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Updated: 1 hour 58 min ago

IOM Distributes Live-saving Aid to Families Returning to Lainya, South Sudan

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:18

Juba – IOM is currently distributing essential relief supplies to approximately 3,800 families in South Sudan’s Lainya County. The distribution will continue through mid-October 2017.  

Thousands had fled from Lainya and neighbouring areas in 2016 as fighting spread south from the country’s Juba toward the Equatoria region, with includes Lainya. While many people crossed the border to refugee camps in neighbouring Uganda, thousands fled to remote areas within South Sudan.

This distribution in Lainya comes after one in the County in July 2017 and follows an IOM and partners-led mission in August, which verified reports of increased returns to the area. As their confidence in the security situation in Lainya improved, displaced people gradually started to return to the County.

August’s rapid assessment identified immense needs among those returning. The South Sudanese refugees walked for five days with very few belongings from Uganda to reach Lainya. The internally displaced people had fled took very little with them as they ran in search of safety so brought little back with them too. Displaced families said that their homes had been looted during the clashes.

Many of the displaced people reported that they missed the first distribution in July due to security concerns.

IOM is distributing essential household items, including blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, cooking sets, bags, plastic sheeting, household water treatment supplies, buckets, collapsible jerry cans and soap. IOM is working alongside Lacha Community and Economic Development (LCED), a South Sudanese non-governmental organization, to complete the distribution.

The distribution area is vast as the communities are spread out and many continue to seek shelter in remote areas. Poor road conditions, due to lack of infrastructure and the rainy season, have led to delays in the response as trucks delivering supplies have faced obstacles in reaching the County.

As needs soar across the country, IOM rapid response needs continue to respond in remote areas. In Mayom County, Jonglei, IOM is improving access to safe drinking water and conducting hygiene promotion activities in response to reported Cholera cases in June and July. In Rubkona County and areas of Bentiu town, Unity, IOM is digging 20 wells to improve the supply of clean water for vulnerable displaced and host communities.

After nearly four years of conflict, an estimated 4 million South Sudanese remain displaced from their homes, including 1.88 million internally displaced people and 2.1 million who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. IOM response teams continue to provide multi-sector humanitarian assistance to vulnerable individuals across the country.

For more information, please contact Ashley McLaughlin at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 912 379 793, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, October 13, 2017 - 14:30Image: Region-Country: South SudanDefault: Multimedia: 

Distribution of relief items in Lainya, South Sudan in July 2017. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Skilled Labour Mobility in Southeast Asia Key to Development: UN Migration Agency

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:18

Bangkok – Southeast Asia is on the move. Of the estimated 9.85 million migrants in the region, almost seven million originate from member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

This intra-regional movement of migrants is expected to increase with closer economic integration under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) established in 2015. The AEC aims to turn ASEAN into a regional trading bloc of over 622 million people and the world’s seventh largest market valued at USD 2.6 trillion. An estimated 14 million jobs are expected to be created as a result.

But while the AEC blueprint includes provisions for human capital development, progress toward freer skilled mobility has been hampered by various barriers from a lack of mutual skill recognition to the limited availability of market information on labour demand and supply.

As an initial step, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is partnering with the current ASEAN Chair, the Philippines, to organize a two-day capacity building workshop for ASEAN member state officials on referencing and quality assurance processes for foreign workers’ qualifications.

The event, which will take place in Manila 16-17 October, will strengthen the capacity of member states to implement the ASEAN Guiding Principles for Quality Assurance and Recognition of Competency Certification Systems.

“Closer economic integration means greater interdependence between ASEAN member states. The region stands to gain substantially by adopting a more comprehensive approach to facilitating skilled labour mobility, which can help address gaps and promote regional competitiveness and development,” said IOM Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Dr. Nenette Motus.

"This workshop is a welcome opportunity for us to look into the assessment and certification system with the ASEAN member states using the ASEAN Guiding Principles. With ASEAN integration, we are expecting an increased mobility and exchange of labour within the region. [Mutual] recognition of skills and competency is becoming ever more imperative,” said Secretary Guiling A. Mamondiong, Director General of the Philippines’ Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The workshop is part an IOM Development Fund-supported project: Strengthening Capacity on Skills Recognition, Recruitment and Labour Migration Information in Support of ASEAN Integration. The project is designed to support the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 in the realization of a politically cohesive, economically integrated and socially responsible ASEAN.

Other project initiatives in the pipeline include capacity building on quality assurance and accreditation of foreign workers’ skills and qualifications; support to the development of a user-friendly online labour migration information sharing mechanism; and the mapping of existing recruitment channels and support mechanisms.

These activities will enhance the capacity of ASEAN member state officials to manage and share labour market information, contribute to the development of mutually accepted skills recognition and quality assurance practices and standards, and increase access to gender-sensitive migration services for migrants.

For more information, please contact Joshua Hart at IOM Thailand, Tel: +66 2 343 9341, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, October 13, 2017 - 14:29Image: Region-Country: ThailandDefault: Multimedia: 

Cambodian delegates take part in a national consultation on the Global Migration Compact. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2017   

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 142,913 in 2017; Deaths Reach 2,775

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:17
Language English

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 142,913 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 11 October, with over 75 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 318,791 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

IOM Rome reported Thursday (12 October) that official figures from the Italian Ministry of the Interior show 108,402 migrants and refugees have arrived in Italy by sea this year, including 1374 men, women and children rescued and brought to shore since Sunday. Another 659 migrants rescued Wednesday are not yet included in Italy’s arrival data.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported that the nearly 3,000 arrivals to Italy through the first third of October indicate migrant flows from Libya may be rising again after a lull in arrivals this past summer. Just under 4000 arrivals were recorded by Italy this past August, and 6,288 in September – both totals considerably lower than those recorded during those same months in 2015 and 2015.

Last October 27,384 men, women and children arrived in Italy by sea, the most of any month in 2016. (see chart below)

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia on Thursday reported on six events occurring off the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Kos, and Chios that required search and rescue operations. The Hellenic Coast Guard managed to rescue the 686 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands.
Ms. Namia further reported that migrant sea arrivals to Greek territory totalled 1508 for the first ten days of October, and 21,050 for the year so far. (See chart below)

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reports that on Thursday (12 October), 72 migrants (44 men, 16 women and 12 children) were rescued/intercepted off Tripoli and transferred to Tajoura detention centre. IOM also received information regarding a second rescue/interception but is awaiting confirmation and additional details.
So far this year, 18,477 migrants have been rescued/intercepted in Libyan waters.
Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrant Project (MMP) has recorded 4,616 migrant fatalities in 2017.  Since the last update (10 October), MMP recorded two deaths in Europe: on 27 September, a young Libyan migrant died on the A28 motorway near Abbeville, France, when he fell from the truck to which he was clinging. On 8 October, another migrant died in a train accident near Gemünden am Main in Bavaria, Germany.  The two companions with whom he was travelling survived the accident.
Additionally, MMP recorded the deaths of three migrants on the US/Mexico border: one migrant died in a train accident near Uvalde, Texas, and two drowned in the Río Bravo near Nuevo Laredo, in Tamaulipas, Mexico, on8 and 11 October. So far in 2017, 70 migrants have drowned when attempting to cross the swift-flowing Río Bravo in order to reach the United States. This total compares with 52 through this date in 2016 and 29 through the same period in 2015.
In the Central Mediterranean, a boat carrying 87 migrants collided with a Tunisian navy vessel near the island of Kerkennah (Sfax) last Sunday, 8 October. Tunisian authorities confirmed 38 survivors and the remains of eight persons recovered. The estimate of those missing* currently stands at 41. These deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,775. 
*When deaths occur at sea, Missing Migrants Project often relies on the estimates of survivors once they are rescued, with the lowest estimate of missing persons always used in the dataset.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration,iom,int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants,iom,int
For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email:
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail:
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:

Posted: Friday, October 13, 2017 - 14:28Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Governments and Private Sector Share Experience in Promoting Ethical Recruitment

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:14
Language English


Geneva –  Representatives from governments, the private sector, UN agencies and civil society will meet during the margins of the sixth thematic session of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) today (13/10) to discuss how to better promote ethical recruitment and protect the rights of migrant workers.

The Ethical Recruitment in Global Labour Mobility side event is hosted by the Government of Sweden and the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) – with support from IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

The event will be opened by Ola Henrikson, Director General, Migration and Asylum, Ministry of Justice of the Government of Sweden and Ambassador Laura Thompson, IOM Deputy Director General. Panellists include representatives from IKEA, the World Employment Confederation, the Philippine Overseas Labour Office and the UK Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.

“From the Swedish Government’s point of view, labour migration is something fundamentally positive. If well managed, it can be a strong and important driver of economic growth and development,” said Henrikson.

“While fundamental aspects of international migration are, and must be, regulated by states, employers are often key stakeholders with the power to ensure positive effects of migration. Responsible employers can play an important role by ensuring good recruitment practices that benefit migrant workers, who are often exposed to additional vulnerabilities on the labour market. This is especially true in this day and age, where production is global, and manpower increasingly crosses borders,” added Henrikson.

 “No one attending this event today would want to have to pay for their own jobs, we wouldn’t expect our children to have to pay, we wouldn’t want to sell our land, mortgage our house, give the equivalent of many months’ salary, just to secure employment. And yet everyday all around the world millions of workers are expected to do just that. That’s why we’re here, to end an economic model premised on the vulnerability of workers,” said John Morrison, Chief Executive, Institute for Human Rights and Business.

“We know from our own experience that the exploitation of migrant workers often begins at the recruitment stage when workers are forced to pay predatory recruitment fees or are misled about the job offer,” said Ambassador Thompson.

“While there is no doubt that the current international recruitment model disadvantages the worker, it also doesn’t serve the interests of business. IOM is pleased to be supporting this important side event, and the efforts of governments, civil society and the private sector to make international recruitment fair for everyone,” added Ambassador Thompson.

The GCM presents a unique opportunity for the international community to move away from reactive approaches to migration governance, and to determine the steps to be taken to reach a common future in which migration is safe, orderly and regular. It will aim to enhance international cooperation on the governance of migration, by establishing a framework to enhance the opportunities and address the challenges posed by human mobility.

For more information, please contact:

Jorge Galindo, IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179111, Email:

Hailey St. Dennis, IHRB, Tel: +44 (0) 75 088 78015, Email:

Kasja Aulin, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations, Tel: +41 22 908 08 26, Email:


Posted: Friday, October 13, 2017 - 14:27Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Nepal Develops National Migration Health Policy

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:10
Language English

Kathmandu – Nepal’s Ministry of Health and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week (11/10) hosted a half-day consultation meeting in Kathmandu on the development of a National Migration Health Policy to address migrant health issues.

Migration continues to grow in Nepal and migrants and their families, who make an important economic and social contribution to the country’s national development, face a range of health issues at home and abroad.

According to the Department of Foreign Employment, over half of all Nepali households now have at least one migrant family member currently abroad or living in Nepal as a returnee. Nepal ranks 23rd among all remittance-receiving countries in the world. In terms of the contribution of remittances to GDP, it ranks third after Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic.

The new policy, which is in line with Nepal’s newly promulgated 2015 Constitution, aims to address the health rights of Nepali migrants. The level of education and skills of Nepali migrants tends to be low and they are therefore prone to health-related risks throughout the migration cycle. Their health is also affected by the lack of linguistically or culturally appropriate health services in their countries of destination.

“We cannot achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3.8 on universal health coverage unless the health needs of migrants and refugees are met. The access of refugees and migrants to quality health services is of paramount importance to rights-based health systems, global health security and to public efforts aimed at reducing health inequities. This policy will provide an opportunity to promote a more coherent and integrated approach to health, beyond the treatment of specific diseases for all populations, including migrants, irrespective of their legal and migratory status,” said IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Paul Norton.

The policy will be based on principles that recognize the health rights of citizens; the right to health-related information at both pre-departure and employment at destination stages; easy access to health services, accountability of health services providers; and regulated and monitored health assessment services. It will aim to reduce health vulnerabilities of migrant workers in all stages of the migration cycle and also protect the health of host communities from public health threats related to migration.

“Migrants are contributing a lot to the economy of Nepal and their health is very important for us. The new constitution has envisioned health as one of the fundamental rights and aims to improve access to free primary health care services for all citizens, including migrants…This policy is being developed to promote the health of migrants and address the health-related issues and challenges that they face during the migration process,” said Dr. Shrikrishna Giri, Chief of the Policy, Planning and International Co-operation Division of Ministry of Health.

The Kathmandu meeting was attended by government officials, UN agencies, development partners, NGOs, academia, the private sector and media. The Ministry of Health will incorporate feedback from the consultation and initiate a process for endorsement of the policy. Based on the policy, related action plans will be developed and implemented.

The National Migration Health Policy is part of a project: Strengthening Government Capacity in the Development and Implementation of a National Strategic Action Plan on Migration and Health in Nepal, implemented by IOM in collaboration with Ministry of Health. The project is funded by IOM Development Fund.

For further information please contact Paul I. Norton at IOM Nepal, Tel. +977 1 4426250, Email: Or Nepal’s Ministry of Health, Tel +977 1 4211963, Email:

Posted: Friday, October 13, 2017 - 14:26Image: Region-Country: NepalDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Cambodia Hosts National Consultation on Global Migration Compact

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:01
Language English

Phnom Penh – Cambodia this week (11/10) hosted a national consultation on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). The meeting, in Phnom Penh, in the run up to Asia-Pacific regional GCM consultations to be held in Bangkok November 6-8, attracted over 170 participants from government, civil society and the private sector. It was chaired by Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior and Chairman of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking Samdech Krolahom Sar Kheng.

The GCM, which was launched during the UN General Assembly in September 2016 as part of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, aims to establish an international cooperation framework on migration. The agreement will be closely linked to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is expected to be adopted by UN Member States at an intergovernmental conference in late 2018.

IOM Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Dr. Nenette Motus welcomed Cambodia’s national consultation as a means to ensure that the GCM recognizes the contributions of the migrants at its core, and at the same time safeguards their safety, dignity and human rights.

“The recommendations of this and other national consultations will inform the upcoming regional consultations and ultimately the Global Compact. They relate not just to migrants and their families in Cambodia, but also have important messages for the countries of transit and destination,” she said.

IOM Cambodia Chief of Mission of Cambodia Dr. Leul Mekonnen noted that migration has become an integral part of the social and economic fabric of Cambodia and an important contributor to poverty reduction. “More than a million Cambodians are migrating across borders every year, and even more are migrating internally,” he said.

“Ensuring the well-being of migrants and the families they leave behind is critical for the country and its sustainable development. The national consultation is an important platform through which Cambodia can ensure that policy dialogue, cooperation and partnership on migration issues are included in the GCM,” he added.

The Cambodian national consultation was structured to cover several thematic priorities identified by a Ministerial Working Group led by the Ministry of the Interior. These were specific to the Cambodian and regional setting and related to climate change and migration, labor mobility, trafficking in persons, remittances and development, border management and the human rights of migrants.

For more information please contact Dr. Leul Mekonnen at IOM Phnom Penh. Tel. +855 12900131. Email:

Posted: Friday, October 13, 2017 - 14:25Image: Region-Country: CambodiaDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Hosts Global Meeting of Consultative Processes on Migration

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 03:42

Geneva - The Seventh Global Meeting of Chairs and Secretariats of Regional, Inter-regional and Global Consultative Processes on migration (GRCP 7) took place on 10 and 11 October 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. This year’s discussion focused on inter-state consultation mechanisms on migration and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).

The meeting brought together representatives of 19 inter-state (at the regional, inter-regional or global level) consultation mechanisms on migration. Representatives of UN Regional Commissions and regional economic organizations, also participated. The meeting sought to identify common inputs to the Global Compact.

“The Seventh Global RCP Meeting is a key opportunity for all consultative processes on migration and their regional partners to contribute towards the formulation of the Global Compact as a comprehensive international cooperation framework on migrants and human mobility,” said UN Migration Director General William Lacy Swing. 

IOM has engaged with various regional, inter-regional and global processes on migration around the world since the 1990s to advance multilateral understanding and action on migration trends and challenges. Since 2005, IOM has endeavored to bring them together on a regular basis (previous meetings were held in Thailand, Peru, Botswana and Egypt) to foster synergies and exchanges among the various consultative processes.

The outcome document of the meeting combines all the good practices and partnerships derived from regional approaches in various parts of the world, which can be considered during the preparation for the Global Compact.

For more information, please contact Kristina Galstyan at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 (0) 22 7179419, Email:

Language English Posted: Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 09:08Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

The meeting gave the opportunity to consolidate inputs and recommendations from all regions to the Global Compact for Migration. Photo: IOM/Jorge Galindo 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Office at Geneva Hosts Final Round of Global Compact for Migration Thematic Consultations

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 02:59

Geneva – The United Nations Office at Geneva is hosting the sixth and final thematic consultations of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). The two-day event focuses on irregular migration and regular pathways, including decent work, labour mobility, recognition of skills, and qualifications amongst other pertinent issues.

This final thematic session will lead to the next GCM meeting to be held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in December where governments will gather to take stock of the discussions that began on 8 May with the first thematic session on human rights of all migrants, social inclusion, cohesion and all forms of discrimination.

The current thematic session (12-13 October) will be arranged into three panels with the objectives of exploring comprehensive migration policies to address irregular migration and propose more regular pathways including family reunification, regularization, and transition from informal to the formal economy, among others.

The panels will also serve as a platform to exchange ideas on how to reduce the costs of labour migration, promote fair and ethical recruitment and explore labour migration schemes between countries of origin and destination.

A series of side events will complement these discussions by focusing on topics such as health, ethical recruitment and skills recognition.

These latest GCM consultations are being held in a week when several intergovernmental meetings are taking place Geneva, including the Seventh Global Meeting of Chairs and Secretariats of Consultative Processes on Migration, which focused on the regional inputs to the GCM.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has provided support to the consultation phase of the GCM, particularly by extending the required technical and policy expertise, including the publication of suggested actions to States for expanding labour mobility channels.

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM HQ, Tel: +417179205, Email:

Language English Posted: Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 08:56Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

Lek Khon looks after her granddaughter and grandnieces and nephews in a small village near Siem Reap, Cambodia. Her daughter and nieces have all left to work abroad in places like Thailand to earn better wages and Lek Khon is left behind to care after all of their children for extended periods of time. Photo: UN Migration Agency/Muse Mohammed 2016

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Alarmed Following Collision of Navy Vessel, Migrant Boat near Tunisia

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 20:24

Tunis – Eight migrants have died in the wake of a collision between a Tunisian navy vessel and a boat reportedly carrying 87 migrants on Sunday, 8 October. A further 38 migrants have been rescued and approximately 41 are still missing.

The tragic incident happened in the early hours of Sunday about 54 kilometers off Kerkennah Island, Tunisia. The migrants’ boat is believed to have left from the Tunisian port of Sfax and was headed towards Italy.

The 38 survivors, all Tunisian nationals, were rescued from the sea by the Tunisian navy on board the vessel involved in the Collison. They were brought back to Sfax and released shortly after. Tunisian authorities announced yesterday (10/10) that they are undertaking a rigorous investigation into the circumstances of the incident.
IOM, the UN Migration Agency is following up on the status of the missing migrants. “We are saddened with this tragedy that is affecting so many migrants and their families” said Lorena Lando, IOM Tunisia Chief of Mission. “IOM is committed to support and advocate for safe and dignified migration. We are concerned about the increasing events of irregular migration from Tunisian coasts and we work closely with all stakeholders to develop long-term solutions,” added Lando.

“The number of Tunisian migrants who reached Italy by sea has increased,” said Federico Soda, Director of IOM’s Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, commenting the recent trends. “From January to August 2017, 1357 Tunisians have reached the Italian coast, while IOM estimates that over 1400 have arrived during the month of September 2017 alone. While the increase of September it is quite unusual, numbers per se are quite low compared to the arrivals registered in Italy in 2017,” said Soda.

For more information, please contact IOM Tunisia:

Lorena Lando, Tel: + 216 28542954, Email:

Myriam CHABBI, Tel: + 216 27 645 998, Email:

Language English Posted: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 20:20Image: Region-Country: TunisiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Health Partners Launch Massive Cholera Vaccination Campaign in Cox’s Bazar

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:34

Cox's Bazar  –  In a race to prevent an outbreak of cholera among over half a million Rohingya refugees who have arrived in the past six weeks, health teams in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh today launched a mass immunization operation to dispense oral cholera vaccine (OCV).

The campaign follows a joint international effort to mobilize 900,000 doses of the vaccine from global emergency stockpiles, and detailed planning led by Bangladesh’s Ministry of Health and Welfare and international agencies, including the World Health Organization, IOM, UNICEF and MSF.

The first round of the campaign, carried out at upazila or sub-district level, will immunize 650,000 Rohingya men, women and children, aged one year and above, over the next seven days.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare requested the vaccine from the International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision (ICG) on 27 September. The ICG is a coordinating mechanism that brings together WHO, UNICEF, MSF, and the International Federation of the Red Cross.

GAVI, the vaccine alliance, is providing financial support and multiple national and international agencies, including IOM, the UN Migration Agency, are implementing the campaign.

More than 200 mobile vaccination teams, each with five members, have been mobilized and dispersed across 12 Rohingya camps and makeshift settlements to roll out the campaign.

It will target new settlements in Ukhiya and Teknaf sub-districts of Cox’s Bazar, and Naikkhongchorri sub-district of Bandarban, as well as surrounding host communities.

IOM, which has mobilized 200 volunteers to conduct the campaign, today began work in Jamtoli makeshift settlement.

IOM volunteers will go house to house, together with community focal points members, to ensure all the refugees receive the vaccine to protect them against cholera.

In the second round of the campaign, 250,000 children between the ages of 1 to 5 will be given a booster dose between 14 days and 3 months after they received the previous dosage.

Since August 25, an estimated 519,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh having fled violence in Myanmar in the largest and speediest movement of a civilian population in Asia since the 1970s.

Cholera is an acute diarrheal disease which can kill people very fast if untreated. In severe cases, it can lead to extreme dehydration, shock and death within a few hours. The symptoms of cholera can include watery diarrhea and vomiting, muscle cramps and weakness.  It is contracted mainly by eating or drinking something that has been contaminated by faeces or vomit infected with cholera germs.

It can easily spread in densely populated communities where access to safe water and sanitation are poor. Poor hygiene behavior, limited volumes of containers, soap distribution and water treatment as well as high population density are all attributors. Living in overcrowded crammed and squalid settings with little or no sanitary facilities are the perfect conditions for an outbreak.

Over 4,500 Rohingya have already been treated for diarrhea and many others for dehydration, and over 14,000 children under the age of 5 have severe acute malnutrition, according to the Inter Sector Coordination Group in Cox’s Bazar. Malnourished children are at least six times more prone to die from a diarrheal disease like cholera.

In the past large cholera outbreaks in refugee camps came with an attack rate of 1-5% with a peak reached after 2-4 weeks; duration of epidemic varies from 1-3 months.

While OCV is a safe and effective tool against cholera, it does not provide protection against other causes of diarrhea, and it remains important to follow the preventive measures for diarrheal diseases: drinking only water that has been properly boiled or treated, practicing good sanitation and food hygiene, and seeking prompt treatment at the health facility if you are sick.

In the last week, at least 10,292 cases of diarrhea have been reported and treated from across the settlements and camps.

“This critically important initiative to protect already vulnerable populations against cholera is welcome and the collaborative efforts of all involved are laudable. But there are still multiple and serious public health risks for this refugee population and a massive scale up of resources and the overall response is needed to mitigate further risks of life threatening illnesses,” said IOM Senior Regional Medical Officer for Asia and the Pacific Patrick Duigan, speaking in Cox’s Bazar.

For more information please contact:

In Cox’s Bazar:
Hala Jaber, Tel : +8801733335221, Email:
Leonard Doyle, IOM Spokesperson, Tel: +41 792857123, Email:

In Dhaka
Shirin Akhter Tel: +8801711187499, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 17:25Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

A Rohingya boy receives one of the first Cholera vaccine doses, at a UN Migration Agency (IOM) clinic in Jumbali, in the world’s second largest mass immunization for the disease which started this morning (10/10). Photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Responding to Urgent Shelter Needs of Thousands Affected by Hurricane Maria in Dominica

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:25

Dominica – Three weeks after the devastating crossing of Category 5 Hurricane Maria over Dominica, islanders are in dire need of water, electricity, food and other supplies. However, the most urgent need for the long term is housing.

“From available satellite, visual imagery and based on estimated housing stock of just above 26,000 homes, it has been estimated that 23 per cent are gone. Those houses do not exist anymore. They have either been blown into the sea or totally scattered in pieces across the island,” said Jean Philippe Antolin, who leads IOM response operations in the Caribbean. “Thirty-nine per cent of the houses have sustained severe damage, and a further 28 per cent have been affected to some degree,” he added.

The numbers reflect the painful human situations in the shelters where more than 2,000 Dominicans are still living, while the rest are staying with relatives and friends.

Tosca Augustine and her three children ran to a neighbouring school for protection just before the hurricane hit Dominica, and they are still living in one of the classrooms with another family. “My home just vanished into thin air. Nothing, nothing left to remember from it. Everything is gone,” Tosca explained.

When asked about her future, Tosca said: “It took so long to gain all of the things that I had, clothes, equipment for fishing; that is what we do for a living. I don’t know where we must go from here. It’s like everything is useless or hopeless.”

In response to the critical situation, IOM, the UN Migration Agency is engaged in a vast array of activities ranging from delivery of supplies to coordination efforts. In Dominica, IOM is co-leading with the Ministries of Social Services and Planning, the Shelter and the Non-Food Items (NFI) sectors.

Additional to the USD 100,000 released by IOM to scale up the shelter response in Dominica, USD 350,000 has been secured from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for shelter and DTM (Displacement Track Matrix) deployment.

IOM has gathered information regarding official and unofficial shelters housing displaced people. Some 100 shelters (33 of which are schools) are housing 2,751 people. The number of people temporarily sheltering with host families is not known.

Many Dominicans routinely sleep in shelters or with host families but return to their own homes during the day to salvage their belongings and clear debris.

IOM is also providing pipeline, distribution and coordination support to shelter and non-food items (NFI) donated by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the French Government under the UCPM (the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism).

Items delivered by IOM in shelters and distributions centres are mainly solar lights, water purification supplies, and kitchen and hygiene kits, all essential for alleviating the severely damaged living conditions of Dominicans.

On Sunday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres joined a UN distribution – including IOM – at the Kalinago Territory indigenous community, in eastern Dominica.

Addressing the local and the international community, SG Guterres made a call for action on climate change. “When the planet is warmer, and the sea is warmer, these storms become more intense, more frequent and more devastating. And that is why we need to ask those that are responsible for what has happened here because they have been contributing to global warming, that they need to stop this trend,” he added.

You can support IOM relief efforts in Dominica by donating here.

For more information, please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212-5300, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 17:02Image: Region-Country: DominicaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

On Sunday 8 October, UN Secretary-General António Guterres joined a UN distribution – including IOM – in eastern Dominica. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The UN Migration Agency delivers supplies to hurricane-affected families in Dominica. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Hurricane Maria left Dominica islanders in dire need of water, electricity, food and other supplies including housing.  Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM distributes non-food relief items which include solar lights, water purification supplies, and kitchen and hygiene kits. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Aid being distributed in Dominica after the Caribbean was devastated by Category 5 Hurricane Maria over three weeks ago. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Some of the relief items being distributed by IOM and other agencies include solar lights, water purification supplies, and kitchen and hygiene kits, all essential for alleviating the severely damaged living conditions of Dominicans. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 140,538 in 2017; Deaths Reach 2,754

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:02

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 140,538 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 8 October, with over 75 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 318,207 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

IOM Rome reported on Monday (9 October) that official figures from the Italian Ministry of the Interior show 107,028 migrants arrived by sea to Italy this year, almost 26 per cent fewer than last year in the same period, when 144,445 migrants arrived by sea.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported that Sunday a Tunisian military ship collided with a vessel carrying around 70 migrants in the Maltese search and rescue area, 54 km from the island of Kerkennah (governorate of Sfax). According to Italian media, the migrants – all, apparently, Tunisian – left Tunisia from Kerkennah. The collision caused the craft to sink. Maltese authorities coordinated rescue operations carried out by the Italian Coast Guard and Italian Navy, who confirmed 46 survivors with remains of eight persons recovered. By Monday evening the estimate of those missing remained 20.

Di Giacomo provided the following statistics on Tunisian migration by sea to Italy, which appears to be increasing over previous years. He reported 1,637 Tunisians arrived by sea in Italy in 2014, then 880 the following year and 1,200 last year. During the first eight months of 2017, Di Giacomo reported, 1,357 migrants from Tunisia arrived in Italy, or more than all of 2016. In September, at least another 1,400 arrived.

“It’s a new trend, but I wouldn’t call it a consequence of the recent ‘closing’ of the Libyan route, because the nationalities are different,” Di Giacomo explained. 

“In addition to the estimated 1,400 Tunisian migrants registered in September, we should also consider that there have been many cases where migrants arrived in Sicily and succeeded in disappearing before being intercepted by the police. So, the number is higher, but we cannot say how many,” he added.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported that IOM has continued its emergency response in Sabratah, where in the aftermath of weeks of conflict in the Libyan coastal city of Sabratah, at least 4,000 migrants – many previously held in numerous informal detention centres and camps – have been transferred to a hangar in the city’s Dahman area, where IOM is providing emergency assistance.

Sabratah, approximately 80 kilometres west of Tripoli, is one of the main departure points for migrant boats attempting to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

On 7 October, a day after the first transfer of migrants, IOM sent a field team to the hangar to assess the situation. By the end of the day, the team reported that 2,600 migrants (1,819 men, 704 women and 77 children) were being kept at the site by the Libyan Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM). More migrants from other locations in Sabratah were later transferred to the hangar and more are anticipated to arrive soon.

IOM this week is providing assistance at the assembly point, including psychosocial support. At the same time three critical medical cases received ambulance transfer to a medical clinic and additional migrants were treated for minor injuries.

IOM fears that the number of migrants affected by recent developments in Sabratah will continue to rise. Throughout the day migrants have arrived both in Zuwara and Sabratah, some of whom have walked for hours. This week IOM has received reports of some 2,000 migrants travelling by foot from Sabratah to Zuwara and are now also in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

Some of the current identified needs include milk and diapers for babies, and water and food. IOM’s emergency food intervention in Sabratah continues.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that arrivals to Spain for the month of September totalled 1,004, about half the level for August. The total arrivals for 2017 have now reached 12,328 through 9 October. At this time last year, Spain saw a total of 5,445 migrants arriving by sea.

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia on Monday reported four incidents off the islands of Lesvos and Chios that required search and rescue operations. The Hellenic Coast Guard brought 153 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands.

Namia further reported that migrant sea arrivals to Greek territory totalled 822 for the first seven days of October, and 20,364 for the year so far. (See chart below.)

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 4,590 migrant fatalities in 2017. In the Central Mediterranean, at least 8 people drowned and an estimated 20 migrants are missing* after a boat carrying dozens collided with a navy vessel off Tunisia’s southeast coast on 8 October. These deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,754. 

Since the last update, MMP recorded another incident in Southeast Asia: 13 migrants died, including 11 children, and at least 18 are still missing* after a boat carrying Rohingya migrants capsized in the Naf River, also on 8 October. Nearly six weeks into a mass exodus of people fleeing violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, dozens have died while fleeing to Bangladesh: IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 172 fatalities on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border since 31 August 2017.

Additionally, MMP recorded the deaths of four migrants on the US-Mexico border: one migrant died in Kenedy County, Texas on 6 September; another was found dead in Starr County, Texas on 1 October; one young man was hit by a vehicle in the Interstate 8 near Jacumba, California, on August 25; and the body of one migrant was found inside a tractor trailer at the US Border Patrol Falfurrias Checkpoint on 6 October.

 In Mexico, the remains of another migrant were found near train tracks in Saltillo, Coahuila, on 8 October.

*When deaths occur at sea, Missing Migrants Project often relies on the estimates of survivors once they are rescued, with the lowest estimate of missing persons always used in the dataset.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic:    

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

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email:
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70; E-mail:
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Trains Libyan Authorities on Migration Data Management Best Practices

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:41

Tunis – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week (3-5/10) trained Libyan officials in migration data management. The officials were from the Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM), Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Labour, the Bureau of Statistics and the departments of Passport Control and Border Points.

The three-day training, held in Tunis and conducted under the project Enhance Lifesaving Operations at Sea by the Libyan Coast Guard funded by the Government of Switzerland, provided the participants with an overview on migrant data collected by IOM Libya’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, the basic and general concepts for proper data management and the best tools to collect them.

“I know that we are only at the beginning of the training but I can already see that there is remarkable work done by the International Organization for Migration in terms of both collecting and putting data into good use,” said Salwa Mohamed Sriti, from the Bureau of Statistics. “One thing we can work on improving is better involvement of locals when collecting information by DTM staff.”

The training also outlined how to set up effective information systems, during which, Franz Prutsch, IOM’s Regional Thematic Specialist on IBM, explained the importance of the chain: input, process and output, in terms of analyzing and using data, the significance of a user-friendly data base and internal networking.

“There’s always data available and ready for use, but it must be processed within a proper context first, so as to make the best sense of it,” said Prutsch.

The training is an initial step towards developing a national Standards of Procedures (SOP) for migration data management with aims to assist all the relevant Libyan directorates to collect and analyze data for future government strategies.

For more information, please contact IOM Libya:
Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600 389, Email:,  Maysa Khalil, Tel: +216 29 600 388, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 16:04Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Sub Saharan African migrants about to leave Libya on one of the voluntary humanitarian return charters, organized by IOM. IOM has been training Libya authorities to build up and enhance their migration management capacity which in turn should ensure these migrants’ human rights are protected. Photo: UN Migration Agency

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Biometrics Institute Consolidate Cooperation in Promoting Responsible and Effective Use of Biometrics

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:04

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Biometrics Institute have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that formalizes closer collaboration on shared priorities, focusing on the responsible use of biometrics in the field of migration management.

Biometric technologies are today a vital part of identity and broader migration management. IOM’s mandate includes support to States to conceptualize and operate their migration programmes, capacity building for better border management, direct assistance to all migrants, including those fleeing conflict or natural disasters, migrant integration and migration and health. With the responsible use of biometric technologies, States – and IOM itself – are better placed to more effectively support migrants including vulnerable persons, to increase the integrity and reliability of processes, and to increase security for all.

The MoU, signed in September 2017, outlines the scope of the intended cooperation and the priority areas of interest to both entities. It will aid the two institutions’ efforts to address new and emerging challenges in a more coordinated way, such as how to use biometrics to better balance facilitation and security requirements, ensure better accessibility to safe transport modes for migrants and refugees, harness the benefits of biometrics to increase safe and regular international cross border mobility and address health challenges linked to international mobility.

IOM has already developed considerable practical expertise and know-how on the use of biometrics in travel documents and border management, and it cooperates closely with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and its technical working groups.

The enhanced partnership with the Biometrics Institute will facilitate access to further in-depth expertise on the use of biometrics also relevant for other areas where IOM is active, such as registration of migrants in need of assistance, enhanced camp management, migration health, visa facilitation and other migration management fields. 

“IOM has become, over the last years, a major global player in the field of biometrics,” said Florian G. Forster, IOM’s Head of Immigration and Border Management. “The use of biometrics is potentially of interest to all areas in which IOM is active. This new partnership will help us promote the responsible use of biometrics, for the benefit of Member States and individual migrants,” he added.

Following the recommendations based on an internal assessment carried out in 2016, IOM is now reinforcing partnerships and exchanges with key international actors in this area. It is expected that the Biometrics Institute’s expertise and training resources will contribute to strengthening the competencies of IOM staff in the biometrics area, and that the cooperation will contribute to better conceptualize, develop and implement new projects with a biometrics component. IOM will also use the Biometric Institute platform to share and discuss its own experiences.  

The Biometrics Institute is an independent and impartial international membership organization for biometric users and other interested parties established in 2001 to promote the responsible use of biometrics. It provides its members and key stakeholders with information about best practices, including Biometrics Privacy Guidelines, the “Top 10 Vulnerability Questions” and an annual industry survey. It has over 230 membership organizations from around the world representing government agencies, other users, suppliers, academic and privacy experts.

For more information, please contact IOM HQ: Jorge Galindo, Tel: +417179205, Email:, or Florian G. Forster, Tel: +41227179386, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 15:37Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMOthersDefault: Multimedia: 

Syrian refugees undergoing biometric registration by immigration officials as part of their application process for resettlement. File photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2016

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Rohingya Children Drown Fleeing Myanmar Violence: IOM

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 09:56

Cox’s Bazar – Tragedy struck more Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar last night. At least 12 people, mostly children, drowned when the fishing boat carrying them to safety in Bangladesh capsized in stormy weather.

The Bangladesh coast guard found 12 bodies, including six boys between the ages of 3-10 years, and four girls aged 2-3 years. The bodies of a 70-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman were also recovered from the waves.

There were approximately 60 refugees aboard the 20-metre, wooden fishing vessel when it left Myanmar under cover of darkness, hoping avoid patrols on both sides of the border, survivors told UN Migration Agency staff at the scene.  

IOM staff spoke to survivors, among them a traumatized 8-year-old boy. Transfixed with shock, Arafat, said his entire family was lost in the accident. They included his father Kamal Hussein, 25 years; mother Shahara, 20 years; sister Janat Ara, 10 years; and younger brother Ziad, who was 7 years of age.

Another survivor, Hassan 22, lost all nine members of his family, who were also on the boat. His mother Gulgan, 60 years old; father Jahid Hussein, 55; sister Semoara, 25; her husband Abdul Subhan, 35; and their three children aged 4, 3 and 18 months all drowned, along with two baby nephews.

The fleeing Rohingya had paid Bangladeshi fisherman the equivalent of USD 30 a head for what should have been a short sea journey, survivors said.

Their boat was headed for Shah Porir Dwip, an island at the southern tip of Bangladesh, about 78 kilometres south of Cox’s Bazar, when it foundered.

The overloaded boat, which would normally carry 20 people, had approximately 60 on board, and was swamped by high waves and winds in a sudden monsoon storm.

It sailed from Dongkhalir Char in North Rakhine State at around 6.00 pm local time. At around 9 pm the Bangladesh coast guard and border police were alerted and launched a rescue mission.

Like many of the most recent arrivals in Bangladesh, the refugees caught up in last night’s tragedy came from villages well inside Myanmar. They told IOM staff that they walked for eleven days before reaching the coast.

Their tragedy follows on another mass drowning on September 28, when another fishing boat carrying refugees capsized near the same spot. In that incident 23 people were drowned and 17 survived.

As of 7th October, 519,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh, including 467,800 identified by IOM assessments in the Cox’s Bazar area.

For more information please contact:

In Cox’s Bazar:
Hala Jaber, Tel : +8801733335221, Email:
Leonard Doyle, IOM Spokesperson, Tel: +41 792857123, Email:

In Dhaka
Shirin Akhter Tel: +8801711187499, Email:

Language English Posted: Monday, October 9, 2017 - 15:53Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff spoke to survivors of a fishing boat that capsized in stormy weather in Bangladesh. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Providing Emergency Assistance to Over 4,000 Migrants After End of Sabratah Conflict

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 05:28

Sabratah – In the aftermath of weeks of conflict in the Libyan coastal city of Sabratah, at least 4,000 migrants, previously held in numerous informal detention centres and camps, have been transferred to a hangar in the city’s Dahman area, where IOM, the UN Migration Agency is providing emergency assistance.

Sabratah is approximately 80 kilometres west of Tripoli and is one of the main departure points for migrant boats attempting to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

On 7 October, a day after the first transfer of migrants, IOM sent a field team to the hangar to assess the situation. By the end of the day, the team reported that 2,600 migrants (1,819 men, 704 women and 77 children) were being kept at the site by the Libyan Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM). More migrants from other locations in Sabratah were later transferred to the hangar and more are anticipated to arrive soon.

The migrants are from almost a dozen countries and among them are pregnant women, newborn babies and unaccompanied children. IOM medical team assessed the migrants’ primary health needs and in one case one pregnant woman was transferred by ambulance to a private clinic, 10 kilometres from Sabratah, where she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

IOM provided food, water and core relief packages, which include mattresses, blankets, pillows and hygiene kits to the initial 2,600 migrants. More food and emergency assistance will be provided in the coming days for all migrants in the hangar. IOM is also providing psychosocial support over the next few days.

The migrants will also be offered the opportunity to return home through IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance Programme.

“We are seriously concerned by the large number of migrants caught up in recent developments in Sabratah,” said Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission. “Alternatives to detention must be found for migrants in Libya. In the meantime, IOM continues to provide direct humanitarian, health and psychosocial assistance to meet the urgent needs of the thousands of migrants being affected.”

The Libyan authorities have reported that the migrants in the Sabratah hangar will be transferred to detention centres in Tripoli. Already, about 2,000 migrants are in the process of being transferred by DCIM and IOM is already present at these centres to continue assistance as they arrive.

As more migrants are moved through the hangar, which has almost no facilities, there is an urgent need for basic assistance, including food, water, core relief items and medical assistance.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely in consultation with humanitarian partners on the ground. IOM calls for a unified and coordinated response by all humanitarian actors to meet the needs of these migrants,” said Belbeisi.

For more information, please contact at IOM Libya: Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600 389, Email: Christine Petré, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:

Language English Posted: Monday, October 9, 2017 - 11:19Image: Region-Country: LibyaDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM is providing food, water and core relief packages, which include mattresses (pictured above), blankets, pillows and hygiene kits to over 4,000 migrants in Sabratah, Libya.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Iraqi Displaced Face Hardships Despite End to Hawija Military Operation

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:53

Erbil – In the wake of the Iraqi Government’s announcement on 5 October that the town of Hawija and its surrounding areas have been retaken, IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix reported that more than 33,000 people have been displaced since the launch of the offensive two weeks ago; of these, more than 15,200 are still displaced and 17,700 have returned to their homes.

Iraqi forces on 21 September began military operations against ISIL’s final holdouts in central Iraq – in Hawija district of Kirkuk, and Shirqat in Salah al-Din – which were seized by the group in 2014.

According to DTM’s latest data, most of the newly displaced from Hawija and Shirqat were moved to camps and emergency sites located in the three governorates of Kirkuk, Ninewa, and Salah al-Din.

In the past two weeks, Ziyad Khalas, IOM’s Information Management Officer at Haj Ali emergency site, oversaw the registration of more than 6,700 individuals (over 1,300 families). “In anticipation of an influx of new internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Hawija and Shirqat at our site, we prepared hundreds of tent plots and confirmed medical supplies,” Khalas said.

However, Khalas added that in this humanitarian emergency context, challenges are inevitable because “many displaced people, especially women and children, are malnourished and need special care from the first moment.”

As of 4 October, 30,156 individuals (6,538 families) are living at Haj Ali emergency site. All displaced families at Haj Ali are provided with a tent, a core relief package and access to medical services.

“We fled along with other families at night and walked more than eight hours to reach the checkpoint area, then we were transferred to Haj Ali emergency site,” said Um Enes, who began the trek with her two children in the first week of the operation.

Um Enes is one of the dozens of newly displaced people attending IOM’s medical centre at Haj Ali site for treatment, after not having access to proper food and health care for nearly three years.

Another visitor to the medical centre is Hannan, who fled from Hawija with her eight children – four boys and four girls.

“We just ran. We left everything behind. We brought only the clothes we are wearing. I haven’t showered for a week because I do not have other clothes to change into,” Hannan said about their hasty escape from Hawija.

“That night, my children and I walked for five hours along with thousands of other people. In the rush of families fleeing the area, my husband became separated and ended up in Kirkuk.

“My 7-year-old son Ziad was hit by a bullet when we were running, then, even with his injury he had to walk. He is injured and needs surgery soon,” said Hannan, sitting next to Ziad, who has a urine bag attached to him.

The latest wave of IDPs comes in addition to 102,708 people previously identified by IOM’s DTM as displaced from Hawija between August 2016 and 20 September 2017 due to earlier military operations.

Wijdan, recently displaced from Hawija, said her 3-year-old son has been in poor condition for four or five months. “For the last two days, he has not eaten anything. He is not able to walk. Health care was not available there. My son is now severely dehydrated and needs urgent help,” said Wijdan, who has two other sons, adding that she had to flee on foot and carry her ailing son.

Wijdan’s husband was killed three years ago and now, since reaching Haj Ali site four days ago, she is on her own: “My mother and brother stayed in Kirkuk. Thank God we are safe in Haj Ali. Here, an IOM doctor treated my three-year-old with intravenous fluid. He will soon be transferred to hospital.”

IOM Iraq DTM Hawija and Shirqat Crisis Displacement Overview, 5 October 2017 can be downloaded at:

Across Iraq, more than 3.2 million Iraqis continue to be displaced due to the current crisis, which began in January 2014. Nearly half live in private settings, while 24 per cent are in camps, and 12 per cent are in critical shelter arrangements (informal settlements, religious buildings, unfinished buildings). Housing conditions of 14 per cent are unknown.

For additional information about displacement in Iraq, see the IOM Iraq DTM website:

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

Language English Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017 - 16:13Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

Medical staff helps displaced families at the Haj Ali emergency site. Photo: Sandra Black / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Internally displaced Iraqis from Hawija wait for medical care at an IOM clinic in Haj Ali emergency site. Photo: Sandra Black / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Rohingya Refugees Continue to Flood into Packed Cox’s Bazar Settlements

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:45

Cox's Bazar - An estimated 2,000 Rohingya refugees a day are still arriving in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, having fled violence in Myanmar’s North Rakhine State, according to IOM staff monitoring the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

The new arrivals bring the total number of refugees to cross into Bangladesh since 25 August to an estimated 515,000. Observers believe that as many as 100,000 more people may be waiting to cross into Cox’s Bazar from North Rakhine’s Buthidaung Township.

Many of the refugees arrive in Teknaf – Cox’s Bazar’s southernmost upazila or sub-district – but then move north to Ukhiya sub-district and the vast, teeming makeshift settlements of Kutupalong, Balukhali and neighbouring satellite sites.

They arrive exhausted, hungry and usually with nothing more than the clothes on their back, having walked for days and then braved a dangerous river or sea crossing. Many show signs of malnutrition.

Yesterday, Nunavet, 70, walked aimlessly through Kutupalong, tired and in desperation. The frail, skeletal old lady was hungry. Her face, etched with deep wrinkles, spoke not just of fatigue, but of a life of hardship endured over the years. Overcoming the language barrier, she mumbled through her ailments, pointing to her empty stomach, aching back and sore feet.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week appealed to the international community for USD 120 million through March to provide desperately needed aid to Nunavet and other Rohingya refugees who have flooded into Cox’s Bazar over the past six weeks. It aims to target 450,000 individuals (90,000 households) over the next six months.

The IOM appeal is part of a broader humanitarian response plan seeking USD 434 million to help 1.2 million people, including the Bangladeshi host community.

At the request of the Government of Bangladesh, IOM is hosting the Inter Sector Coordination Group, which is coordinating the work of aid agencies responding to the humanitarian crisis triggered by the influx. It is also leading the coordination of three sectors – shelter and core relief items, displacement site management and communication with displaced and host communities.

IOM’s operations focus on six sectors: shelter and core relief items; site management; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); health; coordination; protection; and communication with communities.

Life-saving services delivered IOM and its partners include clean water and sanitation, shelter, food, security, health care, education, and psychological support for the most vulnerable individuals, many whom are suffering from acute mental trauma or are survivors of sexual violence.

In the settlements, people standing in line for aid snake around the various distribution points set up by aid organizations and local NGOs. As they wait for hours for rice, biscuits, plastic sheets, jerry cans and hygiene materials, the number of children stand out. An estimated 58 per cent of the refugees are under the age of 18.

To date, IOM has distributed some 40,000 plastic tarpaulins to provide basic shelter for the refugees since 25 August. These include some 4,000 shelter kits comprising two plastic sheets, two ropes, two blankets, and one sleeping mat per family, donated by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).

The sheer numbers of new arrivals have led to dangerous congestion in the existing settlements. On 14 September, the Bangladesh Government allocated 2,000 acres of forest land to set up a new camp adjacent to the existing Kutapalong makeshift settlement. Yesterday, it allocated another 1,000 acres of land to cope with the spiralling numbers.

Officials plan to use the vast site to accommodate all the Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar – both new and old arrivals – in one settlement. At close to 700,000 people, this will become the world’s largest refugee camp.

The challenges of establishing the camp on inaccessible, hilly terrain, are vast. The site is entirely undeveloped and will require planning and infrastructure investment for roads and bridges, the installation of drainage systems and soil protection earthworks to reduce the risk of landslides. It is currently accessible by just one road – the Cox’s Bazar–Teknaf Highway – which is already permanently congested by aid trucks and local traffic.

In the meantime, aid agencies are warning of acute shortages of food, which could soon lead to widespread malnutrition. An estimated 218,000 people are already in need of urgent nutrition support, including 145,000 children under the age of five and thousands of pregnant and lactating women.

IOM medical staff, who have carried out over 33,000 consultations since 25 August, say that healthcare is also stretched to the limit, partly due to the lack of access to clean water and related growing numbers of diarrhoea cases. IOM has already delivered 310,000 litres of clean water to refugee sites, but this remains a drop in the ocean in the context of daily needs.

Yesterday, IOM and the World Health Organization (WHO) led a health sector meeting with some 30 agencies to work on a preparedness plan for a diarrhoea outbreak. Health sector agencies will also launch a cholera vaccination campaign on 10 October. Over the next year, 650,000 people will be vaccinated in the settlements and adjacent host communities. 

For more information, please contact IOM Bangladesh:

Hala Jaber in Cox’s Bazar, Tel: +8801733335221, Email:

Peppi Siddiq in Dhaka, Tel: +8801755568894, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017 - 16:14Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Nunavet, 70, recently arrived at Kutupalong extension settlement. Despite the language barrier, she mumbled pointing to her empty stomach, weary back and aching feet. She was escorted to an IOM health centre where she received food and medical attention. Photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Embassies in Libya, UN Migration Agency, Partners Advocate for Alternatives to Detention

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:42

Tunis – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the Danish Refugee Council and the International Detention Coalition recently (1-2/10) held a two-day meeting to explore alternatives to migrant detention in Libya.

The meeting, held in Tunis, brought together representatives from Libya’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Social Affairs and Labour plus the Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM) within the Ministry of Interior. Also in attendance were representatives from the African Union, diplomatic staff from eight African countries, Bangladeshi and Pakistani embassy representatives and participants from international NGOs and UN agencies.

The meeting, funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), and UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), provided an opportunity to discuss alternatives to detention with Embassy representatives, as well as how to address challenges facing diplomatic staff with regards consular procedure for migrants in detention.

Embassy representatives prepared a statement of principles, which was presented to the Libyan authorities on the second day of the workshop. The embassies emphasized the constraints they face in accessing their nationals in detention and called for improved collaboration with Libyan authorities and international organizations to find alternatives to detention that comply with Libyan law.

While the situation in Libya is complex and migration has many drivers that require efforts in the countries of origin, transit and destination, there are immediate practical steps that can be taken, emphasized Junita Calder, the International Detention Coalition representative.

These include introducing screening mechanisms, ensuring referrals and adopting a case management approach. With embassies on board to assist in this effort, there is an even greater likelihood of success, said James Martin, Head of Programmes, Danish Refugee Council.

Karolina Edsbacker, IOM Libya Protection Officer, praised ongoing ad-hoc initiatives of the diplomatic community in Libya to find alternatives to detention. “Community housing and other safe alternatives need to be further developed outside of detention and, for this, the collaboration with the embassies is key,” she explained. 

“It is important to keep in mind that the detention centre question is only one component of a wider discussion on the widespread phenomenon of migration,” said Marwan Ali Bousriwel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, acknowledging that migration management cannot be the sole responsibility of Libya but should also include countries of origin, transit and destination.
Maya Fadel Sahli, representative from the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights within the African Union presented examples from countries in the region which have tried out alternatives to detention. At the end of the workshop, she welcomed that diplomatic representatives and the Libyan authorities had reached a consensus on the necessity of alternatives to detention in Libya.
A workshop report, which will outline best practices presented by the embassies and include recommendations on ways forward will pave the way for next discussions on alternatives to detention between the key stakeholders.


IOM’s DTM Libya’s Detention Center Profile Generator, September 2017

This data driven tool has been developed to provide a quantitative and action-orientated tool that delivers routine multi-sectoral profiles on select DCIM detention centres in Libya.

By selecting a specific detention centre from the dropdown list at the top of the page DTM’s Detention Center Profile generates a PDF printable factsheet presenting an overview on the total number of women, men and children held in each detention centre on the day the of the assessment. The factsheet also presents a total breakdown of the nationalities detained in each Center as well as a multi-sectoral overview of the primary needs and vulnerabilities relating to health, WASH, food, protection and access to information.

As is standard for all DTM Libya publications, the Detention Center Profile generator is accompanied by a complete information package including:
•          Detention Center Profile generator,
•          Detention Center Profile dataset,
•          The latest map of Libya’s DCIM-run Detention Centers,
•          The latest MMWG 4 Ws map prepared by DTM,
•          A Terminology and Definitions dictionary,
•          The Detention Center Profile methodology,
•          Enumerator guidelines,
•          The Detention Center assessment forms.

This file contains Libya detention centre profiles for Abusliem, Al Kufra, Benghazi al Wafiah, Gharyan al Hamra, Shahhat, Tajoura, Trig al Matar, Trig al Seka and Zilten. The displayed information concerns the detention centre, demographics and shelter, vulnerable populations, main nationalities present, and sectorial data (health, WASH, food, protection, site facility information, access to information and information sources).
All DTM products and data are available to download from the DTM global website:

For all enquiries please contact:
Daniel Salmon, Programme Coordinator – DTM Libya, IOM Libya (based in Tunis, Tunisia)
Tel.: +216 29 235 097, Skype: daniusalmon, Email:

For more information, please contact:
IOM Libya: Karolina Edsbacker, Tel: +216 29 202 896, Email:
DRC Libya: Yannick Creoff, Tel: +216 23 462 795, Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017 - 16:12Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Capacity BuildingHumanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

An African migrant sits inside Trig al Seka migrant detention centre in Tripoli, Libya. Photo: UN Migration Agency/Christina Petre 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Launches Mobile App for Migrants in Mesoamerica

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:41

San José – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has launched the MigrantApp, the first pilot of an IOM global initiative to provide information to facilitate regular, safe and orderly migration using mobile devices. The MigrantApp provides reliable, rapid, safe and free information in three languages on governmental, private and civil society services for migrants. The app, which has been available for over two weeks, has been downloaded by more than 700 users so far.

The MigrantApp facilitates access to information on more than 1,500 georeferenced centres where migrants can receive assistance or information. The application also offers tips on regular and orderly migration, alerts on risks related to irregular migration and the option to answer mini surveys safely, thus, fostering migrant empowerment.

“Mesoamerica is one of the main migratory corridors in the world. The necessary information that migrants need to move in a regular, dignified and safe manner is dispersed. Reaching correct information is a challenge, mainly due to the massive amount of misleading information usually generated by smugglers. The application’s objective is to bring accurate information closer to the migrants who need it,” explained Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director of IOM Central America, North America, and the Caribbean.

“The MigrantApp offers easy-to-use and free information, including reliable facts, corroborated with the institutions and organizations that offer migratory procedures, and health, employment, security services. We are aiming to protect migrants transiting the region,” said Alexandra Bonnie, Regional Coordinator of IOM’s Mesoamerica Program, the project that developed this initiative.

The confidentiality of users’ information is based on IOM’s data protection principles. Also, each user can decide if he or she authorizes the application to use the GPS on their mobile device.

Besides benefiting migrants, the MigrantApp will serve institutions, both public and private, as it provides them easy access to the contact information of similar organizations in other places or countries. 

The MigrantApp is initially available for download from Google Play for Android devices. Apple device users will be able to download the application later this month. The application can also be found at  

The MigrantApp was developed as part of IOM’s Mesoamerica Program, financed by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the Department of State of the United States of America. The objective of the programme is to strengthen the capacities of governments and civil society organizations to improve the protection of and assistance to migrants in situations of vulnerability.

Information and Services Provided in the MigrantApp

  • Protection and Assistance: Information on health centres, consulates and embassies, migration offices, human rights protection centres, as well as centres that offer shelter. It also includes information regarding training and employment, specific assistance for vulnerable groups of people such as women, children and victims of trafficking in persons, as well as assistance programmes for migrants.
  • Migration Information: Information on the requirements to enter countries in Mesoamerica for 27 nationalities.
  • Remittances: Compares the options available to migrants to send money.
  • My Route: Allows users to share their route in real time, in a private manner, with anyone they approve.
  • News: Updated relevant information about migration on the news of the country in which the migrant is, alerts in case of emergencies such as hurricanes and epidemics, and important events in the area.

For more information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212 5300,  Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017 - 16:11Image: Region-Country: Costa RicaThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

The MigrantApp is now available from Google Play Store and will soon be also available on Apple’s App Store. The App offers information for safe and orderly migration in Mesoamerica.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN