimes en Irak du groupe État islamique (EI), sont arrivées à l'aéroport Charles-de Gaulle près de Paris pour commencer une nouvelle vie en France. Copyright: AFP

  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Citi Foundation Expand Partnership to Support the Integration of Venezuelans

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:46

Bogota – The number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela is expected to reach 6.5 million by the end of next year, according to the recently launched Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP). Facing that daunting challenge, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Citi Foundation launched a project yesterday (18/11) to enhance the livelihoods of Venezuelans and host communities in Colombia and Perú. 

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. 

The exodus of Venezuelan nationals is one of the largest external displacement crises in the world today. Around half of the 4.6 million people who have left Venezuela since 2015 - based on the latest figures of the Regional Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela - can be found in neighbouring Colombia and Perú.  

Figures are projected to reach 2.4 million in Colombia and 978,000 in Perú next year.  Many, in fact, are nationals of those two Andean countries, citizens of Colombia and Perú who spent years, even decades, living and working in neighbouring Venezuela. 

A significant number of Venezuelans arrive with qualifications and skills to contribute to the economy of the hosting countries, but access to formal employment can often prove difficult.  

“Citi is committed to being part of the solution to this humanitarian crisis,” said Alvaro Jaramillo of the Citi Foundation during the launch event. “We firmly believe—as an integrated partner in the communities where we live and work—that we have a shared responsibility to address the challenges we all face.” 

The partnership will provide vocational training and certifications to more than 400 Venezuelan youth. The project also includes an incubator for mixed entrepreneurial ventures comprised of Venezuelans, Colombian returnees and host community members. IOM’s non-profit partner, USA for IOM, will host educational events in the US to further raise awareness on the issue. 

“There needs to be much more attention on the magnitude of the crisis, as the outflow continues unabated and is growing by the day,” said Luca Dall’Oglio, CEO of USA for IOM. “This partnership offers a space for the private sector, humanitarian and development actors, civil society and international financial institutions to discuss support not only for emergency assistance but long-term needs like socioeconomic and cultural integration.” 

Since 2015, Citi Foundation has granted IOM nearly USD 1 million toward efforts to help vulnerable adolescents and youth develop the necessary skills and competencies to increase income generation opportunities in digital ecosystems and improve their livelihoods.   

The latest investment to support the economic integration of Venezuelans in Perú and Colombia doubles total contributions to almost USD2 million. 

“Our collaboration with the Citi Foundation has served as a catalyst to inspire more engagement from the private sector over the past few years,” said Ana Eugenia Durán Salvatierra, IOM Colombia Chief of Mission. “Multi-stakeholder commitment is ever so critical as we now face the biggest population movement in Latin America’s recent history,” she added. 

The Citi Foundation invests in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyse job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. For more information, please see:

For more information, please contact Liz Lizama at IOM Washington, Tel.+1 202 716 8820, Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: Papua New GuineaThemes: Disaster Risk ReductionDefault: Multimedia: 

Representatives of IOM, Office of the President of Colombia, Peru Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US Agency for International Development participated in a panel discussion at the launch of a new project to support the socioeconomic integration of Venezuelans in Colombia and Peru. Photo: IOM/Liz Lizama 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Voluntary Return Assistance Continues from North Africa to West Africa

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:46

Bamako – Assisting migrants to return to their countries of origin sometimes requires creativity and the cooperation of several IOM member states. This month, Mali stepped up to offer its territory as a transit point for West and Central African migrants heading to eight countries of origin after being stranded in Algeria. 

Last week (13/11) the International Organization for Migration (IOM) assisted 108 stranded migrants to voluntary return from Algiers, Algeria’s capital, to their countries of origin. Thirty of those passengers had migrated from Mali, itself. The other 78—including 24 women—returned to eight different countries: Guinea, Nigeria Ghana, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

On this second flight from Algeria, the passengers were selected for their vulnerability and special circumstances—for example, many were women—including single mothers—and children. IOM spokesperson Florence Kim explained having Mali as a transit point averts leaving smaller groups of migrants originating from countries—such as Benin—having to remain stranded in Algeria and it allows to organize their returns by air or land directly to their countries. 

 “It is essential to guarantee the safety of migrants willing to return home. The 78 non-Malians transited through Mali to avoid being stranded in Algeria too long,” explained Pascal Reyntjens, IOM Chief of mission in Mali. “An efficient transit reception mechanism also helps ensure a thorough identification of the assisted migrants including the confirmation of their vulnerabilities.” 

Before departing, IOM protection team assessed the passengers to ensure their safe and sustainable return. Upon arrival in Bamako, Mali’s capital, non-Malian migrants were accompanied by IOM Mali staff to their respective countries of origin via land and/or air, where they received with post-arrival and reception assistance.  

Regardless of the country of return, all returnees will receive immediate assistance upon arrival, including food, pocket money and onward transportation to their final communities of origin. In-kind reintegration assistance will also be available to start a new life back home. 

The charter was made possible thanks to the cooperation and support of the Algerian government, the Malian government, in partnership with Air Algérie and with the contribution of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. All governments of origin provided travel documents to their nationals. 

This movement falls under IOM’s Global Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF) Objective 3: 'Migration should take place in a safe, orderly and dignified manner'.  

It is also in line with the Target 10.7  of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): ‘Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies’, and Target 17.17 ‘Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships’. 


For more information, please contact Florence Kim at IOM Regional office for West and Central Africa: Tel: +221786206213; Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 16:45Image: Region-Country: AlgeriaMaliThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

108 migrants stranded in Algeria arrived in Bamako on November 13. Photo: IOM/Hamed Diallo 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Promoting Sustainable Reintegration of Returned Migrants in West and Central Africa

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:46

Dakar – Since 2017, over 68,000 West and Central African migrants stranded along the main migration routes, mainly in Niger (25,400) and Libya (29,900), have been assisted to voluntary return to their countries of origin. Nigeria, Mali and Guinea represent, cumulatively, 50 percent of that caseload. On average, returned migrants are mostly young male (86 per cent) and two percent are unaccompanied children. 

For migrants who have risked everything hoping for new lives outside their countries, returning is difficult. “I can say that those things that pushed me to leave my country, I can have them here now,” said Seyiba, a returned Burkinabe assisted in 2018 by the International organization for migration (IOM). He currently is managing a 500-chicken poultry farm in his country, together with other returnees. 

Successfully managing the reintegration of these returned migrants must be a shared responsibility between governments, IOM and civil society organizations. For that purpose, representatives from 12 West and Central African governments, and the European Union, attended IOM’s first expert workshop on reintegration in West and Central Africa organized last week (12-13/11) in Dakar, Senegal’s capital.  

The main goal was to evaluate the achievements made in the framework of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration (Joint Initiative) and create a regional community of best practices. 

IOM’s reintegration assistance can include, among other things, reception at the airport, overnight accommodation, pocket money, psychosocial counselling, vocational training and economic support such as job placements, setting-up of micro-businesses or cash-for-work programmes. 

By its very nature, reintegration is a complex and slow process, but it is the boost migrants need to overcome their stigma and psychosocial distress of returning. So far, among those who returned, nearly 55,000 migrants started the reintegration process and over 5,000 received psychosocial support in (descending order) Nigeria, Mali, Guinea, Niger, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, The Gambia, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Chad and Mauritania.  

“Reintegration must be a shared responsibility and implemented in full partnership between governments and all layers of the society,” said Richard Danziger, IOM Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “Together, our teams and your governments have accomplished what seemed unthinkable three years ago, working hand in hand to achieve the common goal of leaving no one behind,” he added. 

“Through the Joint Initiative, we have established a functioning model for migrant reintegration,” said Michele Bombassei, Senior Regional Programme Coordinator at IOM. “But there is a need for a more concerted effort, at both political and operational levels, to strengthen migration governance, including reintegration, and ensure the sustainability of a joint response in West and Central Africa,” he added. 

“It’s a small project at first sight, but it is big in size because these are long-term projects,” said one Guinean who returned from Niger in 2017 and who is now working in a poultry farm, currently employing 300 community members and migrants.  

Examples of sustainable and collective projects in Cote d’Ivoire where returned migrants and more than 200 community members work on a waste management project, or in Guinea where returned migrants have set-up a growing potato farm, prove that meaningful reintegration assistance can be achieved by harnessing the skills of the returned migrants, while also addressing issues affecting the broader community. 

During the workshop, IOM also presented its Reintegration Handbook, a newly published guide designed to provide practitioners involved in the provision of reintegration-related support with practical guidance on the design, implementation and monitoring of reintegration assistance for returnees, with a focus on those who are unable or unwilling to remain in host or transit countries. 

Launched in December 2016 with funding from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the Joint Initiative is the first comprehensive programme to save lives, protect and assist migrants along key migration routes in Africa. It is implemented in 26 African countries together with African governments. 

For more information, please contact Florence Kim at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa at  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 16:40Image: Region-Country: AlgeriaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

108 migrants stranded in Algeria arrived in Bamako on November 13. Photo: IOM/Hamed Diallo 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

5,800 Energy-Efficient Cooking Stoves Distributed to Internally Displaced Households and Host Communities in Ethiopia

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:46

Addis Ababa – Energy efficient cooking stoves for 5,447 households and 381 communal kitchens were distributed by IOM Ethiopia as part of an initiative that will end this month. The energy-efficient cooking-stoves complement the International Organization for Migration (IOM)’s ongoing humanitarian assistance to Internally Displaces Persons and affected populations in the Gedeo-Guji crisis.  

Distribution took place in West Guji and East Wollega Zone in Oromia region, and Gadeo Zones in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region.  

Gedeo, West Guji and East Wollega Zones are among the most densely populated areas in Ethiopia, with the majority of IDPs and host communities in these rural locations heavily dependent on forest wood for cooking fuel.  

These improved cooking stoves (ICSs) are boosting the wellbeing of displacement affected communities and supporting the government of Ethiopia’s efforts to mitigate the impact of displacement on the environment. They directly empower households, at the same time helping to reduce disputes over strained firewood resources.  

In addition to communal stoves to bake kocho – a local staple food – vulnerable households, especially those headed by women, were supplied with family-sized, fuel-saving stove kits for cooking.  

The locally procured stoves consume less wood fuel and are more energy efficient compared to traditional stoves. Besides reducing the strain on local forests, the project will also reduce the risk from smoke inhalation and help reduce women and girl’s vulnerability whilst collecting firewood.  

Before hand-over, 156 local officials and 6,500 targeted community members from 8 woredas (districts) and 32 kebeles (wards) were trained on fuel efficient energy and on how to use the kits.  

Since 2018, Ethiopia has recorded one of the highest numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the world, with border conflicts as the primary driver. DTM Ethiopia reported the presence of 3 million IDPs across the country between March and June 2019.  

Since then, a significant number of IDPs have returned to their places of origin as part of a phased return initiative that the government began in April.  

However, displacement-affected communities still require urgent support to address their emergency and recovery needs.  

Assessments conducted by IOM and World Vision (WVI), as well as concerns raised by humanitarian partners and government counterparts, highlighted lack of access to cooking fuel and competition over the resource as needing urgent intervention. 

With firewood becoming increasingly scarce, IDPs are facing difficulty in accessing energy and find themselves competing with host communities, something likely to result in deterioration of inter-communal relations.  

Moreover, firewood shortages are forcing most women to collect and burn different kinds of waste to fire their kitchens, thus exposing them to toxic smoke especially from burning plastic. 

“Safe access to fuel and energy stands at the intersection of so many things that are of concern – from protection, to nutrition, to health, to the environment, to livelihoods and to education,” said Dawit Mulatu, IOM Ethiopia’s Community Stabilization Officer.  

The initiative is an ongoing effort between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Korea and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).  

In the coming months, IOM will conduct post-distribution monitoring to assess stove use, the satisfaction of beneficiaries, and to document lessons learned.  

For more information please contact: Dawit Mulatu, Email: or Eric Mazango, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Returnee woman with newborn child comes to receive her household cooking stove. Photo: IOM 

Woman leaves after receiving her stove from the ICS distribution site in West Guji. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Displacement Tracking Aids Disaster Response in Papua New Guinea’s Autonomous Region of Bougainville 

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:46

Port Moresby – Disaster management actors in Papua New Guinea (PNG)’s Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) have adopted IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) to better manage data when responding to natural disasters. The remote region experiences earthquakes, volcanic activity and tropical cyclones.    

A two-day DTM training, funded by USAID and held in Buka town, the interim provincial capital, attracted 26 participants from the AROB government, PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority, NGOs, the UN, churches and media.  

The workshop focused on field level data collection and how to generate information products that better inform planning and evidence-based responses to the multi-sectoral needs of internally displaced people. It also addressed the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse and gave participants an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience of conducting assessments in crisis situations.  

“Participants learned the skills necessary for tracking population displacement and gathering the critical data that is needed to effectively respond to an emergency and save lives,” said IOM PNG Chief of Mission Lance Bonneau.  

AROB Deputy Chief Secretary Shardrach Himata also welcomed the training. “Systematic data collection and analysis is essential to shaping emergency preparedness and response,” he said. 

IOM’s DTM is designed to capture, process and disseminate information systematically to provide a better understanding of the movements and evolving needs of mobile populations in places of displacement or transit. It also profiles the displaced for better targeting of relief assistance, especially to the most vulnerable, including people living with disabilities, chronically ill people, and women and children.  

“We rely very much on the Displacement Tracking Matrix tools that are provided by IOM to help us coordinate international assistance following disasters,” said UN Humanitarian Coordination Specialist Richard Higgins, who leads the PNG Disaster Management Team Secretariat.   

“We look to IOM and the Shelter Cluster to utilize the DTM tools to help us have a better picture of not only where people are located, but who are the most vulnerable, what types of assistance do they want, and what type of assistance do they need,” he added. 

IOM, in close cooperation with PNG’s national and provincial Disaster Centres, UN and NGO partners, has successfully deployed DTM in various PNG emergencies, most recently displacement caused by the eruption of Mt. Ulawun in June 2019.  

The training was part of a USAID-funded IOM project: Strengthening Early Warning Systems and Preparedness Actions for Disaster Risk Reduction in Papua New Guinea.  

For more information please contact IOM Port Moresby. Lance Bonneau, Tel. +675 3213655, Email: or Peter Murorera, Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 16:28Image: Region-Country: Papua New GuineaThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Disaster responders in Bougainville adopt IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix. Photo: IOM/Peter Murorera 

Disaster responders in Bougainville adopt IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix. Photo: IOM/Peter Murorera 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Deadly Air Strike on Tripoli Factory Stark Reminder of Risks Civilians Face: IOM

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 18:12

Tripoli - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) deplores this morning’s airstrike on a factory in Wadi Rabii, south Tripoli, that the Libyan Ministry of Health says has claimed the lives of at least seven people, including five migrant workers.

Thirty migrants were also injured in the attack, the ministry said. 

“This attack is a stark reminder of the hostile conditions and risks migrants and local communities face on a daily basis,” said IOM Libya Chief of Mission Federico Soda. “Civilians are not a target; their safety must be guaranteed by all parties to the conflict.”   

Hundreds of civilians have died in clashes in Tripoli since the latest round of violence began in April, including 53 migrants killed in an airstrike on the Tajoura detention centre in July. 

According to IOM Libya Displacement Tracking Matrix, there are over 110,000 migrants in Tripoli and surrounding areas, and 2,000 others in detention centres, who remain at risk as clashes continue in the capital. Roughly 128,000 civilians have been displaced due to the fighting.   

For more information, please contact Safa Msehli at IOM Geneva: Tel:+41794035526; Email:

Language English Posted: Monday, November 18, 2019 - 18:08Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNCTAD and UNHCR Host a Photo Exhibition on Migrant and Refugee Entrepreneurs

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 12:53

Geneva -  With an estimated 272 million international migrants in the world today, migration has the potential to significantly improve the wellbeing and socioeconomic conditions of migrants and their families, as well as the development prospects in receiving and sending communities, provided it occurs in an informed manner and within a transparent and rights-based regulative environment. 

View Exhibit on Medium 

Today (18/11) the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UNCTAD and UNHCR launched the Global Photo Exhibition on Migration and Entrepreneurship at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The Exhibition, which runs through Nov 24, illustrates the contributions migrant and refugee entrepreneurs make in their new communities as well as those they come from. 

“At a time when international migration and refugee flows are stirring up fear and even being the target of hatred, we have joined forces to build a narrative based on facts to show the positive social, cultural and economic contributions that migrants and refugees make to their home and host countries,” said UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant.    

The Exhibition was preceded by a Global Competition that received over 80 contributions from every region. These contributions mirror the diversity of migrant and refugee entrepreneurs in terms of the size of their enterprises which can range from micro-businesses to medium or large-scale enterprises, as well as geographical and skills diversities. 

“The Global Photograph Exhibition on Migration and Entrepreneurship is an opportunity to show the diversity of migrant and refugee economic contributions to the communities they live in and those they come from in a variety of industries, and across the globe,” said Renate Held, Director of the IOM Department of Migration Management. 

“It builds on the work of IOM, UNHCR and UNCTAD on Policy Guide on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees. IOM continues to support migrant entrepreneurship in partnership with UN agencies, governments, civil society and the private sector,” she added. 

The tripartite inter-agency collaboration was initiated with the Policy Guide on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees which was launched at the Global Entrepreneurship week in 2018. Later the same year, IOM and UNCTAD organized a migration and entrepreneurship competition, which selected 3 migrant entrepreneurs for tailor-made mentoring. 

“Promoting entrepreneurship and economic inclusion enable refugees to provide for themselves and their communities and contribute to preparing them for solutions whenever available," said Mamadou Dian Balde, Deputy Director of UNHCR Division of Resilience and Solutions. 

“The Global Compact on Refugees adopted last year calls for policies that include refugees and help them live in harmony, with the populations hosting them. We witness in several parts of the world refugee entrepreneurs who contribute to the local economies”. 

The Exhibition will be attended by the Ambassadors of Morocco and Uganda, Mr Omar Zniber and Mr Christopher Onyanga Aparr, as well as documentary photographer Thana Faroq and Remi Langlois from 111-Days Association Art for Refugees. 

For more information please contact: 

From IOM: Safa Msehli: 

From UNCTAD Catherine Huissoud: 

From UNHCR Jenny Beth Bistoyong: 

Language English Posted: Monday, November 18, 2019 - 12:42Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Oksana is an IDP who moved with her husband and two children from the conflict-affected town of Toretsk, in Eastern Ukraine to Kharkiv. She produces wood dust pellets that are used for heating as an alternative to gas, coal or firewood. By Volodymyr Shuvayev, September 2019

A refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) working in one of the top seafood restaurants in Kyiv, Ukraine. The restaurant, owned by a Ukrainian, was looking for African chefs. A local NGO saw the advertisement and organized an internship, which resulted in three refugees from the DRC received an offer of employment. By Alina Kovalenko, August 2019

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Tracks Repatriations of Haitian Migrants from The Bahamas

Fri, 11/15/2019 - 10:54

Port-au-Prince – IOM Haiti, along with the Haitian National Office of Migration (ONM in French), has monitored the repatriation of 340 Haitian migrants from The Bahamas. Of the repatriated migrants, 153 were interviewed by ONM upon their arrival at the Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitian airports. The persons repatriated indicated being mainly from the northern areas of Haiti (Nord-Ouest, Nord, and Nord-Est departments).  

These repatriations had been a common occurrence in the past but were temporarily halted at the beginning of 2019 because of the civil unrest and overall security situation in Haiti. After Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas on September 5, the repatriation procedures restarted on October 10, weeks after the Bahamian authorities announced their intention to repatriate all irregular/undocumented migrants from their territory.  

Returnees reported they were mostly apprehended on the streets, in their place of employment, or while in their homes during raids usually carried out in the middle of the night by immigration officials. The returning migrants also indicated that they remained in detention for 10 to 30 days.  

Most of the returnees have indicated that they resided in the Island of Abaco, in the Bahamas and were evacuees from Hurricane Dorian. “We lost everything in the Bahamas because of Dorian. And now they bring us back to Haiti. What will we do?” said one of the returned migrants.  

“We are concerned about these repatriations, as the situation in Haiti remains fragile,” explained Giuseppe Loprete, IOM Haiti Chief of Mission.  

Category 5 Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas on September 5, causing widespread destruction in the Islands of Grand Bahama, Eleuthera and Abaco. Many among the affected population in Abaco was Haitian.   

The Bahamas 2010 census estimated that 39,000 of the total 351,000 Bahamian population is made up of Haitians or of persons of Haitian descent.  

ONM and IOM received 105 Haitian migrants, repatriated on 5 November. IOM supported the returnees with post-arrival assistance by providing onward transportation fees and hygiene kits and will soon start providing medical and psychosocial support to those migrants traumatized by their experiences. 

Repatriations of Haitian migrants are expected to continue as Bahamian authorities have communicated their intention to return all irregular migrants from their territory. IOM Haiti will continue to track these returns in direct coordination with IOM Bahamas and ONM to ensure the gathering of accurate information on the returnees and the provision of adequate support to traumatized vulnerable migrants.  

For more information please contact Emmanuelle Deryce at IOM Haiti, Tel: +509 2816 4664, Email:  


Language English Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 - 17:45Image: Region-Country: HaitiThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

340 Haitian migrants have been returned by the government of Bahamas since 5 September. Photo: IOM/Bernard Lami 

Most of the returnees have indicated that they resided in the Island of Abaco, in the Bahamas and were evacuees from Hurricane Dorian. Photo: IOM/Bernard Lami 

“We lost everything in the Bahamas because of Dorian. And now they bring us back to Haiti! What will we do?” said one of the returned migrants. Photo: IOM/Bernard Lami 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Provides Over 1 Million Health Consultations in Yemen Since Start of 2019

Fri, 11/15/2019 - 10:44

Sana’a – With more than four years of conflict pushing the public sector to a breaking point, people in Yemen are struggling to access health care. As part of its emergency lifesaving services and support to the health sector to ensure it continues to function, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has carried out 1,095,072 health consultations for displaced and conflict affected Yemenis and migrants in 2019 (as of 09/11). 

Only half of Yemen’s health facilities are currently operating, causing people to travel long distances in search of essential services and forcing many to go without. Prior to the conflict in 2015, public facilities were already strained. Today, the lack of financial resources, doctors, medicine and medical equipment has caused further deterioration, while the increased number of people seeking medical assistance in certain areas has overwhelmed health facilities. 

“Our lives are difficult in terms of income, education, health services, water and transportation,” said Maryam, a Yemeni woman living in Birali, Lahj governorate, where IOM helped get the local health centre back up and running. “When there was no health centre, we had to travel to Hadramout or Aden (approximately 120 and 450 kilometres away, respectively); a woman in labour couldn’t do that,” she added. 

IOM’s health programming strengthens key public institutions and helps ensure they survive the crisis. To support the re-establishment of Yemen’s primary health care systems, IOM ensures that public health facilities can provide a minimum servi ce package to their target population through provision of human resource, medicines and medical supplies.  

IOM is supporting the restoration and operational needs of 86 facilities across Yemen, ensuring effective, safe and quality free health care through over 120,000 consultations per month.   

The organization also operates nine mobile health teams, which reach migrants and displaced people who do not have access to traditional health facilities. Four of these mobile teams provide newly arrived migrants with emergency health services along Yemen’s coast. 

Complications with import and internal transportation of items, such as medical stock, puts further pressure on Yemen’s health system by causing critical medications to be unavailable in much of the country. IOM has stockpiles of critical medicines, such as antibiotics or medication for management of Type 2 diabetes, in warehouses across Yemen to ensure IOM-run and supported facilities have a constant supply. 

“With health needs rising and many people living in locations with virtually no health services, IOM’s provision of health care to conflict-affected communities, internally displaced people and migrants is vital to the continuation of accessible health services and the strengthening of the overall health system in Yemen,” said Dr Nedal Odeh, IOM’s Health Programme Coordinator in Yemen. 

Within the over 1 million health consultations, over 19,000 people were provided with psychosocial counselling, 113,000 others received reproductive health consultations, and more than 71,000 people were reached through health awareness-raising activities.  

IOM’s health programming in Yemen is made possible through contributions from the Governments of Canada, Finland, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Slovakia, the United States and the United Kingdom. IOM also works in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Yemen Humanitarian Fund and is a principal recipient for the Global Fund in Yemen.  

For further information, please contact Olivia Headon in IOM Sana’a, Tel: +967730552233, Email: 


Language English Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 - 17:39Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM provides lifesaving health care to conflict affected communities, displaced people and migrants in Yemen, while strengthening public health facilities. Photo: IOM/Olivia Headon 

IOM provides lifesaving health care to conflict affected communities, displaced people and migrants in Yemen, while strengthening public health facilities. Photo: IOM/Olivia Headon 

IOM provides lifesaving health care to conflict affected communities, displaced people and migrants in Yemen, while strengthening public health facilities. Photo: IOM/Olivia Headon 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Young Filmmakers from Spain, Mexico and Jordan Win Top Awards at PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival 2019

Fri, 11/15/2019 - 10:38

New York – Young filmmakers from Spain, Mexico and Jordan whose films covered the themes of migration, diversity, social inclusion, and the prevention of xenophobia won the top awards at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)’s 11th Awards Ceremony of the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, earlier this week (13/11). 

With filmmakers ranging in age from seven to 25, the PLURAL+ 2019 International Jury selected three videos for the top awards: Seeking Refuge (Spain) which follows the story of a young refugee girl as she tries to adapt to life in a new country; Tags (Mexico) which explores the issues of discrimination and pre-conceived notions and We are Enough: A Message of Girl Empowerment (Jordan) which examines the expectations placed upon women and girls by society. 

In addition, the IOM-UNAOC Award for the Prevention of Xenophobia went to the film Brazilian, But Not Soccer Player (Brazil) which addresses with humour the issue of stereotypes against people from different cities, countries, and cultures.  

This year, 25 videos out of a record 1,200+ submissions from almost 70 countries received awards. Young filmmakers came to New York from all corners of the world and had the opportunity to screen their films and say a few words to an audience of more than 200, which included Ambassadors, UN representatives, journalists, filmmakers, and youth. The remaining 21 finalists received awards from the many partner organizations of PLURAL+. 

The Awards Ceremony opened with a musical performance by Latin Grammy Award winner Linda Briceño (Venezuela), followed by the screening of the winning videos of the PLURAL+ International Jury Awards. 

IOM Director General, António Vitorino, and the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Miguel Ángel Moratinos delivered opening remarks and presented awards to the young filmmakers. 

IOM DG Vitorino said, “Today, we recognize two powerful forces – youth and film. Combined, they hold the power to bring about positive change, to shift divisive narratives, to promote peace and dialogue – put simply, to make a better world.” 

He added, “The videos that we will screen today are evidence of the resilience of young people. These youth filmmakers have not allowed the negative narratives of migration – so popularized in contemporary media – to rob them of their empathy.” 

“PLURAL+ provides a space for young people to express their visions on pressing social issues freely,” said High Representative Miguel Ángel Moratinos said. “When you see PLURAL+ videos created by young talents from around the world, you feel optimistic that our complex world will be a better place tomorrow.” 

With the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival, IOM and UNAOC address objectives 16 and 17 of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) by empowering migrants and societies to realize full inclusion and social cohesion and promoting evidence-based public discourse to shape perceptions of migration. With increasing interest and participation each year, PLURAL+ has become a premier global platform for youth media distribution.      

For the past 11 years, Plural+ has received over than 3,000 video entries from more than 110 countries. Winning videos have been screened at festivals, in schools and at conferences, as well as streamed online and broadcast on television networks around the world.       

Watch webcast of the event here

Watch PLURAL+2019 winning videos here

View social media coverage on IOM NY and PLURAL+ Twitter accounts. 

For more information, please contact Rahma Gamil Soliman, Mobile: +1 917 515 7454, Email: at IOM’s New York Office to the UN, and Thibault Chareton, Mobile: +1 646 306 8780, Email: at UNAOC 


Language English Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 - 17:33Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Director General, António Vitorino (2nd from right, front row) and UNAOC High Representative Miguel Ángel Moratinos (3rd from right, front row) with the PLURAL+ 2019 winners. Photos: UNAOC 2019. 

IOM Director General António Vitorino (right) and UNAOC High Representative Miguel Ángel Moratinos (left) during the screening of the winning videos. Photo: UNAOC/IOM 2019 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN